I am having the same problem with my Malibu 2006 and their was a recall for the steering column and it was fixed but I was also told at the same time that the steering rack needed to be repaired due to a leak, and it is not covered under the same recall. I feel that it needs repairing due to the problem with the steering column since I have had the car for 6 yrs and it now has 100,000 miles, which according to GM is about the time the car should be "needing repairs". Is anyone else having the same problem with their Steering Rack, please let me know.
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If it still has the original V8 engine installed you will need to locate the power steering reservoir which you should find on the drivers side front of the engine. The top on the PS reservoir will be marked to identify it as the power steering and the top also serves as a dip stick to ensure you have the correct level of fluid. When adding fluid do not overfill or you will have issues.
Many of these vehicles have had all kinds of different engines installed so if you have one of those then the PS reservoir could be anywhere at or near the front of the engine. There should be a marking on the cap to identify it though.
If you are unsure then don't do anything. Take the vehicle to a mechanic and have him locate the PS reservoir for you because you will just cause problems if you tip the PS fluid in the wrong filler.
Locating the Power Steering reservoir and adding PS fluid. 1999 Pontiac GP
The reservoir is clearly visible in the engine bay on the 3.1 litre engine cars.
For the 3.8 Ltr engine cars,
use a flashlight to look down past the alternator for a black cap with a
steering wheel printed on it to indicate the power steering fluid reservoir. ( passenger side of the vehicle).
Remove the cap of the power steering reservoir, clean the
dipstick, re-insert and remove again to check the fluid level. If the
level is at or below the low level mark, add fluid slowly, taking care not
to fill above the MAXIMUM mark. It's best to add small amounts and re-check the level as you go to ensure you do not overfill the reservoir above the MAX level.
ONLY use the power steering fluid recommended for that vehicle by GM.
You will want to verify you have hydraulic power steering. Electronic power steering was an option on Malibu's and this may be why you cannot find the reservoir. The power steering pump would be driven by the belt in the event you have a hydraulic system. Thus making it easy to locate.
The power steering is electric on that car. It has a electric motor on the column, and a control module. There are several causes that could be the problem. You need to have it scanned to get a better idea of what to do. If you can give me the codes you get then I will be glad to advise you on what's best. Good Luck