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CarComplaints.com Notes: The Cobalt was introduced to replace two of Chevy’s smaller cars, the Cavalier and Prizm. But the compact’s fresh start that Chevy was hoping for was riddled with issues, most notably widespread power steering failure.

The power steering failed so often that GM was forced to issue a recall in March, 2010. Great, but what about other problems like the key getting stuck in the ignition or all the other electrical demons this car possesses?

And, oh yes — then there’s the terribly dangerous issue where the Cobalt randomly shuts off while driving. As it turns out, that problem is related to GM’s massive 2014 recall for a dangerous ignition switch defect. A recall that eventually ballooned to 2.6 million vehicles in one of the automotive industry’s biggest scandals.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
60,919 miles
Total Complaints:
101 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (52 reports)
  2. replaced steering column (20 reports)
  3. the power steering assist motor under the steering column (15 reports)
  4. needs new steering column (6 reports)
  5. need to replace assist motor and p/s mod (3 reports)
  6. recalled! (2 reports)
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #101

Mar 252014

Cobalt 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,274 miles


It's alot of fun when you can't find the problem because now it is not there

Update from May 15, 2014: Power steering was stiff but now it's ok.

- , Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

problem #100

Apr 192014

Cobalt 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

I had the Power Steering fixed when I got the recall in 8/2012 which only had a year warrantee on it. I had no problem before that time. Well, I lost power steering this past weekend, which was scary. It will cost me over $500. to fix it because it was suggested I get the power steering intermediate shaft replaced also. Anyone else have a problem with their replaced Power Steering motor? And my Ignition recall is still not in the shop being replaced because the part is still not here.

- , St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #99

Jul 192013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

click to see larger images

power steering failure

t/c light comes on, power steering failure

This car has been at the dealership for almost 2 weeks now. This is the 2nd time they have had it, still cant figure out what the problem is. This is crazy. I have contacted GM, they were no help. I, also, want to start a class action lawsuit, anyone else with me? I am contacting an attorney. This is BS.

- , Mount Vernon, OH, USA

problem #98

Oct 172012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


I am a college student and use my car quite often. I bought this car in September of 2012 and in October of 2012 while I was driving, my car made a noise and the "T/C" light came on and the words "POWER STEERING" came on where my mileage would show. The steering wheel went completely stiff not being able to turn left or right. I freaked out but the funny thing is that I turned of my car and when I turned it back on the problem was no longer there. It's happened about 5 times since then & I took it to a mechanic and they found nothing. It's really starting to irritate me and hope this will help GM notice the issue and that it should be solved ASAP!!!

- , Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #97

Jan 232012

Cobalt LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles

click to see larger images

power steering failure

Bought this vehicle for my daughter to take to college with her. We originally had a 2006 Cobalt and had no problems but it was totaled in an accident so we went to our local dealership to find another car for her. We came across this 2005 Cobalt LT... top of the line everything and the best part was it only had 14,000 miles on it. You read that correctly! A 2005 with 14,000 miles. We thought wow what a find. Supposedly it belonged to a snow bird, one owner with a clean car fax. So we bought it cash and patted ourselves on the back for getting such a good deal. Our daughter came home for the weekend and we picked up the car on Friday, January 20, 2012. Daughter drove back to Tampa on Sunday no problems. Monday night she was driving it home from school when suddenly she said bells started going off, power steering failed, power steering light is on as well as the t/c light and it was bucking and shuddering. Wouldn't go any faster than 40 miles hr and the gauges were jumping all over the place. Scared to death she pulled off the road and immediately called us. (This was 10:30pm ) Advised her to not get on highway and take the streets back to her apartment which she did. When she got home she found this website and found out that the car had been recalled for p/s issues so Tuesday morning she took it to her local Chevy dealer thinking that perhaps the recall had never been done. Well it had been done and further more the dealership could not find anything wrong with the car, kept it for 2 days but could not replicate the problem. On Sunday she was driving back from a study group and the same thing happened again. So we drove to go pick up the car, gave her our car and drove home. We had stopped for something to eat and after the car being off for a bit, we had no problems with it on the 2 hr ride home. Took it to the dealership where we bought it and had to have the steering gear assembly replaced as well as some minor other parts replaced that had worked when we got the car but were not working now. They couldn't find anything wrong with transmission. After having car for 10 days we finally got it back and thought all was ok. (dealership picked up total cost) All was okay for 2 weeks then same thing happened all over again only this time the brake light, abs light and security system light were all going off as well as all the previous issues. She had the presence of mind to take pictures and to record it on her cell phone. Once 'gin made 3 hr trip to get car and again drove home with no problems. Took it next day back to dealer, showed the pics and video my daughter had taken. Was without car this time for 2 weeks. This time, it was the power steering module and they replaced the steering column assembly as well as the torque converter again at no cost to us. By now I decided that I didn't want daughter to take car back until i knew for sure it was ok. Picked up car on Thursday night, didn't drive it for the weekend and Monday afternoon while driving to grocery store same thing happened yet again. Lights flashing, bells ringing, car shuddering an bucking etc. Was most terrifying experience I have ever had. Called dealer immediately, told him I was bringing car back and wanted him to drive it to see that I was not nuts. He didn't even get off the bay area when he backed up and said I'm not driving this car. I told him I no longer wanted the car-in the 6 weeks I had it, it was in the shop more than in my possession. He called the GM of the dealership and had him come over and explained what was happening. GM was very concerned and told me to let them try and fix the problem one more time and if anything else happened, he would get me into another car. Well, they drove the car for over 100 miles over the course of 2 days and could not get it to duplicate the problem and nothing was showing on the diagnostics that there was a problem. So to end the story, they took the car back, credited me for the full amount for everything I paid and are putting me into a 2006 Mazda 3i. Of course I have checked this website and there are absolutely no complaints on this year Mazda. Yay!!!! Kudos to Coral Springs Auto Mall for going out of their way to make things right!! (Sorry for such a long post)

- , Tamarac, FL, USA

problem #96

Apr 152011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and I am experiencing problems that nobody can seem to fix.

I took it into my local Chevy Dealership in April for them to fix the power steering recall. Before I took it in, the car was running fine, but ever since them I have had nothing but problems. The "power steering" light will come onto the information LED and the power steering immediately goes out. Then there is a nonstop series of clicking coming from somewhere on the dash. Then all the meters on the dash start to go crazy. Then the car starts to chug, really bad, to the point where it becomes impossible to drive. I had to stop driving it completely because I was 8 months pregnant and physically couldn't turn the wheel of the car without hurting my abdomen.

I took it back to the local dealer immediately and they told me there was nothing wrong, therefore, nothing they could do. This was frustrating because they could physically see the problem, but they couldn't get anything to cup up on the diagnostics check. They cleared the computer and it was fine for a week, until the same events started up again.

I took it my mechanic that I usually go to and he replaced some kind of transmission module or something and another part, I'm really not clear on what he did, it didn't work. So I was out $550 for nothing. Still, I was frustrated because he, too, could see the problem in action but insists that the diagnostic check says there's nothing wrong with my car.

This is my last resort. I'm a single mom, full time student, I don't have the money to keep letting people fix my car willy nilly with no real idea of what's wrong with it. I am hoping you have had somebody with similar problems and can help me out.

Thank you.

- , Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #95

Oct 032011

Cobalt 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Chevy needs to compensate us all for these issues. My issues started with my power steering after the dealership fixed it. When I got the car back I got approximately 5 miles up the road and the Chevy dealership looked over the car and said it was possibly a bad BCM and if it kept up that would have to be replaced. All the money I've put into the car the past 2 years is AWFUL!!!

- , Norlina, NC, USA

problem #94

Jan 302008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,749 miles

The steering column was replaced 0n Jan 30, 2008. On Aug 12, 2011 my steering failure light came on while I was driving on the freeway causing the car to immediately swerve sharply to the right and crashing into the guard rail. I had no chance to react.

The car was totaled and I received injuries and missed a week of work. I notified the dealership that regularly serviced and inspected my car. I notified GM and NHTSA.

So far, GM has not acknowledged any fault, has not replaced my car, and has not reimbursed me for damages. The wrecked car is in a tow lot and the lot is demanding that I pay over $700 to get to the car. GM has an inspector who is supposed to inspect the car but GM will not pay for the inspector to get access to the car. GM says it is my problem. So much for corporate responsibility.

- , Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #93

Feb 102011

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

The electric assist power steering unit had been replaced by GM Recall approx 10 months prior. Similar problem to other 2005 cobalts, ding, ding, ON dash TC code, then power steering, code. Would loose power steering assist, once on highway, speed gauge moved high and low while maintaining the same approximate highway speed. At slower speeds , would loose power assist, transmission would shift at wrong times so would be a rough shift, engine might stall. Was a safety hazard, and contacted National Safety Counsel website, and GM dealer area POC. Private mechanic could not figure out what needed repair. At GM dealer: Check engine light on, Tested Systems-Multiple system faults Set-P0700 Transmission Control module requested malfunction indicator light, U2100 CAN BUS COMMUNICATION.U2107 LOST COMMUNICATION WITH BODY CONTROL MODULE (BCM) AND U2100 CAN BUS COMMUNICATION. GM shop contacted GM Technical assistance and they advised of possible wiring issue between body control module (BCM) and power steering control-checked connectors at BCM, transmission control module and power steering control module, checked connector C3 at vehicle control interface module-verified wiring good-replaced wiring terminals at BCM for circuit 2500 and 2501 to power steering control module-cleared codes and test drove, approx 20 miles. Cost 4 Hrs labor, $376.00. has now worked properly and safely, no loss of steering, no transmission shift problems, no stalling, gauges work properly.

- , Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #92

Mar 162011

Cobalt LS V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Took my 2005 cobalt in because the power steering failed. They fixed the recalled PS motor and called me back only to tell me that didn't fix the problem and that now I will be getting charged for any more work that goes into fixing it. Has anyone else had this problem? Sounds to me like they aren’t recalling the right part.

- , Baden, PA, USA

problem #91

Nov 082010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,200 miles


i would like to start a class action lawsuit i am so so sick of this car i am ready to scream

i fixed the power steering pump and Chevy had a recall lo and behold they recalled the power steering module and i was stuck with the bill now 10 months later it is still going on but Chevy dealer said it was the steering column and transmission

- , Mahanoy City, PA, USA

problem #90

Jun 152008

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

My local Mechanic suggested a bigger battery i installed a 900CCA battery and all of my Power Steering woes went away havent had the warning lights flashing the gauges jumping anymore, Just a suggestion someone might try.

- , Crowder, OK, USA

problem #89

Feb 032010

Cobalt LX 3.2L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I can't believe that they haven't recallede this stupid car yet. I mean, given, it is a cheap car, but that doesn't meant that it has to be cheaply made. I was driving down I-75 in Estero, Fl at around 70 m.p.h. and the steering will locked up forcing me off the road in the middle of a lot of traffic. I had my two little girls in the backseat and when I contacted the dealership, they said that there was nothing they could do unless I paid for the steering column to be replaced which cost me over 1,000. The trade in value on my car is only 2,000.00!!! I can't believe that they would leave this car on the road in this condition when I've read about this same complaint 1,000's of times. I hope someone is reading this who can do something about it. Recall the car NOW!! Don't wait until more people are hurt or dead.

- , Naples, FL, USA

problem #88

Feb 232010

Cobalt LT 2.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Hello, I can't believe this site is here, it's like my hero.

I got the 2005 Chevrolet cobalt in 2008, my mother wanted me to have a good car for my safety. It was a good car until about December 2009, the power steering started giving me a headache, so she took it to the dealership in Knoxville, TN. They charged her for the code check, and charged her for a fuse that wasn't even the problem. So the problem fixed it self a couple weeks later it didn't do it anymore, so My mother & I was very relieved. But the other morning as i was heading to school, i stopped to pick up my cousin, Me and him was late for school already, and waiting on him didn't make it any better. So when he gets his things and gets in the car i look at the time and it's 7:49 and school started at 8:15 and we had about 7 miles to go. And it was raining on top of it. So I back out of his drive, and floor it. i was driving the car about 60/64 MPH, and the roads were very wet and the rain was pouring down even harder now. we were in the country part of Knoxville, TN were they are a-lot of 2 lane roads. we was approaching what everyone calls "kiss your ass curve," it was very steep and as i got closer i hear 4 dings looked down, and " Power Steering" was across the message center, the steering was very tight and i tried to whip it to take the curve, and it slides off the road and over a bank then into a tree going about 50 mph. the car took the hit more on the passenger side and both Kyle and I were buckled up. the car came to a sudden stop, deploying both airbags. I got a black eye and a pulled shoulder muscle, kyle got a broken wrist and two broke fingers from trying to brace himself on impact. He's still has to undergo surgery and is in the hospital. The car was pulled to a salvage yard, and the police report reads, "Mechanical failure." And the insurance adjuster, wrote it up. And with full coverage insurance they're paying off the bank no. and getting a replacement car. I just hope it isn't another cobalt because I no longer trust this car. And after seeing complaints on other problems of GM, i don't think i'll ever get another GM car.

Thank you

- Dylan C.

Update from Oct 6, 2010: Can't believe they recalled this after I destroyed my car. But That's how it goes. But I did find out 100% what caused my problem after the insurance investigated the case. They're is a small box like thing I can't really explain it because i'm not educated on the whole operation of cars, but the thing inside of the steering column in my car had went bad, and caused the power steering to just randomly shut down, and by that caused me to lose control at a high speed, I Do blame a-lot of Gm, for the accident but it's a fifty fifty thing. They're were other factors leading up to my accident and me being a new drive was the main thing. But i'm glad they had A recall on this problem it was good finally. But if they keep making cars that's going to need recalled every other year GM might as well go out and everyone go to a different make of car.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #87

Oct 222009

Cobalt 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

I have a 2005 chevy cobalt, and the power steering has went out, it started going out slowly, you could turn the car off and then start it back up and it would start working again but I have been going down the road in it several times in the past few months, and it be working fine then all of a sudden it just go out, and it usually does it when Im getting ready to turn and it has caused me to almost wreck more than a few times...I think this should be a recall cause I pay 310 a month on my car, and definitely cant afford to pay 400 to 900 to fix this problem especially when it was a factory defect in the first place.......

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #86

Feb 122010

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,239 miles

I was driving around town and on the highway. The power steering light came on and had no power steering. I was lucky I didnt kill myself or crash into the other car going the other way. I called my GM dealer and they said that the sensor got wet it would be okay and called GM service rep and they said sorry cant do nothing about it. People with the same problem should go to nhtsa.gov to make a complaint so GM will have to put out a recall for it. It is going to kill someone one day

- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #85

Jun 072009

Cobalt BLS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,040 miles

I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt BLS. The first time this happened was in the month of June 2009 and approximately 10 times until Feb 14, 2010, my car's message center "dinged" and the message "Power Steering " was being displayed. The tachometer, and speedometer both started jumping up and down, that seemed to stop after a couple of seconds, my steering seemed a little stiffer but nothing really noticeable, it wasn't until i pulled into the parking lot at work and had my car jerk around when it shifted gears. Felt kinda of like someone popped the clutch in a standard.

Last year I brought the car to GM to look into this issue. The mechanic found nothing wrong with the Power Steering and charged me 80.00 for checking it out. It happened many times after this however I wasn't about to bring it back to GM and be charged for something that they say is not a problem. This problem has made me very unhappy with GM and this may also change my thoughts on the company. I also came across this website and noticed that I'm not the only person having this problem. I do not believe this problem is temperature related and that it occurs at higher temps, I am from Ontario, Canada.

GM should not wait until there is a fatality to recall or make the changes. This has happened to many who have purchased the Cobalt and we are very concerned and frightened to be driving and have this happen so many times. When this occurs I need to pull over to the side of the road and wait 10 or 15 minutes and restart the car sometimes the light goes out and I can try again and sometimes I need to wait a little longer. I am afraid of driving around since it has happened often and you never know when an accident can happen.

- , Bourget, Ontario, Canada

problem #84

Feb 052010

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,010 miles

I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt LS w/Sport Package. On my way to work this morning, my car's message center "dinged" and the message "Power Steering" was being displayed. The tachometer, and speedometer both started jumping up and down, that seemed to stop after a couple of seconds, my steering seemed a little stiffer but nothing really noticeable, it wasn't until i pulled into the parking lot at work and had my car jerk around when it shifted gears. Felt kinda of like someone popped the clutch in a standard.

I have been very happy with my car to date, but if GM doesn't consider this problem important enough to fix, it will change my thoughts on the company. I came across this website and noticed that I'm not the only person having this problem. I noticed prople seem to think that this problem is temperature related and that it occurs at higher temps, I am from northern Ontario, Canada and it was approximately -30 degrees Celcius this morning when it happened. I've also noticed that the mileage at the time of this happening seems pretty consistent. DEFINITELY think that GM should look into this.

Going to call the dealership tonight and also file a formal complaint to GM, this is a life threatening problem, I am a volunteer firefighter and don't feel like being the victim in one of our Auto Extracations. I just sold my old 1997 Chryler Intrepid, had 330,000km on it but really only minor problems, thought going to a 2005 with only 54,000 at time of purchase would create less problems. Car still has warranty on it, hoping for at least some of this to be covered.

- , Matheson, ON, Canada

problem #83

Feb 082010

Cobalt LT V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

Fall of 2009 my power steering went hay wire. I was on the higway going 60. All electrical things flashing , power steering went ,then the car shut down. My dealership couldn't find anything. They just turned off the computer and reset my car. Also lost all history.

Feb 8, 2009 started my car and the power steering didn't work.

- , Hillsboro, NH, USA

problem #82

Apr 012009

Cobalt LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

GM sucks! I had got in touch with GM and told them what was going on and they told me that i was out of luck. I provide transportation for my 21/2 year old so it is very dangerous!!! The fact that I have no freaking power streering and on top of that, no use of the air bags because that went out when the power streering went as too!!!!!

- , Hampton, NH, USA

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