Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
45 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
27 / 5
Average Mileage:
62,118 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 21 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #596

Jan 152009


  • 43,000 miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and at least once a day while driving (highway or city driving) my car loses its power steering. I can be on the highway or driving home from the store. There is no speed limit, no rhyme or reason. The only way I can fix it is to turn the car entirely off and restart it. I have on numerous occasions had such difficultly steering that I barely missed hitting other cars. Turning corners is nearly impossible!

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #595

Sep 082009


  • 50,000 miles
Power steering keeps going in and out.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #594

Jan 092010


  • 65,300 miles
I had just taken an exit off the interstate and was going to make a left turn. As I was beginning to turn the power steering failed in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. An eighteen wheeler was also making a left turn in the lane to the right of me. It took all the muscle I had to keep the car from veering in front of the truck which would have caused a very serious accident. I pulled into a parking lot and turned the car off. When I started it again the steering worked fine again for about a mile, then went out again. I sent GM an email to inform them of this problem and to let them know how concerned I was that someone could be seriously injured or killed. I contacted my local Chevy dealership and they said that they had seen this problem happening in Cobalts. I took it in to be repaired, but since there had not been a recall I had to pay the $768.12 to have the steering column replaced. I have heard that this is a common problem with Cobalts and I have asked GM to do the right thing and recall these cars before someone is injured or killed.

- Mt. Pleasant, TX, USA

problem #593

Feb 152010


  • 88,000 miles


I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I am the original owner. About a year ago I had a problem with the power steering turning off in parking lots while I made full turns of the steering wheel. Now I have a problem with the power steering randomly turning off while I'm driving. Its really random some times it seem to never want to stay on and sometimes it seem to not affect my car at all. Scary that it is inconsistent. I'm awaiting to hear back from the dealership.

- Laconia, NH, USA

problem #592

Jan 212010


  • 124,552 miles
The power steering warning light appeared & w/in minutes the power steering failed. Restarting the car reset it, but now it will only work for a couple of minutes before going out again. I was told I needed to replace power steering column. This car has been a headache since the beginning w/ one defect after another. I have not been notified of any recalls since I purchased it new in Jan 2005. The problem has not been fixed as it is not in our budget at $1200.

- Scurry, TX, USA

problem #591

Sep 122009


  • miles
I was driving along I-20 when the power steering light came on and the power steering just gave out. Thank god I was able to pull to the side, turned the car off started it up, the light went out. Now as soon as I turn the car on it automatically comes on and the power steering is terrible. The car is, of course, out of warranty. Talked to dealer and was told they only had 1 car brought in with this problem and it was costly.

- Longview, TX, USA

problem #590

Jan 092010


  • 42,000 miles


TL- contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when she was driving down the road at approx 55 mph and the power steering failed. She tried to turn around a curb and had no power steering which made for a difficult time turning. She stated that the longer the vehicle had no power steering, the more she felt as if the entire steering system was locking up altogether. She noticed the problem every time she drove the vehicle. She took the vehicle to the dealership and was told that they could not duplicate the problem and the vehicle was alright to drive without the power steering. They told her that it just made the vehicle harder to drive. She had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was 46,503. The failure mileage was approximately 42,000.

- Dunmor, KY, USA

problem #589

Feb 102010


  • 103,456 miles
My power steering continues to fail 3-4 times a week now. I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and had recently lost my steering in a snow storm. I have contacted gmac, and they informed me there was nothing that they could do, but repair it if necessary @ my expense, seeing as the warranty has expired, and there was no recall on this problem. There is little time lapse between the power steering indicator, and losing the power steering.

- Liberty, NY, USA

problem #588

Oct 102009


  • miles
The power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt failed while making a turn on a busy street. The sudden failure caused me to veer into 2 lanes of oncoming traffic. Was able to stop and no accidents occurred. I had 3 of my children in the car with me, could've been tragic!!!!

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #587

Feb 122010


  • 59,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt when the power steering failed. I was doing 30mph when the warning light on the dashboard went on and I had a hard time steering the car off the road. I turned the car off and then back on and the problem stopped. This has happened twice. My mechanic cant find anything wrong.

- Hazlet, NJ, USA

problem #586

Aug 272009


  • 94,783 miles


2005 Chevrolet Cobalt - had total power steering failure. The repair was made by our local Chevrolet dealer I.G. burton in seaford, de for $998.94 on 8/27/09. Code #9996 they replaced the steering column assembly due to faults in motor unit. Part #19200751 F-column kit and part #4238 cpc.. I complained to Chevrolet customer assistance center. A representative responded back by telephone denying my request for financial re-imbursement claiming "they had no reports of complaints about this problem".

- Seaford, DE, USA

problem #585

Oct 102009


  • 40,000 miles
We purchased a used 2005 Cobalt and have had this issue with the power steering going out on numerous occasions. Each time the car was taken in they would say they couldn't find the problem and would return the car to us unrepaired as it would do the same thing again and again and on one occasion it almost resulted in a severe accident while my wife and daughter were turning through an intersection and the steering went out. Thank god the other drivers were alert and a near and possibly fatal accident was avoided. They tell us it can be fixed but now that it's out of factory and somehow even extended warranty they had us purchase that was supposed to last until we paid it off have expired they want us to now pay for the repairs and even $100 to even look at the car. We got a report that this car had issues from day one and were never told but received it later from GM indicating the car had a some problems and was sold to our dealership at a GM auction. We feel stuck with this car and trusting in god each day that the problem won't occur and cause loss of life to anyone. Please make GM recall and repair these Cobalts so that loss of life or limb isn't a result at anytime. This occurs quit often and should be addressed.

- Winterville, GA, USA

problem #584

Sep 212009


  • 59,835 miles
The power steering just stopped working one day while I was driving. It now happens every time I drive aprox. 5-30 sec. After I start moving.

- Fuquay-Varina, NC, USA

problem #583

Feb 012010


  • 58,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt in which the power steering will go out randomly. The first time it happen I was a couple of weeks ago, 01/28/2010, on the highway, and I almost crashed. I thought it might be a fluke, but it happens everytime I drive, and I am now forced not to drive it for obvious safety reasons. It is extremely dangerous and there is no reason for it to be happening at this point in the car's life. I have done research and found this is a very common problem for this model.

- La Porte, TX, USA

problem #582

Oct 112009


  • 54,000 miles
My 05 Chevy Cobalt power steering keeps going out I hear a "ding ding" then the words power steering flashes on and the T/C light comes on the car will slow down and mph and RPM gauges fluctuate back and forth and steering is nearly impossible it first went out at around 54000 miles I replaced the power steering motor but at around 55000 the powering steering went out again so I replaced the entire steering column but the powering steering has gone out twice since then always at random times all the old parts are available.

- Portage, IN, USA

problem #581

Feb 132010


  • 66,239 miles
I was riding down the highway and the power steering went out three times and I can not control the vehicle.. I felt that my life and family was endangered. I know I am not the only one with this problem.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #580

Feb 132010


  • 58,350 miles
I was running an errand earlier this afternoon under normal driving conditions (the weather was clear and the temperature was about 45F) when my driver information center warned of a power steering problem. At the time I was on a straight road only going about 25mph, so when I got to the upcoming stop sign, I shut down and restarted my car. I drove another 5 miles to pick up some food and there was no problem up to that point. On the remaining mile from the food stop to my home, the power steering went out twice. I was on a straight road going about 35mph the first time, and the second time I was pulling into my parking spot. I have not driven my car since then, and at this moment I plan to take the car to the local dealership Monday (if they are not closed for president's day). The reason I am reporting this to NHTSA sort of prematurely is because this seems to be a very common occurring problem based on what I found after looking up 'Chevy, Cobalt, power, steering' on a search engine. One article alone had over 810 comments, all owners of the same car with the same problem.

- Lynn Haven, FL, USA

problem #579

May 062008


  • 42,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt through a winding mountain road and my electronic power steering went out and almost caused me to crash that could possibly cause injury or death of me or my daughter who was with me.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #578

Jan 052008


  • miles
Electronic power steering failure. Started 2 years ago. Chevrolet Cobalt 2005 ls. The power steering usually goes out within 5 minutes of driving every time. It is a very irritating problem. I would fix, but it costs a couple thousand dollars. I've been waiting for a recall, and thank god there is finally an investigation. I know of several people with this same issue who own Cobalts. Chevrolet needs to clean up their mess.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #577

Dec 202009


  • 65,000 miles
2005 Cobalt with 65,000 miles. Came to a stop and could not turn the steering wheel. Drove straight and car pulled to the left. Came to a stop and no problem turning the steering wheel. Took it to a shop where they were familiar with fixing the problem by replacing the electronic system that controls the power steering. This included the entire steering shaft with electric motor and switches attached at a cost of $900. Turned the complaint into Chevrolet dealer and the complaint was taken to GM where after two weeks sent a letter stating they would not cover the cost due to being 2nd hand car with too many miles on the car. Should someone be making a turn when the power steering decides to stop working an accident will surely happen and could kill or injury someone. My grandchild rides with her mother and I would be devastated if I lost them due to GM not wanting to recognize that there is a problem. At least Toyota did the right thing by stopping production until their problems have been resolved. Note that just replacing the part with a new one does not mean the new part will not go out at any time because GM will not investigate the problem.

- Spring, TX, USA

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