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 23 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #556

Sep 082009


  • 59,000 miles


I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt 2.2 engine. It started Sept 8th 2009 my power steering in my car failed causing me to strain to turn the wheel. I made it with mild damage to my car. I replaced my steering column but the problem still exists. The car jumps like it doesn't know what gear to shift into causing the car to jump and be almost impossible to turn.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #555

Dec 202009


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt which was purchased brand new. She stated that while driving at various speeds, the power steering would fail intermittently and it became extremely difficult to control the steering wheel. The contact shut the vehicle off for a few moments and restarted to reset the power steering. The failure progressed to the point where once the power steering failed; it would not reset when the engine was shut off and restarted. On a separate occasion, while traveling at speeds of less than 65 mph, the vehicle began shaking violently. The power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer could not duplicate the failure and there were no related recalls. No repairs were made to the vehicle, to date. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were under 58,000.

- Kettering , OH, USA

problem #554

Dec 251999


  • 44,250 miles
Power steering warning light comes on and dings and it is extremely difficult to turn the steering wheel. If I turn off the car and restart it the car is fine for a little while and than the warning light comes on again. I have had it checked by the dealer service dept and they found nothing wrong, so I have been driving it like this for over two months. Not sure exactly what to do next. It happens on short trips and long trips, always when I am driving, never when I am parked or stopped.

- Bridgman, MI, USA

problem #553

Nov 192009


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph, the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard and then the power steering failed. The failure occurred 3 to 4 times a week. He turned the ignition off and restarted it; the failure appeared to reset the power steering and it failed within 5 to 10 minutes. He took the vehicle to the dealer and was informed that the electric power steering was the cause of the failure and needed to be replaced. He had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was 80,779. The failure mileage was approximately 70,000.

- New Richmond, WI, USA

problem #552

Jan 142010


  • 45,000 miles
My power steering has failed while driving my 2005 Cobalt with 50,000 miles on it.

- Somers Point, NJ, USA

problem #551

Jun 132009


  • 70,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and my power steering has been out for about 8 months. I've started seeing articles concerning the power steering and thought I should report my car.

- Little Elm, TX, USA

problem #550

Jan 192010


  • 36,000 miles


Power steering failure 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I was idling in a parking lot, heard a ding ding ding, noticed a message on my dash "power steering." I tried to maneuver into a parking space and could barely turn the car into the space. It was extremely hard to turn the wheel. I turned the car off, then turned it back on and the power steering was ok. The same thing happened several times while I was driving over the next few days. The power steering would operate for a few minutes and then go out at random intervals. When the power steering would malfunction, an alarm would sound and a message pop up of the dash. Turning off the car seemed to reset the problem temporarily. I took the car to my dealer and they replaced the motor in the power steering. The part was expensive, but available. It is working fine again. They denied any known problem with this issue in other cars.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #549

Mar 052009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 45,481 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving and attempting to make a right turn the steering wheel locked and wouldn't move. She turned the vehicle off and within a few minutes she was able to drive the vehicle manually to her residence. She did not see any warning lights on the instrumental panel. The dealer replaced the power steering column at the owners expense for $1,387. The failure mileage was 45,481 the current mileage is 58,200 updated 03/19/10. Updated 08/18/10

- South Bay , FL, USA

problem #548

Feb 082010


  • 47,100 miles
1. power steering failure. Regular driving. The car beeped and a prompt message appearing saying "power steering". 2. multiple times during a short drive. Stopping the car/restarting the engine temporarily fixes it. Could lead to intersection crashes because of power steering re engaging/failing mid-turn. 3. new steering column.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #547

Nov 152009


  • 52,000 miles
I gave a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt to my daughter, bought the car second hand @ approximately 40,000km it now has approx 55,000 km. When I bought the car I asked the dealer for a maintenance print out and there was no reference to steering issues.twice since last November the steering locks on her while driving, she describes it as very hard to steer, rattling noise and jerking in the steering. Teh first time she pulled off the hwy and drove home on the shoulder, she called me up to describe the problem, I thought it might be power steering fluid only to find out it is electronic system. Both times I called the dealer but he was not really offering any sollution, he only told me he was aware that it had occured on other Cobalts and it could cost up to $2000 to repair. Today I saw on the internet that GM was under investigation for hundreds of crashes due to this they have a solution for this problem and if they do what is my recourse...I am concerned for the safety of my daughter.

- Moonbeam, 00, USA

problem #546

Jun 012008


  • 35,000 miles


In the summer of '08 the power steering went out in my car as I was attempting to park. I alomost hit the car next to me because it causes the car to be very difficult to steer. Since then the problem has gotten increasingly worse to the point that every time I drive the car, the power steering goes out after about 1 minute of driving. I researched the problem online to see if it was a simple fix, but found that not only is it a difficult problem to fix, but pretty expensive as well. I do not have the moeny to take my car to the dealership, so nothing has been done to correct the problem.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #545

Jan 012010


  • 25,000 miles
This scenario has happened numerous times: Start engine, engage in driving after giving time for engine to idle down, begin to drive, all gauges go to 0 or blank out, power steering is lost, fuel gauge shows empty when driving with a full tank or less, RPM gauge states 0 when engine is still noticeably running, cid displays "pwr steering" indicating it is out. The only fix? turn off car, unplug battery terminal, wait 5 minutes, attach terminal, drive again. But the check engine light remains on for a day or two. This normally happens once a week and no dealers say there's a problem reading on my ECU/PCM. I'm so fed up with this. My car is a 2005 model and this has never been corrected.

- Mccalla, AL, USA

problem #544

Sep 012009


  • 70,000 miles
2004 Chevy Cobalt power steering failed while driving. Car has not been driven due to safety oncerns. Plan to take to the Chevy dealer for diagnosis and possible repair febuary 2010. Will get rid of car as soon as humanly possible before a serious accident occurs.

- Antelope, CA, USA

problem #543

Jan 122010


  • 61,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with power steering problems. I can be driving down the interstate at 70 mph and hear a snapping noise in the fuse box and then instantaneously the word power steering is displayed on the dash board monitor. When that happens, there is no power steering. I pull over to the side of the road, turn off the car and restart the car and the power steering resumes. On 1/12/2010 I drove this car to topeka, Kansas and had no problems going there which was 80 miles. On the way back home, the power steering quit working 7 times in a 60 mile. Towards the end of the 60 mile drive, the power steering would go out within 5 seconds of restarting the car and driving less than 100 feet. I limped the car to work with no power steering and let it sit for several hours. After work, I didn't have any problems driving the remaining 20 miles to my home. The power steering is problem is very intermittent, it can be problematic several times in one day and then not have any problems for a couple of weeks. The temperature the day I had so many problems was cold (20 degrees), however this has been going on for 6 months now and started when it was very hot, over 100 degrees. Unfortunately the problem seems to be getting more frequent. I went to a Chevy dealer and they want to charge me $100 to hook it up to a computer to determine if there is a problem. With this many complaints, there should be no charge to hook the car up to a computer to determine what is wrong. Out of frustration, I parked the car and started using an older car for work. The Cobalt has 70,000 miles on it and it is starting to have all kinds of issues with the electronics. There needs to be a recall on the power steering before it turns into a Toyota problem and someone gets killed.

- Hiawatha, KS, USA

problem #542

Feb 062010


  • 45,000 miles
Two an a half years ago my vehicle started to just turn off randomly while driving, it started about every 4-5 months then about a year ago it started happening about twice a month. I brought my vehicle to the shop and they stated that the problem was the fuel pump. It was replaced since then. I have not had a problem with the vehicle turning off in the middle of me driving. Now February 6, 2010 I was driving and the power steering randomly went out. Sometimes if I turn my car off and restart it will have power steering again sometimes it does not help. This has been occurring for 2 days now and it happened yesterday 3 times and today 3 times. I was driving through the mountains and almost caused a couple of collisions because of this. I plan on going to the shop tomorrow and I will keep any parts they replace.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #541

Jan 012006


  • 40,000 miles
Powersteering cuts out for no real good reason. I believe it is a bad design. Motor not powerful enough or circuit breaker value too low. Its a !@#$% problem. There is nothing wrong with it. It happens every time you drive the car. There are thousands of complaints on the internet with the so called fix done 3 times with the same result. This isn't rocket science and it tempts you to just increase the available current. GM deserves to go out of business for their careless handling of it. This car is a certified lemon with numerous problems that every one off the line has, just google it. My car has an evap error, bad unlock button on remote, pws error, cabin air quality sucks, like sucking on the tail pipe in front of you, transmission doesn't shift up properly, you have to have a feather touch to get it to shift up. Clicking sound on shifter every time you hit the brakes, key gets locked in steering, you have to move shifter and or hit brake to get it to release it. They need to get to the root of the steering problem so that when it is fixed it stays fixed. Insanity - using the same parts and expecting a different outcome. Being a electronics major I know this is a !@#$% error that is rooted in the design.

- Reynoldsburg, OH, USA

problem #540

Sep 012009


  • miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering continued to go out daily- had to have it replaced. Husband would be driving and no power steering.would turn off car and then turn the car back on and could drive. Several dates too many to remember. A recall should be mandated as this is a safety hazard.

- West Union, OH, USA

problem #539

Feb 022010


  • 50,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt, 52000 miles, power steering goes out while driving at random times. Must restart engine to get it to work. Sometimes it stops every few minutes. Please advise if there is a recall pertaining to this issue, as it could easily cause a crash.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #538

Jan 252009


  • 38,000 miles
Recently purchased a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Three months later in January while driving, the power steering went out. Pulled in a store parking lot, shopped fifteen minutes, started the car and had power steering. This happened again seven days later. I took it in to my mechanic who said it was an electronic power steering pump and shutting down was a safety feature if it over heats. It happened a few times during the summer and again around December. This can happen no matter what the temperature. I went online and found out it could cost thousands to replace the whole system.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #537

Feb 062010


  • 27,109 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt the power steering module goes out and the vehicle is very hard to steer. Could cause an accident. It has been happening on and off for a week. I have looked at other complaint websites and it looks like this is happening a lot to other people.

- St Charles, IA, USA

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