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 24 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #536

Feb 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles


At 53,000 miles my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt experienced a severe power steering loss. While driving 65 miles per hour, my steering froze to the point of very little control of my vehicle. I could barely get it pulled over to the side of the road. I turned off the ignition, sat for a few minutes, then re-started my car. No problem. I began driving again and after going less than a mile, the same incident happened. No steering! I immediately drove my car to my dealer. They had to replace the steering column and assist the tune of $848.13!! needless to say, this is something I could ill afford. After doing some research on this problem, I realized that numerous Cobalt owners had the same problem! it was even mentioned in the 02/02/2010 issue of usa today. I believe that Chevrolet should do the right thing and recall these vehicles now! why do they wait for someone to be killed or maimed because of their faulty workmanship?! no wonder american automakers are going to be a thing of history in the near future. At least Toyota stepped up to the plate and is doing the right thing for their customers. Updated 06/05/14

- Morton, IL, USA

problem #535

Jan 012010


  • 48,000 miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. I bought the car used with 37,000 mi. It now has 49,500 mi. A few weeks ago the alarm sounded while driving and the power steering failed. I pulled over checked under the hood and found no power steering belt. Checked the manual to find it to be electronic. Started the car and the power returned. It has been failing intermittently. I planned to take it for repair, but found on the web that it cost $1,000. As I save up for the cost it fails every few days or so. I would think this could be very dangerous in a curve or defensive driving incident. Inexperienced drivers could have serious difficulties. The alarm does not sound every time. I felt the wheel tug to the left looked down and saw the power steering warning on the dash.

- Micanopy, FL, USA

problem #534

Jan 012010


  • 22,500 miles
My power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt goes out. I have about 23,000 miles on my car. When I drive, the power steering just goes, it's very hard to continue to drive. It basically is a constant problem as well.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #533

Jan 042010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles


My 2005 Chevy Cobalt suddenly lost power steering while driving. It would occur everyday on and off. I would have to re-start the car in order for the power steering to come back on. If the power steering was off I couldn't turn the car (being 7 months pregnant). We had to take it in to a dealership to fix the problem and it cost an outrageous amount. I have heard this is common in these vehicles and is unacceptable. Although it did not lead to a crash in my case it very well could've.

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #532

Feb 052010


  • 24,000 miles
The power steering on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt stopped working. It works for approximately 2 minutes after starting up the car and then a message comes on the display that says "power steering" and the power steering fails to work after that. This occurs while I'm driving!

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #531

Apr 032009


  • 80,000 miles
I'm making a complaint about the 2005-2009 Chevy Cobalt power steering. I drive a 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls and last April 2009, I noticed my power steering going out. I was in the middle of no where in New York state with a 2 year old in the car with me. Since then it has gone out completely with about a 2 min window that I do have it after I start the car. I had contacted GM through email, had a diagnosis ran on it and reported it back to them, when only to be told that they could not help me with it. I don't have the money to repair it knowing that I need a new steering column to fix it. So I do not have any power steering and on top of that the sensor for the air bags comes on too. These two problems have been very scary for me and my 2 year old daughter.

- Hampton, NH, USA

problem #530

Feb 052010


  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph he noticed that the power steering light appeared on the dashboard and within minutes, the vehicle no longer had power steering. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 45000.

- Yuccavalley, CA, USA

problem #529

Jan 032009


  • miles
The power steering on my 2005 Cobalt rarely works. It works when the car is initially turned on but turns off soon afterwards. This began ~1 year ago.

- Mt. Vernon, IL, USA

problem #528

Sep 122008


  • 52,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and about 2 years ago my power steering went out. I was driving one day and the road started to curve to the right and as soon as I started to turn the steering wheel, the power steering went out. I pulled over and turned the car off and then back on and I had power steering again. As weeks went by it just kept turning off on me and eventually never came back on. Now when I start the car and as soon as I turn the steering wheel, the words"power steering" comes on. I have been driving for 2 years without power steering and I refuse to pay GM to fix this when I see thousands of people complaining online about the same thing.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #527

Jun 192009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,849 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph, the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard and she lost power steering capabilities. She was able to drive onto the emergency lane, turn off the ignition and restart the vehicle. After being restarted, the vehicle performed normally since the power steering reset itself. The following week, the failure recurred. Three days later, while driving to 2.5 miles to a repair shop, the vehicle lost power steering twice. The mechanic stated that the steering motor and control needed to be replaced. The repairs were made and the failure has not recurred. She has not called the manufacturer. The current mileage was 27,699. The failure mileage was approximately 24,849. Updated 03/12/10

- Allison Park, PA, USA

problem #526

Jan 072010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles


I was driving down a very busy road when suddenly the reader suddenly said power steering. Then the power steering stopped working. I couldn't turn the wheel with out a very hard turn with both hands. I finally got to safe spot and called for help. When help came it was working. Then when the car got to about 40 miles per hour it suddenly stopped working again & didn't begin working again. I called the dealer. They were going to charge $100 just to check it. So I took it to a car shop that said it was the motor in the power steering. He said it would cost between $500 to $1000 dollars to fix. I went ahead and got him to order the new power steering motor. It ended up costing around $600 to fix. Then I saw on the news that it may be being recalled & alot of other people where having the same problem. This car is only 5 years old & only has like 80,000 miles on it.

- Walls, MS, USA

problem #525

Jan 202010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt home and without notice or warning my power steering light came on and the power steering failed. I was unable to turn the corner immediately after this incident. I pulled over to the side of the road and turned the car off. I had my husband meet me and he assumed it was the power steering belt. Upon inspecting the car, he determined it wasn't the belt and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. We drove the car home and it sat for approximately 1 week. I drove the car less than 10 miles and it the same thing happened. I again pulled over and turned the car off and restarted it. The power steering was fine and I continued to drive it home. I went approximately another 5 miles and the power steering went out again. Each time the steering fails, I immediately turn the car off and re-start it. I also hear a "click" sound immediately prior to the power steering going out. I have not been able to have this car fixed due to the financial situation and I do not feel comfortable selling the car to someone else. The car has 112,000 miles on the odometer.

- Edwardsville, IL, USA

problem #524

Feb 022009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
There were no events leading to the failure of the power steering system. I was driving the car under my everyday commute and the power steering system went out and the message center flashed power steering. Since the initial failure there has been no power steering in my vehicle. The system appears to function properly until driving begins and then the steering system shuts down and leaves me with just a rack and pinion system to operate with.

- Palmerton, PA, USA

problem #523

Feb 022010


  • 97,000 miles
Power steering goes in and out.

- Cambridge, MD, USA

problem #522

Nov 202009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,561 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt which was purchased on October 8, 2009. While starting her vehicle and attempting to drive, the power steering light illuminated on the warning panel and the steering wheel would not respond. There were also several instances where she was almost rear-ended while driving approximately 25 mph due to the steering wheel not responding when she attempted to make a left or right turn. The failures occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer; however, they could not duplicate the failure. The failure continued to occur and the dealer advised her to replace the power steering pump and steering column. The failure mileage was 51,561. The current mileage was under 51,682. Updated 3/10/10 the dealer replaced the intermediate shaft. Updated 06/18/10.

- Sturgeon, PA, USA

problem #521

Dec 152009


  • 50,000 miles
We were driving our 2005 Chevy Cobalt on a major highway and the words "power steering" came on the dash display. My husband was driving and said he didn't have any power steering. Luckily he was driving because I would not have been able to control it to get it back home almost 2 hours away. We had to spend 450-500 for the new power steering unit then pay someone to put it in. We had just bought this in August 2009. This happened in December 2009. We bought this for our 16 year old son who had just got his drivers license and now we are afraid to let him drive it. There wouldn't be enough money in the world to sue for if something happened to one of my kids in this car. I hope GM fixes this.

- Smithville, OH, USA

problem #520

Nov 202009


  • 54,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt has power steering issues since I bought it (11/09). The traction control light comes on and power steering comes on the message board. When this happens and I am driving it, it is very hard to control my steering and jerks when I accelerate and/or change gears. It also becomes a little harder to come to a compete stop. I took it to the dealer and they greased the wires thinking that it was a connection problem. It worked alright for about a month and a half but then the light flashed on again about 2 weeks ago and has flashed on randomly ever since. This seems to be an ongoing problem.

- Oswego, IL, USA

problem #519

Aug 152009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering went out as I was leaving work. It happened a few times on my way home. I was able to get it to the dealership but had a very difficult time making turns. The end result was having to have it be replaced.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #518

Feb 042010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,968 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 20 mph the power steering light illuminated and the power steering failed. The contact was able to maneuver the steering wheel and drive onto the emergency lane to shut the engine off. Within 30 minutes. She restarted the vehicle; however, the failure recurred three times. The dealer was contacted and advised the contact to bring in the vehicle to have diagnosed. No repairs have been made. The failure mileage was 55968. The current mileage was 55975. Updated 03/10/10 the consumer stated the power would go out every time the vehicle was turned on. Updated 05/20/10.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #517

Oct 012009


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and when I'm going down the road a light comes on and the computer saying "power steering" and I lose all power steering. If I turn the car off and turn it back on it is fine (maybe for a day, maybe for an hour, or maybe just for a few minutes). It goes off some times stay off for days.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

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