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 25 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #516

Feb 022010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 94,000 miles


My 2005 Chevrolet Cobalts power steering continues to keep going on and off. I have talked to many other Cobalt owners and this is happening to them as well. The other night I was driving on the highway during some snowy weather and my car slid out of control and because my power steering was off it took a very long and hard time to get it back under control. I ended up sitting sideways on the off ramp. Completely dangerous that the power steering goes off anytime it wants a serious accident is going to occur and GM has done nothing about it. I called them to tell them about the problem and if they were going to fix it for me as this is something that I think should be covered by them. I said they should have a recall on these cars and she said that recalls are for safety reasons. I am sorry but since when has power steering going off whenever it wants while making a turn, while going 100 or 50 not a safety issue? I am frustrated and annoyed with gms attitude about this problem, I know of hundreds of people who have called to complain and they will do nothing for us and their !@#$% cars. I don't have the extra money to fix their problem. I feel like it shouldn't even be a question of a recall. This is a very serious and scary problem and I am afraid that someone's life will be at risk because of this.

- Milton Ontario Canada, 00, USA

problem #515

Jul 202007


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Within 30 seconds of turning the vehicle on, the contact loss power steering. When he restarted the vehicle the power steering would reset for 30 additional seconds. In July 2007, the failure occurred intermittently; however, it currently fails whenever the contact drove the vehicle. He took the vehicle to a repair shop and was informed that the entire power steering system needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. He has not contacted the manufacturer to-date. The current mileage was approximately 75,000. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000.

- Salem, MA, USA

problem #514

Mar 012008


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. About March of 2008, I was leaving work & my car beeped & showed "power steering" in my notifications. My wheel locked up. Since then I cannot drive more then about 15 feet without the power steering shutting off. It has gotten much worse in the 2 year period. I have called the dealer many times & they tell me it is $1000 to fix it. I do not have this kind of money to fix a car I bought brand new. It went out right after I reached 50,000 miles & that is exactly what my extended warranty was for, up to 50,000 miles. A friend of mine bought the same car as mine about a month after me & her power steering went out right after 50,000 miles as well. She paid $1100 to fix it with the dealer. Now that I have seen this on the news last night as it has caused 1100 accidents, I think it should be recalled.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #513

Jan 202010


  • 2,000 miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I have had my powersteering light come on, and I cant steer the car very well. I have also had many numerous electrical problems. I have taken it to the dealership 2-3 times & they always tell me there is nothing wrong. But, I am not imagining this, and it happens repeatedly. There has been times where I haven't been able to drive the car. Also, when it happened while driving I almost lost control while turning.

- Enon, OH, USA

problem #512

Dec 242009


  • 65,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt lt power steering repeatedly goes out while driving. News reports of your investigation today are saying this happens at low speed. It consistently happens to me while driving at highway speed on my daily commute to/from work, usually in heavy traffic on the dallas freeways. It first began to happen on christmas eve 2009, and now happens daily. It is very frightening, dangerous and expensive to repair. This is a safety problem that Chevrolet should take responsibility for. It is not caused by normal wear and tear... it is happening to too many people. Go to: thank you very much for investigating this matter.

- Little Elm, TX, USA

problem #511

Feb 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 55,140 miles
Electric power steering failure while driving.

- Louisville, OH, USA

problem #510

Nov 132009


  • 55,000 miles


My power steering on my vehicle always cuts out when I am in traffic, or in a turn. It is very unsafe.

- Lorraine, 00, USA

problem #509

Jan 152010


  • 37,500 miles
My steering rack in my Cobalt makes a clunking noise when turning left and right. It also wanders and will not drive strait at highway speeds. It has been doing this for quite some time but has recently been getting worse.

- Duncannon, PA, USA

problem #508

Jan 122010


  • 85,500 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering quits constantly while driving and becomes very hard to steer off road. First power steering lights comes on and immediately you loose power steering must pull off road shut down wait several minutes then restart and power steering comes back only for several miles then continues to do the same.

- Poer Norris, NJ, USA

problem #507

Sep 012009


  • 21,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and periodically it starts shifting really hard and the power steering goes! I have to stop the car, shut it off, let it sit, start it, shut it off, repeat three times, then it is okay for a while.

- Brook Park, MN, USA

problem #506

Feb 012010


  • 16,000 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt. Power steering failure. Highway speed. After seeing the numerous sites and support boards with this same issue I had to have the system replaced. It was not safe to drive. This came from the GM dealer where I had the car fixed. If the car was not paid for next month I would drive it to a GM dealer and they can have it!!!

- Mesquite, NV, USA

problem #505

Sep 102009


  • 75,000 miles
My 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt has serious loss of power steering. It happens 1-10 times a day and causes me to have almost no control over my vehicle. When this happens I cannot drive the car and must stop as near as possible to a safe spot and turn it off. I have noticed a recent investigation into this issue and want to log my complaint.

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #504

Jun 012009


  • miles
I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and after about 10 months my power steering went out. The first time this happened I was in the middle of the intersection trying to make a left hand turn and the steering went out. I pulled into a gas station turned off my car and restarted and it drove fine for approximately 5 minutes before it went out again. I thought that this was maybe a one time thing but unfortunately I had to drive without power steering for 2 months because I was unable to afford the cost of replacing the part. I live in the city and everyday I had to park on the street in front of my apartment and without power steering, parallel parking was nearly impossible. This became a daily headache for me. After about 2 months, I had the opportunity to get the part replaced and after I picked my car up from the shop with the new part, the steering went out again. So, unfortunately I had to have the manufacturer replace the supposedly "new" part again. Luckily, after the second "new" part, I finally had steering again. I loved my Chevy Cobalt until the steering went out; it seems as though the quality of my car has been steadily decreasing ever since this has happened. I would greatly appreciate a recall of some sort, especially considering I am a full-time college student and I cannot afford to shell out another $700 on a faulty steering part. Something needs to be done, I am positive I am not the only person in the position and would like for someone to actually listen to what these owners are going through!

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #503

Dec 262009


  • 55,493 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while it was parked with the engine running, the power steering light illuminated and the steering locked. This has occurred about a total of 6 times. The vehicle has not been driven ever since it locked up. The failure only occurs whenever the vehicle is turned on. The dealer was contacted and they asked the contact to bring in the vehicle, however the contact has not taken the vehicle to the dealer because the power steering will lock up. There have been no repairs done to the vehicle. The failure and current mileage was 55493.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #502

Jan 022010


  • 54,542 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering constantly goes out, which has happened since he purchased the vehicle new. The contact stated that he has had three crashes due to these failures. While driving about 10 mph going down a hill the contact was trying to avoid a parked car when the power steering failed. The contact crashed into the parked vehicle. The dealer was contacted about the failures and the contact was told the the repair would be expensive. The urrent mileage was 54,542 miles.

- Mercer, PA, USA

problem #501

Oct 182009


  • 47,000 miles
My 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt with 47,000 miles. While driving, I was steering into a sharp turn and the power steering quit working. I fought it to the side of the road nearly hitting a tree. Once stopped I shut the car off. Looked under the hood and found no leaks or visible damage. I started the car and I had power steering again. This incident happened a week later driving down the road. Again pulled off the road and nothing visible seem to be wrong. Started the vehicle again and again I have power steering. Just a few days passed and my wife was driving the car taking our son to pre-school. Started to turn right off our road and the power steering went out and was nearly hit by an oncoming car because she could not continue to turn the steering wheel. Now the power steering is always out / not working. The dealership is saying that GM wants them to replace the steering column. $940 plus tax. This does not always fix the problem he says. He also told me that GM does not no exactly what the problem is and that they were supposedly researching. I have done some internet research myself and found that thousands are having this problem from model years 2005 through 2009 to include the HHR and ion. Please help.

- Seaman, OH, USA

problem #500

Aug 122005


  • 48,000 miles
The contact has a 2005 chevrelot Cobalt. The contact states that the vehicle is having a failure with the power steering. The contact stated that when this failure happens the service engine and traction control light illuminate. The RPM gauge will start to flip up and down. The failure started to occur 6 months ago. Everytime the failure occurs the contact has to pull off the road and restart the vehicle in order for the power steering to operate. The vehicle failure mileage was 48000 and the current mileage 65000. The VIN number was unavailable.

- Masury, OH, USA

problem #499

Jan 072010


  • 75,000 miles
Power steering failed suddenly while driving the vehicle. The first warning sign was approximately 2 beeps from the dash followed by the words "power steering" on the driver information display. Power steering failure resulted in a significant increase in force to steer the vehicle especially at low speeds. The failure occurred at a slow rate of speed while traveling straight. This particular failure resulted in no loss of control, however, it easily could have should I have been trying to maneuver the vehicle in traffic. After shutting the vehicle off and immediately starting it again, the power steering worked as expected. This was repeated several times after power steering failure and every time the vehicle was shut off and restarted, the power steering would work as expected. The vehicle is currently at the dealer being repaired. I was told the failure was in the power steering motor and the power steering control module. I have asked for the old parts back.

- Easley, SC, USA

problem #498

Sep 152009


  • miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and assumed when my power steering went out while driving between home and school it was simply because I had bought it used... it cost over 1,000 to have it repaired... luckily it totally went inoperative not far from school and I made it safely.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #497

Mar 202008


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving and trying to switch lanes, he noticed that the power steering failed. It was extremely hard to maneuver to another lane so he tried to pull over. When he pulled over, he turned off the ignition and re-started the vehicle; the failure seemed to correct itself after the vehicle was re-started. The contact noticed the failure on a daily basis. In June 2009, while driving up a hill, the power steering failed and he hit a parked vehicle. He took the vehicle to the dealership and the dealer told him that it was a possible short in the power steering motor. The dealer advised him to replace the power steering motor. He purchased a motor at a junkyard and had a repair shop replace it. However, after a month, the issue resurfaced. The vehicle had not been repaired to-date. He had not called the manufacturer at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 91,000. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000.

- Mccomb, MS, USA

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