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 27 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #476

Aug 102009


  • 36,233 miles


He contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving 50 mph on normal road conditions. There was a loss of power steering, followed by an engine stall. The failures occurred without warning. The vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the failure was contributed to a shortage in the electronic control module (ECM) and PCM. The components were replaced and reprogrammed. The failure mileage was 36,233.

- Ironton, OH, USA

problem #475

Jul 152009


  • 42,000 miles
Power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt went out while driving 45 mph on a highway. No injuries occurred. Power steering returned when I drove car to mechanic shop, but went out again as mechanic was test-driving. Had to have power steering column replaced at a cost of about $980. Mechanic informed me at the time that this was a common problem with Cobalts, but it had not become an official recall or concern yet.

- Jefferson, LA, USA

problem #474

Aug 102009


  • 36,233 miles
My daughter drives a 2005 Cobalt. On 8-10-2009 she was driving on a two lane road with a speed limit of 55 mph when her car shutoff and she lost steering ability. She crossed the oncoming lane on a blind curve and stopped in a driveway. If there had been a car coming toward her in the oncoming lane she would have been severely injured at a minimum. The Chevrolet dealer said he had never had never seen that happen. The dealer replaced the ECM and put the PCM caused a short.

- Ironton, OH, USA

problem #473

Dec 152009


  • 93,000 miles


Intermittent electric power steering failure in my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Power steering would fail without warning while driving resulting in great difficulty in controlling the vehicle. Failure occurrences progressively became more frequent. Problem required replacement of steering column at local dealership at a cost of $800.

- Columbiana, OH, USA

problem #472

Jan 312010


  • 65,000 miles
Driving my 2005 Cobalt is a dangerous option, you can drive it for day's and all of a sudden the steering quits and the transmission starts acting up also lights on the dash panel start flashing the car is still running but the steering does not work anymore, also the shifter will not disengage the steering lock you have to remove the plug out of the bottom of the steering wheel and stick your finger up in there push a small button like thing to get the key to unlock and turn all the way off other wise it will not lock the steering wheel. This has been happening for about 1/12 years I called the dealer ship and they told me the warranty for this kind of thing was up and that they did not have a fix for this, however they knew of the problem in other cars, I was told to replace the brain I did it didn't work I was told to put a larger capacity (amps) battery in, I did, it didn't work, this is a very serious problem that needs fixed. I'm going to put the last incident date in the box below.

- Crowder, OK, USA

problem #471

Apr 302009


  • 80,000 miles
The electric power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt shuts off while driving, causing my vehicle to be more difficult to steer. I have a log of every time this occurred from when it first started to occur until June 5, 2009 and after that date it is a permanent problem that occurs seconds after start up and initial movement.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #470

Nov 242009


  • 70,899 miles


The power steering in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt went out. For no apparent reason I lost my power steering while traveling through Chicago. As you can imagine this makes it extremely hard to drive. Being a college student I can't afford to replace the faulty steering column. My fiance and I have owned the car for less than two years and the car had under 80,000 miles on it. There are several safety issues as I do not have complete control of the car. To add insult to injury I live in Michigan and the winter driving isn't easy especially without power steering.

- Howard City , MI, USA

problem #469

Jan 272010


  • 88,869 miles
Power steering failure in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. No warnings, steering goes out at any speed. I receive a warning ring to read my computer board which reads "power steering" at this point there is no power steering. Once the vehicle is shut off and restarted the power steering works again, until it goes out again, and again. This is very very dangerous, steering the vehicle without power steering is almost impossible.

- St. Mary's City, MD, USA

problem #468

Nov 262008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
I brought a 2005 Chevy Cobalt brand new my powersteering went out a little over 75,000 miles out of extended warranty. The powersteering kept go out until I had to replace it at nucar Chevrolet in new castle de it cost me over $800 dollars in November 08. The dealer said the power steering was electric and they have similar problems with other Cobalt same model year.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #467

Jan 262010


  • 60,400 miles
While driving on the highway at 70 mph, I heard a ding and looked at the console. It said "power steering". because I was on a straight stretch of road, the power steering going out wasn't initially a big problem, so I got off the highway at the next exit and parked so I could turn the car off. After a couple minutes of talking to my dad, I turned the car on and it was fine so I continued on my trip. Twenty minutes later it dinged again and the power steering was gone again. I drove about 15 minutes like that because I was getting close to my destination until I remembered the ramp I needed to take was a big curve and I didn't want to attempt it without the power steering. I pulled off to the side of the road, turned the car off, and then back on. I was able to pull back onto the highway and around the ramp but as soon as I was on the next highway, it went out again. I managed to make it a couple miles until I saw a GM dealer and got off the highway. I nearly collided with a stopped car trying to make a right turn but managed to make it to the dealer. The power steering motor had fried and needed to be replaced in order to find out if the module was bad too. The motor cost me $411 and if the module had gone too it would have cost $732. Thankfully it was just the motor, but of course my warranty expired just a couple weeks ago. I maintained my car properly since I bought it in 2005 with 6 miles on it but I feel like I've been ripped off.

- Wickliffe, OH, USA

problem #466

Jun 012009


  • 70,000 miles


The power steering goes out in my car almost every day. Sometimes as much as 5 or 6 times a day. It makes it so there is no power steering until I pull over and turn the vehicle off once you turn it off and back on it works fine, sometimes. It has almost cause me to get in an accident and has made it so my wife refuses to drive for fear of her life.

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #465

Jan 152010


  • miles
While driving my car my steering wheel jerked to the left as a tried to make a right turn. Immediately after the jerking of the wheel a power steering message flashed on the dashboard. This is the 2nd time I have an issue with the steering. About 2 years ago my steering wheel completly locked up as I was driving. I was able to quickly move to the side of the road away from traffic where I restarted my vehicle and proceeded to drive with no more issues.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #464

Dec 272009


  • 57,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering will fail without warning at random times. There is nothing that I do as a driver to cause it so far has I can tell. It will fail at any speed and in a curve or on a straight road. I've had this problem for about five weeks now. The first week it did it once a day, the second week it only failed once. The following two weeks it would fail anywhere from twenty seconds to one hour from starting the vehicle. The fifth week I only drove it once and the power steering stopped working in the middle of a sharp corner on a country road and I had to have the car pulled out of a ditch. If I shut the car off and restart it the power steering works again. Maybe for the rest of the day, maybe for only five seconds. There is no rhyme or reason for the timing of the failures. After the second day I called the dealer where I bought the car. They said that it was a common problem with the Cobalt and said that the entire steering column would need replaced with a price between $1500 and $2200. Very pricey! then after the first week I searched "Chevy Cobalt power steering" on the internet, and was shocked by what I saw. Over one hundred hits on the issue with page after page of horror stories of the same problem with power steering failure. So this issue is hardly unknown. And with tonight's mention of it on the cbs nightly news, it will hopefully gain some more attention. Please do not let this end up like the Toyota recall and let people die before it gets fixed, because it's only a matter of time. I have since stopped driving the vehicle that I still owe several thousand dollars on, and have been borrowing rides from friends and family. Being in the same position has 14.8% of America, unemployed, there is no way that I can currently afford the cost of the repair. And from what I've read online from other victims, even if I was still under my extended warranty, I would still have to pay since it doesn't cover the steering column. Help!!!

- Medora, IN, USA

problem #463

Jan 242010


  • miles
Electronic power steering keeps going out on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I will get maybe 1 to 5 minutes down the road and the power steering fails.

- Chesapeake , VA, USA

problem #462

Jan 072010


  • 36,500 miles
My power steering went has gone out on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt while I was driving many times.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #461

May 052009


  • 82,234 miles
Chevrolet Cobalt 2005 power steering failure. Began failing sporadically then failed consistently daily in may of 2009.......had power steering column replaced.

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #460

Jan 212010


  • 46,931 miles
My wife owns a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. She was turning into an intersection when her electric power steering failed without warning and she lost control of the vehicle. This caused her to be unable to complete the turn and was almost hit by the vehicle behind her. Luckily the driver behind her was paying attention and was able to avoid a collision. The car had to be taken to the dealer where they had to replace the power steering module and we were advised that if it eventually failed again (which they stated may be only a temporary repair) that we would have to replace the entire steering column.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #459

Mar 012009


  • 5 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt begins to shake while driving on the freeway. I can feel the vibration starting through the floor board and eventually the whole front end begins to shake. The steering wheel violently shakes from front to back(versus side to side) and the vehicle is hard to control. I always have to pull over or get off the freeway. It feels like the whole front end is going to fall apart. After coming to a complete stop I can continue to drive without any problems. This began almost a year ago. I have had my car looked at several times and the shocks replaced last year when it began. Each time I take it and someone test drives they cannot find a problem. They also tell me that my car is in near perfect condition. But it continues to shake all the time. Sometimes it won't happen for a week or two, sometimes it happens two or three times a week. I have also replaced the two front tires in hopes that it would correct the problem.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #458

Dec 012009


  • 64,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt is losing power steering abruptly and unexpectedly each and every time I drive it.

- Columbiana, OH, USA

problem #457

Jan 172010


  • 25,450 miles
My son was driving his 2005 Chevy Cobalt (less than 25000 miles) at 55 mph when the power steering warning light alerted him of the power system failure. He was able to safely stop the vehicle. The day after the event, the vehicle was taken to keddie Chevrolet for evaluation. A day later they replaced the power steering motor to the tune of $302.10. Guess who ended up paying the bill? us.

- Leechburg, PA, USA

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