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:
62,463 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 28 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #456

Sep 102009


  • miles


2005 Chevrolet Cobalt ls vehicle was very hard to steer in high traffic areas; which occurred on regular basis which led to the replacement of the electric power steering unit. Very expensive unit.

- Berlin, MD, USA

problem #455

Dec 202009


  • 85,542 miles
Power steering failure while in operation -- 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #454

Aug 082009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard and the vehicle lost power steering function. The contact was still able to drive and control the steer wheel although it became difficult when she made left and right turns. The contact has not taken the vehicle to a dealer for diagnostic testing at this time. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #453

Dec 122009


  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with 40,000 and the power steering intermittently doesn't work. I can turn the car off and back on and I have power steering for around 30 seconds before the dic displays "power steering" and I lose all power steering. I've taken the vehicle to the dealer and they say I need a new steering column to correct the issue at a total cost of over $900! this is ridiculous. The vehicle just went out of warranty and now I have a $900 bill. Steering is very difficult and dangerous to drive with sharp turns. I believe GM has a problem with the durability in their motor and not the steering assembly. After paying the bill at the dealership I took the old column and disassembled the electric motor. The springs for the brushes are blue/red in color signifying significant heat to them. The brushes themselves are almost non existent. There was hardly any contact onto the armature of the brushes, possibly from the springs losing strength from excessive heat. Inside the motor, it was full of dust from brushes. There's also a slight burn mark on the case of the motor on the inside where the wire from one of the brushes was close to. The dust could be conducting electricity going from the brush going straight to the case.

- Decatur, IN, USA

problem #452

Aug 012009


  • 75,000 miles


Complaint on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering. It went out at the 75K mileage mark and does not work. It will reset when the car is turned off but immediately displays "power steering". it had caused me a few near misses.

- Randleman, NC, USA

problem #451

Dec 152009


  • miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt that has in the past two weeks begun having problems with the power steering. My wife has been driving and the power steering immediately turns on and the wheel locks. She has had this problem in middles of turns and has had many problems. Normally, when she restarts the car, the power steering turns off only to come on either minutes or immediately. This is a major danger if she continues to drive with this. We have an appointment this Friday concerning this issue.

- Duncansville, PA, USA

problem #450

Feb 022010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 20,100 miles
Power steering failure.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #449

Dec 082009


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed on several occasions while driving 40 mph. There was a beeping noise and the power steering indicator illuminated indicating that the power steering was lost. The contact shut the engine off and restarted the vehicle. After restarting the vehicle, within a few miles, the power steering failed again. The contact has not taken the vehicle to a dealer for a diagnostic test. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Morton Grove, IL, USA

problem #448

Dec 192009


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 20 mph and making a left turn, the power steering light illuminated. The turned the vehicle off to reset the power steering; however, the failure recurred. The dealer has not diagnosed the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000 and the current mileage was 50,400.

- Mansfield , OH, USA

problem #447

Mar 182009


  • 42,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the power steering failed intermittently since March 2009. The contact had to shut the engine off and restart the vehicle to reset the power steering. The dealer stated that the steering column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current mileage was 51,784. The failure mileage was approximately 42,500.

- Charlotte, MI, USA

problem #446

Feb 012010


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 12 mph, the power steering light illuminated and the contact lost control of the steering wheel. He was able to drive to his residence. The manufacturer and the dealer will be notified. The failure and current mileages were 52,000. Updated 03/04/10.

- Bethalto, IL, USA

problem #445

Nov 242009


  • 47,285 miles
I was driving my mother's 2005 Chevy Cobalt in phoenix, AZ on the 101 freeway. While driving at approximately 60 miles per hour the power steering discontinued to function. I am an experienced driver and was able to react to the failure. The following week the car went to kempton's Chevrolet dealership, the entire steering unit needed replacement. Luckily we have a relative who works for GM and was aware of the problem with the Cobalts. GM helped with the repair cost, however my mother still had to pay $500. My mother is retired and living on a fixed income.

- Safford, AZ, USA

problem #444

Feb 022010


  • Manual transmission
  • 58,000 miles
Power steering: 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt ss supercharged (manual transmission). I would like to add my two cents to the complaints on the power steering system in my car, mentioned above. It has not caused me an accident but has caused a few close calls. I have noticed a few things about the failure: -there is an 'overall frequency' with which power steering outages occur, depending on a number of factors I have observed: -turning off and restarting the ignition (even going 80mph on the highway) will immediately fix the issue for a random period of time, based in part on the current 'overall frequency'. -tire wear (resulting in additional surface contact, presumably) increases the frequency of the failure. -warmer temperatures seem to make outages more frequent. -'spirited', high-RPM type driving (my car is the supercharged model) results in more frequent steering system outages...usually with the system failing just after reaching the peak RPM of a given gear, and regardless of whether the car is currently turning. -the system can go days and weeks without failing. It is usually possible to guess how soon the outage will return based on how hard the wheel is to turn once the system has failed. If the wheel is very hard to turn, based in part on the factors above, then restarting the car will only correct the issue for a very short period of time (sometimes as little as 15-20 seconds). If the wheel is easier to turn when the steering is out, the system stays active for considerably longer periods (perhaps 1 hour) before failing again.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #443

Apr 102006


  • 20,000 miles
Several incidents involving steering of 2005 Cobalt 2-door. Each incident occurred on the freeway while driving straight at 55 to 65 mph. Front end of vehicle "jumped" side to side and steering wheel responded only with considerable effort. Last occurrence was witnessed by highway patrol who escorted me from the freeway with lights flashing. Eventually, dealer did replace entire steering mechanism (2006) and problem has not recurred. Also have had to have braking system replaced as well as components related to the computer system.

- Garden Valley, CA, USA

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