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 29 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #436

Feb 012010


  • 80,050 miles


Power steering failure 2005 Chevy Cobalt.

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #435

Dec 262009


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving, the power steering failed both at low speeds and high speeds including approximately 35 mph. The failure occurred 7 to 8 times beginning on 12/26/09. The steering wheel became very difficult to turn and suddenly; the problem would correct itself and occasionally it could take longer. He has not taken the vehicle to the dealer at the time of the complaint nor had he spoken with the manufacturer. The vehicle has not been diagnosed or repaired to-date. The current mileage was approximately 38,000. The failure mileage was approximately 35,000.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #434

Jan 292010


  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 60 mph the power steering failed without warning. She was able to drive onto the emergency lane and turn the vehicle off. The power steering reset itself and the vehicle began driving normally. A local mechanic stated that they were unable to diagnose the failure and to take the vehicle to a dealer. The current and the failure mileages were 57,000. Updated 3/12/10 the power steering motor was replaced. Updatd 05/14/10.

- Fairmount , WV, USA

problem #433

Aug 182007


  • 63,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there was a clicking noise, the warning light would illuminate, and then the power steering failed on several occasions. The problem became progressively worse whenever he made a right and left turn. The dealer could not find any error codes while running a diagnostic test. The manufacturer was not notified when the complaint was filed. The vehicle has not been repaired to-date. The current mileage was approximately 100,000. The failure mileage was approximately 63,000.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #432

Jul 092009


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds including approximately 35 mph the power steering light illuminated and the contact lost control of the vehicle. The power steering light did not shut off unless the vehicle was turned off. The failure continued to occur intermittently. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 84,000.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #431

Dec 012009


  • 110,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt when I tried turning a corner and the steering wheel failed to work causing me to hit a curb. I then seen that my power steering light was on and that's what caused this.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #430

Dec 222009


  • 29,000 miles


The power steering fails repeatedly. We pull over, turn off the engine and restart the car and the power steering works for a while; sometimes five minutes, sometimes five days. But it's been happening off and on again for over a month now. Our mechanic says the repair will be over $1000.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #429

Jan 292010


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 25 mph when the steering wheel became uncontrollable. He had to shut the engine off so that the vehicle could reset itself. The manufacturer stated that the warranty was not valid and the repair cost was $2000. There were no related recalls. The failure mileage was 15,000.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #428

Jan 222010


  • 51,000 miles
Power steering failed while driving almost resulting in an accident. Steering works for about 5 minutes then goes out. Comes back after restart but then goes immediately back out. This is a very unsafe condition because it is unpredictable. Brought to dealer. Very expensive fix. Still not resolved

- Mechanicville, NY, USA

problem #427

Dec 102009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph the power steering warning light would illuminate on the vehicle and immediately after the power steering would lock. An hour after driving the vehicle the steering failed at least three times. He had to put the vehicle in neutral, turn the vehicle off and wait for the power steering to reset itself. There were no recalls for the failure. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 64,015.

- Charlotte Courthouse, VA, USA

problem #426

Jan 132010


  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The driver stated that after driving a long distance at approximately 45 mph the vehicle made a clanking noise and the steering wheel failed to operate normally. The dealer has not diagnosed the failure. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #425

Jan 222010


  • miles
The contact has a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 5 mph out of a parking lot the contact suddently lost control of the steering and crashed into a vehicle. The contact was found at fault; although, he doesnt agree since the loss of power steering caused the crash to occur. The vehicle was destroyed. The mileage was unavailable.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #424

Jan 262010


  • 49,210 miles
Power steering failure in Chevy Cobalt. A little online research shows that lots of people are having this problem.

- Fairfield, PA, USA

problem #423

Jan 252010


  • 38,930 miles
Power steering goes out randomly while driving making it very difficult to steer the car. This started Monday and did it 2 separate times then it happened again on Wednesday. Once you turn the engine off and back on it's ok for an indeterminable timeframe.

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #422

Jan 272010


  • 65,000 miles
Power steering on '05 colbalt shuts off during driving. System turns off sporadically. If I cannot pull over and shut the engine down, the steering wheel will turn but very hard to turn. If I turn the vehicle off and back on the system works fine till the next episode.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #421

Aug 012009


  • 65,000 miles
About six months ago the power steering started randomly shutting off while I was driving. When it first started it was very sudden and shocked me. The jolt of the wheel, when it happened the second or third time, sprained my wrist. Now, every time the car is turned on the power steering goes off within about two to three seconds and remains off. I already sustained injury from this and I'm very upset that no one is doing anything to fix it even though this seems to be a very large scale problem creating safety hazards for thousands of people. Unfortunately, the warranty on my Cobalt has long been expired and I don't have enough money to replace the whole steering column (more than $2000). I'd like this issue to be taken care of with a recall as soon as possible. I will be contacting a lawyer if this problem causes me another injury or accident.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #420

Jan 122010


  • 91,409 miles
My Chevy Cobalt was losing power steering while parking, the mechanic could not find anything wrong. While driving on the highway during rush hour the power steering failed and I could barely turn the wheel. I was able to get it off the road. The power steering motor was replaced for almost $600 but I am still having steering problems. Along with the motor being replaced I had previously replaced almost every part relating to the steering system in this car. This problem is going to kill someone if it hasn't already. Please, please make GM recall this car it is unsafe to drive. I am afraid every time I drive it.

- National Park, NJ, USA

problem #419

Jan 252010


  • 60,060 miles
I was driving down the highway heading home from work during rush hour traffic in Chicago. When the powersteering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt apparently began to give out, my car began to stutter, lose power, and the steering tried to lock itself. Lights on my dashboard began to dim in and out and then it displayed powersteering on the display. Fortunately I was able to pull over without the powersteering completely locking itself on me. I shut off my car for a few minutes. Turn it back on and proceeded to get off at the next exit and drove it the rest of the way home, which fortunately was not that far away, and it continued to stutter and tried to lock the steering wheel, dashboard lights dimming in and out and just losing power of the vehicle.. I am looking for the nearest Chevy dealership, I can take it into for repairs. When I happened to have come across about the same complaints other Chevy Cobalt owners have with their powersteering as well. Obviously this is something that needs to be looked into. Fortunately for me I was able to pull over and get off the highway without incident in Chicago rush hour traffic. I don't even want to think about what might have happened if I had been unable to pull over and get off the highway and had my 1 yr old daughter with me in the car. Please look into it and help avoid in having this problem turn into a tragedy for any other Chevy Cobalt owners. Thank you.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #418

Jan 242010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 65 mph on normal road conditions the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road which required a higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently and became progressively worse. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The failure was contributed to the power steering motor. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Virginia Beach , VA, USA

problem #417

Jan 242010


  • 930,000 miles
When are they going to recall the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt due to the power steering. I think its disgusting that GM is not doing anything about it. I just bought this car and don't have the money to fix this. How many people have to die before something is done. The power steering goes out when driving.

- Milton, 00, USA

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