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 33 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #356

Mar 102009


  • 42,375 miles


There was nothing unusual leading up to the incident. Early March 2009 powersteering went out on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. When starting the car, powersteering would only stay on for about 5 minutes. To regain it I would have to shut down the vehicle and restart it. This lasted about three months. It was taken to two different shops, sears and a car dealership and both ran diagnostics which found nothing wrong. They could not tell me what the problem was for sure except to say perhaps putting in a whole new power steering system would help. Though they did not know for sure. When I called the Chevy dealership themselves they stated they did not have any previous complaints about the powersteering in that year and model and wanted to run their own diagnostics, that I had to pay for. I refused since the second dealer I took the car to was a Chevy dealer and was told by the company I had to pay for another diagnostic check. The problem disappeared in July of 09 only to come back now Dec 09. The cars powersteering is off within a minute of engine start. With the snowy weather this is a hazard to me and anyone else with similar issues; and I have chronic back problems as well. The pulling of the steering wheel just to turn the car has had me in bedrest twice now.

- Brunswick, ME, USA

problem #355

Dec 022009


  • 62,530 miles
Power steering on my 2005 Cobalt goes out intermittently, it had not done it for two months. But recently, while I was taking a turn, it went out, and I was unable to keep the car in my lane and hit the curb on the opposite side of the road, thankfully no other vehicle was present in intersection, or it would have been a front end collision. Now it works only for a few minutes when I turn my car on, but goes out every time I drive it. I also have problems with the power locks locking and unlocking themselves constantly while I'm driving, and even after the vehicle is parked. I can not leave it unattended because it unlocks itself. I started to have the problem shortly after purchasing it in 2007, but the warranty expired, its 63,000 miles, and cannot afford to fix it. This should not be an issue in a car less than 5 years old. I live in Minnesota, and the roads are often icy, I am fearful it will happen again, and I may not be so lucky again. I have also had problems with the front suspension, I had the shocks/struts? replaced 2 months after buying it, at around 40, 000 miles, and they still have the same problem after the dealer fixed it, I should have complained then, but I was afraid to shell out more money for something else they would claim was wrong with it.

- Minnetonka, MN, USA

problem #354

Nov 202007


  • 65,000 miles
While driving the power steering goes out with no warning and makes it very hazardous to drive. This has occurred on open highway, on freeways, and even in the city driving conditions. Weather does not appear to be a factor as I have seen this happen in snow, rain, and sunny calm weather. The most dangerous time was after waiting at a stop light, I started to turn when light became green, and 1/2 way in the intersection the power steering went out and my vehicle made it very hard to steer it and almost hit traffic that was waiting.

- Tuba City, AZ, USA

problem #353

Dec 022009


  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 50 mph, the driver lost power steering and swerved onto the other side of the road; however, she was able to regain control of the vehicle. A half mile down the road, the failure recurred. When the failure occurred a third time she refused to continue driving the vehicle and notified the dealer. Several dealers advised her that she was not eligible for a free remedy since the failure was not associated with the warranty coverage. The dealer also stated that there were no related recalls. The manufacturer was not notified and the vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 76,000.

- Jewett, OH, USA

problem #352

Nov 262009


  • miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt 89,000 miles. Power steering went out 11/26/2009 while on expressway going approximately 65mph. Power steering" light came on and vehicle became very hard to control. Next day vehicle ran fine. Three days later power steering light came on and power steering went out again. It is now permanently out and I was told by the dealership it will cost $900 if not more to repair, also questioned dealership if there are any recalls and repair man said he checked and there wasn't"T. this is obviously very unsafe and a very costly malfunction with these vehicles and should be recalled by GM in my opinion.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #351

Dec 142009


  • 79,900 miles
As I was leaving my parking garage from work, I was getting ready to make a right turn onto the street, and right in the middle of the road the car stopped steering. I had to turn the car off and turn it back on to get it to steer again. Currently it's fine, but I am scared that it will happen again, and with my 5 year old daughter in the car, and on the interstate, not so safe.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #350

Dec 102008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving around a curve on a highway at 60 mph the steering warning light illuminated, and then he experienced difficult steering. The vehicle was taken to a local Firestone facility for inspection. The technician stated that the steering motor, and column needed to be replaced at an expense of $1,2000. The vehicle was repaired. The current and the failure mileage were 83,000. Updated 1/14/10 updated 01/15/10.

- Rocky Hill , CT, USA

problem #349

Dec 112009


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was loss of power steering. She had to exert great effort to control the steering column. The vehicle was in the process of being taken for inspection. The failure and current mileages were 55,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Lauderhill , FL, USA

problem #348

Dec 042009


  • 50,032 miles
While driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt my power steering just went out. I had to stop my car, turn it off and turn my car back on again for my power steering to work again. This has happened twice now and the second time was when I was driving on the highway and luckily I didn't get in an accident. These cars need to be recalled and fixed.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #347

Dec 102009


  • 48,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving between 25 to 30 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then he lost vehicle control. After two minutes the vehicle was able to be restarted. The dealer was contacted, but because the warranty expired, no assistance was provided. No repairs were made. The failure and current mileages were 48500.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #346

Dec 062009


  • 27,450 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt steering failure,27450 klms on car, said steering column needs replacing. Replaced column still steering failed, and now need to replace what I believe to be steering motor or switch.

- Cranbrook, 00, USA

problem #345

Nov 092009


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering goes in and out, if I turn it off it will work again for a couple minutes and then shut off again. I have read other reports on the internet and see that there are hundreds of other Cobalts with power steering defects! this is a very serious and dangerous problem! its also very expensive to fix. My bill is over $900.

- Loveland, CO, USA

problem #344

Dec 072009


  • 29,543 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt ss with only 29K miles. Just today, myself, my wife, and both of my children were coming home on the interstate, and the power steering warning pops on then suddenly we have no steering at all. My only option was to stop completely in the middle of the freeway and restart the car 2 or 3 times just to get it off the road. The warning has come on before with just me in the car, and the steering locked up. I just turned the car off and back on and it worked long enough to get home, but now it is to the point to where restarting it doesn't work any more. I felt like I was loosing control of the vehicle, which is not at all pleasant when you are moving at 60+ mph. Im afraid that we are eventually going to get very badly injured with this happening. We don't have another car, so this is our only option.

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #343

Dec 062009


  • miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt steering is going in and out. The power steering light comes on and the power steering goes away. Cutting the car off and then starting it back up restarts the power steering. The fuses have been checked and are good. What should we do?

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #342

Nov 182009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 18 mph on normal road conditions the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver exerted higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was driven into a parking lot. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The current mileage was 34,628. Updated 01/15/10. Updated 01/19/10

- Oxford, MS, USA

problem #341

Dec 072009


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 70 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 exerted higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road. The engine was turned off and restarted. The contact was able to resume normal operation with steering power; however, the identical failure recurred. The vehicle has not been repaired.. the VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileages were 114,000.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #340

Nov 142009


  • 29,000 miles
I have 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt ss/SC that I bought new in May 2005. About 3 weeks ago the power steering started to malfunction. The car had approximately 29,000 miles on it at that time - it now has approximately 30,600 miles. The power steering stops working - the warning system chimes and a message "power steering" is displayed on the computer display. When this happens the car is hard to steer and control. What began as infrequent and intermittent problem has become a problem that occurs each the car is driven now, occurring within minutes if not seconds each time the car is driven. I deal with this problem by pulling over, turning the car off for a short time and restarting the car. I do this because the power steering is reset each time the car is turned off and restarted. The power steering then begins to function again only to fail again after a short time. I took it a dealer on 12/03/2009 and the service department found a possible poor connection at the pscm and motor. Dielectric grease was applied to the connections and reconnected. There is technical service bulletin (070232007B) for this problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #339

Dec 012009


  • 100 miles
On Tuesday December 1st 2009 I was driving on the interstate and my power steering just stopped working without warning. I was barely able to turn the wheel and get off the interstate safely. I was terrified. The next time I started my car the steering seemed to be fine, however later that afternoon the same thing happened. Once again, my steering wheel was practically useless. I immediately got my car to my mechanic and found out this is a big problem with Chevy Cobalts. I was going to have to replace the steering column and the motor costing $900. I am so disappointed in this matter and will be reporting it to GM as well.

- Henrico , VA, USA

problem #338

Dec 042009


  • 61,000 miles
I bought my daughter a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with 60,000 miles on it, while driving her power steering went out on the car. She was able to pull the car over without incident. After researching the problem it appears to be a common and dangerous defect in the Cobalt.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #337

Dec 042009


  • 73,261 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving between 5 and 35 mph the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard and the power steering failed to operate normally. The contact was able to gain control of the steering wheel with some difficulty. The dealer but was unable to diagnose the failure due to scheduling. The current and failure mileages were 73,261.

- Boise, ID, USA

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