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 35 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #316

Jun 112009


  • 103,011 miles


I have a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and in June 2009 my power steering went completely out and I had to replace it. After looking up if this is a common problem I that this happens to alot of the Cobalts. Chevy refuses to make it a recall when this is a major safety issue. My power steering would go in and out and I almost had many accidents because of it. The cost of the repair was $950. That seems ridiculous to me on a vehicle that I only had 4 1/2 years.

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #315

Nov 112009


  • 60,000 miles
The power steering in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt went out on my wife's car. She was driving down the road, when a light turned on and the power steering no longer worked. Fortunately she slowed down and was not involved in a crash. Looking up this problem on-line, there are hundreds of complaints about this problem with early model Cobalts. I can't believe there is no recall. How many accidents do we have to have? Chevy is not fixing the problem, without charging $1000.

- Grand Ledge, MI, USA

problem #314

Nov 052009


  • 50,000 miles
Power steering failure, Chevy Cobalt 2005. Backed-out of parking space and could barely turn the steering wheel. It's happened five times and always upon backing-up. Once I get the car straightened, I turn it off and it has steered properly the last 3 times it happened.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #313

Nov 092009


  • 72,000 miles


The power steering went out on the car while driving on the interstate and comes back when the car is cut off for a period of time. I found out that this is a problem on alot of the Cobalts.

- N.Charleston, SC, USA

problem #312

Nov 022009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. He restarted the vehicle at a local gas station to resume normal vehicle operation. The dealer was contacted, but he has not received a response. The failure mileage was 60000. The current mileage was 62000. Updated 12/07/09 the consumer stated he was charged $200 to fix the problem with the ateering. Updated 12/09/09.

- Lakewood , CO, USA

problem #311

Nov 062009


  • miles
Powersteering failure on my Cobalt. I will be driving and all of a sudden it locks on me and I have a difficult time controlling the car. My friend has the same vehicle same year and it happens to her too. I looked it up and it is about $2000 to replace, there are many other reports of this happening to other people. Please help.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

problem #310

Nov 012009


  • 50,000 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt ls 2 door power steering issues!!!! why is there not a recall on this vehicle? someone could die.... power steering locks up in the middle of driving!!!

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #309

Nov 082009


  • 62,018 miles
The power steering does not work well enough to steer vehicle.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #308

Nov 072009


  • miles
Electric powering steering pump.

- Booneville, KY, USA

problem #307

Nov 052009


  • 72,796 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While entering the drive-way the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was lost of power steering. The vehicle has not been inspected by the dealer, nor has the manufacturer been notified. The failure mileage was 72,796.

- Anderson, CA, USA

problem #306

Oct 272009


  • 113,000 miles


Power steering has gone out in Chevy and im not the only one there is a whole site dedicated to this. It has nearly killed me, the steering wheel stops working all together and I have already replaced my power steering module. Please take the time to look at this site and it speaks for itself

- Fort Lauderdale , FL, USA

problem #305

Jun 112008


  • 30,000 miles
As many of the other complaints filed, I have a problem with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. The traction control and power steering go out, which makes it very difficult to control while driving. This occurs at random; has happened while on the freeway or while barely moving in a parking lot. I have now taken it in to the car dealership twice, but they cannot find out what is wrong. I feel like this is very dangerous because I cannot control it very well and with winter approaching, it is just downright scary. I wish they could figure out what is wrong with the car; otherwise, I will consider getting a different non-GM car.

- Mayville, WI, USA

problem #304

Apr 262009


  • miles
Powersteering and check engine light come on. There is then no powersteering and the car lurches forward as I accelerate. When stopping the car acts as though it is going to stall. The speedometer does not keep speed the needle just moves up and down. Took car in to Chevy dealer while still under warranty but they said they could not find problem. The car continues to do this just about every day and now is no longer under warranty.

- Marquette, MI, USA

problem #303

Oct 252009


  • 50,023 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering went out while I was driving, and was forced to manually steer. As I tried to pull-off to the side of the road a cyclist darted out in front of me and almost hit the person because I was unable to steer that quickly. Luckily the bicyclist was quick enough to get out of the way. I do not feel safe in my car because I never know when this is going to happen.

- Fellsmere, FL, USA

problem #302

Nov 022009


  • 30,000 miles
Bought a used 2005 Chevy Cobalt for my son when he graduated from high school. It had less than 30,000 miles on it but no warranty because of the year. A couple of weeks later he started having problems with the power steering. In researching the problem I have found that it is a major issue with the 2005 and 2006 Cobalt. The dealership is well aware of the problem but their hands are tied because no recall has been issued. When you spend the money to replace the rack and pinion and the power steering motor it is a new design so Chevy is obviously aware of the problem because they redesigned the faulty part. I will pay the $2,000 to get my son's car repaired because his safety is a priority. What I don't understand is with the number of complaints how has Chevy gotten away with not issuing a recall. The power steering comes and goes randomly and if you are pulling on a steering wheel with no power and suddenly the power steering comes back you are likely to lose control and hit something or someone. My guess is that someone will have to be killed before it becomes an issue and I don't understand why it has to get to that point before they are forced to do something.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #301

Oct 222009


  • 10,255 miles
My dad bought me a used 2005 Cobalt as my first car on May 2009 and power steering started to flash 2 days after I got the car. It went away, but it would come back on when it did, I felt the car some how pull or it felt heavy. I was driving out of my driveway when power steer flashed and the steering wheel was rock solid I couldn't turn, I freaked and left the car outside I called my dad, went back out and barely drove it in. My dad came home from work, I took him out to show him, but the car seemed normal. It felt like I was pulling a million pounds. I'm scared of driving it, that it's just parked in the driveway we got it used with 8,000 miles on it, so we have no warranty, and I certainly don't have $2,000 to fix it we need a recall. Now I'm driving it only to go 2 miles around my house!!! I often have to stop on the side of the road and re-start the car to unlock the steering wheel. By using this car, I am putting my life, and others in danger. Chevrolet has to do something about this, I thought that it was a simple fix, but when I found out how much it cost I can't do it. I don't think it's fare to us as customers to have a car we cant even drive. Now, the power steering dosn't work, the needle that tells you the speed doesn't work!!! we really need a recall from Chevy!! my dad bought the car with light transmission noise problems.the transmission was replaced. I don't have trans problems but the power steer has been there 2 days from getting it.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #300

Mar 152009


  • 43,000 miles
Bought 2005 Chevy Cobalt new. At about 40K miles of normal driving the power steering began to fail. After restarting the car, the power steering would be fine for up to a month, then up to a week, and finally it would fail after the 1st turn I made after starting the car. I am not a wild driver & I only drive about 5 miles per day on side streets. I had to pay Chevy $48 to check the car, and then $800 to a local mechanic to have the problem fixed after I found that my car was not recalled for this problem. I was told that Chevy wouldn't sell just the one piece that needed to be replaced (some kind of control module) so there was no other choice but to have the entire steering column replaced. The old part is not available. I have seen hundreds of complaints about this specific problem online. All it takes is for this problem to happen to a 16 year old girl on the road and we now have a death on our hands.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #299

Jul 012009


  • miles
Vehicle description: 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering the power steering fails at random times, occurring during driving while the vehicle is in motion. It occurs at any given vehicle speed. This occurs sometimes one time during a particular driving period. Sometimes, will occur many times during a driving period. To temporarily fix the problem, the vehicle has to be stopped, turned off for a few seconds, and then started back up. This seems to reset the error code within the computer. But the problem will return at random. Research online suggests that many Cobalt owners experience the same issue. Many owners have had steering columns replaced, steering modules replaced, with no resolution to the immediate problem of continual power steering failure occurring at random.

- Ft Hood, TX, USA

problem #298

Oct 072009


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with less than 50,000 miles on in and the steering has locked up on it several times while driving. Luckily no damage or injury has occurred. I took it into a auto shop and they ran diagnostic on it and the codes came back as a faulty steering column and steering motor. After I got this news I googled this and to my surprise Chevy has never issued a recall on this serious defect. Hundreds if not thousands of people has had the same problem. Seems to me Chevy doesn't care about the well being of their customer.

- Abingdon, VA, USA

problem #297

Oct 242009


  • 47,950 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph on normal road conditions; proceeding to make a right turn when the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The steering wheel locked, begin pulling in one direction, and it became difficult to control the steering wheel. Immediately, the engine was turned off and restarted. The contact was able to continue driving normally. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The failure continued to occur whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle is in the process of being inspected by an authorized dealer. The contact had concerns of the safety risk involved. The failure and current mileages were 47,950.

- West Chester, PA, USA

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