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 36 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #296

Sep 052009


  • 4,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt ls. While driving the "power steering" warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was restarted to reset the error code, and to resume normal vehicle operation. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing, but because he could not duplicate the failure he could not provide a remedy. No repairs were made. The failure mileage was 4,000. The current mileage was 5,277.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #295

Oct 272009


  • 49,664 miles
1. taking a left turn, my car dashboard flashed a "power steering" warning and my power steering went out. 2. the power steering goes out at least 2-3 times day making it very dangerous to drive. 3. I will be taking the car to the dealership to be repaired. I've been told it could be the power steering motor or the steering column. I cannot afford to replace the column and if that is what is wrong I will be forced to continue to drive the vehicle in its current condition.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #294

Oct 262009


  • 36,080 miles
On way to work on 10/26/2009 and power steering goes out. Second time in less than one year. First failure occurred on 11/24/208 and dealership corrected problem by replacing BCM and steering column. Also, said no communication with PCM causing check engine light to come on. Car is currently at dealership waiting to hear from them on second. Occurrence. The problems the second time were identical to first occurrence.

- Anniston, AL, USA

problem #293

Oct 232009


  • 53,000 miles


Power steering message appears on my daughter's 2005 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering fails.

- Berlin, MA, USA

problem #292

Oct 222009


  • miles
I drive an 05 Chevy Cobalt and the steering component/transmission went bad. Just bought the car a few weeks ago. Last night I was simply driving to the library when all of a sudden the power steering flash on the dash board, the steering got really tight, the check engine light came on, other lights sporadically flashes, the speedometer goes berserk, the rm's same issue, even one point the gas meter was going out of control. And the car will shake badly. The car was working just fine the few hours I drove before. Luckily I was able to get it home without hurting anyone. I've read that many people have suffered the same problem and that Chevy should have a recall. I have not taken it to a dealer yet because I don't have the money for repairs.

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #291

Oct 162009


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While turning into a parking lot the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and a technician concluded that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 45681.

- Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #290

Oct 152009


  • 61,000 miles


Vehicle was operating normally while driving on the interstate. Power steering alert came up on the dash and power steering instantly went out. Fortunately I was on a straight stretch of highway and managed to make it home safely. Power steering has not worked since. I am still looking for a reasonably priced remedy.

- Lebanon, IN, USA

problem #289

Sep 222009


  • 70,000 miles
The power steering has been going out on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. At first it only happened every couple of weeks and now it is doing it every day.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #288

Oct 042009


  • 50,000 miles
Power steering issues with my 2005 Cobalt.

- Walden, NY, USA

problem #287

Oct 202009


  • 43,750 miles
Have a Chevy Cobalt 2005 that the power steering goes out randomly. Have to shut the car off and then back on to get it to work again.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

problem #286

Sep 042009


  • 43,000 miles


I have 2005 Chevy Cobalt. At first the power steering went out with less than 50000 miles on the car. When I restarted the car, the power steering comes back on. However, the car does it all the time now. Sometimes in the middle of turning. I switch the ignition key back and then forward to make it come back on but sometimes the car stalls. I do not have the money to fix right now considering I am still making payments on the car.

- Lakeville, OH, USA

problem #285

Oct 102009


  • 104,216 miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering intermittently goes out causing the steering to be almost impossible. I am sure you realize what a serious problem this is. I have found that this is a defect from the factory but that GM refused to make it a recall item. I feel that GM should have to fix the defect at no charge to us owners. 8tr

- Mt. Vernon, IL, USA

problem #284

Oct 082009


  • 61,000 miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt ls and twice the power steering has failed while I was driving, once on the freeway and once while turning. The dashboard read "power steering."

- Arroyo Grande, CA, USA

problem #283

Jul 282009


  • 74,000 miles
Electrical power steering unit failure.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #282

Apr 102007


  • 57,000 miles
Electrical power steering unit failure. Failure occurred at 57,000 miles (odometer). New unit installed-not covered under warranty.

- Arden Hills, MN, USA

problem #281

Oct 122009


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact noticed that while making a right turn, the steering wheel began making a grinding noise. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 53000.

- Scott Township, PA, USA

problem #280

Oct 072009


  • 72,000 miles
This Cobalt was my second car and I work really hard keeping it in great condition by constantly getting the oil changed, tune-ups, you name it. On Tuesday while driving down the highway at 65 miles per hour all of the sudden my car rang "ding ding" and on the digital reading dash said "power steering". my steering went completely out without warning almost causing a severe accident on the highway. Luckily, I was strong enough to get the car over! turns out the fix ranges anywhere from $900-$1500 in parts alone, so in labor it will be several hundred more. I can't believe that with all these complaints on here Chevy has yet to issue a recall. Lives were put in direct risk. I am a student studying at a major university with a minimum wage paying job so raking up that amount of money will be near impossible in a timely manner. In the mean time I will be forced at the mercy of my friends for rides to school, work and errands. This is absolutely ridiculous!

- San Marcos, TX, USA

problem #279

Oct 112009


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While attempting to make a right turn into a parking lot the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and the power steering failed. She was able to safely restart the vehicle to resume normal vehicle operation. She notified the dealer, and a technician advised her that she would have to pay a diagnostic fee of $1000 to inspect the vehicle. No repairs were made. The vehicle identification number was unavailable. The failure and current mileages were 43,000.

- Toledo , OH, USA

problem #278

Oct 072009


  • 59,600 miles
Power steering in my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt constantly goes on and off. Can be very dangerous at times. Many other people have the same problem, with an estimated cost of $2,000.

- Baltimore, MH, USA

problem #277

Oct 052009


  • 52,000 miles
Nearly crashed as power steering cut out while on highway. It has cut out several times. It happens unexpectedly and randomly. If the car is turned off and on again it seems to reset making you feel it is fixed but only cuts out again unexpectedly. The car is fairly new. It is very difficult to drive when this happens. It is my daughter's car. This is criminally dangerous and people will be killed or injured if it is not recalled. Young women and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. It is just a matter of time. This should not be unfamiliar to you. Loss of control of a vehicle of any sort is potentially catastrophic.

- Prairie Village, KS, USA

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