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 40 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #216

Aug 182009


  • 100,122 miles


I am a driver of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and I would like to report a malfunction in the steering system in hopes of a future recall of the vehicle. The power steering sporadically fails as a result of a faulty mechanism in the car. I recently had a problem with the steering on the highway, which led to loss of control of the vehicle, and a nearly serious accident. There are hundreds of Cobalt drivers that have had the same problem and had to pay $900-$2500 to repair their car. GM is aware of this problem but has chosen to do nothing about it. This malfunction is potentially dangerous and warrants a recall. Thank you for giving this issue your serious attention.

- Lyme, CT, USA

problem #215

Aug 282009


  • 8,300 miles
Power steering warning message comes on while driving. After this comes on then the power steering fails making it nearly impossible to steer the car.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #214

Jun 102009


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph the power steering spontaneously failed; causing her to lose control of the vehicle and as a consequence her risk for a vehicle crash was increased. The vehicle has not been inspected to determine the cause of the failure. She notified the manufacturer and was referred to NHTSA. The failure and current mileages were 110,000.

- Turkey Creek, LA, USA

problem #213

Aug 212009


  • 47,000 miles


Power steering went out on the highway on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt with about 47,000 miles on it.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #212

Aug 182009


  • miles
I am reporting about Chevy Cobalts powersteering problems. My car is a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Last year at 33000 miles the powersteering failed and when I took it to Chevy they said this was a problem with several others. I was required to pay 2000+ dollars to resolve the problem. I could not afford and so I ignored the problem which disappeared on its own for almost 10 months. Now its back again. My car has less than 390000 miles now. As I goggled the problem, I came across so many other people with a similar problem with the same model same year. Isn't this a manufacturers problem? requesting investigation on the problem.

- Pittsburgh Pa, PA, USA

problem #211

Aug 262009


  • 50,000 miles
Without any warning at all, my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt's power steering failed. I had to put a bit O muscle into the steering wheel to avoid hitting an oncoming car as the road was curving at this point, luckily I was able to get home safe. Restarting the car makes the problem go away for a brief time period, but I have to be ready for the steering to fail at any moment. I have heard several complaints from others who have had the same problem, it is only a matter of time until the problem causes a fatal accident if there have not been any already.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #210

Jun 272009


  • miles


2005 Cobalt......the power steering and check light engine keeps coming on. Is there a recall on this.

- Fritch, TX, USA

problem #209

Aug 232009


  • 75,010 miles
This is my second complaint I have had to make. I have been doing research on this topic for over a year now. All you have to do is type in "Cobalt power steering" into google and millions of complaints on various websites and forums come up. Last year when I filed a complaint there was no damage involved. This time there is and it needs to be fixed. I think there are plenty of people complaining about this subject. I have a 05' Chevy Cobalt that when driving randomly the electronic power steering goes out. I can't drive more than five minutes and every time I get in the car it cuts out. This time I was backing out of a driveway and the power steering went out as I was coming to my parents mailbox. I went to turn and I couldn't and I hit it. I have $500 in damage that I don't want to claim to insurance because then it will just cost more in the long run because my insurance will go up. I am a firefighter in central Florida. I see car accidents all the time because of vehicle problems or failure. Is it going to take me going down the highway, someone pulling out in front of me, and me dying? one less public safety employee in Florida.

- Belleview, FL, USA

problem #208

Aug 212009


  • 62,700 miles
I was driving on the highway, when my 2005 Chevy Cobalt's power steering just cut out. I almost crashed into the car beside me because I was not expecting for the car to do that. When I got home, I tried to check the power steering fluid level in the car and found that there is no place to put it. I later found out that the power steering is electric and a simple fix such as filling power steering fluid ( much like I've done with previous cars I owned) was not possible. The steering column would have to be pulled out in order for the problem to be fixed. If I didn't have an extended warranty on my car it would have cost thousands to fix which is ridiculous.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #207

Aug 102009


  • 82,346 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering has gone out. When I am driving on the freeway the power steering light comes on and I am unable to control the steering since it fails. I have to pull over and restart my car in order to continue driving it. The more I drove it the worse it got! I drive no more than 2 minutes with my power steering light coming on and a 5 minute drive I would have to restart my car at least 5-6 times before getting to my destination. I feel like this is putting me in danger since I am not able to navigate the car properly. This shouldn't be happening! my car has been back and forth in the shop for 2 weeks now, and I don't know what to do.

- Livingston, CA, USA

problem #206

Aug 202009


  • 70,148 miles


Power steering went out on vehicle while not even driving. Upon research the problem is very common. I am extremely thankful that it did not happen to my wife as she was driving. The car was parked in front of the house while I was getting things out of the trunk, and it started beeping saying power steering. The next time we went to drive the car it had none, and when started never said anything was wrong, at all!

- Carnegie, PA, USA

problem #205

May 282009


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering failed intermittently while driving approximately 25 mph. When the engine is shut off and restarted, the power steering reset itself and the vehicle operates normally. The electric power motor in the steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Krum, TX, USA

problem #204

Aug 202009


  • 48,000 miles
Power steering stops working. At least 3 times.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #203

Aug 152009


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph she noticed that a light illuminated on the electrical instrument panel stating power steering failure and then she lost steering control. After restarting the vehicle, she was able to drive normally; however, she had to continuously shake the steering wheel so that it would not lock. The contact did not notice and failure or warning lights prior to the failure. A local repair facility stated that the power steering was failing and the cost for repair would be $900. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was related to an existing recall and to file a complaint regarding the failure. The failure mileage was 73,000 and the current mileage was 73,010.

- Cincinatti, OH, USA

problem #202

Aug 172009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. When the steering light illuminated, the steering wheel changed to manual which made it very difficult to make left and right turns. The failure has not been diagnosed by a dealer. The current and the failure mileages were 22,000. Updated 09/23/09 the dealer stated the power steering motor failed. Updated 09/29/09.

- Cape Coral , FL, USA

problem #201

Aug 172009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 49,000 miles
While the contact was driving he noticed that the power steering light had appeared on the dashboard and shortly after the vehicle no longer had power steering. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership and the contact did not notice any differences beforehand. The current and failure mileage is 49000. Bml. Updated 10/06/09. Updated 10/06/09.

- Lower Burrell, PA, USA

problem #200

Aug 072009


  • 30,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure with 30K miles.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #199

Apr 022007


  • 45,000 miles
Intermittent power steering failure and key locking in ignition switch. First started about a 1 1/2 ago when the key locked up in the ignition and power steering failed. They claimed to have fixed it but now the power steering locks up more than ever. I can handle the steering (barely) when this happens by my wife at 4'11 and 106 lbs can no longer drive the vehicle. The power steering now goes out everytime I drive the car.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #198

Oct 012008


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The steering failed it switched from electric to manual which made it difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician located the failure as the steering column. The estimated cost for repair was $600 to $2,000. The manufacturer stated there is not a recall on the vehicle for the failure therefore they will not assist with the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 54,000 and the current mileage is 79,000.

- Belton , MO, USA

problem #197

Aug 152009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 20 mph, the driver noticed that the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard and that the vehicle had suddenly lost power steering. The failure occurred intermittently. The current and failure mileages were 50000.

- Chardon, OH, USA

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