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 42 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #176

Aug 012009


  • 29,000 miles


Driving my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, the steering lockup and a alarm appear on dash said power steering failure, to correct this. Have to stop the car, turn off the engine and restart. Then anywhere from 5 to 15 minute the steering lockup again. I think this is a safe issue. The car has a electrical power pump and is not the only car at has is pump, Chevrolet equinox has the same pump and also the same problem.

- West Mifflin, PA, USA

problem #175

Apr 062009


  • 45,000 miles
I am having serious problems with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls with 66,000 mi. Since about 45,000 miles the power steering goes out everytime I go to drive the car almost as soon as I pull off. This problem has caused damage to my car and almost caused me bodily harm on numerous occasions. Though internet searches I have founds the thousands of people are having the same problems with these Cobalts of all years. I really think that this problem should be recalled before someone gets killed.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #174

Jul 302009


  • 77,000 miles
Power steering goes completely out... very dangerous. Has gone out randomly over the last 2 weeks. Very dangerous with my babies in the car!

- Temple, AZ, USA

problem #173

Feb 012009


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph, the power steering failed. The contact believes that this is a major safety issue because the lack of power steering makes the vehicle difficult to turn at high speeds, which could possibly result in a crash. The current mileage was 67,000 and failure mileage was 50,000.

- Columbia , SC, USA

problem #172

Jun 252008


  • miles
Electrical power steering non repairable.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #171

Nov 152008


  • 82,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. It has electronic power steering. It went out one day when I was on my way to work. It was very hard to turn the steering wheel, which was very dangerous. I took it to numerous of mechanics, all of who told me it would cost $800 - $1,000. The failure occurs every time I turn my car on about 30 seconds later. It is very hard to steer and impossible during traffic.

- Haines City, FL, USA

problem #170

Jul 262009


  • 45,000 miles


My Chevrolet Cobalt 2005 turn off the power steering almost every drive.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #169

Jun 012009


  • miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt - power steering failure.

- Lexington, MO, USA

problem #168

Jul 172009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 52,555 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at an unknown speed, a warning light illuminated on the instrument panel and the vehicle lost all power steering. The failures would correct themselves when the vehicle was restarted. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 52,555. Updated 12/07/09. Updated 12/08/09.

- Blythebille, AR, USA

problem #167

Jul 192009


  • 50,000 miles
I was driving on a highway later at night going straight when my power steering like came on and I quickly realized I had no power steering as I tried to change lanes. I had to get home and the whole way it was extremely difficult to steer. After I got home and restarted the car, the power steering was back on, however after hearing about others having the same problem, I'm sure it will be going out again. I no longer feel safe driving the car for fear of the power steering going out while I am in the middle of a turn causing me to crash and resulting in people being hurt. There needs to be a recall on this by GM immediately.

- Harleysville, PA, USA

problem #166

Jun 282009


  • 60,300 miles


Noticed that steering was getting a little tighter. Few days latter power steering light came on going down highway making it very hard to steer when I tried pulling over. Turned off car. Checked everything I could no problem seen. Started car everything fine again. Got home didn't act up anymore for two days the it goes out again now its gone completely. And the light comes on everytime the car is started and stays on. No power steering.

- Shelby, NC, USA

problem #165

Jun 152009


  • 125,000 miles
First the key got stuck in the ignition and needed to change key and tumbler and ignition switch which you had to buy at the dealer since it is to new of a car for the auto parts stores. The dealer wanted $300 to fix this problem. That happened at 82,000 miles. Now the power steering message goes on and it chimes 2 times and then you can hardly turn the wheel. It happens mostly when it is warm and when you are driving straight. I do not have $1200 it fix this car. I guess I am luckier than some other people. I have 132,000 miles on my car.this is a hazard waiting to happen. This car needs to be recalled because it is just to much to fix and something GM has known about for awhile and has done nothing to fix it.

- Lathrop, MO, USA

problem #164

Jul 212009


  • 35,000 miles
My daughter has a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, the issue is the "power steering" indicator comes up and the vehicle becomes impossible to control. She has to pull over and turns off the car and restart it then the issue is resolved "this happens numerous times a day". this seems to be a serious design flaw as it looks like GM has moved away from the reliable hydraulic system to and electronic system. Along with the design flaw this is a serious safety issue as the vehicle becomes impossible to steer properly. Not sure what it is going to take to resolve this, but hopefully not the death or deaths of someone.

- Creve Coeur, MO, USA

problem #163

Jul 172009


  • 47,750 miles
I was driving my 05 Chevy Cobalt ls when the power steering warning came up on my dash and the power steering wasn't working. When I got home I shut my car off and turned it back on and the problem was gone. The next day when I was heading to work the power steering went out again not more than 20 seconds after leaving the house. The car continues to have this problem every time I use it. I have done research and know that this problem is from the manufacturer and should be recalled. I am fearful for my safety and the safety of others who are driving these or even near these cars.

- Loyal, WI, USA

problem #162

Jul 102009


  • 50,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt w/ about 50,000mi. Out of nowhere "power steering" is displayed in the driver information center and the power steering cuts out immediately making it very difficult to drive and almost impossible to turn the car. Power steering resumes if car is restarted but only for a few minutes. This has been going on for about a week and occurs every time I attempt to drive. I have seen numerous complaints from other Cobalt owners. I am currently not driving it because I don't feel safe. This is an extremely dangerous defect that needs to be recalled by Chevy.

- Saint Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #161

Jun 062009


  • 19,798 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Went out out driveway and the power steering light came on. Drove back down and called the dealership. They said it was ok to drive it, the light just comes on. Had me test it and see if the ps did fail, which it didn't. went to drive it the next day or so and the check engine light came on. At that point we went to the dealership to see about the car being towed for repairs. After looking it over, the dealership said they would have to replace the steering column. From what I'm reading, this isn't an isolated incident with the Cobalts.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #160

Jul 102009


  • 68,200 miles
I currently own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, and up until now, I have been pretty satisfied. However, recently since I have hit over 60,000 miles, my power steering light comes on and then I lose control of the vehicle. The wheel is nearly impossible to turn. This has almost caused me to wreck on 4 different occasions. When I turn the car off and then back on, it goes away for awhile, but then always seems to lock back up again. You would think that the only thing you would need to do is add power steering fluid, but unfortunately this car doesn't have that, it is all electrical. I have done some research online and have noticed that I am not the only one with this problem. There are in fact hundreds, if not more with the same problem occurring. This is a very dangerous and costly problem($700-$1500), and of course I'm not covered under the warranty anymore, along with almost everyone else experiencing this problem. I just don't understand how headlights can be recalled, but something as serious as your steering not. This is a serious issue that should be addressed before someone loses their life over a faulty electric power steering problem. I have called a few dealerships in my area and every single one of them have said that there have been many cases exactly like mine, if they notice this defect, then why can't the people who make the decision to recall do something about it.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #159

Jun 272009


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Approximately two weeks ago, the power steering indicator illuminated while driving 55 mph. The power steering failed immediately after the indicator appeared. The contact experienced difficulty controlling the vehicle and believed that this was a safety hazard. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Pope Air Force Base, NC, USA

problem #158

Jun 162009


  • 43,572 miles
I bought a 2005 Chevy Cobalt lt sedanfrom carmax in June 2008. Since I have had it the power steering has frozen numerous time during driving, locking up while going 45 mph is very dangerous to say the least. I have taken this car back to the dealer and they claim not to find anything wrong with the car. Now the power steering will lock up one day and the next day it will be fine for two-three weeks, then the same thing will happen again only worse. First time it happened, the power steering was slow to respond and the transmission was jerky. The second time, the power steering was hard to turn the lights came on in the drivers info center indicating a problem and the transmission started making clicking noises. The third time the power steering actually froze during driving, all the dashboard lights came on and the transmission, speed odometer all were acting if there was water in the gas or something meaning it was not responding when I put my foot on the gas. I have taken it back to carmax, they acknowledge a problem, but they "cant fix", they then say it has to be taken to a GM dealer who say they cant detect a problem during a diagnostic test. This a very dangerous situation and a very dangerous car to drive. I have refused to drive unless they fix the power steering, they have kept my car waiting for it to "duplicate" the problem which is ridiculous. This car needs to be recalled and that power steering system replaced. GM knows that this is a huge problem but refuses to now even listen to any complaints now that they are in bankruptcy. But this car definitely needs to be recalled before someone is killed.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #157

Jul 082009


  • 36,500 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt is having some power steering issues which seems to be a very common problem however the GMC/Chevy dealerships are charging horrific prices for diagnostics and repairs when the is common in most if not all Cobalts.....

- Nashville, TN, USA

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