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 43 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #156

Jun 152009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 70 mph, the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to a repair shop and it was confirmed that the power steering failed. In addition, the power steering warning light illuminated. The dealer stated that the vehicle was not covered for the repair; however, it has not yet been repaired. The failure occurs intermittently. Through online research, the contact discovered numerous consumers experiencing the same failure. The failure mileage was 57,000 and current mileage was 57,005. Updated 8/28/09 updated 09/03/09.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #155

Jul 082009


  • 40,548 miles
I was at a stop sign and pulled out to negotiate a turn when my car seemed to stop. The car then started to move slowly, but I had a difficult time turning the wheel. The words "power steering" appeared in the service messages area.. I was able to reach home but negotiating the turns was like driving a manual car. I called my local dealership who told me to bring it in. I took it to my local dealership this morning, and the steering seemed normal, with no error messages appearing. This afternoon, I was told that the code indicated I needed a new steering column. Car is in the garage now and a new steering column will be put in by tomorrow. Cost quoted to replace the column is $500 plus change. I also E-mailed General Motors and hope for a response.

- Coal Township, PA, USA

problem #154

Jul 022009


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds, the power steering fails and cannot be maneuvered. The contact stated that the steering has failed while driving to her residence, which is located on a curved road. The GM manufacturer advised her to get the vehicle diagnosed and to call them back with the results. The contact has been trying to reach the GM representative, but he is refusing to take her call. The failure mileage was 49,000.

- Luray, VA, USA

problem #153

Jun 172009


  • 68,000 miles


I bought a 2005 Chevy Cobalt at a locate dealership. After 3 months the power steering turns off at random. It started when I was entering a freeway at a curb and all of a sudden I notice the car was pulling straight because the power steering was out. I almost lost control of the car because of this. I took the car to the dealership that I bought it to, and they said it's not part of the extended warranty, and I would have to pay for labor and parts cost. The failure happens basically if I have been driving my car more than 30 minutes and the dealership did not do anything to correct the failure. There numerous complaints on Chevy Cobalts regarding the power steering failure through researched, and I can not believe it has not been recalled.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #152

Jul 022009


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds, the power steering light would illuminate and the steering would become very difficult to maneuver. The failures occurred without warning. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 76,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #151

Jul 052009


  • 39,000 miles
The electric assist power steering failed while driving AT40 to 50 miles an forced me over to the side of the road, I was lucky I was in a open area, I didn't hit any thing. I turned the car of waited a few minutes turned it back on and it worked fine. This is the second time this has happened and a similar. Incident when it stalled on a railroad track. They checked the ground and replaced the fuse block. I searched the internet and this seems to be a common problem with many GM electric assist power steering units. This is a very dangerous condition. I do not have the part.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #150

Jun 192009


  • 641,000 miles


Was driving out of parking deck at work when power steering went out. This happens on a daily basis and is dangerous. Checked and found out this is a major complaint of 2005 Cobalts. Expense to have repaired is not an option at this time. Safety hazard not knowing when it will go out each day.

- Maumelle, AR, USA

problem #149

Jul 012009


  • 80,000 miles
Failure of power steering. I will be driving and my power steering will fail while I am driving down the road. This problem happens daily alomst everytime I drive. Happens more frequently after a U-turn or sharp turn and during hot days.

- Taylorsville, UT, USA

problem #148

May 302009


  • Manual transmission
  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering indicator illuminates periodically. When this occurs, all power steering is lost and the vehicle becomes very difficult to steer. The contact must turn off the vehicle and restart it in order to reset itself. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the power steering control module was out of warranty; therefore, they would not pay for the repair. The contact will call the manufacturer for assistance. There was no recall for the steering wheel. The failure mileage was 107,000. Updated 07/08/09 updated 07/08/09.

- Sycamore, AL, USA

problem #147

Jun 212009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving between 25-30 mph, the power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, a chime sounded inside the vehicle. There was a loss of power steering and the steering column locked. The driver experienced extreme difficulty steering the vehicle, which resulted in greater effort to turn the steering wheel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The contact pulled the vehicle over into a parking lot and then turned off and restarted the engine. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The failure recurred on a separate occasion. The vehicle has not been repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 50,000.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #146

Jun 152009


  • 62,000 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #145

Jun 062009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering fails sporadically at any speed. The dealer stated that she would have to pay $700 for the repair. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 60,000 and current mileage was 82,000.

- Paris, IL, USA

problem #144

Jun 152009


  • 72,100 miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, and about a month ago I was driving down a country road when my "power steering" message was displayed on my dashboard stating it had shutoff. This then lead to my car trying to shut itself off in the middle of the road going 55 miles per hour. The gauges were flashing, radio was flashing, the car would not shift gears and was rocking back and forth, and I couldn't really steer the car. After I was able to get it under control and stopped and shutoff it seemed to reset the system and I had no problems until a few days ago. I was driving on a very busy interstate during rush hour while going about 80 miles per hour, and the situation happened again except I was nearly in a collision with semi truck trailers, it took all I had to get it off the road without hitting anything. This scared me to death. This time the system did not reset, but I was able to limp it to the Chevy dealer near my apartment. Come to find out it was the :body control module" that was bad. It cost me $508 dollars to fix this one issue. Two weeks ago I had to take it in for a lower left front control arm bushing that was bad, and also the shifter solenoid was bad, and I had spent nearly $1100 for all of those safety issues as well.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #143

Jun 152009


  • 60,800 miles
Power steering stopped working along with thousands of other Cobalt owners. I haven't replaced it yet. After reading other forums the car is doomed to do it again. I have had the standards factory cd player replaced 4 times. First at 12K miles, finally last time at 60K. The key becomes locked in the ignition daily. I have to reach a finger in the whole underneath the steering column to hit the key release button. Just a poorly made car and everything goes out right after the warranty.

- Lone Jack, MO, USA

problem #142

Jun 102009


  • 80,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt, power steering randomly goes out in my vehicle while driving. I can turn the car off and when I restart usually it is fixed but light comes on and steering goes out without warning. This seems very dangerous, fortunately haven't wrecked yet. Cost to fix about $2,000. Looked up on internet and about 400 other comments and complaints on 1 website regarding same problem. Sounds like recall should be issued!

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #141

Jun 082009


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 65 mph, the power steering failed and the vehicle shook. The vehicle has not been to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact feels that the vehicle is unsafe to drive because the loss of power steering and the shaking could cause a crash. The current mileage was 74,950 and failure mileage was 70,000.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #140

Jun 142009


  • 71,717 miles
The steering wheel locked up in the car and the dic/ instrument panel displayed 'power steering'. the steering system shutdown completely with no prior warning of any kind. This happened in the middle of a very busy intersection and I was unable to steer the car in any manner. This is a safety issue that poses risks and threat of property damage, severe injury or death to the car owner, other car drivers on the road, others cars on the road, pedestrians and other building structures. This could happen again at any given time. Research indicates that this safety issue progressively increases. Repair requires the replacement of the steering column, pscm (power steering control module) and power steering motor unit estimated to cost upto $2000. Research on the internet also indicates a number of customers whose vehicles have electric power steering (as this car does) as opposed to conventional hydraulic steering systems have experienced this issue. GM has issued the following communication on this topic, but this particular bulletin does not refer to owners of 2005 Cobalt car model. Bulletin gmp07-217 - 07126 special coverage adjustment message #:vsu20071643 special coverage adjustment #07126 dated: December 3, 2007 since this is a serious safety issue resulting from a manufacturing defect, I am requesting that Chevrolet reimburse me or pay for the cost of repair even though my car is past the standard manufacturers warranty period.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #139

Jun 122009


  • 51,000 miles
The problem I am reporting is with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls. The power steering quit working suddenly with no warning. This failure happened while driving down a major road and cause all power steering to go out. Once the car is shut off it starts working again, but each time the mean time between failures decreases. The failure happens so often now that I can't drive the car. The steering column has to be replaced now since GM does not sell individual parts.

- Barksdale Afb, LA, USA

problem #138

May 082009


  • 83,000 miles
I was driving down the high and all of a sudden my power steering came on and has been for 2 months now. I have looked up the issue and I am not the only owner of Cobalt to have these problems. I have the 2005 Cobalt ss supercharged wit 84,000 miles on it.

- St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #137

May 272009


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph, the steering locked up and the contact was forced to pull the vehicle over. The vehicle was towed and is unable to be driven. There were no prior failures with the steering. The dealer stated that it would cost $2,000 to repair the steering. The electrical system was also defective and will not activate the air conditioning or lock the doors. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 73,000.

- Antioch, TN, USA

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