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 44 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #136

Dec 012008


  • 50,000 miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt that I bought new in 05. At about 50K miles, the power steering would occasionally stop working and the car was incredibly hard to steer. This happened randomly, sometimes driving straight, sometimes turning. I had a few near collisions when it failed mid-turn. After finding out the replacement part was close to $1000 from Chevy, I found a suitable donor car and salvaged the electric power steering unit. I swapped it out and have had no problems in the 15K miles since. I still have the failed power steering unit available for inspection.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #135

May 302009


  • 37,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering constantly failed. Once the vehicle was started, the steering would become stiff within one minute. She was unable to maneuver the steering wheel without applying maximum force. The manufacturer would not assist with the repairs because there were no recalls. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were less than 37,500.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #134

Jan 012009


  • 20,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Power steering fails at all speeds. Impossible to steer the car. Could definitely cause collisions at high speeds. Should be a recall. GM is unwilling saying they do not have enough complaints. Someone is going to get hurt.

- Seguin, TX, USA

problem #133

Mar 052009


  • 53,000 miles


While driving, power steering will stop functioning making it difficult to impossible to make evasive actions.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #132

Jan 012009


  • 20,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt - loses power steering. Dealership cannot diagnosis and neither can my mechanic. Teenage driver. Very unsafe to have happen to her while driving.

- Seguin, TX, USA

problem #131

May 282009


  • 85,156 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds, the power steering activates and the steering wheel becomes difficult to turn. The failure has occurred three times. Through online research, the contact discovered many consumers who were experiencing the same failure. The vehicle must be shut off and restarted in order to deactivate the power steering. The dealer stated that they will charge $109 just to diagnose the vehicle. The vehicle has not yet been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 85,156.

- Saint Amant, LA, USA

problem #130

May 292009


  • 40,900 miles


Sudden loss of power steering while vehicle in motion.

- Chamblee, GA, USA

problem #129

May 102009


  • 63,200 miles
Power steering light comes on. Then the power steering go out. This seems to happen more often when the temperature outside is hot.

- Yorkville, IL, USA

problem #128

Apr 272009


  • 65,000 miles
I have been having problems with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt it can be working fine and then suddenly the power system shuts of and my steering wheel gets really hard impossible to turn. It has been increasing in time every time we use the car.

- Angleton, TX, USA

problem #127

May 192009


  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph, the power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel. The electronic power steering failed when attempting to make a turn and almost caused a crash. It took great effort for the contact to complete the turn. The current and failure mileages were 66,000.

- Potosi, MO, USA

problem #126

Apr 152009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,950 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer because he heard a noise coming from the steering column. The dealer stated that a new steering column was needed. There were no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel at the time of the failure. The current and failure mileages were 34,950. Updated 05/27/09 an ignition switch was needed as well. Updated 05/29/09

- Osage Beach, MO, USA

problem #125

May 182009


  • 37,500 miles
I have a 2005 Cobalt ls and the power steering goes out now within 5 minutes of driving the car. I use to be able to turn the car off and it would correct the problem, but now turning off the car doesn't correct the problem. I know what part needs to be replaced, but no one sells just that part, they want to try to sell you a whole steering column for $1500 or more. I think it is disgraceful that GM is asking for bail out money, but they will not recall this model of car to fix the problem. I cannot afford to go to a GM dealership and pay to have this problem fixed. I am not responsible for paying for this it is GM's responsibility! GM wouldn't be in financial trouble if they built cars that didn't have problems or if the cars they built that had problems they took responsibility for fixing them. I don't think I can trust GM anymore. Eventually someone is going to get seriously hurt or worse.

- Rougemont, NC, USA

problem #124

Apr 182006


  • 31,000 miles
Have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and on four separate occasions, the power steering has gone out on vehicle. Almost impossible to drive. After getting it off the road and shutting off engine and restarting, worked ok. Took to dealership for them to check, they could find nothing wrong and said they had no history of this type of problem. This is a very dangerous situation and could results in death or injury. GM has tsbs out there, which of course is customer pay, and they will correct GM defective issues. The cost is approx. $800. There have been enough complaints on this issue since 2005. A GM recall should be made mandatory. This is major safety factor. A recall by GM should be directed.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #123

Mar 092009


  • 40,000 miles
The power steering goes in and out intermittently. There is no warning. Particularity turning curves and corners. The dash board warning systems warns of this after the fact and you're in panic mode. When you shut down and restart it performs normally for a while and does it again. Also, when going around curves or making 90 degree turns, the steering "slips" and bumps as if you've run over something. Its as if the joints of the car aren't fitted together property.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #122

Jan 112009


  • 34,000 miles
Power steering in my Chevy Cobalt (2005) shuts off and car is difficult to drive.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #121

May 072009


  • 33,000 miles
No events leading to failure. Chevy Cobalt 2005 model 33,000 miles power steering random catastrophic failure key sticks in ignition nothing was done to correct the failure by the manufacturer (no recall) even though multiple complaints and problems have been identified with the power steering in these models.

- Martinez, GA, USA

problem #120

Apr 302009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact experiences periodic power steering failure while driving various speeds. The steering wheel cannot turn to the left or right and she must turn and pull the wheel with great force to pull the vehicle to the side of the road. The vehicle has not yet been taken to the dealer. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Waterford, NY, USA

problem #119

May 012009


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 20 mph on normal road conditions, the steering wheel locked and the power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained lit until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road and the engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation; however, the failure recurred three times while driving. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing and the steering column code was reprogrammed. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for identical failures. Currently, the steering column is being replaced. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 54,000.

- Twinsburg, OH, USA

problem #118

Apr 252009


  • 22,000 miles
There were no events that led up to this power steering just went out. A month before we had the key stuck in ignition problem. Paid $300 to get that fixed now it is back in the shop for power steering failure. I called GM about this and the rep said they had no other complaints about this issue. Are you kidding me?? I told him it was all over sites on the internet and he said I shouldn't pay any attention to that as GM has no power over what people reported on these sites and they should contact GM. He again tried to tell me that I was the only one reporting this problem!!

- Bolivar, OH, USA

problem #117

Apr 262009


  • 51,501 miles
I just purchased a 2005 Chevy Cobalt as my wife drove it to the store the power steering locked up & shut off she almost got into a wreck she had to force car off the road. Spoke to a Chevy mechanic said this was a common problem with 2005-2006 Chevy Cobalts, this is a defect in the steering column. Looked on the internet & there are lots of people with this model having the exact same problem yet there is no recall from GM. This is a safety hazard my wife could have been killed should these vehicles be on the road? please investigate this problem. We had the car for 3 days now and it happened 4 times it is now in the hands of a mechanic.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

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