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.

CarComplaints.com 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
45 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
27 / 5
Average Mileage:
62,463 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 48 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #62

Sep 152008

Cobalt

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I've had my Cobalt for a little bit over 3 years and my 'power steering' warning light started to come on. If I stopped and restarted the car it would go away for a bit but the warning would come back. I took it to a dealer and they said the steering column needs to be replaced and of course my warranty just ran out so I have to pay for it. My dealership is aware of the problem because they have had to repair it on other Cobalts. From what I have read on the internet a lot of other people are having the same problem as I am. Why hasn't something been done about this?

- Wheaton, MD, USA

problem #61

Oct 152008

Cobalt

  • 97,000 miles
While driving the vehicle the power steering light on the dic will come on and power steering will be lost. You can pull over to the side of the road and turn the engine off and back on and the problem will go away for 5 minutes, 5 hours or a day before occurring again. This has occurred intermittently for the last two weeks. The dealer has said the whole steering column must be replaced to repair the problem.

- Bell, FL, USA

problem #60

Oct 012008

Cobalt

  • 48,000 miles
I am having an issue with my power steering failing in my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. There were really no events leading up to the failure that I see as possibly having an effect on the failure. The failure occurs quite randomly. Some days it will fail up to 4 times, and then it may go a week or two without failing. It does seem to occur more frequently in warmer weather. I am obviously concerned because the failure of power steering in the middle of a turn or while driving at high speeds could certainly be fatal for not only myself but any other drivers and passengers involved. I am extremely upset by the fact that Chevy will not replace this electronic part at no cost to me since I do not consider it normal wear and tear on the car. I find this to be more an issue of Chevrolet using a less than satisfactory part for the car. They have responded that my warranty does not cover it. I've researched numerous forums and it seems that this is not just a problem in my 2005 Cobalt but one faced by at least 100-200 others. The problem was diagnosed by a Chevy dealer, but for the $1000 repair cost they quoted me I have been forced into driving an unsafe car until I can find a more reasonable price or Chevy issues a recall.

- North Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #59

Nov 042008

Cobalt

  • 53,741 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt which I purchased new in 2005. Tonight while driving home a 'power steering' message displayed on my dash at the same time that my power steering went out. I was able to pull off to the shoulder of the road and turned my car off. I turned my car back on thinking maybe it was just a glitch in my computer and it drove fine for another 5 miles then the message popped up again and again I lost power steering. I was able to pull into a nearby gas station to attempt to see if I was low of fluid but found out its electronic power steering. Since I was only a few more miles from home I was able to, with hazards flashing, drive the rest of the way home having to stop once more to turn off and on my car to remove the warning and to re-engage my power steering. I've read online about multiple other Cobalt owners having this same issue and I think it is deplorable of Chevrolet to not have recalled this by now.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #58

Oct 012008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
Power steering warning light goes and on off. Sometimes lose power steering during driving. When car is turned off and re-started problem goes away.

- Anniston, AL, USA

problem #57

Oct 272008

Cobalt

  • 28,000 miles
Power steering failure while I was on a curve going at a high speed. The steering wheel locked up and I was unable to resume driving. Something has to be done about this or someone is going to be killed! it is not the first time this has happened.

- Brooksville , FL, USA

problem #56

Aug 132008

Cobalt

  • 67,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving to work when the power steering when out, luckily I was paying attention and driving on a straight road. No accidents or injuries occurred. The car is being looked at now by the dealership. I researched this topic online and there are many people having the same problem.

- Boerne, TX, USA

problem #55

Oct 032008

Cobalt

  • miles
I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, the car is 3 years old and the power steering is out. Unfortunately the warranty is out and by the looks of it there is hundreds of people out there with the same problem. I took it to the dealership and they said that a cost of over $1000 will need to be paid totally replace the steering problem. They are aware of the manufacturers defect and hoping this will be recalled. I think if they company is aware of this problem we should not have to pay for their mistake. I do not have this money to fix this mistake by the manufacturer. Please help!

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #54

Oct 152008

Cobalt

  • miles
I purchased a new Chevrolet Cobalt ls (4 door) in 2005 from my local dealer. I drive it very little - it now has slightly less than 13,200 miles. Last week when driving near home I rec'd a sudden flashing message on the dash "power steering." Immediately, the steering failed completely. It took all my strength to turn the vehicle and I was only going 20 miles per hour - had it been different - and as I've since found it this has occurred thousands of times to other drivers of this car - it cold have killed me. My local dealer told me that the entire steering mechanism had to be replaced - rather odd for a car, perfectly maintained, with so few miles on it! the head technician at my dealer informed me that there was a design flaw in the 2005 and 2006 Cobalt's steering mechanism. Both relied entirely on an electronic system that can fail instantly and leave the car with no steering control - while it's being driven! the repairs were largely covered by my extended warranty - I've had it for 38 months. (repair copy: "internal motor failure." And "replace steering column" = $804) but, as the repair service itself noted, this just restores the same, ready to fail system! the problem can't be fixed because it's a basic design flaw! according to the head technician, beginning in about 2007, the Cobalt was altered to include a back-up hydraulic steering mechanism to make up for this recognized problem. There are over 12,600 lists of this problem on the internet today, some noting that a second failure occurred only two weeks after having the same "repairs" that I had. I'm still paying for this car and it's a death trap. My wife won't ride in it and I won't drive it more than a few blocks and only in daylight. This must be addressed!!!!!! gerald J. davey, ph. D.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #53

Mar 252008

Cobalt

  • 48,000 miles
Power steering problem with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Three attempts by GM dealer to fix a problem, the problem is still there. This should lead to safety recall. During the driving power steering warning light comes on, the car starts to shake and is not safe to drive. I filled complaint with BBB, Chevy, but they said that the safety recall must come from NHTSA. Looks like thousands of power steering columns have been replaced on two or three yr old card, which is unacceptable. This is not normal wear-an-tear part, and someone should run statistics on this part with GM, and consider the safety of customers/drivers. This is a typical highschool/college students car, inexperienced drivers in totally unsafe cars... do not wait until someone gets killed to have recall on Chevy Cobalts power steering issues. Thank you!

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #52

Oct 052008

Cobalt

  • 57,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

At 57,000 miles, the power steering light came on in my car while driving down the highway. It became very hard to steer and seems very dangerous. After turning off the vehicle and then turning it back on the problem seemed to go away, but it came back on shortly while I was in the middle of turning onto a busy street. I almost hit a truck. I have since taken the vehicle to the dealership where I have been told it will cost $1000 to fix and they said that there is no sign that it was my fault.

- Springdale, AR, USA

problem #51

Oct 032008

Cobalt

  • miles
05 Chevy Cobalt ss power steering was lost during merging on to highway, has happened twice now. Almost hit another car and construction cones not being able to turn the vehicle fast enough. Dealership said they found nothing wrong with the actual power steering. But if they were to order a new part it is on back order, so there must be something pretty messed up with the power steering in Chevy Cobalt to need the parts so much.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #50

Sep 202008

Cobalt

  • 44,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt - 09/20/2008 - while driving straight at approx. 10 mph on a residential street, car chimed, dic displayed "power steering" and power steering was lost. With difficulty, pulled car over to the side of the street, put car in park, turned car off, and re-started car. On re-start, dash display was normal, power steering was normal. On 09/23/2008, while driving straight at approx. 30 mph on a busy road (2 lanes each direction), same thing happened (chime, "power steering" display, loss of power steering, difficulty steering the car); slowed to a stop on approach to a red light, put car in park, turned car off, re-started car, back to normal. On 09/26/2008 (today), while driving straight on a city street at approx. 20 mph, same thing happened (chime, "power steering" display, loss of power steering, difficulty steering the car), no place to pull over, had to turn left on a side street to park, very difficult to control the car while making the turn, parked, turned car off, re-started car, back to normal. I have an upcoming service appointment at my Chevy dealership, but service department advises me there is no recall for this issue, and they will only be able to find/fix problem if it occurs while it is in their possession, and I am out of warranty (44,000 miles on odometer). I am now afraid to drive the car, but have no other way to get to work and back. I will not drive it on the highway. I did an internet search on 09/23/2008, and see complaint after complaint from Cobalt owners about this very same problem. Also see that there was a "special coverage adjustment" (dated 12/03/2007) for 2005 Chevy Malibu and 2005 Pontiac G6S for what appears to be the same power steering problem (remedy for this was for dealer to replace the steering column assembly; special coverage was for 7 years or 70,000 miles). Driving a car that suddenly loses power steering on an on-going basis is not safe, why is there no recall for this problem for Cobalts?

- Elmhurst, IL, USA

problem #49

Sep 252008

Cobalt

  • 68,000 miles
My name is freddie brown I am a firefighter/emt I am filing this complaint in regards to a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering (electronic on this car) goes out 2-3 times a day which causes the steering wheel to lock up while driving. I have done research on the internet and I am not the only one experiencing this with this model year Cobalt. Thank god it has not done it while I am turning or it will result in a crash. Chevrolet wants $2000 to have it fixed. The car is 3 years old and is a factory default. In order to reset it you have to throw the car in neutral and turn it off while rolling and turn it back on and it resets itself. Please look into it. I typed in Cobalt steering recall in google search engine and there are plenty of complaints. Thank you, freddie brown firefighter/emt marion county fire-rescuer

- Belleview, FL, USA

problem #48

Sep 252008

Cobalt

  • 69,000 miles
I've just bought a 2005 Chevy Cobalt 23 days ago. This past weekend the power steering light came on. Upon research I have found that the electronic power steering on this and other models is an ongoing issue. I, as of this morning, have no power steering now. I have found many discussions online concerning this matter, yet no info. From GM/Chevrolet. According to discussions, it will cost between $600 and $2,000 to fix and then some of these people had it happen again anyway. This is a major safety issue and I don't understand why it has not been addressed. I, at this point, don't have the money to get it fixed, as I had scrimped to buy it in the first place just 23 days ago.

- Gilbertsville, PA, USA

problem #47

Sep 192008

Cobalt

  • 68,620 miles
I have a problem that I would like to issue that has to do with safety. I bought a 2005 Chevy Cobalt back in July of 05. The power steering on the Cobalt's is an eps system (electrical power steering). The power steering has been going off and on when I am driving (I have only 68,000 miles). It started on Friday when I was driving into town it went out and I had to pull over, turn the car off then back on. After doing this the car was fine then a few minutes later the power steering went off again! ever since then the power steering has been going out, even on the highway going 55 it goes out which causes it to be very hard to turn or steer my car. I went on the internet and looked up issues with power steering on 2005 Chevy Cobalt's and I came across hundreds of complaints about the power steering going out on people that own a Cobalt or a Malibu which also has a eps system. IM not sure why GM has not recalled this issue when it is a safety issue! to fix this problem the part its self is $500 not including labor. As I did my research people have been paying about $1,200 to fix the eps system. I really think it is very irresponsible of GM to not have a recall on this part due to the hundreds of complaints I have seen! someone please help me on getting GM to wake up and see that when the power steering goes out while youre driving 55+mph on the highway its not easy nor safe for anyone in the car and that they need to do a recall to fix all of the problems on the eps system. I donT know what it will take for them to wake up and recall the part; maybe a death due to eps system failure is what they are waiting for. In that case they have no heart for their customers or appreciation. I also contacted GM customer service and they were not able to help me with anything but tell me I am going to have to pay for the problem to get fixed. I am also not sure if there has been any crash related incidents due to the eps system. Thank you!

- Liberty, MO, USA

problem #46

Sep 192008

Cobalt

  • 65,500 miles
I have a problem that I would like to issue that has to do with safety. I bought a 2005 Chevy Cobalt back in July of 05. The power steering on the Cobalt's is a eps system (electrical power steering). The power steering has been going off and on when I am driving (I have only 68,000 miles). It started on Friday when I was driving into town it went out and I had to pull over, turn the car off then back on. After doing this the car was fine then a few minutes later the power steering went off again! ever since then the power steering has been going out, even on the highway going 55 it goes out which causes it to be very hard to turn or steer my car. I went on the internet and looked up issues with power steering on 2005 Chevy Cobalt's and I came across hundreds of complaints about the power steering going out on people that own a Cobalt or a Malibu which also has a eps system. IM not sure why GM has not recalled this issue when it is a safety issue! to fix this problem the part its self is $500 not including labor. As I did my research people have been paying about $1,200 to fix the eps system. I really think it is very irresponsible of GM to not have a recall on this part due to the hundreds of complaints I have seen! someone please help me on getting GM to wake up and see that when the power steering goes out while youre driving 55+mph on the highway its not easy nor safe for anyone in the car and that they need to do a recall to fix all of the problems on the eps system. I donT know what it will take for them to wake up and recall the part, maybe a death due to eps system failure is what they are waiting for. In that case they have no heart for their customers or appreciation. I also contacted gmac customer service and they were not able to help me with anything but tell me I am going to have to pay for the problem to get fixed. I am also not sure if there has been any crash related incidents due to the eps system. Thank you! lauren phillips

- Liberty, MO, USA

problem #45

Sep 032008

Cobalt

  • 45,774 miles
On 9/3/08 my husband and I were driving our 2005 Chevy Cobalt with 45,700 miles on it going 35 mph, we came to a curve in the road and the warning light in our car went off and it read, "power steering", we then lost all power steering. My husband veered off the road because it was hard to steer, we then turned the car off hoping it would clear the error. We started the car and it then drove fine. When we got to where we were going we decided to check the power steering fluid but couldn't find where it was. We looked in our owner's manual and it stated that it was electrical and there was no fluid. The next day on the interstate at 60 mph driving to work the warning light went off and it read, "power steering", my husband maintained control and it never regained power steering. From that incident on every time we drove it kept happening and we would never regain power steering until we turned the car off and restarted it. First thing Monday morning 9/8/08 we took it to the dealership. They told us there was an internal fault in the steering column motor and they needed to replace the electronic column. I asked if there had been a recall because I found hundreds of incidents with the same problem with our same vehicle, make and year on the internet. The dealership claimed this is the first they had heard of. I told the dealership that when they replaced my motor I wanted the faulty one back. They got an attitude quickly and told me that I couldn't have the old part because it was under GM warranty. I then asked if that's the case then why do I have to pay for this new part because my old one is obviously faulty. They told me it was part of GM policy and I could not have the old part. After that it made us very suspicious as to why they wouldn't let us take the old part. I told them this was a safety issue endangering people's lives that needed to be addressed. I contacted the GM corporate office and they gave me the same spill that they havenT heard of this issue.

- Ladson, SC, USA

problem #44

Mar 302005

Cobalt

  • miles
2005 cobolt power steering blew fuses. Now light comes on car jumps tries to die on me. Power steering light comes on.

- Columbus, IN, USA

problem #43

Aug 302008

Cobalt

  • 38 miles
Two weeks ago my 2005 Cobalt ls sedan suddenly starting having problems with the power steering. While driving my warning light displayed "power steering" and I noticed that trying to steer the wheel was extremely difficult. I drove to a safe place and turned the car off and then restarted it and the power steering was working fine. I am noticing that the time the power steering is working correctly is getting to be less and less. This problem is very dangerous and someone could get seriously hurt or killed if Chevrolet continues to ignore the problem.

- Rougemont, NC, USA

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