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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.

3.8

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,974 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

problem #18

Sep 172009

Cobalt

  • 20,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. She stated that while driving at speeds of 40 mph over a railroad track, the vehicle stalled without warning. Within a few seconds, the power steering warning light illuminated and flashed across the instrument panel. She was able to restart the vehicle moments later and took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer replaced the power steering column due to electrical failures. The repairs were covered by her factory warranty. The repairs did not correct the failure and the problem persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where they replaced the power steering column a second time. The failure occurred again and the power steering column was replaced a third time. She also stated that most of the electrical components on the vehicle had failed; upon opening the driver's door, the horn would blow. The power locks would not operate, the electrical trunk release would not operate and the catalytic converter also failed. The catalytic converter was replaced under warranty. There were no additional power steering failures after the third repair, however the steering wheel would feel hard at times. There were no recalls for any of the failures. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 79,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #17

Feb 032010

Cobalt

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25 mph the power steering warning light illuminated and then the power steering malfunctioned. The contact had to pull over, shut the vehicle off and then restart it in order for the power steering to work properly. The dealer informed the contact that the inner power steering column needed to be replaced. The contact has not had the inner power steering column replaced at this time. The contact is concerned that if the power steering failure could potentially cause a crash to occur. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Williamsburg, KY, USA

problem #16

Feb 212010

Cobalt

  • 28,880 miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 5 mph, the power steering light illuminated and within seconds the power steering failed. She took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer diagnosis located the failure as the power steering motor, and the power steering column. The dealer replaced the power steering motor and stated that if she experienced the failure again they would also need to replace the power steering column. The estimated cost to repair the power steering column was $1,000. The repair cost for the motor was $375. The current and the failure mileages were 28,880.

- Richmond Heights, OH, USA

problem #15

Oct 042009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 14,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering sporadically shut off while driving. The contact turned the vehicle on and off to reset the vehicle when this problem occurred. The dealer stated that since it does not occur often they would replace the entire steering column. There were no recalls or related warranties. The failure mileage was 14,000. Updated 02/13/10 updated 02/16/10

- Oxford, CT, USA

problem #14

Nov 282009

Cobalt

  • 76,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. He could not properly turn the steering column, because the power steering failed. A technician from the dealer stated that the steering column needed to be replaced at the owner's expense. No repairs were made. The failure and current mileages were 76, 500.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #13

Dec 102009

Cobalt

  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds the power steering warning light illuminates on the instrument control panel, and then the steering column locks. He has to shift the vehicle into neutral in order to turn off the vehicle. The dealer has not been notified about this failure. No repairs have been done. The failure mileage was 65000. The current mileage was 65119. The vehicle identification number was unavailable.

- Riverton, UT, USA

problem #12

Feb 012009

Cobalt

  • 102,633 miles

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

The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 60 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel. A technician from the dealer concluded that the steering column needed to be replaced. He then added that the failure was common for his model type. He purchased the power steering column and replaced the part himself. The failure mileage was 60,000. The current mileage was 102,633.

- Wauchula, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 012009

Cobalt

  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, then the steering column locked up. As a consequence the risk for vehicle crash increased.the driver pulled over to the side of the road with caution. The engine was turned off then restarted. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The vehicle was in the process of being taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The failure and current mileages were 29,200.

- Warrington, PA, USA

problem #10

Oct 252006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,546 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at any speed, the power steering light illuminates followed by power steering failure. The dealer stated that the steering column needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 34,546. Updated 10/21/09. The consumer stated the power steering would reset when the vehicle was turned off and the re-started. As soon as the gear was changed, the power steering would fail all over again. Updated 10/20/09

- Leland, NC, USA

problem #9

Aug 272007

Cobalt

  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph, the contact noticed that the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard. Shortly after, the power steering completely failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the steering column needed to be replaced. Two months after the vehicle was purchased, the power steering column was replaced. The current mileage was 93,606 and failure mileage was 45,000.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #8

Feb 182008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,322 miles

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

The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph, the power steering light illuminated and the power steering failed. The failure occurred approximately three times while driving. The dealer stated that the steering column needed to be replaced and the power steering will need to be reprogrammed at a 50% off discount. The current mileage was 59,950 and failure mileage was 56,322.

- Edmon, OK, USA

problem #7

Aug 152007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving to work, the steering wheel indicator lit up. When continue driving, notice resistance while turning the steering wheel. As I proceeded further, when making turns, the steering wheel was even harder to turn. Call roadside assist. To tow car to nearest dealer. Dealer informed me the steering column was bad.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #6

Sep 012005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
#1 I brought it back because steering wheel always was to the left even though I was going straight. Dealer said it was fine, I complained to customer service and then dealer said they fixed it. When going straight the steering still looks left. #2 air conditioning not working, #3 liquid coming out of vents #4 cricket noises out of passenger side dash area. I was told air conditioning was fine, no cricket noises and it was normal for fluid to come out of vents. I brought the car back again said A/C is not fine I asked them if it could be some sort of filter (I am no mechanic) but it was. They had car all day, went to pick it up but they said dash was apart because they were fixing the problem with the fluid coming out of the dash (and I said I was told there was no problem) they had the car for the weekend. They tried to charge me for the filter and I said I would not pay for it because there was problems with that ac and defroster etc since day one. They took out the filter and put in an old dirty filter that did not come from my vehicle as the guy from the Chevy dealership in malden said he found it in the trash, (has made my daughter sick). #5 while driving the car I was getting off of the highway into a rest area and the car just died, there was no power steering no brakes etc. The key was in the switch and it was not off. I started the car up again. #6 the electrical didnt work, they fixed that. I have contacted Chevy customer service on several occasions and they say they will check into it etc and call me back, but they never do. I want them to fix the steering wheel, fix the car stalling out for no reason (we could have been killed) and put in a new filter not someone elses dirty filter. I don't trust the malden dealership. I have brought the car to the dealership on at least 7 occasions most of which they say nothing wrong.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #5

May 122006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,400 miles
: the contact stated while attempting to start the vehicle the key would not turn in the ignition nor could it be removed. Also the gear shifter would not move out of park. The dealer replaced the ignition switch and the steering column in January, however the problem has reoccurred.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #4

Aug 152005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,774 miles
The consumer stated that he heard a snapping noise in steering column and could feel it in the steering wheel. This happened all of the time and would occur with no warning. The steering column shaft was replaced. The ignition switch was replaced because of the flashing that held the tumbler and the S had collapsed. The manufacturer told the dealer not to replace the steering column shaft but the dealer made the repairs because they had already ordered the part. (12/01/05) after the column was replaced, the vehicle was taken back to the dealer twice. The wheel cover did not have enough rings to hold the rims tight and would rattle when going over light bumps, the vehicle pulled to the right and the passenger side front pillar was loose.

- Telford, PA, USA

problem #3

Aug 152005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,500 miles
The consumer states that the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt was having two problem. The ABS malfunctioned the ABS locked the tires. The main issues with the car was the steering column. The tilting of the steering wheel was making the vehicle stall. The steering wheel was brought down to the bottom with force and the vehicles stalled. This has been happening for around a month. The vehicle has not been in the dealership for this problem. The manufacturer has not been contacted. The dealer and the manufacturer were contacted over the ABS, and they denied having a problem.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #2

Jun 252005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Dt : the caller said that while driving if she bumped the knee under the steering column the engine died. She was not hitting the ignition switch, but just bumping the underneath side of the column. It did not need to be hit very hard to happen. This happened three times while she was going down the highwa, Y and once to her son. Dealer and manufacturer have not been contacted yet.

- Lowell, IN, USA

problem #1

Apr 092005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 978 miles
Consumer states: Steering column itself makes a rubbing and grinding noise, no matter which way you turn to left or right

- Mount Morris, MI, USA

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