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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.

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 1 of 51)

problem #1002

Nov 212016

Cobalt

  • 126,000 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 5 mph, the steering column power was intermittent and the power steering indicator illuminated. The failure was not diagnosed and the manufacturer was not notified. The failure recurred the following day. The failure mileage was approximately 126,000.

- Middleburg, PA, USA

problem #1001

Nov 042016

Cobalt

  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The power steering assist warning indicator illuminated as the power steering failed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the steering module was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Madison, TN, USA

problem #1000

Nov 082016

Cobalt

  • miles
Our 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt has had ongoing intermittent electrical problems that cause the vehicle to slam into gears going when accelerating and slowing down. This is accompanied by the vehicle shaking. While this is going on, the speedometer fluctuates and we get a power steering warning. My son has lost the power steering assist occasionally and one time it almost caused and accident. If we shut the vehicle off, the problem seems to go away but only temporarily.

- Crest Hill, IL, USA

problem #999

Oct 242016

Cobalt

  • 149,769 miles

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

The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 15 mph, the vehicle stalled and the steering wheel was unable to move. The power steering warning indicator illuminated. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after three minutes. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 149,769.

- Valaparaiso, FL, USA

problem #998

Oct 242016

Cobalt

  • 177,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at a slow speed, the power steering warning indicator illuminated and the power steering failed. The contact stated that it became difficult to steer the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 177,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #997

Aug 222016

Cobalt

  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the shifter independently moved and the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering. The traction control and check engine warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact was informed that the vehicle was previously serviced per NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering) in 2010. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 105,000.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #996

Sep 012015

Cobalt

  • miles

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

While driving vehicle power steering light comes on, steering wheel locks up, gear shift starts clicking, stalling out during driving at speed. I have ran off road several times and have to use both hands to turn a curve because of steering locked.

- Smithfield, KY, USA

problem #995

Aug 252016

Cobalt

  • 29,693 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph, the steering wheel seized and the key fob failed to release from the ignition switch. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 29,693.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #994

Sep 132016

Cobalt

  • 65,632 miles
I would like to voice my displeasure with how General Motors performed their recall on Chevy Cobalt vehicles. My 2005 Cobalt was purchased by dobles Chevrolet (now quirk Chevrolet of manchester) back in 2005. The ignition switch recall was supposedly performed in may of 2014. On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 13, 2014, my car lost complete control. The traction control light came on followed by losing power steering and thrusting violently. It couldve killed someone. Needless to say, the car was towed to my mechanic. My mechanic at cark's car care diagnosed this as an ignition switch issue and called quirk Chevrolet of manchester about an ignition switch recall performed on the car. My mechanic spoke to someone in service whom confirmed that the recall had been done once but the ignition switch should not have gone bad so soon. My mechanic said that they were informed that because the ignition switch shouldn't have gone bad so soon, that the service would be done free of charge. Upon hearing this I called in to schedule and was that theyD look at it but it would not be free because the recall is one-and-done. During congressional testimony, mary barra spoke about how safety was of the utmost importance to GM. I heard such wonderful things about safety and consumer confidence; but all Ive experience is near death and destruction. For 9 years I owned the gear and experienced no ignition switch issues; however, only two years after the recall that new part couldve lead to a lethal accident. I have reached out to several people at GM including the dealership as well as mary barra herself, but havenT received a response from anyone.

- Londonderry, NH, USA

problem #993

Sep 012015

Cobalt

  • 89,000 miles
GM replaced ignition parts and shifter mechanism as per recall. Shortly after issues began with steering locking up, transmission not shifting and various warning lights flashing. This became more frequent and is now impossible to drive. My technician says it is a body or transmission control module costing well over a thousand dollars. There appear to be 100S of 1000S of the same issue as per search engines. I will contact my local GM dealership. If GM will not back up its product it will be the last GM in my driveway. I will trade in on a Toyota.

- Millersburg, PA, USA

problem #992

Jul 242016

Cobalt

  • 85,290 miles

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

Power steering motor is out, lose of power steering on dash board no recalls when there should

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #991

Jul 292016

Cobalt

  • 158,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph, the steering wheel seized and became difficult to steer. The power steering and a yellow padlock warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power steering motor failed. The dealer diagnosed that the power train control module needed to replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 158,000. Updated 10/04/16

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #990

May 022016

Cobalt

  • 184,089 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph, the steering wheel power and the engine warning lights illuminated. In addition, the vehicle stalled, but was able to be restarted after five to ten minutes. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 184,089.

- North Myrtle, SC, USA

problem #989

Aug 142016

Cobalt

  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While at a stop, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact had to apply force to the steering wheel in order to steer the vehicle and the anti-theft warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 108,000.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #988

Jul 012016

Cobalt

  • 175,000 miles
We have noticed a sudden loss of electric power steering, this is intermittent. Our daughter now drives this car and we are scared that it is going to go out when she is in traffic and cause a vehicle accident.

- Bartlesville, OK, USA

problem #987

Jun 232016

Cobalt

  • 159,967 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds, the steering wheel seized without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but the failure could not be determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 159,967.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #986

May 142016

Cobalt

  • 77,439 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph, the steering wheel seized and the power steering warning light illuminated. In addition, the vehicle stalled and was able to be restarted, and all the instrument panel lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but the cause of the failures could not be determined. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,439. The VIN was unavailable.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #985

Mar 012016

Cobalt

  • 130,848 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while operating the vehicle, a cracking noise was present coming from the steering column. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,848.

- North Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #984

Apr 212016

Cobalt

  • 288,247 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 30 mph, the power steering failed and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 288,247.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #983

Apr 112016

Cobalt

  • 51,000 miles
This issue seems to be a common problem with the 2005 Cobalt. Please research any car complaint websites about this certain vehicle. Even though all the recalls have been taken care of, while in motion, at any time and any speed, the dash lights starts flashing and you get the message power steering on message center, tc light comes on, light that shows padlock symbol comes on, RPM needle jumps up and down, steering wheel locks up, motor surges and shakes, and you hear all types of clicking sounds below gear shifter. This is a very dangerous thing and Chevrolet/GM just cannot seem to fix this issue or even find anything wrong. The 2005 Cobalt needs to be recalled and any other year of Cobalt having this issue. I will give you below the last date this has happened, but this has went on since we got the car in 2008. My daughter is in school in Kansas City, and this issue has happened quite frequently lately. The only remedy is to pull to side of road, shut off vehicle and restart and hope it does not act up again. I just wonder how may deaths have happened already because of this faulty GM product and no one knew it was because of what the Cobalt did, locked up on its driver.

- Thayer, KS, USA

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