CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2006 Cobalt continued to carry the torch first lit by the 2005 model year. To be clear, that torch is burning bright with widespread power steering issues, electrical curiosities and a dangerous ignition switch defect which led to a massive recall by GM. This isn’t a great torch to carry.

The 2006 added it’s own special flare with gas leaks due to cracks in the “return portion of the modular reservoir assembly.” A recall of 2006 Cobalts was issued to fix the problem, but only to vehicles sold in or current registered in Arizona and Nevada, leaving other owners to pay for repairs themselves.

Between this car stalling while driving, giving owners fits with power steering failure and having it be a potential tinderbox because of gas leaks, we felt we had no other option than to award it our “Avoid Like the Plague” badge.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
68 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
60,623 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.

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 12 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #897

Feb 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 120,050 miles

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

Power steering light comes on and steering wheel becomes hard while driving.

- Anton, TX, USA

problem #896

Jan 092012

Cobalt

  • miles
I bought the car in November of 2011. Nit even 3 months later, a very loud. Clunky noise started every time I go over a bump no matter how big or small. I've been to multiple mechanics and have been told my sway bar links, as well as my outer tie rod ends are bad. Then another said it was my bushings. I just want the noise to stop and want to know why is the car sound like its falling apart? very disappointed with Chevrolet for. Not the best 1st car.

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #895

Jan 092013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
While driving to work, steering wheel had been shaking (55mph). Getting off the belt line, traffic came to a sudden stop. I brake, but the car continued to shake and didn't brake. Had to pull to the side to avoid hitting the car in front of me. Car would not accelerate when traffic started up, and I had to turn the ignition off and restart. Car shook badly for a few seconds, then seemed fine. A few days later, driving into my parking lot (10mph) the car's brakes locked up for no reason and I barely got it into a parking space. Took it in to the dealership the car was purchased at and was told the rotors, brakes, and calipers would need to be replaced. Had another mechanic look at it and had the brakes and rotors replaced. Car drove fine. Six weeks later, driving on the highway (60 mph), slowed down to turn onto another road, and brakes were out. Had another mechanic look at the car, brakes and rotors are worn down again, as well as calipers and brake line. Road conditions were clear at the time of each incident.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #894

Jan 302013

Cobalt

  • 60,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the steering wheel failed. The contact stated that he attempted to steer but had to provide extra force to steer off the road. The contact looked under the hood and noticed that there was no power steering fluid. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 60,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #893

Feb 142013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 99,500 miles
Steering wheel became very difficult to turn while on a freeway entrance ramp. Fortunately I was able to retain control of vehicle. No further issues until 8 days later when again the vehicle become very difficult to steer. I consider the malfunction of the power steering unit to be a dangerous issue. I called the GM help line 2/23/2013 and was told the vehicle was recalled at 54,000 miles to address the steering issue and any needed repairs at this time will be at my expense.

- Lakeside, MI, USA

problem #892

Feb 212013

Cobalt

  • 69,372 miles
My key is stuck in the ignition. The car is off however, the lights and radio will not turn off.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #891

Feb 192013

Cobalt

  • 101,349 miles

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

The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, there was a loss of power steering assist, which caused difficulty in turning the steering wheel. There was no warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering) March 2011 however, the failure recurred and the vehicle was not repaired for the steering malfunction. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 101,349.

- Stickney, IL, USA

problem #890

Feb 102013

Cobalt

  • 95,623 miles
As I was driving down a highway, my power steering warning appeared on me dic. It kept flashing and the traction control system light came on and disengaged the cruise control. After pulling to the side of the road, shutting off my car and restarting it, the vehicle worked fine. Upon starting it in the morning the power steering went out completely. Restarting the car a few times fixed it, later that day the power steering went out again in town as I was making a turn. I understand that this is not an uncommon problem with Cobalts in general as many people have complained about this particular problem.

- Star City, AR, USA

problem #889

Jan 102013

Cobalt

  • 114,400 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering) and since the repair, the steering wheel failed to lock while the vehicle was off. The contact also stated that while in reverse, the vehicle goes in the opposite direction that it is being steered and the steering wheel continues to turn as if there was no wheel base. The failure mileage was 114,400 and the current mileage was 115,000.

- Slorssant, MO, USA

problem #888

Jan 242013

Cobalt

  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the power steering and speedometer failed. Also, the contact stated that the transmission would not shift out of gear and the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage and current mileage was 42,000.

- Largo , FL, USA

problem #887

Jan 242013

Cobalt

  • 145,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph and making a turn, the power steering warning indicator illuminated and the steering wheel became extremely difficult to maneuver. The contact also stated that the light illuminated until the engine was shut down. The vehicle was able to be driven by applying excessive force to the steering wheel. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Mayfield , KY, USA

problem #886

Jan 112013

Cobalt

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, all of the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated and the power steering failed causing the steering wheel to lock. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (electric power assist system). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 80,000.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #885

Dec 082012

Cobalt

  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while completing a turn at 40 mph, the steering wheel seized causing the vehicle to crash into a tree. The contact sustained minor neck injuries. The failure was assessed by a dealer however, the dealer could not diagnose the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 102,000.

- Independence, VA, USA

problem #884

Oct 282009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Power steering locked up while driving on a road at around 35-40mph. And the car ran into a rock on the side of the road and flipped upside-down. There was no severe injury but the car was reported as total loss.

- Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA

problem #883

Aug 152012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel as the vehicle began to jerk abnormally. The contact parked and restarted the vehicle, as the vehicle functioned properly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection however, they found no failures. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 57,000.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #882

Nov 282012

Cobalt

  • 109,700 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled with the illumination of the power steering warning light. The contact tried to restart the vehicle but to no avail. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer or a mechanic for diagnosis or repairs. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 109,700.

- Lorado, TX, USA

problem #881

Nov 052012

Cobalt

  • 151,472 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering seized without warning. The contact shut off and restarted the vehicle to reset the power steering assist. The power steering was restored however, there was an abnormal clicking coming from the steering wheel. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and advised the contact that the vehicle was included in recall NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering:electric power assist system). The vehicle was not taken in for the completion of the recall repairs. The failure mileage was 151,472.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #880

Jul 012010

Cobalt

  • 48,800 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that after receiving repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering: Electric power assist system) the steering wheel became hard to turn and the power steering light illuminated. The steering resumed to normal function after the engine was turned off for a brief moment. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and they advised to have the dealer performed a diagnostic. The vehicle was not repaired.the failure mileage was 48,800 and the current mileage was 74,400.

- Lewisburg, KY, USA

problem #879

Dec 242010

Cobalt

  • 90,000 miles
First time we had problem was christmas eve 2010 car stumbled. Check engine light appeared T\C light appeared. Car dinged power steering came up on info center all as we were on a country road on our way to our families christmas. We stopped shut car off my husband got out and checked all fluids and fuses all were ok then we. Started car again and everything was back to normal for quite a awhile he said it might have just got confused there. Then the problem popped up intermittently here and there.right around October 2011 not sure of exact date but me and 3 children where on our way across the state of Indiana to see my husband that was working out of town and about 100miles into trip the cars power steering went out and made the car very hard to maneuver lights came on. As did in late 2010 so I pulled over and turned car off and did as my husband did and everything was good. But when I turned car back on it still had lights on so I called my husband and he told me to try unhook battery for like 10 minutes then hook back up and I did that and luckily it worked and we made it to where he was staying and we never had anymore problems till 9/15/12 when I was driving to see my mother and it happened again but this time in heavy traffic at a stop light and this time had all same symptoms but also a new one the transmission wouldn't shift from low gear. And it won't go off my husband researched on internet and found recalls for Cobalts and numerous complaints of same steering problems but when I called GM and gave woman my VIN she stated no recalls for my vehicle I don't understand if it is the same make of vehicle same problems they can pick and choose who has a problem and who doesn't. I am gonna try to solve this by taking to GM customer service, but if they not willing to work with me I will be more than happy to sign onto a class action lawsuit.

- Lawrenceburg, IN, USA

problem #878

Jul 262011

Cobalt

  • 155,560 miles
I was driving home one rainy day, about 45mph, dash lit up to shift. I looked and I was already in 5th. Next second everything on dash went out. No speedometer, no shift light, no mileage or trip meter, nothing. Only thing on dash that works is tach and digital display says power steering. Already had an appointment for recall work for power steering assist motor, thought that maybe that was what was wrong so I kept appointment. When got back from dealer, they tell me they replaced power steering assist motor and they had noticed the dash display and had done scan and it showed the power steering motor is went out! bought this car for my daughter, to drive back in forth to school, scared for her to drive it the 90 miles a day she drives to college. Thought this was just an isolated case but after checking online, I see that this is a major defect in these cars. Something needs done before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Genoa, WV, USA

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