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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
68 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
60,443 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 17 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #793

Jun 242006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


I have owned my 2006 Chevy Cobalt since June 2006 and have had numerous problems out of this car. I have had to pay out of pocket for every repair because they seem to all happen before a recall is issued and the dealerships will not refund money on the repairs. 1) A/C leaks water in passenger side floor board. I have had it in the shop 3 times and it is still leaking. No one can figure out why the water is leaking into the car. 2) gas tank had to be replaced due to fuel lines cracking. 3) power steering went out while my husband was driving on the interstate and was about 130 miles from home. 4) the car would die if the RPM's got too low, this was caused by a carbon build up on the idler. 5) there is no way to check the transmission fluid and it is starting to slip and take forever to upshift. 6) the key gets stuck in the ignition and will not come out. 7) the drivers side door gets stuck and will not open. 8) the door latch sometimes messes up and the door does not close. 9) the stereo display and buttons no longer work. I can not use the cd player for fear of losing the cd for ever since the eject button doesn't work. I can not see the clock or what station the radio is on. The car lost its value so fast that even after 4 yrs of having it I still can not trade it in due to the amt. I still owe on it. So I am stuck driving this piece of crap until it is paid for. I have already invested several thousands of dollars into this car for these problems. I believe that the car is a lemon and I should be reimbursed for the car and all of the out of pocket repairs I have had to make.

- Gilmer, TX, USA

problem #792

May 272010


  • 74,000 miles
Steering locks up.

- Independence, VA, USA

problem #791

Jun 092010


  • 88,000 miles
Electric power steering stops working and "power steering " appears on the display. If the car is shut off and restarted the power steering will work again. This has happened more and more frequently since the first occurrence last week. It now happens 5-10 times per day on a 15 mile round trip commute. I called the dealer today and was told that the recall did not apply to my wife's car, it is scheduled for service on Friday June 18, 2010.

- North Brookfield, MA, USA

problem #790

Jun 142010


  • 70,000 miles


My 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ls 4 door sedan has the power steering go out quite frequently, two days ago my girlfriend was driving it and was stopped at a T-intersection. After making the stop she proceeded to make a left hand turn, at that time the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably and she ended up with all four tires jumping the curb. I do not know if the power steering went out at that particular moment, everything happened pretty quick. All I know is I have numerous concerns as to this cars road reliability.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #789

Jun 142010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Power steering went out.

- Cypress Inn, TN, USA

problem #788

Dec 302009


  • 62,000 miles
Power steering failure in my car. Started Dec 2009 and failed every once in awhile and now it fails everytime I drive it.

- Mack, CO, USA

problem #787

Nov 192009


  • 78,000 miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt loses variable assist power steering randomly. Requires great effort to turn when system fails. This problem was not a one-time event - it occurred several times before I could arrange repairs. The entire steering column and all power assist associated parts were replaced, as the dealer stated this would be the corrective action. Old parts were not retained, as I had the vehicle repaired by a reputable, ase certified shop. This car is used by my 17 year old daughter as a commuter car, school and such. This problem was repaired at my expense. Now, GM has issued a recall, but the very dealer that diagnosed the problem is telling me that this Cobalt is not in GM's recall database. Sure enough, I went online and checked and it isn't in there. This appears to be just one more attempt by GM to Dodge their ethical responsibility to correct serious defects in their vehicles or to reimburse owners that have repaired a defect that later becomes a recall issue. This is why americans don't buy american vehicles. They are poorly made and the manufacturer won't stand behind them when there is a serious problem.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #786

Jun 022010


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle would make a chiming sound, followed by the illumination of the power steering warning light. The steering wheel would then become extremely hard to maneuver. The contact stated that the power steering would reset itself once the vehicle was shut off and back on. However, the failure would recur within a few traveled miles. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired and the VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 60,000 and the current was unknown.

- Millington, TN, USA

problem #785

May 202010


  • 43,000 miles
Power steering on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt keeps going out, at any time.

- Chapel Hill, TN, USA

problem #784

May 262010


  • 96,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ss and my wife was driving on a 100' high freeway and someone cut her off while they were merging into her lane she tried to swerve out of the way and she told me that when she tried to turn the wheel it was very hard to do so and then got extremely loose and caused her to over correct and then she hit the side concrete guard rail and then rolled and landed with the hovering about a 100' from her death. She was under the speed limit, wearing a seatbelt, air bags deployed and the police officer's were amazed that she didn't go over the edge. I have photos to provide.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #783

Sep 132008


  • 0 miles


The power steering system went out on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Unsure exactly when it went out.

- Washington, UT, USA

problem #782

Apr 242010


  • 63,967 miles
Power steering failure car veered to left hitting oncoming car.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #781

Dec 242009


  • miles
I began having problems with the electrical power steering assist in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt in December 2009. The power steering indicator would come on the message screen, followed by a dinging sound & difficulty steering my vehicle. I learned of the "voluntary" recall of my model vehicle on a news broadcast & decided to await written notification from Chevy. The letter never came, but the problem has worsened. My car is becoming increasingly difficult to steer & I called Chevy about it yesterday. I was informed that my car's VIN isn't included in the recall & I would be responsible for the repairs as I shouldn't be having the problem. I haven't had the car repaired because I've had estimates of $90 to look at it & steering replacement costs ranging from $1200-$2000. I can't afford the repairs right now, but am afraid of a possible accident as it's especially difficult turning around curves.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #780

Apr 152010


  • 37,743 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed immediately after the vehicle was turned on. The steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact had to turn the vehicle off and after it was restarted, the power steering seemed to reset and function normally. The contact was previously involved in a crash twice due to the steering failure which made it difficult to control the vehicle. The contact didnt mention if there were any injuries involved in the previous crash. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that he would have to pay for the repairs. The current and failure mileages were 37,743.

- Kings Hill St Croix, VI, USA

problem #779

Apr 242010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 72,200 miles
I was driving down a dirt road traveling between 15 and 20 mph. I had made it safely up the road and down the road till I started to turn a corner. It was a blind corner and as I started to turn I noticed the steering was really tough to control. I had lost power steering, the change was so sudden and it caused the steering wheel to jerk that I lost control of the car and slide across the road and into a very deep ditch. The angle I impacted caused damage to my front driver side bumper, fender, driver side front and rear door panels and rear bumper. It also cracked my bumper in two places and broke part of the driver side splash guard loose. There looked to be damage to the driver side headlight as well. I have contacted the dealership where I bought the car and they have order a replacement motor for the car and referred me to the GM customer service to find out whether the other repairs that need to be done will be taken care of by GM. On a side note I received a letter from GM issuing the recall and stating that I will be sent a letter when parts become available.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #778

Apr 102010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
My powersteering went out on me as I was approaching my brother's home. The car started to get slow and then it would not turn. It was very hard to turn and it was very scary. I drive about 30 miles to work and 30 miles back home and that is not safe at all to drive. Something has to be done about this matter before someone gets seriously hurt.

- Chicago Heights, IL, USA

problem #777

Apr 242010


  • 55,438 miles
I was backing out of my driveway when my power steering went out. My car beeped at me 3 times before the steering went out and beeped 3 times when the steering came back on. It was out for about 5 seconds but I had my 9 month old daughter in the car and I do not feel safe driving knowing my power steering could go out at any second. I received a letter from chevorlet stating there has been a recall but that I need to wait for another letter that says the parts to correct the situation are in.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #776

Feb 192010


  • 74,600 miles
Purchased 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt in January on the 13 of the month later the steer column start locking up. Contact a General Motors and chevorlet service department and was told there as a recall on the power steering it happen every time you drive under 15-20 miles a hour it goes to manual driving very hard to turnthe steering wheel as long as your driving 30-40 miles it has power steering, I was told that chevorlet has not found a way to correct this problem and it was going to a be recalled. I was also told if I brought it in before the recall I would have to pay for it and sign a form that said the dealership would not be held liable after it was fixed. It has been three month since I spoke to GM and the dealership and I haven't heard anything about the recall. This is very dangerous I have a infant and wife that some time rides in my card and if I have to turn quickly I might not be able to. Also if someone or a car turn in front of me I might not be able to turn the car because of the power steering being out in this vehicle. Nothing has been done by the dealership to fix this problem as of today.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #775

Apr 232010


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving at speeds of 65 mph there was an unusual noise and the power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle would intermittently lose power steering. The dealer would not perform a diagnostic or further investigate the failure. He advised he was unable to make repairs and advised that he contact the NHTSA. The manufacturer had not been contacted. The failure and current mileages were 103,000. The VIN was not available.

- Edwards, MS, USA

problem #774

Apr 162010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 95,814 miles
The power steering light came on, on my 06' Chevy Cobalt and the steeling was hard to turn in any direction. I had to pull over because I had my son with me. I don't think it safe to drive my car anymore.

- Killeen, TX, USA

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