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 23 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #673

Feb 232010


  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph on normal road conditions; proceeding to make a turn. The power steering warning light indicator illuminated in the instrument panel. There was a sudden loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. However, the failures re-occurred during the travel. The failure occurrences were intermittent whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle is in the process of being taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The failure mileage and VIN were unavailable.

- College Park , GA, USA

problem #672

Feb 242010


  • miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and I am having problem with the steering. I haven't had a accident but the steering tightens up and becomes very hard to control.

- Christiansburg, VA, USA

problem #671

May 012008


  • miles
I've owned a 2006 Chevy Cobalt for about 3yrs now and the power steering has been going out whenever it pleases for the last 2yrs! the only way to fix it temporarily is to turn the car off then back pn and hope the power steering doesn't go out again. Driving this car is a life and death hazard for all of its owners and the public.

- Katy , TX, USA

problem #670

Feb 232010


  • 84,723 miles


I recently bought a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls. It had 83000 miles on it or close there to. Yesterday I was driving when all of a sudden to power steering word came across the screen. At that time my car lost all power steering. This is a serious problem with the vehicle. It is an electric power steering system and should be considered as a recall. I checked and there are hundreds of other complaints.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #669

Feb 012010


  • 49,900 miles
My car lost total power steering 3 weeks ago while I was driving. It was very difficult to make a turn or park if it had been my wife or an elderly person driving it can be extremely dangerous.the lost of power steering has happen 2X the first time was 3 weeks ago, but after I stop and turn the car off the power steering worked again. Then it happen again 3 days ago this time I was on the highway, and I was driving 70mph again very dangerous situation.

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #668

Nov 192009


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving he noticed that the power steering light appeared on the dashboard, moments later the vehicle no longer had power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact was informed that the power steering column needed to be replaced. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 79000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #667

Feb 012010


  • miles


Upon the start of vehicle the power steering indicator comes on. The vehicle at that point is very hard to steer and control. I am having to have the part replaced with an out of pocket cost.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #666

Jan 192010


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed at random while driving approximately 5 mph. The failure made it extremely difficult to make right and left turns. Sometime the power steering would fail for 5, 10 or 15 minutes; when he would turn off the vehicle and re-start the vehicle, it seemed to correct itself for a short time. He called the manufacturer and was instructed to take the vehicle to the dealership. He took the vehicle to the dealership and was told that the struts were faulty and possibly caused more stress on the power steering. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was 86,504. The failure mileage was approximately 85,500.

- Stillwater, PA, USA

problem #665

Feb 192010


  • 51,650 miles
On 2/19/10 while my daughter was driving her 2006 Chevy Cobalt, her steering wheel locked up on her while she was making a turn in town.. she had to slow down and turn off the vehicle and turn it back on to free up the steering wheel. The same thing happened on 2/22/10, luckily both times she was driving a at slow rate of speed while making a turn and she able to slow down the vehicle and it stop with out incident.

- Manhattan, KS, USA

problem #664

Feb 042010


  • miles
Power steering locking up.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #663

Jul 122009


  • 62,000 miles


Driving in city traffic, power steering started going out it started only a couple of times now all the time. Am in the process of getting it fixed at the dealer.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #662

Nov 102009


  • 35,000 miles
Power steering has been defective 2 times.

- Westville, IL, USA

problem #661

Jan 252010


  • 35,000 miles
The power steering went out unexpectedly when I was on the road and the wheel became very difficult to steer. I start the ignition and as soon as I take off it goes out. Becoming very hard to drive around and makes it very hazardous on tight corners.

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #660

Feb 102010


  • 42,213 miles
Every once in a while, my car's power steering will go out. I am driving a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. If I turn the car off, then restart, it will work for a short amount of time and then return to doing the same thing. This causes a great amount of fear, especially if it happens on the highway.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #659

Feb 032010


  • 50,000 miles
On Feb 3,2010 my 2006 Chevy Cobalt lost power steering. I have 50,000 miles on the car. I lost control and veered off into on coming traffic but tried to correct and ended in the ditch. Thank god I did not get in a wreck. I turned off the car and then turned it back on and the power steering came back on. It goes out often since then. Chevy needs a recall cause apparently there are many Cobalt's out there doing the same thing....what are they waiting for a death"??"

- Dunn, NC, USA

problem #658

Jan 202010


  • 48,320 miles
Power steering failure on my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt which has occurred several times now.

- Rowley, MA, USA

problem #657

Nov 012009


  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls. It has been giving me several problems. I have been fixing one thing after another on my car. My car only have 46,000 miles. That is good for it being a 2006. I have problems with my brakes. I have replaced the master cylinder and now I have to replace the brake booster. But the worst problem that I am having now is the power steering. When im driving out of nowhere the dash light up saying power steering. When this happens it is extremely hard to turn. Especially if you are going at a slow speed. I have even been in an accident because of this. The only way to get my power steering to work normally is to turn the car off and turn it back on. At first it would work fine for awhile. But now it happens right when I start to drive. The dealership said it could cost over $1500 to fix the problem. I can barely afford to fix these other problems that I am having. I cant afford to pay $1500 to fix this problem. I was online looking to see if I can find a cheaper price. This is when I saw that there are hundreds of other people that have and still have the same problem that I am having. This is how I know that it is not something that I have done. With so many people having this problem, they need to fix it.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #656

Nov 152009


  • miles
The first incident occurred while I was exiting the freeway, the words "power steering" showed on the display and there was a beeping noise. Immediately my steering wheel felt like it locked on me and I had to put forth an extreme amount of effort to keep the car from running into another car next to me. Since then, it has happened about one per week. It has gradually increased to a few times each driving trip, with most of those occurances at dangerous times (while making a sharp turn, while changing lanes, while merging, while going around a curve, while driving through an intersection). Recently, I almost collided with pedestrians, including a child, while in a shopping center parking lot. I also hurt my wrist while trying to steer it while it "locked." I am going to have the vehicle repaired, but until then, I am not driving it as it is very dangerous.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #655

Feb 152010


  • 23,000 miles
2008 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #654

Jan 012010


  • 75,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls. Within the last month I have a warning bell that goes off frequently and power steering is displayed on the dash. I have not had a loss of steering at this point, but I know this problem is being investigated.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

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