Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. 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:
66 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
59,850 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 28 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #563

Nov 202009


  • 48,000 miles


The power steering goes out. It started happening at around 40 miles an hour and has gradually started going out at even lower speeds. It only happens when the steering wheel is straight. It happens during acceleration and braking. I cannot even get out of a small parking lot with out it going out. It is hard to turn and hard to steer when this happens. It happens every time I drive my car.

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #562

Oct 312009


  • 48,000 miles
My electronic steering is no longer working. As soon as I start my car, it last for a few seconds and then it goes out and I have to steer unassisted. This is very difficult to do at low speeds. It impedes my manueverability especially with respect to parking and parallel parking is impossible. My wife can longer drive this car since it requires the strength of hercules to steer car.

- Plainsboro, NJ, USA

problem #561

Jan 282010


  • 49,125 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure, now occurs every 100 miles. Is okay after car re-starts, then fails again a few minutes later.

- Waterford, MI, USA

problem #560

Aug 152009


  • 36,000 miles


The power steering in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss supercharged went out suddenly. When I turn the car off and then back on, the power steering is fine while I am parked, but as soon as I begin driving again the power steering goes back out. The vehicle only had about 36,000 miles on it when the power steering went out.

- Lennon, MI, USA

problem #559

Nov 082009


  • 62,000 miles
My sons 2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering would go out while he was driving he would have to pull off to the side of the road turn the car off start it back and it would be ok and it would happen again over and over. We went back to the Chevy dealer and had it fixed paying our own money.

- Homosassa, FL, USA

problem #558

Jan 282010


  • 76,000 miles
As I was driving to work my power steering light in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt came on and it got really hard to steer. As I tried to get the side of the road I had to cross over into the right hand lane and then onto the shoulder. Somewhere between the right lane and the concrete barrier the power steering kicked back in, seems how I had the wheel turned so sharply toward the shoulder I nearly hit the concrete barrier. This is a serious problem and from what research I have done this is quite common. If they think it may be in over 900,000 cars, you would think a company like GM (that has had enough problems with debt and in the public eye)would take care of this. This is going to turn into a problem like Toyota. Its not a cheap fix the dealer said 2 hours of work for what could cost me up to $3000. This car is almost 5 years old. The car is barely worth $5500. Mine is sitting in the driveway, I refuse to drive it with a 2 year old. This stubborn attitude that GM has is very sad due to the fact that many people that have Cobalts from the years indicated would be upgrading to other vehicles, too bad they wont be anything made by GM.

- Maggie Valley, NC, USA

problem #557

Nov 272009


  • 38,000 miles


Driving the Chevy Cobalt (2006) on the highway and the car suddenly became difficult to keep in the left hand lane. The car swerved over to the right lane and scraped/damaged another vehicle and the Cobalt.

- Moon Twp, PA, USA

problem #556

Jan 062010


  • 55,500 miles
1. beginning at the start of January, randomly the power steering in our 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt would simply stop working with notification. 2. the failure would occur without warning multiple times within a day. 3. I had to have the power steering pump replaced which cost me nearly $500.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #555

Feb 052010


  • 70,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering keeps going out. When I start the car it works fine but while I'm driving it cuts out and its very hard to steer the car.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #554

Feb 032010


  • 49,376 miles
I was driving straight down a road when my power steering stopped working. I went back to my apartment before taking it anywhere. I turned off my car and when I turned it back on the power steering was back. After driving to the car garage less than a mile down the road the power steering went again. I had an oil change and was told that there is no steering fluid in my type of car that it was all computerized and to take it to the dealer. I drove across the street to the dealer when the power steering would last about 3 minutes and stop causing me to have to pull over start my car and drive again. It stopped working twice while waiting at a light to turn into the dealer. The diagnostic test found that my electronic steering motor needed to be replaced and that my power steering would stop working all together in the near future if I didn't.

- Lancaster, NY, USA

problem #553

Aug 282009


  • 60,000 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt constantly power steering light comes on and the power steering goes out. Have to cut the car off and restart in order to have power steering again. The warmer the motor gets the more frequent it happens.

- Fieldale, VA, USA

problem #552

Jan 112010


  • 55,000 miles
Power steering failure. Talked to repair shop again and they stated that this is a component failure.

- Festus, MO, USA

problem #551

Feb 042008


  • 70,900 miles
I have owned my car since Sept 09 and since I have had 4 different incidents where the power steering has went out and locked up my wheel. There have been some close calls and im afraid that I will get injured if it happens again. Each time has occurred at different times in different weather and so on. On Feb 4 2010 I was returning home from work and the wheel locked up and I went completely off the road into a field. I turn the car off and it starts driving fine again.

- Hyden, KY, USA

problem #550

Aug 012009


  • 48,000 miles
The power steering will just go out at any time. This is dangerous due to not being able to steer.

- Corsicana, TX, USA

problem #549

Oct 292009


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Since October of 2009 she experienced failure with the steering wheel. The failure occurred at various speeds including approximately 20 mph and she had difficulty controlling the steering wheel. The power steering illuminated each time the failure occurred. The dealer attempted to diagnose the failure 10 times and was unsuccessful; however, they replaced the ECM computer system. The contact paid $600 for the repairs; however, the failure continued to occur. The manufacturer will be notified. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Red Springs , NC, USA

problem #548

Jan 252010


  • 24,500 miles
Power steering light came on while making a lane change followed by total loss of power steering.

- Pineville, KY, USA

problem #547

Jan 012010


  • 50,000 miles
Repeated problems with the power steering in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. I drive only two miles to work and so I am frequently traveling at low speeds. My vehicle has less than 50,000 miles - this problem should not be an issue through normal wear and tear especially considering the amount I drive.

- Latham, NY, USA

problem #546

Sep 172009


  • miles
I have had my car for 4 years and 3 times my steering wheel has locked up while I was driving.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #545

Jan 082010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 9,021 miles
I currently own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Within the last 2 months I have experienced a problem with the power steering shutting off while I am driving. It has cut off in the middle of a turn, switching lanes on the expressway, and even turning in parking spaces. I have taken it to a Chevy dealer where they informed me that I had to replace the entire steering column and the motor that goes with it. It is very dangerous to drive. The problem kept occurring several times in a day, I found that the only solution is to turn the car off and on then it would reset and I can drive again. But who knows when it will cut off again. It could be minutes or hours, but it occurs again, until I pull off and restart the car. I have had many close calls. It is a danger to myself and others. Especially riding with kids in the car. I have replaced the 2 parts as suggested by the Chevy dealer which cost me $1371 total. Now just less than 3 weeks, I heard there are more than 11,000 of the same complaints. I went back to the Chevy dealer and was informed to wait on a letter from Chevy because currently they are recalling cars individually by serial number. I informed the gentleman I had the similar complaints like the others and was given a 1 800 number to call Chevy. I have gone thru the automated system and can't seem to get anywhere. I hope help is on its way. I gave Chevy all the money I have plus borrowed money.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #544

Feb 042006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Power steering keeps failing on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. This has just started and I have read that this is a problem with this model.

- Dansville, NY, USA

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