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 32 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #483

Aug 152009


  • 51,600 miles


Daughter has a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ltz purchased used in 2009. Last year on one occasion, as she was backing out of the garage, she indicated that her car suddenly became very difficult to turn the steering wheel. I came out and determined this was in fact occurring. I then turned off the car, re-started it and this seemed to take care of the issue. I now report this as I have now read of similar occurrences from other owners to which you are now investigating.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #482

Dec 012009


  • miles
The steering:electric power assist system keeps giving out. While driving at a slow speed the car shakes and it is hard to keep control of the steering. It often goes to one side or another.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #481

Jan 302010


  • miles
On Saturday Jan 30, 2010 I was leaving a business and I went to back out and when I started going forward as I was turning my steering wheel it was hard to turn the power steering had gone out. Also a few times during the summer it had happened. I would be turning a corner and I found myself turning with 2 hands or just going down the street my power steering light would come on. I had not had anything done as of yet because it hadn't done it for a few months until Saturday.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #480

Jan 132010


  • 40,100 miles


Loss of power steering 2006 Cobalt "power steering" flashed on the dash and I lost power assist. This has happened 4 times already since I purchased the vehicle.

- Tonawanda , NY, USA

problem #479

Aug 282009


  • 72,000 miles
We own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, our first Chevy purchase ever. Purchased it used in spring of 08. Don't know what previous problems it may have had, but one can only wonder. While driving this past fall, my husband heard dinging sounds, looked down, and the screen said the power steering failed. Sure enough, there was no power steering. The manual says to shut off engine, restart, and rock the steering wheel. Every time we restart, the power steering comes back on, but only for a very short time. As soon as we drive 20 feet, it goes out again. This happens for us while driving at any speed - could be going 55 miles an hour down the road, could be while going around a turn. We live in West Virginia with mountains and sharp turns, and this poses a serious danger. If we lose power steering going around a big turn, we're in trouble. I've read reports of power steering failing at slow speeds. However, this is certainly not the case for us. It will go out at any speed, and the more you restart the engine, the more it continues to go out. We took the car to the place of purchase to see how much it would be to repair, and they told us that they couldn't fix it there or guarantee it if they did try to fix it. But the cost could be as much as $1100 or more. Well, I don't have $1100 to fix the newest vehicle I own, it's very dangerous the way it is, and so the car has been sitting for the past 6 months. I couldn't be more tickled if Chevy had to correct their mistakes and fix my car for no charge. If we had known that everything in this car is electrical and had no steering fluid, we would never have purchased our "first-ever" Chevy to begin with. Next time we'll stick with Ford. Thank you for your investigation and hope that we get this resolved.

- Fort Ashby, WV, USA

problem #478

Jan 212010


  • 40,500 miles
My power steering on my Chevrolet Cobalt has gone out on several occasions one time on the highway. When it goes out it is difficult to keep control of the vehicle.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #477

Nov 102009


  • 52,664 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed while driving 30 mph and she was unable to control the vehicle. The contact had to drive onto the emergency lane and turn the vehicle off and then back on so that it would reset itself. The dealer replaced the entire steering wheel assembly. The Chevrolet manufacturer was notified before the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 52,664.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #476

Nov 012009


  • miles
I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Approximately three months ago my vehicle alerted me that my power steering is no longer engaged. It first occurred while I was driving through my neighborhood. The power steering went out all of the sudden, and I was forced to operate the steering wheel without the power steering. Originally it occurred once a week, but for the past month my power steering has been going out everyday. It usually occurs while I'm driving less than 45 miles per hour, but on three different occasions it has gone out on the interstate while I'm traveling 70 miles an hour. The only way I know how to fix the problem is to put my car in park, turn off the ignition, and then restart my vehicle. When I restart my vehicle the power steering is engaged again.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #475

Jan 152010


  • 40,000 miles
While driving our Chevrolet Cobalt, the power steering kept going out. The car is three years old. And it was a really scary experience.

- Howard, OH, USA

problem #474

Jun 012008


  • 40,000 miles
Power steering failure with my 06 Chevy Cobalt. Started occurring around 40,000 miles. It spontaneously fails about twice a month with no real reason that I can tell. When it occurs, I have to pull off of the side of the road and turn my car off and then back on again. Sometimes I have to wait several minutes before restarting to correct the problem.

- Amelia, OH, USA

problem #473

Jan 162010


  • 52,700 miles


I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt when driving my power steering stop operating making it hard to turn or operate. We were able to make it home and after restarting the car the problem did not happen again. But when steering the steering makes noises.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #472

Feb 022010


  • 71,000 miles
Approximately two months ago I notice the powering steering going out on my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt occurring occasionally. In the last two weeks the power steering goes out only after a few minutes of driving and each time the car is driven. One car repair shop quoted a price of over $1000 for the part to repair the vehicle. I have concerns for my safety, but this is my only means of transportation and am waiting to save the money for repairs. Meantime I drive in wet, icy conditions at a slow rate of speed.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #471

Jan 272010


  • 68,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss. My key often gets stuck in the ignition, taking quite some time to fiddle with to get out. As well, and a much more serious complaint, is the failure of my power steering. My power steering light has come on quite often in the past 2 weeks. Turning the car on and off takes the light away. However, today while taking a turn at a green light, my power steering literally failed on me. This is not safe, and after much research, I have learned its a common defect of 2005-2009 Chevy Cobalts.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #470

Jan 052010


  • miles
Steering wheel constantly shakes while driving. Feels lose. Loses control often when braking.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #469

Jan 252010


  • 49,348 miles
I bought this car for my daughter and the power steering went out on it. She had trouble holding it in the road. I have read on the internet that this is a problem in all these Cobalts. It is a very dangerous problem and I think Chevrolet should be held responsible for the repairs I'm having with this car.

- Lafeyette, LA, USA

problem #468

Dec 152009


  • miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and have had many problems with the car. My power steering has gone out many times, some while driving and some when I first get into the car and start it. Not only does the power steering go out but the car also jerks back and forth while in motion, the power steering message flashes and dings, the check engine light comes on and car has even shut off in traffic a few times. Getting to the side of the road is almost impossible when the power steering goes out, I took it for inspection at pep boys many times and even received my money back when the problems were never able to be fixed.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #467

Jun 032009


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph the power steering light flashed on the dashboard with a beeping sound and the vehicle lost power steering malfunctioned. The contact had to shut off the vehicle and restart it so that the power steering would function properly. The failure occurred intermittently. The contact has not taken the vehicle to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Madison, IN, USA

problem #466

Dec 242009


  • 56,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt lost power steering. Power steering now intermittently goes out while driving down the road. Vehicle must be powered off then back on to make the power steering work again.

- Union City, OK, USA

problem #465

Aug 152009


  • 60,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failure. First occurred August 2009 after buying the car used in July 2008. Has occurred everyday since. Getting progressively worse. Cannot get more than a mile down the road before power steering fails each time car is driven.

- Forsyth, GA, USA

problem #464

Oct 012009


  • 99,225 miles
I was driving on the highway when all of a sudden my steering wheel locked and the car started pulling to the left. I then noticed a message flashing on the screen on the dashboard saying power steering. I turned the car off, and upon restarting the vehicle, the problem seemed to had gone away. However, after driving a few miles, it will flare up again. The problem occurred everytime I drove the car thereafter. I took the car to the Chevy dealership to find out what was causing the problem. It was discovered that the eps motor had gone bad, so I had a new eps motor installed.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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