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 35 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #423

Jan 172010


  • 82,000 miles


In my 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss with 82,000 miles the electric power steering will appear on the dash and then my steering completely goes. This has happened atleast 20 times this week and is getting worse. I brought it in to a garage that said they did an analysis and nothing is wrong. There is obviously a problem. When this occurs I need to turn my car off and then on but the steering will go again in time. This is dangerous.

- Ridgefield, CT, USA

problem #422

Oct 012009


  • 51,000 miles
Strong fuel odor during operation and after turning off engine on a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Research shows this is a common problem with this make/model. Several owners report similar problems. Spoke to GM, they claim no open recalls or service bulletins exist. Owners have reported the problem being cause by defective fuel pump assemblies. Again GM refuses to take action. This among other defects on these cars is a perfect example of consumers being but in danger by faulty vehicles. Since GM refuses to acknowledge the problems with there vehicles government intervention in the case is a must.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #421

Jan 192010


  • 48,000 miles
I was driving down the road in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Without warning the power steering goes out. The power steering light pops on the dash and then it is gone. When you shut the car off the power steering comes back for a short period of time. This occurs everytime I drive it now. My car only has 48000 miles on it. When it goes out it is very hard to steer and control your turns. After reading all the complaints online about this problem with the Cobalt surely there should be a recall. So far nothing has been done to correct the problem.

- Waycross , GA, USA

problem #420

Jan 202010


  • 22,169 miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering frequently goes out. The warning code states power steering failure, at this time all power steering is lost. We took the car to GM service and they said their diagnostic test show no problems, so they refuse to work on the car. Car is now park, because we are afraid to drive it. Car only have 22,169 miles on it.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #419

Oct 052009


  • 80,100 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 5 mph, the power steering light illuminated and the steering wheel locked. He was able to slow down and turn the vehicle off. After a few minutes he turned the vehicle on, the power steering failed and the steering locked again. The dealer stated that they could not do anything for him since his warranty expired. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 80100 and the current mileage was 90300.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #418

Jan 202010


  • 21,000 miles
I purchased a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, at the end of August 09. Since then, it has been in the shop for knocking sounds in the front end that altered the brake from functioning properly over 4 times. The dealer could not always replicate it, therefore it was not fixed. Eventually the noise stopped, then a few months ago the key got stuck in the ignition several times, and finally the shifter had to be replaced. At this point I haven't even owned the vehicle for 5 months, and now a few days ago the power steering shut off in the middle of driving. I pulled over the best I could shut the vehicle off and restarted it. Everything reset and it was fine. Yesterday the event occurred on an exit ramp of a high way and nearly killed me. Once again its back in the shop. This car is a death trap, I'm lucky I was not killed. This is a serious problem and forums all over have people with the same problem. I bought this car because I believed it was safe, and now I'm terrified to drive it by any means. The dealerships aren't any help, they assure the problems are fixed when they really are not.

- Woodbury Heights, NJ, USA

problem #417

Oct 152008


  • 48,500 miles


Electronic power steering failure. 99% of driving time is without power steering. Received estimate to repair; re-manufactured part is $900 plus labor to remove old and replace part. Still paying monthly on car and can't afford the repair.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #416

Jan 112010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 60 mph on normal road conditions the "power steering" warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road which required higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The engine was turned off as a result of the warning indicator. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was inspected by at an independent mechanic who stated that the failure was contributed to the power steering module. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 2/22/10 the dealer replaced the steering column and motor. Updated 06/17/19

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #415

Jul 032009


  • 44,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure.

- La Plata, MD, USA

problem #414

Dec 172009


  • 44,016 miles
I halve a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering keeps going happens randomly. This is a common problem...why is GM not recalling this problem? with the economy we cant afford to fix this problem. It is there problem to have safe cars on the roads and trust me this is not safe...we need to get something done with this immediately..

- Sellersville, PA, USA

problem #413

Dec 242009


  • miles


Re: 2006 Chevy Cobalt (purchased June 29, 2006) while traveling home on christmas eve, the power steering alarm beeped and immediately the power steering was disabled and it became difficult to steer the car. It started after around about 45 minutes of continuous driving.the car has to be restarted to regain power steering and the problem (disabling of power steering) returns after about 30 minutes of driving. Due to financial situations the car hasn't been taken to a dealer for repairs. Diagnostics costs will be $91, to check sensors which dealer stated was most likely the issue.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #412

Jan 152010


  • 41,102 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and on a recent trip my powering steering goes out and the power steering light comes on. When car is shut off and started again it returns to normal. Had to do this 3 times on a 20 mile trip. No action has been done yet since it has just occurred but saw online where many Cobalt owners are having the same problem.

- New Eagle, PA, USA

problem #411

Jan 072010


  • 46,000 miles
The power steering intermittently stops and I don't have power steering at all. It takes a quick reaction on my part or I loss control of the vehicle. It does this without warning, but then the warning light comes on to indicate power steering. It left me stranded once. I feel it is a safety issue and it could be a hazard if I was driving in our busy rush hour traffic and it decides to go out. I have called Chevrolet myself to inquire about recalls after reading many reviews online. I have also talked to a couple of local Chevrolet dealerships and they informed me that they are electronic power steering and not fluid driven vehicles. Both places told me they have replaced a lot of them in the 2006 Cobalts, even recently. Chevrolet themselves just typed in my complaint for review and they would see if any other complaints have been made regarding this same type of vehicle. I fear that my daughters life is at risk driving this car, but still needs to go to work. There may not have been any injuries or deaths this time, but how many will it take before they place a recall on this issue?

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #410

Jul 152009


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when she drove approximately 6 mph over a bump in the road there was a clanking noise in the steering wheel. While driving the steering also failed and the warning lights illuminated. The contact had to drive onto the emergency lane, turn the vehicle on and off so that it would reset itself. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the diagnostic fee was $105; although, the warranty was valid. The failure mileage was 71,000.

- Park Forest, IL, USA

problem #409

Dec 012009


  • 73,259 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt which was purchased in 2007. She stated that the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The dealer stated that she was turning the steering wheel in the wrong direction and that is what caused the steering wheel to lock. The dealer also stated that when the steering wheel locks that is a normal function for her year, make and model vehicle. The failure also occurred on a highway while driving approximately 55 mph without making any left or right turns. The failure and current mileages were under 73,259.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

problem #408

Nov 272009


  • 59,500 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt.on the date indicated below my power steering went out, and I could not steer the car. Fortunately, there was no accident, but no the power steering goes out every time I drive the car. There should be a GM recall for this problem.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #407

Jan 102010


  • 65,000 miles
During normal vehicle operation power steering went randomly off and on until brake completely.

- Saint Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #406

Jan 122010


  • 58,000 miles
The power steering on my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt went out today as I was driving around on base. With the research I've done online, and from talking to friends who own Cobalts, I have found out that this is not an isolated incident. I have learned that there is a persistent problem with the Cobalt's power steering. I have to fight to turn the wheel when making a turn, and pulling into a parking space was next to impossible. Yet when I shut off the engine, wait, and turn the car back on, it runs fine.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #405

Apr 182008


  • 27,819 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact started the ignition and the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. On a separate occasion the vehicle loss complete power steering which resulted in greater effort to turn the steering wheel. The failures occurred intermittently. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The contact had concern of the safety risk involved. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 27,819. The current mileage was 46,594.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #404

Jan 102010


  • 38,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt. First the odometer, speedometer, radio and other dash instruments stopped working. The next day the power steering stopped working. Took it to the auto parts store to have a diagnostic test which showed nothing was wrong. Bought a new fuse which did nothing. Have not taken it to be fixed for money reasons. This is my son who is away at college only form of transportation.

- Leavenworth, KS, USA

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