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 37 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #383

Dec 282009


  • 60,371 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt loses power steering while driving. I had just gotten off the highway and my car lost all power steering. Took it to a shop the next day and they said there was a bulletin out that these electric motors can overheat if you car sits idle for too long or you are stopped and the wheel is turned a certain way. It was a very snowy day and the roads were very icy. There would have been no way for me to swerve quickly out of someone's path if they cut in front of me or god forbid a deer would have jumped in front of me. I have a 6 year old daughter and thank god she wasn't in the car. I would hate to get in a severe car accident because there is a defect with a Chevy part. This should definitely be recalled and fixed immediately. I imagine there are several parents that have this car and how unfair is that? I was told to just shut my car off and let it cool down. Well that's a fabulous idea on a highway when the roads are icy. Good idea. I should have thought of that. This is a serious malfunction that needs to be fixed.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #382

Apr 152009


  • 25,000 miles
I was driving on the highway in tampa when my car started to make a "dinging" noise. I then realized that the steering wheel started to get hard to turn. I looked at the information screen on my dashboard and it said 'power steering'. I wasn't sure what to do so I restarted my car and the problem seemed to go away. About an hour later while driving it happened again. I took it into the nearest Chevy dealership to see what the problem was. The gentlemen informed me the power steering had indeed gone out and needed to be replaced but wasn't covered under warranty. He allowed me to drive back to where I'm stationed at because I'm not old enough to rent a car and needed to report off leave. On the way back my power steering went off and this time after I restarted my car it went out again after about 30 seconds. When I returned to my base I took it to a local Chevy dealership and they informed me that the repair would cost between $1000 to $1200. I have not been able to replace the part as of yet and am scared to drive my car.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #381

Nov 102009


  • 85,000 miles
I have a 06 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering goes out after a couple of minutes of driving. Since the Chevy Cobalt has an all electrical power steering system it is very expensive to fix the problem. There have several cases where this same problem has occurred in the same make and model. I feel its a factory defect. It is very unsafe to drive with your power steering out. I had a close in counter with getting in a car accident due to the power steering.

- Visalia, CA, USA

problem #380

Dec 262009


  • 49,100 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 25 mph the "power steering" warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The driver exerted greater effort to turn the steering wheel and continued normal vehicle operation. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle has not been inspected at this time. The failure mileage was 49,100.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #379

Sep 282009


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the power steering fails without warning. This condition causes difficult steering. He has to restart the vehicle to reset itself. A technician from the dealer stated that it cost $2000 to replace the power steering motor. The failure mileage was 48,000.the VIN number was unknown.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #378

Dec 152009


  • 70,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and I am recently having problems with the power steering light coming on, my rpms go up and down by themselves causing the car to move even when I let off the gas and the power steering goes out completely. It has only happened a few times so far, but I almost hit someone when the car's rpms where fluttering. This is a serious problem and should be recalled to ensure that no one is seriously injured.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #377

Nov 202007


  • 40,000 miles


Powering steering failure.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #376

Dec 262009


  • 77,653 miles
We got into our 2006 Chevy Cobalt and began driving down the road and got about 2 miles when the power steering went out and the warning light "power steering" comes on. The vehicle becomes next to impossible to steer at that point. I pulled off the road, turned the vehicle off and checked under the hood and the belts are all fine and functioning properly. I then got back into the car and started the vehicle up and to my surprise the steering was functioning again. About 2 miles down the road here we go again I lost the steering. I drove home, checked and replaced the fuses both inside the vehicle and under the hood for the power steering even though they looked fine. Then I took it out and sure enough fine when started but out again about two mile down the road. From what I am seeing here as far as complaints go it doesn't appear to be a cheap fix and if so many complaints are being filed that this needs some very serious attention before some poor soul ends up in a very serious or fatal accident. It would be understandable if there were only a few complaints but there are a lot of them. Not everyone even knows about this website so how many complaints could be out there that are going un-reported. Please give this a very serious look. You never know the life you save could be your own or someone close to you who has one of these vehicles or is near one of them when the steering goes out. One injury or death would be too much when this matter has been brought to light by so many people.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #375

Dec 182009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. When driving the power steering warning light intermittently illuminates on the instrument control panel. And then steering becomes difficult. After restarting the vehicle the error code will reset. The dealer was contacted and he was advised to have the vehicle diagnosed and repaired if necessary, but at the owners expense. The failure mileage was 44000. The current mileage was 44995. Updated 01/20/10. The power steering motor was replaced. Updated 01/21/10.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #374

Dec 232009


  • 62,000 miles
I was driving down the freeway at about 60 mph when the power steering light started blinking. All of a sudden my steering wheel got real stiff. I was scared to death, my 2 year old son was in the backseat. I immediately got off the freeway and shut the car off. When I turned the car back on, it was back to normal until about a couple of blocks later the steering wheel locked again. Finally I just stopped and decided to tow it to the dealership. Now the dealership told me they probably wont get a diagnostic until after January 1st. Beside the fact that I am so angry at GM for putting such a faulty piece of "you know what" on the road, I am thankful nothing happened to me and my son. This is a serious defect that needs attention from GM. Not to mention all the costs that I had to pay. Someone will get killed!!!

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #373

Dec 232009


  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer has not performed a diagnostic test on the vehicle at this time. The failure mileage was 62,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #372

Dec 032009


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the power steering fails without warning. The vehicle has not be taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was notified, and she was referred to the dealer. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #371

Dec 222009


  • 48,000 miles
My Chevy Cobalt 2006 model shows "power steering" on the little display and power steering stops working. This is really scary when I drive on the free ways in los angeles which can give serious traffic accidents..this power steering message pop ups once in a while.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #370

Dec 212009


  • 33,800 miles
My 2006 Cobalt's power steering went out while I was driving down the road. The light came on and I immediately stopped the vehicle, restarted it and power steering came back on. Unfortunately, I have heard of many people having the same problem so I am hoping to get a recall.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #369

Dec 102009


  • miles
The car only has 38,000 miles and we were driving home when all of a sudden the power steering message came up and the steering wheel got really hard, it takes all your energy to make a turn. When we turned off and then turned on the car everything was okay and a couple of blocks it happened again. It will normally happen in the afternoons, not so much in the morning. Its very hard to drive once the power steering message comes up. We have taken it to the dealership but we have yet to hear from them.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #368

Dec 202009


  • 39,083 miles
I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt lt. I have 39,000 miles on it and have had numerous issues with the car! the main issue seems to be the power steering. I was 4 hours from home and my power steering light came on. My wheel locked up and was hard to steer. I cut the car off and back on and it seemed to correct it for about a minute and then locked up completely. This has been an issue in numerous Cobalts that I have seen. I talked with other people who own them and they have the same issues mine has. That goes to show there is an issue with the Chevy Cobalt. Most people have had the key stick in the ignition (I have had to have that replaced) and now power steering! please do something!

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #367

Dec 162009


  • 21,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with 21,000 miles on it, the warranty just ran out a few months ago and the power steering has now gone out on it. It randomly goes on and off as I am driving the car and almost caused me to wreck the other day when it went out while I was turning in front of traffic. I do not have the $1,000 to fix this problem and am scared to drive my car anymore. I am most likely going to sell my car and get something else.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #366

Nov 042009


  • 80,000 miles
My power steering light came on only every now and then and now it is a constant thing. The steering wheel locks up very hard to turn. I am scared that the steering will completely fail one day while I have my 6mnth old baby in the car and we will get in an accident...pls help me.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #365

Aug 012009


  • 48,000 miles
Sometime my power steering just goes out and the indicator says power steering. This occurs severaltimes a week. Sometimes shutting the car off and starting it again cures the problem but not all the time.

- Wheeling , WV, USA

problem #364

Dec 042008


  • 42,000 miles
Power steering goes out in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.

- Batavia, OH, USA

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