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 42 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #283

Oct 272009


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the electronic power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel. She then began experiencing difficult steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, whom advised her that the failure was unheard of. There was no warranty on her vehicle. The failure mileage was 131,000.

- Webster, KY, USA

problem #282

Oct 272009


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. When driving 30 mph he lost power steering without any prior warnings. As a consequence steering became very difficult. A mechanic concluded that the electrical power steering failed. The failure and current mileages were 80,000.

- Tybee Island, GA, USA

problem #281

Oct 262009


  • 82,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While reversing out of the driveway he heard a thud, and then steering became loose. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility and the mechanic noticed that the steering rod was loose. The vehicle was in the process of being repaired. The current and failure mileages were 82,500.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #280

Oct 092009


  • 45,633 miles


I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt sedan that has approximately 45K miles on it, mostly local driving. In the last two weeks, twice under similar driving conditions, the power steering indicator light came on in the dash and the power steering failed while driving. After shutting off the engine and restarting the vehicle, the power steering resumed normal functioning. After examination by my mechanic, there is a known issue with this make and model requiring a complete replacement of the steering column to correct the problem. Chevrolet has published a technical service bulletin on the problem. Fortunately, I have not had any automobile accidents either time that the power steering failed. The first incident occurred approximately two weeks ago on or about 10/9/09 and the second time it occurred on or about 10/14/09. The vehicle is currently with the mechanic awaiting a repair estimate.

- Elkridge, MD, USA

problem #279

Sep 092009


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt and the power steering continues to go out and the check engine light comes on. This can be very dangerous. The odd thing is I can be at a stoplight and turn the car off and back on and the power steering works fine but then down the road it does it again.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #278

Jul 262009


  • 48,804 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the power steering failed. The dealer was contacted and she was advised that the entire power steering needed to be replaced at an expense of $2000. He then added that the repair may not completely repair the power steering assembly. The failure mileage 48,804.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #277

Oct 252009


  • 56,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle began moving from one side of the road to the other. The power steering failed and it became difficult to control the steering wheel. The engine also shut off; however, the contact was able to restart the vehicle and the system would reset itself. This has occurred several times while driving. There are no related recalls or warranties on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 56,000. Updated 11/03/09

- Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #276

Jun 152009


  • 48,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt with about 48000 miles. Started having power steering failures. Have not had it repaired yet but have read of all of the other consumers with similar issues. No idea what causes the failure. When the car is turned off and restarted the power steering works. My Chevy dealer said the car was outside warranty and it may cost $900 or more to repair. Since this is such a widespread problem and it really catches a driver by surprise, I believe that GM should recall the vehicles to have them repaired for free. Someone could get killed or injured. I have heard many vehicles have been involved in accidents and ps failure was a contributing cause.

- Effort, PA, USA

problem #275

Oct 242009


  • 50,700 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 70 mph on normal road conditions with an unexpected loss of power steering. There was extreme difficulty to turn the steering wheel. The driver exerted greater effort to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road with caution. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The vehicle is in the process of being taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact had concern of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 50,700. The current mileage was unavailable.

- Orange City, FL, USA

problem #274

Oct 112009


  • 78,000 miles
Power steering goes out while driving down the road. Very dangerous because, some people aren't strong enough to handle their car in that situation. This will result in a wreck. The power steering just goes out without any warning. So in that case if your turning and the steering goes out, what are you supposed to do just put someone else's life in danger?

- Carterville , MO, USA

problem #273

Oct 232009


  • 50,300 miles


My 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt lt sedan car has a power steering malfunction. When I start my car the power steering is fine for about 100 yards and then I receive a message in my dash stating "power steering" and then my steering wheel is hard, almost impossible to turn. This happened while traveling on the interstate and almost caused me to crash. This malfunction is very dangerous because it always happens spontaneously. I have also had issues with my keys getting stuck in the ignition, sometimes for twenty minutes or more.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #272

Oct 152009


  • 71,774 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. When making a turn the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. After restarting the vehicle, she was able to resume normal vehicle operation. She contacted the dealer and was in the process of having the vehicle inspected. The failure and current mileage were 71774.

- Delaware Water Gap, PA, USA

problem #271

Oct 212009


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While attempting to enter a highway she lost power steering. Usually she can restart the vehicle to temporally remedy the failure. The vehicle has not been inspected by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 28000.

- Matles, FL, USA

problem #270

Oct 162009


  • 652,222 miles
Im having so much trouble in my electric power steering in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt it jus quit on me all of a sudden an I ran into a ditch no warning lights had came on till after I was pulled out of the ditch I found it hard to turn and everyone I take it to cant find the codes to tell what's wrong with the car but the only place that did was the dealer ship N they said that as soon as I told them about it they did one check after that and confirmed it.

- Idabel , OK, USA

problem #269

Oct 212009


  • 26,000 miles
My daughter was driving her 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt last night and the power steering light on the dash came on and the power steering went totally dead. She was turning into a parking lot and almost didn't make it. After shutting the engine off and then restarting, the power steering started to work again but a few minutes later she was back to no power steering. I checked in the internet and found hundreds of such incidents reported on 2005 and 2006 Cobalt vehicles. I called the dealer today and the service department indicated they have serviced a few of these problems. Expected remedy is to replace the steering column for about $1200. This car has been on the road for 39 months and has 26,000 miles on it. This situation poses a serious safety hazard and a recall for this defect needs to be initiated.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #268

Sep 302009


  • 67,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt and recently while I am driving the T/C, security, and power steering lights come on and my power steering goes out and my car starts bucking and jumping like crazy. The last time it happened while I was driving 70 down the interstate and I almost crashed into the divider wall trying to pull over. It has been brought into the dealership 3 times and they have no idea what is causing it. I have already paid for a new transmission module which was not the problem. It seems to reset after the car is turned off for a while but if it happens it could cause serious crashes. There are already thousands of reports on the same incident with this particular car.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #267

Oct 202009


  • 20,890 miles
There was no warning im driving about 55 mph down highway and all of a sudden I lost my power steering very hard to drive I pulled over turned car off and looked under hood didn't see no problem got back in started car up and power steering was back got it home and parked it I had my mechanic come and look at it put machine on it no problem showed so I took it about 10 miles from home and it did it again shut off car and restarted it and problem was gone for awhile but keeps recurring over and over so afraid im not going to be able to handle this car everytime it decides to do this its got me stunned I did some research and im not the only one experiencing this problem I've seen a least 25 to 40 others whom have same problem its going to cause a accident and I hope its not me but I have complained about this already and I got it recorded where I have complained so it needs to be resolved before someone gets hurt and then there will be lawsuits for Chevy Cobalt makers to deal with.

- Normalville, PA, USA

problem #266

Oct 202009


  • 44 miles
The power steering for my 2006 Cobalt will stop working at random times. This has happened up to 5 times during a given day including in stopped traffic waiting at a red light and driving at 70 mph on the interstate. The solution is to turn the car off and turn the car on and it will reset the power steering. This has resulted in me driving at anywhere from 25 to 70 mph and then having the driving conditions of the car change instantly which is very dangerous. I have called a Chevrolet dealer about this issue. They are aware of it and their solution is for the customer to replace the entire steering column which will cost approximately $900. This is a widespread issue from what I have been reading on the internet and demands a recall.

- Pittston, PA, USA

problem #265

Oct 172009


  • 10,313 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was restarted and he resumed normal vehicle operation. The dealer stated that the power steering motor should be replaced at the manufacturers expense. The current and failure mileages were 10,313.

- Jeanntte, PA, USA

problem #264

Aug 102009


  • 70,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with power steering that stop working.

- Medford, NY, USA

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