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:
68 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
60,279 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 #291

Sep 272009


  • 28,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering warning light intermittently illuminates on the instrument control panel, and then there was a lost of power steering. Usually after waiting for several minutes the power steering will reset itself.. the dealer nor the manufacturer has been notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 28,000.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #290

Oct 292009


  • 75,000 miles
The Chevy Cobalt has serious but intermittent issues with the power steering. The instrument panel will display a "power steering" warning. Sometimes this is the extent of the problem but often the steering wheel will lock up or become difficult to turn. This happens while driving and with no "trigger" that I can identify. The recommended remedy is to replace the column, but even the new columns have the same problem. We first had the issue at about 30,000 miles, the column was replaced and now, at about 75,000 miles, we are having the same issue. My research indicates the same problem across the country for most model years and beginning as early as 4000 miles. This issue is life threatening and must be remedied as soon as possible. When the steering locks up it is nearly impossible to turn the steering wheel. Sometimes the warning message is there and sometimes it does not. A rattling noise can be heard sometimes as well, along with the smell of something getting to hot. I believe a recall is in order due the extensiveness and severity of this defect. I sincerely hope no one is killed before a lasting resolution to this issue can be found.

- Huggins, MO, USA

problem #289

Aug 012009


  • 80,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt. At approximately 80,000 total miles, while driving, the power steering quit. I received a visual message from the car monitor advising "power steering". the car could be steered, but without power steering. After turning the car off and restarting, the power steering works, but at some point within 1 mile of driving, the power steering quits. This happens every time I drive. It is dangerous as it impacts my ability to steer and control the car, and it quits without warning. Driving in inclement weather is especially hazardous. Upon taking the car to my Chevy dealer, I was advised repair would be over $1,000.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #288

Sep 172009


  • 32,000 miles


I am having trouble with my 2006 Cobalt ls and it goes in and out from time to time. I have almost got into a couple accidents and saved myself. I think that GM should be responsible for their own actions. They should create a recall for this problem but can't because they are bankrupt. You all need to do something about that.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #287

Oct 282009


  • 29,000 miles
Power steering goes out on my car without a warning..... while driving.

- San Antonio, , TX, USA

problem #286

Oct 142009


  • 56,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt and the power steering randomly goes out. This has been happening everytime I drive my car which is daily and it started around Oct 14th 2009. I bought the car from a private party, but I took the car to a dealership to get fixed. It needed a new motor for the power steering since it is electrical. This has cost me around $438. It makes me nervous driving the car in town with traffic and having it go out. I live kind of out in the country and there is many sharp corners for me to get home.

- Chaseburg, WI, USA

problem #285

Oct 272009


  • 43,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph the power steering warning light illuminates on the instrument control panel, and then the steering locks. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and he was advised that the entire steering column needed to be replaced at an expense of $2500. There was no warranty on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 43,000.

- Clearfield , UT, USA

problem #284

Sep 262009


  • 78,000 miles
Power steering column not working.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

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

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