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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,275 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Feb 262010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


On February 26, 2010 as I was driving my 2006 Chevy Cobalt the power steering quit functioning. I could not steer the car. The message "power steering" appeared on my dashboard. I took the car to a local mechanic. The mechanic stated he received complaints from other Cobalt owners about the same problem. On 2/28/10 I called Chevrolet customer service and reported the problem. I asked if there was a recall and told the representative what I was told by the mechanic. The Chevy representative said there wasn't a recall at the time. I told the representative that I did not want my relatives to have to sue the dealership because I had died due to the power steering failing while I was driving my Cobalt. The representative scheduled an appointment with a local Chevy dealership to inspect the problem and said I would have to pay a diagnostics fee. On 3/2/10 the power steering malfunctioned again as I was driving. Fortunately, I did not have an accident. Coincidentally, when I went home and turned on the television I saw on the evening news that Chevy Cobalts were being recalled for power steering problems. I am leary of Chevy dealerships. I purchased my used 2006 Cobalt in 2008. It had 36,000 miles on it. Soon after I purchased the car I noticed the engine kept overheating to over 240 degrees. I took my car to a Chevy dealership three times about the engine constantly overheating. They told me it was due to the plastic radiator overflow bottle leaking when it expanded when warm. They replaced the plastice bottle but the car kept overheating. Out of frustration I took my car to another repair shop. The other repair shop discovered that the engine overheated due to a cracked manifold. The Chevy dealership failed to identify this after three visits. I have also had to replace the gear shift after 36,000 miles and a bushing at 69,000 miles. I am curious as to what they will say about the power steering failure at my appointment next week.

- Twinsburg, OH, USA

problem #13

Dec 202009


  • 54,000 miles
Power steering goes out without warning. I can be driving along and it just goes out. I struggle to gain control of my car. It is very dangerous and I am afraid for the safely of the other passengers in my vehicle as well as those driving near to me. I have a friend who had the exact same problem, to date they have paid the dealer over $1,500 to attempt to fix the issue. She is still having problems.

- Festus, MO, USA

problem #12

Oct 312009


  • 80,000 miles
While driving down a very busy highway! my digital reading on my car blinked power steering. This has never come up before in the past! no type of warning saying my power steering was even going out. Within minutes I lost all power steering! this made it hard to even steer right or left to exit the highway. This almost resulted in an accident! then when I pull over to read the Cobalt manual all that it informs me to do is to take my care immediately to a dealer ship! while driving my car the only way to get any type of steering back I would have to shut my car off then turn it back on to get about 2 minutes of steering before I would loose all my steering again. I how am I supposed to drive my car to a dealer ship if I have no steering! this has caused me a lot of hassle trying to get anything fixed! to get this fixed isn't cheap! and its not like brakes where you have control over how fast you have to replace them due to your driving! no warning and now my car is completely useless until I pay to get it fixed! I am quite unsatisfied as a Chevy customer.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #11

Jun 092009


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While accelerating from a yield sign, the vehicle shifted into reverse, rolled backwards down a steep hill over a ledge and rolled over. The vehicle was completely destroyed. She has a copy of the police report. She was waiting for a response from the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #10

Aug 212009


  • 54 miles
I have a 2006 Cobalt and I have had nothing but trouble with it. I have already replaced front end bearings, my most recent problem is the key will not come out of the ignition and the shifting lever can be engaged with the car off. Does someone have to die or be injured before something will be done. My battery has been drained on 3 occasions because my key is stuck in the ignition, my friends child was sitting in my car and he pulled the shifting lever and my car was going down the driveway with the engine off. This is a terrible safety concern. I am a single woman and I do not appreciate having a dead battery and having to ask someone(stranger)for help. I have been driving Chevy's since 1978 and my last 2 brand new Chevy's have been nothing but nightmares. I only have them 3 years before they are problems. These are not small problems either, they are safety concerns> lucky for us we were able to stop the vehicle before it went into the roadway and injured the child. Chevy should take responsibility for their defects. I cannot keep putting hundreds of $ into a car that is only 3 years old. With 54,000 miles. I also have a pretty steep car payment. Does someone have to die or become injured before they fix the problems.? I cannot afford to fix this problem and it is very concerning, especially if people have little children. I have to park my car with the key in the ignition, which is also a theft concern. I have tried pushing the button under the steering wheel, but that only worked once. I don't think I will ever buy another Chevy again, unless they take responsibility for their safety issues. I am also going to call GM and my dealer and see what they can do. I can see that this is a problem with others as well.

- Bliss, NY, USA

problem #9

Jun 302008


  • 30,000 miles
While traveling at highway speeds, approximately 40 mph a message appears in the message center in my dash indicating the power steering has gone out. I feel no difference in steering, but when the car switches gears (it is an automatic ) it is very rough and almost dies. It occurs randomly and has happened twice this week local repair shop couldn't find any problem.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #8

Apr 092009


  • miles


The transmission pressure sensor failed at approx 72,000 miles. It was replaced and then the new one failed again at approx 90,000 miles. There is obviously some type of manufacturing defect present.

- Lake City, FL, USA

problem #7

Mar 022009


  • 54,000 miles
06 Cobalt with only 54,000 miles. Ignition module and coil system failed. Serious misfire in the engine made for this car to have a tough time moving. Dealer couldn't believe this had gone on me at 54,000 miles, neither could Firestone. Unreal. Dealer should be doing this repair free of charge and the manufacturer should be recalling 2006 Cobalts and replacing ignition coil systems. This is not a typical part of the engine to fail!

- New Britain, CT, USA

problem #6

Mar 032009


  • 67,350 miles
Transmission does not lock into park, thus not allowing the key to be removed from the ignition. Shift lever can be moved from park position to any other position without applying pressure to the brake petal. This is a serious issue as the car could easily be shifted into a motion gear without the user knowing. Entire shift mechanism must be replaced to correct this issue at a extreme amount of money. This should be recalled before someone is involved in a injury and death related incident.

- Hartford, WI, USA

problem #5

Jan 152009


  • 63,759 miles
Researched on line due to issue with my car to find lots of people with the same issue. Key in the Chevy Cobalt gets stuck in the accessory position and will not come out. Took to dealer said this has happened in a few vehicles they repaired there. Had to replace whole shifter assembly. Called Chevy said no recall was out at this time for that problem. Read online to write to you guys. Thanks

- Marshfield, WI, USA

problem #4

Aug 212008


  • miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalt keeps having power steering issues. I've taken it back to the shop only for them to say there was a computer error. They get the check engine light to come off, but two weeks later it does it again. My power steering goes completely out with my transmission knocking. I took it in back in July and the problem keeps coming back. I've researched this online, and seen that there are a lot of other people who has had this done to them as well.

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 012007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle jerked and lost power. The contact heard a clicking sound when she depressed the brake pedal. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure; however, they rewired a loose wire and the failure was supposedly repaired. The failure continued. She took the vehicle to another dealer and they stated that the air flow clogged. The dealer made the repair, but the failure recurred the next day. As of December 3, 2007, the dealer had not inspected the vehicle. The failure mileage was 19,000 and current mileage was 25,000. Updated 01-10-08. The consumer stated on December 7, 2007 the transmission was replaced but the vehicle still continues to have the same defect. Updated 12/31/07

- Royalton, IL, USA

problem #2

Nov 022006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles
(1) car shuts itself off while I was driving down the freeway. During@ rush hour I veered away ( w-no power to car ),from traffic behind me. Parked, shut car off, took key out of ignition, then replaced and started it back up, and proceeded enroute. (2) after market cruise control failure to shut off and turn on. (3) result of above (2)after market cruise control takes its own mind and decides to fully accelerate until gearing down in hopes it 'awakes' the computer (automatic transmission),then cruise control will finally shut off. (consequence ) passenger had a heart attack. I called a taxi. "he's ok" (4) service air bags light have been on since 20, K miles I now have 47, xxx miles. (5)stock tires and rims wobble with irritating continous noises -can't ge rid of it. (6) stock seats driver and passenger sides both were installed incorrectlythey are really slantedlike this ( / \ ). (7) a clunking bucket sounding noise fills very slowly, (health problems) an odor is always present leaving me light headed, nautious while driving, dizzy exiting car, and with breathing problems -like shortness of breath. I have severe back problems now, and can not sit in the car for more than 20 min, upon a break of fresh air and a walk for the spine. (8) brakes sound and feel (when applied),scratchy.@5,000 miles the Chevy dealership had to turn and shave allready my disc brakes saying they were worn in. (9) my heater makes a lot of noises when using it. (10) acceleration hesitation.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 252005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 675 miles
I am writing this letter because of concerns I have with my 2006 Cobalt I purchased 31 August 2005. (VIN#1G1ak55F767633 614) my first concern is the safety of the car. On the 25 of October while driving the car the transmission started to go out of gear and back in causing a jerking motion and when I pulled over the motor stopped. I had 675 miles on it at that time. Yesterday I took the car to the dealer and they drove it for a few miles with no problem. No other check was made by the dealer on the car.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

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