Notes: The Cobalt was introduced to replace two of Chevy’s smaller cars, the Cavalier and Prizm. But the compact’s fresh start that Chevy was hoping for was riddled with issues, most notably widespread power steering failure.

The power steering failed so often that GM was forced to issue a recall in March, 2010. Great, but what about other problems like the key getting stuck in the ignition or all the other electrical demons this car possesses?

And, oh yes — then there’s the terribly dangerous issue where the Cobalt randomly shuts off while driving. As it turns out, that problem is related to GM’s massive 2014 recall for a dangerous ignition switch defect. A recall that eventually ballooned to 2.6 million vehicles in one of the automotive industry’s biggest scandals.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
143 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.

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #4

May 142007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I was traveling home from work yesterday when a came upon a slow vehicle going at 55 mph. I was going at 65 mph. I turned off the cruise control when I came upon the slow vehicle and some oncoming traffic went by. When it was clear I started accelerating to pass the slow vehicle. As I was accelerating the gas pedal completely fell and stuck to the floor and rpms shot up to 4, range from 0 to 8. the car accelerated to 70 mph then 80 mph, and then 90 mph. As the car was continuing to accelerate I tried braking but the car was still accelerating while it was braking at the same time. I was getting closer and closer to a car ahead of me. I was getting real close when I put the gear into neutral and I tried braking, but it was hard to press the brake pedal. The car finally slowed down and I managed to pull over to the side of the road. When I was pulled to the side of the road the car engine was still racing and the rpms were still at 4. I put the gear in park) and turned off the engine. I tried restarting the car, but initially it wouldn't start. I waited a few minutes and the car started. This malfunction almost caused me to hit another vehicle from behind at 90 mph! I drove home at 50-55 mph, afraid to go faster than 55 mph. I took the car to the dealership/repair shop where I purchased the car, and they told me it was only the floor mat that got caught on the gas pedal. After, I pulled off the road after the incident I checked the floor mat, but it was no where near the gas pedal, and why would the gas pedal fall into the floor if the floor mat was in the way" I am afraid to drive the car, and am now renting a car to commute to and from work. I called other auto repair shops, and they indicated that I should not bring the car in until it happened again. This incident almost caused a serious accident! so now I am just suppose to drive it until another incident similar to my experience happened again"!

- Tuba City, AZ, USA

problem #3

May 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving down the road powering steering locked, vehicle would throw consumer forward and backward in the seat. Coming to a stop light and press the brakes it was like the car lunged forward. Just got the vehicle back from the shop yesterday and it started doing the same thing. Power steering was locking but was not actually locked. Will stop and restart the vehiclwas and its like having foot on the gas pedal and brake pedal at the same time.

- Afton, OK, USA

problem #2

May 172005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 573 miles
I was driving about 40mph with my two kids in the car and then the vehicle slowed down and wouldn't acelarate I was able to pull over to the side of the road and then the car just stalled. I then put the car in park and waited a few minutes. I then tried starting the car again and it did start. My vehicle has 600 I received a notice from Chevrolet motor division central office stating that they are conducting a voluntary customer satisfaction program that affects certain 2005 model year Chevrolet Cobalt vehicles equipped with a 2.2L engine and air conditioning. I called the dealership service department and also the 800 number on my letter and told them about my vehicle stalling and to let them now I received the letter. I'm scheduled for an appointment to correct the problem and to look into why my vehicle stalled. Although they state this is "voluntary customer statisfaction program" I think they should just call it a recall and have all customers who purchased this model bring their vehicle in now rather than when they experience a problem.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 082005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased the car literally off the showroom floor. One day and 38 miles later it stalled out on my wife on the way to church. Two weeks later I got it back. It turned out to be a problem in the accelerator pedal. The dealer had to finally take one from another car to help solve my problem. Two days later I now have a problem with the rear "third eye" brake light. It will not go off. I am returning the vehicle on Monday and will wait to see what this problem is. I know the coblat is new but I shouldn't be having these kind of problems.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

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