Print this page 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
61,350 miles
Total Complaints:
128 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (73 reports)
  2. replaced steering column (20 reports)
  3. the power steering assist motor under the steering column (15 reports)
  4. needs new steering column (6 reports)
  5. need to replace assist motor and p/s mod (3 reports)
  6. recalled! (3 reports)
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 1 of 7)

problem #128

Oct 032016

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,638 miles


we had a 2006 purcurit which had same problem. replaced the battery, and it went away for 7 months. Then it was suggested to just replace the car and all your problems will be solved. so we got a 2005 cobalt. had car for a year and now it is doing the same thing. power steering fails, transmission shifts with a bang, engine light comes on, and transmission TMC light comes on. I have tried the easy fix which is on you tube. Didn't work but it might work for some people . if i disconnect battery over nite all power drains from computer and when i hook it back up problem gone for a day or so. we never got a recall on cobalt and have to pay straight out of pocket, but dealership says better to buy another car, NOT. did that once, not again. or maybe just go buy a ford. I always had a gm in driveway but that might change. gm picks who to send recall papers to, why if the problem is happening to a lot of owners, why not replace them all . Or maybe just get rid of the electric motor and all the gizmos and put power steering pumps in cars. to talk to gm or the dealership... I can have a better conversation with the wall. why is this?

- Dave I., Wallaceburg, ON, Canada

problem #127

Sep 032016

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 216,638 miles

We purchased this Cobalt last year. We have had so many problems & it seem like other people are or has had the same problems. My complaint is that my daughter was driving the car & power steering & TC code popped up. The car was derking & she could turn the steering wheel & was hard to drive. She pulled over turned off the car & turned it back on after a few min & it stopped. This has been going on for a month. It's not safe & if everyone is having this problem then there should be a recall.

- Juliett J., Hewitt, TX, US

problem #126

Nov 262015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

On Thanksgiving, I went to a pharmacy 1/2 mile from home. (I took my severely injured wrist with me - it's hard to detach! - I am awaiting surgery at the Cleveland Clinic for 2 severely torn tendons). I picked up the prescription; walked to the car; turned it on and... POWER STEERING.... appeared in the area where my mileage normally appears. I knew this wasn't good. BUT...OMG! I had to drive only 1/2 mile home (I certainly wasn't going to leave my car sitting in a store lot on a holiday weekend) and had to make four 90 degree angle turns to make it home. I got home - but I've suffered additional injury to my wrist. I'm still a bit shook up and my wrist is throbbing. I will wait until Monday to contact my mechanic, my extended warranty company, and, from what I've already read on this site - the dealership and Corporate Headquarters in MI. I noticed that someone mentioned that there had been (in addition to our ignition recall) a steering recall issued for this vehicle - but I've never heard anything about this. I will update this complaint as it gets resolved.

- Barbara C., University Hts, OH, US

problem #125

Feb 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles


click to see larger images

power steering failure power steering failure power steering failure

I am so frustrated with GM it isn't funny! I have been going round and round with them and they just won't listen as too what is wrong with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt! They had a recall for the power steering assist, had it put in, and is still doing the same thing! They said if I wanted another one I had to pay for it! Well I did end up buying one and had our mechanic put it in as he doesn't charge outrageous prices as the dealership!

Well it was fine for maybe 7 months and then it started in again. My car would completely shut down taking a turn, power steering lock up, as well as stall at a red light. I work just like the other American, I have a home and pay my taxes. The dealership said, why not trade it in for a different car since yours is 10 yrs old and you have 155000 miles. WHAT HAPPENED to cars now making it over 300,000! I am just half way there! It is the same ongoing frustrating problem and they don't give a sh*t. That is unless someone dies, and it gets reported!

JUST FRIGGIN LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!! I WILL always tell everyone I know, NOT to purchase a vehicle at all from GM! Because the just don't really give a crap! We are just the peons that GM PEES ON! I am so sick of this!!!!! I bought this car for a reason and can't enjoy it!

I tried to download a video onto Youtube. For some reason I could not copy the URL, so I am trying it this way. (BEWARE I WAS SWEARING UP A STORM FROM FRUSTRATION. So in advance, I am sorry.

- stomper, Hinsdale, NH, US

problem #124

Jul 172014

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,708 miles

On 6/22/14, I was coming home from Philadelphia and while on the Brunswick Highway, my 2005 Chevy Cobalt's dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree and I lost my power steering, traction control, brakes, abs, engine lock, door locks were clicking on and off and I had to pull over 4 times off the highway. My odometer didn't work either. This also made my transmission jerk and slip. It was so bad that when it was switching gears, it was making my entire car shake. I was afraid for my life. I nearly crashed into a semi-truck because my brakes and power steering didn't work. Also, I couldn't go below 65mph on the highway because the transmission was slipping. I made it home but I was still shocked and scared.

The next day I took it to the dealership to get it looked at. I thought it was the recall problem with the ignition but they couldn't find what the main cause was. They said it wasn't ignition but some sort of computer glitch. All they did was reset the computer and recommended me to buy a new car battery. I got the new battery and everything was fine.

Today 7/714, the same issue happened again but worse. It happened while my car was parked and again the dashboard lit up. Everything went off again, I lost my power steering, traction control, brakes, abs, engine lock, door locks were clicking on and off. It took me 6 times restarting the car for the dashboard to be cleared, and then 5 minutes again, the car chimed, and I lost my power steering, traction control, abs and the odometer didn't work again. I nearly crashed again too. I took it again to the dealership and waiting to hear back.

7/9/14, they replaced the ignition recall and but couldn't find the electrical problem. They reset the computer again.

7/17/14, Well looks like my Cobalt is on its last legs. The electrical problem happened yet again for the third time and it was in park again. So this wasn't related to the ignition recall. The ignition was replaced last week 7/9/14. This time it's not even drivable. I can't get past 10mph before the car starts acting up and the transmission starts jerking the car. I called the dealership and they told me wait over night and sees if the computer resets. Resetting the computer again won't fix the problem. They won't even send a flatbed to pick up my car yet. I'm beyond frustrated now because it's obvious now the dealership knows the problem but doesn't know how to fix it. They also want me to pay for the repairs, even though they looked at it twice and can't figure it out. I called GM Care in Detroit for help. I'm in a hard situation right now. I don't know if this car is even worth fixing, if it's fixable, worth putting money into, or even how much money I would get for this car for a trade in in its current state. I'm at a loss right now.

- Frank K., Englewood, NJ, US

problem #123

Mar 252014

Cobalt 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,274 miles

It's alot of fun when you can't find the problem because now it is not there

Update from May 15, 2014: Power steering was stiff but now it's ok.

- John C., Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

problem #122

Apr 192014

Cobalt 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles


I had the Power Steering fixed when I got the recall in 8/2012 which only had a year warrantee on it. I had no problem before that time. Well, I lost power steering this past weekend, which was scary. It will cost me over $500. to fix it because it was suggested I get the power steering intermediate shaft replaced also. Anyone else have a problem with their replaced Power Steering motor? And my Ignition recall is still not in the shop being replaced because the part is still not here.

- Jan R., St.Louis, MO, US

problem #121

Jul 192013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

click to see larger images

power steering failure

t/c light comes on, power steering failure

This car has been at the dealership for almost 2 weeks now. This is the 2nd time they have had it, still cant figure out what the problem is. This is crazy. I have contacted GM, they were no help. I, also, want to start a class action lawsuit, anyone else with me? I am contacting an attorney. This is BS.

- Traci M., Mount Vernon, OH, US

problem #120

Oct 172012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I am a college student and use my car quite often. I bought this car in September of 2012 and in October of 2012 while I was driving, my car made a noise and the "T/C" light came on and the words "POWER STEERING" came on where my mileage would show. The steering wheel went completely stiff not being able to turn left or right. I freaked out but the funny thing is that I turned of my car and when I turned it back on the problem was no longer there. It's happened about 5 times since then & I took it to a mechanic and they found nothing. It's really starting to irritate me and hope this will help GM notice the issue and that it should be solved ASAP!!!

- garciaindiana, Fort Wayne, IN, US

problem #119

Jan 232012

Cobalt LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles

click to see larger images

power steering failure

Bought this vehicle for my daughter to take to college with her. We originally had a 2006 Cobalt and had no problems but it was totaled in an accident so we went to our local dealership to find another car for her. We came across this 2005 Cobalt LT... top of the line everything and the best part was it only had 14,000 miles on it. You read that correctly! A 2005 with 14,000 miles. We thought wow what a find. Supposedly it belonged to a snow bird, one owner with a clean car fax. So we bought it cash and patted ourselves on the back for getting such a good deal. Our daughter came home for the weekend and we picked up the car on Friday, January 20, 2012. Daughter drove back to Tampa on Sunday no problems. Monday night she was driving it home from school when suddenly she said bells started going off, power steering failed, power steering light is on as well as the t/c light and it was bucking and shuddering. Wouldn't go any faster than 40 miles hr and the gauges were jumping all over the place. Scared to death she pulled off the road and immediately called us. (This was 10:30pm ) Advised her to not get on highway and take the streets back to her apartment which she did. When she got home she found this website and found out that the car had been recalled for p/s issues so Tuesday morning she took it to her local Chevy dealer thinking that perhaps the recall had never been done. Well it had been done and further more the dealership could not find anything wrong with the car, kept it for 2 days but could not replicate the problem. On Sunday she was driving back from a study group and the same thing happened again. So we drove to go pick up the car, gave her our car and drove home. We had stopped for something to eat and after the car being off for a bit, we had no problems with it on the 2 hr ride home. Took it to the dealership where we bought it and had to have the steering gear assembly replaced as well as some minor other parts replaced that had worked when we got the car but were not working now. They couldn't find anything wrong with transmission. After having car for 10 days we finally got it back and thought all was ok. (dealership picked up total cost) All was okay for 2 weeks then same thing happened all over again only this time the brake light, abs light and security system light were all going off as well as all the previous issues. She had the presence of mind to take pictures and to record it on her cell phone. Once 'gin made 3 hr trip to get car and again drove home with no problems. Took it next day back to dealer, showed the pics and video my daughter had taken. Was without car this time for 2 weeks. This time, it was the power steering module and they replaced the steering column assembly as well as the torque converter again at no cost to us. By now I decided that I didn't want daughter to take car back until i knew for sure it was ok. Picked up car on Thursday night, didn't drive it for the weekend and Monday afternoon while driving to grocery store same thing happened yet again. Lights flashing, bells ringing, car shuddering an bucking etc. Was most terrifying experience I have ever had. Called dealer immediately, told him I was bringing car back and wanted him to drive it to see that I was not nuts. He didn't even get off the bay area when he backed up and said I'm not driving this car. I told him I no longer wanted the car-in the 6 weeks I had it, it was in the shop more than in my possession. He called the GM of the dealership and had him come over and explained what was happening. GM was very concerned and told me to let them try and fix the problem one more time and if anything else happened, he would get me into another car. Well, they drove the car for over 100 miles over the course of 2 days and could not get it to duplicate the problem and nothing was showing on the diagnostics that there was a problem. So to end the story, they took the car back, credited me for the full amount for everything I paid and are putting me into a 2006 Mazda 3i. Of course I have checked this website and there are absolutely no complaints on this year Mazda. Yay!!!! Kudos to Coral Springs Auto Mall for going out of their way to make things right!! (Sorry for such a long post)

- Linda F., Tamarac, FL, US

problem #118

Apr 152011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and I am experiencing problems that nobody can seem to fix.

I took it into my local Chevy Dealership in April for them to fix the power steering recall. Before I took it in, the car was running fine, but ever since them I have had nothing but problems. The "power steering" light will come onto the information LED and the power steering immediately goes out. Then there is a nonstop series of clicking coming from somewhere on the dash. Then all the meters on the dash start to go crazy. Then the car starts to chug, really bad, to the point where it becomes impossible to drive. I had to stop driving it completely because I was 8 months pregnant and physically couldn't turn the wheel of the car without hurting my abdomen.

I took it back to the local dealer immediately and they told me there was nothing wrong, therefore, nothing they could do. This was frustrating because they could physically see the problem, but they couldn't get anything to cup up on the diagnostics check. They cleared the computer and it was fine for a week, until the same events started up again.

I took it my mechanic that I usually go to and he replaced some kind of transmission module or something and another part, I'm really not clear on what he did, it didn't work. So I was out $550 for nothing. Still, I was frustrated because he, too, could see the problem in action but insists that the diagnostic check says there's nothing wrong with my car.

This is my last resort. I'm a single mom, full time student, I don't have the money to keep letting people fix my car willy nilly with no real idea of what's wrong with it. I am hoping you have had somebody with similar problems and can help me out.

Thank you.

- ebeth86, Saginaw, MI, US

problem #117

Oct 032011

Cobalt 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Chevy needs to compensate us all for these issues. My issues started with my power steering after the dealership fixed it. When I got the car back I got approximately 5 miles up the road and the Chevy dealership looked over the car and said it was possibly a bad BCM and if it kept up that would have to be replaced. All the money I've put into the car the past 2 years is AWFUL!!!

- rcrockett, Norlina, NC, US

problem #116

Jan 302008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,749 miles

The steering column was replaced 0n Jan 30, 2008. On Aug 12, 2011 my steering failure light came on while I was driving on the freeway causing the car to immediately swerve sharply to the right and crashing into the guard rail. I had no chance to react.

The car was totaled and I received injuries and missed a week of work. I notified the dealership that regularly serviced and inspected my car. I notified GM and NHTSA.

So far, GM has not acknowledged any fault, has not replaced my car, and has not reimbursed me for damages. The wrecked car is in a tow lot and the lot is demanding that I pay over $700 to get to the car. GM has an inspector who is supposed to inspect the car but GM will not pay for the inspector to get access to the car. GM says it is my problem. So much for corporate responsibility.

- Lisa F., Portsmouth, VA, US

problem #115

Feb 102011

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

The electric assist power steering unit had been replaced by GM Recall approx 10 months prior. Similar problem to other 2005 cobalts, ding, ding, ON dash TC code, then power steering, code. Would loose power steering assist, once on highway, speed gauge moved high and low while maintaining the same approximate highway speed. At slower speeds , would loose power assist, transmission would shift at wrong times so would be a rough shift, engine might stall. Was a safety hazard, and contacted National Safety Counsel website, and GM dealer area POC. Private mechanic could not figure out what needed repair. At GM dealer: Check engine light on, Tested Systems-Multiple system faults Set-P0700 Transmission Control module requested malfunction indicator light, U2100 CAN BUS COMMUNICATION.U2107 LOST COMMUNICATION WITH BODY CONTROL MODULE (BCM) AND U2100 CAN BUS COMMUNICATION. GM shop contacted GM Technical assistance and they advised of possible wiring issue between body control module (BCM) and power steering control-checked connectors at BCM, transmission control module and power steering control module, checked connector C3 at vehicle control interface module-verified wiring good-replaced wiring terminals at BCM for circuit 2500 and 2501 to power steering control module-cleared codes and test drove, approx 20 miles. Cost 4 Hrs labor, $376.00. has now worked properly and safely, no loss of steering, no transmission shift problems, no stalling, gauges work properly.

- Paul W., Bel Air, MD, US

problem #114

Mar 162011

Cobalt LS V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Took my 2005 cobalt in because the power steering failed. They fixed the recalled PS motor and called me back only to tell me that didn't fix the problem and that now I will be getting charged for any more work that goes into fixing it. Has anyone else had this problem? Sounds to me like they aren’t recalling the right part.

- Andy N., Baden, PA, US

problem #113

Nov 082010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,200 miles

i would like to start a class action lawsuit i am so so sick of this car i am ready to scream

i fixed the power steering pump and Chevy had a recall lo and behold they recalled the power steering module and i was stuck with the bill now 10 months later it is still going on but Chevy dealer said it was the steering column and transmission

- Rose R., Mahanoy City, PA, US

problem #112

Dec 182009

Cobalt 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I have an 05 Chevy Colbalt whic had a power steering issue and after months of complaining finally got recalled to be repaired at the expense of GM/Chevy. This repair took place in August of this year. All said and done, it seemed fine but then on Monday October 4th 2010 the problem just started again. This time it is worse then the last. At least the last time when I disconnected the battery, it reset itself and held me over for a few days. Yes! however it is unsafe to drive like that because you can get someone killed or yourself.

This time the computer will not reset! I actually had picked a different car when Chevy insisted that this car was a better car to buy. Oddly enough this car was actually 2000 more then the one I originally wanted. So needless to say I got shafted deep and hard and this car has been nothing but headaches since I got it. But it tells me that they were trying to get rid of it and me into it.

I made a sworn oath that I will never buy another American car ever again. Sorry but Japanese do make a better car. Americans suck in the manufacturing department and that is because they are all about money and competition and do not take pride in manufacturing a safe and reliable car. It's all about who can get the car out their first.

If your planning on buy a Chevy, stay away from the Colbalt from 2004 - 2010. But truthfully, I would not even get one after 2010. All their cars are computer controlled and will end up costing you thousands of dollars along side that huge monthly car payment.

- tedflorida, Titusville, FL, US

problem #111

Jun 162010

Cobalt LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,575 miles

I purchased my car at Rockland Nissan used. When it first happened three weeks after purchasing the car the dealership replaced the gauge cluster. It was fine for about a month and then all the gauges started the go haywire again. Then I took it to a chevy dealership and paid out of my pocket for a diagnostic test done and they said I need to replace the bcm and it wasn't covered under warranty. The cost of that is almost 800.00, so I had it towed back to the dealership and told them and they had it for two weeks. Guess what the outcome was? Surprise the couldn't find nothing wrong with the car. Now nobody wants to return my phone calls and I haven't even put 3,000 miles on it yet. Who has $800 to get something repaired when everyone is having this problem and it should be recalled. I just got rid of my 1998 cavalier for minor repairs I got tired of fixing. For all of these problems I should had just kept my caviler.

- Jean N., New Windsor, NY, US

problem #110

Jul 082010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I was driving my 2005 Cobalt down the highway when all of a sudden all the gages on my dash started going nuts! The speeometer needle was going crazy as was the RPM needle. All the lights on the digital display where acting crazy. The power steering light came on and as I was pulling of the highway the car started to jerk and act like it was going to stall out. When I restarted the car it was fine. Then the next day it did the same thing but then I could not turn my wheel. I had the car towed to the dealer and they called me and said nothing was wrong with car. It was running fine!!

I have done my research and found that hundreds of people are having the same problem!! I have several friends with car and all of them are having this problem too. The dealer will not do anything about it! I still owe on the car and am now forced to buy a new car! I will never buy a Chevy again. Obvoisly there is something wrong with these cars and Chevy refuses to do anything about it.

P.S. I had the power steering pump replaced due to the recall so that is not the problem. It has to be a computer/electrical problem.

- ernst, Louisville, KY, US

problem #109

Jun 152008

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

My local Mechanic suggested a bigger battery i installed a 900CCA battery and all of my Power Steering woes went away havent had the warning lights flashing the gauges jumping anymore, Just a suggestion someone might try.

- Scott J., Crowder, OK, US

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