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:
45 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
27 / 5
Average Mileage:
62,740 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 15 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #724

Feb 252010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


Power steering failure on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. No prior problems, just happened suddenly. Occurs weekly. Receive "power steering" warning on dash display and lose all power steering.

- Strathroy, 00, USA

problem #723

Mar 142010


  • 54,000 miles
TL * the contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While sitting idle at a traffic light, the power steering failed without warning. She then shut off the engine and restarted it to find the power steering had reset itself. She also stated that the drivers side door latch was inoperable. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where she was awaiting completion of unknown repairs. The failure and current mileages were 54,000.

- Utica, MI, USA

problem #722

Feb 202007


  • 60,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt had power-steering failure that led to accident causing total damage to the vehicle and partial damage to another vehicle. Minor injury of passenger.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #721

Mar 162010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


Power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt quits intermittently, at least 10 times in the last two weeks. Contacted dealer, gage motors in grand haven, mi, who denied that a recall (GM# N100023) has been issued on this problem, (ref NHTSA campaign id# 10V073000).

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #720

Dec 142009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 58,765 miles
05 Chevy Cobalt (eps) power steering just stops working you can dive the car maybe a mile and the power steering just stops working. You can turn off the car and restart it and it will do the same thing in a mile or so has started doing it just driving strait.

- Watauga, TX, USA

problem #719

Jan 132010


  • 98,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while pulling out of the driveway at 20 mph the power steering failed without warning. The vehicle was taken an authorized dealer on two separate occasions for the identical failure and a diagnostic test was performed. The repair parts were at a cost of $300. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure and current mileages were 98,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #718

Sep 092009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 67,340 miles


The power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt stopped working resulting in me not being able to steer my car safely, also at times locking in one fixed position. I called Chevrolet and was told there was no recall for the power steering and so I took my car to lannon Chevrolet and had the power steering fixed at my own expense costing $1090. In March Chevrolet announce a voluntary recall for the 2005 Chevy Cobalt, but has not made the recall official and will not reimburse me.

- Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #717

Jan 152010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
My vehicle has had multiple issues gas tank replaced sensors replaced, cd player is always locking up, cds get stuck, vehicle vibration issues never fixed and a rotating noise along with road noise never fixed. Current would be the power steering which works for about five seconds giving me enough time to get out of my parking spot, then a power steering warning lights up and the steering wheel gets stiff and is really hard to turn. I have contacted GM and a dealer both have denied to fix the problem. It is very hard to park reversing into a parking is impossible.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #716

Feb 012009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
My 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt has been having problems with it's power steering. This first happened in the beginning of 2009. I was driving my Cobalt down a steep hill going approximately 15-20mph and out of the blue my driver message center flashed the words 'power steering', a chime sounded and my vehicle lost all steering ability. I was barely able to control my car. I was luckily able to use my brakes to stop the vehicle but again had no ability to steer the vehicle at all. Once I stopped, the vehicle lost all power and shut off. I started the vehicle up again (it struggled) and it did the same thing, flashed 'power steering' on the message center, a chime sounded and I was unable to steer the vehicle. This incident also happened again over the past two days (March 13, 2010 and March 14, 2010. This time I was coming out of my parking space at my apartment complex and the car again flashed 'power steering' in the message center, a chime sounded and I again lost all ability to steer my vehicle and the vehicle then lost all power and shut off. I started the vehicle back up several times and finally on the 4th or 5th time, the power steering was restored but the 'check engine' light has remained lit ever since. I am currently not driving the vehicle due to this issue. I have also researched and found other people with Chevy Cobalts to have this problem. This is a serious safety concern and needs to be addressed by GM immediately.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #715

Feb 262010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 58,275 miles
Power steering fails often. We looked to see if the power steering fluid was low and found out nothing to fill. It is all electric powered. It is very difficult to drive. Young daughter driving car to work and college. Very concerned for her safety. Took it to dealer had the steering motor assembly replaced at a cost of $377. The car has only 59,000 miles on it.

- Dover, PA, USA

problem #714

Mar 122010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles


We have taken our daughters Cobalt to the dealer 3 times because the power steering keeps going out. It is placing our daughter is serious danger. We have spent close to $1000 on this issue. It went out in December and we took it back to the dealer and they said nothing was wrong with it. It went out again today.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #713

Mar 032010


  • 45,800 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was traveling at a speed of 60 mph he noticed that the power steering light had appeared on the dashboard and at the same moment the vehicle suddenly became very difficult to steer. The dealership was contacted and informed the contact that NHTSA recall 10V073000 was not official and no repairs could be made on his vehicle. The vehicle had not been diagnosed and the failure has occurred on 6 different occasions. The failure mileage was at 45800 and the current mileage is 47800.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #712

Jul 152008


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at speeds of 60 mph, the vehicle began veering to the left, without warning. The power steering failed without warning. The vehicle was unable to steer in a straight direction which resulted in a crash into the median and a small ditch. The vehicle began spinning out of control, and rolled over at least three times. The driver suffered very minor injuries. However, the passenger suffered several major injuries. The police arrived to the scene and the passenger was air lifted from the scene. The passenger's pelvic bone was broke in three places, a fractured vertebrae and tail bone, right hip was broken, left hip injury, and all five ribs on the right side were broken. The vehicle was completely destroyed. The failure mileage was 95,000.

- Crockett, TX, USA

problem #711

Mar 062010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 20 mph with a loss of power steering. The vehicle was able to continue in operation with caution. Additionally, the transmission slipped and the speedometer fluctuated and displayed inaccurate readings. The manufacturer was notified; the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The VIN number was unavailable. The failure mileage was 70,000. The current mileage was 72,000.

- Mcclellandtown, PA, USA

problem #710

Jan 302010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt went out while I was driving, luckily it didn't result in an accident. I could have just as easily been in an accident due to the fact I couldn't turn my wheel at all. I took the Cobalt to a shop, and it turns out it was the motor. Apparently this happens to a ton of Chevy Cobalts all the time. This is sooo dangerous! also, occasionally my driver side door won't open from the inside or outside. This could be a huge safety risk if I needed to get out of my vehicle in a hurry.

- Grand Island, NE, USA

problem #709

Feb 212010


  • 57,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While traveling at approximately 20 mph, the driver noticed the power steering indicator light illuminated on the warning panel immediately followed by a loss of power steering assist. The driver shut off the engine and upon restarting, the power steering assist would reset itself. Within minutes, the failure would occur again. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where a diagnostic was performed. The dealer verified the power steering as well as another unknown part had failed. Repairs were made to the vehicle at the owners expense. There were no recalls on the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 57,500 and the current was 58,000.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #708

Mar 062010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 78,850 miles
I had left my driveway and started heading down the road when my powersteering shutdown. Turn the car off and start it again and I have powersteering for a short time. Now it does it at least once a day. Waiting for GM to come up with a fix before I see a mechanic. Hard to steer but still drivable.

- Lebanon, NH, USA

problem #707

Dec 012005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Power steering failure at random. I bought a 2005 Chevy Cobalt brand new in 2005. After driving 40,000 miles I would get a power steering failure. When I first turn the car on I have power steering, but after a random moment of time it cuts out and the light on the dash comes on. It will go out in mid turn or while going straight & both forward and in reverse. Most reports I can find about the problem say it will cost about $2000 to fix and the problem recurs. The only way to get a part to fix it is to take it to the dealership and some dealerships are saying its the steering column while others say its a motor. I think its a scam from GM to make a part that goes out and charge an arm and a leg to fix. The failure happens daily now. Its difficult to turn the steering wheel. It is unsafe to turn into busy traffic in the city and driving around mountains. It was the cheapest new car I could find at the time because I'm poor, so forking over $2000 for a part that will go out again in another 40,000 miles is never going to happen. Even though there is a light on the dash to indicate a power steering failure, it does not show up on diagnostics. It is an electrical issue and not mechanical, so its not under warranty. I have not yet been in a crash, but I have come close many times. Many owners I have spoke with have this problem, and have crashed or come close to crashing on many occasions.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #706

Aug 152008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I bought a used 2005 Chevy Cobalt about 2 years ago. A few months after the purchase the power steering started to fail at seemingly random intervals, but on an all to regular basis. I don't believe I had anything to do with the problem as I was simply driving down the road when it chose to first fail. It occurs numerous times daily and has nearly caused me to crash several times (especially when it fails mid-turn). Nothing has been done to correct seeing as they told me to fix the power steering I would have to replace the entire steering column costing me up to 2500 dollars. Something that I just cannot afford to pay for.

- Mcallen, TX, USA

problem #705

Mar 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Vehicle would not turn right steering issue. As a result the car continued straight, over median, over 2 curbs before driver could stop vehicle just shy of gas meter. Filed complaint with GM > the dealership where I purchased the vehicle informed me of a recall on GM Cobalt and the parts to fix problem will not be available. And it appears that is what happened why the vehicle would not turn. And my vehicle cannot be repaired.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

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