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 20 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #624

Feb 082010


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated whenever he is driving his vehicle the power steering goes in and out. The vehicle had to be turned on and off to be reset. As he was turning the wheels it was very uncontrollable. The dealer had not been contacted or the vehicle taken the dealer for a diagnosis. The failure aileage was 50,000.

- Tallasse, TN, USA

problem #623

Feb 212010


  • 99,437 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated as he was driving 55mph the power steering failed. The power steering warning light came on as he was making a right turn and the vehicle was uncontrollable while trying to pull into the driveway. The vehicle had not been taken to the dealer at the time of the complaint.the GM manufacturer had not been called. The vehicle had only been taken to the dealer for routine maintenance before this failure occurred. The failure mileage is 99,437.

- Bel Pre, OH, USA

problem #622

Sep 012009


  • 42,000 miles
2 things: 1-the steering column problems in 2009 Chevy dealer replaced unwillingly. 2- electrical issue. Panel lights go on and off and the car cant shift unless we start the car over and over again.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #621

Feb 012010


  • miles


Power steering on a Chevrolet Cobalt 2005 fails at 75000 miles. The electronic device failed making it difficult to turn or change lanes. It is impossible to practically drive the car and I feel very unsafe with this vehicle.

- Oak Forest, IL, USA

problem #620

Dec 202009


  • 70,000 miles
Two months ago, when I put my car in park, I wasn't able to get my key out of the ignition. I'm worried that my car is going to roll down a hill and hit something or someone. Also two days ago, my power steering went out when I was driving on the interstate. Thankfully I was going straight when this happened. As soon as I turn off my car and turn it back on, the power steering is fine, but if I go a mile or two, all of a sudden it goes out. Very very unsafe especially since I have a 2 year old with me. This is very unsafe for everyone!!! both issues could resolve in a huge crash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nothing has been fixed because I have been reading on recalls and I hope I can get this fixed before someone gets injured!

- Polson, MT, USA

problem #619

Feb 202010


  • miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt...power steering light came on and I lost all steering control...I have a 14 month old son who was in the back seat at the time...this has happened to me 4 times in the past two days. Very concerned for mine and my family's safety with this problem.

- Monticello, KY, USA

problem #618

Nov 102009


  • 49,000 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure intermittent power steering failure.

- Lowell, IN, USA

problem #617

Oct 212009


  • 73,248 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering goes out often and as the age increases it gets worse. Also the power door locks activate on their own as I am driving down the road. This car is un safe to operate on the highway.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

problem #616

Jan 152010


  • 36,711 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure. Power steering motor failure. Car went to manual steering. Very hard to turn at lower speeds. Took in to Chevy dealer on Feb 1 and they replaced the power steering motor.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #615

Feb 142010


  • 62 miles
I have a 2005 Cobalt ss with 62K on it and my powersteering went out.

- Travis Afb, CA, USA

problem #614

Feb 132010


  • 35,000 miles


Frequent loss of power steering in 2005 Cobalt. Happens nearly every day without notice and at different times. Can be very dangerous if traveling at high speeds.

- Wexford, PA, USA

problem #613

Oct 042009


  • 65,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failed while driving.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #612

Feb 162010


  • miles
My power steering continues to stop working while driving. This has just started to happen on a regular basis.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #611

Feb 052010


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving 60mph he noticed that the power steering light appeared on the dashboard, moments later the power steering would no longer operate. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 61000.

- Beever, PA, USA

problem #610

Feb 162010


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph on normal road conditions. Suddenly, there was a loss of power steering. There was difficulty steering the vehicle which resulted to greater force in turning the steering wheel. The driver pulled over to the side of the road. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation for a short period time. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. Currently, the vehicle is inoperative. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 89,000.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #609

Feb 152010


  • 69,800 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25 mph when the power steering light illuminated, the steering wheel locked which made it difficult to control the vehicle. He was able to pull over, turn the vehicle off and then on. At 300 yards the vehicles power steering locked again and the duplicate failure recurred. The dealer will be contacted to report the problem. The failure occurred every time he drives the vehicle. There have been no repairs to the whenever the vehicle was driven. The failure mileage was 69,800. The current mileage was 70,025.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #608

Feb 182010


  • 31,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt - power steering failure.

- Wheelersburg, OH, USA

problem #607

Aug 252009


  • 60,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt 4 door sedan has been having intermittent power steering failure. While driving the power steering just cuts out and it creates a very dangerous situation. The car is extremely hard to maneuver in traffic and creates a very dangerous situation. This problem is intermittent and if you pull off the road and shut off the engine the issue corrects itself. It does not occur in cold weather and occurs more often as the outside temperature increases. Failures of steering are critical complaints and should be dealt with immediately.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #606

Jan 012009


  • 80,000 miles
I drive a 05 Chevy power steering keeps going is electronic so I turn the car off and crank it back up and it will come back on...may last 5 miles or 50.....had to pay 100 to run diagnostics on my car and they said it was the power steering motor....651.00.....trying to get a loan from the bank now to repair....this is very unsafe and needs to be looked in to...ive had this problem for aprox a year...

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #605

Dec 102009


  • 61,200 miles
1.) I first heard an unusual clunking noise in the front of my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. I took it in to the local GM dealer and was informed that I needed my front end control bushings replaced. Upon successful replacement of said parts - which solved the clunking problem - I immediately began to hear a rattling noise coming from the steering column of my vehicle upon driving over any uneven surface (gravel roads, snow/ice covered roads, etc). 2.) a couple of weeks after the replacement of the control arm bushings, the rattling noise grew worse, and I also noticed the steering pulling much harder than usual when turning at speeds of 5-15 mph. 3.) I took the vehicle back into the local GM dealer to explain the problem after I concluded some personal research of what could be causing the problem. I informed the dealer that I had been informed of a power steering failure and possible steering column problems with this particular model/year, and requested that they look into any cause that may be influencing said problem. The dealer informed me that the rattling was simply a problem inside the dashboard, and to come back later in the spring so he could take a look at it (there was a foot of snow on the ground at the time). He also said that the problem "was not that serious."

- Vermillion, SD, USA

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