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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 21 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #604

Feb 102010


  • 50,000 miles


Sudden intermittent loss of power steering that occur several times a week causes loss of ability to steer car effectively.

- Tarentum, PA, USA

problem #603

May 152005


  • 25,000 miles
In 2008, my 2005 Chevy Cobalt would loose the power steering at random. The only way to correct this was to turn the ignition off and restart the car. This happens everytime the car is driven and it only has approx 45,000 miles on it now.

- West Point, CA, USA

problem #602

Nov 152009


  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle lost power while making a right turn onto traffic from a gas station. Power steering went out on vehicle, making it very hard to steer. Electrical power assist unit had to be replaced as a whole. Old unit is not available.

- Pharr, TX, USA

problem #601

Feb 162010


  • 46,000 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt 2.0. customer lost complete assist in power steering rendering vehicle unstable to drive. Vehicle intermittently illuminates dash warning for power steering, multiple times per trip. Steering gear and steering column replaced. Customer was fearful of driving, due to nearly hitting a vehicle in the next lane.

- Shelbyville, KY, USA

problem #600

Jan 222010


  • 66,000 miles
The power steering light comes on and the steering wheel is very hard to operate. The key also gets stuck in the ignition.

- Lucasville, OH, USA

problem #599

Oct 102008


  • 33,000 miles
I would start my 2005 Chevy Cobalt lt and all would seem ok, but after driving for maybe 2-3 minutes, my power steering would give out. It would usually happen when driving around the city, rarely would it happen when driving on the highway. The problem would correct itself if I would pull over and shut off my car and restart it. After several months of doing this however, my car would no longer fix itself and the power steering would stop working after driving just a few hundred feet, regardless if in the city or on the highway. I ended up having to fix the problem in the summer of 2009 by having the power steering part fixed by a local repair shop totaling more than $500.

- Kearney, MO, USA

problem #598

Jul 102009


  • 90,000 miles


The power steering goes out at least once a day. You will be just going down the road and all of a sudden it goes out. If you turn the car off it will come back, but it makes it hard to steer and control the vehicle when it does go out.

- Lake Jackson, TX, USA

problem #597

Jan 242010


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving 20 mph she noticed that the power steering warning light displayed on the dashboard. However, moments later there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealership in which there was a replacement of the power steering motor. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 46,000.

- Mountpelier, OH, USA

problem #596

Jan 152009


  • 43,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and at least once a day while driving (highway or city driving) my car loses its power steering. I can be on the highway or driving home from the store. There is no speed limit, no rhyme or reason. The only way I can fix it is to turn the car entirely off and restart it. I have on numerous occasions had such difficultly steering that I barely missed hitting other cars. Turning corners is nearly impossible!

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #595

Sep 082009


  • 50,000 miles
Power steering keeps going in and out.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #594

Jan 092010


  • 65,300 miles


I had just taken an exit off the interstate and was going to make a left turn. As I was beginning to turn the power steering failed in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. An eighteen wheeler was also making a left turn in the lane to the right of me. It took all the muscle I had to keep the car from veering in front of the truck which would have caused a very serious accident. I pulled into a parking lot and turned the car off. When I started it again the steering worked fine again for about a mile, then went out again. I sent GM an email to inform them of this problem and to let them know how concerned I was that someone could be seriously injured or killed. I contacted my local Chevy dealership and they said that they had seen this problem happening in Cobalts. I took it in to be repaired, but since there had not been a recall I had to pay the $768.12 to have the steering column replaced. I have heard that this is a common problem with Cobalts and I have asked GM to do the right thing and recall these cars before someone is injured or killed.

- Mt. Pleasant, TX, USA

problem #593

Feb 152010


  • 88,000 miles
I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I am the original owner. About a year ago I had a problem with the power steering turning off in parking lots while I made full turns of the steering wheel. Now I have a problem with the power steering randomly turning off while I'm driving. Its really random some times it seem to never want to stay on and sometimes it seem to not affect my car at all. Scary that it is inconsistent. I'm awaiting to hear back from the dealership.

- Laconia, NH, USA

problem #592

Jan 212010


  • 124,552 miles
The power steering warning light appeared & w/in minutes the power steering failed. Restarting the car reset it, but now it will only work for a couple of minutes before going out again. I was told I needed to replace power steering column. This car has been a headache since the beginning w/ one defect after another. I have not been notified of any recalls since I purchased it new in Jan 2005. The problem has not been fixed as it is not in our budget at $1200.

- Scurry, TX, USA

problem #591

Sep 122009


  • miles
I was driving along I-20 when the power steering light came on and the power steering just gave out. Thank god I was able to pull to the side, turned the car off started it up, the light went out. Now as soon as I turn the car on it automatically comes on and the power steering is terrible. The car is, of course, out of warranty. Talked to dealer and was told they only had 1 car brought in with this problem and it was costly.

- Longview, TX, USA

problem #590

Jan 092010


  • 42,000 miles
TL- contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when she was driving down the road at approx 55 mph and the power steering failed. She tried to turn around a curb and had no power steering which made for a difficult time turning. She stated that the longer the vehicle had no power steering, the more she felt as if the entire steering system was locking up altogether. She noticed the problem every time she drove the vehicle. She took the vehicle to the dealership and was told that they could not duplicate the problem and the vehicle was alright to drive without the power steering. They told her that it just made the vehicle harder to drive. She had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was 46,503. The failure mileage was approximately 42,000.

- Dunmor, KY, USA

problem #589

Feb 102010


  • 103,456 miles
My power steering continues to fail 3-4 times a week now. I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and had recently lost my steering in a snow storm. I have contacted gmac, and they informed me there was nothing that they could do, but repair it if necessary @ my expense, seeing as the warranty has expired, and there was no recall on this problem. There is little time lapse between the power steering indicator, and losing the power steering.

- Liberty, NY, USA

problem #588

Oct 102009


  • miles
The power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt failed while making a turn on a busy street. The sudden failure caused me to veer into 2 lanes of oncoming traffic. Was able to stop and no accidents occurred. I had 3 of my children in the car with me, could've been tragic!!!!

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #587

Feb 122010


  • 59,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt when the power steering failed. I was doing 30mph when the warning light on the dashboard went on and I had a hard time steering the car off the road. I turned the car off and then back on and the problem stopped. This has happened twice. My mechanic cant find anything wrong.

- Hazlet, NJ, USA

problem #586

Aug 272009


  • 94,783 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt - had total power steering failure. The repair was made by our local Chevrolet dealer I.G. burton in seaford, de for $998.94 on 8/27/09. Code #9996 they replaced the steering column assembly due to faults in motor unit. Part #19200751 F-column kit and part #4238 cpc.. I complained to Chevrolet customer assistance center. A representative responded back by telephone denying my request for financial re-imbursement claiming "they had no reports of complaints about this problem".

- Seaford, DE, USA

problem #585

Oct 102009


  • 40,000 miles
We purchased a used 2005 Cobalt and have had this issue with the power steering going out on numerous occasions. Each time the car was taken in they would say they couldn't find the problem and would return the car to us unrepaired as it would do the same thing again and again and on one occasion it almost resulted in a severe accident while my wife and daughter were turning through an intersection and the steering went out. Thank god the other drivers were alert and a near and possibly fatal accident was avoided. They tell us it can be fixed but now that it's out of factory and somehow even extended warranty they had us purchase that was supposed to last until we paid it off have expired they want us to now pay for the repairs and even $100 to even look at the car. We got a report that this car had issues from day one and were never told but received it later from GM indicating the car had a some problems and was sold to our dealership at a GM auction. We feel stuck with this car and trusting in god each day that the problem won't occur and cause loss of life to anyone. Please make GM recall and repair these Cobalts so that loss of life or limb isn't a result at anytime. This occurs quit often and should be addressed.

- Winterville, GA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?