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 22 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #584

Sep 212009


  • 59,835 miles


The power steering just stopped working one day while I was driving. It now happens every time I drive aprox. 5-30 sec. After I start moving.

- Fuquay-Varina, NC, USA

problem #583

Feb 012010


  • 58,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt in which the power steering will go out randomly. The first time it happen I was a couple of weeks ago, 01/28/2010, on the highway, and I almost crashed. I thought it might be a fluke, but it happens everytime I drive, and I am now forced not to drive it for obvious safety reasons. It is extremely dangerous and there is no reason for it to be happening at this point in the car's life. I have done research and found this is a very common problem for this model.

- La Porte, TX, USA

problem #582

Oct 112009


  • 54,000 miles
My 05 Chevy Cobalt power steering keeps going out I hear a "ding ding" then the words power steering flashes on and the T/C light comes on the car will slow down and mph and RPM gauges fluctuate back and forth and steering is nearly impossible it first went out at around 54000 miles I replaced the power steering motor but at around 55000 the powering steering went out again so I replaced the entire steering column but the powering steering has gone out twice since then always at random times all the old parts are available.

- Portage, IN, USA

problem #581

Feb 132010


  • 66,239 miles


I was riding down the highway and the power steering went out three times and I can not control the vehicle.. I felt that my life and family was endangered. I know I am not the only one with this problem.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #580

Feb 132010


  • 58,350 miles
I was running an errand earlier this afternoon under normal driving conditions (the weather was clear and the temperature was about 45F) when my driver information center warned of a power steering problem. At the time I was on a straight road only going about 25mph, so when I got to the upcoming stop sign, I shut down and restarted my car. I drove another 5 miles to pick up some food and there was no problem up to that point. On the remaining mile from the food stop to my home, the power steering went out twice. I was on a straight road going about 35mph the first time, and the second time I was pulling into my parking spot. I have not driven my car since then, and at this moment I plan to take the car to the local dealership Monday (if they are not closed for president's day). The reason I am reporting this to NHTSA sort of prematurely is because this seems to be a very common occurring problem based on what I found after looking up 'Chevy, Cobalt, power, steering' on a search engine. One article alone had over 810 comments, all owners of the same car with the same problem.

- Lynn Haven, FL, USA

problem #579

May 062008


  • 42,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt through a winding mountain road and my electronic power steering went out and almost caused me to crash that could possibly cause injury or death of me or my daughter who was with me.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #578

Jan 052008


  • miles


Electronic power steering failure. Started 2 years ago. Chevrolet Cobalt 2005 ls. The power steering usually goes out within 5 minutes of driving every time. It is a very irritating problem. I would fix, but it costs a couple thousand dollars. I've been waiting for a recall, and thank god there is finally an investigation. I know of several people with this same issue who own Cobalts. Chevrolet needs to clean up their mess.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #577

Dec 202009


  • 65,000 miles
2005 Cobalt with 65,000 miles. Came to a stop and could not turn the steering wheel. Drove straight and car pulled to the left. Came to a stop and no problem turning the steering wheel. Took it to a shop where they were familiar with fixing the problem by replacing the electronic system that controls the power steering. This included the entire steering shaft with electric motor and switches attached at a cost of $900. Turned the complaint into Chevrolet dealer and the complaint was taken to GM where after two weeks sent a letter stating they would not cover the cost due to being 2nd hand car with too many miles on the car. Should someone be making a turn when the power steering decides to stop working an accident will surely happen and could kill or injury someone. My grandchild rides with her mother and I would be devastated if I lost them due to GM not wanting to recognize that there is a problem. At least Toyota did the right thing by stopping production until their problems have been resolved. Note that just replacing the part with a new one does not mean the new part will not go out at any time because GM will not investigate the problem.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #576

Feb 122010


  • 63,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalts powersteering went out while driving on the highway.

- Seffner, FL, USA

problem #575

Sep 022009


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While she was driving 10 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and she lost all power which made it difficult to control the steering wheel. The warning light remained illuminated. When the contact turned the vehicle off and restarted it the vehicle began to drive normally; yet, within a few minutes the failure recurred. A local mechanic notified the dealer who stated that the entire power steering column needed to be replaced at an estimated cost of $800. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 73,000. The current mileage was 78,000.

- Fort Collins , CO, USA

problem #574

Feb 112010


  • 33,305 miles


Power steering failure.

- Westhampton Beach, NY, USA

problem #573

Feb 122010


  • 65,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure. We purchased this car a few months ago and it has begun to have major problems. The car is inside of the timeline for power train warranty, but is over miles. The power steering light comes on followed by complete power steering failure, engine stalling, rough shifting, strange movements of the speedometer needle, check engine light comes on. Power steering loss happens while driving and the engine has stalled while driving. The engine also stall when braking. This nearly caused an accident today and the situation is getting worse. My wife and I drive our 1 year old child in this car and my wife is pregnant. We cannot afford another vehicle and may not be able to repair this problem as numerous reports on the web indicate that this is a extremely common problem that is very expensive to fix. This problem happens several times each day.

- Heltonville, IN, USA

problem #572

Feb 122010


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, for the last month or so the power steering has stopped working lots of times, sometimes it goes out a couple times a day. Other times it don't go out for a week. I am an older lady an I thought with gas mileage the Cobalt would be a great car for me. Now I am scared every time I drive, as I am afraid the steering will go out and cause me to wreck. I can't afford to have this worked on. Want to know if there will be a recall as on the tv they said there were lots of Cobalts doing this.

- Shelbyville , KY, USA

problem #571

Jan 012006


  • miles
Vehicle begins to vibrate violently at slower speeds after deceleration from highway speeds. Control of vehicle is lost during most violent vibrations, and stopping the vehicle completely does not help the situation. This vibrating (on the front wheels only) will continue for miles/hours. The only things noted on any 2005 Chevy Cobalt were safety for interior and headlights but there have been over 1100 reports of faulty power steering. Slower speeds cause this violent vibration on the front end of the vehicle. It has started approximately a year after purchase and has continued and has gotten worse since then current date 12 February 2010. Condition keeps worsening, has almost caused an accident.

- Ontario, CA, USA

problem #570

Dec 282008


  • miles
Power steering failed in my Chevy Cobalt. It cuts out within a few minutes of driving and remains out. This makes it difficult to steer at low speeds and park. I have come close to being in accidents several times. I have stop driving my car because it is to difficult to maneuver and it is to much of a strain for me while pregnant.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #569

Feb 022010


  • 88,213 miles
05 Chevy Cobalt - power steering goes out. Bought the car two weeks ago and the steering comes and goes. Reading the web it sounds like this is a known problem but GM has not done anything yet.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #568

Dec 052009


  • 80,000 miles
While operating her 05 Chevy Cobalt, my wife lost power steering while exiting the interstate, causing her to run off the road and blow a tire. This has occurred on 4 other instances with this vehicle while I was operating it, causing me to replace the defective steering column at my own expense. This vehicle has 80,000 miles on it at the time of the part failure.

- Lanesville, IN, USA

problem #567

Jan 092010


  • 37,149 miles
On Jan.9th while I was driving, power steering light came on briefly. All of a sudden lost power steering. Could not control car. Luckily, I was able to get car off the side of the road. I turned call off. Restarted it and while driving it again it was hard to steer. Took car to dealer. They fixed it. They replaced ps electric assist motor.

- Gettysburg, PA, USA

problem #566

Feb 092005


  • 35,000 miles
Power steering fails in 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Speedometer quits working so odometer no longer registers. Daughter was driving vehicle when steering quit. This almost created a major accident. Took car to mechanic and he says the computer won't give out any input.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #565

Sep 152009


  • 80,000 miles
I received a call from GM telling me that my 2005 Chevy Cobalt isn't and may never be on the recall list. My car has been having serious issues with the power steering going out frequently and I can't drive it safely anymore. The steering is too difficult to maneuver and I'm afraid to drive it even to take my grandchildren to see their doctors. I pleaded with a representative of GM and he kept telling me that there was nothing he could do about it. I already have a case number but I fear that nothing will ever get done to resolve the issue! I would appreciate anything you can do to makes this right!

- Modesto, CA, USA

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