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 23 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #564

Feb 202009


  • 45,500 miles


Power steering in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt as gone out.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #563

Nov 152009


  • 70,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt this car has powersteering failure. The powersteering will fail on what seems to be only 10 yards down the road. It will reset if the car is turned off and then back on. But only to fail 10 yards down the road again. Before it wasn't as often as it is now. Driving it is a risk because of the effort it takes to control the steering.

- Colcord, OK, USA

problem #562

Aug 242009


  • 35,000 miles
Power steering goes out while driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Makes it very difficult to turn at slow speeds.

- Wildomar, CA, USA

problem #561

Feb 012000


  • 116,369 miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt- the power steering is extremely difficult at times- the light comes on and off- showing a problem is present- I am unable to turn the car normally- making me use two hands-also, there is a rattle in the back- left- very noticeable- to all in vehicle.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #560

Dec 012009


  • 56,000 miles
Purchased a 2005 Chevy Cobalt..currently only has 56,000 miles. The power steering has completely gone out. I know that this is a huge problem for this type of vehicle and the dealership is trying to charge people anywhere from 400-900 to fix. There needs to be a recall on this. I know there is currently an investigation but how many complaints does it take? this is ridiculous! I am not paying that amount of money for a car that is barely 4 years old and is a consistent problem for all those that have purchased this same car. It is a serious safety hazard and is a nuisance to try to operate a car that is barely drivable. Something needs to be done.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #559

Feb 012010


  • 52,200 miles
The power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt keeps giving out. It becomes difficult for me to steer. I have to stop the car and wait about 30 minutes so that it can reset itself and after a few minutes of driving it gets hard again. I have small children in the vehicle and I am afraid that I may lose control and get into an accident.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #558

Dec 152009


  • 83,000 miles


2005 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failure. Began while I was just driving about 30 mph in traffic around mid December and would go off every few miles. It is now much more frequent going off around every one to two minutes of driving. I do not have the money to fix this I looked online and the consensus of the many people with this problem is around 2,000 dollars, and I worry about my safety because it is very difficult to drive.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #557

Feb 082010


  • 47,000 miles
My son was driving his 2005 Chevy Cobalt when the power steering unexpectedly went out. It kept going on and off until he got to work. He had a very difficult time handling the car and almost went into oncoming traffic. The dealership said it would cost $800 to repair the vehicle and it is not covered by any warranty's. it is nearly impossible to steer the car and it is not safe.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #556

Sep 082009


  • 59,000 miles
I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt 2.2 engine. It started Sept 8th 2009 my power steering in my car failed causing me to strain to turn the wheel. I made it with mild damage to my car. I replaced my steering column but the problem still exists. The car jumps like it doesn't know what gear to shift into causing the car to jump and be almost impossible to turn.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #555

Dec 202009


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt which was purchased brand new. She stated that while driving at various speeds, the power steering would fail intermittently and it became extremely difficult to control the steering wheel. The contact shut the vehicle off for a few moments and restarted to reset the power steering. The failure progressed to the point where once the power steering failed; it would not reset when the engine was shut off and restarted. On a separate occasion, while traveling at speeds of less than 65 mph, the vehicle began shaking violently. The power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer could not duplicate the failure and there were no related recalls. No repairs were made to the vehicle, to date. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were under 58,000.

- Kettering , OH, USA

problem #554

Dec 251999


  • 44,250 miles


Power steering warning light comes on and dings and it is extremely difficult to turn the steering wheel. If I turn off the car and restart it the car is fine for a little while and than the warning light comes on again. I have had it checked by the dealer service dept and they found nothing wrong, so I have been driving it like this for over two months. Not sure exactly what to do next. It happens on short trips and long trips, always when I am driving, never when I am parked or stopped.

- Bridgman, MI, USA

problem #553

Nov 192009


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph, the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard and then the power steering failed. The failure occurred 3 to 4 times a week. He turned the ignition off and restarted it; the failure appeared to reset the power steering and it failed within 5 to 10 minutes. He took the vehicle to the dealer and was informed that the electric power steering was the cause of the failure and needed to be replaced. He had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was 80,779. The failure mileage was approximately 70,000.

- New Richmond, WI, USA

problem #552

Jan 142010


  • 45,000 miles
My power steering has failed while driving my 2005 Cobalt with 50,000 miles on it.

- Somers Point, NJ, USA

problem #551

Jun 132009


  • 70,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and my power steering has been out for about 8 months. I've started seeing articles concerning the power steering and thought I should report my car.

- Little Elm, TX, USA

problem #550

Jan 192010


  • 36,000 miles
Power steering failure 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I was idling in a parking lot, heard a ding ding ding, noticed a message on my dash "power steering." I tried to maneuver into a parking space and could barely turn the car into the space. It was extremely hard to turn the wheel. I turned the car off, then turned it back on and the power steering was ok. The same thing happened several times while I was driving over the next few days. The power steering would operate for a few minutes and then go out at random intervals. When the power steering would malfunction, an alarm would sound and a message pop up of the dash. Turning off the car seemed to reset the problem temporarily. I took the car to my dealer and they replaced the motor in the power steering. The part was expensive, but available. It is working fine again. They denied any known problem with this issue in other cars.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #549

Mar 052009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 45,481 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving and attempting to make a right turn the steering wheel locked and wouldn't move. She turned the vehicle off and within a few minutes she was able to drive the vehicle manually to her residence. She did not see any warning lights on the instrumental panel. The dealer replaced the power steering column at the owners expense for $1,387. The failure mileage was 45,481 the current mileage is 58,200 updated 03/19/10. Updated 08/18/10

- South Bay , FL, USA

problem #548

Feb 082010


  • 47,100 miles
1. power steering failure. Regular driving. The car beeped and a prompt message appearing saying "power steering". 2. multiple times during a short drive. Stopping the car/restarting the engine temporarily fixes it. Could lead to intersection crashes because of power steering re engaging/failing mid-turn. 3. new steering column.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #547

Nov 152009


  • 52,000 miles
I gave a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt to my daughter, bought the car second hand @ approximately 40,000km it now has approx 55,000 km. When I bought the car I asked the dealer for a maintenance print out and there was no reference to steering issues.twice since last November the steering locks on her while driving, she describes it as very hard to steer, rattling noise and jerking in the steering. Teh first time she pulled off the hwy and drove home on the shoulder, she called me up to describe the problem, I thought it might be power steering fluid only to find out it is electronic system. Both times I called the dealer but he was not really offering any sollution, he only told me he was aware that it had occured on other Cobalts and it could cost up to $2000 to repair. Today I saw on the internet that GM was under investigation for hundreds of crashes due to this they have a solution for this problem and if they do what is my recourse...I am concerned for the safety of my daughter.

- Moonbeam, 00, USA

problem #546

Jun 012008


  • 35,000 miles
In the summer of '08 the power steering went out in my car as I was attempting to park. I alomost hit the car next to me because it causes the car to be very difficult to steer. Since then the problem has gotten increasingly worse to the point that every time I drive the car, the power steering goes out after about 1 minute of driving. I researched the problem online to see if it was a simple fix, but found that not only is it a difficult problem to fix, but pretty expensive as well. I do not have the moeny to take my car to the dealership, so nothing has been done to correct the problem.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #545

Jan 012010


  • 25,000 miles
This scenario has happened numerous times: Start engine, engage in driving after giving time for engine to idle down, begin to drive, all gauges go to 0 or blank out, power steering is lost, fuel gauge shows empty when driving with a full tank or less, RPM gauge states 0 when engine is still noticeably running, cid displays "pwr steering" indicating it is out. The only fix? turn off car, unplug battery terminal, wait 5 minutes, attach terminal, drive again. But the check engine light remains on for a day or two. This normally happens once a week and no dealers say there's a problem reading on my ECU/PCM. I'm so fed up with this. My car is a 2005 model and this has never been corrected.

- Mccalla, AL, USA

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