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 26 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #504

Jun 012009


  • miles


I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and after about 10 months my power steering went out. The first time this happened I was in the middle of the intersection trying to make a left hand turn and the steering went out. I pulled into a gas station turned off my car and restarted and it drove fine for approximately 5 minutes before it went out again. I thought that this was maybe a one time thing but unfortunately I had to drive without power steering for 2 months because I was unable to afford the cost of replacing the part. I live in the city and everyday I had to park on the street in front of my apartment and without power steering, parallel parking was nearly impossible. This became a daily headache for me. After about 2 months, I had the opportunity to get the part replaced and after I picked my car up from the shop with the new part, the steering went out again. So, unfortunately I had to have the manufacturer replace the supposedly "new" part again. Luckily, after the second "new" part, I finally had steering again. I loved my Chevy Cobalt until the steering went out; it seems as though the quality of my car has been steadily decreasing ever since this has happened. I would greatly appreciate a recall of some sort, especially considering I am a full-time college student and I cannot afford to shell out another $700 on a faulty steering part. Something needs to be done, I am positive I am not the only person in the position and would like for someone to actually listen to what these owners are going through!

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #503

Dec 262009


  • 55,493 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while it was parked with the engine running, the power steering light illuminated and the steering locked. This has occurred about a total of 6 times. The vehicle has not been driven ever since it locked up. The failure only occurs whenever the vehicle is turned on. The dealer was contacted and they asked the contact to bring in the vehicle, however the contact has not taken the vehicle to the dealer because the power steering will lock up. There have been no repairs done to the vehicle. The failure and current mileage was 55493.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #502

Jan 022010


  • 54,542 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering constantly goes out, which has happened since he purchased the vehicle new. The contact stated that he has had three crashes due to these failures. While driving about 10 mph going down a hill the contact was trying to avoid a parked car when the power steering failed. The contact crashed into the parked vehicle. The dealer was contacted about the failures and the contact was told the the repair would be expensive. The urrent mileage was 54,542 miles.

- Mercer, PA, USA

problem #501

Oct 182009


  • 47,000 miles


My 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt with 47,000 miles. While driving, I was steering into a sharp turn and the power steering quit working. I fought it to the side of the road nearly hitting a tree. Once stopped I shut the car off. Looked under the hood and found no leaks or visible damage. I started the car and I had power steering again. This incident happened a week later driving down the road. Again pulled off the road and nothing visible seem to be wrong. Started the vehicle again and again I have power steering. Just a few days passed and my wife was driving the car taking our son to pre-school. Started to turn right off our road and the power steering went out and was nearly hit by an oncoming car because she could not continue to turn the steering wheel. Now the power steering is always out / not working. The dealership is saying that GM wants them to replace the steering column. $940 plus tax. This does not always fix the problem he says. He also told me that GM does not no exactly what the problem is and that they were supposedly researching. I have done some internet research myself and found that thousands are having this problem from model years 2005 through 2009 to include the HHR and ion. Please help.

- Seaman, OH, USA

problem #500

Aug 122005


  • 48,000 miles
The contact has a 2005 chevrelot Cobalt. The contact states that the vehicle is having a failure with the power steering. The contact stated that when this failure happens the service engine and traction control light illuminate. The RPM gauge will start to flip up and down. The failure started to occur 6 months ago. Everytime the failure occurs the contact has to pull off the road and restart the vehicle in order for the power steering to operate. The vehicle failure mileage was 48000 and the current mileage 65000. The VIN number was unavailable.

- Masury, OH, USA

problem #499

Jan 072010


  • 75,000 miles
Power steering failed suddenly while driving the vehicle. The first warning sign was approximately 2 beeps from the dash followed by the words "power steering" on the driver information display. Power steering failure resulted in a significant increase in force to steer the vehicle especially at low speeds. The failure occurred at a slow rate of speed while traveling straight. This particular failure resulted in no loss of control, however, it easily could have should I have been trying to maneuver the vehicle in traffic. After shutting the vehicle off and immediately starting it again, the power steering worked as expected. This was repeated several times after power steering failure and every time the vehicle was shut off and restarted, the power steering would work as expected. The vehicle is currently at the dealer being repaired. I was told the failure was in the power steering motor and the power steering control module. I have asked for the old parts back.

- Easley, SC, USA

problem #498

Sep 152009


  • miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and assumed when my power steering went out while driving between home and school it was simply because I had bought it used... it cost over 1,000 to have it repaired... luckily it totally went inoperative not far from school and I made it safely.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #497

Mar 202008


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving and trying to switch lanes, he noticed that the power steering failed. It was extremely hard to maneuver to another lane so he tried to pull over. When he pulled over, he turned off the ignition and re-started the vehicle; the failure seemed to correct itself after the vehicle was re-started. The contact noticed the failure on a daily basis. In June 2009, while driving up a hill, the power steering failed and he hit a parked vehicle. He took the vehicle to the dealership and the dealer told him that it was a possible short in the power steering motor. The dealer advised him to replace the power steering motor. He purchased a motor at a junkyard and had a repair shop replace it. However, after a month, the issue resurfaced. The vehicle had not been repaired to-date. He had not called the manufacturer at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 91,000. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000.

- Mccomb, MS, USA

problem #496

Feb 022010


  • 98,000 miles
Out of the blue the car began missing, quitting and unable to steer or turn the car has a serious loss of power. The car has been checked and rechecked with no answers and with the previous complaints and recalls that are listed I am requesting information on the specifics to get the car fixed without the cost to me.

- Rainelle , WV, USA

problem #495

Jan 272010


  • 51,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt, power steering suddenly went out. Very difficult to steer, almost caused accident with my two small children in the car. Have found many others on line who have suffered same problem.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #494

Dec 032009


  • 40,000 miles


The power steering in my Chevrolet Cobalt repeatedly goes out. It works when I first turn on the car, but then goes out within 30 or so seconds. I took it to a mechanic to have it checked out and they said they'd have to replace the whole steering mechanism, which would cost over a $1000 with labor. Because of the price, I could not afford to replace it; therefore, I am still driving without the power steering working.

- Pikesville, MD, USA

problem #493

Nov 012008


  • 58,000 miles
While turning through an intersection, a warning bell/dash indicator alerted me that my power steering had failed. This was verified while trying to turn through the intersection. Thankfully, nobody was in the lanes next to me, and I was able to glide through the turn and into a nearby parking lot without incident or harm. The Chevy/GM dealer nearby said the electronic motor in the steering column had shorted out, and they replaced the entire steering column. The replacement was still covered by my extended warranty, thankfully, by a few thousand miles.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #492

Dec 252009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving, she lost power steering capabilities making it extremely difficult to turn on two different occasions. The power steering light illuminated on the dashboard and then the power steering would fail. She turned the vehicle off and re-started it; the problem seemed to correct itself after she re-started it. She took the vehicle to a repair shop and was told that they could find nothing wrong with the vehicle. She called the dealership and was informed that there was no recall for the problem. She had not called the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage is 94,000 and the failure mileage was approximately 93,000. Updated 03/04/10 re-mailed 04/20/2010 added VIN. Updated 04/29/10/ updated 5/6/10

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #491

Jun 192009


  • 50,665 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Whenever the contact turns the vehicle in any direction she noticed that the steering wheel will began to jurk forward, the contact also noticed at the same time the ignition will not allow the key to be removed and that the power locks will lock and unlock on their own. The vehicle has not been diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 50665.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #490

Nov 292009


  • 105,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering goes out after a few minutes of driving. Turn the ignition off and then back on and power steering comes back on then off again after driving for a few minutes.

- Mebane, NC, USA

problem #489

Sep 012009


  • 50,000 miles
Power steering failure on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Has been going on for a year now and unable to afford to repair.

- Wendell, NC, USA

problem #488

Jun 012006


  • 8,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt has had problems with the steering starting when the car was less than a year old. Had taken the car in to fix the emergency brake that had snapped and spoke to advisor about the steering problem but at that time it had occurred intermittently, they checked and found no problem at that time. Following another broken emergency brake (that still does not hold) I again explained the steering problem that was happening more frequently and at that time I was told that the repair would cost about $1200 and that there were no recalls or warranty left (car had 36,000). There is no explanation of why it happens, it can occur at any time and may remain out for days. There is no way to prevent it that I have found. While driving it will go out and it is almost impossible to turn the wheel, I have had to completely stop the car to avoid missing or not making a turn or avoid another car then while youre struggling to turn the wheel the steering has come back on and the car moves erratically. The cars gauges will stop working (almost like a surge) while the steering is out and I will have no speedometer. The car is driven, we have no choice at times but we try not to drive it because we cannot rely on the steering. We have not fixed the car because we cannot afford the repair.

- Stevensville, MD, USA

problem #487

Nov 262009


  • 90,200 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering problem, it seems like loose when you drive. No accident happen, just want to file a complain on this car.

- Lomita, CA, USA

problem #486

May 202009


  • 40,000 miles
2005 Cobalt with about 40,000 miles on it. Steering column went out.

- Aberdeen, MD, USA

problem #485

Oct 122009


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 a Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 65 mph on normal road conditions. The "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to side of the road which required higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The failure was intermittent but has become consistent. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunctions. The failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 03/30/10 updated 07/13/10

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?