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 27 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #484

Jan 152010


  • 51,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Whenever the contact drives the vehicle at any speed she notices a beeping sound coming from the dashboard followed by the loss of power steering in the vehicle. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 51000.

- Beaver, PA, USA

problem #483

Jan 012009


  • 62,000 miles
Electrical power steering failure in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I have made numerous complaints to the manufacturer with no response. My power steering goes out and then resets itself, sometimes while you are going down the road. The only repair for this is to replace my entire steering column which costs over $1,000! this happened when I had only 62,000 miles on the car. Cannot afford to fix this car and pay for it too. I have children though and this is a dangerous situation. We live in ky and the roads are full of hills and curves, now that the power steering is starting to reset itself again while going down the road, it is even more hazardous.

- Campbellsville, KY, USA

problem #482

Feb 162006


  • 26,200 miles
Chevy Cobalt power steering.

- Lisle, IL, USA

problem #481

Jan 152010


  • 35,000 miles


I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering frequently goes out while driving. The car needs to be turned off before the power returns. Very dangerous.

- Collingswood, NJ, USA

problem #480

Jan 032010


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated the power steering had failed. As she was driving, it locked and the steering could not be turned to the left or to the right. The vehicle had to be turned off and back on to reset itself. The contact had not called the dealer. She stated she will be calling on the day this compliant was filed.the failure mileage was 56,000.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #479

Oct 242009


  • 55,000 miles
When we first purchased our Chevrolet Cobalt I noticed that when turning there was an unusual clicking noise when I would turn. I took it into the dealer twice to have them identify and fix the problem which they did not do. At approximately 55,000 miles the power steering in our 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt started failing. A message appeared on the dash which said, "power steering" and our steering wheel would tighten so it was nearly impossible to make turns. However at first we could shut off our car and the problem would not come back for a few days. Now, however it has almost completely failed. When we start our car it is a less than a minute before the message appears and the power steering goes out. It is very unsafe and not to mention difficult to drive it. We do not have the money to fix it.

- Lasalle , IL, USA

problem #478

Nov 232009


  • 76,794 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated as he was driving at low speed the warning light came on and the vehicle started jerking and the power steering was lost. The contact stated he almost landed up in a ditch because he could not control the vehicle. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where they repaired the power steering assist motor and installed an a F motor kit and the lost communication code. The failure mileage was 76,794.

- Chincoteaque, VA, USA

problem #477

Feb 032009


  • 41,023 miles
Electric power steering cuts out after driving the car for about the first 3-5 minutes.

- Middle River , MD, USA

problem #476

Aug 102009


  • 36,233 miles
He contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving 50 mph on normal road conditions. There was a loss of power steering, followed by an engine stall. The failures occurred without warning. The vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the failure was contributed to a shortage in the electronic control module (ECM) and PCM. The components were replaced and reprogrammed. The failure mileage was 36,233.

- Ironton, OH, USA

problem #475

Jul 152009


  • 42,000 miles
Power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt went out while driving 45 mph on a highway. No injuries occurred. Power steering returned when I drove car to mechanic shop, but went out again as mechanic was test-driving. Had to have power steering column replaced at a cost of about $980. Mechanic informed me at the time that this was a common problem with Cobalts, but it had not become an official recall or concern yet.

- Jefferson, LA, USA

problem #474

Aug 102009


  • 36,233 miles


My daughter drives a 2005 Cobalt. On 8-10-2009 she was driving on a two lane road with a speed limit of 55 mph when her car shutoff and she lost steering ability. She crossed the oncoming lane on a blind curve and stopped in a driveway. If there had been a car coming toward her in the oncoming lane she would have been severely injured at a minimum. The Chevrolet dealer said he had never had never seen that happen. The dealer replaced the ECM and put the PCM caused a short.

- Ironton, OH, USA

problem #473

Dec 152009


  • 93,000 miles
Intermittent electric power steering failure in my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Power steering would fail without warning while driving resulting in great difficulty in controlling the vehicle. Failure occurrences progressively became more frequent. Problem required replacement of steering column at local dealership at a cost of $800.

- Columbiana, OH, USA

problem #472

Jan 312010


  • 65,000 miles
Driving my 2005 Cobalt is a dangerous option, you can drive it for day's and all of a sudden the steering quits and the transmission starts acting up also lights on the dash panel start flashing the car is still running but the steering does not work anymore, also the shifter will not disengage the steering lock you have to remove the plug out of the bottom of the steering wheel and stick your finger up in there push a small button like thing to get the key to unlock and turn all the way off other wise it will not lock the steering wheel. This has been happening for about 1/12 years I called the dealer ship and they told me the warranty for this kind of thing was up and that they did not have a fix for this, however they knew of the problem in other cars, I was told to replace the brain I did it didn't work I was told to put a larger capacity (amps) battery in, I did, it didn't work, this is a very serious problem that needs fixed. I'm going to put the last incident date in the box below.

- Crowder, OK, USA

problem #471

Apr 302009


  • 80,000 miles
The electric power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt shuts off while driving, causing my vehicle to be more difficult to steer. I have a log of every time this occurred from when it first started to occur until June 5, 2009 and after that date it is a permanent problem that occurs seconds after start up and initial movement.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #470

Nov 242009


  • 70,899 miles
The power steering in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt went out. For no apparent reason I lost my power steering while traveling through Chicago. As you can imagine this makes it extremely hard to drive. Being a college student I can't afford to replace the faulty steering column. My fiance and I have owned the car for less than two years and the car had under 80,000 miles on it. There are several safety issues as I do not have complete control of the car. To add insult to injury I live in Michigan and the winter driving isn't easy especially without power steering.

- Howard City , MI, USA

problem #469

Jan 272010


  • 88,869 miles
Power steering failure in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. No warnings, steering goes out at any speed. I receive a warning ring to read my computer board which reads "power steering" at this point there is no power steering. Once the vehicle is shut off and restarted the power steering works again, until it goes out again, and again. This is very very dangerous, steering the vehicle without power steering is almost impossible.

- St. Mary's City, MD, USA

problem #468

Nov 262008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
I brought a 2005 Chevy Cobalt brand new my powersteering went out a little over 75,000 miles out of extended warranty. The powersteering kept go out until I had to replace it at nucar Chevrolet in new castle de it cost me over $800 dollars in November 08. The dealer said the power steering was electric and they have similar problems with other Cobalt same model year.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #467

Jan 262010


  • 60,400 miles
While driving on the highway at 70 mph, I heard a ding and looked at the console. It said "power steering". because I was on a straight stretch of road, the power steering going out wasn't initially a big problem, so I got off the highway at the next exit and parked so I could turn the car off. After a couple minutes of talking to my dad, I turned the car on and it was fine so I continued on my trip. Twenty minutes later it dinged again and the power steering was gone again. I drove about 15 minutes like that because I was getting close to my destination until I remembered the ramp I needed to take was a big curve and I didn't want to attempt it without the power steering. I pulled off to the side of the road, turned the car off, and then back on. I was able to pull back onto the highway and around the ramp but as soon as I was on the next highway, it went out again. I managed to make it a couple miles until I saw a GM dealer and got off the highway. I nearly collided with a stopped car trying to make a right turn but managed to make it to the dealer. The power steering motor had fried and needed to be replaced in order to find out if the module was bad too. The motor cost me $411 and if the module had gone too it would have cost $732. Thankfully it was just the motor, but of course my warranty expired just a couple weeks ago. I maintained my car properly since I bought it in 2005 with 6 miles on it but I feel like I've been ripped off.

- Wickliffe, OH, USA

problem #466

Jun 012009


  • 70,000 miles
The power steering goes out in my car almost every day. Sometimes as much as 5 or 6 times a day. It makes it so there is no power steering until I pull over and turn the vehicle off once you turn it off and back on it works fine, sometimes. It has almost cause me to get in an accident and has made it so my wife refuses to drive for fear of her life.

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #465

Jan 152010


  • miles
While driving my car my steering wheel jerked to the left as a tried to make a right turn. Immediately after the jerking of the wheel a power steering message flashed on the dashboard. This is the 2nd time I have an issue with the steering. About 2 years ago my steering wheel completly locked up as I was driving. I was able to quickly move to the side of the road away from traffic where I restarted my vehicle and proceeded to drive with no more issues.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

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