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 30 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #424

Jan 262010


  • 49,210 miles


Power steering failure in Chevy Cobalt. A little online research shows that lots of people are having this problem.

- Fairfield, PA, USA

problem #423

Jan 252010


  • 38,930 miles
Power steering goes out randomly while driving making it very difficult to steer the car. This started Monday and did it 2 separate times then it happened again on Wednesday. Once you turn the engine off and back on it's ok for an indeterminable timeframe.

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #422

Jan 272010


  • 65,000 miles
Power steering on '05 colbalt shuts off during driving. System turns off sporadically. If I cannot pull over and shut the engine down, the steering wheel will turn but very hard to turn. If I turn the vehicle off and back on the system works fine till the next episode.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #421

Aug 012009


  • 65,000 miles


About six months ago the power steering started randomly shutting off while I was driving. When it first started it was very sudden and shocked me. The jolt of the wheel, when it happened the second or third time, sprained my wrist. Now, every time the car is turned on the power steering goes off within about two to three seconds and remains off. I already sustained injury from this and I'm very upset that no one is doing anything to fix it even though this seems to be a very large scale problem creating safety hazards for thousands of people. Unfortunately, the warranty on my Cobalt has long been expired and I don't have enough money to replace the whole steering column (more than $2000). I'd like this issue to be taken care of with a recall as soon as possible. I will be contacting a lawyer if this problem causes me another injury or accident.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #420

Jan 122010


  • 91,409 miles
My Chevy Cobalt was losing power steering while parking, the mechanic could not find anything wrong. While driving on the highway during rush hour the power steering failed and I could barely turn the wheel. I was able to get it off the road. The power steering motor was replaced for almost $600 but I am still having steering problems. Along with the motor being replaced I had previously replaced almost every part relating to the steering system in this car. This problem is going to kill someone if it hasn't already. Please, please make GM recall this car it is unsafe to drive. I am afraid every time I drive it.

- National Park, NJ, USA

problem #419

Jan 252010


  • 60,060 miles
I was driving down the highway heading home from work during rush hour traffic in Chicago. When the powersteering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt apparently began to give out, my car began to stutter, lose power, and the steering tried to lock itself. Lights on my dashboard began to dim in and out and then it displayed powersteering on the display. Fortunately I was able to pull over without the powersteering completely locking itself on me. I shut off my car for a few minutes. Turn it back on and proceeded to get off at the next exit and drove it the rest of the way home, which fortunately was not that far away, and it continued to stutter and tried to lock the steering wheel, dashboard lights dimming in and out and just losing power of the vehicle.. I am looking for the nearest Chevy dealership, I can take it into for repairs. When I happened to have come across about the same complaints other Chevy Cobalt owners have with their powersteering as well. Obviously this is something that needs to be looked into. Fortunately for me I was able to pull over and get off the highway without incident in Chicago rush hour traffic. I don't even want to think about what might have happened if I had been unable to pull over and get off the highway and had my 1 yr old daughter with me in the car. Please look into it and help avoid in having this problem turn into a tragedy for any other Chevy Cobalt owners. Thank you.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #418

Jan 242010


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 65 mph on normal road conditions the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road which required a higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently and became progressively worse. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The failure was contributed to the power steering motor. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Virginia Beach , VA, USA

problem #417

Jan 242010


  • 930,000 miles
When are they going to recall the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt due to the power steering. I think its disgusting that GM is not doing anything about it. I just bought this car and don't have the money to fix this. How many people have to die before something is done. The power steering goes out when driving.

- Milton, 00, USA

problem #416

Jan 112010


  • 67,000 miles
Power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt (67,000 miles) keeps failing, without warning. This makes for a dangerous situation, especially on the curvy, rural roads I drive. I can hardly imagine what would happen on a highway. I understand this is a common problem with these cars and several similar models.

- Spencer, IN, USA

problem #415

Jan 102010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 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 continued operation with caution which required higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation whenever the engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure occurred intermittently. Updated 02/17/10. Updated 02/17/10

- Abita Springs , LA, USA

problem #414

Jan 102010


  • 106,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving at 60 mph the power steering light would flash and the power steering would go off on the vehicle. The contact has to turn off the vehicle and then restart it for the power steering to work again. This happens while the vehicle is making turns as well. The manufacturer informed the contact that since their is not a recall the manufacturer is not responsible for the repairs. The contact feels a recall should be issue regarding the power steering. Failure mileage was 106,000.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #413

Jan 142010


  • miles
There's a defect with the power steering motor on 2005 & 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. I bought the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt ls brand new in spring of 2005 and the power steering went out this week (Jan 2010). As one would expect, when it went out while driving approximately 45 mph on a straight city street it became extremely difficult to steer. Making it a very dangerous safety hazard if one has to turn quickly to avoid a collision with another car, a person, or a child. I thought that it may have just been out of steering fluid, but this model has electric power steering, requiring the car to be brought in for service. After encountering the problem, I contacted the dealer and they stated that they have seen this problem very frequently and noted that it indeed was an issue with the power steering motor. After finding out how common this issue was, I researched online to see if perhaps GM/Chevrolet had issued a safety recall and to my surprise I found over 700 complaints (on one site) from Cobalt owners with the same issue dating as far back as 2007 (site:, but no safety recall. This issue is well known to GM/Chevrolet and yet and still no recall. These particular models (Chevy Cobalt ls and others) are marketed as great cars for teens and young adults, making the power steering defect all the more dangerous when combined with young drivers. There are numerous complaints listed online and there is even a petition in place to require GM/Chevrolet to issue a safety recall. On behalf of owners of the effected models, please look into this. I myself will be keeping records of the complaints posted online and I encourage others having the same issue to do the same. I will also be contacting GM/Chevrolet about the issue. Please don't overlook this. All 2005 Cobalt ls owners are at risk. GM/Chevrolet needs to take responsibility before a consumer gets injured or worse as a result of their indolence.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #412

Jan 112010


  • 72,000 miles
Electric power steering pump and modular in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering has started locking up at times and then comes back. Took it to the dealer and they said that the electric pump and modular needs to be replaced this has happened to a large number of these cars. It is very unsafe and can cause a serious accident or the result of someone getting seriously hurt or killed. We purchased this car for our daughter thinking that this was a safe car for her to drive to school and work. But this is very unsafe because the steering can lock up and leave her with no steering. We think GM should be made to recall this problem because they know how many cars this has happened to and it is very unsafe.

- Colonial Heights, VA, USA

problem #411

Jan 222010


  • 35,000 miles
18 year old son traveling 3 hour trip from school and lost steering in car. Car became very uncontrollable but luckily he got the car to stop and got to side of road. After shutting her off for a while he restarted her and everything was fine. After having car checked out it seems that electric steering column maybe bad. Wondering if there is a recall on it. Car only has 63,000km on her. Chevy Cobalt 2005. It really is a serious and very dangerous problem.

- Lethbridge, 00, USA

problem #410

Jan 222010


  • 92,000 miles
My 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt experienced power steering failure. The power steering message came on and my wheel locked up. I was unable turn the wheel and had to drive off of the road to avoid a collision. After turning the car off the steering came back. However, this problem could cause major injury. This is a frequent problem with the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and no recall is in effect. This cannot be fixed without major expense on my part.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #409

Dec 102009


  • 75,000 miles
I am having problems with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I have about 80,000 miles, mostly highway on it and about 5,000 miles ago my power steering kept going out every now and then. It happened not so often so I would just shut the car off and turn it back on and the problem would be gone. Until about another 100 miles then it would start all over again. Now its happening every time I take the car out of my driveway. I have been online to see if other Cobalt owners are having similar problems and low and behold there are a ton of them. I can't afford to have them charge upwards of $700 for me to fix this. If this is such an ongoing problem with this car then something needs to be done immediately before someone, or me and my family, get into a horrible accident. Please email me back with any solutions to this problem. I know I am not alone in this and I know that alot of people would be grateful for any kind of help. Thank you

- Ballston Spa, NY, USA

problem #408

Jan 122010


  • 70,000 miles
Power steering will suddenly stop working - still able to steer manually - steers like a truck though.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #407

Jan 182010


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 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 the side of the road which required higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction at this time. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Sugarland , TX, USA

problem #406

Jan 172010


  • 78,000 miles
Out of the blue my boyfriend and I were on our way home in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt and we heard a ding and the power steering light came on in the car and we totally lost power steering. There was absolutely no warning what so ever. The car has been running great until this. Once I shut off the car and let it sit for awhile I will get the power steering back but within a day or 2 it happens again. This is very dangerous to be driving and lose the power steering with absolutely no warning. I haven't fixed the car yet so I'm not sure how much it is going to cost but I was told by the garage that they have to replace the entire steering column to fix it. I love my Cobalt but I am very unhappy with the way this just failed and it happened 3,000 miles after my extended warranty expired. I've been reading that the same exact problem is happening to a lot of people who own Cobalts.

- Jersey Shore, PA, USA

problem #405

Sep 192009


  • 45,000 miles
I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and as I was driving it began to act almost like it was going to stall out on me as in driving on a major highway! my power steering is shot and needs to replaced I haven't had it that long got in Aug 2008!

- Mount Holly Springs, PA, USA

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