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 31 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #404

Jan 202010


  • 31,914 miles


My daughter experienced a power steering failure on her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering failed while she was driving home from school. There was no warning that the power steering would fail. A power steering warning message came up on the dashboard and then became very difficult to steer. The car will be taken to a Chevrolet dealer for repairs.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #403

Jan 182010


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph vehicle made a beeping sound and then steering wheel locked. The contact shut the vehicle off, restarted it and the failure continued to occur. The contact stated that the power steering failed while driving 15 mph out of a parking lot. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileages were 71000.

- Elk Grove, IL, USA

problem #402

Dec 162009


  • 82,500 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering stops working at random times.. if you are driving and the power steering stops you need to pull over and restart the car. The problem goes away then resurfaces down the road. This vehicle has 82K miles. Not so great with a handicapped wife and two kids.

- West Boylston, MA, USA

problem #401

Jan 032010


  • 76,000 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure. Can not steer car if this happens. This is an on going problem with several complaints this needs to be addressed. Problem occurs daily and is a safety hazard for car to be driven. However you have to drive to keep your job to make the payments on the car. In the process of trying to find affordable solution.

- Oneonta, AL, USA

problem #400

Jan 102010


  • 42,000 miles
The steering went out on the car with 42,000 miles on it. Happens all the time some one is going to get hurt if this problem does not get rectified.

- Angola, NY, USA

problem #399

Jan 012010


  • 70,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt- in the last two weeks my Cobalt has become a death trap. How is it the Chevy can get away with allowing a known issue that can cause death or serious injury continue? I have had my Cobalt to the mechanic for a power steering issue. You drive down the road the red light indicating power steering comes and an you then loose the ability to control your vehicle. I plan to take this to the media and do whatever else I can to make Chevy accountable for the crap they build.

- Clackamas, OR, USA

problem #398

Jan 102010


  • 75,000 miles


The contact has a 2005 chevorlet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering locked while driving approximately 45 mph. The problem has occurred while driving various speeds. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 75000 and the current mileage was 75212.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #397

Jan 142010


  • 79,000 miles
No event driving home.

- Granite Falls, NC, USA

problem #396

Jan 052010


  • 26,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with 26,000 miles on it. Recently the power steering goes out at random while I am operating the vehicle. I have found that hundreds of other people have posted the same problem on the internet and I am sure that there are many more people experiencing the same issue. I am not sure why this has not been recalled yet due to the fact that this could seriously injure someone. The steering wheel becomes almost impossible to turn when it goes out, so an elderly person could easily lose control of the vehicle. Does someone have to get injured or killed before this problem is fixed?

- Cumberland, MD, USA

problem #395

Jan 062010


  • 82,200 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 20 mph on normal road conditions. A chime sounded inside of the vehicle, followed by the "power steering" warning light indicator which illuminated on the instrument control 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 failures occurred intermittently. The vehicle is in the process of being repaired for the malfunctions. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileages were 82,200.

- Hampton, GA, USA

problem #394

Jan 102010


  • miles


Power steering goes out randomly. Key gets stuck in ignition.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #393

Jan 112010


  • 76,703 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the power steering failed. There were no warning lights prior to the failure. She was able to re-start the vehicle and the power steering would function for about 30 seconds before it would fail again. The dealer and the manufacturer have not been notified. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 76,703.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #392

Nov 222009


  • 72,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt has experienced power steering failure at 72,000, this happens in less than 1 minute of driving the car, makes it very hard to turn left or right after coming to a full stop. This is very dangerous and could cause a serious accident.

- Madison, TN, USA

problem #391

Dec 092009


  • 75,000 miles
Power steering problems on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt.

- Townsend, 00, USA

problem #390

Jun 012009


  • 60,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt has a problem with its power steering. My car loses power steering without warning. If I turn the car off and back on the problem goes away for a while. I also have a problem with my ignition. The key gets stuck in the ignition when I turn the car off and is hard to get out.

- Chapin, SC, USA

problem #389

Dec 272009


  • 480,000 miles
Power steering would fail at any time. I couldn't steer the car. It was very dangerous especially on the highway.

- Haverhill , MA, USA

problem #388

Dec 102009


  • 45,000 miles
Bought a new 2005 Chevy Cobalt. The car had serious air conditioning leaking problems right away that took over a year to solve. We were about to go lemon law on the car when Chevy came out with a service notice and got the leak solved. The car then had a headlight that would fill up with water and short out the head light. The dealer told me to drill a hole in the bottom of the headlight case and the water would leak out. The dealer told me to do this!!! the car recently started to have problems with the odometer jumping around while your driving. While that's happening the power steering locks up as the car is being driven. It happened the first time with my 22 year old daughter driving the car to school doing 65 on I95. Scared her and she had to try get the car over three lanes to the side of the road. She was able to do it and after restarting the car, the steering was working again. It took two weeks for it to happen again, this time on a side road as she is not allowed to drive it on the highway anymore. She is a student and needs to get to college. We have contacted Chevy and they tell us it's not under recall and it's going to cost between $600- $1200 dollars. It could either be the powersteering motor or the steering column. They won't know until they get in to the work. I looked on line and found a lot of other people with the same problem in the 05-06 model. This car needs to be recalled as the problem is going to kill someone on the road. The expense is both unnecessary and a burden in these tough times. My child is a student and does not need to shoulder this burden because of the bad engineering by Chevy. I know they are bankrupt and this is a burden we should not have to take. Some one is going to die!

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #387

Nov 012009


  • 50,000 miles
I purchased a used 2005 Chevy Cobalt ss in 2007. Within the first month of having it my check engine let came on. The warranty was already up but I took to a shop my family has taken its cars for years. The shop was unable to locate the problem - they even took a specific class on my car and were unable to diagnosis it. To date, the check engine light continues to go on and off. Most recently, it came on and so did a "power steering" message. Immediately after, my steering locked up and became almost impossible to steer. The worst part of this is that there was no warning and it being winter there was ice everywhere. I found myself sliding across the free way. I didn't think I was going to be able to control the vehicle but thankfully made it home. Thank god, not Chevrolet. It is going to cost over $2000 to fix it out of my own pocket and I'm just not willing to do so until I know for sure that Chevrolet will not be recalling it. From what I have read online, I am one of hundreds of people who have had this exact problem. Many have actually send petitions out. This is definitely a safety issue and it is ridiculous that Chevrolet will not recall this but will recall their headlights?! I couldn't even believe that when I read it. I have been unable to get a straight answer from the dealership here locally or the main phone number for Chevrolet. I'm just put on hold. I'm a responsible, single woman with a mortgage and I need a reliable car. I guarantee I will never buy another Chevrolet since I found out this is the way they treat their consumers. What's worse is that it is not just my particular year or model, every person I've talked to read about has a different year and some are the four dour sedan or normal coupe. This means that the problem with the power steering will continue to be an issue since Chevrolet is continuing to build their Cobalts at such a low standard. I'm incredibly disappointed. I hope this is recalled so I can feel safe behind the wheel again.

- Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #386

Jan 062010


  • 90,000 miles
Power steering failure.

- Blasdell, NY, USA

problem #385

Jan 032010


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph on normal road conditions. A chime sounded inside of the vehicle. Immediately, the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel, followed by 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. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The failure occurred intermittent. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was 120,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Climax, GA, USA

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