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 33 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #364

Dec 102009


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the power steering will fail. She has to restart the vehicle to reset the error code. The dealer has not been contacted. The failure mileage 50,000. The VIN number was unavailable.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #363

Jun 152008


  • 46,000 miles
While driving the power steering stops working intermittently.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #362

Dec 172009


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph the "power steering" warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. He was able to pull to the side of the road and turn off the engine. The failure and current mileages were 56,000.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #361

Oct 012009


  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving a span of 45 miles, the electronic power steering failed at least 15 times. He had to utilize extreme force to navigate the vehicle. The failure would occur intermittently. On a separate occasion, while attempting to pull out of a parking space, the steering failed three times. There were no recalls pertaining to the failure. The failure mileage was 92,000. The current was 93,500.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

problem #360

Dec 192009


  • 67,150 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 30 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the power steering failed. He was able to pull to the side of the road and restart the vehicle. The failure mileage was 67,000. The current mileage was 67,150.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #359

Nov 032009


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 30 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the power steering failed. The dealer has not been contacted about this failure. No repairs have been made. This failure has occurred approximately 10 times. After inspection a mechanic concluded that the power steering failed. The failure mileage was 45000. The current mileage was 45200.

- Beala Air Force Base, CA, USA

problem #358

Dec 192009


  • 100,000 miles


The contact a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 35 mph and making left and right turns, the power steering failed. The dealer confirmed that there are no related warranties and that she would have to pay for the repairs. The manufacturer will be notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Somerville, TX, USA

problem #357

Dec 202009


  • 80,000 miles
Purchased a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt in August 2008 by early spring of 2009 I was driving to work when suddenly I heard a beeping noise and on the screen it said power steering I had no control over the steering I am a very small 100 pound girl and had to use all my strength to pull my car over to the side of the road and call for help. I immediately took the car to a GM dealer who then told me this is a very common problem with the Cobalt and that it would cost me over 800 to fix and that it is not covered under warranty. I could not afford to pay them that amount of money after just purchasing the vehicle and being a student in school. I then found a mechanic that put the part in for a cheaper price but still ended up costing me $450. I was relieved to have the problem fixed when I was driving my car today not even 6 months later on the highway when I heard the same beeping noise and on my screen it came up power steering!!!!!!!!!!!! this time I could not safely pull over to the side of the road I had to keep driving to the nearest exit and myself and my girlfriend used all of our strength just to turn the wheel to get off the highway exit...this is very dangerous and very costly I purchased this vehicle in hopes to be able to drive a fair distance back and forth to school without having to worry about safety problems such as this. Im afraid this is going to continue T happen every 6 months and one of these times im not going to be able to stop safely. If I hadn't had my friend in the car I never would have been able to turn the wheel it is almost impossible for a small girl my size. Now that it is winter im worried about this happening in snow and ice I will have no control over my vehicle im very concerned for myself and the safety of all others..I have been researching this problem online and seen hundreds of similar situations. If I had of known this I would have never purchased this vehicle.

- Fort Erie, 00, USA

problem #356

Mar 102009


  • 42,375 miles
There was nothing unusual leading up to the incident. Early March 2009 powersteering went out on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. When starting the car, powersteering would only stay on for about 5 minutes. To regain it I would have to shut down the vehicle and restart it. This lasted about three months. It was taken to two different shops, sears and a car dealership and both ran diagnostics which found nothing wrong. They could not tell me what the problem was for sure except to say perhaps putting in a whole new power steering system would help. Though they did not know for sure. When I called the Chevy dealership themselves they stated they did not have any previous complaints about the powersteering in that year and model and wanted to run their own diagnostics, that I had to pay for. I refused since the second dealer I took the car to was a Chevy dealer and was told by the company I had to pay for another diagnostic check. The problem disappeared in July of 09 only to come back now Dec 09. The cars powersteering is off within a minute of engine start. With the snowy weather this is a hazard to me and anyone else with similar issues; and I have chronic back problems as well. The pulling of the steering wheel just to turn the car has had me in bedrest twice now.

- Brunswick, ME, USA

problem #355

Dec 022009


  • 62,530 miles
Power steering on my 2005 Cobalt goes out intermittently, it had not done it for two months. But recently, while I was taking a turn, it went out, and I was unable to keep the car in my lane and hit the curb on the opposite side of the road, thankfully no other vehicle was present in intersection, or it would have been a front end collision. Now it works only for a few minutes when I turn my car on, but goes out every time I drive it. I also have problems with the power locks locking and unlocking themselves constantly while I'm driving, and even after the vehicle is parked. I can not leave it unattended because it unlocks itself. I started to have the problem shortly after purchasing it in 2007, but the warranty expired, its 63,000 miles, and cannot afford to fix it. This should not be an issue in a car less than 5 years old. I live in Minnesota, and the roads are often icy, I am fearful it will happen again, and I may not be so lucky again. I have also had problems with the front suspension, I had the shocks/struts? replaced 2 months after buying it, at around 40, 000 miles, and they still have the same problem after the dealer fixed it, I should have complained then, but I was afraid to shell out more money for something else they would claim was wrong with it.

- Minnetonka, MN, USA

problem #354

Nov 202007


  • 65,000 miles


While driving the power steering goes out with no warning and makes it very hazardous to drive. This has occurred on open highway, on freeways, and even in the city driving conditions. Weather does not appear to be a factor as I have seen this happen in snow, rain, and sunny calm weather. The most dangerous time was after waiting at a stop light, I started to turn when light became green, and 1/2 way in the intersection the power steering went out and my vehicle made it very hard to steer it and almost hit traffic that was waiting.

- Tuba City, AZ, USA

problem #353

Dec 022009


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 50 mph, the driver lost power steering and swerved onto the other side of the road; however, she was able to regain control of the vehicle. A half mile down the road, the failure recurred. When the failure occurred a third time she refused to continue driving the vehicle and notified the dealer. Several dealers advised her that she was not eligible for a free remedy since the failure was not associated with the warranty coverage. The dealer also stated that there were no related recalls. The manufacturer was not notified and the vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 76,000.

- Jewett, OH, USA

problem #352

Nov 262009


  • miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt 89,000 miles. Power steering went out 11/26/2009 while on expressway going approximately 65mph. Power steering" light came on and vehicle became very hard to control. Next day vehicle ran fine. Three days later power steering light came on and power steering went out again. It is now permanently out and I was told by the dealership it will cost $900 if not more to repair, also questioned dealership if there are any recalls and repair man said he checked and there wasn't"T. this is obviously very unsafe and a very costly malfunction with these vehicles and should be recalled by GM in my opinion.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #351

Dec 142009


  • 79,900 miles
As I was leaving my parking garage from work, I was getting ready to make a right turn onto the street, and right in the middle of the road the car stopped steering. I had to turn the car off and turn it back on to get it to steer again. Currently it's fine, but I am scared that it will happen again, and with my 5 year old daughter in the car, and on the interstate, not so safe.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #350

Dec 102008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving around a curve on a highway at 60 mph the steering warning light illuminated, and then he experienced difficult steering. The vehicle was taken to a local Firestone facility for inspection. The technician stated that the steering motor, and column needed to be replaced at an expense of $1,2000. The vehicle was repaired. The current and the failure mileage were 83,000. Updated 1/14/10 updated 01/15/10.

- Rocky Hill , CT, USA

problem #349

Dec 112009


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was loss of power steering. She had to exert great effort to control the steering column. The vehicle was in the process of being taken for inspection. The failure and current mileages were 55,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Lauderhill , FL, USA

problem #348

Dec 042009


  • 50,032 miles
While driving my 2005 Chevy Cobalt my power steering just went out. I had to stop my car, turn it off and turn my car back on again for my power steering to work again. This has happened twice now and the second time was when I was driving on the highway and luckily I didn't get in an accident. These cars need to be recalled and fixed.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #347

Dec 102009


  • 48,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving between 25 to 30 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then he lost vehicle control. After two minutes the vehicle was able to be restarted. The dealer was contacted, but because the warranty expired, no assistance was provided. No repairs were made. The failure and current mileages were 48500.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #346

Dec 062009


  • 27,450 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt steering failure,27450 klms on car, said steering column needs replacing. Replaced column still steering failed, and now need to replace what I believe to be steering motor or switch.

- Cranbrook, 00, USA

problem #345

Nov 092009


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering goes in and out, if I turn it off it will work again for a couple minutes and then shut off again. I have read other reports on the internet and see that there are hundreds of other Cobalts with power steering defects! this is a very serious and dangerous problem! its also very expensive to fix. My bill is over $900.

- Loveland, CO, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?