ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
47 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
27 / 5
Average Mileage:
64,290 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 34 of 52)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #373

Dec 202009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the power steering failed. He contacted the dealer, and the technician stated that the power steering column needed to be replaced at an expense of $900. The failure and current mileages were 89,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 2/17/10 updated 02/22/10

- Rochester , NY, USA

problem #372

Dec 242009


  • 111,000 miles
Power steering failed without warning while driving, almost resulting in crash. The vehicle beeps and displays "power steering" on the screen in the dash when it fails.turning the vehicle off then on restores power steering, but after approx. A quarter mile of driving it fails again. There are hundreds of similar complaints listed online from other owners of the same vehicle.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #371

Dec 082009


  • 123,123 miles
I was driving down the road and I heard a dings chime I looked at my console and it read power steering and that moment my power steering went out and I had lost control of my car. I had to slam on my brakes due to a sharp turn ahead. Needless to say if would of been closer to the turn I may have been in an accident. Since then the console flashes the words power steering on and off and I can't turn the car when it happens my first child was born on Dec 10,2009 and I'm afraid to take him to the doctor or my wife to the groceries store this vehicle is a safety hazard for boththe owners and other motorist on the road a recall must be made before someone is seriously injured or killed shame on Chevy for selling such a low quality vehicle.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #370

Nov 202009


  • 87,000 miles


The power steering in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls fails unexpectedly. There seems to be no reason as to why, or when this will happen again. I believe that it is a safety hazard because there are random times when the electric power steering fails. The problem first occurred while driving around a sharp curve which almost lead to an accident. I'm not sure how often this occurs as it is random. However, I can say that I have not yet been able to drive for more than an hour without it giving out. Also, when you turn the car off and restart it, the power steering will come back on. But like I said before it is completely random as to how long it will remain on. There have been times when it would work for an hour after restarting it, to less than a minute after restarting it. I would like something to be done about this, because it is such a hazard and could take lives. I believe that the price for fixing a problem like this is over 1000 dollars without warranty. This is something that I am not ok with.

- Howard City , MI, USA

problem #369

Dec 242009


  • 53,500 miles
The power steering on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt failed two days ago while driving the vehicle.

- Canon City, CO, USA

problem #368

Sep 182009


  • 67,000 miles
Power steering locks while driving on interstate while snowing why is this happening to alot od Chevy Cobalt consumers"?" this needs to be inspected..

- El Paso , TX, USA

problem #367

Dec 222009


  • 82,918 miles


While driving the car on the freeway, the power steering quit working. This made the car extremely difficult to steer, and could have caused an accident. When I got home I shut off the car, and came back later and the power steering was working again. I took the car to the dealer the next day and they told me the power steering assist motor was bad. I had the part replaced at a cost of $450.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #366

Dec 232009


  • 65,878 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and while driving down I-26 my power steering alarm came on, and I no longer had power steering. I got the car off the highway and called the dealer. They told me that the entire steering column has to be replaced.

- Charleston , SC, USA

problem #365

Dec 232009


  • 58,000 miles
My wife was driving to pick me up from work. When the car ding and the power steering message flashed across the dash. Then when she tried to make the turn she realized that she couldn't move the steering wheel. The vehicle only has 58,000 miles. She turned the car off and it worked for a minute then it went out again when another turn was made. Luckily she wasn't in really bad traffic but something. This is a big problem for a lot of people and needs to be looked into before someone gets into an accident which could have been prevented.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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

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