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 35 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #324

Nov 052009


  • 67,000 miles


My girlfriend bought an 05 Chevy Cobalt from a local dealership that inspected the car 15 minutes before we drove it off the lot. 25 hours later as my girlfriend is exiting the highway, slowing down from 55 mph. The powersteering fails on her and sends her into the guard rail doing about 40-45. I have been pn forums and have found an obscured amount of the same complaints. Something really needs to be done about these Cobalts before someone dies. Luckily she was only knocked around a little and wasn't seriously injured.

- Corning, NY, USA

problem #323

Nov 102009


  • 58,800 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure this is a safety issue so many complaints this is a recall issue what will it take someone to get killed before GM reacts that is all they need is a law suit.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #322

Aug 112009


  • 6,500 miles
A couple months ago I was driving down the highway going 55 mph when I heard 3 dings. I looked down and power steering message was flashing across the information bar. When power steering wasn't flashing across the screen the temperature had lines instead of numbers like it couldn't register. My check engine light came on along with the traction control light. The speedo and tachometer were moving really erratic too. When I stopped and tried to pull out again it was like I popped the clutch on a manual shift while it shifted into 2nd. Then it bogged down really bad like it shifted way too early. Than my power steering went out. I was stuck on the side of the

- Mahanoy City, PA, USA

problem #321

Nov 132009


  • 13,000 miles


The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. When attempting to enter a parking garage the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the power steering failed. She was able to restart the vehicle to resume normal vehicle operation. She was in the process of taking the vehicle to the dealer for inspection. The current and the failure mileages were 130,000.

- Columbus , OH, USA

problem #320

Nov 042009


  • 58,795 miles
Power steering in 2005 Chevy Cobalt going out causing steering to be very hard to control especially on sharp turns. Can be corrected if car is shut off and restarted but goes back out without warning. Almost got in a serious wreck coming off an interstate ramp where power steering went out without warning and came about 1/2 foot away from colliding with guardrail. Was told that cost of repair is about $2000 and the entire steering column would have to be replaced. Now the power steering is going out continuously. There is no specific speed as I have been going any from 5 mph to 55 mph when it goes out. Have owned car for about 15 months. I have seen many complaints and blogs on the internet regarding the same issue but no recalls have been made. This is a very serious issue and with all the complaints that I have seen I would think there would have been a recall by now.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #319

Oct 052009


  • 70,000 miles
While driving there is 3 dings and power steering comes on the command center followed immediately by complete loss of power steering shutting car off and restarting resets and power steering returns temporarily until repeating the process shortly was intermittent now becoming more and more frequent very unsafe and very hard to steer.

- Holderness, NH, USA

problem #318

Nov 142009


  • 70,600 miles


I was driving and my power steering light came on and I lost my power steering completely. I'm a 95 pound girl and it is impossible for me to turn my car. When I turn the car off and let it sit for a moment and start it again, the power steering comes back on for a moment and then goes out again. This is very dangerous and I am going to have to pay $1000 to fix it I'm 21 years old, I don't have that kind of money laying around.

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #317

Nov 032009


  • 69,975 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with electric power steering. I was driving home and it was raining and suddenly my power steering went out. Then the next day it happened again when I was driving home on the freeway. A couple of days later it happened again when I was driving to the store. I have looked online and have found out that this is a consistent problem in Chevy Cobalts and Saturn ions and nothing has been done about it. If there are so many problems with the power steering in these cars then there needs to be a recall immediately before people lose their lives over an simple error.

- Lakewood, WA, USA

problem #316

Jun 112009


  • 103,011 miles
I have a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and in June 2009 my power steering went completely out and I had to replace it. After looking up if this is a common problem I that this happens to alot of the Cobalts. Chevy refuses to make it a recall when this is a major safety issue. My power steering would go in and out and I almost had many accidents because of it. The cost of the repair was $950. That seems ridiculous to me on a vehicle that I only had 4 1/2 years.

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #315

Nov 112009


  • 60,000 miles
The power steering in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt went out on my wife's car. She was driving down the road, when a light turned on and the power steering no longer worked. Fortunately she slowed down and was not involved in a crash. Looking up this problem on-line, there are hundreds of complaints about this problem with early model Cobalts. I can't believe there is no recall. How many accidents do we have to have? Chevy is not fixing the problem, without charging $1000.

- Grand Ledge, MI, USA

problem #314

Nov 052009


  • 50,000 miles


Power steering failure, Chevy Cobalt 2005. Backed-out of parking space and could barely turn the steering wheel. It's happened five times and always upon backing-up. Once I get the car straightened, I turn it off and it has steered properly the last 3 times it happened.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #313

Nov 092009


  • 72,000 miles
The power steering went out on the car while driving on the interstate and comes back when the car is cut off for a period of time. I found out that this is a problem on alot of the Cobalts.

- N.Charleston, SC, USA

problem #312

Nov 022009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. He restarted the vehicle at a local gas station to resume normal vehicle operation. The dealer was contacted, but he has not received a response. The failure mileage was 60000. The current mileage was 62000. Updated 12/07/09 the consumer stated he was charged $200 to fix the problem with the ateering. Updated 12/09/09.

- Lakewood , CO, USA

problem #311

Nov 062009


  • miles
Powersteering failure on my Cobalt. I will be driving and all of a sudden it locks on me and I have a difficult time controlling the car. My friend has the same vehicle same year and it happens to her too. I looked it up and it is about $2000 to replace, there are many other reports of this happening to other people. Please help.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

problem #310

Nov 012009


  • 50,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt ls 2 door power steering issues!!!! why is there not a recall on this vehicle? someone could die.... power steering locks up in the middle of driving!!!

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #309

Nov 082009


  • 62,018 miles
The power steering does not work well enough to steer vehicle.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #308

Nov 072009


  • miles
Electric powering steering pump.

- Booneville, KY, USA

problem #307

Nov 052009


  • 72,796 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While entering the drive-way the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was lost of power steering. The vehicle has not been inspected by the dealer, nor has the manufacturer been notified. The failure mileage was 72,796.

- Anderson, CA, USA

problem #306

Oct 272009


  • 113,000 miles
Power steering has gone out in Chevy and im not the only one there is a whole site dedicated to this. It has nearly killed me, the steering wheel stops working all together and I have already replaced my power steering module. Please take the time to look at this site and it speaks for itself

- Fort Lauderdale , FL, USA

problem #305

Jun 112008


  • 30,000 miles
As many of the other complaints filed, I have a problem with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. The traction control and power steering go out, which makes it very difficult to control while driving. This occurs at random; has happened while on the freeway or while barely moving in a parking lot. I have now taken it in to the car dealership twice, but they cannot find out what is wrong. I feel like this is very dangerous because I cannot control it very well and with winter approaching, it is just downright scary. I wish they could figure out what is wrong with the car; otherwise, I will consider getting a different non-GM car.

- Mayville, WI, USA

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