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 40 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #224

Aug 252009


  • 49,932 miles


On Friday August 25th 2009 I was driving my car when all of a sudden the power steering indicator came on in my car and immediately the power steering went out while I was driving. On Tuesday August 29th 2009 I had my mechanic look at the problem and discovered that my 2005 Chevy Cobalt has an electric power steering system and it can only be fixed by replacing the entire steering column. I immediately contacted GM Chevrolet to inform them and they stated that there has been no recall scheduled for the 2005 or 2006 Chevy Cobalt. I did an internet search on the Chevy Cobalt and discovered that power steering going out is a common problem among Chevy Cobalt owners and Chevy is failing to do anything about it. This is a safety matter because the power steering will go out at random and Chevy says that it will cost $800 just for the part not including labor cost. This is a manufacturing error that Chevy needs to correct.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #223

Aug 292009


  • 59,724 miles
The power steering on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt keeps failing at random intervals. Usually when it fails, I have to stop and restart the engine to restore it, and it continues to happen while on the road.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #222

Aug 012009


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt which was purchased in 2006. While driving, the power steering warning light illuminated indicating that the power steering was off. She was unable to turn the steering wheel left or right. She also stated that whenever utilizing the air conditioning unit in the vehicle, the power steering would fail shortly afterwards. No repairs had been made to date. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were under 75,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #221

Aug 302009


  • 100,000 miles


The power steering fault keeps coming on turning the electrical power assist off. I have to restart the car to get it to work again.

- Fredericton, 00, USA

problem #220

Jul 302009


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 55 mph he lost power steering which made it difficult to maneuver the steering wheel. He was able to safely drive to the emergency lane, shut the vehicle off and restart it. The power steering disengaged and resumed normal driving function. A local mechanic determined that the electrical power steering unit was failing and the repair cost would be approximately 2,000. The manufacturer stated that the failure is a common occurrence; however, since the warranty expired no compensation would be offered. The failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage was 91,000.

- Providence , RI, USA

problem #219

Aug 282009


  • 21,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt with electronic/power steering defect that has caused the steering in my vehicle to fail and/or work improperly. This failure first occurred around 21000 miles it was repaired under the warranty that I had purchased for the vehicle when I bought it. My car now has 36000 miles on it and the same problem is occurring again the dealers will no longer cover the repair even though the car is still under warranty.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #218

Aug 132009


  • 44,853 miles


I was driving down the highway, when my vehicle became difficult to steer. The steering locked and the power steering indicator light came on. I had the vehicle towed to a dealer. They state there was a "short in the electric power steering motor". they replaced the power steering motor. This vehicle has less than 45,000 miles. I had to wait a week and a half for the dealer to get the part. Previously, I had to have the ignition and gear shift replaced.

- Pflugerville , TX, USA

problem #217

Aug 242009


  • 64,000 miles
Power steering light keeps coming on in the dash, car will miss its shift points, powersteering goes inop, speedo goes from 40 to 60 mph, brakes pulsate when trying to stop. No repair has been found yet.

- Theresa, NY, USA

problem #216

Aug 182009


  • 100,122 miles
I am a driver of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and I would like to report a malfunction in the steering system in hopes of a future recall of the vehicle. The power steering sporadically fails as a result of a faulty mechanism in the car. I recently had a problem with the steering on the highway, which led to loss of control of the vehicle, and a nearly serious accident. There are hundreds of Cobalt drivers that have had the same problem and had to pay $900-$2500 to repair their car. GM is aware of this problem but has chosen to do nothing about it. This malfunction is potentially dangerous and warrants a recall. Thank you for giving this issue your serious attention.

- Lyme, CT, USA

problem #215

Aug 282009


  • 8,300 miles
Power steering warning message comes on while driving. After this comes on then the power steering fails making it nearly impossible to steer the car.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #214

Jun 102009


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph the power steering spontaneously failed; causing her to lose control of the vehicle and as a consequence her risk for a vehicle crash was increased. The vehicle has not been inspected to determine the cause of the failure. She notified the manufacturer and was referred to NHTSA. The failure and current mileages were 110,000.

- Turkey Creek, LA, USA

problem #213

Aug 212009


  • 47,000 miles
Power steering went out on the highway on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt with about 47,000 miles on it.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #212

Aug 182009


  • miles
I am reporting about Chevy Cobalts powersteering problems. My car is a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Last year at 33000 miles the powersteering failed and when I took it to Chevy they said this was a problem with several others. I was required to pay 2000+ dollars to resolve the problem. I could not afford and so I ignored the problem which disappeared on its own for almost 10 months. Now its back again. My car has less than 390000 miles now. As I goggled the problem, I came across so many other people with a similar problem with the same model same year. Isn't this a manufacturers problem? requesting investigation on the problem.

- Pittsburgh Pa, PA, USA

problem #211

Aug 262009


  • 50,000 miles
Without any warning at all, my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt's power steering failed. I had to put a bit O muscle into the steering wheel to avoid hitting an oncoming car as the road was curving at this point, luckily I was able to get home safe. Restarting the car makes the problem go away for a brief time period, but I have to be ready for the steering to fail at any moment. I have heard several complaints from others who have had the same problem, it is only a matter of time until the problem causes a fatal accident if there have not been any already.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #210

Jun 272009


  • miles
2005 Cobalt......the power steering and check light engine keeps coming on. Is there a recall on this.

- Fritch, TX, USA

problem #209

Aug 232009


  • 75,010 miles
This is my second complaint I have had to make. I have been doing research on this topic for over a year now. All you have to do is type in "Cobalt power steering" into google and millions of complaints on various websites and forums come up. Last year when I filed a complaint there was no damage involved. This time there is and it needs to be fixed. I think there are plenty of people complaining about this subject. I have a 05' Chevy Cobalt that when driving randomly the electronic power steering goes out. I can't drive more than five minutes and every time I get in the car it cuts out. This time I was backing out of a driveway and the power steering went out as I was coming to my parents mailbox. I went to turn and I couldn't and I hit it. I have $500 in damage that I don't want to claim to insurance because then it will just cost more in the long run because my insurance will go up. I am a firefighter in central Florida. I see car accidents all the time because of vehicle problems or failure. Is it going to take me going down the highway, someone pulling out in front of me, and me dying? one less public safety employee in Florida.

- Belleview, FL, USA

problem #208

Aug 212009


  • 62,700 miles
I was driving on the highway, when my 2005 Chevy Cobalt's power steering just cut out. I almost crashed into the car beside me because I was not expecting for the car to do that. When I got home, I tried to check the power steering fluid level in the car and found that there is no place to put it. I later found out that the power steering is electric and a simple fix such as filling power steering fluid ( much like I've done with previous cars I owned) was not possible. The steering column would have to be pulled out in order for the problem to be fixed. If I didn't have an extended warranty on my car it would have cost thousands to fix which is ridiculous.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #207

Aug 102009


  • 82,346 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering has gone out. When I am driving on the freeway the power steering light comes on and I am unable to control the steering since it fails. I have to pull over and restart my car in order to continue driving it. The more I drove it the worse it got! I drive no more than 2 minutes with my power steering light coming on and a 5 minute drive I would have to restart my car at least 5-6 times before getting to my destination. I feel like this is putting me in danger since I am not able to navigate the car properly. This shouldn't be happening! my car has been back and forth in the shop for 2 weeks now, and I don't know what to do.

- Livingston, CA, USA

problem #206

Aug 202009


  • 70,148 miles
Power steering went out on vehicle while not even driving. Upon research the problem is very common. I am extremely thankful that it did not happen to my wife as she was driving. The car was parked in front of the house while I was getting things out of the trunk, and it started beeping saying power steering. The next time we went to drive the car it had none, and when started never said anything was wrong, at all!

- Carnegie, PA, USA

problem #205

May 282009


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering failed intermittently while driving approximately 25 mph. When the engine is shut off and restarted, the power steering reset itself and the vehicle operates normally. The electric power motor in the steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Krum, TX, USA

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