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 42 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #184

Aug 062009


  • 71,932 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at an unknown speed, the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard. Moments later, the power steering completely failed. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 71,932.

- Canonsburt, PA, USA

problem #183

Jul 202009


  • 46,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 65 mph, the power steering failed and the vehicle almost crashed into the divider. The failure occurred numerous times after the first incident. The contact feels that this is a safety issue because the lack of power steering could cause a crash. The current mileage was 48,000 and failure mileage was 46,500.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #182

Aug 012009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at an unknown speed, the power steering suddenly stopped working. The vehicle is currently being diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 60,000.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #181

Aug 042009


  • 79,000 miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt that when driving down rode it flashes and says power steering then you lose all power in the steering. This has happened three times. After reassuring this problem I have learned it is very common for this to happen on Chevy Cobalts. This almost caused me and my 9 yr old some to wreck cause it happened in a curve. You have to stop the car shut it off then crank it back again and it resets. GM says they are unaware of this problem and refuse to do anything about it. I'm telling you about this problem cause someone is going to get hurt badly if nothing is done about.

- Mount Hermon, KY, USA

problem #180

Jul 222009


  • 129,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 55 mph, the power steering light blinked off and on. The steering then became very stiff when attempting to maneuver the wheel. The contact was able to safely maneuver the vehicle to his destination. There were no warnings prior to the failure. The contact called the dealer and was informed to shut off the vehicle and allow the computer system to reset, and then restart the vehicle. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure and advised him to bring the vehicle in for further inspection. The contact has continued to experience failure with the power steering and the vehicle shutting off. The failure is not correcting itself by the computer resetting. The contact is in the process of taking the vehicle to a local repair shop for further inspection. He also plans on notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 129,000 and current mileage was 130,000.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #179

Aug 042009


  • 79,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt gave a steering alarm then locked going into a curve had to stop and turn the key off and restart had to stop in middle of the road so I called GM they told me they had not been any complaints they pretty much said that they was not responsible for the problem I mean hello it is a problem they are a numerous amount of complaints every one need to call GM and complain they has had this problem. The repairs is anywhere from 1000 to 1500 dollars.

- Mount Hermon , KY, USA

problem #178

Aug 032009


  • 54,900 miles


I have an 05 Cobalt and have had several issues. I have has the steering column replaced and my power steering has had to be fixed along with a few other issues. The place I purchased and had my car serviced was closed due to doing shady business(bill heard in buford ga). I bought this car because I thought it was a good name brand and it was safe as I just had a baby. As it turns out this car seems to be a death trap and no one will do anything as these are safety issues and issues on things that were supposed to have been fixed!

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #177

Jul 312009


  • 54,972 miles
Was driving my car at or around 60 mph and the powersteering light came on in my car and the steering wheel became extremely stiff and hard for me to pull of the side of the road. I turned my car off for about 2 minutes and turned it back on and it began working normally. Approximately 20 miles later the powersteering went out again. As of today August 3, 2009 it has gone out 3 times within 3 days.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #176

Aug 012009


  • 29,000 miles
Driving my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, the steering lockup and a alarm appear on dash said power steering failure, to correct this. Have to stop the car, turn off the engine and restart. Then anywhere from 5 to 15 minute the steering lockup again. I think this is a safe issue. The car has a electrical power pump and is not the only car at has is pump, Chevrolet equinox has the same pump and also the same problem.

- West Mifflin, PA, USA

problem #175

Apr 062009


  • 45,000 miles
I am having serious problems with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls with 66,000 mi. Since about 45,000 miles the power steering goes out everytime I go to drive the car almost as soon as I pull off. This problem has caused damage to my car and almost caused me bodily harm on numerous occasions. Though internet searches I have founds the thousands of people are having the same problems with these Cobalts of all years. I really think that this problem should be recalled before someone gets killed.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #174

Jul 302009


  • 77,000 miles


Power steering goes completely out... very dangerous. Has gone out randomly over the last 2 weeks. Very dangerous with my babies in the car!

- Temple, AZ, USA

problem #173

Feb 012009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph, the power steering failed. The contact believes that this is a major safety issue because the lack of power steering makes the vehicle difficult to turn at high speeds, which could possibly result in a crash. The current mileage was 67,000 and failure mileage was 50,000.

- Columbia , SC, USA

problem #172

Jun 252008


  • miles
Electrical power steering non repairable.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #171

Nov 152008


  • 82,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. It has electronic power steering. It went out one day when I was on my way to work. It was very hard to turn the steering wheel, which was very dangerous. I took it to numerous of mechanics, all of who told me it would cost $800 - $1,000. The failure occurs every time I turn my car on about 30 seconds later. It is very hard to steer and impossible during traffic.

- Haines City, FL, USA

problem #170

Jul 262009


  • 45,000 miles
My Chevrolet Cobalt 2005 turn off the power steering almost every drive.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #169

Jun 012009


  • miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt - power steering failure.

- Lexington, MO, USA

problem #168

Jul 172009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 52,555 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at an unknown speed, a warning light illuminated on the instrument panel and the vehicle lost all power steering. The failures would correct themselves when the vehicle was restarted. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 52,555. Updated 12/07/09. Updated 12/08/09.

- Blythebille, AR, USA

problem #167

Jul 192009


  • 50,000 miles
I was driving on a highway later at night going straight when my power steering like came on and I quickly realized I had no power steering as I tried to change lanes. I had to get home and the whole way it was extremely difficult to steer. After I got home and restarted the car, the power steering was back on, however after hearing about others having the same problem, I'm sure it will be going out again. I no longer feel safe driving the car for fear of the power steering going out while I am in the middle of a turn causing me to crash and resulting in people being hurt. There needs to be a recall on this by GM immediately.

- Harleysville, PA, USA

problem #166

Jun 282009


  • 60,300 miles
Noticed that steering was getting a little tighter. Few days latter power steering light came on going down highway making it very hard to steer when I tried pulling over. Turned off car. Checked everything I could no problem seen. Started car everything fine again. Got home didn't act up anymore for two days the it goes out again now its gone completely. And the light comes on everytime the car is started and stays on. No power steering.

- Shelby, NC, USA

problem #165

Jun 152009


  • 125,000 miles
First the key got stuck in the ignition and needed to change key and tumbler and ignition switch which you had to buy at the dealer since it is to new of a car for the auto parts stores. The dealer wanted $300 to fix this problem. That happened at 82,000 miles. Now the power steering message goes on and it chimes 2 times and then you can hardly turn the wheel. It happens mostly when it is warm and when you are driving straight. I do not have $1200 it fix this car. I guess I am luckier than some other people. I have 132,000 miles on my car.this is a hazard waiting to happen. This car needs to be recalled because it is just to much to fix and something GM has known about for awhile and has done nothing to fix it.

- Lathrop, MO, USA

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