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 46 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #104

Jun 082008


  • 40,100 miles


I purchased my 2005 Chevy Cobalt a little of a year ago. I only have 46,000 miles on it and my power steering has gone out of it. I am now told that it will cost me over 1,000 dollars to get it fixed which I can not afford. I have almost gotten into an accident because of the power steering.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #103

Mar 152009


  • miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt - power steering intermittently goes out.

- Brighton, MA, USA

problem #102

Jan 012005


  • 60,000 miles
The power steering on my 05 Cobalt keeps going out I drive and all the sudden my power steering fails and its hard to turn and bounces all over the road I turn the car off and start it again and it goes away it does at random times more often in warm weather I bought the car for my wife and she cant drive because of and im still paying on the note Chevy fails to acknowledge the deficiency the steering column has been replaced once because of this problem and problem still exist a recall is due because the cost of repair is around 2500 dollars more than the car is worth.

- Ft Bragg, NC, USA

problem #101

Mar 052009


  • 68,400 miles


Power steering light comes on and power steering fails while driving on the interstate at 70mph. This incident happened about a year ago, my cars power would completely shut off and my car would go from 70mph to 10 mph in about half a second while driving on the interstate. I will never buy a Cobalt again. I had the issue fixed, or so I thought last year, but because it happened again tonight, it looks like it was not resolved.

- Ruston, LA, USA

problem #100

Feb 142009


  • 40,000 miles
Powersteering on my car keeps coming on. And makes alot of noise.

- Horse Cave, KY, USA

problem #99

Jan 012008


  • 48,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt near 50,000 electronic power steering failed. Dealer denies even knowing such a problem exists despite numerous complaints found by other drivers of the same make/model on the internet. The failure occurred while on a very curvy and dangerous road. Luckily, no accident occurred.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #98

Jan 232009


  • 71,000 miles


Picked up child from daycare and while turning to get out of facility power steering indicator showed on digital read-out. Wheel locked and to avoid hitting another parent and child, turned wheel as hard as possible ( very difficult ) to avoid collision and hit curb. Slight damage to rim. Vehicle purchased from licensed Chevy dealer in may of 07 with 50 thousand miles.

- Kannapolis, NC, USA

problem #97

Jan 012009


  • 45,000 miles
Problem, while driving 2005 Chevy Cobalt, power steering light appears on dash warning, and power steering turns off making wheel difficult to move. This has happen a few time while I was driving, and I pulled off the road, put my hazards on, turned off the car, then restarted it again, and the powering steering was back. This is occurring my frequently, and since I drive on the highway daily, it is an accident waiting to happen, my car is unsafe. I will have to pick to mechanic to have fixed somehow.

- Selden, NY, USA

problem #96

Aug 202008


  • 39,000 miles
First experienced warning on display panel for power steering failure August 08. Have had the car back to the dealer 4 times since that time. 2nd time dealer replaced some wires. 3rd time stated nothing was wrong with the car. Have lost complete control of steering 3 times since first occurrence. Yesterday dealer stated car was not fixable. Being advised by GM to clear error codes and return car to owner. Advised I contact BBB to pursue a claim. Car is unsafe to drive.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #95

Feb 012009


  • 30,800 miles
Eps goes out while driving. Chevy customer service sent me to dealer to have a diagnostic completed for $85 + tax. Declined diagnostic as this is a known issue. Asked why the Malibu and G6 had and extended warranty on the esp but the same was not extended for the Cobalt as it is the same unit. Dealer advised he could not answer my question. Spoke with Chevy customer service about charges and defective esp. They stated they would send the information to a district representative who would determine what action to take as far a reimbursement. Chevy case number 71-702497036. Would like to know if ODI -NHTSA will not take action, if the consumers need to bring a class action lawsuit against GM and the manufacturer of the eps unit before of after lives are lost?

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #94

Oct 252008


  • 48,000 miles


About three months ago, I was driving down the road when my power steering stopped working. I shut the car off, and it went back to working. About a month ago it started doing it again, no I have no power steering. I have read other complaints on the issue. My back driver side window has now stop working and my ac is leaking onto my floor board on the passenger side. The car only has 55,000 miles on it. It had about 48,000 on it when everything started to happen.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #93

Feb 142009


  • 42,735 miles
Electric power steering problem. Indicator light turns on and car loses power steering control.....very dangerous.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #92

Nov 262008


  • 49,550 miles
Re:2005 Chevy Cobalt- power steering goes out and reverts to manual steering at random intervals. This is a safety issue as steering problem could happen on an icy turn or in heavy traffic on a four-lane highway, etc. There is no advanced warning that the steering will fail making it difficult to steer unexpectedly.the dealer suggests a new steering column replacement at $800. We have found technical service bulletins (tsb)regarding this ongoing problem with the '05 Cobalts although no official recall has been announced tbs reference no 070232007 and 070235004. Dealer maintains there is no recall. This is, in my opinion, an "accident waiting to happen".

- Cortland, OH, USA

problem #91

Feb 092009


  • 34,400 miles
There were no deaths, no accident, but there could have been if I was making a fast turn. And we shouldn't wait till someone gets injured or killed before this problem should be recalled. Driving along, making a turn on a quite street and power steering just shut down, I heard a warning beep at the same time I lost my power steering and quickly had to fight with the car to finish making my turn. The warning beep was when the words "power steering" appeared in the display where it should temp, and mileage. It happened at the same time as the warning beep. The whole electric steering column had to be replaced. Was also told, there was a technical bulletin about this problem, but no notification to owners that this could happen to you while driving.

- Monroe, NY, USA

problem #90

Jan 022009


  • 37,128 miles
The electronic power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt ceases to function in the middle of traffic or while making turns. This causes me to temporarily lose control of the car and could lead to accident or serious injury.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #89

Jan 252009


  • 47,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt with approx 45000 miles. Power steering warning light appears and then steering wheel is hard to maneuver. Did google search and found huge numbers of complaints about the same thing with the same model car. After warning light appears, if the ignition is turned off and then back on the light disappears and the steering is ok again for a while. Took car to Chevrolet dealer and they said the entire steering column needed to be replaced at a cost of $800+. how can such a major problem occur on a relatively new car and there is no re-call?

- Missouri City, TX, USA

problem #88

Jan 202009


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph on normal road conditions, the power steering failed without warning. Immediately, the warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and remained lit until the engine was turned off. The driver experienced extreme difficulty steering the vehicle, which resulted in greater effort to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing and they stated that the failure was related to the power steering unit. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 49,000 and current mileage was 50,000.

- De Soto, MO, USA

problem #87

Jan 032009


  • 34,583 miles
A clunk in my driver side front tire, when going over small bumps while turning. Also loose steering, rattling sound from the steering column. GM replaced the intermediate shaft, it did absolutely nothing. Im now being told I need to replace the whole steering column at 50,000 miles! this will cost about 2 thousand dollars..... problem not caused by driver. Inside the steering column there is a "backlash" form the gears causing this problem.

- Dana Point, CA, USA

problem #86

Jan 272009


  • 41,212 miles
While driving my car the power steering just turned off making the car extremely difficult to drive. When I turn my car off then turn it back on the steering comes back for about a min then turns off again. I am told that the whole steering column needs to be replaced which will be over $800. My car is not even 4 years old. I've already had to have the computer updated twice due to safety lights going off with no reason. Along with replacing both control arms at the rear of the car due to bad bearings. I also had to replace a motor for the heating that was broken. For a car that only has about 41,000 miles on it this seems like too much to go wrong with a "quality" car.

- Grafton, WI, USA

problem #85

Jan 072009


  • 30,250 miles
I am experiencing a random loss of power steering in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. It appears that the electronic power steering in my vehicle will randomly quite working. If I shut the car down and restart it the power steering will function again for a time, but will eventually go out again.

- Chesterfield, MI, USA

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