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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,494 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #17

Jul 082011


  • 97,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that a loud squeaking noise could be heard coming from the front passenger side, while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the contact wa sinformed that the front control arm was defective and needed to be repaired. The manufacturer was notified, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileages were 97,000.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #16

Jan 012008


  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated on three occasions that the front control arms fractured. After the first failure the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where it was repaired. After the second and third failures the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was repaired. The failure mileage was 26,000 and the current mileage was 84,000.

- Buffalo Grove, NY, USA

problem #15

Jun 202007


  • 25,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that whenever he made a left and right turn or drive over a pot hole there was a constant knocking noise on the front drivers side of the vehicle. When the failure occurred it was as if the wheels were separating from the vehicle. The dealer was contacted and stated that this was a constant problem which required the bushings to be replaced occasionally. The vehicle was not repaired when the complaint was filed. The failure mileage was 25,500 and the current mileage was 41,328.

- Scranton, PA, USA

problem #14

Dec 012009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


Headlight full of moisture has got worse and worse for the last two years almost and GM will not do anything about my headlight. Today 6/15/2010 I took my car for the recall notice got about the power steering assist. And found out that both front lower control arm bushings need replaced, and my right front rim is bent and possible wheel brg might need replaced and I called GM about this and they will not take care of any of these problem they said (sorry about the experience) why is GM not helping!

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #13

Apr 102010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Lower A-arm bushings replaced with only 58,000 miles also upper strut mounts are also bad and need replaced.

- Boswell, PA, USA

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problem #12

May 052010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 10,225 miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. It has 10225 miles on it. It would not pass the New Hampshire state inspection because it was unsafe to drive. The front end controller arms needed to be replaced. I feel that there must be others out there with like problems.

- Portsmouth, NH, USA

problem #11

Mar 132010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles


I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt since new. Car has 109,000 miles on it and has had a few problems some that dealer took care of under warranty. I started noticing a clunking noise coming from the ps front of the car on 12/09. I finally found out that the lower control arm rear bushing was completely worn out causing the control arm to move forward/backward causing the noise. I replaced both ps & ds bushings which fixed the problem. This is not acceptable on a car with this low miles on it. I have owned cars with well over 200,000 miles on them and never had to replace control arm bushings.

- Wilmington, OH, USA

problem #10

Apr 082008


  • miles
We have a Chevy 2005 Cobalt. The front end make a really bad riddling noise and sometimes the steering is hard. I call and took it to a dealer and they said they was no recalls. I said I heard it on tv and also the papers. My daughter is the one that drives this car most of the time. I want to know is she going to be safe. Please let me know asap. I don't want anything to happen to her. Its asking for a date of incident I'm not sure. Guess" the noise is mostly on rough roads. The steering is about one time every ?" thank you please let me know.

- North Royalton, OH, USA

problem #9

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 #8

May 192009


  • 70,000 miles
Lower control arm bushings wear out and cause bad steering and control replaced both sides within two months car only has 70000 miles on it live on blacktop road dealer was very rude had 15 on back order they know there is a problem.

- Carsonville, MI, USA

problem #7

Jun 152009


  • 72,100 miles


I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, and about a month ago I was driving down a country road when my "power steering" message was displayed on my dashboard stating it had shutoff. This then lead to my car trying to shut itself off in the middle of the road going 55 miles per hour. The gauges were flashing, radio was flashing, the car would not shift gears and was rocking back and forth, and I couldn't really steer the car. After I was able to get it under control and stopped and shutoff it seemed to reset the system and I had no problems until a few days ago. I was driving on a very busy interstate during rush hour while going about 80 miles per hour, and the situation happened again except I was nearly in a collision with semi truck trailers, it took all I had to get it off the road without hitting anything. This scared me to death. This time the system did not reset, but I was able to limp it to the Chevy dealer near my apartment. Come to find out it was the :body control module" that was bad. It cost me $508 dollars to fix this one issue. Two weeks ago I had to take it in for a lower left front control arm bushing that was bad, and also the shifter solenoid was bad, and I had spent nearly $1100 for all of those safety issues as well.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #6

May 012008


  • miles
Horrible rattling noises in the entire vehicle. I hear rattling from every direction. It is a very bumpy and noisy ride. Not worth the money I paid.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #5

Jun 102008


  • 62,000 miles
Feels like an accident waiting to happen. Rattling front end noise for a few months and with my 60K mi check up it's discovered that I need 2 lower control arms (the bushings are gone) and need to replace the front struts and rear shocks as they are leaking. I have always owned a Chevrolet and find this appalling. My Cobalt is only 3 yrs old and needs to replace major equipment. I had an old Chevy and never had to see a replacement like this until I had over 100K mi on the vehicle. I cannot find any recalls on these parts, but see many complaints. Even the dealership thought I should get rid of the car"?????" given the current times, who could afford that. So now I am looking at an estimate of $1821.40 to fix this. When is GM going to step up to the plate and acknowledge this problem with this vehicle.

- E. Boston, MA, USA

problem #4

May 272008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
Lower control arm bushing need to be replaced at 28,000 miles at a cost of $250. Vehicle is just 4 months out of warranty. Same problem with friend's Cobalt as well.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #3

Jan 012007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Severe steering and braking problems. Mechanics can't find problem. A lot of times, on the highway or at speeds greater than 40 mph the steering starts to shudder and make a machine gun noise with each rattle. The rattling slows down as the speed slows down. There have been times where I had to pull over because it felt like a flat tire, only to get out of the car and inspect the car and see that the tires were fine. The problem goes away after shutting the car off and restarting it. When braking while going at speeds 40 mph or higher the brake gets soft and mushy feeling, and doesn't appear to slow the car down enough, and the shudder starts in the steering wheel again with the rat-A-tat sound for every shudder. I brought this car to dealer several times, and the mechanics could not get the car to do the same for them. The last time, one of the staff members mentioned that there may be a problem with the electronic steering/suspension system, and that GM was trying to figure it out. Recently, I took the car in for a brake check at another shop - the mechanic said the brakes were fine, nothing' was wrong with them, but the car still did its shuddering. I' had two front end alignments, and rotation of wheels, still the same problem. I feel that one of these days the shuddering is going to cause a potentially fatal problem, when the brakes, steering or suspension go out. I also noticed on 6 different occasions that the brake light came on just for a second. It's never stayed on, and it didn't come on during the shuddering moments. The car stalled a couple times, but they were so far and few between. The back light on dashwas hard to read when headlights were automatically on during the day.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #2

Feb 282005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48 miles
Car purchased 2/21/05. Windshield fluid not in the car. Driving on highway mud was splash on window tried to wash it off, no fluid, mud smeared on window had to pull over on the highway to manually wipe off-2/05. Horn not working or was never put in, had to wait 3 days for replacement-3/05. Brake light coming on whether car is in motion or not. First reported 3/05 then again in 4/05. Told that the fuse may be going out. Still does this as of 9/05. Radio/cd player locks if you start the car an immediately adjust the volume have to restart car to unlock- 5/05. Back lighting for console does not come on all the time while in automatic mode. Unable to see speed if driving through a tunnel not well lit. Driver side tire making squeaky noises and grinding sound when parking in reverse. First reported 5/05 told may be brake dust still doing this as of 9/05. Appt pending. Headlight blew out 9/05. Back window passenger side not sealed properly you can hear and feel the wind coming in while on the highway its a pain. All of these thing were reported to dealer and General Motors on survey.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 112005

Cobalt 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The consumer stated when changing from park to drive heard noise in the transmission. The vehicle was taken to the dealership, they fixed a part on the passenger's side wheel. The vehicle is still having the same noise. When turning the steering wheel different noises were coming from the suspension.

- Kings Hill, VI, USA

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