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:
35,324 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Aug 082014


  • 103,206 miles


I have a safety complaint I bought my 2005 Chevy Cobalt and I'm not happy with-it it doesn't, drive safe its drive like the accerlator pedal going to come off its seems loose when I put my foot on it to accelerate and the car seems like its something wrong with the power steering but I have took it to firestones and dealership they said nothings wrong but I just don't seem safe driving this car especially on the expressways it seems like the car is out of control like its trying to run off from me so I stay off the expressways I think this car was in accident before I bought it but the salesman gave me a car fax report and said it hadn't but if you look at the car it look like it has thank god I haven't been in a accident with this car but im very unhappy with the performance of this car I would never buy another american car again now as fair as the ignition my car was cutting it self off with that bas ignition switch I went to several car places that said it didn't qualify for the loaned so I kept calling GMC and they got me in to get the ignition switch but its something else wrong with the power steering connected to the accerlated palpated my car needs to be toughly check out and I don't have any more money to have car dealer check it out I already spend on theirs car this yea over $1500 dollars im retired I'm one fixed income and I just don't have it if you can get my car into a dealership and have them look it over thoroughly free of charge, and I can try to fix whatever needs to be fix because I know I not crazy something is definitely wrong with my Cobalt I don't know why nobody cant see that. I have replace ball joints sways bars and ignitions switches and this car still doesn't drive right I want every bit of money I paid for this car back. I will never buy another american car again and will tell my family not to either.

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #20

May 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall notice. The consumer stated the first week of owning the vehicle, it would not start. When she called the dealer, the told her to move the steering wheel up and down and tap on the accelerator pedal. There were times through out the years, where the vehicle would not start. Also, the vehicle would pull to the left, the oil pan was leaking, the ignition switch was replaced, the left turn signal was inoperable, and the oxygen sensor was replaced.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #19

Oct 242013


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the front end of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the passenger and driver's side front lower control arm was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 31,000 and the current mileage was 31,500.

- Ferndale, MI, USA

problem #18

May 192011


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the steering began to vibrate violently. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was driven on normal or uneven road surfaces. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and an independent mechanic numerous times for the failure. The repairs performed on the vehicle consisted of the replacement of the entire front suspension, excluding the steering column and rack and pinion. The failure continued to occur after the repairs were performed. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Lehighton, PA, USA

problem #17

Sep 102010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The car has been in the shop so many times for the same thing. When you drive at times, the car sputters and dies out and runs rough. It overheats and then the mechanic cant find the problem or anything wrong but I have to pay to have it looked at. My cousin bought a 2009 Cobalt and her car has the same problems of dying out. The car is always in the shop because everything breaks down. I still owe on the car and its a money pit. A mechanic said my frame is bent. I haven't been in an accident. I am stuck with a lemon and its squeezing me.

- Oshkosh, WI, USA

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problem #16

Jun 012009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
The vehicle front passenger side makes a clunking noise through the bottom metal frame of the car when turning to an uneven road or driveway.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #15

Oct 292007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


Took my car to dealer because of bad clunking in front end. They replaced the bushings (while under warranty). Now (58000 mi) I am having the same problem and the clunking is much worse?! seems to be an ongoing problem with these Cobalts. Seems there should be some kind of recall with all these complaints before there is a horrific accident!!!! also (I have the 2 door) there is a constant problem with the doors not working! all the sudden you try to get in and the handle moves but does not open! I would have to enter/exit on passenger side! I have had parts to this replaced several times now. This too could also be very dangerous if in an accident! I am still happy with my car but not with the same ongoing issues that could lead to potential disaster!

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #14

Feb 012007


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that a loud knocking noise was heard from the bottom front of the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and offered some assistance with repairs to the vehicle. The dealer diagnosed the failure and determined that the front lower control arm was defective. The dealer replaced two control arms but one the failure recurred on one control arm. The failure mileage was 32,000 and the current mileage was 77,000.

- Wauconda, IL, USA

problem #13

Jul 262010


  • miles
Had my wife's 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt in for the power steering recall. The only problem we had prior to the recall was the failed rear control-arm bushings on both front control arms (both failed within the same month). Now, after having the recall performed, we are having problems with (of all things) loss of power steering. The traction control light comes on, the brake safety interlock clicks (under the automatic gear selector in the center console), and we have no power steering! I cannot let my wife drive this in this condition, as she is small and not strong enough to crank on the steering wheel without the power-assist. I called the dealer and was advised that I could bring it in to see if there is a problem with the part replaced in the recall - but I would have to pay for the diagnostics. Called Chevy and got nowhere with them as well. Left the car at our mechanic's shop this morning to get a more reliable diagnosis!!

- Machesney Park, IL, USA

problem #12

Jun 012005


  • 45,000 miles
Three issues with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. One the door latch broke and I can no longer get out the drivers side. If an accident were to occur I would have to crawl out the passenger side to get out of the car. Secondly, my struts keep going bad on my car. I have had them replaced three times now. My third issue is the brakes. I was told that the Cobalt had anitlock brakes when I bought it. However, when I have had to slam on the brakes they lock and a little light comes on with a anti brake symbol on it.

- Apollo, PA, USA

problem #11

Feb 182010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 99,000 miles


Power steering column and motor replaced for over 1,000 dollars also bushing. Engines stalls when pressing gas and brake pedal. Key wouldn't come out ignition and my car wouldn't stay in park. Had to pay a locksmith to remove the key. Headlights keep having to be adjusted. Wheel bearing and struts need to be replace but I don't have the money for all of these repairs for a 2005 vehicle. Its to many problems for such a newer vehicle. What is Chevy going to do about this, how many more people have to die or get injured.

- Hardwick, GA, USA

problem #10

Jan 012006


  • miles
Vehicle begins to vibrate violently at slower speeds after deceleration from highway speeds. Control of vehicle is lost during most violent vibrations, and stopping the vehicle completely does not help the situation. This vibrating (on the front wheels only) will continue for miles/hours. The only things noted on any 2005 Chevy Cobalt were safety for interior and headlights but there have been over 1100 reports of faulty power steering. Slower speeds cause this violent vibration on the front end of the vehicle. It has started approximately a year after purchase and has continued and has gotten worse since then current date 12 February 2010. Condition keeps worsening, has almost caused an accident.

- Ontario, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 212009


  • 50,000 miles
I purchased a 2005 Cobalt in April 2008, started having violent shaking in front of car while trying to find the problem my mechanic discovered a defective strut which Chevy replaced even though warranty had just run out. This did not correct violent shaking occurring on a regular basis. Had front end, tires, wheels, rotors, axle checked with no outcome of finding the problem. When the shaking occurs unable to steer and have to reduce speed and pull to shoulder of road, after complete stop normally can resume driving. Since my daughter does not do any long distance travel I hoped that it would not occur as often as it does while I was driving it to work, however in January of 2009 while my daughter was driving car around a curve T/C light came on shaking and inability to control the car left her straightening the curve out spinning around and after weeks in a body shop and 5000 dollars in repairs, several trips back and more money, high insurance rates we still have a car that has a serious defect with no answers to what causes it and what can be done to correct it. Now that she is venturing further from home I am in fear for her life but I have no funds to replace this car or it would have already been gone although I am sure that nobody else would want it due to the publicity that these cars have been getting. Luckily my daughter was not killed in this accident but does someone have to die before Chevrolet steps up to the plate and fixes these cars. I have been constantly been researching trying to find the problem even though I can find other people with the problem nobody seems to have the solution. The cars or in warranty or just out of warranty and we couldn't get answers and as the autos get older they don't feel it is there problem. Our car gets regular maintenance with the same mechanic each time so therefore he has firsthand knowledge of every step it has had, and now that it has hit the news I am seeing some direction to take to get help.

- Hertford, NC, USA

problem #8

Apr 202006


  • 5,000 miles
2005 chevorlet Cobalt ls sedan- purchased new 15 miles on odometer. @ 5000 mile service after nearly dieing on the I-5 from violent shaking! found (non disclosed)hit before purchased, rail dust corrosion on moldings, weights missing from three of four tires, dash cubby broken and 1 yr to replace, electrical demons! (locks, radio, gauges, etc...) maintenance @ $100 a pop under warranty ( but still major problems!) struts replaced three times, electrical harnesses replaced, power window motor on two windows replaced, ignition cylinder replaced, fob keyless entry reset, new radio. A never ending nightmare prospect motors dealership in jackson ca whom I purchased the vehicle from has filed bankruptcy and is no longer in business. Frank halverston owner has made no attempt to help me! continuing problems; 70K miles clunking, rattling, shaking, feels like the car is going to fall apart! steering problems, suspension problems, electrical problems- rear shocks shot, replace tire four fourth time! family chevorlet, under "extended service plan", did nothing this last time to ammend the situation but rather blamed it on my brakes and a plastic retainer wall on my right front tire unsafe to drive! yet GM has denied my claim for a new vehicle four times! and the GM certified dealership held me out on warranty till it was no longer eligible for lemon law! just want my car fixed and operating properly, not to walk through !@#$% for my consumer rights!

- Ione, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 152009


  • 110,000 miles
Today is Aug 16 2009 and I have been having problems with my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt for a while. Since the last year my steering wheel has been shaking every time I put on the brakes, and starting the last 3 weeks the power steering illuminates and the steering wheel just locks and I would have to pull the vehicle on to the shoulder and shut off the engine and restart it and then it works again.this normally happens 2 or 3 times a day. I have not taken it to the dealer yet although I did speak to a service advisor about the situation and he thinks it might be the power steering pump and that it would probably run me about $1200 to fix it. I really cannot afford that kind of money due to me being unemployed. The last date that this incident happened was on Aug 15 2009. Please I need your help and assistance. Thanks

- Ft. Wash, MD, USA

problem #6

Oct 012008


  • 21,833 miles
Car has less than 20,000 miles and have failure of the bushing the right side is a total failure bad enough they said not to drive it and the left is about ready to fail also we're having them replaced and the front end realigned but we're on a limited road island and there are 7 other Cobalts here that are all having the same problems is this something locally here or happening nationwide.

- Ketchikan, AK, 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

Jan 082008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I bought my 2005 Cobalt in June of '05. Had numberous problems with it but the one I'd like to know more about is the lower control arm rear bushings. I replaced 'bad' ones in June of 2007 and have to replace them again. I do not feel as though this should be necessary. Any information on these?

- Lerory, OH, USA

problem #3

Dec 012006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving at about 20 mph after stopping at a red light when my car shut off, my dashboard lights went blank. I was able to restart my car and it has happened since. Today while driving at 65 mph on the interstate, my car started to shake badly and I almost lost control. I tried to brake but it made the shaking worse. The car felt like it had lost power. I was able to pull over. I thought at first maybe a flat tire but no. As quickly as it happened it went away. I am very unhappy about this and had problems with GM cars before. You would think I would have learned my lesson and went with a Honda or Toyota.

- Phillipsburg, NJ, USA

problem #2

Feb 192006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls and have had numerous problems with it. 1st I had to take it in because the passenger side rear suspension was making clunking noises. 2nd I had to take it in because there was moisture building up inside the drivers side headlight. 3rd I had to take it in because the passenger side rear window was howling and you could hear the outside air blowing through it when driving. 4th problem I just recently am having is the heating system. The blower just does what it wants. I can have the air to the off position and it still blows air at a high speed. Also, when driving the blower turns itself off and on whenever it wants to. All this and I only have 7,500 miles on my car. I won't be buying another GM vehicle!

- Wichita, KS, USA

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