Notes: The 2006 Cobalt continued to carry the torch first lit by the 2005 model year. To be clear, that torch is burning bright with widespread power steering issues, electrical curiosities and a dangerous ignition switch defect which led to a massive recall by GM. This isn’t a great torch to carry.

The 2006 added it’s own special flare with gas leaks due to cracks in the “return portion of the modular reservoir assembly.” A recall of 2006 Cobalts was issued to fix the problem, but only to vehicles sold in or current registered in Arizona and Nevada, leaving other owners to pay for repairs themselves.

Between this car stalling while driving, giving owners fits with power steering failure and having it be a potential tinderbox because of gas leaks, we felt we had no other option than to award it our “Avoid Like the Plague” badge.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
12 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,741 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.

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Jul 042013


  • 146,000 miles


Lately my car has been dying while coming to a stop or going to take off. This is really scary when I pull out in busy traffic! I was almost T boned one day but thank goodness I was able to restart my car in time. Then a new problem started soon after... I was driving on the highway doing speeds 65 mph when all the gauges on the dash started jumping around the steering wheel kind of locked up and my car began to jump and jerk. I struggled to get my car off the road onto an exit ramp where I shut my car off. I turned my car off, then I turned it back on. The alert gauge rang three times and said power steering on the dash board, I put my car in drive in hopes to make it home which was not far...when I took off my car shook and jumped while going all the way across a bridge. I pulled over yet again shut my car off and restarted it when I took off the second time and drove home I didn't have any problems. I left my car sit for several days the problem continues.

- Adrian , MO, USA

problem #10

Jun 092013


  • 111,000 miles
When car shifter is placed in park, key will not move past the acc position and cannot be removed from the ignition at all. Key must be left in the vehicle.

- Oshkosh, WI, USA

problem #9

May 162013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Recently while driving on the freeway my car die on stop and go traffic an again while getting on to the freeway the car would feel like it was not getting any gas and tried to turn itself off by putting the gas to the paddle will be sluggish eventually the engine light would turn on and after driving less than a mile it will run perfect again till three days later the same thing would happened again. I took it in to be looked at they said the oil was leaking on to the spark plugs my questions is if I get oil changes every three month while was it not spotted and now I have to pay over one- thousands dollars to get it fix because the motor was ruin. The problem is that the engine turning it self-off while driving on the freeway at that speed is a accident to happen.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 112013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles


I was pulling out onto the street with many cars approaching from a traffic light and I began to press down the gas pedal so I could safely get up to speed and I noticed the car not accelerating for the amount of pressure I was applying on the gas pedal the traction control light came on and stayed on and the transmission started jerking into all the gears, I drove it home 8 miles turned off the car and restarted the car and light had reset itself this same thing has happened three more times since this first time. All occurred on drive pavement no ice or other wet conditions. I've searched online and have seen many other people are have been reporting the same problem with the traction control light staying on and loss of power to the transmission and jerky shifting, in pretty much every year the Cobalt model was manufactured by Chevrolet I believe this is a major safety issue that General Motors should have a recall to fix these issues but, has not done so to this day, before I and other people driving the Chevrolet Cobalt get hurt or hurt other drivers because of these malfunctions that our out of our control.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #7

Sep 012012


  • 70,000 miles
The throttle body becomes extremely 'gunked up, ' causing the engine to shut off if the rpms drop too fast. It happens most often when coming up to stop lights. However, the most dangerous time (which caused me to get rear ended due to not being able to immediately speed up) is when I switch lanes on the highway. I let my car slow down by removing my foot from the pedal, switch lanes, and when I put my foot on the pedal, I don't speed up. Why?? because the engine shut off when I first removed my foot from the pedal and let the rpms drop!

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #6

Nov 072012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I was in the food for less market and my car - blow up or whatever it was on fire when I came out after someone state "a Chevy volt was on fire, come to the front", then he said, "will the person with a Chevy volt, come to the front - color purple" that's when I went to see what was going on. My car was on fire and the fire people was putting it out. Oh, my goodness!!!!!!

- Altadena, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 292012


  • 73,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while traveling 60 mph, all of the warning lights illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to merge to the side of the road where the vehicle was restarted. The vehicle was able to be driven to the contact's residence and was later taken to the dealer where the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was contacted about the issue. The failure mileage was 73,000 and the current mileage was 75,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #4

Aug 012012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning as the contact was proceeding through an intersection. The failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who performed a diagnostic and located the failure at the ignition coil spark plugs. The contact stated that the cylinder was replaced however, the failure was not corrected. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 122,488.

- Leesburg, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 022008


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 55 mph, the engine stalled and the warning lights illuminated. Upon restarting, the vehicle the contact was able to resume driving normally. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer five times for the similar defect. The engine cylinder head was replaced twice. Also, on a separate occasion the PCM was replaced by the dealer. The malfunction continued to occur. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000.

- Miami Lakes, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 112011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 45,983 miles
While driving down highway the traction control light came on. When I slowed to exit highway my vehicle began to shift funny and hard and became scarry. I then left stop sign and my car was shifting hard and felt like it was jumping eraticly. I was scared to drive at times and it continued for about an hour then I pulled into get something to eat and call my husband. After eating and telling my husband, I got back into car and it was fine. No more lights on the dash saying service engine soon or traction control light. It was fine for the rest of my way home. I went to work next day and all was back again, light for service engine came on and so did traction control. Then my car started jerking again and shifting real hard. Now my car does this at least 4 times a week. I had it looked at and they could not find anything they said. It happened again and I took it in and they said it was a front right wheel bearing showing up on code but nothing else. Had the bearing fixed and it still does it. I should have known that wasn't all it was cause it feels like the trans slipping and grabbing. To this day it still does it with everyone telling me they can't find problem.

- Marion , OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 012008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph the vehicle stalled. After the vehicle sat for a few minutes it was able to be restarted. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis however they were unable to identify the problem. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 40,000 and current mileage was 80,000. The VIN was not available.

- Miami, FL, USA

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