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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,046 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

problem #10

Mar 012012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer states several issues with vehicle related to recalls the consumer stated there was a smell of gasoline inside the vehicle, five sensors were bad, there was a problem with the fuel pump and fuel injection system. The RPM's jumped, when the vehicle was in cruise control mode, the cruise control would shut off for no reason. The consumer had a difficult time starting the vehicle, after she filled the tank, the vehicle would steer to the left, and there were times when the vehicle would jump out of gear.

- Ripley, WV, USA

problem #9

Aug 232010


  • miles
Over the past several months my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt engine has been cutting off while driving. It will just cut off down to the battery. It started out by just quitting when I came to a stop and then it graduated to cutting off when driving on interstates while I was going about 70 mph. I have been able to pull off on to the side of the road and restart the car. We thought it may have been water in the gas or that the fuel injector was stopped up, but after running higher octane fuel and using the fuel injector cleaner it still was cutting off. It has gotten progressively worse going from maybe once or twice a week to almost everyday. It would not do it for a couple of weeks and then it would start doing it again. We finally took it to a shop and they said that it could be the fuel injector or the O2 sensor going bad. After replacing both of these components, the car is still doing the same thing. My car has a little over 120,000 miles on it and has been regularly maintained. My mother bought her car around the same time I did. It is also a Cobalt but a 2007 model and it has just started doing the same thing.

- Calera, AL, USA

problem #8

Jun 212010


  • 77,137 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was able to be immediately restarted. The vehicle was taken to two local repair shops but the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer had not been notified. The failure mileage was 77,137.

- Mission , KS, USA

problem #7

Jul 152010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer states defective engine the mechanic informed the consumer there was a manufacturing defect in the rocker arm and it broke through the engine, down through the third cylinder into the piston.

- Dover Plains, NY, USA

problem #6

Mar 172009


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 20 mph, the contact noticed smoke coming from the hood of the vehicle. He pulled over and turned off the vehicle. The vehicle was diagnosed and it was discovered that the serpentine belt failed and caused the engine to lock. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and repaired under warranty. In addition, the power steering failed twice and is currently being repaired. The failure and current mileages were 44,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 052008


  • 20,500 miles
Keys sticks in ignition often. Squeak sound from front of car, especially at slow speed. Took to dealer, unable to determine problem (or fix problem). Today, while driving on straight road at 45 mph, car stalled suddenly for no reason. Check engine light came on and car stated "engine disabled". still under warranty, will take to dealer tomorrow. Hopefully will not get the run-around again.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #4

Aug 012007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle jerked and lost power. The contact heard a clicking sound when she depressed the brake pedal. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure; however, they rewired a loose wire and the failure was supposedly repaired. The failure continued. She took the vehicle to another dealer and they stated that the air flow clogged. The dealer made the repair, but the failure recurred the next day. As of December 3, 2007, the dealer had not inspected the vehicle. The failure mileage was 19,000 and current mileage was 25,000. Updated 01-10-08. The consumer stated on December 7, 2007 the transmission was replaced but the vehicle still continues to have the same defect. Updated 12/31/07

- Royalton, IL, USA

problem #3

Oct 222007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,278 miles
I bought this car back in June. And I have had nothing but problems with the car. Numerous problems with the computers in the car. From the ECM, to the PCM, and the BCM. I also have proof the odometer has also been rolled back. If needed for this investigation can send a copy. The cars has been serviced now 5 times. This time it is sending error codes to the computer of random misfires on the first and fourth cylinder.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #2

Dec 122006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,090 miles
Vehicle ha continuous idle problems. While vehicle had air conditioning (A/C ) system on/ in drive idle dropped to 500 rpms and surgeed to 1000 in recovery. Dropped in headlight output/ intermittent stalling - sluggish response from accelerator. No (ses) light illumination. Issue noted in tsb- repaired by reprograming PCM/(not covered under extended warranty) -

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #1

Dec 192005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 4,460 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle stalled 3 times without warning. The first 2 times, after waiting for an hour the vehicle started. The dealership was unable to duplicate the problem. The third time the vehicle would not start and was towed to the dealership. The dealership determined the crankshaft sensor needs to be replaced.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

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