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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,440 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 1 of 2)

problem #28

Oct 132010


  • 25,000 miles


Vehicle check engine light came on, followed by traction control light, along with severely reduced engine power. Has occurred multiple times since, about every 3 months. Have had diagnostics performed and it is a code P060E, which translates into 'indeterminate fault'. could result in major accident in it occurred while turning across lanes of traffic or at highway speeds as there is a sudden slowing. Recurs about every 3-6months and after a few days, self corrects.

- Kernersville, NC, USA

problem #27

Apr 032014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
The car randomly out of nowhere lost power and a check engine light comes on and says engine power reduced. This is extremely unsafe especially if this were to happen at freeway speeds. Engine codes came back and provided that there are issues with the throttle position sensor. 4th recall on this vehicle and currently awaiting results from murdock Chevrolet 2375 S 625 w, woods cross, ut 84087 (801) 298-8091.

- Farmington, UT, USA

problem #26

Sep 032013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 55,100 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that after having the vehicle repaired under NHTSA campaign I.D. 10V073000 (steering), the power steering system malfunctioned while driving 25 mph with the illumination of the power steering warning light. The contact did not take the vehicle to a dealer. The failure mileage was 55,100..... updated 10-17-13 the power steering light illuminated four days after the check engine light illuminated.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #25

Aug 252011


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering, tire traction and check engine warning lights were illuminated. The automatic door locks would lock and unlock the doors independently and without warning, and the speedometer would become inoperative. The contact would have to shut the vehicle off and restart for the vehicle to perform as normal. The dealer repaired various components unknown to the contact on several occasions however, the failure would recur. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 150,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #24

Dec 012011


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated the vehicle stalled numerous times without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 84,000 and the current mileage was 105,000.

- Glendale , AZ, USA

problem #23

Jan 132012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 62,551 miles
My cars engine has stalled several times today, it idles low when moving from a stopped position like at a stop light and when I give it gas it idles high and then when I stop or slow down it stalls in the middle of traffic almost causing a major accident. I was so scared today. I will not drive it again until I figure out the problem. I am glad me or my son didn't get into a very bad accident. When I purchased the car brand new it did this and I took it to the dealership and they could find nothing wrong with it, but it has never seemed to idle correctly.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #22

Jul 122011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles


When driving or at idle 2006 Cobalt will stall when the heater or air conditioning is turned on. Loss of power steering is lost as well as all other power. When the heater or air conditioner is turned off car will start again. There are no engine codes displayed.

- Cincinnati , OH, USA

problem #21

Apr 102011


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 50 mph, when the traction control, ABS and emissions warning lights illuminated. Suddenly, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver and the speedometer began fluctuating between 50 and 70 mp. In addition, the fuel level gauge began to fluctuate between one quarter tank to three quarters. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was contacted and advised the contact that the failure was caused by the body control module. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 79,000.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #20

Feb 122011


  • 44,800 miles
The contact owns 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when the brake pedal was engaged the vehicle stalled. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer several times, but was told that there was no code and the vehicle was functioning normally. After leaving the dealer the vehicle started to move forward and accelerate while the contact was sitting at a traffic light with the brake pedal engaged. The vehicle started to pull to the right when this occurred and abruptly made contact with a curb. The vehicle was towed to a different dealer for diagnostic testing to determine what caused the failure. The failure and current mileage was 44,800.

- Marshallville, OH, USA

problem #19

Nov 112009


  • miles
I bought my 2006 Chevy Cobalt just one year ago, and immediately noticed the failures in the car. Anytime that I begin to slow down, the car will begin to idle roughly. The lights will dim then brighten. Then the engine will shut off. This happens almost every time I slow down. It has happened in busy intersections almost getting me in wrecks. I have had it checked with multiple mechanics and no one seems to know what is wrong with it. I have researched online and have noticed it is not just my car, but so many other Chevy Cobalt's of different year models.

- Statesville, NC, USA

problem #18

Aug 062010


  • 67,500 miles


Oil filter gasket not keeping a seal between the cap/oil filter holder and the filter housing unit creating a gap that oil leaks from when the vehicle is running. Loss of oil will occur and possible engine damage also. This is a flaw in the design of the oil filter cap and gasket and should be addressed.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #17

May 152010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated when driving at 10 mph, there was an unusual increase in engine rpms before the vehicle would stall without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle immediately. The contact stated the failure would only occur when driving at off-highway speeds. The dealer replaced the mat sensor yet the failure persisted. The dealer then performed a diagnostic but could not duplicate the failure. The diagnostic test did not produce any failure codes. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000 and the current mileage was 107,182.

- Roseville, MI, USA

problem #16

Jul 152010


  • 130,000 miles
For the past several months the car has been stalling out and shutting off at red lights and stop signs or when backing up. This has been occurring almost daily, or three times a day. Today, July 15. 2010 the car stalled out and shut off going down I-20 East. It is a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.

- Eatonton, GA, USA

problem #15

Sep 152009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving approximately 35 mph there was a loss of power steering, followed by an engine stall. There were no warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician performed an unknown repair contributed to the steering and engine power failure. The service repair cost was $579. The contact received a recall notification six months after the failure occurred. The recall was under NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering: Electric power assist system). The dealer refused to repair the vehicle under the recall for an unknown reason. The failure mileage was 24,000. Updated 07/19/10 updated 07/21/10

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #14

Jun 042009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle as it resumed normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently on several other occasions. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing but the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000. Updated evoq 10/22/10 updated 11/03/10 the consumer stated the vehicle has stalled eight times and it happened within two miles of the start of a trip and N0 warning lights illuminated. Updated 11/04/10

- Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

problem #13

Apr 282010


  • 43,120 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt randomly days, weeks apart in mid travel, at turns, near rear end crash with sudden loss of power 4-28-10 while wife driving 60 mph, and car slowed quickly nearly getting rear ended, car behind swerved to miss barely. An every now and then nuisance becoming an extreme hazard as power is lost, care stalls really quickly in speed in mid road. A lot of complaints online about same issue. If this was an interstate she could have been killed. Same has happened to me at least 3-4 times in one month. Taking car in this weekend, but none of the recalls seem to point to the problem.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #12

Sep 152009


  • 85,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt which I have had for 2 years now and for the past couple months when I slow the car down or I am at a stoplight the car will stall! I brought the car to be fixed already and they said that there was nothing they could find that was wrong with it but replaced things that might help. Well that didn't work because my car is still stalling! I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old I cannot keep having this car stall when I am pulling out of somewhere in the middle of traffic any longer please get this fixed. Now that I have been on here reading there is obviously a power steering issue also so now that has me scared... obviously this is not a good car at all!!!!

- Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 252009


  • 39,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt randomly stalls while driving. Has happened 4 times now in 3 months. Tonight it stalled and then completely shut down all within a mile. Took to dealership after the 2nd time it happened and they said they could not do anything until it happens for them.

- Gilbertville, IA, USA

problem #10

Jul 232009


  • 29,000 miles
Power steering goes out on vehicle.

- Ludingotn, MI, USA

problem #9

Jul 222008


  • 13,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle was unsafe because the speedometer, instrument panel, and a host of other failures were occurring with the vehicle. The check engine light illuminated, but the dealer could not diagnose the cause of the failure. The warranty has expired and the dealer still is unable to locate the reason for the failures. The contact filed a complaint with the manufacturer regarding the warranty. The failure mileage was 13,000 and current mileage was 31,000.

- Pavo, GA, USA

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