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:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,752 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

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 #11

Sep 062011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The power steering failed on yesterday September 6th, 2011. The mph needle does not move at all on the RPM needle. In order to get the vehicle to move what it seems to be 30 miles per hour I must press hard on the accelerator. There was a recall on the vehicle and I received a letter to have the car looked at by darcars dealership. I took the car to the dealership May 2011 and the representative stated that the steering column was replaced and everything is fine. Now 4 months later the vehicle is in worse condition then it was prior to me taking it to the dealership. Not sure what to do at this point.

- Riverdale , MD, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Aug 052006


  • 12,000 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt key comes out of ignition and it still runs. Key gets locked in steering column and will not release. Have to wait anywhere from 1 minute to 3 hours. Radio shorted. Automatic transmission slips and car will not accelerate (this happens while car is being driven). Car will not start indicating a "lock key", have to cycle automatic shifter through gears before it will start. Car will not start and just clicks. Battery reads $12.21 volts. Vehicle has a loose thumping noise in front axle area. All these indications generated a year after purchase and becoming more frequent.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #8

Jun 142010


  • 70,000 miles
My 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ls 4 door sedan has the power steering go out quite frequently, two days ago my girlfriend was driving it and was stopped at a T-intersection. After making the stop she proceeded to make a left hand turn, at that time the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably and she ended up with all four tires jumping the curb. I do not know if the power steering went out at that particular moment, everything happened pretty quick. All I know is I have numerous concerns as to this cars road reliability.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #7

May 012008


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that has a power steering issue. The screen will display "power steering" which means that I have lost power steering. I have had steering column rattling randomly. My key gets stuck in the ignition, my cruise control does not work a long with my keyless entry I do not have any money to fix it.

- Richwood, TX, USA

problem #6

Sep 132007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at unknown speeds, the vehicle automatically sped out of control. The vehicle veered off the road and struck a tree. The vehicle sustained a considerable amount of damage. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that there was a recall for the failure; however, they were never notified. The vehicle was repaired through her insurance Agency at the cost of $6,971.29. The contact paid a $500 deductible. Her VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was diagnosed as having a faulty fuel injection system. The powertrain, recall number, and failure mileage were unknown. The current mileage was 6,800. Updated 02-11-08 updated 02/11/08

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #5

Jan 062007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt sedan had 2 incidents of going out of control 9 days apart. First time was when car was put in reverse and slight tap of gas pedal resulted in car rapidly reversing until hit mud area on grass and light pole. Second incident was when car was in forward and stopped to open trunk. Car lunged forward with such force that it went through garage wall. Air bags did not deploy either time. Car towed to dealership. Parts ordered to replace damage but not yet checked out mechanically to see what went wrong with forward & reverse incidents and why air bags did not deploy.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #4

Nov 272006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,700 miles
: the contact stated upon initial acceleration onto the highway, the accelerator pedal stuck to the floorboard without warning. The contact quickly pulled to the side of the road and turned off the ignition which stopped the sudden acceleration. After restarting the engine, the problem persisted. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who was unable to duplicate the problem. The manufacturer was not alerted. Updated 12/15/2006 -

- Ionia, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 062006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
: the contact stated while traveling various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The dealership cannot duplicate the problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #2

Aug 072006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 19,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 55 mph on the highway with the cruise control engaged, the brake pedal was depressed and the vehicle lurched forward without warning. Multiple attempts were made to disengage the cruise control by constantly applying brake pressure, but the vehicle continued to accelerate. The vehicle suddenly careened through two lanes of traffic, struck a guardrail, and rolled over into an embankment where it finally came to a stop. The contact was wearing a seat belt, but minor injuries were sustained. Due to the extensive body damage, the vehicle was deemed totaled. The police were alerted and a report was taken. The manufacturer was also alerted. Updated 9/20/2006 - the air bags did not deploy.

- Worden, IL, USA

problem #1

Dec 232005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300 miles
2-incidents of sudden acceleration at freeway speeds: The first time the cruise was activated and on hitting resume the car took off on it's own. The coast function did not slow the car and turning off the cruise did not slow the car. I was in fairly light traffic and was able to steer and brake out of trouble until the accelerator returned to normal[the brakes only partially slowed the car because of the high speed involved]. about an hour later I was entering a freeway and at about 40-45 mph the accelerator went to the floor on its own again and I had only partial control of the car's speed. The cruise was off this time and again after a few minutes and miles the engine revved down to normal on its own. Again traffic was fairly light so I was able to steer and brake through without a crash but in heavier traffic this would be a serious problem. The dealer test drove the car for about 18-miles but could not replicate the incident which is random and intermittent and their diagnostic tests showed these incidents never happened but believe me this is a real problem when these computers or electronic systems malfunction. General Motors has opined that this is impossible which is a cover up since everything is controlled electronically. This is particularly dangerous since it happens at freeway speeds and the pedal goes to the max.

- National City , CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?