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:
68 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
60,623 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 22 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #697

Oct 252008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,575 miles


Feb. 28, 2010 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls sedan 4 cylinder 4 door automatic transmission I purchased the 2006 Chevy Cobalt brand new from a Chevy dealer. I fully maintained and serviced the vehicle as required and when necessary. On October 25, 2008 I was driving the 2006 Chevy Cobalt and I was driving onto the cross county parkway heading eastbound when the vehicles steering system failed thus causing me to lose control of the vehicle thus crashing the vehicle onto the parkways guardrail. I was very shaken, the vehicle sustained serious damage, and the county police was called to the scene. A police report was filed soon thereafter. The 2006 Chevy Cobalt had to be towed off the parkway and back to my home. GM should really investigate the Chevy Cobalt for steering system failure.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #696

Feb 242010


  • 48,700 miles
My power steering went out on me for the first time a few days ago when I was in the middle of accelerating on a curved ramp to merge into traffic on the highway. It caused me to run off the road and was very difficult to control the steering after that. The power steering light flashed on the dashboard and at the soonest stoplight I turned the car off and back on and then the problem was fixed. In the past four days since the problem began, the power steering has failed at least twice a day. It seems to fail when I am accelerating and/or turning. It has not happened at slow speeds yet - mainly on the highway. It's very scary and has caused me to run off the road several times and nearly sideswipe cars from losing control of my car in the my lane. The scariest part to me is the surprise of the onset. I've been in the middle of making a turn at each failure and it causes me to lose control of my car. I am contacting the dealership tomorrow for information on repairing the problem. I have about 48,000 miles on the vehicle so it's no longer under warranty.

- Surfside Beach, SC, USA

problem #695

Dec 012009


  • 115,000 miles
My 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt had a sudden loss of steering on more than one occasion while driving. I could stop the ca and turn it off for a few minutes and then restart it and the power steering would be ok for awhile. Whenever the power steering failed the car was extremely difficult to steer and could have resulted in a crash while I was driving at a speed of 70mph!

- Hillsville , VA, USA

problem #694

Feb 232010


  • 61,000 miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalt is having power steering issues. The car has become hard to turn with out hitting the curb or almost hitting other cars, as well as pulling to the side of the road to avoid an accident and getting out of an ambulance, fire engine, or police car's way. This has become a concern to me as many inexperienced drivers I know have one, because it is liked by younger drivers, and they might not know how to avoid an accident with the power steering acting up on them. This problem should be looked at before it causes injury to people.

- Fleming Island , FL, USA

problem #693

Feb 152010


  • 54,473 miles
My 2006 Chevy Cobalts power steering just went out for no apparent reason it has been working perfectly fine but now it decides to come off and on as it pleases. This is an issue it seems for alot more people then just me when researched about this model to find thousands more with this same problem it is a safety issue for me my pregnant wife and my two year old daughter and should be taken care of.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #692

Feb 282010


  • 53,000 miles
The traction control symbol showed up on the computer while I was driving. Then the wheel locked up and the computer screen said power steering. The car kept "jumping" forward the whole ride to my destination. It was near impossible to get there, and I had to leave my car there because it is not safe to drive. This seems to be a consistent problem with Chevy Cobalts. A recall needs to be issued. It is unsafe to drive a car with no power steering. Someone is going to get in an accident. Something must be done.

- Aston, PA, USA

problem #691

Feb 272010


  • 69,928 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt power steer failure.

- Rainier, OR, USA

problem #690

Jul 052009


  • 40 miles
My daughter owns a 2007 Chevy Cobalt. We starting having problems with the power steering around the end of last year when she reached the 40,000 miles all of a sudden the wheel started getting hard while we were driving it and the power steering light would come on. I took it back to the dealer ship when the problem started but they said there was no problem with the vehicle and no recalls at the time. Every time we would drive it long distance it would get hard all of a sudden and we could not steer it at all very hard to make a turn. We then took it to a mechanic to look at it when it continued to do so and was loosing the power steering fluid daily. The rack and pinion motor was changed out and also the rack and pinion. We do not have the old part anymore. I really think there should of been some warning or recall to let us know before someone's life is taken due to this problem. My grandchildren ride in that car daily.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #689

Dec 142009


  • 38,550 miles
The steering on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt quits working suddenly. It has done this several times. I took it back to dealership while still under warranty. They replaced the steering column, but the problem still exist. Seems to happen mostly in the middle of a turn.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #688

Feb 242010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
2006 Cobalt power steering went out suddenly. Had power steering replaced at champion Chevrolet yesterday, 2/26/10.

- Friendswood , TX, USA

problem #687

Feb 262010

(reported on)


  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Faulty power steering updated 03/05/10 the consumer stated the power steering would become inoperative while driving. Updated 03/12/10

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #686

Feb 242010


  • 33,000 miles
There is no certain event that I can recall that lead up to the power steering going out, only that I was driving done the road and it felt as though the steering wheel had locked up and I immediately had to pull to the side of the road. The messenger on the dash read power steering and I just turned the car off. After sitting there for a moment I started the car once more and the power steering worked - for a moment. Probably a half-mile down the road the same thing happened and has stayed off since then. While there seems to be only 1200 or so complaints through NHTSA, I have read problems online that go back to 2007.

- Carrollton, GA, USA

problem #685

Feb 252010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering goes out all the time. It resets itself when the car is turned off then back on. It happens when you're turning, when you're driving in a straight line, it doesn't seem to matter. It wasn't happening very often, but within the last 2 months it is very frequent. Sometimes up to 10-15 times a day. I have had the entire steering column replaced for $610. That was not the problem. Updated 03/10/10 updated 08/30/10

- Coldwater, MI, USA

problem #684

Feb 162010


  • 64,450 miles
Power steering light comes on and the power steering goes out completely and you must take the car to the dealer to have it checked.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #683

Feb 252010


  • 31,558 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt - 31558 miles on car. While driving car yesterday I heard a warning beep..and power steering lamp light was on dash, I lost power assist and had hard time steering. I had to pull car over. Turn off ignition, restarted car and light went off. Got home and looked on line and saw this is an issue that many Cobalt owners have had. I have filed a complaint with Chevrolet [xxx]. am bringing it to dealer for eval today. Have read over 1100 Cobalt owners have experienced same issue.

- Greenville , SC, USA

problem #682

Jan 042010


  • 45,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss manual model the power steering continuously shuts down and fails leading to the column locking up when I am driving. It has lead to a couple of very close mishaps when I am driving. It will work and then with out notice lock up and shut down. I took it to the dealer and they told me the sensor in the column can go bad which leads to it not relaying data to the motor that controls the power steering. I believe its a problem with Chevy. If the sensor constantly is going bad they should be responsible. Not to mention its a $1,500 job to fix which is out rages. This problem is very dangerous because I cannot turn the vehicle and make evasive maneuvers which could lead to me hurting not only myself but other drivers. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!! [xxx]

- Brooklyn , NY, USA

problem #681

Sep 022009


  • 17,250 miles
While my son was driving on a limited access highway at approximately 70 mph, the power steering suddenly gave out. He slowed down and was able to safely pull the car over to the side of the highway. He later drove the car carefully about 5 miles to the automobile dealership where the steering column assembly was replaced.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #680

Nov 302009


  • 75,000 miles
During the course of normal driving, the power steering indicator on the dash lights and the car's power steering system fails immediately. This causes great difficulty in being able to control the vehicle. I have been experiencing this problem every day for approximately 3 months. The car has not yet been repaired because it is no longer under warranty.

- Long Branch, NJ, USA

problem #679

Dec 262009


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering failed three times. The contact was backing into a driveway 5 mph when the steering failed. The contact also lost control of the steering wheel. The failure mileage was 32,000 miles. The current mileage was 36,000.

- Dublin, VA, USA

problem #678

Jun 122009


  • 74,000 miles
Power steering on my 2006 Cobalt is failing constantly. It works long enough to back out of the drive way and then the "4 dings of death".

- Decatur, AL, USA

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