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 24 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #657

Nov 012009


  • 40,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls. It has been giving me several problems. I have been fixing one thing after another on my car. My car only have 46,000 miles. That is good for it being a 2006. I have problems with my brakes. I have replaced the master cylinder and now I have to replace the brake booster. But the worst problem that I am having now is the power steering. When im driving out of nowhere the dash light up saying power steering. When this happens it is extremely hard to turn. Especially if you are going at a slow speed. I have even been in an accident because of this. The only way to get my power steering to work normally is to turn the car off and turn it back on. At first it would work fine for awhile. But now it happens right when I start to drive. The dealership said it could cost over $1500 to fix the problem. I can barely afford to fix these other problems that I am having. I cant afford to pay $1500 to fix this problem. I was online looking to see if I can find a cheaper price. This is when I saw that there are hundreds of other people that have and still have the same problem that I am having. This is how I know that it is not something that I have done. With so many people having this problem, they need to fix it.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #656

Nov 152009


  • miles
The first incident occurred while I was exiting the freeway, the words "power steering" showed on the display and there was a beeping noise. Immediately my steering wheel felt like it locked on me and I had to put forth an extreme amount of effort to keep the car from running into another car next to me. Since then, it has happened about one per week. It has gradually increased to a few times each driving trip, with most of those occurances at dangerous times (while making a sharp turn, while changing lanes, while merging, while going around a curve, while driving through an intersection). Recently, I almost collided with pedestrians, including a child, while in a shopping center parking lot. I also hurt my wrist while trying to steer it while it "locked." I am going to have the vehicle repaired, but until then, I am not driving it as it is very dangerous.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #655

Feb 152010


  • 23,000 miles
2008 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #654

Jan 012010


  • 75,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls. Within the last month I have a warning bell that goes off frequently and power steering is displayed on the dash. I have not had a loss of steering at this point, but I know this problem is being investigated.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #653

Sep 212009


  • 109,781 miles
While driving on highway power steering light beep on a few second later power steering out. Pull over turn car off steering work for awhile then out again. Happens everytime the car was started up. Took car to dealer and parts where replaced. Old parts are not available.

- College Station, TX, USA

problem #652

Feb 202010


  • 40,090 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt which for the past month and a half I have had two incidents of a power steering issue. The power steering indicator goes on in the dashboard and I then only have manual steering. Today was one of the days and about a month an a half ago was the other time. I am taking the car to a Chevy dealer for it to be checked on Monday but previously I had it checked by a mechanic by my home. The first time when the mechanic checked he could not find a problem with the steering. The steering reset itself. This is dangerous though because if you are in a turn when this happens and do not realize the steering is out you could run into someone or something. Is there a recall on this" I only have 40090 miles on the car and its a 2006. I no longer have a warranty because my warranty was for 36000 miles so I have to pay for whatever is wrong with it. Is there something I can do to find out if there is a recall or going to be one" I would certainly think that this should be corrected by GM because its a factory default and not wear and tear.

- Keyport, NJ, USA

problem #651

Feb 202010


  • miles


Problem with power steering. I drive the car and I lose complete control over the car, I have to pull over in the 5 second span I get and turn my car off and on. This is happening to me every single time I start my car, I lose control over the steering. This puts me at a great risk.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #650

Feb 032010


  • 108,000 miles
The power steering on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt has failed 3 times in the past 2 weeks. The first 2 times, I was just pulling into my driveway after driving about 60 miles when the steering failed. The car chimed, the dashboard display read "power steering, " and the car instantly became difficult to maneuver. Both times, the failure occurred just after or during a sharp turn after a long drive. The most recent failure, today, happened while driving in a straight line, at low speed, after only 20 miles of driving. When the car is restarted, the steering becomes fully functional again. However, I am worried that it will fail again at a critical moment. I cannot predict when it will happen next.

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #649

Jan 222010


  • 34,951 miles
We lost the power steering on our car twice. The first time, was when we were turning around. The second, was on the highway going 70 miles an hour. After the second incident, we had the power steering motor replaced. They installed a motor kit, part number 1 20763801. We do not have the old parts.

- Manor, PA, USA

problem #648

Jan 052010


  • 67,000 miles
While driving, my vehicle beeped, read "power steering" on the dashboard, and all power steering was lost. Once the car was turned off and restarted, power steering appeared fine but continued to fail with no notice.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #647

Feb 182010


  • 60,750 miles


Power steering quit during turn coming from school. I left college last night to go home (a two mile trip) when I turned from the main hwy onto my street the power steering light flashed and the chime ding twice I had no steering! I went into a parking lot and stopped I was frighten and didn't know what to do I called my dad who is 3 hours away crying he said turn it off and start it again. The light went out and I had steering but one mile after that it went out again. I refuse to drive this death trap. He is coming to get it Saturday and try to get it fixed but that it for me cant trust it on the hwy trying to come home on the weekends.

- Fayetteville, GA, USA

problem #646

Feb 192010


  • 28,014 miles
Power steering warning came on and wheel became very hard to turn. I was on a curve at the time and almost went into a ditch. I was able to stop the car on the side of the road. GM dealer says they have never heard of this problem even though many, many people have described steering problems on Cobalts. GM should recall them immediately.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #645

Nov 222009


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 50 mph on normal road conditions. There was a sudden loss of power steering. The steering wheel required greater force to turn. The driver pulled over to the side of the road with caution. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed to normal operation for a short period of time. The failure was intermittent and progressed whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The failure was contributed to the electric power steering motor. The vehicle is in the process of being repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 85,000. The VIN was rejected from the system.

- Sieria Vista , AZ, USA

problem #644

Feb 102010


  • 133,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering went out while driving. Went off road and almost hit a tree. No damage was done but very disturbing.

- Montgomery, TX, USA

problem #643

Sep 012009


  • 22,540 miles
On 9-1-09 I was driving my '06 Chevy Cobalt lt 4dr sdn on a city street traveling at approx. 25 miles per hour when the steering warning light came on and it became extremely difficult to control and steer the vehicle. I luckily managed to get it to the dealership who diagnosed the problem as an eps motor failure. They replaced the motor at a cost to me of over $400.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #642

Feb 152010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 94,300 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph on normal road conditions when the power steering warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver backed into a parking space. The engine was turned off with the warning indicator illumination. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently and progressed. The vehicle will be taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The failure mileage was 94,300. Updated 3/17/10 the dealer replaced the power steering motor. Updated 06/18/10.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #641

Feb 012010


  • miles
Power steering not working in 2006 Chevy Cobalt.

- Newport, TN, USA

problem #640

Feb 172010


  • miles
Power steering failure on my vehicle. I currently own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. At slow speeds my power steering feels as though it wants to go out, it is hard to steer my vehicle. I have had this car in the shop four different times for the steering column and other reasons. Overall my car has been in the shop over 25 times.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #639

Feb 192010


  • 80,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt which I purchased about two years ago. Love the car- however I've had an occurrence happen to me three times now with the power steering. The first occurrence happened when the car had approx 45,000 miles on it. I was driving down the highway (approx 55 mph) and the display on the dash in front of the steering wheel read "power steering" and the car began to lose power and jerk. I pulled over, made some calls, and turned the car back on. I drove to the nearest dealer (without any problems) and made an inquiry- we first checked for fluid however came to find that it is electronic and was told that if I continued to have problems to make an appointment to have the car scanned. I did not have any more problems until recently when we were driving on the highway again and the same thing happened. Only now the car has approx 80,000 miles on it. I have an appointment to get the car scanned however I felt it was necessary to file a complaint as it could have lead to a safety concern for passengers if an accident had occurred. This morning I adjusted the steering wheel height and again was presented with the "power steering" on the display screen proceeded by jerking and loss of power especially when driving at a lower speed (25 mph). I have done some online research and found that many other Cobalts have experienced similar incidents. I would suggest an investigation into the matter as well as a possible recall for such vehicles or parts before this could become a major safety issue for drivers. I would love to be able to continue to love my Chevy Cobalt, but do need to consider the safety of my passengers as well as myself. Thank you for your time.

- La Farge, WI, USA

problem #638

Jan 012009


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 06 four door Chevy Cobalt. When I got it from the dealer it was in good condition, but 50,000 miles later the power steering has been acting up. While driving I get a message that I have no power steering, I have power steering at first, when it starts, but shortly after the power steering goes out. The power steering is also electric, and the miles I put on the car is freeway miles. No excessive steering wear and tear. It is quite a chore driving around town, with no power steering. This is supposed to be a luxury compact car which I enjoy but with no power steering, it makes want to hate to drive it, instead of loving to drive it once I got it. Because of the bad malfunction, if asked, I would not recommend this car.

- Riverside, CA, USA

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