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 33 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #477

Nov 102009


  • 52,664 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed while driving 30 mph and she was unable to control the vehicle. The contact had to drive onto the emergency lane and turn the vehicle off and then back on so that it would reset itself. The dealer replaced the entire steering wheel assembly. The Chevrolet manufacturer was notified before the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 52,664.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #476

Nov 012009


  • miles
I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Approximately three months ago my vehicle alerted me that my power steering is no longer engaged. It first occurred while I was driving through my neighborhood. The power steering went out all of the sudden, and I was forced to operate the steering wheel without the power steering. Originally it occurred once a week, but for the past month my power steering has been going out everyday. It usually occurs while I'm driving less than 45 miles per hour, but on three different occasions it has gone out on the interstate while I'm traveling 70 miles an hour. The only way I know how to fix the problem is to put my car in park, turn off the ignition, and then restart my vehicle. When I restart my vehicle the power steering is engaged again.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #475

Jan 152010


  • 40,000 miles
While driving our Chevrolet Cobalt, the power steering kept going out. The car is three years old. And it was a really scary experience.

- Howard, OH, USA

problem #474

Jun 012008


  • 40,000 miles


Power steering failure with my 06 Chevy Cobalt. Started occurring around 40,000 miles. It spontaneously fails about twice a month with no real reason that I can tell. When it occurs, I have to pull off of the side of the road and turn my car off and then back on again. Sometimes I have to wait several minutes before restarting to correct the problem.

- Amelia, OH, USA

problem #473

Jan 162010


  • 52,700 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt when driving my power steering stop operating making it hard to turn or operate. We were able to make it home and after restarting the car the problem did not happen again. But when steering the steering makes noises.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #472

Feb 022010


  • 71,000 miles
Approximately two months ago I notice the powering steering going out on my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt occurring occasionally. In the last two weeks the power steering goes out only after a few minutes of driving and each time the car is driven. One car repair shop quoted a price of over $1000 for the part to repair the vehicle. I have concerns for my safety, but this is my only means of transportation and am waiting to save the money for repairs. Meantime I drive in wet, icy conditions at a slow rate of speed.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #471

Jan 272010


  • 68,000 miles


I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss. My key often gets stuck in the ignition, taking quite some time to fiddle with to get out. As well, and a much more serious complaint, is the failure of my power steering. My power steering light has come on quite often in the past 2 weeks. Turning the car on and off takes the light away. However, today while taking a turn at a green light, my power steering literally failed on me. This is not safe, and after much research, I have learned its a common defect of 2005-2009 Chevy Cobalts.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #470

Jan 052010


  • miles
Steering wheel constantly shakes while driving. Feels lose. Loses control often when braking.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #469

Jan 252010


  • 49,348 miles
I bought this car for my daughter and the power steering went out on it. She had trouble holding it in the road. I have read on the internet that this is a problem in all these Cobalts. It is a very dangerous problem and I think Chevrolet should be held responsible for the repairs I'm having with this car.

- Lafeyette, LA, USA

problem #468

Dec 152009


  • miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and have had many problems with the car. My power steering has gone out many times, some while driving and some when I first get into the car and start it. Not only does the power steering go out but the car also jerks back and forth while in motion, the power steering message flashes and dings, the check engine light comes on and car has even shut off in traffic a few times. Getting to the side of the road is almost impossible when the power steering goes out, I took it for inspection at pep boys many times and even received my money back when the problems were never able to be fixed.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #467

Jun 032009


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph the power steering light flashed on the dashboard with a beeping sound and the vehicle lost power steering malfunctioned. The contact had to shut off the vehicle and restart it so that the power steering would function properly. The failure occurred intermittently. The contact has not taken the vehicle to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Madison, IN, USA

problem #466

Dec 242009


  • 56,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt lost power steering. Power steering now intermittently goes out while driving down the road. Vehicle must be powered off then back on to make the power steering work again.

- Union City, OK, USA

problem #465

Aug 152009


  • 60,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failure. First occurred August 2009 after buying the car used in July 2008. Has occurred everyday since. Getting progressively worse. Cannot get more than a mile down the road before power steering fails each time car is driven.

- Forsyth, GA, USA

problem #464

Oct 012009


  • 99,225 miles
I was driving on the highway when all of a sudden my steering wheel locked and the car started pulling to the left. I then noticed a message flashing on the screen on the dashboard saying power steering. I turned the car off, and upon restarting the vehicle, the problem seemed to had gone away. However, after driving a few miles, it will flare up again. The problem occurred everytime I drove the car thereafter. I took the car to the Chevy dealership to find out what was causing the problem. It was discovered that the eps motor had gone bad, so I had a new eps motor installed.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #463

Jan 232010


  • 28,100 miles
While driving the 2006 Chevy Cobalt into New York city (from Pennsylvania) the power steering "died." The car only has 28,000 miles on it and has been driven "delicately" since purchased. *** also note that the entire computer system died last spring (spring 2009) and Chevy refused to help in compensating of the 1200 dollar bill we had - claiming we didn't have the original part that malfunctioned. They did not want to hear that no garage in 2009 gives you the "defunct" part of the car. We have been dealing with Chevy's main offices and gotten no where since the computer fried itself last spring. Since the power steering died 2 weeks ago, they absolutely won't hear of it and will not help whatsoever. For a car with only 28000 miles on it, and have the computer system of the car die as well as the power steering system - something is being covered up on their part. - especially since the dealer we bought the car from (maureen alexander Chevrolet in wilkes-barre pa) has closed due to their "reorganization of GM".

- Pittston Township, PA, USA

problem #462

May 172009


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds including approximately 25 mph, she heard a beeping sound in the dashboard and then the power steering failed. The dealer confirmed that the power steering needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 89,000.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #461

Oct 012009


  • 60,000 miles
The powersteering on my Chevy 2006 Cobalt 4 door, the powersttering light comes on, then the car is nearly impossible to control. Makes driving almost impossible. Took to mechanic, seems the computer chip is ok, the selad system for the steering fluid is ok, it is an electronic motor that overheats is what the mechanic stated. Repaired 2/2/2010.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #460

Sep 302009


  • 50,000 miles
While I was driving on the freeway, my power steering went out. I almost lost control of my car, it was extremely difficult for me to safely steer my car off the road. I has to slow to an very unsafe driving speed of 10 mph just to get home. I had no idea what had happened to my car.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #459

Jan 132010


  • 50,000 miles
Power steering goes out intermittently while driving. When vehicle is turned off and restarted it resets power steering system and it works normal. However the power steering light on the display will come on again with the resulting loss of power steering. This results in difficult steering especially in turns. My daughter will soon be obtaining her drivers license and I am afraid to allow her to drive this vehicle because when the steering goes out in a turn it is difficult to control.

- Kathleen, GA, USA

problem #458

Aug 252009


  • 61,000 miles
Power steering assist motor went out, usually within 30 seconds of car being in 'drive.' Occurred everytime I drove the car. I had to go buy a power steering assist motor (~$190); replaced within 20 minutes by mechanic.

- Junction City, KS, USA

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