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 34 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #457

Jan 122010


  • 82,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the warning lights were illuminated on the dashboard then her steering wheel became difficult to control. The failure occurred on two occasions while driving. The dealer stated that the repair cost was $1,000. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 82,000.

- Sullivan, MO, USA

problem #456

Oct 042009


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that immediately after the vehicle was started the power steering failed and it became difficult to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that since there was no warranty the diagnostic fee would be $100. There were no related recalls. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 44,000.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #455

Jan 132010


  • miles
My 2006 Chevy Cobalt has been having this on-going problem since I purchased this vehicle in February 2008. The problem is the steering. Sometimes I have difficulty staying in my lane. When I try to correct the problem the steering wheel is tight and hard to maneuver. We thought the problem was in the alignment but that was ruled out. I have been able to recover and go back into my lane in all instances but this problem has been a hard one to prove and it's an accident waiting to happen.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #454

Jan 032010


  • 61,000 miles


Why" why Chevy? why me" all I wanted was a decent car. I thought I had found one when I bought my 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt. It looked so pretty sitting in the dealers lot. If I knew that it was going to be a piece of !@#$%, I wouldn't have bought it. The power steering went out on my car when I was transporting children from school. That would be a good headline for Chevy. 3 young children die in accident because of lousy Chevy parts. My power steering has gone off at least 8 times. I have almost been in several accidents because of it. I am scared to drive my car for fear of my life. Please do something about this corporate oversight of the Chevy Cobalt. P.S. !@#$% Chevy.

- Trumann, AR, USA

problem #453

Jan 312010


  • 47,692 miles
My car has never had an issue until Sunday, January 31, 2010. I was driving when suddenly my power steering light on dashboard was blinking "power steering". all of a sudden, I could barely move my steering wheel. I pulled into a gs station and they tried to find out where I would put power steering fluid when we realized, my car has electronic power steering, fluid is not needed. When I turned the car back on, I was able to drive about 10 minutes up the road before it happened again. I made it home but now day 3 it continues to do this. I have done my research and this is a Chevy problem. I called our local Chevy dealer who said they have never seen this before. But from what I have found out through research, this is an issue Chevy is trying to hide! this should be recalled and I should not have to pay $2000 to get it fixed when my 2006 Chevy Cobalt is only worth $5000!

- Pepperell, MA, USA

problem #452

Nov 262009


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph on normal road conditions when the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled into a parking lot which required higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation for two minutes. The failure continue to occur whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle is in the process of being taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer has been notified of the malfunctions. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Reno , NV, USA

problem #451

Jan 072010


  • 82,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Whenever the contact drove the vehicle at any speed he noticed that the power steering light appeared on the dashboard and moments later the steering wheel locked and could not be moved in any direction. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 82000.

- Ridgefield, CT, USA

problem #450

Jan 292010


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds to include 35 mph, the driver lost control of the steering wheel and it became extremely difficult to turn it in any direction. The failure and current mileages were 63,000.

- Las Nevada, NV, USA

problem #449

Jul 012007


  • miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and my power steering is going out randomly as I am driving. The car will give no indication that the power steering is about the stop working and then all at once the power steering light will come on and I can not turn the wheel at all. I have tried for over 2 years to get Chevy to do something and still nothing has been done. It has started occurring everyday over the past week.

- Flintville, TN, USA

problem #448

Jan 282010


  • 59,500 miles
I recently bought a Chevy Cobalt 2006 and four months later the power steering went off. I have taken it to the dealership and it is very costly to repair. I was told that they have seren many cases like this on Cobalts. Mine has 59K and has no warranty. The day that the incident happened my mother was driving it and almost had an accident. She is a 60 yr old lady and does not have the strength to be maneuvering a hard steering wheel.

- Eagle Pass , TX, USA

problem #447

Jan 302010


  • 58,135 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt with ongoing power steering failure issues. During the normal course of driving, the words "power steering" will come up on the odometer and the power steering will stop working. The only solution is to pull over and turn off the engine, which seems to "reset" and temporarily fixes the problem. This failure occurs multiple times and sometimes as soon as 30 seconds after the car is turned on. I've looked online and there are hundreds of other Cobalt owners experiencing the same problem.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #446

Jan 252010


  • 33,500 miles
Chevy Cobalt power steering locking up and has to be turned off before it will work again.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #445

Jan 162010


  • 53,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. My car has 53,000 miles and the power steering light comes on all the time. Thus making my vehicle hard to steer. There needs to be a recall on this before someone dies. I read all over the internet of people complaining about this.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #444

Jan 262010


  • 67,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt while driving at freeway speeds had sudden loss of power steering with alarm and warning on dash. I was able to get to side of road shut off and engine and restart. No problem after restarting vehicle. Since first occurrence it now happens multiple times daily.

- Nampa, ID, USA

problem #443

Oct 152009


  • 62,500 miles
While I was driving on the interstate, my power steering went out on my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. This has occurred daily since then, and becoming more frequent as the days progress. This should not be happening on my car so soon, and estimates for repair are beginning at $1,000, which is entirely too much for a single mother and full time college student to handle. This is a dangerous situation and has to be a defect as there are hundreds of reports of the same thing happening with other Cobalts. I risk losing control of my vehicle and causing injury to myself and my daughter.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #442

Jan 242010


  • 42,200 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. She states that while driving at 45 mph the power steering light illuminated and she lost the power steering on the vehicle. She was able to pull over where she turned the vehicle off and then on and the vehicle was fine. After a few minutes the power steering light came back on. The dealer was contacted and they stated that they will repair the failure at the owners expense. There have been no repairs for the failure. She has noticed that whenever the temperature drops or when it rains that's when she loses power steering. The failure mileage was 42200 and current mileage was 42424.

- Camp Berde, AZ, USA

problem #441

Jan 282010


  • 34,985 miles
Power steering problem on a 2006 Chevy Cobalt my power steering keeps going out and a power steering light will show up on my information screen. This has been going on since Jan 5th and I just bought the car on the 21st of Dec.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #440

Nov 202009


  • 38,000 miles
Power steering goes out after about 5 seconds of driving. No assist when this happens. Not sure how to correct. Tw*

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #439

Jan 282010


  • 25,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. At 25,000 miles the power steering just stop working while I'm on the highway. It was very hard to steer, but I managed to pull over to the curve and stop the car. Fortunately no one got hurt. I don't know why it happened but it sure was scary. After a few minutes I started the car again and the power steering came back on again. Before I could reach home, the power steering failed again. Obviously, there was something wrong. I called a mechanic for an estimate and they said it would cost around $1000 to 1500 including labor.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #438

Jan 262010


  • 43,482 miles
As I am driving down the road my Chevy Cobalt will ding about three times and in the mileage window it will flash "power steering". as soon as that occurs the power steering will go out entirely. It is difficult to get the car to move to the side of the road, so there is no way to completely turn it. I almost ran into a fence trying to pull over on the side of the road. It first occured the afternoon of the 26th and the car was not driven the rest of the day, but it again happened the morning of the 27th. An appointment has been made for tomorrow to have it looked at by Chevy so there has been no correction to the problem.

- Shalimar, FL, USA

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