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 38 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #377

Nov 202007


  • 40,000 miles


Powering steering failure.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #376

Dec 262009


  • 77,653 miles
We got into our 2006 Chevy Cobalt and began driving down the road and got about 2 miles when the power steering went out and the warning light "power steering" comes on. The vehicle becomes next to impossible to steer at that point. I pulled off the road, turned the vehicle off and checked under the hood and the belts are all fine and functioning properly. I then got back into the car and started the vehicle up and to my surprise the steering was functioning again. About 2 miles down the road here we go again I lost the steering. I drove home, checked and replaced the fuses both inside the vehicle and under the hood for the power steering even though they looked fine. Then I took it out and sure enough fine when started but out again about two mile down the road. From what I am seeing here as far as complaints go it doesn't appear to be a cheap fix and if so many complaints are being filed that this needs some very serious attention before some poor soul ends up in a very serious or fatal accident. It would be understandable if there were only a few complaints but there are a lot of them. Not everyone even knows about this website so how many complaints could be out there that are going un-reported. Please give this a very serious look. You never know the life you save could be your own or someone close to you who has one of these vehicles or is near one of them when the steering goes out. One injury or death would be too much when this matter has been brought to light by so many people.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #375

Dec 182009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. When driving the power steering warning light intermittently illuminates on the instrument control panel. And then steering becomes difficult. After restarting the vehicle the error code will reset. The dealer was contacted and he was advised to have the vehicle diagnosed and repaired if necessary, but at the owners expense. The failure mileage was 44000. The current mileage was 44995. Updated 01/20/10. The power steering motor was replaced. Updated 01/21/10.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #374

Dec 232009


  • 62,000 miles


I was driving down the freeway at about 60 mph when the power steering light started blinking. All of a sudden my steering wheel got real stiff. I was scared to death, my 2 year old son was in the backseat. I immediately got off the freeway and shut the car off. When I turned the car back on, it was back to normal until about a couple of blocks later the steering wheel locked again. Finally I just stopped and decided to tow it to the dealership. Now the dealership told me they probably wont get a diagnostic until after January 1st. Beside the fact that I am so angry at GM for putting such a faulty piece of "you know what" on the road, I am thankful nothing happened to me and my son. This is a serious defect that needs attention from GM. Not to mention all the costs that I had to pay. Someone will get killed!!!

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #373

Dec 232009


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer has not performed a diagnostic test on the vehicle at this time. The failure mileage was 62,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #372

Dec 032009


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the power steering fails without warning. The vehicle has not be taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was notified, and she was referred to the dealer. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #371

Dec 222009


  • 48,000 miles


My Chevy Cobalt 2006 model shows "power steering" on the little display and power steering stops working. This is really scary when I drive on the free ways in los angeles which can give serious traffic accidents..this power steering message pop ups once in a while.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #370

Dec 212009


  • 33,800 miles
My 2006 Cobalt's power steering went out while I was driving down the road. The light came on and I immediately stopped the vehicle, restarted it and power steering came back on. Unfortunately, I have heard of many people having the same problem so I am hoping to get a recall.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #369

Dec 102009


  • miles
The car only has 38,000 miles and we were driving home when all of a sudden the power steering message came up and the steering wheel got really hard, it takes all your energy to make a turn. When we turned off and then turned on the car everything was okay and a couple of blocks it happened again. It will normally happen in the afternoons, not so much in the morning. Its very hard to drive once the power steering message comes up. We have taken it to the dealership but we have yet to hear from them.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #368

Dec 202009


  • 39,083 miles
I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt lt. I have 39,000 miles on it and have had numerous issues with the car! the main issue seems to be the power steering. I was 4 hours from home and my power steering light came on. My wheel locked up and was hard to steer. I cut the car off and back on and it seemed to correct it for about a minute and then locked up completely. This has been an issue in numerous Cobalts that I have seen. I talked with other people who own them and they have the same issues mine has. That goes to show there is an issue with the Chevy Cobalt. Most people have had the key stick in the ignition (I have had to have that replaced) and now power steering! please do something!

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #367

Dec 162009


  • 21,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with 21,000 miles on it, the warranty just ran out a few months ago and the power steering has now gone out on it. It randomly goes on and off as I am driving the car and almost caused me to wreck the other day when it went out while I was turning in front of traffic. I do not have the $1,000 to fix this problem and am scared to drive my car anymore. I am most likely going to sell my car and get something else.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #366

Nov 042009


  • 80,000 miles
My power steering light came on only every now and then and now it is a constant thing. The steering wheel locks up very hard to turn. I am scared that the steering will completely fail one day while I have my 6mnth old baby in the car and we will get in an accident...pls help me.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #365

Aug 012009


  • 48,000 miles
Sometime my power steering just goes out and the indicator says power steering. This occurs severaltimes a week. Sometimes shutting the car off and starting it again cures the problem but not all the time.

- Wheeling , WV, USA

problem #364

Dec 042008


  • 42,000 miles
Power steering goes out in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.

- Batavia, OH, USA

problem #363

Dec 132009


  • 71,400 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then he lost power steering. After restarting the vehicle the power came back on. The vehicle has not been taken to the dealer. The failure mileage was 71,400.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #362

Dec 162009


  • 42,000 miles
Problem with the 2006 Cobalt regarding the power steering, I got one and first 2 scnd was all ok, then I see the steering failure come up and could not turn the steering much, I was about to crash into another car and in last minute void big collision, I pray to god all end good but car in dealer for fixing, I cant believe this cars on the street with young teen, old woman, children and family driving this car, I do not think there a recall on this failure and find hundred of complain on the internet, this was last american car I will have, please look into this before too many big lost happened. Thanks

- Kapolei, HI, USA

problem #361

Dec 122009


  • 22,839 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss with only 23,000 miles on it and the power steering went out when my 19-year-old son was driving it. Having reviewed forum sites on this matter, it seems this is a common problem with the Cobalt and it should be the responsibility of GM to fix this obvious safety problem. If they fail to make good on this matter, they only have themselves to blame for their spiraling downfall.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #360

Dec 102009


  • 35,800 miles
While driving down the interstate in my 2006 Cobalt ss, my powersteering warning light appears on the instrument panel. I thought it was short power steering fluid but it has no reservoir because it is electric and not hydraulic. The problem goes away after you restart the car but it randomly occurs while driving on all types of highways.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #359

Nov 172008


  • 22,000 miles
Key sticks in switch and you cant get it out. Steering column locks wile driving. Steering happened twice. Key sticking happens all the time. Had switch replaced but still dose it. This is a 2006 Chevy Cobalt.

- Dundee, NY, USA

problem #358

Dec 162009


  • 31,000 miles
As I was making a left turn on a busy intersection, my power steering went out and the message board read "power steering." The wheel got really hard and I had to pull over. This is the second time in only 2 days. I barely have 31,000 miles on my 06 Chevrolet Cobalt ls. I don't have much money right now and haven't done anything about it yet.

- Melrose Park, IL, USA

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