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 44 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #257

Oct 182009


  • 60,000 miles


My daughter just got a 2006 Cobalt and the power steering light came on a she couldn't turn the wheel and she was pulling in the parking lot to cheer at her football game and she had a little accident noone was hurt but she was very scared and didn't understand why it would do that. It is going to the shop Monday the 19th and when they put all new parts for the power steering and if it does it again I will have my attorneys in court with General Motors. I guess it is going to take someone getting killed or seriously injured before someone will take all of this seriously and recall this.

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #256

Oct 172009


  • 80,700 miles
I was coming down a road about 500 feet before I was to turn off the main road, this light pops up on my dash showing "power steering" and when I slowed to turn right, my power steering was gone! this is crazy! I had some friends look over it and the fuses looked fine. They decided I had to take it to the dealer, because in the owners manual under power steering, if the light comes on, it states, return to dealer. Nothing else. Later when I got in my car to go home, the power steering worked fine. This is crazy. (this is on a Saturday evening) Sunday evening, I am heading to church, the power steering goes out again!!! the guys at work check it out, they switched up the relay switches, the one for the power steering is dead! they pick a new one at auto zone and replace it. Power steering again, yea!!! I didn't get a half a mile from the church and the power steering goes out again!! and you cannot turn on a dime either!! very dangerous!!!

- Philadelphia, MS, USA

problem #255

Oct 172009


  • 33,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, will not start. Power steering comes on dashboard. This occurs at random times, leaving me without a car sometimes for days. Already took it to dealership, said it was a wire, they replaced it, it still continues with the same problems.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #254

Oct 032009


  • 56,000 miles


The power steering light came on in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt and then my power steering went out. I could barely keep the car on the road! I pulled over, turned the car off and the light went off but now the power steering goes off randomly all the time. I feel like it will definitely make me have an accident and it is so dangerous.

- Fuquay Varina, NC, USA

problem #253

Oct 162009


  • 76,427 miles
Powersteering light comes on without warning while driving and then the car gets hard to steer, which is very unsafe because it almost caused me to wreck. Once you shut off the car, it resets and then it will do it again a while later. I checked online and the easiest fix is to replace the whole steering column and this costs just under 1,000$. I've looked online and there are hundreds of people with the same problem. How can this be? it is very dangerous. It should be a recall.

- Sturgis, MI, USA

problem #252

Oct 172009


  • miles
Driving down the road in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt with only 40,000 miles and the power steering message appears and the power steering went out and caused me to run off the road right after I almost hit another car head on this is very dangerous and could cause someone to be hurt or even killed.

- Ashland, AL, USA

problem #251

Oct 012009


  • 46,000 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt lt power steering goes out intermittently. Must turn off car and restart to regain power steering.

- Campbellsville, KY, USA

problem #250

Oct 112009


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph the "power steering" warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The driver was able to safely restart the vehicle to continue normal operation. The vehicle has not been repaired for the failure. The failure and current mileages were 61,000. The vehicle identification number was unavailable.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

problem #249

Aug 102009


  • 58,500 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering power steering fails while driving vehicle coggin Chevrolet, kissimmee Florida acknowledges this is a known defect with this vehicle but still insists I pay $1200 to repair.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #248

Oct 122009


  • 45,000 miles
Electronicpower steering failure on 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt. My daughter was driving on freeway and power steering just went out suddenly. There are many complaints about this problem and GM refuses to do anything about it, this is a very expensive problem to fix and I can't afford it. GM needs to step up and fix this problem free of charge. No wonder they are going bankrupt!

- Rosenberg, TX, USA

problem #247

Oct 082009


  • 52,265 miles


Electric power steering motor has intermittent failure. And I have been driving when all of a sudden no more power steering! very dangerous situation. I have not tried to repair yet. I am unemployed and the cost is prohibitive. But in my replacement research I see that this is very common and that seems wrong to me!

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #246

Oct 052009


  • 76,000 miles
I currently own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, and the power steering keeps failing. All I hear is 3 dings and I see power steering on the dashboard and the power steering stops working. This is very dangerous due to the fact that with traffic these days and all of the other safety concerns this just adds to the frustration and worry. Please look into a recall for this. There are many other people that are affected by this. This is not safe for the driver what-so-ever and seeing as though paying $2000 for this to get fixed is kind of hard to swallow, maybe a recall would be best for all parties involved.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #245

Sep 232009


  • 39,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering goes out intermittently at various speeds car has 39K miles and started 2 weeks ago.

- Fairview, NC, USA

problem #244

Oct 042009


  • 42,000 miles
I had the steering column replaced on my car on Feb. 2009 because it was making a rattling noise in the steering area. They said it was replaced and the car was still under factory warranty so I didn't have to pay anything. In may of 2009 I went back and told them that I was still hearing the same rattling noise and since the car didn't have warranty they said they wouldn't be able to fix it and that I had to take it to the dealer that I purchased the extended warranty from. They also said that if it was the same part that needed replacing that they would replace it for free. Well for reasons I wasn't able to go that day. Well on Oct. 4, 2009 the car shut down on me as I was making a right turn and wasn't able to steer the car. I put the car on park and turned it on again and it worked. I'm thinking what if this would've happened to me on the interstate, I could've been in a very big accident so I consider myself lucky. The problem I'm having now is that Chevy don't want to replace the same part and I'm very frustrated. I have read on the internet that there are a lot of owners of Chevy Cobalts that are having the same steering problems as myself and I think something needs to be done quickly.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #243

Sep 262009


  • 40,000 miles
1. no events leading up to failure. 2. failure occurs 2 to 3 times while driving, consequences are power steering goes out while driving...very hard to turn...could cause accident. I have read that many people have complained about the same problem. GM needs to fix this problem. 3. correction for the problem is shut off the car and let sit for a couple of minutes, turn it back on and power steering come back. Then it happens again. The price to get it fixed is about $1000.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #242

Oct 062009


  • 74,215 miles
Power steering goes out completely while driving in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Problem started 1 October 2009 and is off and on. At times it scares me that I will get in an accident. Jiffy lube personnel stated that it is electronic and suggested taking to dealer. I am a student at northern Arizona university and cannot afford $100 for just looking at it. Suggested to me to file a complaint to your organization.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #241

Aug 152009


  • 72,000 miles
I have 2006 Chevy Cobalt and I am having power steering problems. My car has 72,000 miles on it and the car constantly jerks.

- Lancaster, TX, USA

problem #240

Jan 012009


  • miles
My mother has a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering does not work correctly. In fact it doesn't work at all. So far she has been lucky not to have a wreck, but I am afraid that it could happen. I am not sure when it stopped working, but I do fear for her safely along with other Cobalt owners. She has contacted GM about the problem, but they seem that they don't want to do anything to fix this issue. I know there are numerous complaints about the power steering from the 06' Cobalt. My mother can't go two blocks without the power steering going out on her. She is currently unemployed and has no other way to find a job to get this part fixed, and I feel that GM should be held responsible for fixing the problem since there have been many other complaints about it. As far as when exactly the powersteering began to go out, I am not sure about. I know it was towards the beginning of 2009 when my mother begin to complain about this issue.

- Shelby, NC, USA

problem #239

Sep 112009


  • 68,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt. As I was driving down the interstate all of a sudden my power steering light came across the display and I lost control of my car (I was going around a curve). It took all I had to keep it on the road. As I was cranking on the wheel (very hard as there was no power steering) suddenly it started to work! me and the 2 children in my car went into the ditch. Thank goodness no one was seriously injured! Chevrolet needs to recall this issue before it kills someone! the power steering goes off and on. I am considering a lawsuit myself.

- Alexandria, MN, USA

problem #238

Sep 142009


  • 46,921 miles
For the past few months I have noticed my steering wheel of my 2006 Chevy Cobalt shaking a lot when I drive down hills. This problem persists whether my foot is on or off the break. After the jolting got so bad, where I thought I was going to lose control of my vehicle, I took my car into my mechanic to be inspected. He informed me that my steering column was broken and my car was "a danger to drive." My mechanic recommended I call Chevy to see if they would replace the steering column for free because that is not something that typically fails in any age vehicle and especially in my car which only has 47,000 miles on it. I made phone calls to Chevy and they said they would not fix my vehicle for free because it was still in "working condition." My mechanic then replaced the steering column in my car ($600 later).

- Reno, NV, USA

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