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 48 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #177

Aug 212009


  • 57,190 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that has an electronic power steering failure. I am currently teaching two teenagers holding driving permits how to drive. While my 15 year old daughter was driving the power steering went out and I had to help her pull over to the side of the road as there was limited steering. Later restart car and power steering comes back. It shuts off at random intervals. Needless to say this is a very dangerous safety issue.

- Casa Grande, AZ, USA

problem #176

Aug 122009


  • 35,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt electronic power steering assist power steering light came on the instrument panel. Power steering goes out. Turn the car off and restart it and the power steering is working again. Then it will go out at anytime and will not work again until you restart the car. If you start it up in the driveway and back out into the street, it will go out as soon as you put the car into drive. If you turn it off and restart it and put it in drive 1st it will work for a while. You never know how long it will work or when it may go out again. The car has low miles and well maintained. I cant afford another car nor can I afford $1200 to $2000 to replace the whole steering column. Research on the net indicates possibly 1000's of these cars with the same problem. I cant even fantom my wife doing 65 mph and this happening to her. This is a recurring safety hazard that could cost 100's of innocent lives. Please force GM to rectify this problem. I've been a GM owner for years and if they truly wont to remain in business this is not the way to do it. This sort of problem could cost $1000's of dollars and hundreds of lives and accidents to no fault of the driver or the other car/cars involved. Thanks

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #175

May 272009


  • 17,000 miles
The electric power steering in my Chevy Cobalt has a problem. I live in the virgin island, St. Croix. The temp gets to 100 degree. I get three warning dings and the word power steering on my dashboard and immediately I have no power steering. When it cool down, it will work fine. On St. Croix it cost over $1000 to check and fix please help. The islands are hilly and it is dangerous to take conners and hills with out power steering.

- Christiansted, VI, USA

problem #174

Aug 102009


  • 68,000 miles


While driving, my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt's power steering light comes on and the wheel tightens to the point where it becomes to hard to drive. It happens at any time while driving. I have been driving straight and the light comes on and I have to pull over and turn the car off and back on to reset it inorder to drive. In the book it says that if the vehicle goes through to many hard turns while driving it tightens to slow the driver and stop them from driving irresponsibly. Since the problem occurred without fault to my driving I took it to the dealer and had the electronic power steering module and motor replaced it worked fine for one full day. Then the problem came back. I then took the car back to the dealer and they said that the power steering module had to be replaced again. I have looked online at others complaints on topix and and many others are having the same problems with the same system. This problem poses a serious safety issue since it happens instantly, there is no forewarning the power steering light comes on and the wheel tightens all at one time. It is especially unsafe when turning the vehicle because all you can do is keep straight or stop and turn off the vehicle.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #173

Aug 072009


  • 40,500 miles
I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. On August 7, 2009 my daughter (19 years old) was traveling with my niece (11) and my nephew (8) the power steering light came on making it impossible to steer the car. My daughter got it the side of the road, turned the car off, restarted the engine there was power steering she began traveling again and it repeatedly lost power steering. The car has been at the dealership to be repaired since the date of the incident there is an undetermined length of time before the part will available for repair. This is a very dangerous thing to happen. Please address this issue and require GM to recall these cars before someone gets hurt.

- Morris Plains, NJ, USA

problem #172

Aug 172009


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving she noticed that the power steering light was illuminated and within a few minutes the contact was unable to control the steering wheel. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 78000.

- Maddison, TN, USA

problem #171

Aug 182009


  • 58,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss. While driving at 65 mph the power steering warning light flashed and the power steering in the vehicle disabled which caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact is aware of the safety risk involved. The current mileage was 59,000 and failure mileage was 58,000.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #170

Aug 162009


  • 52,000 miles
Power steering loss after driving the vehicle and without warning the powersteering goes out. This is very dangerous and it concerns me because my daughter and grandson used this car they don't use now for fear of an accident I still owe on the car and feel GM should fix the issue I searched the internet and a site which directed me to this site please help....

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #169

Jul 312009


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. While driving 25-70 mph the power steering warning light illuminated and at high speeds the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle was unable to diagnose the failure. The current and failure mileages were 61,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #168

Jul 252009


  • 70,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ss supercharged. While driving down the road I experienced the complete loss of power steering. Luckily I was close enough to the dealer to bring it to the dealer who stated that this was a common problem and the part was on an at least three week backorder and that I could either leave the car with them and find another mode of transportation or drive it until they got the part.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #167

Jul 152009


  • 55,000 miles


I have a 2006 Cobalt that I bought in April of 2007. For the first year everything was fine until my message board flashed power steering and it went out. At first I could just turn the car off and on and it would go away. It did it about once a month afterwards up until July of 2009. Ever since then, even if I cut the car off, it will flash when I go over 20mph. Chevy said they cant do anything about it.

- Rural Hall, NC, USA

problem #166

Aug 112009


  • 70,000 miles
I currently own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt lt 2.2L. Recently as I am driving the power steering message appears on my dash and the power steering goes completely out. I have to try my hardest to navigate the vehicle off the road and turn it off, and upon restarting the vehicle it is fine again. Sometimes this occurs frequently and others it can go for a few minutes in between. The car has 70,000 miles on it and is in good condition and this situation occurred completely spur of the moment. The problem causes control of the vehicle to become very very hard and in many conditions could cause serious harm due to accidents resulting from being unable to turn the wheel and maintain control on the road. This problem is completely unrelated to any faults of the owner as the system is electronic and does not require maintenance.

- Ermine, KY, USA

problem #165

Aug 132009


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 10 mph on normal road conditions and proceeding to make a left turn onto a highway. The power steering warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Suddenly there was a loss of power steering. The driver exerted higher effort to turn the steering wheel, and pulled over to the side of the road with caution. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was restarted and resumed to normal operation. Identical failures occurred while traveling. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician stated the failures were contributed to excessive usage of the steering wheel. The estimated repair cost was $1,200. The vehicle is inoperable and has not been repaired for the failure. The failure and current mileages were 68,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #164

Aug 162009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 23,146 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact states while was driving 60mph he noticed that the power steering light had illuminated on the dashboard and then the vehicle lost all power steering. He did not notice any difference beforehand. The current and failure mileage is 23146. Updated 10/26/09. Updated 10/26/09

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #163

Aug 072008


  • 55,432 miles
Power steering went out on 06 Chevy Cobalt and GM does not have the remedies to fix it.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #162

Aug 162009


  • 50,080 miles
We were driving down the road and the power steering went out as the computer lcd prompted a power steering failure. We tried turning off the car and restarting but in less than 2 minutes the power steering went out again. We have no money to get it repaired so we have no idea how we will resolve this power steering issue to get to work tomorrow so this presents a major problem and currently there are no recalls for this failure.

- Miami Lakes, FL, USA

problem #161

Aug 012009


  • 50,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt. Power steering fails intermittently and is fine once the car is turned off and then on again. This occurs at least once every time the car is driven. This is independent of speed or any condition that I can recall.

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #160

Aug 102009


  • 47,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with approximately 47000 miles. Recently, my wife was driving to the grocery store with my two small children when the power steering went out. Fortunately, she was able to gain control of the vehicle and bring it to a stop on the side of the road. After turning the car off and then back on the power steering returned to normal. This has happened several more times after the incident. My wife was able to get the car to a mechanic who informed her that the electronic power steering motor is going bad and that we were not the first to have this problem. We also found that this car has a recall on its fuel injectors as well as the head liner. Currently no recall on the power steering problem. The car is scheduled for repair on August 22nd.

- Martinez, GA, USA

problem #159

Aug 082009


  • 63,613 miles
I got in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt car this past Saturday and was driving down the hill that I live on when I reach the curb and need to turn and the steering wheel would not turn and locked while driving. There was a car coming the other direction and I almost hit it because my steering wheel locked. The steering wheel is still locked and I haven't been back in it to drive. This car does not have power steering fluid it is all electronic.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #158

Dec 282008


  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt 2dr coupe. First, about a year ago my power locks stopped working and they would randomly go up and down while I was driving. I got that fixed and then on 12/28/2008 I was driving from shreveport, la to chattanooga, tn. It was fine for most of the trip but as I was getting off the exit in chattanooga, my power steering went out. At first it would do it randomly but after about a month of it happening now it happens every time I drive the car. It works when I crank the car up but after about 1-2 miles, the power steering goes out. I took it to the dealership and was told that it needed a steering column and it would cost $1200 which I could not afford. Then last week on 08/02/2009, a lot of things stopped working. The odometer, cruise control, temp. Gauge, and speedometer. And the car would not change gears. Since it stayed in a low gear I could only drive about 30 mph to take it to the shop. It turned out that it needed a transmission control module and it cost $362. After that everything started working again except the power steering. I know this is a common issue as there were over 500 complaints about the issue on the one website that I looked at and that's only one website ( I feel that this is a very dangerous problem and something should be done about it! also, the air conditioner has leaked water onto my passenger side floor since I have owned the car and I have also read that this is a common issue.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

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