ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
69 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
61,997 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 58)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #213

Sep 192009


  • 83,000 miles


Power steering failure. Driving in curvy area, power steering went out. Little control of vehicle, driving at 25 miles per hour. Even in dead stop, could not turn steering. Have to stop vehicle, turn off ignition and turn back on. Will let you drive for limited time and then same thing occurs. Afraid to drive vehicle that still having to make payments on, cost to repair too great. Small children in home and ride in vehicle, afraid accident will occur and hurt my children.

- Gray Court, SC, USA

problem #212

Mar 102009


  • 685,302 miles
Power steering stopped working while driving.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #211

Sep 122009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 29,800 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, then steering became difficult. The vehicle was restarted after five minutes, and then she resumed normal operation. The vehicle was taken to dealer, in which the technician concluded that she would have to pay $1000 to replace the steering column. No repairs were made. She is in the process of contacting the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 29,800.the current mileage 29,826. Bl updated 10/20/09 the dealer made the repairs. Updated 10/22/09.

- Georgetown, SC, USA

problem #210

Aug 262009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while exiting a parking space, she lost power steering. The inability to steer while driving could lead to a vehicle crash. The vehicle has not been taken to the dealer for inspection, nor has it been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 48000. Updated 11/17/09 updated 11/18/09.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #209

Mar 012009


  • 60,000 miles
Driving at different speeds (even 70 + mph on interstate) the power steering would go intermittently on our 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.

- Blue Ridge, GA, USA

problem #208

May 162009


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering intermittently fails. The inability to steer while driving increased the risk of a vehicle crash. He notified the dealer and was advised by a technician that it would cost approximately $800 to $1000 to replace the component. No repairs have been made. The current mileage was 67,106. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Harlingen, TX, USA

problem #207

Aug 112009


  • 54,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. He stated that while driving he lost power steering and noticed a failure light illuminated on the instrument panel. He then continued driving normal without any additional power steering failures. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and inspected where it was determined that the electric power steering unit failed. The vehicle has not been repaired since no warranty is available. The failure and current mileages were 54000.

- Montclair, CA, USA

problem #206

Aug 172007


  • 26,000 miles
-the contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that intermittently the electronic power steering fails; which causes loss of steering. Loss of steering increases the risk of vehicle crash. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and a technician concluded that the power steering module need to be replaced at an expense of $1000.she contacted the manufacturer, but was not provided with any assistance. No repairs were made. The failure and current mileages were was 26,000.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #205

Nov 112008


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. She stated that while driving 20 to 30 mph, the steering wheel locked and she could not turn left or right. She turned the vehicle off, attempted to turn the steering wheel and restart the vehicle and was unsuccessful. The vehicle was then towed to a Chevrolet dealer and the computer diagnosis indicated no failure codes. The dealer also drove the vehicle 50 miles and was unable to duplicate the problem. The dealer has unsuccessfully diagnosed the failure on 4 occasions. The following four computer codes were listed: Code P0700, U2105, U2100, and U0075; however, the vehicle has not been repaired. The contact is aware of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 20000 and current mileage was 41000.

- Beach Park, IN, USA

problem #204

Sep 142009


  • 65,000 miles
I was driving down a straight road when suddenly without warning my power steering went out. I had to pull into the nearest parking lot and stop.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #203

Sep 112009


  • 58,000 miles


We have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering goes out on it randomly. This could be a very dangerous thing to happen for a new driver. From what I have read online this a big issue and there should be a recall on the vehicle.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #202

Mar 012009


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving, the power steering light appeared on the dashboard and moments later the power steering failed. The contact noticed that the check air bag light was also illuminated. The dealer has not diagnosed the failure. The contact stated that the steering failure could result in a crash. The current mileage was 97,000 and the failure was 90,000.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #201

Aug 132009


  • 64,674 miles
Alarm goes off, the power steering and engine light come on. The car starts to jerk violently and the power steering goes out! if you come to a stop the car stalls. It does not happen all the time, but so far three times for me. The first time it was at the garage nothing was reading out from the codes. They have the car again and so far it hasn't acted up for them.but it is kicking out codes this time. Thank goodness my husband was driving because I could not have turned the steering wheel. There could have been a terrible accident!!

- Florence, AZ, USA

problem #200

Aug 012009


  • 45,000 miles
There are no events that lead to the failure. 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failure. I've only had the car for 2.5 years and only has 45000 miles. Very dangerous when fails, almost impossible to steer safely at speeds over 45 mph. Fails anywhere after 2 minutes to 10 minutes after car is cranked. Hundreds of other people online have reported same issue. Needs to be a recall.

- Deep Run, NC, USA

problem #199

Sep 032009


  • miles
Within 1 month of purchase, the car rattles and sounds like something is going to fall out when you put on brakes, starting to do it when I make turns, getting worse. Took it back to dick shirley Chevrolet, they said it was in the steering column and it would cost $700!! of course that isn't under warranty. They said it was safe to drive. Nothing they could do about it. After looking at web site of all the problems people are having with steering issues with this model of car I know I was sold a lemon and they know it, too!

- Mebane, NC, USA

problem #198

Aug 152009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 58,900 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that intermittently while driving the power steering warning light would illuminate on the instrument control panel, then the power steering failed. The inability to control the vehicle increased the risk of a vehicle crash. Additionally, she smelled a strong odor of fuel inside the vehicle. The vehicle has not been inspected to determine the cause of failure. The current and failure mileages were 58,900. Updated 10/21/09 updated 10/20/09.

- Carrolton, TX, USA

problem #197

Sep 032009


  • 50,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failure while driving, in D or R and when attempting to parallel park. It's an intermittent problem which causes me to have to excessively tug on the steering when to make a turn. This can only be repaired if it does this while in the possession of the Chevy service department. Once the car is cut off the steering motor resets itself and the failure code is gone. So I would have to drive to the dealership while its happening! nothing has been done to fix this, just the instructions to bring it in when it happens again.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #196

Sep 072009


  • 12,000 miles
While turning or sloxwng down my car shakes violently and pulls to the left. I recently put new tires, alignment and rotation thinking this would solve the problem and it has not. It feels as though my steering wheel is going to shake off. The dealership suggested the new tires and it has not helped. This is a huge safety concern and something needs to be done.

- Waterford, CT, USA

problem #195

Sep 022009


  • 15,550 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls with only 15000 miles on it and driving on the highway..the light came on and said power steering and the steering was shot..couldn't barely move the steering happens alot now...cant even drive for a couple of blocks..have to go to the Chevy dealer and since I bought it from a private warranty..have to pay out of pocket!.

- San Diego , CA, USA

problem #194

Sep 042009


  • 70,680 miles
My Chevrolet Cobalt 2006 was purchased used at a Kia dealership in July 2008. On Friday, 9/4/09, as I was driving back from the mall with my four-year-old daughter in the car, the dashboard display flashed powersteering and my powersteering failed immediately. The car has just over 70,000 on it. The dealer said it will be $800 to fix. Should a steering column really fail this quickly for the amount of money I'm paying for this car?!

- Cleveland, NC, USA

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