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 51 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #117

Jul 142009


  • 53,000 miles


The power steering light on my 2006 Cobalt came on randomly. There was nothing to lead up to the incident. Then later the light had disappeared for a week, until it came up again. This time I received the light warning as well as losing my power steering. It is not constant, but is becoming a more common thing. I have not fixed the problem yet because the dealer can not figure out what the problem is with regular diagnostic testing, and I will not fork out the money to have the dig further into the car. I am looking on fixing the problem myself, but still do not know what the problem may be. I do not want to buy a used item and have the same problem happen. I have been reading up on this problem and it seems to be a pretty common thing with the Chevy Cobalt's and Pontiac G5's. what I would like to do is find an oem part with a warranty, put that is also hard because I don't know if there is a new aftermarket oem part that has been changed so that this problem does not occur again.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #116

Jan 012009


  • 50,000 miles
After reaching 50,000 miles on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt, the power steering became faulty. It will work for the first 30 seconds of turning the car on, and then it will stop. It happens every time the car comes on. I took it to the dealer and they told me it would cost about $1,100 dollars to fix.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #115

Jul 102008


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering continued to fail. It was very difficult to move the steering wheel shaft. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that there may have been a misread in the computer. The failure could not be duplicated. On a separate occasion, the power steering failed again. The contact turned off and restarted the vehicle in order to correct the failure. Later, the power steering failed completely. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were less than 50,000.

- Corpus Christie, TX, USA

problem #114

May 152009


  • 42,000 miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalt's power steering went out around the 42,000 mark.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #113

Jun 152000


  • miles
Steering wheel get stuck was repaired in the same year purchased in 08 now the same problem service said it will cost 1,000 dollars I can not afford to repair it now what do I do? the same problem 2 times is there a defect in the part.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #112

Jul 172009


  • 37,000 miles
The power steering goes out at random intervals on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. This has nearly led to several accidents.

- Munford, TN, USA

problem #111

Jun 302009


  • 82,500 miles


Driving down the highway and my power steering went out going 70 mph in a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, pulled off onto ramp turned car off worked fine for 1/2 mile and went out again. Made it to a shop and had the steering column replaced and I still have the old part.

- Paola, KS, USA

problem #110

Jul 152009


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 5 mph around a corner and also at 45 mph, the power steering failed. The contact pulled over and turned off the vehicle. When he restarted it, the vehicle drove normally. He stated that the failure occurred frequently at various speeds. The dealer stated that it would cost $900 to repair the vehicle because it was not under warranty. The dealer also stated that they have serviced many vehicles with this same failure. The vehicle will be repaired because the failure is becoming worse. The failure mileage was 38,000 and current mileage was 38,619.

- Longview, TX, USA

problem #109

Jul 152009


  • 39,175 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt ls, 39,175 miles. Went to the store, approximately 1 mile, slowed down to make the turn and power steering went out. Came very close to hitting someone else! from what I have seen on multiple websites and elsewhere, there are many many people with the same problem because of faulty electronic steering. Please do something!

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #108

Jul 132009


  • 39,000 miles
The 2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering, the problem is while you are driving the power steering will fail and you would have to pull over to change the fuse or turn the car off and then back on to correct the problem. That is a serious problem while traveling on the interstate. GM has to know about this problem but Chevy dealers are charging people over eight hundred dollar to correct this issue. This is on vehicle with less than 40K.

- Edgewood, MD, USA

problem #107

Jul 132009


  • 54,560 miles


The "power steering" warning came on in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt today while I was driving it and I lost power steering. I managed to get home but with great difficulty. Later, when I started the car again, it worked without a problem. I will take it to a dealer, but I anticipate that the dealer will not fix it if the problem is not occurring when they look at the car.

- Patrick Afb, FL, USA

problem #106

Jul 022009


  • 45,000 miles
There have been several random instances at random speeds that my power steering ceases to work. The dic will display "power steering" and then the power steering assist goes away. It then becomes difficult to maneuver the vehicle. This is unsafe because of course I need to be able to control my car! there is a tsb on this issue, number 070232007, but no recall. There needs to be a recall before someone is really injured or killed. I haven't taken the car to the dealer yet because I am strong enough to control the car without the power steering but it still should be fixed by GM.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #105

Jul 012008


  • 65,895 miles
Power steering failed during drive and lock up the steering wheel completely. Steering wheel was very hard to steer since it is a all electronic power steering. I had to pull over during traffic and shut off the vehicle in order to re-initialize the power steering. I was able to gain control of the vehicle.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #104

Jun 272009


  • 42,000 miles
I was driving one day and my power steering light came on and my steering column locks up on me. If I turn the car off it goes away for about two minutes. I've done my research and this model is having tons of these problems. This is extremely dangerous and I wish for GM to refund and recall this model. Its the same as the cavalier just had to many problems with it and so they had to change the name. What a cheap trick by the big car manufacturers.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #103

Jun 292009


  • 83,000 miles
I was driving 2006 Chevy Cobalt down the highway at 70 mpg and the message displayed power steering and I had no power steering so I pulled off onto a ramp and turned off the car and restarted the car and everything was fine and down the road about 3 miles it happened again. This can not be safe at all and can't believe that there is not a recall on the steering column. I got the car in the shop today (June 30th) and the quote I got was $750 to fix. And I would be able to have the old part.

- Paola, KS, USA

problem #102

Jun 152009


  • 63,250 miles
The power steering in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt no longer works. The mechanic said he could not repair it and that I must go to a dealership. I have not gone yet. The power steering is on for about 5 seconds when I first start the car, then the "power steering" pops up on my electronic display and it makes a beeping sound.

- Long Branch, NJ, USA

problem #101

Jun 112009


  • 50,220 miles
We bought this 2006 Cobalt certified used, for our daughter for school last year. It was fine until the other day she was driving and while making a right turn the power steering light came on and there was no power steering. She had to lock the brakes in order too not hit another car head on. Her boyfriend was with her so he could turn the wheel to get it to the side of the street. She turned the car off and started it again and the steering worked for a couple of blocks and went out again. Now everytime you start it goes out in a couple of seconds. I researched this problem on the internet and found many complaints. The car has only 50220 miles, so of course it is out of warranty. I got in contact with someone from the company that makes the steering column and he said to take it to the dealer and they should take care of it. So I took it to the dealer and they sent it in to GM, I waited a week for an answer. They called back and said GM was not aware of any problems and they would not assist. I am in contact with Chevy customer service waiting for an answer. The car has been sitting for two weeks.

- Mendota, IL, USA

problem #100

Apr 222009


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact experienced multiple failures with the power steering over the last four months. While driving 55 mph, he noticed that the steering became stiff and caused him to lose steering control. The contact was able to safely maneuver the vehicle to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop and the technician stated that the power steering fuse failed. The vehicle was repaired at the cost of $50. The failure recurred three weeks later. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but they could not determine the cause of the failure. The vehicle is currently being inspected for the failure so a repair can be made. The contact filed a complaint with the manufacturer and was informed that a district specialist would call him on June 23, 2009. The contact has not yet received a call. The failure mileage was 24,000 and current mileage was 25,000.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #99

Jun 222009


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph, the contact noticed that the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The power steering failed at the same time. Once the vehicle was turned off and restarted, the power steering began working properly again. The failure occurred the previous day as well. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 51,000.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #98

Jun 212009


  • 53,138 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph, the power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel, which indicated that it was failing. The steering became very stiff and the contact was unable to move the steering from side to side. She managed to safely maneuver the vehicle to the shoulder of the road and shut off the vehicle. The failure was not present once the vehicle was restarted. The vehicle has not been inspected nor repaired. The contact is in the process of notifying the dealer and manufacturer. The failure mileage was 53,138 and current mileage was 53,500.

- Bossier, LA, USA

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