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 53 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #77

Mar 102009


  • 60,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt that on frequent occasions the power steering unit goes out for no reason at all. It seems that this happens as the outside temperature increases. It doesn't matter if I am on the interstate or driving in my neighborhood. I have researched this issue and have found 1000's of complaints on this power steering problem. I hope this brings this to your attention for GM to recall this issue before someone is killed.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #76

May 082009


  • 46,840 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving between 55-60 mph on normal road conditions, the steering wheel locked up without warning. The driver pulled over to the side of the road with caution and turned off the engine. She waited a few minutes and the vehicle restarted normally. The failure recurred several times while driving to her destination. The failure recurs whenever the vehicle is in operation. The failure and current mileages were 46,840.

- Temple, GA, USA

problem #75

May 122009


  • 40,000 miles
My son owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering light comes on and then the power steer locks up to where you are unable to turn the steering wheel. The quick fix is to cut off the ignition and restart. This is only a short term fix as it happens again within the next 10 miles or so and is becoming more frequent as time goes on. Does someone have to die before a recall is issued" after reading the reported problems on the internet this is a very common thing for the 2005 and 2006 models. I have seen recalls on here for lesser things like not enough amber in a turn signal? how is this any more dangerous than losing the ability to steer while doing 70 mph on the interstate? it is a matter of time before a death or permanent disability happens to someone. GM has to be aware of this problem by now. I guess they will just take there chances being that they are filing bankruptcy. I beg you to recall this component. How many more complaints are needed"

- Moody, AL, USA

problem #74

Apr 012009


  • 51,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ltz and the power steering has went out on it numerous times while im driving, trying to make a turn, while my 2 children were in the car. It makes the car extremely hard to steer around a curve. Thankfully I have only about hit other cars. But I still have to drive it because I don't have any other way to work, until I can save enough money to get it fixed. I don't know what caused it but, I have done some research and there are many people dealing with this problem with the Cobalt 06. I have to replace the whole electric power steering part bout $1000 that I don't have.. I M a single mom of two boys. I think there really needs to be a recall done on this particular part on the 06 Cobalt. Before someone is hurt.. there are to many people having problems with this.. oh and did I mention my warranty just ran out..

- Des Arc, AR, USA

problem #73

Apr 182009


  • 44,500 miles
Our 2006 Chevy Cobalt has started having power steering failures. The car has 44,000 miles. Two weeks ago while driving down the highway, the ps light indicator flashed on and we did our best to try and get off the road. If we turn the car off and then back on, the power steering will work, but the problem is becoming more frequent; at least a couple of times a week. This car was bought new and is driven by my 20 yr. Old honor college student. I had a mechanic check this and he told me the steering column had to be replaced at a cost of approx. $1500.

- Murchison, TX, USA

problem #72

Nov 152008


  • 65,000 miles
My power steering has been going on and off since 2008. I took it to the dealership and they said I have to replace the entire column. The power steering goes out every day. As soon I turn on the car and go a few yards it goes out. The problem has gotten worse. It's a lot harder to turn and a lot more frequent than it was in November.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #71

Apr 172009


  • 37,289 miles


The power steering lock up every time I drive the car. The key will not come out of the steering column. Cant drive the car.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #70

Apr 102009


  • 75,000 miles
Driving down the highway and the power steering went out, power steering goes in and out on 2006 Chevy Cobalt.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #69

Apr 252009


  • 49,000 miles
The power steering in the vehicle went out while making a turn almost causing a collision with the oncoming vehicle.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #68

Apr 182009


  • 85,200 miles
While driving at 35 mph, heard beeping and message on dic read"power steering". pulled to the shoulder and restarted the car. No message was displayed after restarting the car, but problem remains. Car will lose power steering now more frequently, at least 5 times during a 45 minute ride. Have to keep pulling over to restart the car to fix the problem. Car is 3 years old with about 85,200. Have not repaired it yet, car not under warranty.

- Vernon, NJ, USA

problem #67

Feb 022009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 30 mph on wet road conditions, the contact heard a loud noise underneath the vehicle. Immediately, the vehicle spun out of control several times before skidding off the road surface into a wooded area. The failure occurred without warning. The police department and roadside assistance were called to the scene and a police report was filed. The driver sustained minor facial injuries. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for inspection, but the cause of the failure has not yet been determined. The manufacturer engineers are investigating the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were unknown. Updated 05/11/09. The lower control arm was replaced. Updated 05/11/09.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #66

Apr 072009


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at any speed, the power steering locks up. The dealer stated that it was a common failure with the Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the failure was guaranteed to occur when the vehicle was at 50,000 miles and out of warranty. A report was filed with the manufacturer and they stated that there was no recall. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 63,000.

- Oklahoma , OK, USA

problem #65

Oct 132007


  • miles
Starting in October 2007, I have had ongoing power steering problems with my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Without warning, the power steering will suddenly quit while the transmission will start jumping. The car becomes unable to drive. This will happen while driving. The problem will occur and then go back to normal a short time later. I have brought my car into the dealer four times now concerning this issue. I have been told that they don't know what to do. I am not the only one experiencing this problem. After doing some research, I have found that this happens to be a very common problem with the Cobalt. There is currently an online petition to have the Chevy Cobalt recalled. This is a huge safety issue!!! I am afraid to drive my car. Something needs to be done before someone is killed.

- White Lake, MI, USA

problem #64

Mar 172009


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 20 mph, the contact noticed smoke coming from the hood of the vehicle. He pulled over and turned off the vehicle. The vehicle was diagnosed and it was discovered that the serpentine belt failed and caused the engine to lock. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and repaired under warranty. In addition, the power steering failed twice and is currently being repaired. The failure and current mileages were 44,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #63

Dec 172007


  • 60,545 miles
I have a 2006 Cobalt ss/SC with 60K miles. I will start the car and powersteering will be fine. Then I drive about 5 min and power steering pops up on my dic and powersteering goes out. Dealer wants a grand to fix. I think its pathetic GM doesn't recall this problem. If my problem doesn't get resolved I will never buy a GM car again. People wonder why we buy foreign cars. This is absolutely ridiculous!

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #62

Mar 232009


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering fails while driving various speeds. The steering wheel becomes locked and he must use excessive force to pull over to the side of the road. The contact turns off the vehicle and then restarts it minutes later. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that a part in the steering column was faulty and needed to be repaired. The contact stated that he would repair it eventually. The failure mileage was 52,000.

- North Port, AL, USA

problem #61

Mar 092009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering indicator illuminates while driving various speeds, and then the vehicle loses power. The vehicle nearly forces him off the road and he loses control of the steering wheel. A mechanic stated that the entire power steering needed to be replaced and the motor sensor was burnt. The dealer has not been notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Bardstown, KY, USA

problem #60

Mar 142009


  • 54,000 miles
2006 Cobalt lt. I've had this car only a year and a half. The power steering indicator keeps coming on and the steering goes off while driving down the road. I'm afraid it's going cause my wife to wreck. I seen on the internet where there were several hundred complaints for the same problem. It needs to be recalled before someone gets killed.

- Bardstown, KY, USA

problem #59

Feb 282009


  • 49,284 miles
While driving the car on a 3 hour trip the power steering went out and the car was very hard to handle and turning a corner was very difficult. It happened several times over one weekend. First thing on Monday I took the car in to be checked and was told the electronic steering motor/module needed to be replaced at an expense of $858.23. No old part was able to be used and the part had to come directly from the manufacturer.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #58

Mar 082009


  • 40,000 miles
When driving my car the power steering message comes on my dash with a beep. And then all power steering is lost in the car. Once the car is turned off and re started the power steering message goes off and the power steering works fine until the buzzer goes off again. If you press the button the power steering message will disappear but there is still no power steering. There does not seem to be any variables as to what causes this you can be going 70 mph or 20. It can go off 10 minutes into the drive or 45 minutes into it. I have taken to a local shop they feel there is a short in the dash. They have referred me to take back to the dealer and to contact your site. The dealer is going to do a diagnostic on the car Tuesday Mar 12, 2009. My car is a Chevy Cobalt 2006 with 40 000 miles on it. I was informed that there are many service bulletins on this car and that for such a new car a problem of this type and large repair cost is extremely abnormal and the safety issues of the sudden loss of all power steering is a great concern.

- Wichita, KS, USA

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