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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
61,450 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. replace steering column (5 reports)
  3. electrical issue (1 reports)
  4. replace wire in steering column (1 reports)
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #20

Nov 022015

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,777 miles


GM does not care, so if anyone wants to know how to fix this nasty problem call 202-528-5726 transmission, steering, ignition ect. It,s all 1 problem

- jagwolf, Little River, SC, US

problem #19

Nov 012015

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,777 miles

If GM or anyone would care to know how to fix these cars ask me 202-528-5726 Vic

- jagwolf, Little River, SC, US

problem #18

Nov 022015

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,887 miles

GM DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THERE REPUTATION. They will not talk to me so I can tell them how to fix these cars. I put my time in and figured it out. 202-528-5726 Vic

- jagwolf, Little River, SC, US

problem #17

Jul 202015

Cobalt LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,333 miles


Had the same power steering light, steering gets very tight, lose power, trans shifts hard if at all, speedometer stops working, the bells ding, LOL I figured out how to fix it! OYEA CALL 202-528-5726

- jagwolf, Little River, SC, US

problem #16

Jul 162010

Cobalt LTZ 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,714 miles

while driving down the road, steerwheel locks up. almost had car accident. the steering wheel column was replaced but it is still acting up.

- tuell, Jacksonville, FL, US

problem #15

Jun 102011

Cobalt LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I was driving in August 2010 and my steering wheel locked up, car started shaking and power steering flashed on the instrument panel. Took to my regular mechanic and was told the power steering was under recall, take to GM. Took to Chevy dealer and had it fixed. This past weekend car started doing the same thing, shaking power steering flashed on instrument panel. Parked the car and started it up but the steering wheel was locked. I had the car towed to O'Reilly Chevrolet in Tucson, AZ. According to the service department there were 17 codes on the car. The codes were reset and the car was drivable again so I thought. Chevy dealer told me to bring back Monday morning to have it checked again but once I tried to start car the steering wheel was locked up again. Had to have car towed again to O'Reilly Chevrolet. After being there 3 days I was told the wires in the steering column where worn out from the steering wheel being moved up and down and it wasn't the power steering so it isn''t covered under the recall. unreal

- Monica W., Surprise, AZ, US

problem #14

Aug 022009

Cobalt LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


I have had my car for about 4 mths before the car Messaging started to display " Power Steering" Then the wheel became so hard to turn. I mean this is a major problem that needs to be fixed. This is the worse damn thing they could have done which was make cars have electrical power steering. It's way too expensive compared to just being able to put power steering fluid. This is a hazardous and I can lose my life all because of my damn power steering locking up everytime after the car is started for a few minutes. I mean something needs to be done immediately. Takes the cars off the market, fix them all including mines , or something but this is RIDICULOUS

- lewalker87, Austin, TX, US

problem #13

Dec 022009

Cobalt LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

So i purchased a 06 cobalt last year i have almost had it for a year. I was driving along one day and my power steering came on, not realizing it was electric i pulled over to put fluid in then realized it was electric. took it to the dealership said i needed a new power steering column. F** i have the extra money to i am 19 a single mom and wrk my a* off to take care of my child. I am still paying for my car for 3 more yrs.....i see that i am not the only one that has this problem because of course this happening to all ofyou.......this is bullshit sitting on the phone with chevy now and they are feeding me a line of crap......should i get a lawyer i think so....i dont have another car and who knows if it will just quit working completely one day while i am driving with my baby in the car and we get in an about they solve the problem before that happens......F*CK CHEVY!!!!!

- Cassandra C., Brunswick, GA, US

problem #12

Dec 142008

Cobalt LS 2.2L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

click to see larger images

steering locked up while driving steering locked up while driving steering locked up while driving steering locked up while driving steering locked up while driving

I have read all the steering problems for each year on the cobalt, and mine was similar my steering did not lock up it just went out and got really hard to turn so there for i over turned the steering wheel on a icy curve and spin out of control and back of the car hit a cliff and bounced off the cliff and hit a guard rail..check my pics out...and the dates wrong..just to inform ya... did they do a recall and if they did or do is it to late for me even though the car is demolished? SOMEONE PLEASE RESPOND ON HERE! PLEASE

- riverj, Hindman, KY, US

problem #11

Aug 202009

Cobalt LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

GM needs to recall this car. I almost smashed into a wall becouse the steering went out while I was driving, no notice just stopped. It's a $1,200 fix. Called GM, what a joke!

- bobby6566, Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #10

Jul 152009

Cobalt LS 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles


i am a 22 year old college student, i work full time and got to school full time. my cousin is a GM car dealer and i never had a "good" car before so he hooked me up with an 06 cobalt LS. i have been paying 300 dollars a month on this peice of junk (not counting insurance) for the past 3 years and still have 3 more to go. about a month and a half ago my power steering light came on and i found out in order to get it fixed they have to replace the entire steering column and reset the internal computer this cost just under a grand. i still owe 9 G's and now i have to worry about this crap? i hate GM i will never by another product from them as long as i live. i already reported this to the NHSA and urge everyone else to do the same.

- shainw, Traverse City, MI, US

problem #9

Jul 152009

Cobalt LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

This is the worst car I have ever owned I have only had it for a year and have had so many problems with it two major problems being that 5 months after I bought it the key started getting stuck in the ignition and you would have to keep switching the gears from park to drive till it would finally come out which could sometimes take 5 to 10 minutes of you time.My major problem just started happening 2 weeks ago when my husband got in the car to go to work and drove one block from our house and the power steering went out and the light came on we thought maybe it just needed some fluid but could not find where to check the power steering fluid so I figured I would check online to see if I could figure it out only to find out (1) that it is an electric power steering system and does not take fluid and (2) as I researched I came across a bunch of sites with hundreds of people having the same exact problem as me.I have since done research on the problem and got all the facts I could and then contacted GM about the problem they acted clueless to the problem and were very rude.I have now contacted the NHTSA and they informed me that if they get enough complaints about the problem they will issue a recall imediatly so my advice to anyone having the same problem as I am is to call them at (888) 327-4236 or go to If a recall is issued and you have not called them you will not be included in the recall as the recall would only affect the cars of the people who have made reports and givin them your vin number.This car is horrible no wonder GM is having so many problems I am going to trade in and will never by a GM brand car again

- Tracy S., Lebanon, PA, US

problem #8

May 292009

Cobalt LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,689 miles

I was driving down the road and all of the sudden my wheel just locked on me. I almost had an accident when this happened. It was a scary thing and I was by myself. I only had this car for 3 years. This is a safety issue and it should be a recall on this item. Chevrolet should take more pride in their making of their products just like if it was one of their luxury lines of vehicles.

I will never own another Chevrolet as long as I am owning a car. I am a pissed off customer.

- Claretha P., Winterville, NC, US

problem #7

Mar 312009

Cobalt SS

  • Manual transmission
  • 26,000 miles

So first I started my car and all of the gauges went crazy and my power steering was out. So I turned car off and restarted it. It was fine for a few weeks. Then last week it happened again only this time it went out while I was driving and I almost went off the highway down a cliff and into the ocean. So I took my car in to the only GM dealer on Maui and they replaced the steering column. Got my car back a week later and the 2 days after it went out again. Now I am wondering if they really replaced steering column or if it is more serious. So once again they have my car and my basic warranty will still cover it. But what about the inconvenience of getting the car there and then being without my vehicle?!?! What if they dont fix it again?!?! Basic warranty due to expire in July- then what!?!?- I got the extended warranty- but then I have to pay deductible- AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Kristen S., Kihei, HI, US

problem #6

Apr 172009

Cobalt LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,289 miles


- Lisa A., Memphis, TN, US

problem #5

Apr 152009

Cobalt LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,500 miles

As of a week ago, my power steering has been shutting off while driving. I tried replacing the fuse (which didn't work) so I took it in to a mechanic. He said it was the power steering motor and that the whole steering column would have to be replaced for $1000! He said it was a ridiculous design flaw and chances were even if I replaced it, it would fail again in a year or two because GM never corrected the problem with the part in the first place.

I've only owned the car a year and a half and the warranty on it expired 4 months ago. I'm taking it in to the dealership I bought it from next week and praying they take pity on me, otherwise, I'm going to pull the fuse for power steering and learn to live without it because having it fail while driving is going to get someone killed! I'll never buy American again!

- Kate F., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #4

Mar 242009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

Steering locks up while making a turn. Sometimes to correct it I have to cut off the car and restart. This is very painful, dangerous, and annoying.

- jamjack7, Adamsville, AL, US

problem #3

Jan 072008

Cobalt SS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Steering locked up and caused an accident. I lost control of the car and ended up going across the road and hit 2 parked tow trucks.

- mhorn, New Windsor, NY, US

problem #2

Mar 072007

(reported on)

Cobalt SS 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 8,000 miles

I've had this problem for the past 3 months. When driving at normal speeds down a straight and level road, you have to hold the steering wheel angled to the left for the car to track straight. If you put both hands on the wheel and hold it so that it is level, the car will move to the right as if you are changing lanes.

I've taken it to the dealership twice only to have them look at me as if I am an idiot and give me "The tech drove it and says it's fine." load of crap. I've had 3 other family members drive the car and every one of them has experienced the same problem, so it's not just me.

I took it to a local tire shop and paid $100 to have an alignment done with a 1 year guarantee. Guess what, it's still not right. I'm going back there for the 3rd time tomorrow. The Manager says it may be something in the tires, I had the tires rotated, and the same problem remains, no change. He said it was torque steer, yet I can let off of the gas and put the car in neutral and the problem remains. He tells me it's because the car is FWD. Yet the car was just fine before Christmas and no other FWD car I've ever owned has done this.

I've talked to hundreds of other Cobalt owners online, and strangely enough not a single one has had this happen to them. I wonder if something is majorly wrong with the car.

- Timothy H., Charlotte, NC, US

problem #1

Apr 032006

(reported on)

Cobalt LS

  • 1,625 miles

steering locked up and i had a collision. be careful when buying this car, GM is checking into it but I am sure that they will not accept the blame. this car pulls to the right or left when driving it and sometimes steering locks up when you try to make a turn

- duviana, Higley, AZ, US

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