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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,582 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 212014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle stalls while driving and consumer requests reimbursement for repairs. According to the invoice, the dealer found a low voltage under the hood and several bare wires from old repairs. The PCM was replaced and reprogrammed.

- Belleville, MI, USA

problem #4

Nov 252009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,230 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph he noticed that the power steering light was illuminated on the dashboard. Within a few minutes, the contact lost complete power steering. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 105,230. Updated 03/12/10. The consumer believed the problem was with the PCM. Updated 09/21/10

- Bonifay, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 222007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,278 miles
I bought this car back in June. And I have had nothing but problems with the car. Numerous problems with the computers in the car. From the ECM, to the PCM, and the BCM. I also have proof the odometer has also been rolled back. If needed for this investigation can send a copy. The cars has been serviced now 5 times. This time it is sending error codes to the computer of random misfires on the first and fourth cylinder.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #2

Aug 012007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt purchased used with 28000 miles on it. All my problems started about a month after I bought the car. The steering wheel started shaking violently when driving at 50 mph and over so I took it in to a Chevy dealer and they rotated and balanced the tires and that seemed to fix that problem. About 2 weeks I was driving home and I was sitting at a red light and the car just shut off. I restarted the car and every thing was fine on the dash board, no warning lights or messages in the driver information center. I started driving again and when I press on the gas there was this loud grinding noise and it felt like the car was not shifting gears properly. So I pulled over on the side of the road and turned the car off for about 10 minutes and restarted it and it drove fine. Now at this point im just thinking that there is a malfunction in the computer. I took the car to the dealer the next day and they scanned the computer and found no errors and everything was checking out fine. About 3 weeks later I was driving on the highway and I lost complete control of steering and the power steering message in the driver information center was displayed along with the check engine light. Unable to steer I had to stop in the middle of the highway and shut the car off. I waited about 20 minutes and restarted the car and the power steering warning message and check engine light had gone away and I gained steering control again. I once again took the car to the dealer and they could not find anything wrong with the car. Now some days when I start my car the power steering warning message and the check engine light come on and some days the car drives fine and its really starting to frustrate me. In addition to the steering problem I am unable to remove my key form the ignition. To this day none of my problems have been resolved.

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #1

Sep 242006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,400 miles
: the contact stated while driving 45 mph, the vehicle went over a bump, and the engine stalled. The vehicle was restarted, and taken to a service dealer, who determined the PCM was faulty, and uploaded new software. This did not correct the problem.

- Billings, MT, USA

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