really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
68,393 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.

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Sep 062016


  • 119,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 30 mph, the contact was informed that the vehicle was on fire. The contact stated that the fire was confined to the engine compartment. The contact noticed an abnormal fuel odor in the vehicle. The fire department extinguished the fire. A fire report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and then to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V459000 (fuel system, gasoline). The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 119,000.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #26

Jun 172016


  • 40,000 miles
Start of the problem the gauges will go eratic, my car chimes a few dings then theft light comes on. I don't have a theft system. Ls model. Also effects the transmission(automatic) cause it will shift hard and jerk the car. The ac also shuts off during this issue, it will blow air but it won't be cold. Seems like the issue always comes back when it's extremely hot outside. This is an on going issue for about 5 years and it comes and goes. Every mechanic I went to their car reader can't read my car. Also it has happened while I was driving and again when I'm parked and just started the car. And I have had all the recalls fixed that were reported.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #25

Apr 052016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated constantly. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the failure could not be determined. The contact also mentioned that the oxygen sensor may have been defective. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #24

Mar 082016


  • 78,980 miles


I started my car in my driveway, it started and then stalled immediately and would not start at all. I diagnosed it along with my friend who is a certified mechanic. The cam chain guides broke at less than 79000 miles, causing slack in the cam chain which caused it to jump teeth on the intake cam, throwing it out of synchronization. This caused the intake valves to be open when the piston reached the top of its travel, which bent the valves. This is a very common issue on the 2.2 engines, but very unusual for such a low mileage vehicle. The engine has a 100,000 mile warranty but only for 5 years. I only drive on average 10,000 miles a year. The engine is well below 100,000 miles and GM will not admit that they have a design flaw on these engines and will not make this repair for me under warranty.

- Burton, MI, USA

problem #23

Jan 152016


  • 110,000 miles
My fuel pump was leaking, so we had the fuel pump replaced and now the air conditioning/heater/defrost systems no longer work. We've had to replace the steering column, the fuel injection, and a leaking front windshield twice.also the fuel switch. Now the car somewhat stalls when trying to start.

- Copperas Cove, TX, USA

problem #22

Jun 252015


  • 122,701 miles
Was driving to san diego, first stop of several on a vacation. Stopped at a stop light. Went to proceed as light turned green, heard a scraping and grinding sound; there was little to no power for the car. It couldn't go above 30 mph, and made a "loud noise" (as stated on paperwork from dealership). Got to city (by the bay) Chevrolet. I ended up spending $1334.21 for a new catalytic converter and two gaskets. I was also out $111.26 for a rental as I was going to disneyland and knott's berry farm after a stop to san diego. I had to have the rental from Thursday to Saturday or I would have missed time at disneyland. I picked the day for knott's berry farm. According to Chevrolet, the 2005-2007 Cobalts in Nevada (where I bought the car and live) are affected by a catalytic converter issue; however after contacting Chevrolet and advising them of my issue -- they tell me (despite the identical issue) -- my model is not affected. I am looking for $1445.47 in compensation for actual losses. I would like compensatory damages since Chevrolet is refusing to do the right thing and investigate or reimburse me and it affected my vacation. Also, I want the recall extended to the 2008 models. Updated 09/15/15

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #21

Nov 222014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 90,038 miles


While driving on the route 20 at about 50mph it started to rain and all of a sudden my car "reduced engine power" light went on. My car started slowing down and I had to turn to the closest street so that I wasn't hit by the car behind me. This has happened before, last year while on the highway driving to cleveland, my car began rapidly slowing down and I couldn't pick up speed while pressing the gas. I took the nearest exit and had to wait two hours before the engine light would turn off. Also, while the check engine light is on, it also says "traction off" and my car shakes. Both times it was raining, and I was driving at 50mpr speeds.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #20

Feb 182015


  • 68,788 miles
The service traction light comes on and then the engine light..... shifts really hard and runs very rough and feels like it will stall. Very afraid.... being told it is a cylinder misfire... I have read a lot about this on line and find numerous complaints related to this same issue in this same model.... please help... I feel this is a safety matter.... could stop in traffic or on expressway which I travel each day. Many thanks!

- Cranberry Twp, PA, USA

problem #19

Dec 082014


  • miles
Clutch is losing pressure, can not shift gears to drive the 2008 Chevy Cobalt ls (manual). Must pump clutch over 200 times to get pressure back. The clutch pressure goes out while driving on street and the highways, making it no way to downshift/ slow down. Could cause injury to all passengers.

- Chesterfield, MI, USA

problem #18

Sep 062011


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at an unknown speed, the check engine indicator illuminated and the thermostat became inoperable. The failure occurred multiple times. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Roseto, PA, USA

problem #17

Jul 172014


  • 209,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact stated that the vehicle started exhibiting this problem after being repaired under recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 209,000.

- Pryor, OK, USA

problem #16

Apr 102014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,812 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. As a result, the contact crashed the vehicle into a ditch. There were no injuries. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed, but an independent mechanic repaired the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 139,812. Updated 09/30/14 the recall repair was was completed by 7/20/14. The vehicle had experienced any further failures. Updated 2/24/2015

- Broadhead , KY, USA

problem #15

May 102014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle restarted and the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the repairs were unknown. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000. The VIN was not available. Updated 10/22/14

- Newport Richey, FL, USA

problem #14

Mar 272014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the driver was traveling 55 mph and drove over a pot hole when the vehicle suddenly stalled, causing the driver to crash into a tree. The air bags failed to deploy. The force of the impact caused the vehicle to explode, causing fatal injuries to a passenger. The driver was removed from the vehicle within seconds of the explosion however, the passenger could not be rescued. A police report was filed. The driver was transported to the hospital for treatment of severe bruising, lacerations and fractures to both legs. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 ( air bags, electrical system) and stated that the recall notification was not received until after the incident. The VIN and failure mileage was not available.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #13

Jul 232013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
While traveling, the vehicle started to jerk as if the brakes were being applied. Contacted the dealer and was informed that this is common in the Cobalts until the car knows your driving habits. Same occurrence in the 2007 Cobalt. The dealer had to adjust the transmission. Dealer will not take action as to date for this issue stating that it hasn't had a chance to adjust to the driving habits. We had the car for more than a few months and put over 3000 miles on it. Car doesn't feel safe to drive on major highways. Dealer is made aware of this. Informed by dealer, not a safety issue.

- Rochester, PA, USA

problem #12

Mar 292014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I was driving my Chevy Cobalt when I arrived at the gas station I could not turn off the car. The key was stuck in the driving position and would not release. I then proceeded to go to my father's house to try and have him help me remove the key and shut off the car. He was not able to as well. I then called a Chevrolet dealer located on sw 152 St in miami, fl where I was told that this was a recall problem and that I should;D bring in the vehicle but that it would take about a week to fix. On the way there, my car began to overheat. I then pulled over and tried again to attempt to shut off the car and remove the key. The car reached 300 degrees Fahrenheit and soon after shut off, leaving me stranded with my two small children. I had the car towed to a mechanic in hialeah, fl where I was told that the engine was blown due to the car overheating. I then called GM and explained this to them, I then was advised to call the service manager at miami lakes Chevrolet. The car has since been towed there as I was told the car would need to be diagnosed. However, miami lakes Chevrolet is now hassling me that they can not touch my vehicle because it is a rebuilt title vehicle, although I have repeatedly explained that had my car been able to be cut off then it would not have overheated to it's maximum and I would still have a vehicle. I am very upset as I was unaware of the key ignition recall and I am now left carless which is my livihood for my kids and family as well as I am still making payments on a vehicle which is not functioning due to a recall I had not clue about!

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 142014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
My keys can be taken out while car is still running. Also the switch sticks and you have to play with it to get it to turn. I call GM and was told that 2008 Cobalts are not on recall.the key has came out while driving. GM call center told me to take to dealer have it checked I am afraid that they will charge me to replace it and just ignore the problem on the 2008 Cobalt.

- Rockwood, MI, USA

problem #10

Jan 012013


  • 47,000 miles
Ignition switch jams; air bag light stays on; cruise control stopped working; airconditioner stopped working; tire light stays on; engine light stays on; and now heater is barely working.

- Bartlesville, OK, USA

problem #9

Nov 212012


  • 60,000 miles
On my way home from work in heavy traffic in indianapolis, someone in front of me hit their brakes hard. As a result, I also had to slam on my brakes. When I did so, my rear end spun out. I lost power steering. I crashed head first into the concrete median. However, the airbag did not deploy. Luckily, I escaped severe injury; although the wreck, the resulting loss of power steering, and the fact that the airbag did not deploy were directly due to the negligence of General Motors.

- New Palestine, IN, USA

problem #8

Aug 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated. The contact shut off the vehicle and once restarted, the vehicle resumed normally. The contact indicated that the failure was recurring. The vehicle was diagnosed by the dealer but the defect could not be duplicated and no repairs were performed. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Belleville, MI, USA

Read the next 7 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?