Power Steering Goes Out While Driving

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com Notes: When it comes to the 2006 Ion, the biggest questions are: what big problem is going to pop up next? And how long until GM chooses to address it?

The 2006 Ion has a defective ignition switch that gave owners fits. Their keys would get stuck in the ignition, the engine wouldn’t shut off or in some cases it would shut off at the most dangerous time. The ignition was eventually recalled as part of one of the largest recalls of all-time , but it took GM 10 years to do it. Then there’s this car’s temperamental power steering which is prone to stop working randomly while driving. It too was eventually recalled, even if GM took their sweet time about it.

Lastly, it turns out a car built with plastic doors, fenders and bumpers – while fun for a game of “shopping cart bocce” – is horrible for safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
71,250 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace steering column (2 reports)
  3. replace steering control box (1 reports)
2006 Saturn Ion steering problems

steering problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Saturn Ion:

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

2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 182013

Ion 2.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,563 miles


Check Engine light came on, but since it was also time for an oil change I thought it was related to that. Then on my way home from a conference the PWR STR message came on, next thing I know controlling the wheel became very difficult. Thankfully I was able to find a grocery store parking lot to pull in to. It was nearly impossible to do any steering, I had to wait for a tow truck to get home.

- trgtsk8r, Dublin, CA, US

problem #5

Jan 192012

Ion SC-2

  • Manual transmission
  • 81,936 miles

My power steering problem just started happening a few weeks ago and it is progressively getting worse. "Pwr str" on the dash and the ding, ding ding. That's when the workout begins. I think it's GM's fitness program. I called the GM hot line to see if the problem is recalled. The hotline was down and I will resume the investigation on Monday. I feel like GM will ignore the major safety problem and will probably give me the run around. More later...

- Darin L., Windber, PA, US

problem #4

Oct 052011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

Why in the hell do you put on an electrical streering pump!!!!! Something else for the dealers to make money on!!!!!! What a stupid sh*t design again by GM!!!!! why are they in trouble?!

- Tom F., Franklin, IN, US

problem #3

Mar 012010

Ion 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 68,400 miles


My daughter was driving the 2006 Saturn Ion when the problem started. Don't know her speed, location, situation when it began. She drove it some and had it happen several times. When she brought it back around the end of March, 2010, the power steering was still malfunctioning. I could drive just a short distance, sometimes less than 1/4 mile and then the dings would come, followed by the pwr steering message and no power steering.

I didn't need the car and money is tight, so I just let the car sit until today, June,9th,2010. It happens that this is a tow car for work and I haven't been on the road for a year but now I'm going back to work. Thought I could buy just a simple little part and get back on the road right away.

The Saturn dealer said I need a new power steering electric motor at a cost of $170 and $200 for install. The Chevy dealer says I need a new steering column at a cost of $700-$800 installed. He did mention that he could see if there was a recall. After seeing this site, I know they are ALL aware of this problem on the Cobalts and Saturns!

Wonder what other GM models are affected??

- profitman, Hallsboro, NC, US

problem #2

Oct 272009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

I have been online and discovered that the intermittent power steering problem is common in Saturn Ions. If you turn the car off and restart the power steering will work for a short period of time and that is how I got my car to the dealership. The power steering quit while I was driving three times on the way to the dealership and it was very dangerous. You can't steer this car without it which made changing lanes and pulling off the road virtually impossible. This SHOULD be a recall as it is a common problem and is dangerous! Shame on Saturn for not owning up to this. I thought they were better than that.

- kee-shee, Jacksonville, FL, US

problem #1

Dec 022008

Ion Ion 2 4-door Sedan 2.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 41,500 miles

The power steering began going out on the vehicle 4 months and 2 weeks out of warranty and with around 41500 miles. Car was taken to the dealership and I was told it was going to cost $1010 and change to have the steering column replaced. I nearly fainted as the car was barely out of warranty. I have contacted Saturn Customer Service about the problem and am waiting to see if they will cover the repair under a hardship condition as I have been unemployed since March 2008. I've spoken to several people who have told me not to hold my breath as they have experienced problems with GM vehicles and were pretty much hung out to dry when it came to repairs.

- Carol M., McKinney, TX, US

Not what you are looking for?