Cobalt Power Steering

  • Problem
  • Updated 4 months ago
There is a serious problem that exists with the Chevrolet Cobalt electric power steering failing and causing the steering to lose any assist. This occurs without warning and is dangerous. Read comments on http://www.topix.com/forum/autos/chev.... A class-action lawsuit is about to be filed.
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William Harvey

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  • EXTREMELY upset!

Posted 6 years ago

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I also have this problem and have been experiancing it since my purchase at 30,000 miles. They claim that the Electric assist power steering pump located in the steering colum is the root cause. I had my steering column replaced at 34,059 miles with the problem still at large. Now at 67,000 miles gm says its the intermediate steering shaft a VERY common problem in GM vehicles including chevy and gmc trucks. I am being told that there is nothing that they are willing to do to help me with this because the column is out of the "12-12" warranty. How can they treat someone like this where the problem is addressed under factory warranty and not fixed. I worked in a service department for 5 years and this would be considered a customer satisfaction repair if out of warranty but should still be addressed as a on going concern. My cobalt has seen the dealer 16 times in 5,000 miles. Thanks GM!
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earlene brigham

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My name is Urly Brigham, and I too am having a problem with my cobalt steering. What you done to solve this problem? nicolebrigham@sbcglobal.net
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Travis

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I just recently took my cobalt in for the recal on the power steering and know they are telling me I need to replace the steering colum as well at a cost of $800. Why is this not covered in the recal as well if more people are also having this problem.
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Scott

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Travis...When my wife took her '05 Cobalt in for the recall (we had NO previous issues with it)...the dealership tried to tell her that one of her outer tie rods was "bent", but that you could not replace just the outer tie rod end - she needed to replace the entire rack wheel-to-wheel for $1,000! We had just had an alignment done - which couldn't have been done if a tie rod was bent! Secondly, I stopped by our body shop and had them look up the outer tie rod end...it's a $50-something part!!
Then they told her she needed a new intermediate shaft (common isssue with these - as well as Silverados), as it "clunks" or "chatters" a little when driving. Likely true...BUT then they told her she would have to replace the entire steering column - which THEY said was $2,000!!! I called to ask them why they were trying to rip off my wife...they said the steering column was "chattering" while driving! I was pretty hot! If they already knew the intermediate shaft was "chattering", how do they think they can say the steering column is doing the same if you don't isolate the other problem?
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Anthony Sepulveda

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where i can get my car to an eficient service to fix my cobalt for second time. my service center in Arecibo "cabrera hermanos" refuse to repair my car 36,000miles because is not motor or tranmision problem to be covered by warranty "PLEASE" it is a manufacturer problem! "7873565434" is my phone im very desapoited with GM & Cabrera"
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I'm having this problem seconds after leaving my driveway --- so there's no overheating. And then it may occur on the next turn or two. And sometimes on a straightway. I dare not let my wife drive this car, because it takes a lot of muscle to handle it when the power steering is out. Sometimes I can't even park it and have to shut the ignition off and turn it back on. And then it may go out again...and again...and again.

I'm afraid that sometimes I'll be involved in an accident because I can't turn the car fast enough. It is a downright dangerous design flaw.
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Now -- add the master brake cylinder giving me problems -- brakes freeze...hardly could get my Cobalt to the dealer's. Been in touch with Chevrolet Customer service several times--they did offer 1/2 of the costs on the power steering. Not good enough. The car will stay at the dealer's as long as necessary. This makes the fourth major problem on a car with only 42,000 miles--(1) ignition (2) gears (3) power steering (4) master cyclinder.
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Matt

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i have a 2005 chevy cobalt and have had the same problem mine went out on me and i live on a 2 lane blacktop thats extremely twisty i about hit a semi head on because i couldnt turn the wheel
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Sandy Johnson

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Same problem! About to start my battle tomorrow with the dealership and GM. I Googled "power steering Cobalt" and oh my goodness I am not nearly the only one with this issue. Check out Topix.com, over 400 comments on the same thing. Of course my 1st call yesterday to GM I was told "I have to take it to the dealership for a diagnostic test and chances are with my mileage it is normal wear and tear" funny my husbands Ford with 200,000+ miles still has never had a problem with power steering. Might I also mention, my power windows work when they want to and if I don't push the unlock button on my keyless remote first before opening the door then my alarm goes off and the dealership says they can't even begin to think they can fix that for any less than a few THOUSAND dollars.
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Sandy Johnson

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I paid the $85 diagnostic fee, was told it was the power steering assist motor and $880 to repair. I called GM back, told them, they said if I had less than 80,000 they probably could have helped me but since I had 91,000 they couldn't but as a curtousy they would call the dealership I took my car and see if they thought it was a malfunction. She then called me back and said the dealership said it was "wear and tear" so GM should not feel responsible. I went back to the dealership, talked to the service manager and told them that thanks to them I am stuck with the bill but I would not pay them to fix it or so much as go back there and get my oil changed again. They apologized and said that the rep at GM handled it unprofessionally and that GM would pay for the part and I would owe $210, not $880. So far 3 weeks out and no problems!
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Pam

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I just read about the fatal accident that occurred on Sept 2nd. How terrible for the families of these kids. My condolences go out to them. I hope Chevy does something about this problem before others get killed as well.

Not only has my power steering gone out and only works when it wants to, but I have already had to replace the gas pump due to leaks and the replacement of the gear shift and the ignition switch. All of the above problems occurred when the car was still under warranty except for the most recent problem with the power steering. I feel like I have purchased a lemon. I have looked on the internet and cannot believe all of the people who have had problems with this model car. Florida has a lemon law and I think I will be contacting the Florida Dept of Business and Professional Regulation for assistance with filing a claim.
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chrystal craft

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Thank You for your comment.I have read many complaints,none of the seem to be,as my steering trouble.What exactly is your steering doing?What did the dealer say?They tried to tell me it was from wear and tear.I have owned Chevys for 36 years and have had some of them for 6 or 7 years and didn't have not 1 problem.My car is a 2007 and this is 2010,what the heck is going on?Who ever made the steering on these cars did something wrong or used cheaper products to save money.Which did not work and is going to cost more,having to repair all of these cars.Plus ruin there reputation and have less sales.I hope by them reading some of this stuff,they will figure out what is going on.I am sure that all of america who has a 2005-2007 cobalt,when they reach 50000-55000,they start having steering problems.I hope all of these people writing,are telling the truth,if not,this is going to ruin the chance of the vehichles,(with these problems),to get chevy to fix them.I hope they read every ones comments and get an answer or make a desition.Thank You.WV-COBALT
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Barbra Joyner

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I have the same problem with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Who is going to file a class action suit? If anyone knows, please post. Thanks.
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nandi agbongbon-burnell

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i am very upset i dont no what to do please keep me in contact with your lawsuit
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Barbra Joyner

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I went to Courtesy Chevolet. The service advisor told me a $977.00 part (power steering motor) needs replacing. Called GM and complained. Courtesy called me back in to "diagnose again". Long long long story short: GM paid for the $173.00 power steering motor and Courtesy charged me $315.00 for labor, even though I asked for a written estimate if the labor fee would be higher than $200.00. I am still very angry with the way I was treated, the fact that GM had notice of the power steering problem for many years and being out $315.00 for a 2 hour job. I'm filing complaints everywhere I can.
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bailey

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Our '05 Chevy Cobalt has been going out for the past 2 weeks. It is very dangerous. I had my 2 yr old and my 7 yr old in the car with me tonight when it went out ...I didn't hear the "dinging" when the "power steering" flashed across the screen. So I went to make a turn and had NO POWER STEERING! Luckily I realized what happened quickly enough and didn't hit anything or anyone. We bought the car with 32 miles on it. It now has 70K+ ...all of the miles are highway miles between Alabama and Georgia. We will inquire about this problem with the dealer tomorrow ...I am not looking forward to it.
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William Harvey

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I to HAD that problem, I was told that it was going to cost me about 900.00 dollars to fix if not under warranty, so i looked in the back of my owner book and followed the steps in the back of the book. frist it tells you to go to your home GM dealership, I did, and told them that i had this problem, and that i know that iam not the only one having this problem, i told them that i went online and alot of people having the same problem and what are they going to do to fix my car, they said they would have to look at it frist and call me back. Keep in mine that i was out of my warranty by 6000 miles (36000) so I told them that i wasnt going to pay a dime.... They said they will call me back i said ok, they gave me a "loaner" car to drive for two days. they called me on the 3ed day and said that they had to call GM and tell them what was going on and they gave them the OK to fix my car for free. 50000 miles later no problem, by the looks of it i was very lucky. the only thing i can tell everone is to follow the steps in the back of the book and hopefully you talk to the RIGHT person.
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Tiffany

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PLEASE everyone call the customer service at GM: 1800.222.1020
If everyone calls and complains maybe they will get the idea that a lot of people are pissed and need help. My 2005 LS Cobalt just did the same very thing, the power steering went out just out of the blue..it has 55000 miles on it and worked perfectly until now. Now, Im driving it and praying at the same time so to maybe get to school and work safely. Im glad that the recalls that are on the cobalt already are so worth the time and effort to even establish a recall and that the powersteering flaw seems so silly to GM that they are even willing to take the risk of being sued for not fixing an obvious flaw in the manufacturing of these cars that could cause MANY MANY FATALITIES.

Other cars by GM that are experiencing this same problem include: Pontiac G5, Saturn Ion, and the Chevy HHR. My advice...complain until you are blue in the face...call your Attorney General!!!!!!!!
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Chrystal Shumate

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I have the service department is not being very helpful.
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Evelyn Green

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I have the same problem I was almost killed in this car in 2005 when I bought it. And now two days ago I am having the same problem and almost crashed the car. What is GM doing about this? Are they waiting for someone to get killed...this is some serious issue.
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amanda

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This is a major problem and I too have reported the issue to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Please take the time and do the same. They can be contacted online at www.safercar.gov or BY PHONE: Call the Hotline, Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm at (888) 327-4236 , TTY:(800) 424-9153.
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Lisa

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Same problem as well here. Our newest car (2005 Cobalt) has 60,000 miles and began losing power steering on and off about 3 weeks ago. Our estimate from a GM dealer was around $700 to replace the steering column. This is ridiculous. We will be calling Chevy/GM today to make a complaint. Based off of many others' reviews I know I will not make any headway with them but at least i can say I made the effort. I'm just trying to find as many sites as i can to tell my story in hopes GM will see there is problem. I will never buy GM again. I love my Honda! 180,000 miles and still running . . . :)
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Hosermike

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2006 Cobalt in a fatal accident 9/2/09

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/...

Quote:

"Deputy Chief Richard H. Bradbury Sr. of the Warrington Township Police Department said the crash occurred at 2:44 p.m. Wednesday when a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by a 17-year-old Warrington girl failed to negotiate a curve on Street Road near Honora Street. The spot is 11/2 miles from the school.

As the car veered off the roadway, the driver steered to the left, causing the car to spin counterclockwise and hit an embankment on the north side of the road, he said.

The car rolled over, struck a tree with its roof, and came to rest upright. The driver and a 16-year-old boy in the front seat were treated at Abington Memorial Hospital, Bradbury said.

Smolin, riding in the backseat, was pronounced dead at the scene by a deputy Bucks County coroner. An autopsy yesterday showed that Smolin died of multiple injuries, Coroner Joseph Campbell said."

Too early to know if the PS failed but it sure sounds suspicious.
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Teresa Kendall

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this is aboslutely insane!
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John Sacco

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there are 2 screws 9mm hex screws with a phillips head that hold the housing on the power steering motor. I undid those, slid back the housing and sprayed the motor brushed with electrical contact cleaner. let dry and reattached the housing. so far no problems...
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Zakiya X-lusive Lilly

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were dealing with Electrical power steering?
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Michael

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I am having the same problem on a used 2005 chevy cobalt.
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tlw

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john, can you give a little more details... where is the ps housing.. maybe provide a picture. Thanks
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Michel

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tlw, the motor is inside the car, on the lower column section over your feet. Unsnap the trim panel under the dash and steering for access.
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Michel

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By the way, a new replacement power steering motor is around $260.00, so forget the $1000.00 to $2000.00 repair bills.....And the motor is MADE IN JAPAN by DENSO, which is a longtime supplier of Toyota , etc....Funny, isn't it ?
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Pam

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Thanks for the info! I did report this to the Hwy Safety Admin as I believe they should force GM to do a recall, but meanwhile, I am forced to drive the car and I really need to do something with the power steering. It is not only annoying, but it is dangerous. I'm gonna try the electrical contact cleaner on the ps motor because there is no way I can afford to have this thing fixed right now and I am no mechanic!!
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Teresa Kendall

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Well I HAVE A 2006 CHEVY COBALT WITH ONLY 45,000 MILES AND I WAS DRIVING MY 14 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER TO SCHOOL WHEN MINE WENT OUT.. ALMOST CAUSING A HUGE ACCIDENT. I COULD NOT TURN THE WHEEL AT ALL. THERE WAS NO WAY TO DRIVE IT BACK HOME. MY DAUGHTER WAS TERRIFIED!! I HAD TO CALL THE DEALER AND GET IT TOWED TO THE DEALERSHIP. THEY TELL ME IT'S GOING TO COST ME OVER $800 TO FIX IT!! WE HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!! I AM PISSED!!
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bobby6566

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I have the same problem with my 2006 cobalt. What I have been doing, since calling GM
Is a joke. I made little cards about the steering and I’m placing them on all the cobalt’s I
See around town.
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Pam

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I tried using the electric parts cleaner. It made the power steering work for about a week, then it went back to not working.I was so proud of myself for "fixing" the problem as I am no mechanic!! I am gonna repeat the process and see if it works again, maybe this time for a little longer
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David Hutchinson

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I also have the Power steering problem and believe its a safety defect that chevy needs to fix ,being a steering issue that can cause life threatening accidents...defect comes into my vocabulary,for now i am disconnecting the power cables ,then reconnecting but that works only temporary... Im also complaining to appropriate people to see if it can be recalled..sorry for all of you who had this problem!
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Dontelle Janay Dorsey

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I have a 2005 chevy cobalt. on my way to school one day as i was attempting to turn in the direction towards my school my car falshes power steering and it was har for me to turn my steering wheel. when ever i am driving i can hear a little click whenever i pressed the brakes and my power steering goes out again. now anytime i start my car up i expect the power steering to act up. if this was a previous problem this car should not have been sold to me. my car is my life line and without it i cannot work aor go to school. something has got to be done immediately. this is a safety hazard for those with this power steering issue as well as whomever else is on the road with them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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kathleenmsaunders

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My power steering went out and my 2006 Cobalt only has 33K miles on it. When I looked online to see where the power steering reservoir was (don't have a manual in the glove box) I couldn't believe the number of websites related to problems with the Cobalt's power steering. A car with that few miles on it shouldn't need a major repair already! Luckily it happened on a straight stretch of highway, but just the day before I was driving through the mountains. That could have been extremely dangerous. What sucks is that they are going to wait until someone loses their life before they do anything about it.
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Perhaps your car is still under warranty -- 36,000 miles/3 years. My Cobalt's power steering started going out at about 39,000 miles. I tried to work something out with Chevrolet headquarters who offered 50% on the repair bill. At about $800, I would have to pay $400. Then the master brake cylinder started giving me problems. Also, in the first 5,000 miles, the gearshift seized and had to be repaired, and the ignition system broke too. So keep after Chevrolet on this. Call the headquarters.
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kathleenmsaunders

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Thanks, We took it to the dealership today. They said they could replace one part for $500, and if that didn't work, they would have to replace the "other" part for an additional $700. We haven't heard yet, but I'm guessing since they haven't called they've had to replace both parts. I'm definitely keeping after GM on this. The car is just over three years old, so not covered under warranty. Can you tell me who you've been contacting at GM? I'm not even sure where to begin.
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I got rid of my Cobalt at quite a loss--and glad to get rid of it--so I don't have my ownership manual anymore. However, in your manual you'll find the Chevrolet headquarters (not GM) and the phone number to call. Keep after them and you should get at least 50% reduction in repairs. Your dealership's quotes are confusing--I was told that the entire assembly replacement would cost about $740.00, guaranteeing the whole power steering mechanism. So it's not "the other part" as much as either go with the whole assembly unit for $700+, or see if the lesser part will do the trick and take a risk it won't, and then pay for the entire assembly.

You should get at least a 50% reduction on the total assembly replacement, which would be the better way to go if they don't offer to cover the whole thing. Keep good records of all your calls and transactions. Also, report this problem to the National Safety Agency.

May you reach a reasonable agreement with Chevrolet. Good luck.

Robert N.
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For those who have to pay for their power steering repairs, contact customer service, number in the back of your owner's manual. They offered to pay half--which wasn't satisfactory for me. So at a loss I sold the little rodent misnamed Cobalt. The estimated repair was over $700.00.