2005 Cobalt. Power steering goes out, speedometer stopped working, reving of engine in park and at red lights and now is starting to die. What is going on??

Asked by Sep 02, 2013 at 04:10 PM about the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My husband has a 2005 Chevy Cobalt.The most pain in the rear car I have ever thought
possible with all of the problems it has. (apparently very poorly made) Regardless
some strange things are happening. The car has electrical power steering fyi.. The
problem started when the car started reving in park and out of park even just stopping
at a red light. Soon when driving the car it would take a while of stepping on the gas to
get the car moving and was very sparadic. Had to press slowly on gas or you would be
jolted upon moving. Next he tells me that the power steering just goes out on him and
that it started stalling all together. They thought it wasn't grounded right so regrounded
something and it worked for a couple days and now the speedometer doesn't even
register and it dies while going slow and you just never know if the power steering is
going to go out. So either we have got a number of issues or somehow (which I see
would be more connected then not) it is one thing that is messing it all up. It seems to
be all up in the dash. The only light on is the Check engine. When we take it into get
tested they have a few different fuses that could be the issue, but before we go and
spend hundreds on replacing fuses and not solving the issue I would see if someone
could answer this ultimate riddle. Thank you

22 Answers


What are the codes that it has for the check engine light?

5 people found this helpful.

http://autos.aol.com/cars-Chevrolet-Cobalt-2005/recalls/ -- there is a recal on your car for power steering failure.

5 people found this helpful.

Sounds like you could have multiple problems, and checking the codes as dandyoun said is a good place to start. Also it might be time for a new battery. The electrical system on modern cars is very sensitive and everything needs to be working perfectly and that seems to include a strong battery. My Cobalt would loose all dashboard functions and the electric power steering. It would go away and then come back.a day or two later. I knew the battery was getting weak and replaced it and haven't had a problem since. That was 3 months ago. If the battery is 5 years old or older it should be replaced anyway. they don't last forever. Good luck. Hope this helps.

4 people found this helpful.

same problem! AND same car. the power steering is recalled. call a dealer and ask them 2 run your vin# to make sure yours is one that recalled and they should replace it. mine did the same thing and it made a couple different things like the speedometer and such stop working also.

2 people found this helpful.

Thank you everyone! I didn't realize I totally forgot to get back to this! I already went to dealer and got the recall done. It didn't help. I will try the battery. It has just been sitting since we don't know what to do with it.


I Have figured this out! phone 202-528-5726

2 people found this helpful.

Seriously? You expect her to phone you? Don't be foolish. Post your fix here for everyone to benefit from if you really know anything about it.

3 people found this helpful.

Okay. I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. It developed all the symptoms I've been reading on here after I replaced the radiator cooling fan. Traction control light on, no speedometer, doesn't shift, etc. I thought it might be the new fan so I disconnected it and tried to plug the old fan back in. When I did that some wires broke way to easy. Five wires, black with a white stripe, and they all went to a ground lug (bolt/nut) that the engine was grounded to as well. If you're standing in the front of the car it is just to the right of where the fan plug is and under the return hose for the radiator. I stripped back to get good wires, wound them together and tinned them with solder. I extended it with a #8 twisted wire maintaining the black grounding color and tinned that as well. I re-soldered the connector on and cleaned everything up before putting it all back together. All the problems are gone and the car runs great. I hope this helps someone else, because like many people I'm not made of money and this is my daily driver.

4 people found this helpful.

Thanks for that. I've been having some electrical weirdness with my '06 lately. Just comes and goes. Seems to be a bit weather related. I'm definitely going to check out that ground.


owner of 2006 colbalt NOTHING HELPS all the recalls , battery , codes , this car is very dangerous and chevy just needs to recall every dam one and burn them ive spent thousands on this car and still nothing so people dont waste your money

1 people found this helpful.

My 2006 Cobalt is doing all the things listed above. My 18 granddaughter had a accident cause she lost control of the car due to the power steering out. Help


Did you check out the ground like Owenrhunt suggested? Have you taken it to a shop and had it evaluated? In my case, when the power steering goes out its no big deal because I can drive it just fine without, but in your case, and in the case of your granddaughter driving it, that's not likely the case. Now its a safety issue. You need to take that seriously and have it checked out by a technician. It's likely nothing major, the expense might be in finding it though. In the short term, I did discover that turning the headlights on and switching them to high beam seems to reset whatever it is that's acting up. Might help you out until you can get it fixed properly.

We are towing it back home,cause my granddaughter is in college 2hours away. This car has everything wrong.Having to step on the gas hard to get the car to move, then it might die. Power steering don't work speedometer don't work check engine light on and power steering light on. Car necks, now it will not start. She bought this car with her graduation money. So sad.

Also she got into a car accident on Wednesday 9/15/2016 lost control of car due to NO power steering. This is a law suit! We took it to the dealer and the previous owner already took it in for the recalls. So they said Sorry. We are SOL!


Yes you are. It's a machine and has to be maintained. What do they say is wrong with it? That's the issue. What does it say when they scan it?. There's a good chance its nothing major. Maybe as simple as bad grounds as was suggested above.

We towed the Cobalt to the shop last night. Had a hard time getting it off the trailer. It wouldn't go in neutral, the key will not come out of the ignition switch. That's a recall too. Mechanic can't get to it for a couple days I'll keep you informed. Thanks

I followed the advice of owenrhunt. He is my new Hero. His description of the five wire ground issue was dead-on. It cured all the problems. Thank you, Owen. This is an old post, I hope you see it.


Glad it helped.

Question for Owenrhunt Did you do the work yourself? If not can you recommend a shop in Battle Creek, MI to take care of that issue for me?

I had the same problem. After all the electrical was checked and power steering. There was a hole in my master cylinder, very small. Cause air in the system that threw the check engine light on and put the car in slow mode or whatever you call it.


Same thing with my car. I've been having problems with it going into limp mode when climbing hills and accelerating hard. Then my brake fluid light started to flicker under hard cornering. Finally got around to topping it up and it hasn't gone into limp mode since. Don't think I would have put the two together though until I read GuruYJR7X's experience.

I had the same problem with my cobalt 2006 ltz. Solution: Replace the transmission control module.

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