2006 Chevy cobalt ls electrical problems

Richard Mitchell

Asked by May 03, 2015 at 10:09 PM about the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2006 Chevy cobalt ls and its acting
really funny. It won't hold a charge on the
battery but when you have jumper cables
hooked up it idles and runs fine but when
they come off it will go into eng reduced
and won't go over 5 miles an our. The
headlights are either really dim if they are
on at all. My power steering pump turns off
and it runs at 5.5 volts then dies.

10 Answers


What is your charging systems output voltage? Judging by what you stated it sounds like the alternator has either failed totally or the ECM isn't turning it on.

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Richard Mitchell

When its hooked up through jumper cables it'll go to 11.2/1 volts. After they come off drops to 9.5 then quickly decreases as I drive.

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Yep, charging systems is not operating, it should be 13.8 to 14.2 at idle. Recharge your battery and have it tested, if it passes great, put it back in, if it fails replace it, then get the charging system fixed quickly before you run out of charge in the battery. And remember that an alternator is not designed to charge a dead battery, doing so will burnt it out and void it's warranty if it has one.

Richard Mitchell

What do you mean replace the charging system?


I was referring to the battery first, then getting the charging system fixed, don't jump the gun or you could wind up paying more.

Richard Mitchell

Like as in battery then alternator?


Ok here, recharge and test your battery, if it test good put it back in. Then have your charging system checked, either the alternator is not working or the ECM is not turning it on, the test will determine this.


Sounds like your battery is totally finished. Have it load tested or, if its around 5 years old or older it needs replacing anyway, so just do it. That will most likely solve your problem. If problems persist after that have your alternator checked.


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt LT, When I go to start my car. It clicks like it wants to start but has a hard time all the lights come on and everything so im not sure if its my battery or something else but once I do get it started I see smoke coming from under my hood and it has a really bad smell as well im stuck on it. My battery is also corroded with dried up acid so my first thing would be to clean that up but what should I do if that doesn't solve my problem?


If the smell is really acrid then the most probable cause is an overcharging alternator and that would also explain the acid residue on the battery, so install you preset saver tool, then disconnect and clean the battery, use a small wire brush if necessary, thoroughly clean the posts and battery cable ends, reconnect the battery and then test the charging system output with a volt meter, it should not go over 14.8 volts, if it is then the voltage regulator is not operating properly, as the vehicle is 10 years old replace the alternator and recheck.

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