Chevy Cobalt 2005 Power steering

The power steering fault keeps coming on turning the electrical power assist off. I have to restart the car to get it to work again. The dealer wants 1,100.00 to replace the steering coulumn. Only 40,000 miles on car . I have found out that it is a common fault among all owners 2005 -2008. There should be a recall but until then what can I do? Pay the Dealer or can it be repaired easily and for much less money? What is the engineering defect that causes this anyways?

I checked ALLDATA for recalls on this problem but there aren’t any. There are some TSBs regarding steering issues.

Here is one you might be interested in…
Bulletin No.: 07-02-32-007

Date: August 20, 2007


Diagnostic Tips for Power Steering Inoperative/Steering Wheel Hard to Turn, Power Steering Message Displayed on DIC, DTCs C0176, C0475, C0476, C0550, U2105, U2107 Set

2005-2008 Chevrolet Cobalt
2006-2008 Chevrolet HHR
2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada Only)
2007-2008 Pontiac G5
2003-2007 Saturn ION

The following diagnostics might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the condition(s) described above. Use the appropriate recommendation based on what symptom has occurred.



Review Corporate Bulletin Number 05-02-32-002B to assure you do not have a blown 60 amp steering fuse. The fuse can be blown during improper jump starting of the vehicle on the HHR and ION. Check for this particularly for tow in conditions. DO NOT replace the steering column unless an internal short has been identified in the column that is causing fuse to blow.

Power Steering Warning Message on DIC with DTCs C0176 and C0476

This condition is often the result of excessive lock-to-lock turns of the steering wheel, causing the thermal protection in the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) to take the steering motor temporarily off line. This is a normal operating characteristic of the system. DO NOT replace the steering column for this condition. Refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 06-02-32-002B for additional information.

Power Steering Warning Message on DIC with DTC C0475 or C0550 in the PSCM with any other codes

First inspect the motor harness connection to the PSCM. If no connector problems are found, then replace the steering column as this is an internal motor issue.

Power Steering Warning Message on DIC with DTC U2105 and/or U2107 in the PSCM with any other U codes

Although the code(s) appear in the PSCM, these are communication codes and are not the result of a problem with the column operation or the control module. If the codes are in history, clear the codes and re-key the vehicle a few times to see if they come back. If they reappear, look for a communication issue from the BCM U2107 or ECM U2105 (wiring, connector, etc.) as the root cause. If the codes do not reappear after a test drive, return the vehicle back to the customer and DO NOT replace the steering column.

Thanks for posting the contents of the TSB. I was driving about 70mph in traffic a few days ago when my 45k mile '05 Saturn Ion (Cobalt and Ion are the same car, slightly different body AFAIK) dinged at me like the fuel was low, and as I looked down to see it saying “PWR STR”, the power steering went out.

I didn’t know what had happened to cause the issue, so I ended up restarting the car after pulling over. The message did not re-appear, but I went straight to the dealership who like the OP, told me it was an $1,100 repair. I was pretty hot, and I asked them if there was a TSB for this issue, but they assured me there was not.

Because this is dangerous and not a minor stupid thing, and I was scheduled to leave town the next day, I just signed the paperwork. A few minutes later the service manager came out and told me that they were willing to pay for the $700 part if I would just cover the $400 labor.

Now, I’m happy that I didn’t have to pay $1100, but I’m fairly unhappy that I had to pay $400 for a significant issue in a 3 year old car. Even more annoyed now that I’m finding out lots of people are having this issue.

How did you resolve this, Dan? From what they told me and I read online, the only way to repair/replace the power assist motor in GM vehicles is to replace the entire steering column. (In Toyotas the just the motor can be replaced.)

Received recall notice for my 2005 Cobalt sedan(71,000 miles), in March of 2010. The recall was related to the electric power steering unit. The electric motor thought to be the problem was replaced free of charge by local dealer, no problems with steering up to that point. Just recently(Aug 2010), I started experiencing problems with the steering. The power steering light would flash on and ding. The car would immediately lose power and the door locks would lock and unlock by themselves. It was as though a switch had been thrown. And then it would go away. The local dealer that troubleshot the problem charged me $55 and said there was an electrical short triggering error problems within the steering column modules. I asked if it was related to the problems they had had with the steering electric motors and he said this was another unrelated issue. Sure. So I called a reputable local mechanic and explained my problem. He said he has replaced several steering column units at a cost of $900 a pop. I can see why GM’s parts and labor guys love this. He also said the entire column is faulty and they all should be replaced. Of course nothing will happen until a congressman’s relative gets badly hurt or killed. I am surprised that the NHTSA has not followed up on the original recall fix as that was only the tip of the iceberg for a much bigger problem. I understand there are several thousand people experiencing steering issues that can be severe at times.

I have an 09’ Cobalt. I’ve had both the power steering motor and the entire steering column replaced per recall notice. Now I can’t get the car to steer correctly. I’ve taken it back to the dealer 3 times, and also had a local tire place do an alignment. Still drifts left. Should I go to another GM dealer to look at it, as it’s still under warranty. Or should I take it to an independent repair shop? Or just chalk it up to a poor car purchase decision.

I have been experiencing the power steering locking up in the turned position when making a hard right turn. I took my 2008 4 cylinder Saturn Vue into the dealer and the “service professional” that wrote up the warranty complaint said that this was a strange complaint. 2 days later I picked up the car. the paperwork states “CODE C0475,OPEN CIRCUIT. RR ECM,COOLANT JUG,BATTERY TRAY, REPAIR CHAFED WIRING NEAR EBCM CONNECTOR,CLEAR CODES”. right now the car seems fine but I am wondering about problems in the future after reading other accounts of power steering problems. my opinion is, if there have been complaints spanning several years of this problem where is the recall? I took delivery of this car,new, in sept.2008 and have had no recall notices sent to me. if in my case , a wire was “repaired” this is not a permenant fix. hopefully the code and repair notes can help someone out instead of replacing the steering column.