Which Chevy Cobalt Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Chevrolet’s small automobile, the Chevy Cobalt, was introduced in 2004 with coupe and sedan models. It spanned two generations, commencing in 2011 with the second. But all years are not safe to buy.

The Chevy Cobalt from 2005 and 2006 has received the most complaints. The most prevalent worry is power steering failure, the engine shuts down, the key gets locked in the ignition, and the power steering goes off.

Continue reading to have a better notion of which model you should be aware of and which you should consider investing in.

Chevy Cobalt Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Many cars stand out on the road, and some excel in performance despite average design but the Chevrolet Cobalt is not one of them.

The most typical issues are The Check Engine Light may or may not light if the ignition module or an ignition coil fails, resulting in an engine misfire. The engine shuts down, the key becomes trapped in the ignition, and the power steering turns off due to a power steering malfunction.

The Chevy Cobalt was a dreadful car. It was never a great seller, and after only six years, it was phased out.

Worst Years of Chevy Cobalt:

  • 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Problems:

The automatic transmission shifter in the floor console of the 2005 Chevy Cobalt may malfunction, leading the key to becoming caught in the ignition lock cylinder.

According to consumer reports, the ignition module or a coil may fail. The Check Engine Light may or may not light as a result of this situation.

Braking fluid can get contaminated, resulting in brake system difficulties. Due to a faulty timing chain tensioner, a rattle-type noise may be heard on cold start-up.

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Problems:

The power steering would go out and the engine would crank excessively, according to customers who moved the steering wheel up and down. This model has an electrical problem as well.

The floor console’s automatic gearbox shifter may malfunction, leading the key to becoming jammed in the ignition lock cylinder.

All of the time, the key is stuck in the ignition. There is a button under the steering column that, when pressed, releases the key, but it is quite difficult to find.

2007 Chevrolet Cobalt Problems:

The year 2007 has been a disaster. Owners have complained about costly technical issues and poor build quality in their ratings. This model should also be avoided for damaged internal elements.

Drivers have reported a 2007 Chevy Cobalt stalling on the highway for no apparent cause and with no warning. While driving, the lights, dash gauge, and everything else simply turn off.

Power steering system failures are a widespread problem at around 65,000 miles and replace it costing around $800.

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Problems:

The 2008 Chevy Cobalt has over 1,000 complaints according to CarComplaints.com, with the most prevalent issue being the grinding gearbox when shifting.

When the key is not in the run position, the airbags do not deploy, which increases the danger of harm when the vehicle is engaged in an accident.

The car will stall if the ignition switch is moved from run to accessory, and the airbags will not activate in the case of a collision.

This model also has some electrical issues with interior accessories problem.

What Are The Worst Years of Chevy Cobalt?

  • 2005 Chevy Cobalt
  • 2006 Chevy Cobalt

These are the two Chevy Cobalt model years with the highest complaints on carcomplaints. These two are absolute no- no’s.

Most Common Problems of Chevy Cobalt:

1. Ignition Coil Failure

The engine or the catalytic converter might be damaged if your Cobalt’s ignition coils are defective.

Engine hesitation or lack of power are the most prevalent symptoms of a faulty ignition coil in a Chevy Cobalt. Engine misfires, high fuel use, and difficult starting are all possible.

The 2006 Cobalt model’s engine started jerking. The dashboard showed a malfunctioning engine block light

In the worst-case situation, the engine will not start if the ignition coils are severely damaged. It is impossible to fix a damaged ignition coil; it must be replaced.

If the ignition coil has been polluted owing to an oil leak in the spark plug tube, cleaning it using an electronic cleaner may be able to restore its performance.

2. Turn Signal Switch problem 

The turn signals on some 2007 Cobalt models are completely uncontrolled. The engine light is on continuously before, during, and after turning, and no cause can be found.

It’s possible that some of the headlight functions on the turn signal switch aren’t working. After turning the wheel, the turn signal does not turn off.

One of the owners of a 2008 Chevy Cobalt claimed that the front right turn light was not working. When the headlights are turned on, either manually or automatically due to the daylight sensor, the symptoms appear.

The front right turn signal will not blink, and you may hear a double-speed clicking sound as though a bulb is burned out.

3. Shifting Problems

The car may not shift back and forth between forwarding and backward gears. There might also be a lack of engine braking and forward clutch lubrication.

When the automobile is in the park, the ignition key does not remove from the ignition key cylinder, and the car does not always shift into the designated gear.

The hydraulic channels are losing pressure, preventing the transmission from shifting into higher ratios which is a concerning issue for most of the first generation of chevy cobalt.

4. Timing Chain Tensioner Failure

On the 2005 to 2010 Cobalt, the timing chain is positioned beneath the covers at the front of the engine and can fail. When cold starting, rattling from the timing chain area might be the major cause.

Multiple timing chain tensioners have been detected by divers. You’ll need to repair the chains, guides, and tensioner, but the owners say it started rattling and writhing again after the renaissance.

5. Steering problem

Having troubles with steering When rotating, it feels as if it’s sticking or binding. The clunk and jamming issues with these cars’ racks are well-known.

The power steering goes off at random, which is dangerous occurs in the 2007 Chevy Cobalt.

Which Chevy Cobalt Years are Safe to Buy Used?

There are two more Cobalt models to be had. Fortunately, the remaining Cobalt model years have a strong track record of dependability.

The best years for Chevy Cobalt are:

  • 2009 Chevy Cobalt
  • 2010 Chevy Cobalt

The smooth ride and plenty of power were hallmarks of the 2009 model. The SS trim was commended for its responsive handling and quick acceleration, however, the interior was described as “drab.”

In terms of riding comfort and fuel efficiency, the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt is comparable. It also had a nicer interior and a more relaxing cabin.


The Cobalt is a typical car with no unique characteristics or defects. It’s a standard vehicle, demonstrating its dependability.

Just stay away from the years 2005 to 2008, as they have power steering failure, a grinding transmission, and a stuck key.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a secondhand one, keep in mind that it may require additional maintenance.

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