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Chevrolet Cobalt Electrical Problems



  • co5893co5893 Posts: 1
    @ 35k my ignition key no longer goes past "acc" and stays in. Of course this happens as Im on a trip to FL from NY. Alone. Locking the car up becomes an issue then. On some shut downs it pulls right out. Took it to two dealers one in FL and back at where I bought it. "yup its stuck " is what I hear. Im now at 36k of course and it is no longer under warranty. Been a lot of $$ parts so far for such a young car. Sorry to say but my Fiero gives me less crap for being 23 years old.
  • I have just had this same problem with my 05 cobalt, I was on an interstate going 80 mph at the time, I almost died with semi trucks all around me, and the dealer said I have a bad "body control module", and it was dumb luck that this has happened. this is all within 2 weeks of having to replace my left front control arm bushing and replacing my shifter because of a bad solenoid. The dealer told me he has not seen this before in cobalts. I call BS on that one. Yet there are no recalls for this, and I almost died yesterday on the freeway. Should I call CHEVY??
  • I know this is a very old posting, but there seems much recent activity as well. I own a 2006 Cobalt, and have JUST recently had a problem where my battery is being drained by an unknown draw. at the same time this happened, i could hear on my radio a dip in "power" when folks were talking(i listen to AM Sportstalk) and it was an obvious draw on the power. if i let it site a couple of days, the battery would be dead. Now its a few hours. I have just spent a few hours trying to find a shorted line on the back of the radio as the front left speaker has never consistently stayed on. Nothing visible. So then i read these postings on Electrical problems and i seem to have hit the place. I too have had problems with the key not coming out of the ignition, and having to "wiggle" the shifter button until the key would turn back enough to come out. one post here said that they had this problem, and due to it, the clock on the radio didn't turn off and their battery died.

    This seems like my exact problem. Would anyone else concur? i saw one post that said they had a short in their radio and it had to be replaced. i have taken the dash apart and unplugged the radio(i know i could have pulled the fuse, but was looking for an arced wire anyway). i have charged the battery with the radio out of the loop and am going to check in the morning to see if it will start, hopefully isolating this issue to the radio.

    But the shifter issue seems to be the problem that has manifested itself by making the radio controls screwy( the steering wheel controls work sporadically, and the digital display is all messed up and wont allow you to reset the clock or other settings with any kind of ease as they stay in the "input" mode for a second or two only).

    Does anyone concur that the shifter could cause all of this, or do i have a bad radio causing a drain on my battery or both?

    any insight is greatly appreciated. I'm over 3 years as its late 2009, and over 60 k in miles with almost 70, and i dont wanna pay a dealer 300 bucks to fix a known issue they wont tell me about.

  • My 06 Cobalt started with daytime running lights not working, stereo, gas tank not reading correctly. I was told my dealer, same old tune- sensor, sensor....
    so i would think maybe computer problem sensor. I started having problems at 17K miles but didnt think of the nightmare that was to follow with my car stalling so many times almost killing me. I also had the key issue.
    I am sorry to say but i think out of all the cobalts made in 05 and 06 that had bugs in them, i was unlucky to buy one.
    I saw the postings on this website, the dealer laughed at me when i showed him all the postings. GM was very rude to me and offered me 1 year free oil and tire rotations.
    BIG DEAL, my car was haunted. I was lucky to have a lemon law attorney in PA to take my case. He settled with GM in 3 weeks. I could not trust the car was fixed.
    It was at dealer 7 times. i was offered by dealer to trade in for trailblazer
    which i found out later, trailblazer had stalling problems also.

    I am so sorry that all of us had so many problems with cobalts.
    To make matters worse, our tax money went to fat cats GMAC, and GM
    and i'm in the hole now financially cuz i traded the crappy car in and lost money.
    The day i wanted to trade in my cobalt, the key got stuck! i had to come back next day praying it wouldnt get stuck again.

    GM got bailed out, no one bailed us out with these car issues.
    GM treated me bad, so did dealer.
  • An Update to my posting:

    I took the information from this forum and had the shifter replaced on my 2006 cobalt yesterday. Now i'm faced with another problem. the Shifter issue shorted my radio. that remains as a draw on my battery.

    The dealer said when i picked the car up that the microswitch in the shifter indeed had failed, and that was causing the main draw on my battery(which oh by the way was bad and not taking a charge, so add another cnote + to my bill). but when i picked it up, they told me, "Well, the clock display on your radio is still displaying, you might need to replace it."

    Thats the WHOLE reason i went in there in the first place! so now the dealer says, "Well, its not a large draw at all on the battery, we did a draw test on it. I'll call the place in NY that we do radio exchanges with on Monday to see what that would run you." i asked ballpark and he shot back 2-3 HUNDRED dollars.

    Thats to replace a fully functioning radio that got fried by a malfunctioning switch that clearly is a known issue to GM.

    so i'm looking at at least 600 bucks to get back to fine. I'm so livid i cannot see straight.

    Currently creating an email to send to Susan E. Docherty Vice President, U.S. Sales, Frederick A. Henderson President and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin W. Williams Vice President and General Manager, Service and Parts Operations along with my dealership.

    I asked my dealer(who was toting the company line and claimed to know little of what i was talking about when I said the number of issues with these year and model Cobalts electrical systems were outstanding) if there were any recalls. they of course said no. but they didnt say ANYTHING when i called out the model and said there are HUNDREDS of issues out there and i started citing symptoms and causes. Usually you'd get reassurance or at least the cheesy salesmanship that would try to deflect blame.

    Nothing but Crickets when standing face to face with them. Another tell tale sign of KNOWING that the car is a POS, and not being able to own up to it.

    I have owned 8 GM cars in my life. EIGHT. I have always driven GM products because I loved the lines they offered, and never had issues. Heck I also own a Venture Van, which has many many issues online that i've seen, and that i've had to put some work into recently, but it's TEN YEARS OLD and running strong for the most part. We were looking at a replacement for it in an Enclave or Equinox or Traverse as recently as July of this year.

    I'm not going to be looking to do that now.
  • I bought my cobalt summer of 05. no more that 6 months into it the problems began. I have had my cluster replaced because of shorts, also i have had my blower replaced on my a/c unit. I have had both of my interior door panels replaced twice because the fabric was peeling around the handles, and i have had the radio replaced twice because of shorts. Now the foil on my door handles is bubbling and peeling, my chevy sign in the rear is peeling, and my radio still doesn't fully work, holds on to cds. The cherry on top is that now my power steering light comes on and i lose my power steering, i turn my car off and it resets but only for a short time, sometimes a hour sometimes 5 mins. Ever try to turn 180 degrees without power steering, not fun.
  • It sounds like alot of the problems that you have i have as well but i only have 62k on my car. Im going to the dealership today and going to see how gm takes care of this issue. If you want check my post.
  • bigboobigboo Posts: 1
    so i bought a used 2005 cobalt early december and i liked it alot at first. then about 2 weeks later i started to have problems with the key getting stuck in the ignition and getting out. the problem wasnt major at first but then one night i tried to turn the car off and it wouldnt go off all the way and the key got stuck. so i finally got it out and went to bed. i woke up the next morning and my car was dead. i was assuming it was because my car wasnt able to turn off all the way and the battery drained all night. so i tried to jump it with another car but after i hooked it up i wasnt even hearing the car turn over. the car completely locked up and the security light kept flashing. i had no idea what was going on but i knew it had something to do with the key ignition. this was all after i had the car for 3 weeks. so i had to have the car towed to the dealership and they told me it was a ignition cylinder that was shot and something else with the ignition switch. they said with all parts and labor it was gonna cost close to 600. i was pissed so i complained and since it was so close to when i bought it they did it for free. so i thought i would put it on here because i noticed a lot of people are having this same problem and dont know what it is.
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 372
    A common problem with 05s and 6s. We've found those that have a lot of junk on the key chains are more prone to this issue.
  • So my son has a 2007 colbalt yesterday 1-7-2010 the headlights would not turn off so he decides to unhook the battery until we can afford to get it fixed then today he goes out and forgets and puts the keys in the ignition and the trunk release won't open the trunk so he can put the terminals back on the battery and now of course the key is stuck in the ignition, there is no way to get in trunk unless you are in the trunk this is so redicoulous, there has got to be something we can do to get gm to fix this mess, any ideas on how to get in trunk please let me know, thanks lisa
  • Isn't there a key hole in the trunk? His ignition key will open the trunk as well.
  • First of all the headlights are on a delay, I'm sure you knew that. Secondly, these cars come with more than one key. There is a key hole on the trunk lid, go get the other key & unlock it.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    To turn off headlights, rotate the end of the headlight lever. It turns them off.

    HOWEVER: You've got a problem but there's an easy answer--There is a jump location for jumper cables under the hood. Or you can use a jumper power box instead of another battery.

    Apply the positive jumper cable to the correct location which looks like a battery terminal sticking up with a plastic cover (red) over it; it's next to the fuse box under the hood. Apply the ground cable to the marked ground location which is a bolt for the left front strut.

    Then the systems should power up and the key, I hope, will come out of the ignition. AND the remote unlock for the trunk on the key fob or the left side of the instrument panel will open your trunk.

    OR the dealer has your key codes where the car was bought. So a GM dealer can make a new key for you ($60? the transponder keys are expensive).

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • The key gets stuck in my ingnition too, from time to time. A mechanic at a dealership taught me a quick tip for getting it out. Remove your cupholder and feel inside up by the gearshift, there is a switch. You have to press the switch with one hand and turn your key with the other at the same time. The switch releases the key and allows it to turn and come out. It's a pain but better than the option of your battery dying. Mine always fixes itself although sometimes it takes days. Hope this helps some others like it did me, although it doesn't exactly fix the problem it helps.
  • I bought a 2006 chevy cobalt 20,000 miles, last year and have had nothing but problems with it. It first started with, just a week after I had it, both of my head lights blowing at the same time. That is really no big deal. It happens. But then, I started having the problems with the key getting stuck. My friend at the dealership cleaned the shifter and put something in the switch and I haven't had anymore problems with that. But, then the power steering light came on and I had to replace the steering column. The lights flicker and my gages will drop randomly. Never had that fixed. The brakes wore all the way down without making a sound. On top of that the car started stalling and I completely lost reverse. (transmission). I haven't taken it to the shop yet. Not quite sure if I still want the car. It has been nothing but trouble and I've only had it for a year... :lemon:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    Did you buy an extended warranty from GM for it? You would have been within the 3 yr., 36000 miles.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Where is the switch located? I took the cup holder out but I can't find the switch. Is it towards the firewall or towards the back?
  • they offered it to me but i turned it because it wouldn't cover me very long. Only for 16000. Thats really nothing for what they are trying to charge for it. And the major problem(being the transmission) was a 90,000. So that def. would not have helped me.
  • amandabamandab Posts: 7
    edited March 2010
    I have a 05 Colbalt and having a problem with the low traction system light staying on. While this light is on the car stays in low power mode. It will finally go off when Im going about 30 mph.
    I've had the car in the shop and its cost me about 1500 so far and they still cant figure it out.

    Anyone with any suggestions?? PLEAsE HELP!!
  • Try a different mechanic. If you're using a non-dealer shop and they can't figure it out, try the dealership.

    It could be anything from a sensor to a computer issue. Low traction is only supposed to go on if the drive wheels are spinning.
  • gteachmangteachman Posts: 4
    My 2008 Cobalt (basic) with 40K miles just started this electrical problem. The digital displays like the info center and the radio will intermittantly blank out when driving. Sometimes the displays will light up after a while. So far, they always return when I turn off the ignition, wait a few seconds, then restart the vehicle.

    While the car is under warranty, I hate to take it to the dealer and try to explain an intermittant problem. I would much rather be able to tell the service manager what the problem is.

    Any ideas on what can be causing this?


    George Teachman
  • biglouie34biglouie34 Posts: 1
    I am also having the same issue as George. Does anybody have any knowledge as to why it is doing this. I have about 13k more miles.
  • steveeb3steveeb3 Posts: 1
    while charging my phone , it stopped shortly after plugging it into my cig lighter. never had a problem before. replaced the fuse, started to charge the phone , light comes on the phone then goes out. don't know why ?
  • I also have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt LS, and yes it just stalls!!! It just shuts down! The AC, radio, and everything is still on and working, but the car itself is dead! I don't even know what to do, cause I don't want to front all this money on a car that seems to have a lot of issues. First the power steering (thank goodness that was under warranty) and now its just stalling. Its scary and nerve recking. Something really needs to be done about this problem. Please contact me if you figured out your problem, thanks!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Jackiwacki,
    I am sorry to hear that you are having issues with your vehicle. Can you please email me more information about your situation so I can look into it further? You can get my email by clicking on my name. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Steveeb3,
    Have you checked to see if your charger is bad? It is possible something could be loose and moving around causing it to work then move and not work. Does the cigarette lighter work ok? Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    First thing to check is inside the cigarette or alternate plug in. Is there something in there that is shorting out the center contact to the outside wall which is the ground? A friend's car had blown the fuse. It had a dime down in the lighter/alternate opening. I removed it with chewing gum or something sticky on a screwdriver.

    If that proves negative, then try another charger device in the same lighter/power supply and see if it blows again. It would be unlikely to have two chargers both defective.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • ashleychrist08ashleychrist08 Posts: 3
    edited June 2010
    So yesterday my radio decided to stop working. All of a sudden, the radio started flashing audio muted. I do not have a mute button so i'm not sure what happened. also when i drive the car, it will flash on and off even though i have the power for the radio off. Also the sound for the blinker and the key sound doesn't work either. You should also know that I have had 4 radios replaced already and many more things have had to be replaced multiple times. So I took my car in to the dealership that I usually go to and they wouldn't fix it unless I paid. If they have had to replace the radio 4 times already, they must not be doing something right and should replace it for free. Nope chevy said I would have to pay for everything. They also said it was from giving someone a jump. How can that be possible? I have giving car's jumps before and nothing like this has ever happened. So much for great customer service chevy. Not sure what to do at this point. All I know is that I'm not about to shell out over $2000 for a problem chevy couldn't fix in the first place. So if you do not have the warranty on your car anymore, be prepared to pay a are and a leg for chevy's mess ups :mad: 07 cobalt ls coupe 45,000 miles
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    >They also said it was from giving someone a jump. How can that be possible? I have giving car's jumps before and nothing like this has ever happened.

    When was the last time you used your car to jump another car's battery?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Ashleychrist08,
    I apologize that you are experiencing a problem with your vehicle. Can you please email me more information about your situation so I can look into it further? You can get my email by clicking on my name. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
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