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Chevrolet Cobalt: Problems & Solutions

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
This is the place to report your Cobalt's problems and share any possible solutions.

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  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,976
    Poncho and Superfatman, known problems are still problems. GM messed up the air conditioning, the shift solenoid and probably the headlights. Just because a problem in known, doensn't mean it's OK. This isn't the 70s where they get three years to work out the bugs.

    I've had my Nissan for 3 years and 34,000 miles and have never taken it back to the dealer for any dumb problems like this.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    But where does Nissan rank as far as defects per vehicle? It is one of the worst ones for defects per vehicle, warranty claims.

    As with most first year cars (look at Honda Civic forum) there are problems that need to be resolved. The issues with the Cobalt are first year problems.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,976
    FIRST YEAR PROBLEMS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!! GM has you so used to this BS that you think it's completely normal. It's not and at the prices of even the cheapest cars today, we deserve better than a "few kinks to work out".

    You can deride Nissan all you want, but my Altima is an early 2003 model (2nd year) and I haven't had to deal with any dumb stuff like the air conditioning leaking all over the interior, the car going haywire because I spilled coffee in the cupholder or the headlights acting like a fishbowl.

    It's that mentality of "we'll put out a new model, claim that it's world class but we really will take three years to get it right" that has GM losing a billion dollar every quarter.

    Ifr you dropped 15 grand for a first year car, you'd be OK with that? Why do you aim so low? This isn't the 70s anymore.
  • mopowahmopowah Posts: 68
    It's not just a GM thing. It's pretty much been proven that most first year models of any brand can have teething problems. Just because you personally didn't have problems with your Nissan doesn't mean that Nissan was perfect in it's Altima launch. A sampling of 1 is not statistically significant.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,976
    It's pretty much been proven that most first year models of any brand can have teething problems.

    By most, you mean GM. In the year 2006 we should all expect better.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Sorry you prefer foreign cars, I don't. It is not so hard to understand that problems do commonly occur for newly released cars, and this is the norm in the auto industry, it has always been that way. I never said it was acceptable and have said that in this forum before if you would read back a month or two.

    It is good that you haven't had problems with your Nissan but that is not the norm according to JD Powers and others which put Nissan toward the bottom. I only buy American cars and they all have been reliable. So you and I must be the lucky ones.
  • adammadamm Posts: 2
    As far as I'm concerned the cobalt has been nothing but trouble. I bought my 2006 october 2005. It was fine till it hit 2,100 miles then the trouble started. First the key would stick and wouldn't come out of the ignition. The dealer changed the ingnition saying this was a common problem with the car, Ok. Then it started stalling. Another trip to the dealer, This time it was some ignition coil.Ok I figured it has some bugs, I'll live through the few trips to the dealer. Next My drivers seat began to losen up another trip to the dealer, They said it was never tightened correctly. Then while driving in the rain the wipers stopped. Another trip to the dealer, this time tey said there was a short in the wiper switch. Now I notice the tail light on the drivers side fills with water ad=fter a car wash or heavy rain. I find this un acceptable for a new car. Has anyone else experienced this with there cars or did I just get stuck with a lemon. :mad:
  • wallstfunwallstfun Posts: 12
    I have had good luck with my cobalt but just recently had to have both the ignition and a shift selenoid replaced for the key not coming out of the ignition. It seems to be fine now, with no other problems after 8 months of ownership.
  • mweltonmwelton Posts: 1
    I bought my 05 cobalt in november 05. My wipers also quit working in the rain and they said the bolt was stripped. My button for the sunroof keeps falling out and my little door for my trunk release broke. Something is wrong with my brakes already. The thing I am most concerned about is when I got my first oil change, they found about 50 big metal shavings in it. I am still waiting for the gm represenative to contact me and do something about this. I just wonder if when trying to replace the cavalier a rush job was done in production to hit the due date for sales.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,976
    "I just wonder if when trying to replace the cavalier a rush job was done in production to hit the due date for sales."

    It actually seemed like this car had a long development cycle. I'd swear that we were hearing about it and how they were doing it right this time for at least a couple of years before it came out.
  • adammadamm Posts: 2
    I have to say it's not just a Cobalt problem , it's a GM issue. When I was waiting to have my wipers fixed on my Cobalt ( shorted switch) I heard many in the waiting room complaining about constant problems. To give an example a person with a 2004 impala had a folder an inch thick with paperwork from repairs. 32,000 miles and it already had a leaking intake manifold, warped rotors, 3 yes 3 steering joints replaced. Windshield leaks and fogging headlamps and that's just what I remember. I can't believe that a company can let junk like this happen. For the person with the shaving in the oil, another customer there had a camshaft changed because it was defective, 11,000 on a 05 malibu. He said the car started running rough and when the dealer chaecked it out they said 2 lobes were round and the valve wasn't opening. Unreal.
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    I was thinking about getting a Cobalt for the reasons mentioned above - torque and low price, but you people are starting to scare me. These little problems are annoying, but bit metal shavings in the engine is frightening.
    For the people with the sticking ingition, if you're out and about and can't get the key out, what do you do, drive home immediately, or leave the car with the key stuck in it and hope somebody steals it? :P
  • wallstfunwallstfun Posts: 12
    Let me first say There are 2 cobalts in my family and in general have been great cars. My first issue was the key being stuck in the ignition. I have never owned a new car without a few glitches needing attention. I had a 83 olds that needed a transmission at 4,000 miles, so I always expect something. I would still highly reccomend the Cobalt. For the money they cost it's a super car. The ignition is an ongoing problem according to my dealer. He kidded around saying we'll wind up changing them all in time.
    Yes I left the key in the ignition for the day, I just through a towel over the colum till the next morning. I just want to add that I'm not crazy about the oil canister compared to the old style filter. It's messier to change and there seems to be oil left in the bottom that I feel as the car gets older will collect sludge. That's really my only beef so far.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I hear you. People have to remember that most posters come here to vent their frustration, not to give praise. Problems can be found on every forum-Toyota, Honda, etc. If there was a common problem with a particular model, GM would be the first to announce a recall, unlike the hard time Toyota has given their customers with the engine sludge and other problems. It took them a couple of years, and many law suits, to finally admit there was a sludge problem, and they extended the engine warranty on effected models.
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    "If there was a common problem with a particular model, GM would be the first to announce a recall..."
    I don't think I agree with that statement considering there are so many problems with the key sticking in the ignition, but they have not issued a recall. I guess that is because it is not considered a dangerous situation because it only happens when the car is stopped and the engine turned off, so they can get away without a recall.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Wow! Are you saying that GM will recall all the cars with engine problems. First I ever heard of that one. You live in a fantasy world. Best do a little research on class action suits regarding their engines, before worrying about Toyota sludge problems. When engines and trannys fail on GM cars, you honestly think there is a recall? Perhaps a silent recall, or a TSB is issued.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I stand by what I said. What GM engine problems of significance? The quad 4 had known intake manifold problems on some cars, but that was resolved. They are known for the longest lasting engines, at least here in the Midwest. If they continually had problems with a particular engine it would either be recalled or replaced. GM stands by their customers unlike some of the Japanese manufactures-Toyota, Mitsubishi..
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I really don't know how widespread the ignition thing is even though we have seen it a couple/few times here on the forum. You are probably right about it not being a safety issue which companies are more aggresively fixing to keep Ralph Nadar from breathing down their throats.
  • gvsunursegvsunurse Posts: 28
    Jee, my switch is about to fall out again too...haven't checked the board in quite awhile, but sounds like I'm not the only one with issues either...all I have to say is CALL GM - DON'T TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO CONTACT A LAWYER, HOWEVER - THEY WON'T TALK TO YOU - BUT DEMAND SOMETHING! I got free oil changes/tire rotation for a year.
  • gvsunursegvsunurse Posts: 28
    If you have issues in the future, the real problem is a sensor in the shifter - contact Annie Rae Chevrolet in DeWitt, MI - they figured it out. The solenoid replacement only took care of it for me a for a few days.
  • wallstfunwallstfun Posts: 12
    Let me say it not all the model of car it's also just getting a lemon. The other cobalt in my family has 16,000 miles on it and never exeprienced any problems at all. I had this with 2 Cavaliers I bought new a year apart, a 91 and a 92. The 92 never had any problems other than routine maintance while the 91 went throught 3 head gaskets, window motors, power steering pump etc etc. While the 92 had much more milage on it. I sold the 92 with 163,000 miles on it, running fine. The 91 was donated with a blown head gasket again at 120,000. Both had 2.2 engines.

    In my cobalt they changed the ignition and the selenoid and it fixed the problem. Other than that the car has been great, I love it. :)
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    It is hard to say what the deal is with the solenoid and how wide spread it is. Was it an early production problem or is the supplier sending out defective parts?

    Your old 2.2 L engine wasn't a bad engine, but it is not the same engine as the 2.2 L Echotech which is one of the best ones out there.

    I know someone that has had four Cavaliers and he liked them all. He recently traded his 2003 Cav for a Saturn Ion that looks real sharp in red.
  • jduikerjduiker Posts: 1
    you said: Then it started stalling. Another trip to the dealer, This time it was some ignition coil.

    did this fix the stalling? is it somehow connected to the key sticking in the ignition? mine is at the dealer now and they dont know what to do.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The ignition solenoid problem from what I have read on a couple of forums, and a couple of different manufactures cars, is related to the key problem.
  • I own a 2005 Cobalt LS Coupe, it currently has 8,000 miles on it. I've been reading through EVERYONES comments... Lets see, The things I've already taken it back for...2 weeks after I bought the car I noticed the instrument panel (for the windows and door locks) on the doors were separating from the actual door. It took them 7 months to figure out how to fix that. I really don't know anyone who's had that problem but the dealer said it was common. My passenger side speaker stopped working, so I took it to the dealer, and they said the wiring was bad so they replaced that as well.
    Also a couple of things I have been seeing, but didn't think it was a big deal... might change my mind now that I know more people have the problem! I noticed theres problems with my CD player... mine just recently started saying crazy things like "No Disc" "Check Disc" "Error" when I was just LISTENING to a cd??? My e-brake light and my headlights (at night at that) like to randomly come on... and blind people. I'm sure people think i'm a major [non-permissible content removed], but It's not ME! I brushed that off like nothing, and maybe that's not such a good idea. I also have an appointment to take it to my dealer this Friday to get the brakes, rotors and all that checked. My father seems to think my rotors are warped.... Really! At 8,000 MILES!? When i'm traveling... which I do often, if I'm going downhill my steering wheel and whole car in general vibrate so bad that it scares me!! Yeah, it's that bad... The dealer said "a little" vibration is okay... but this isn't LITTLE so I want them to check it out! One of my friends who has an 06' LS told me tonight theres also something majorly wrong with the engines too, I haven't heard that... but he said he heard it somewhere they're recalling the WHOLE engine?... This is just wonderful!!! I love my car a lot... but i'm SERIOUSLY getting tired of running back and forth to the dealer...b/c it's in a different state 60 miles away from where I live/go to college.... so it's not like it's FUN! Not to mention the fact that GM is SUPPOSED to honor ALL cars at ALL dealers, psht, right... one dealer told me "I need to go back where I bought it"... Talk about asses! I'm still debating calling GM about that??

    Sorry about the book... :confuse:
  • joeweejoewee Posts: 3
    My dealer is worthless (West Herr) all they are is GM stool pigeons for GM mistakes. They have an excuse for everything. I have owned 12(now) GM cars and this is the last GM product I will buy. I have 8700 miles on the car (bought it new 05). I have had that CD player problem randomly, the brakes are pretty crappy, I have had replace the stock tires Conties suck, had two alignments (have never hit anything), the from fenders where they are joined to the inner fender wall are about 2mm out of spec (5.5mm) the front bumper cover never matched the rest of the car after complain to the point of a coronary they painted it, still doesn’t match must be the material they are made of. Now since i got the car back the top end of the engine clatters for about 5-10min on cold start (crappy oil pump) it takes forever to prime. What’s with that crappy little door where the truck pop is I am amazed that I haven’t completely broke it. I have to say I am pretty disappointed. I doubt it will last any kind of normal duration with out problems. Everyone should do themselves a favor and avoid GM unless you want a SUV or Truck. I really don’t know what to do with it except wait for it to break. GM really needs to be kicked in the groin, well Toyota is taking care of that not that I would ever own one of them either…
  • My dealer hasn't been bad with the repairs but sometimes they do treat me like I'm crazy. Especially with the e-brake lights and high-beams coming on without me turning them on...I don't think they believe me, but one of my friends saw it!!

    So, yeah I too also had an alignment...about a MONTH after I bought the car?? It liked to swerve to the left a lot? I thought that was odd. I forgot all about that until you mentioned it! I've also been hit head on, but not major(during winter at my works parking lot apparently they slid into my car...and DIDNT TELL ME)...and my front bumper is also shifted, barely noticable but I see it! I'm also hearing a weird ticking sound I've never heard from my engine....although all these things I've just put off. So, I don't know...I'm seriously thinking of trading my car in for a Honda Civic SI...I really cannot take this. I'm not a patient person...and I really cannot sit and "wait" until my car is finally my warranty sucks...sorta, and my dealership is 1hr+ away...

    :cry: geez!!!
  • sorry to hear it seems you got all the quirks in one shot ~ however, I'm very interested in your problem with the Ebrake/High beams coming on, as well as the CD issue. I am having the same problems, however I did not think the lights or brakes were actually coming on, otherwise the dealership would have taken my car in already. Let me know if you just think they're coming on, or you can actually see them.
    ~I'm only finding a small amount of ppl with these issues and my dealership (Blake Chevy in N. Hampton, NH - an otherwise GREAT dealership) won't recognize it as an actual issue since i'm apparently the only one who's complained (and i'm a young woman, so i'm sure they view it as a 'user problem'. :mad: keep me posted on how your dealership handles this ~ if I can provide proof that i'm not the only one with this issue, *maybe* I can get them to take me seriously ~ which in turn will help all of you with similar issues by getting GM to recognize this as an issue and come up with a solution~ thanks (*I, too, apologize for the lenghty post*)
  • joeweejoewee Posts: 3
    When i first bought my car the break light kept comming on and it wasnt the switch under the pedal it was, per the dealer(GM known problem) was a computer software update that monitors brake line presure, not sure if this is the same as your problem. I hate to say it again but the CD play is just a piece of crap. Mine takes up to a two minutes to figure out where it left off before the car was shut off. I have also gotten security lock out mode where it wont do anything, supposed to prevent theft like anyone would steal a stock radio but ya never know. The security lock out is suppose to come up when the radios power has been disconnected even if you replace the cars battery. The dealer has to link up the the cars computer and input a code to unlock.
  • douglas8douglas8 Posts: 2
    There is no Engine Recall. That's just silly, you're friend probably over revved his engine and now he's trying to act like it's on all cars. this is NOT the case. the Ecotech series of engines are some of the best 4 cylinder engines around.

    If you're going down a hill and don't have your brakes on and the car is vibrating, then you're car is probably out of alignment. If it only happens when you use the brakes, it's probably the rotors. (they are cheap)

    A little vibration is never ok. It is always indicative of a problem.

    Do you have your headlights set to AUTO or MANUAL? if they're on MANUAL and they are coming on, then take it in, I believe there is a TSB about this.

    visit All Data and buy the TSB report for your year of car. IT sounds like you need it. Knowledge is power.

    Yes, call GM Cust. Service about the dealer that told you to take it back where you bought it, that is total B.S.
This discussion has been closed.