Interesting Facts about the Chevrolet Cobalt
- The Chevrolet Cobalt's trim line, Cobalt SS, generally received positive reviews as it was the first-ever entry of General Motors into the tuner market. The three versions of the Cobalt SS were the SS Naturally-aspirated, SS Supercharged, and SS Turbocharged. In 2008, the Cobalt SS won the Street Tuner championship of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge from the Grand American Road Racing Association. The following year, four Cobalt SS's were used in the same competition, but none of the cars came home with the championship.
- With its 260-horsepower, turbo version, the 2008-09 Chevrolet Cobalt SS is one of the most affordable, high-performance used cars today. Apart from the impressive horsepower of the car, it also has a sport-tuned suspension that provides an outstanding grip. The price range of a used Cobalt SS is around $16,000 to $22,000. It can be hard to find, though, because not a lot were produced in its 5-year lifespan.
- The Cobalt XFE (eXtra Fuel Economy), one of the trim lines of the Chevrolet Cobalt, was released in 2009. It was focused more on fuel efficiency, and was labeled as one of the twelve greenest cars of 2010 because its fuel mileage on the highway is 37 and 25 in the city. Ironically enough, the total number of Chevrolet Cobalts sold in the U.S. on those years was just above the two hundred thousand mark in spite of the the unpredictable fuel prices, and the lower fuel consumption the model was aimed to market.
- The production of the Chevrolet Cobalt in North America was discontinued in 2010. However, General Motors do Brasil, the largest subsidiary of General Motors in South America, reintroduced the Cobalt in early 2012. The vehicle is sold today in more than 40 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Surprisingly, the Cobalt is not sold in the U.S.
- Chevrolet introduced the Cobalt in 2004 after the 23-year existence of its predecessor, the Cavalier. The U.S. sales of the Cobalt in its first year barely reached the five-thousand mark, with just 4,959 units sold. Just a year later, the number of units sold in North America ballooned to 212,667. It maintained the level just above two hundred thousand in the next two years until its sales numbers slowly descended in 2009 and 2010.
Common Chevrolet Cobalt Problems
General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Cobalt as the successor of the Cavalier and the Prizm compact cars. In its 6-year lifespan from 2004 to 2010, the Cobalt has sold over one million units worldwide, and the SS or Super Sport trim line was its most popular trim line. However, there had been some problems majority of the owners encountered with the Chevy model. Here's a list of some of the Cobalt issues:
One of the most common problems encountered with the Chevrolet Cobalt, the power steering of the vehicle has been an issue since the first units came out in 2005. Most owners complain about the stiffness of the steering wheel when driving under 15mph. There are also some instances that the steering wheel warning will light up, causing the steering wheel to suddenly fail and get stuck in its same position.
In 2010, GM recalled a total of 1.3 million vehicles, which included Chevrolet Cobalt models from 2005 to 2010. The recall was done because of the complaints with the power steering assist of the vehicles. In total, there had been 1,100 complaints filed which includes an injury and 14 crashes.
Another problem encountered by most Chevrolet Cobalt owners is the key that gets frequently stuck in the ignition. Although the problem is not as crucial as the first one, still, there were numerous complaints about it especially in the 2005 to 2006 models of the Cobalt. Most problems occurred on an automatic transmission vehicle, after shifting the lever to park mode. The key failed to detach from the ignition, thereby causing an increase in the consumption of the battery.
Although Chevrolet never released an official word about the issue, most owners resorted in replacing the shifter instead, or brought their vehicles to their car's dealership.
Other car problems that resulted to vehicle recall
Aside from the mentioned common problems, there are other recalls issued by GM. In 2005, the Cobalt units were recalled due to the headlamp shields that loosen when the car vibrates. Both headlamp assemblies were replaced by the car dealers. In the same year, the Cobalt vehicles were also recalled because the optional roof-mounted side impact air bags were not equipped in the model.
I'm on the market for a pre-owned Chevrolet Cobalt, and I'd like to know the commonly reported problems of this Chevy model. What parts should I check more thoroughly? What kind of defects should I look out for when shopping for a used Cobalt?
Some of the commonly reported problems of the Cobalt have to do with faulty ignition, erratic power steering, and some troubles with the fuel system. GM has issued a number of recalls involving this Chevy model. In 2014, for instance, the manufacturer had to recall more than 700,000 Cobalts due to defective ignition switches, which caused the car to suddenly lose power. The Cobalt also had power steering issues and was part of a recall announced by GM in 2010. Some of the 2007 to 2009 models were also reported to have fuel leaks due to damaged plastic fuel pump lines. Aside from these faulty systems and parts, some owners have reported ignition troubles like a stuck key caused by a faulty shifter and a broken ignition module and defective coil, which could result in a misfire.
When inspecting a used car, it would also be best to check for leaks, unusual noises, and other indicators, which can be clues to a problematic auto system or a hidden defect in the vehicle. It'll help if you'll test-drive several Cobalts from various sellers to see the difference in performance and in overall condition.
What makes the Cobalt a good option for a secondhand compact car? While I'm hunting for a good price, I also want to have a dependable daily commuter.
In terms of value, this Chevrolet model offers decent performance at an affordable price. It may not have the bells and whistles of other compact vehicles, but this car is known to fare well when it comes to fuel efficiency. It also has a good set of safety features. When it comes to auto body style, options include a coupe and a sedan, as well as a sporty SS version with a more upbeat, agile look. Although it doesn't have the most comfortable interior and the best driving dynamics in its class, this Chevy vehicle is a reliable daily driver.
What would be the best type of motor oil to use on the Chevy Cobalt? I'm looking at different options, and I'm quite confused with the variety of specifications.
The best type of motor oil to use would be fully and semi-synthetic, which come in different weight options. To find the right spec of motor oil to use, whether it's fully or semi-synthetic, you have to consider the temperature, driving condition, and its main benefits. For fully synthetic motor oil, the 0W-30 is known for providing better fuel efficiency, while the 0W-40 ensures better engine protection against deposits and wear through quick lubrication. When driving in colder places, the 5W-40 fully synthetic oil may be a better option as this is known to perform well in lower temperatures. For the semi-synthetic kind, a good option for increased and prolonged engine protection would be the 5W-30. A better choice when it comes to preventing wear is the 10W-40. The 15W-40 semi-synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, is highly recommended for driving in summer or in higher temperatures.
Chevrolet Cobalt: Impressive Import Market Contender
The Chevrolet Cobalt arose from the need to combat the ever-increasing popularity of import cars in the United States. These import cars were tough to beat simply because they were great rides with amazing performance that were also much more affordable than their American counterparts. The Cobalt had a short but nonetheless impressive 4-year run where it did indeed manage shunt profit into the coffers of its American manufacturer, as well as present a strong challenge to foreign automotive brands.
2005: The first blows
Import cars became popular because of the balance they offered between performance and price—these were the first obstacles that Chevrolet had to overcome if their Cobalt was to be a contender. The result was actually very impressive. With 2.0-L Turbo inline-4 engine under the hood, consumers got that perfect balance of power output and fuel economy—at 155 horsepower and an average of 24 miles to the gallon. It also had a longer wheelbase than its competitors, giving it increased balance and stability.
2006: Low-key and Earth-conscious
With an eye towards being more environmentally conscious, a non-supercharged Cobalt was released. This carried a 2.4-L, naturally aspirated Ecotec inline-4. This “downgrade” actually gave comparable horsepower output with the added bonus of lowered harmful emissions. Other than that, this year saw mostly naming changes—the base model adopting the LS marquee, the LT being the mid-range, and the absolute top level trim getting marked as LTZ.
2007: Upping the power play
As import cars started to up the ante on their own designs, Chevy also tweaked their engines to give out more power while retaining the same fuel economy that made the Cobalt very successful to begin with—the 2.4-L inline-4 got a rating bumped up to 173 hp. More significant and noticable, however was the restyling of the console, the steering wheel, as well as the radio unit—finally integrating an audio input jack for portable music players.
2008-2009: Paving the way
The last two years of the Cobalt saw several amazing improvements that would prove to be the foundation upon which later Chevrolet models would be based on. The 2.2 LAP engine replaced all other engines on all of the Cobalt variants released. This gave another significant boost to the power output while also bettering fuel economy to a significant degree. Additionally, these last outings saw the introduction of amazing technology into the Cobalt.
Bluetooth integration for the radio deck became standard — allowing users to wirelessly connect their music players and smartphones. StabiliTrak was also included to electronically boost stability and balance. XM radio, side-impact air bags, and a vibrant new range of colors rounded out the list. Perhaps most impressive was the RPD, or Reconfigurable Performance Display. This digitized engine output data and allowed alteration of performance settings from a high-tech hub! Indeed, the Cobalt didn’t so much get discontinued as it set the stage from which its successors could launch.