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How to Troubleshoot the Electrical System in a Chevy Cobalt

by Contributor

Introduced in 2005, the Chevy Cobalt electrical system was problematic for the first 2 years, particularly the warning lights and the key ignition. Improvements came with the 2007 model, and it looks like many of the kinks have been worked out. If you own a 2005 or 2006 model, you need to know what to do with the electrical system quirks.

Step 1

Take a couple of deep breaths if your key gets stuck in the ignition. This is one of the most common problems Cobalt owners have experienced. Forcing the key just results in a broken key. Don't let your dealer tell you it's the ignition sensor and solenoid because chances are the problem will return. The whole shifter assembly needs replacing.

Step 2

Consider replacing the entire fuse box if the electrical problems seem never ending-headlights that refuse to turn off, emergency brake and other indicator lights flashing and CD players with error messages to name a few.

Step 3

Watch your fuel gauge if you find yourself running out of gas unexpectedly or filling up to find that the gauge only reads half full. A defective fuel sensor is a known problem with the 2006 Chevy Cobalt and needs replacing.

Step 4

Replace the battery in the remote if you suddenly begin having trouble with doors locking and unlocking on their own or the alarm going off when it shouldn't.

Step 5

Check out the problem if the "check engine" light stays on or comes on intermittently. A dealer mechanic should be able to plug into your car and get the problem code to diagnose and fix the problem. If the light stays on and you feel relatively certain that the problem was fixed, ask the dealer whether the mechanic cleared the code with the computer.

Keep your electrical system running optimally as your OnStar service that now comes standard on the Chevy Cobalt depends on it. Forget about making a copy of your car key as ignition keys have special codes. Trying to start your Cobalt with a copy will shut down the starter and fuel injectors.

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