What to look for when buying a Used Chevrolet Cobalt

Chevrolet Cobalt Common Problems: A problem with the fuel injectors in the 2.4L engine could cause the Check Engine Light with the DTCs P0171, P0300 and P1174. The related TSB lists replacing all four fuel injectors and reprogramming the PCM as a solution.
An issue with the micro switch inside the shifter mechanism could cause a problem where the ignition key will be hard to remove because it won't turn into the OFF position. The micro switch inside the shifter sends the signal when the transmission is in Park. To repair this problem, the shifter assembly will need to be replaced according to the Technical Service Bulletin.
A problem with the ignition lock cylinder itself also can cause the ignition key to be stuck. The ignition lock cylinder will have to be replaced. A GM dealer is the best place to call for either problem.
The electrical power steering in the Cobalt drew a lot of complaints, but the GM had issued a recall in 2010 to address the issue, however, there are still some complaints about the electrical power steering even after the recall was performed. You can check for recalls at: Safety Recalls - NHTSA or Transport Canada - Road Safety Recalls Database.

What to look for when buying a used Chevrolet Cobalt: It will help if you check several Cobalts before picking the best one; it's easier to judge how the engine works or how the transmission shifts when you compare a few cars of the same model. It's a good idea to check with a GM dealer if all oustanding recalls have been performed.
When checking a car at the lot, check for moisture under the front and trunk carpets; water leaks were not uncommon. Try to turn the steering left and right - there should be no knocking or clunking noises. Again, if in doubt, check another Cobalt to compare. Watch for oil leaks from the engine. See if the suspension struts are dry; if a strut starts leaking, it needs to be replaced and it's a few-hundred dollar job. Test how the air conditioner works; with the A/C on, the air from the vents should feel really cold. Test the audio system. Test all the power windows and locks. Under the hood, check the oil level; see if engine oil is not too dirty. If the oil level is very low, it may indicate excessive oil consumption, which is something to avoid in a used car. During the test drive, watch out for a knocking noise from the front end. See if the brake pedal doesn't pulsate during braking; this would indicate warped or corroded brake rotors. Watch out for any warning lights coming on during the test drive. If any of the warning lights stay on after the engine is started, this indicates a problem. Read more here: how to inspect a used car. Before signing the contract, even if the car looks clean, have it inspected by a mechanic; it may save you some money.
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Maintenance: A couple of notes on maintenance: If you want to keep your car shiny, keep it clean and wax it every three-four months; car wax protects the paint. Change engine oil regularly. Your oil life monitor needs to be reset every time engine oil is changed. You can find instructions how to reset it in your owner's manual. Keep the interior of the car dry as water getting under the carpets can cause corrosion and mold smell. If the power windows are getting slower to open or close, lubricating the window guides with a silicone spray lubricant can help.
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Resources:
Safety Recalls - NHTSA - check for recalls.
Transport Canada - Road Safety Recalls - check for recalls in Canada.
GM Owner Center - owner manuals, how-to videos, maintenance schedules and more.

2010 Chevrolet Cobalt specifications

Dimensions:
Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:
Wheelbase:

180.5 in (4584 mm) /sedan/
67.9 in (1725 mm) /sedan, coupe/
57.1 in (1450 mm) /sedan/
103.3 in (2624 mm) /sedan, coupe/

Cargo volume:

13.9 cu. ft (394 L)

Engines:
Ecotec:



Ecotec Turbo:

2.2-liter, 4-cylinder, DOHC with VVT
155 hp @ 6100 rpm
150 lb-ft @ 4900 rpm

Turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, DOHC VVT
with Direct injection
260 hp @ 5300 rpm
260 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

EPA Fuel Economy (US mpg, L/100 km):
Cobalt Sedan, Coupe 2.2L manual:


Cobalt Sedan, Coupe 2.2L automatic:


Cobalt SS Coupe 2.0L manual:


Cobalt XFE, Sedan, Coupe, manual:

city: 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km)
hwy: 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km)

city: 24 mpg (9.8 L/100 km)
hwy: 33 mpg (7.1 L/100 km)

city: 22 mpg (10.7 L/100 km)
hwy: 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km)

city: 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km)
hwy: 37 mpg (6.4 L/100 km)
Recommended Fuel:
2.2L L4 engine:
2.0L L4 engine:

regular unleaded
premium unleaded

Fuel Tank Capacity:
2.0L L4 Engine:
2.2L L4 Engine (with NU6 Emissions):
2.2L L4 Engine (without NU6 emissions):
13.2 US gallons (50.0 liters)
13.5 US gallons (51.1 liters)
13.0 US gallons (49.2 liters)

Engine oil capacity:
Engine Oil with Filter:
2.0L L4 Engine:
2.2L L4 Engine:


5.0 US qt. (4.7L)
5.0 US qt. (4.7L)