Chevy Cobalt Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SHOULD I BUY IT --- YES or NO??? . . . . .Just test drove a 2010 Chevy Cobalt LT with only 119k original miles. Seller is private party (2nd owner). Automatic, smooth ride on side streets and highway, no issues with engine - esp. at top speeds. Most all basic features work fine. Nice looking car.

P.S. I'm a former Navy engine mechanic and know my way around most used vehicles but I almost always still have any used vehicles inspected by mechanic before buying.

NOTE: Ran a full vehicle check and report shows "auction announced as unibody damage" from back in 9/2011 but I'm not overly worried. Doubt there are any lasting effects of that damage now (original owner was a rental car company). No other glaring problems. Clean title.

ISSUES (wondering if they're all related to some electrical and/or fuse issue?)

1. Cruise control not working

("On/Off" button lights up but "Res+" & Set -" buttons don't function. Both the "Driver Information Center(DIC)" info button and "Reset" button directly under these work)

2. Controls for outside power mirrors don't work

3. Radio doesn't turn on

4. Rear (driver's side) power window doesn't go down

5. Wire attaching antenna inside trunk looks rusted at end (doesn't attach to antenna)

6. Tire pressure monitor light is on
(supposed to show actual tire pressure #'s in the DIC instrument panel)

Wheel Automotive parking light Automotive side-view mirror Car Tire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
They're not all related. If you think it's a nice looking car for 13 years old you probably are answering your own question.

If it's cheap go for it, searching this forum you'll find most of the problems you have others have posted about. Parts are still VERY easy to get for these cars. When available go with OEM on Amazon or rockauto, these cars don't always like the mass market Dorman/Big Box brand parts.

There are plenty of Cobalts and HHR's on the road still today, but they are all at replacement age. I always rent a car for a long trip, but my 2008 is still reliable as a daily 1.5k a month driver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They're not all related. . . If it's cheap go for it, searching this forum you'll find most of the problems you have others have posted about.
Yeah, I've been searching this forum for all of these issues individually but either haven't seen recent replies (and posters haven't responded to my questions) or haven't found successful resolutions that other owners achieved. Will look some more.

Owner was originally asking $2,800 then lowered to $2,600 but to fix all of these things own my own (IF I can) will be minimum $500 (that's conservative!) and double that if I had an outside mechanic do the work. He's willing to negotiate (think he just wants the car gone)

I must have a radio, need to have the rear window go down, and cruise control is really nice to have on my road trips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
I agree. Those are electrical problems that will take some investigation but are all fixable. Cruise: who needs it. Mirrors: fuse or switch. Radio: fuse or maybe wrong radio- VIN needs to be logged in. Window: bad or gummed up motor/switch. Antenna wire is problematic. They used goofy connector that is hard to find. It only comes with a whole new antenna wire assembly. I rigged ours with aftermarket parts. TPS: the batteries are probably dead. The sensors can be swapped out by popping the tire bead just enough to service them but not need re-balancing. I found an '08 for my Grandson and it had almost all of those problems too. By the way, my buddy used to swap out jet engines on the USS Kennedy. But he could not change his own spark plugs. What's up with that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
As long as the actual car runs well and there are no codes I would grab it. I paid $3200 last year for the '08 and it needed a LOT of work. Use this thread to ask questions or PM me and I will help all I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree. Those are electrical problems that will take some investigation but are all fixable. Cruise: who needs it. Mirrors: fuse or switch. Radio: fuse or maybe wrong radio- VIN needs to be logged in. Window: bad or gummed up motor/switch. Antenna wire is problematic. They used goofy connector that is hard to find. It only comes with a whole new antenna wire assembly. I rigged ours with aftermarket parts. TPS: the batteries are probably dead. The sensors can be swapped out by popping the tire bead just enough to service them but not need re-balancing. I found an '08 for my Grandson and it had almost all of those problems too. By the way, my buddy used to swap out jet engines on the USS Kennedy. But he could not change his own spark plugs. What's up with that?
Well, I guess I just need to determine how much money it would take to fix these issues (remember time is money, too) and work that into final sale price --- IF I was to buy it.

HA HA! Very grateful then that jets don't have spark plugs!! :ROFLMAO: I'll tell ya though . . . I'm an experienced engine mechanic but it still took me over 2 DAYS to swap out the plugs on my 1998 Dodge Caravan because they just refused to seat properly (threads were off).

I tried everything to solve this and eventually got them in but it was a BIATCH!!! First time ever that it took me over a few hours!! I was pulling my hair out, had to stop and take breaks bcuz I was so frustrated, horrible!! Took me less time to swap out alternator or water pump!!! AWFUL! :mad: I'll work on jet engines any day over cantankerous cars ;):LOL:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I paid $3200 last year for the '08 and it needed a LOT of work.
Oh, WOW! Well, I'm going to circle back around with seller today and ask if he's willing to drive it down with me to local auto parts store to check codes as I don't have a scan tool (probably should invest in a new one if I'm going to buy a used car :p)

THANKS SO MUCH!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Ha! I get it. Yes, modern cars are not easy to work on. The Cobalts are not too bad but as noted most parts are easy to get. I got almost all the parts I needed from RockAuto [RockAuto] for about $1000 but that was for EVERYTHING and I am anal about everything working. If your radio is stock it may be a fuse or just blown. An aftermarket unit won't work unless you wire it independently with a dedicated on/off switch. The computer checks the VIN before it will power on. Stock radios are all over Fleabay but need to be programmed in by a stearlership or someone with the right computer. On ours the rear window motor was shot but it was easy to replace. Like I said, all are fixable and I do everything myself so I am biased. As for the codes be aware that there are now PERMANENT codes that can only be erased by actually fixing the problem. That stops people from clearing the codes and getting inspected only to have the code reappear soon after. Hey, these days you NEED a decent scan tool just to keep mechanics honest if nothing else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They're not all related. If you think it's a nice looking car for 13 years old you probably are answering your own question.

If it's cheap go for it, searching this forum you'll find most of the problems you have others have posted about. Parts are still VERY easy to get for these cars. When available go with OEM on Amazon or rockauto, these cars don't always like the mass market Dorman/Big Box brand parts.

There are plenty of Cobalts and HHR's on the road still today, but they are all at replacement age. I always rent a car for a long trip, but my 2008 is still reliable as a daily 1.5k a month driver.
THANKS!! Good to know. Of course I'm taking into considering cost of my time + parts to do repairs if I was to buy it but I REALLY have to know is if these are fixes that I can do myself. Electrical stuff isn't my forte and if I end up paying a mechanic to do the bulk of the work and didn't factor that into final sale price, then it's not really a good buy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Electrical problems are no different than other problems. You just need the right tools. The problem with having a shop do electrical is that they charge out the wazoo right off the bat, and a good electrical guy is hard to find. A lot of shops won't even attempt electrical because to them time is money and if they are not very good at it, the time wasted does not pay. You must have had electrical systems on the jet engines and did diagnostics, right? Cars are no different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Electrical problems are no different than other problems. You just need the right tools. The problem with having a shop do electrical is that they charge out the wazoo right off the bat, and a good electrical guy is hard to find. A lot of shops won't even attempt electrical because to them time is money and if they are not very good at it, the time wasted does not pay. You must have had electrical systems on the jet engines and did diagnostics, right? Cars are no different.
Agree! Whether it's MY time or a mechanic's in a shop, time is time and time is money. You're either making it or losing it. So the question I ask myself is "Do I want to invest money in parts and tools and my time to replace things on an older vehicle or just put that money toward a more "turnkey" newer car? :unsure::unsure:

And for the record . . . I didn't work on jet engines in the military. ;) I was a Navy engine mechanic trained in gas turbine engineering and propulsion for a year but then the government made the brilliant decision to send me to a WWII-era steam-driven, 2 propeller destroyer tender where I was assigned to EVAPS (distilling salt water to potable water) until she was decom'd in 1993. :poop::poop: Never even SAW a gas turbine engine my entire tour. :cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
WWII-era steam-driven, 2 propeller destroyer tender
Didn't they fondly refer to those as "tin cans"? OK so you were doing analog stuff in a digital world. Still, electrical is nothing to be afraid of. With a multi-meter, wiring diagram, and a lot of patience, anything can be fixed. But the absolutely most importatnt tool of all is this: a place to make a mess. Because if you don't have a place to work, and a good set of tools, then you might as well pass this up. The asking price is good, but waiting for a shop to fix every little thing is going to be a huge PITA. If you DO have a place to work, and tools, then I would say grab it and dig in. That is what forums like this are for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Didn't they fondly refer to those as "tin cans"? OK so you were doing analog stuff in a digital world.
:LOL::LOL:

Yes they did LOL! Well, suddenly this seller has decided to NOT be willing to negotiate on the price and is sticking to $2600 (according to a friend who called to inquire as well). He was honest enough to disclose most of the issues I had discovered through my test drive but said (his exact words) "It can sit here 'till the moon turns purple. I'm in no hurry to sell. I've already lowered it $200".

Should have struck while the iron was hot yesterday and he said he was willing to negotiate (but wouldn't tell me what his bottom line price was). I'm too unfamiliar with Chevys and this make model to know if that was a good deal or not so I had to do my research. No apologies there.

Honestly, the car will drive just fine - engine wise - I think so maybe I'm losing out but I don't have all this extra time, money, and space to do the extra work to get the things working that are important to me. Just because I CAN doesn't mean I want to. HA HA! There will be other cars if he won't take this into consideration and turns down cold hard cash in front of him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
I looked again at the pic you posted. The antenna is not stock. You said the antenna wire is not attached and the radio does not turn on. I think someone tried to just pop in an aftermarket radio, and antenna, and found out you can't just do that. The proper fix is expensive. I like the alloy wheels, hate red, but it looks clean otherwise. Tire shops charge around $100 per sensor to replace those, both mirrors may be dead, window motor probably dead [ours was], etc, etc, and that is just the stuff you found. I think if you wave cash under his nose and he won't bite- walk away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tire shops charge around $100 per sensor to replace those
$100 per sensor to replace WHAT?

Yes, he was vague about the radio issue. Said that it was his step mom's car and that she "probably disconnected the radio because she didn't like the loud music blaring". Whatever that means (what senior driver would want tinted windows and an aftermarket radio?? C'mon!) Probably more like a younger person was driving it at some point and upgraded the radio (maybe even nicer speakers too) and antenna and then put factory radio back in shortly before putting car up for sale. Unfortunately I can't remember exactly what the radio console looked like but I don't remember it having the CD slot and buttons (which I thought was standard on the LT model)

I actually thought radio issue might just be a blown fuse and I found the interior fuse box at bottom right of console. Checked the slot but it didn't appear bad but also didn't have any new ones to slide in to check for sure.

About the antenna . . . is the factory one retractable or a stubby? it doesn't show it in these photos. The one on this car was long and literally dangling in the oversized hole and would have fallen out the second the car moved! My concern with replacing it was that the inside wire may not be long enough to reach the bottom of a replacement antenna. 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt Exterior Pictures

Also doesn't have remote start or keyless entry which most of the used 2010 CC's I'm seeing are equipped with. Also, I didn't pay attention to how it was unlocked. Can't remember if seller used remote key fob or just key on door. <sigh>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
TPMS sensors are about $25-30 everywhere. A tire shop will charge you $100 per when you get new tires to replace a dead one. The internal battery lasts about 5-8 years. Most people ignore them and then they die with good tires still on. What I do is pop the tire bead just enough to change the sensor. Then you don't disturb the balance. Our '08 had the antenna snapped off and the wire broken. The antenna is about 2.5 feet long, is fixed, it screws into a base that is bolted to the rear quarter. The antenna wire connector snaps into the bottom of the base. Once removed, it is broken. A new connector only comes with a new antenna wire that is $50 and unavailable. I found an adapter that worked with a small hose clamp. If the radio is the original stock unit then it should work if the connectors are plugged in. Here is where the multi-meter can test for 12 volts. No key fob is a good thing if that is how it was ordered. With a key fob lots of things like programming the TPMS sensors NEEDS the fob or you are SOOL. The radio should look like this:
Camera accessory Gadget Audio equipment Wood Hardwood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
You might find a local that has a Tech-II scanner and it will quickly pinpoint most of your electrical gremlins. For the radio & cruise, they share power and controls with the steering wheel. Could be simple as broken wire on it at the “clock spring” connector that has multiple sliding wires contacts.
The Tech-II will tell you if the electrical are dead or alive. A GM dealer will charge about 1 hr to diagnose. And if it’s a simple programming error, they may toggle a flipped bit or 2 in the process.
Other shops may have the ability to reprogram/diagnose the car’s Body Control
Module (BCM). This module is located on the passengers side behind the left kick panel.
It is the unit that controls all of the functions, sans antenna, you mentioned.
I don’t know if 4dr Cobalt has a rear passenger switch. If yes and both the drivers switch and rear switch will not operate the window, you may need to pull the motor off the window regulator and re-check. Price out 2 parts, the window regulator and window motor. Expect labor to be 2x-3x parts cost. BTW, surprisingly nice little cars expect 25-28mpg city 29-36mpg highway with a good running 2.2L I suspect you may have the 2.4L with dual cam shaft phase adjusters. Very much similar the the 2.2l. Enjou
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
SHOULD I BUY IT --- YES or NO??? . . . . .Just test drove a 2010 Chevy Cobalt LT with only 119k original miles. Seller is private party (2nd owner). Automatic, smooth ride on side streets and highway, no issues with engine - esp. at top speeds. Most all basic features work fine. Nice looking car.

P.S. I'm a former Navy engine mechanic and know my way around most used vehicles but I almost always still have any used vehicles inspected by mechanic before buying.

NOTE: Ran a full vehicle check and report shows "auction announced as unibody damage" from back in 9/2011 but I'm not overly worried. Doubt there are any lasting effects of that damage now (original owner was a rental car company). No other glaring problems. Clean title.

ISSUES (wondering if they're all related to some electrical and/or fuse issue?)

1. Cruise control not working

("On/Off" button lights up but "Res+" & Set -" buttons don't function. Both the "Driver Information Center(DIC)" info button and "Reset" button directly under these work)

2. Controls for outside power mirrors don't work

3. Radio doesn't turn on

4. Rear (driver's side) power window doesn't go down

5. Wire attaching antenna inside trunk looks rusted at end (doesn't attach to antenna)

6. Tire pressure monitor light is on
(supposed to show actual tire pressure #'s in the DIC instrument panel)

View attachment 20299
Het Irish, I own a 2005 Cobalt with 115k+ I'm second owner I ran in to some issue down the I bought the car at 29k it ran great then things started to need attention. I won't bore you in detail but there are some things you will want to check and the one I can think off hand is the car's computer modules. The ecm, tcm, and the bcm. I would also check the Evap system this can and should done by a certified engine control module expert using a obd2 programming tech2win scanner to check measurments well good luck!
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top