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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 28
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,215 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Mini Cooper steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 1 of 13)

problem #244

Aug 312016

Cooper

  • 75,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The electro-hydraulic power steering system experiences temporary loss of assistance when vehicle is starting up and it is nearly impossible to maneuver the car to pull out of a parking space. However, the power steering returns to normal as soon as you begin street or highway driving. I took my car to a MINIdealership and they stated that my particular steering pump isn't covered in the warranty although I did receive a letter indicating that it should be. I have the exact same issues happening with my vehicle that the recall is talking about.

- Carteret, NJ, USA

problem #243

May 142016

Cooper

  • 102,000 miles
While traveling North on us 221 from bent mountain, va to roanoke va my hydralic steering totally failed. As I travelled a short distance my brake light warning lights, ABS light, other brake system light, battery light and air bag warning light came on. I looked at the engine temperature guage and the temp was normal. I pulled into a parking lot, raised the hood, checked the fluids in the engine compartment and reentered the car. While sitting in the drivers seat I heard a loud explosion, looked forward and noted thick steam coming from the engine compartment. I turned the engine off, exited the car and when the steam dissipated I noted that the cooling system filling/overflow tank was split in half damaging a protecting cover on the firewall and sprayed a building wall and window with engine coolant 10 feet away in front of the vehicle. I had the car towed to martin's german service in cave spring, va. Because the closest dealership in located in North Carolina 150 miles away. Due to service volume they will not be able to evaluate the problem until 24 May 2016.

- Bent Mountain, VA, USA

problem #242

Dec 182015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper S. the contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering) however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect. Updated 05/18/16 updated 06/14/16.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #241

Jul 272015

Cooper

  • 213,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper S. while driving 40 mph and attempting to make a turn, the power steering failed. As a result, the contact crashed into the rear of another vehicle. A police report was filed. The contact sustained contusions to the face and lost a tooth. The occupants of the other vehicle sustained unknown injuries. Medical attention was not required. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 213,000.

- Sandpoint, ID, USA

problem #240

Oct 152015

Cooper

  • 0 miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper S. the contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering) however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #239

Feb 282014

Cooper

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper. The contact heard an abnormal noise coming from the steering column and the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering); however, the part to do the repair was not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 130,000. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #238

Dec 162015

Cooper

  • 85,113 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper. While driving approximately 30 mph, there was a loss of power steering without warning. The vehicle was manuvered to the side of the road. The contact resumed driving; however, the steering wheel was extremely difficult to turn. The contact mentioned that there was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering); however, the dealer failed to service the vehicle because the recall notification was not received. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 85,113.

- Washington, MO, USA

problem #237

Feb 182016

Cooper

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper S. the contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering) however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #236

Dec 092015

Cooper

  • 168,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper. While driving approximately 15 mph, the power steering seized. The battery and temperature gauge warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was not diagnosed nor repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering); however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 168,000.

- Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

problem #235

Feb 112016

Cooper

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering) ; however, the part for the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The contact stated that the power steering failed without warning at various speeds, especially when turning the steering wheel. The approximate failure mileage was 171,000. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was unknown. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Saratoga Springs, UT, USA

problem #234

Feb 042016

Cooper

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper S. while driving at various speeds, the steering became very difficult to maneuver. After turning off and restarting the vehicle 30 minutes later, the power steering returned to normal, but then failed again. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electro-hydraulic power steering failed and needed to be replaced. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering); however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the dealer wanted to charge for the repair because of the mileage on the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 181,000. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Watkinsville, GA, USA

problem #233

May 272009

Cooper

  • 47,628 miles
Lost power steering with burning smell and lots of smoke. As evidenced on the attached document, the engine wiring harness was burnt. The car could have lost all power. The repair bill was $4097.91. I was without a car for weeks with no loaner car offered. National MINICooper denied that this was an issue. There is now a pending recall. The new parts might also need to be replaced. I was driving on the highway when this occurred.

- Naugatuck, CT, USA

problem #232

Dec 152015

Cooper

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V6600000 (steering) however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. While driving 5 mph when attempting to turn the vehicle, the steering wheel malfunctioned. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who diagnosed the vehicle, but the results were unknown. The vehicle was repaired and the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was unknown. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #231

Nov 162015

Cooper

  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper S. while operating the vehicle at low speeds, the steering wheel required excessive force in order to turn. While inspecting the vehicle, the contact discovered that the power steering fluid leaked from the power steering fluid reservoir. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 136,000.

- Little River Academy, TX, USA

problem #230

Oct 302015

Cooper

  • 86,500 miles
Suddenly out of nowhere as soon as I started the car to back out of my driveway & go to work the steering was completely locked up, only having approximately an inch to inch and a half of mobility in either direction. I then turned the car off, let it sit off for about 5 mins then re-started it and the steering was still the same way.

- Kihei, HI, USA

problem #229

Oct 162015

Cooper

  • 69,000 miles
Power steering pump failed at 69,000 miles. Pump and fan were replaced under warranty, but dealer required additional work to be performed to keep extended warranty in force. The work included replacement of all power steering hoses at a cost of over $600

- Golden, CO, USA

problem #228

Sep 132015

Cooper

  • 55,449 miles
Power steering failed and difficult to steer. Power steering would then cut in and out. Warranty repair by MINIdealer on September 16, 2015 replaced steering pump but power steering hose leak was not covered by warranty and charged $607.59 to do all necessary repairs for the power steering to work. The lack of consistency of having power assist steering or not could contribute to an accident since there is no way to predict the amount of effort to steer the car. The needed power steering repairs were not free but cost $607.59.

- Oxford , MS, USA

problem #227

Jul 012015

Cooper

  • miles
We were charged $1300 to replace the power steering pump and fan.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #226

Apr 092015

Cooper

  • miles
Our 2003 MINICooper has about 120K miles on it. It was completely fine until recently when the power steering pump started whining. Sometimes it completely stopped working and we had no power steering, thankfully this was while the car was parked and not while driving. Turning the wheel is a little harder than usual, and if you turn it too much, the car bogs down and the revs go way down. We've tried flushing and replacing the power steering fluid, but it didn't seem to help. We've even put in some expensive additives that promise to repair the problem and stop the noise, but it doesn't work. We don't feel safe knowing that our power steering may go out at any moment. And we certainly don't appreciate the looks we get when we drive past people.

- Orem, UT, USA

problem #225

Mar 152015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,500 miles
Steering fluid continuously leaks - replace hydraulic hose twice - known defect - MINIrefused to fix for free engine cooling - fan runs after shutoff continuously - known defect - MINIrefused to fix for free electrical - doors, windows, sunroof fire off on their own while car is moving and when is parked. Will do this at highway speed or when sitting outside (rain or shine) - car unlocks itself and windows all open up -known defect - kind of distracting at highway speed -MINIrefused to fix for free. Dealers will not fix these issues unless you make them recall vehicles with multiple small problems ( not just one big problem) - this model has 73 tsbs that dealers charge you to fix even though the problems are known and dangerous issues. In my mind, many small problems can be more dangerous than a few big ones - steering, door locks, cooling - not good. This is an old car but these problems are old too - known tsbs should not be subject to warranty time frames, they are still dangerous after the warranty expires. When these cars are routinely serviced, these known/dangerous issues need to be corrected or the cars should be taken off the road. I used the date of the last incident, not the first one. Thank you.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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