Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Power steering problems are a major issue with the 2004 Mini Cooper, with hundreds of owners reporting complaints to the NHTSA about their power steering suddenly failing while driving.

Some power steering failures have caused crashes & injuries. Average mileage at failure is well under 100,000 miles & the repair cost is over $1,000. Not good.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,059 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.

2004 Mini Cooper steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 11 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #217

Aug 212011


  • 51,377 miles


The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated while driving 10 mph the power of steering would stop working intermittently. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 51,377.

- Vista , CA, USA

problem #216

Sep 222011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Power steering failed abruptly causing dangerous driving condition.

- Altamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #215

Jun 122011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The first time the power steering failed was when I was exiting off a highway rest stop. When leaving the stop, the power steering worked again. For a couple of months, incidents of stiffness became more frequent especially at the end of my commute home from work. Three months later it lacks power steering full time. After all I've read about this online, my concern is that the cost of the repair may be around $1300.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #214

Sep 162011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,120 miles


Driving on highway entering turn, and car was hard to steer, had to jerk wheel to avoid hitting another car. When will something be done with mine and others who have this issue. Does it take a death for car dealers to be held accountable.

- Waynesboro, PA, USA

problem #213

Apr 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
Power steering just cuts off while driving for no reason. You have to stop the vehicle and turn off engine and then turn it back on to (I guess) reset the power steering. This is impossible if you are driving on a road that you cannot pull over and especially on a curvy road.

- Meadows Of Dan, VA, USA

problem #212

Aug 272011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
I was just driving home from work and the power steering just went out, I did safely make it home and got the car in the garage. It has been parked since it seems the power steering comes and goes. I don't know what the problem may be for sure, but I have already had the fan assembly replaced due to it would not cut off, and killed my battery, so of course I had to replace the battery. I am taking the car in for a estimate for the steering, but it seems this is a common problem and it needs to be recalled. It cause someone to get hurt or even killed.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #211

Sep 012011


  • 104,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper S. the contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the power steering would seize. This failure recurred on an intermittent basis. The vehicle was not inspected nor repaired for the failure. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 104,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Crossbed, CA, USA

problem #210

Aug 302011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Failed steering pump assembly on 2004 Cooper S with 60K miles. Failure of steering pump assembly created loss of steering and induces unsafe driving scenario. From the showroom, this vehicle (and others of this era) has provided a unique whine from the power steering assembly. The dealer would later inform me that this was normal to the BMW MINIline. Years later this feature has become a known problem and is confirmed and being investigated by the NHTSA. BMW (the manufacturer) has yet to acknowledge or developed a repairable solution towards this flawed characteristic. Another Toyota in the making?.. I hope not.

- Bristow, VA, USA

problem #209

Aug 272011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 106,400 miles
1)while driving my car in normal warm day temperatures in denver, co my power steering abruptly failed making it difficult to control my car. 2)has stayed failed 3)will have to get a rebuilt or new pump.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #208

Aug 012011


  • 140,150 miles
The power steering system failed as the vehicle approached and entered a "roundabout" circle. The system not only stopped providing steering assist, but the steering wheel stayed in the right turn position (did not return to center) which caused the vehicle to veer off the road surface. The power steering system has completed failed in the vehicle, which makes the car very difficult to drive (especially my for wife who was operating the vehicle when the initial failure occurred). Do to the non-functional power steering system, when making either left or right hand turns, the steering wheel stays in the turned position which requires the driver to quickly maneuver the car to prevent it from continuing to veer off of the road surface ~ this condition is present at all speeds with all degrees of steering input. In simple terms: If the steering wheel is fully turned "hard" to the left, it will stay in that position causing the vehicle to continue turning and will not start its return to the center "straight" position without input from the driver. Aside from the complete loss of steering assist (which makes normal steering very difficult at all speeds), the steering wheel positional issue (as noted above) introduces a very unsafe operating condition for the driver and vehicle.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #207

Jul 202011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,300 miles


The power steering failed on my 2004 MINICooper with no notice in city traffic. I was driving all of a sudden lost power steering which nearly caused an accident in heavy traffic. I had to have the power steering pump replaced for $1144.11 and found it was a very common problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #206

Aug 102011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
Backing out of parking place, car is difficult to steer. This the third time it has occurred. I have not replaced the power steering yet due to cost.

- Louisvillie, KY, USA

problem #205

Aug 092011


  • 74,600 miles
It was so scary to not be able to make turns on freeway! on my way back from work san francisco, I started experiencing very stiff power steering half way and the situation got worse and worse. To the end I almost couldn't make turns. I barely can finally park the car in front of my garage and I was horrified by the experience for the whole night. Brought the car to get checked and it turned out the power steering pump needed to be replaced. It was way more expensive than I can afford but can I not to get that repaired? I needed the car to go to work etc. MINICooper should recall this power steering pump. It's a serious safety issue.

- Foster City, CA, USA

problem #204

Aug 032011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I was driving to work, on a windy road when my car lost it's power steering. The garage has to replace the power steering pump, fan and steering rack for a total cost of about $3,000! I was very lucky to have not run off the road.

- Amboy, WA, USA

problem #203

Jul 302011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
On multiple incidents, there is no indication leading up to the sudden loss of power steering. Intermittent loss of power steering to the point where the steering wheel is nearly impossible to turn or maneuver. Problem would occur during initial startup of the car, or after 15 mins of driving, or after 2-3 hours of driving. So far, on all occurrences, once the car is shut off and turned back on then power steering resumes. Took my car to MINIof stevens creek on 8/8/11 and was quoted $180 for diagnostics, $848 for parts, $253 for labor. MINIhas declined to honor a no-cost replacement. I need to find more reasonable price for repair as I cannot afford the quoted $1300 at the moment. I have yet to have this power steering problem fixed.

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #202

Aug 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Power-assisted steering fails on 2004 Cooper MINIVehicle not driven aggressively. Shutting vehicle off, then restarting, will occasionally restore power steering but only for a brief period. Power-assisted steering works when first started for the day, but quits entirely within 30 - 45 min. Later. Driving without power-assisted steering is possible but extremely difficult to turn.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #201

Jul 272009


  • 42,500 miles
The power steering in my 2004 MINICooper S failed, leading to extremely difficult operation of the vehicle. Car was under extended warranty but failure not covered.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #200

Nov 092009


  • 45,000 miles
Continuous relapsing/remitting problem. Power steering has been going out nearly once a week for the last year and a half. 90% of the time the power steering comes back on after restarting the car.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #199

Jul 302011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
2004 MINICooper S first had an issue that drained the battery. Once power was restored and the car was driven and then shut off, there was a whirring noise, similar to a fan running, that continued after the key had been removed from the ignition. This noise and the apparent power drain continues until the battery is drained once more. Following these issues, the MINIbegan to become more and more difficult to steer. It is diagnosed as a power steering failure that is apparently common among this generation of MINIcooper. No accidents, injuries, or fires have occurred due to this failure, however the car is not safe to drive until parts are replaced.

- Leesburg, OH, USA

problem #198

Jul 172011


  • 49,527 miles
The steering pump cooling fan started to fail and had to be replaced. The dealership also stated the steering rack was leaking fluid and was going to need replacement at a cost of over $1,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

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