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 18 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #77

Oct 072010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 83,444 miles


Power steering failed while driving normally on the freeway and it became very difficult to control the car. Power steering returned after letting the car sit in a parking lot, but failed again while driving home. We have not driven the car since. The car is out of warranty and we have talked to MINIbut they have not offered to help repair the car. We were told that it will cost around $1500 to replace the malfunctioning parts.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #76

Oct 242010


  • 77,000 miles
My wife's 2004 MINICooper (non-S) has been having power steering failures for the past month. I experienced it for the first time today driving down a busy dallas highway. While trying to steer to the side of the road I immediately thought as I was yanking on the wheel, "what if the power steering kicks back in all of the sudden, we would end up in an accident." Thankfully, that did not happen and after turning the car off, checking the fluid reservoir, and starting the car again, the power steering was back. I immediately called the local MINIdealership and set up an appointment, but after researching this I think we may just park it until an official recall is issued. This is a huge safety issue that needs to be addressed.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #75

Oct 202010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
My 2004 MINICooper has had the power steering fail intermittently, always after 20-30 minutes of driving on the road. The car has 37,000 miles.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #74

Oct 162010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 152,000 miles


2004 MINICooper. Intermittent power steering failures. Happens on a hot day or in stop and go traffic.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #73

Oct 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
I own a 2004 MINICooper S and when driving the power steering failed. I was in the middle of an off ramp and the steering became extremely hard. I was unable to navigate the turn and went off the road. Luckily I did not hit anything. When the car was turned off and then back on the power steering came back on. From time to time now I loose the power steering. I feel this is a major safety issue and do not let my wife or child ride in the car.

- Andover , MA, USA

problem #72

Aug 072010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,500 miles
Daily driving my 04 MINICooper loses power steering intermittently. Sometimes it is just for a minute or two and other times it lasts hours. When I'm driving the car in town I have to pull over immediately as it becomes difficult to steer around sharp corners. If on the freeway it's alarming how difficult it is to steer. I took it to the MINICooper dealership and they diagnosed that it needed a new power steering pump. I had it replaced 10/14/2010.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #71

Sep 232010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


I own a 2004 MINICooper S. on September 23, 2010, I was driving on the highway and my power steering went out. This was out of the blue, and I had not experienced any previous problems with the power steering. I was able to take it to my mechanic the same day and was informed that my power steering fan went out, therefore causing my power steering pump to fail. After I had everything replaced for around $900, I saw an article in usa today that this is happening to other 2004 and 2005 MINIs. I think MINIshould issue a recall so this doesn't happen to anyone else. It was very scary to drive my MINIwith no power steering, and I feel fortunate that I was able to keep the car under control when the steering went out.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #70

Oct 102010


  • 56,000 miles
Power steering failure. When driving power steering will unexpectedly stop working. Usually after driving for an hour or so. When power steering stops working the car is very hard to control.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #69

Aug 042009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper S. the contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the steering wheel locked up and it was difficult to steer. The contact turned the vehicle off and restarted it; the power steering seemed to reset it. The failure occurred two additional times. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 55,000 and the current mileage was approximately 67,000. Updated 01/20/11 updated 01/31/11

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #68

Jun 042010


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that when traveling at any speed, the steering wheel would intermittently become difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic where the contact was informed that the power steering pump would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and there were no prior warnings of the failure. The failure mileage was 69,000 and the current mileage was 72,000.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #67

Jun 222010


  • 85,000 miles


I was driving down a side streets when all of a sudden I couldn't steer the car after stopping at an intersection. I later found out that the power steering pump had suddenly gone back on my 2004 minicooper. II was at a 4-way intersection at the time and was nearly crushed by two other cars. After getting the car home I wrote to MINIs corporate to see if it would be covered since there had been a lot of online complaints about the pump, but they wouldn't cover it. Instead I was forced to shell out over $700 for it (exact price I will have to look up). I just read about an investigation that the NHTSA was doing and wanted to make sure you heard by story. I purchased the car new in 2004 from MINIof peabody, MA. And will try to get my money back, but so far I haven't had any luck. [xxx]2004 minicooper (non "S" model) here is the email that I sent to minicooper ------------------------- I am writing to see if MINIwill cover the cost of the power steering pump that died yesterday without any advance warning in my 2004 MINIThe car was fine all day and then as I went to take a turn at a busy intersection I couldn't turn the wheel and almost got crushed by other cars heading toward me. From the research I have done this is a known failure and one that MINIseems to avoid absorbing the cost to fix / replace. From what I read a recall was done in britain, but not here in the U.S. please let me know how MINIwill help me in this situation. I surely don't have the money for a new or refurbished power steering pump and with the huge risk of injury / and or death that this problem could cause I would hope that MINIcares less about profits and more about their customers - and covers the cost to fix this problem. Please respond back as soon as possible. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- North Hampton, NH, USA

problem #66

Jun 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My wife was driving the 2004 MINICooper S to pick up our son from school. After she retrieved him, she went around a corner and the power steering stopped working causing her to crash into a curb. She does not have enough strength to turn the wheel and there was no warning of a possible failure. I am fearful to replace the part and continue to make payments on a vehicle I do not feel comfortable putting my children and grandchildren in due to the possibility that the new powering steering pump will fail if replaced.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #65

Mar 082008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
2004 MINICooper S - power steering pump and fan failure. Power steering quits working causing incredibly difficult steering. Solution is to replace pump and fan and the expense of the owner, me. I believe this pump and fan should not have failed and also that there should be a nationwide recall since there are hundreds of thousands of MINIcooper drivers with this same issues.

- Avon Lake, OH, USA

problem #64

Apr 152008


  • 85,000 miles
After several months of intermittent power steering problems, the power steering pump on my car failed completely while trying to enter a rest stop on the New York state thruway. Upon bringing the car to a mechanic, it was determined that the power steering cooling fan had been jammed, causing the pump to overheat. I then researched the issue online and found that several MINICooper models from 2002 to 2006 had been suffering from this issue, and that the only way to prevent it from happening a second time was to install an expensive fan guard on the new cooling fan. More recently, I found out about NHTSA research concerning the problem, and wanted to submit the experience I had with the problem.

- Massapequa Park, NY, USA

problem #63

Oct 022010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Unexpected and intermittent power steering failure. Intermittent failures first started around 2008, the failures would last for minutes to hours long, days, weeks, and months would go by between failures. The dealership stated the cause was the power steering pump and since the car was out of warranty the repair would cost ~$700 to replace. When the pump fails the car is *very* difficult to steer at slow and moderate speeds. On a number of occasions a surprise failure occurred on narrow, windy road and it was a struggle to maintain the lane, avoid hitting oncoming traffic and staying on the road. The pump was replaced and as of this writing is new one is now intermittently failing. I just experienced an intermittent failure when turning from a stop and narrowly missed hitting a curb as I struggled to complete a turn. The pump failure lasted about 10 minutes.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #62

Jun 232009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 73,768 miles
MINICooper (2004 with ~74K miles) with intermittent power steering problems. Steering wheel would randomly become very stiff when turning and then free up unexpectedly. When this would occur, the car would understeer (not turning as far as intended) and I would find myself reacting by turning harder, usually resulting in oversteering and erratic turns. It felt like something was binding and then letting go but it wasn't predictable or repeatable with consistency. Dealership determined that ¿power steering pump was cutting out. Replaced the faulty ps pump to resolve.¿ cost was $1009.94. One week later, exactly same condition returned. Dealership now determined ¿found steering shaft from steering wheel to steering rack to be seized and binding. Replaced steering shaft and aligned steering wheel to front tires.¿ no additional charge; problem has been fixed.

- Topsfield, MA, USA

problem #61

Sep 082010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 99,665 miles
On September 8, 2010 2004 MINICooper S power steering went out while driving on san francisco/oakland bay bridge. Able to safely exit bridge and had car towed to auto shop in berkeley, ca where they "performed a diagnostic time check for no power steering. Found pump coming on, no pressure to system". they removed and replaced power steering pump including bleeding the system.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #60

Jun 202010


  • 35,500 miles
My car started to make a whirring sound, I wasn't sure what it was so my dad had a look and wasn't sure. The next day I was driving along a 60mph road and as I went to turn a sharp corner my power steering failed. I had to manually pull the car round the corner with all my strength so as not to hit the oncoming traffic. It then kept failing intermittently for the rest of the drive home. I typed MINIpower steering into google when I got home and found page after page of people having problems just like mine. I rang MINIand they told me to take the car into the dealership in cheltenham which I did. I left the car with them and the next day they got back to me to say it definitely was the power steering pump. I asked it they would fix this as it was a dangerous fault with the car. They said they would speak to MINIone and get back to me. I eventually heard back from them and the answer was no, they wouldn't fix it as I didn't buy the car from a MINIdealership. I was unhappy with this decision as it was clearly a dangerous manufacturing fault so went into the dealership in cheltenham to speak to someone face to face. I spoke to the manager there and was told the same things, that I didn't buy it from a MINIdealership, it was over 5 years old and over 30000 miles on the clock. It was a pristine 2004 MINICooper convertible with 35000 miles on the clock. Had always been serviced with MINIand I had only owned the car 3 months. They told me it would cost me £800 to fix it. I complained about this and told them how unhappy I was and they offered me half off the labor taking the price to £590 approx. I was still unhappy so they offered to ring MINIone again and put my case forward. 2 days later we got a call and the answer was again no. I then found a company online who restore faulty power steering pumps with a 2 year warranty for a fraction of the price so went with that. It was fixed in June and have had no problems since.

- Winchcombe, 00, USA

problem #59

Sep 012005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 20,257 miles
Sudden total loss of power steering on a 2004 MINICooper S in a parking at low speed. Car was extremely hard to drive back to dealer due to high grip the car has. Dealer replaced power steering pump for power assisted gear. Could have been dangerous in a corner. Mileage 20,257.

- Weston, FL, USA

problem #58

Aug 062010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
1. power steering failed and steering became excessively hard to turn the wheel especially in low speed turns sometimes couldn't make the turns in time. 2. several times. Parked the car 3. waiting for Consumer Affairs to help with replacing defective parts.

- Mailbu, CA, USA

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