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 19 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #57

Apr 012009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


The power steering in my 2004 MINICooper began malfunctioning last year. This makes it difficult to steer and control the vehicle. It malfunctions every time I drive the car, the pump stops working a few minutes or immediately after I start the engine. I have not had an accident due to the malfunction, but one could be possible, if I were to have to make a sharp turn at a moment's notice. Since this part is a dealer only part, it is extremely expensive and I have not been able to afford it since I was laid off last year. Help!

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #56

Apr 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,441 miles
The contact owns 2004 MINICooper. While the contact was driving approximately between 25 to 30 mph, there was a slight loss of power steering without warning. The failure was a continuous occurrence. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 70,441 updated 02/01/11 the power steering pump had to be replaced. 03.22.11

- St.Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #55

Jun 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
2004 MINICooper, coupe has intermittent power steering, which began suddenly on a circular freeway on ramp at about 40mph, during which I nearly lost control of the car. The failure seems to be triggered by U turns (round-about, spiral ramps, maneuvering out of a small parking space.) I have had the power steering pump investigated as the cause and it is working normally. I believe it is a problem with either the computer or steering assembly. It is possible to drive the car with the failed power steering, but quite disconcerting when it fails in the middle of a turn. I am still driving the car - but carefully. Update - while driving the car this morning, the power steering suddenly failed on a curve at 50 mph. I momentarily lost control, but regained it without accident. The power steering became functional again within about 100 yards of driving.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #54

Sep 302010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles


Power steering wheel goes on and off. When I turn the wheel I can feel it go from heavy resistance to regular in seconds, which has been more than once in a day. If there is a car coming from the opposite direction, it could easily crashed into my side. Due to this suddenly wheel malfunction, I had to slow down because I was at the corner of the road, trying to turn. This is so dangerous, and it will only take seconds to kill people in this situation. I did research online and found out this is a pretty common issue for the MINICooper.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #53

May 242010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 106,663 miles
After driving 5 miles and stopped at a traffic light, when the light turned green I began a left turn and had no power steering, I had to pull the steering wheel with all my strength to keep from causing a wreck. I drove 5 more miles to work and parked. 2 hours later I went outside and heard a motor running in my car. The running motor had drained my battery, I had to jump start the car to get home. The MINIdealer in charleston SC said I had to bring the car to them to replace a rmfd power steering part which was a dealer only part. I live 100 miles from the dealer, I had to take car to my local mechanic so he could unhook the motor so the battery would not be drained while I parked until I could get a day off work to drive the MINIto charleston. Parts needed for the fix: Intake manifold; hose clamp; rmfd power steering; core return. The total repair costs $969 and a day off work. I have a 2 year guarantee on this fix.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #52

Aug 232010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that when she got in the vehicle and started it, there was no power steering. She pulled out of the parking spot and turned the vehicle off and restarted it. However, the power steering was still non-functional. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the power steering pump was defective. The current and failure mileages were approximately 100,000.

- Troy , NY, USA

problem #51

Aug 022010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


Intermittent and unexpected power steering failure on my 2004 MINICooper S (R53). We purchased the car with 69,000 miles and within a week had our first power steering problem. We got the vehicle to the side of the road, turned the car off and when we turned it back on the steering was fine. This occurred randomly for the next few weeks. Power steering would quit without warning at slow and highway speeds. Finally took the car to the shop and the mechanic said the power steering unit needed to be replaced. Repair was done the first week of September and we have not had any power steering problems since.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #50

Sep 242010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper S. the contact stated that upon starting the vehicle, the power steering was absent. There were no prior warnings before the failure. The current and failure mileages were approximately 102,000. Updated 01/03/11

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #49

Jul 202010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 74,271 miles
I want to report problem with steering components in my 2004 MINICooper S (based on article in usa today). In July of this year, 2010, my steering suddenly became almost impossible to turn. I stopped, called my dealership, had the car towed in. They replaced the power steering motor. This week, Sept. 2010, I heard a strange sound. Took it back in, they replaced the power steering fan.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #48

Sep 262010


  • 106,000 miles
I have a 2004 MINICooper and I too have had my power steering fail on curves while driving this happens a lot when I turn the wheel on sharp curves and park. It costs about 850 dollars to replace the power steering pump at the dealer and I am unemployed at the moment and cannot afford this cost.

- Aspinwall, PA, USA

problem #47

Aug 312010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles


Temporary loss of steering.

- Travelers Rest, SC, USA

problem #46

Sep 232010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Power steering pump failed on MINICooper S with approximately 71,000 miles last week.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #45

Sep 102004


  • miles
While driving my 2004 MINICooper, the power steering assistance suddenly disappeared. The loss of power steering made the vehicle difficult to steer/control at slow speeds. The problem was solved by replacing the power steering pump.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #44

Jan 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Temporary loss of power steering. Happens probably once or twice a month. I have been told by the dealer that I have a power steering leak - but not bad enough to cause a problem. I have never lost a quantity of fluid that required refilling. Car has approximately 70K miles - seems odd to have a power steering leak at that mileage. Leak first showed up at about 50K miles.

- St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #43

Nov 202008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
Power steering stopped working, repair cost app. $ 2.000.-, no help from MINIusa.

- Jenkintown, PA, USA

problem #42

Feb 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Loss of power steering assist while driving.

- Northglenn, CO, USA

problem #41

Sep 252010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
2004 MINIcooper: Power steering just went out on my way home from work. Made a right hand turn and than it was just gone. On Sunday 9-26-10 started the car and the power steering worked fine, until I was driving down the road at 70mph and it went out again for good.. done nothing yet to fix it.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #40

Sep 182010


  • 91,000 miles
My 04 MINIS just hit 90K and runs great until I was on the freeway overpass the other day. The power steering pump went out suddenly on a 55 mph turn and almost ran me right into the shoulder barrier which happens to be 50 feet above the lower freeway. Thank god I was able to maintain control. MINIcooper is a great car, but this power steering issue is a well know issue amongst the community of owners and MINIneeds to acknowledge this issue and help owners who are out of warranty. Once you turn the car off and restart it the steering comes back to normal. When its hot out the steering seems to fail and is almost impossible to control the car once this happens which was the result in my above experience. This power steering failure is well know and has many many accounts of failures on popular MINIforums. The part to replace this issue a single power steering unit which can be bought for about $450 and the average mechanic can replace it within and hour or so.

- Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA

problem #39

Sep 182010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I was driving along a street about to negotiate a turn when the power steering failed. Had it happened a few seconds later, I probably would not have been able to negotiate the turn and may have crashed.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #38

Sep 202010


  • 43,000 miles
Electric/hydraulic power steering pump failed after only 43,000 miles on the car. It stuck in the "on" position even when key removed from the car, draining my battery and causing a heat buildup under the bonnet. 2004 MINICooper S.

- Bothell, WA, USA

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