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 2 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #397

Apr 162014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 37,245 miles


The power steering quit working while driving vehicle, contact was made with the MINIdealer in nashville tn and I inquired about a recall on the power steering and was told no recall was placed on this vehicle.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #396

Apr 152014


  • 70,000 miles
Replacement of power steering pump per recall, but unable to steer without replacement of U joint also.

- New Canaan, CT, USA

problem #395

Nov 052012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
1) automatic transmission busted. Car stalled dangerously on the highway. 2) power steering pump busted. Steering locked dangerously on the road and could not be moved.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #394

Feb 152014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles


After driving from san francisco to burlingame, California, I turned off the engine. When I returned 10 minutes later, I lost power steering when I started the car. On that same day, I drove from burlingame back to san francisco. I turned off the engine. 5 minutes later, I lost power steering again when I started the engine. The car is extremely difficult to turn without power steering, especially at low speeds.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #393

Nov 032013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 81,300 miles
2004 MINICooper steering becomes hard to steer suddenly during driving and also at times after a restart from parking. After a couple of restarts it appears to be back to normal but quickly becomes hard to steer again while driving. During turns I feel kind of blocks in the steering during the turning that are required to be countered with a little more hard pressure on steering to complete the turn. Feel riskier to take it for downtown drives that need sharp and proper turns into lanes. Even more riskier for highway drives as not sure how it will react to a quick lane change or during exits. Power steering seems to no longer exist.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #392

Oct 022013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 79,200 miles
Steering would work fine some of the time but then become very hard to turn.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #391

Jun 052012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles


Was driving home from work, went to turn a corner and the steering got very hard.

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #390

Oct 022013


  • 138,000 miles
Power steering failed while I was driving the vehicle and I almost crashed.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #389

Jan 282013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 132,741 miles
Hello, I had been experience problems with the power steering (loosing power) of my MINICooper S 2004 model. In Jan 2013, I brought my 2004 MINICooper S for the replacement of the power-assist steering function, which include power steering hose ($56.25), power steering pump ($710) and labor ($315). In May 2013, I received a notice for the repair expense reimbursement from MINIApparently this problem is known (but unknown to me) for MINImodel year 2002-2205. I submitted the reimbursement request and received the return receipt on June 10, 2013. Since then I have attempted to reach to MINIcustomer relation by phone (1-866-275-6464) 4 times and still have not received the reimbursement. I am writing this letter to ask for your assistance. MINIshould live up to standard and reimburse my expense. Please let me know if you need any additional information from me. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #388

Aug 192013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Yesterday I was driving home from work and as I was turning onto the access road to get on the highway my steering wheel locked up and forced me to hit a curb. I was able to take side roads to avoid the highway and make it home safely. The curb did do some damage to my car. Man date is Oct 2004.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #387

Aug 012012


  • 85,000 miles


The car loses power steering intermittently and it makes it extremely difficult to turn. It is very dangerous when it happens on the intersection and I can't turn the car. I drive with my child and this freaks me out. It happened several times and in May 2013 I received MINIrecall/extension of warranty letter and called MINIdealer in sacramento ca and they put me to the recording machine, where I left a message regarding extension of warranty by MINIand to schedule replacement of power steering - no reply. Called them twice, they seem to ignore my calls. Very upset with dealer's ignorance.

- Auburn , CA, USA

problem #386

Jul 242013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 124,756 miles
Exiting the interstate, I almost went off the road when steering the car became very difficult and turning the car was almost impossible. I parked the car for about 6 hours, tried it again, steering seemed to have returned to normal.

- New Albany, IN, USA

problem #385

Jul 132013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,278 miles
Heard click while turning wheel was advised steering hose needed replacement last July 12 2012 had repair made. Now with only 78K on car hearing click again - took to mechanic advising whole power steering pump needs replacement.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #384

Jun 112013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 112,143 miles
The power steering system failed. It appears to be an electrical issue because once I restarted the vehicle the power steering system returned to normal. I almost ran into a parked car because I could not turn without a lot of effort.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #383

Jun 102013


  • 84,000 miles
Lost all power steering.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #382

Oct 202012


  • 58,000 miles
The power steering pump on my 2004 MINICooper has gone out now four times. It becomes very hard to steer and impossible to make a U-turn or parallel park. It happens intermittently and without warning and is very dangerous.I have contacted MINIof san francisco and they refuse to make the repair because the car is not under warranty. This is despite acknowledgement from BMW/MINIthat the part is faulty.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #381

Jan 192013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 37,004 miles
First incident: Vehicle mileage 37004 (12/31/2009): 2004 MINICooper S was being driven on surface streets and power steering was lost without warning making the vehicle exquisitely difficult to turn. Upon arrival at a mechanic, the power steering pump was determined to be faulty and both the pump and fan were replaced. There were no accidents or injuries associated with this injury. Second incident: Vehicle mileage ~55,000 (1/19/2013): Same vehicle as above was being driven onto a sharp right banking on ramp to the I-10E freeway when the power steering suddenly failed without warning. The car was occupied by a driver and a passenger. Despite the driver's quick reactions, the car hit the curves outer concrete retaining wall nearly head on. The wall could not be avoided because of the lack of warning of the power steering failure, as well as the minimal space on the shoulder of the outside of the curve, estimated by the driver as less than a car width wide. The driver was estimated by a police officer to be driving below the speed limit. The driver received chemical burns to his upper extremity from the airbag, the passenger was hospitalized for three days with a pneumothorax and required a chest tube to be placed. An extended warranty will not prevent people from being injured, but a recall will. Updated 06/12/13 updated 07/10/13

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #380

Jun 302011


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that while exiting a residential driveway, the power steering failed without warning. The vehicle was not repaired and the problem persisted. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #379

Mar 162013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
I was driving 45-50 miles an hour on I95S over the Q bridge near new haven. I turned gently to the right hand lane and could not steer the car to straighten up. I was unable to steer the car at all. I tried to brake but it did not help. Nothing like this happened before. My car was bounced from one side of the concrete barrier to the other. All airbags were deployed. The car was totaled. I was deemed to be at fault. I sustained severe spinal injury and required major surgery immediately. I was unable to work for over 3 months. I got reimbursement from my insurance for the car, S kbb value. I think the car was taken to hartford. I have not been able to file this complaint until now due to my physical disability. Please investigate this case for steering failure.

- Branford, CT, USA

problem #378

Oct 012012


  • 110,000 miles
I was driving to work my steering all of a sudden became hard to turn I hit the curb and blew two tires.

- Huger, SC, USA

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