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 2005 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:
10 / 16
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,720 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.

2005 Mini Cooper steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 10 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #327

Feb 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles


Power steering cuts out intermittently. Power steering comes back after restarting vehicle. Then fails later again.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #326

Mar 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
I have lost power steering intermittently over the past two months. It causes loss of control and makes the car undrivable and there is no warning. I pull over and restart it and it has power steering again. I am afraid to drive it on the freeway.

- Carmel, CA, USA

problem #325

May 022012


  • 59,930 miles
Vehicle fire 5/2/2012. Car parked for 4 hrs. Returned to car & drove it <50 yards for ~2 minutes (moved it from street to parking lot). Turned it off and went in store. Returned ~4 minutes later, noticed smoke/exhaust smell; presumed it was adjacent car. Unlocked car. Car would't start (no lights/electrical at all). I then noticed white smoke coming from hood. Opened hood then noticed flame/fire inside engine compartment. Went in store, got fire extinguisher and put fire out. Invoice was >$3500 from MINIdealer. The dealer's assessment: "verified power steering pump has overheated to the point where it has burned up internally as well as externally (melting all three connectors and the wiring leading to them). Inspected power steering cooling fan and verified cooling fan is seizing up which very likely led to the overheating and eventual failure of the power steering pump. Removed engine compartment fuse box to examine megafuse powering the power steering pump, fuse is intact and did not burn up. Inspected power steering pressure hose and it appears the rubber section of the power steering pressure line was subjected to the heat/melting of the main power connector (it's in very close proximity to the connector) and it appears the hose has taken a level of damage from the heat. Recommend replacement of power steering pump, the wiring section/connector pigtail from the fuse box (this is the main power connector), the engine wiring harness (contains two other electrical connectors to the pump which received extensive damage), the power steering fan (likely cause of failure), power steering pressure line (high pressure hydraulic line which has been exposed to the main connector melting and subsequent heat), and other miscellaneous items associated with those components (O-rings, crush rings, hose clamps ect...)"

- Mercer Island, WA, USA

problem #324

Apr 202012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 79,700 miles


The car had been performing normally and when I attempted to turn into a parking space it was suddenly extremely difficult to turn. After coming out of the store the car resumed steering correctly. Then a few days later the same thing happened-it was terribly difficult to turn the vehicle. I called my mechanic who suggested checking the power steering fluid level. I was unable to find in my owners manual where the power steering reservoir was located. The mechanic checked the fluid the following week and found the level to be normal. He investigated and found that there had been problems with power steering in other cars of my type. I ended up having to have everything replaced-pump, fan and reservoir at a cost for parts alone at $1033. I feel that if this problem was known to the manufacturing company that this should have been a recalled item for safety sake. The recall extended only to vehicles manufactured as of December 31, 2004. My vehicle was made in February 2005.

- Alamo, CA, USA

problem #323

Apr 122012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Power steering went out while driving, has not come back.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #322

Mar 302012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering failed and the vehicle was unable to be controlled. The contact crashed into a curve and punctured the rear driver side tire. In addition, the was an abnormal humming heard from the engine and the battery failed. The contact was advised by an independent mechanic that the power steering pump would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 102,000.

- Athens, TN, USA

problem #321

Apr 182012


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while the contact was driving approximately 40 mph, there was a complete loss in the power steering without any prior warning. The contact was able to continue driving with caution at a reduced speed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that the power steering pump would need to be replaced. The contact planned to have the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. There was currently there an open investigation associated with NHTSA action number EA11005 (steering: Hydraulic power assist: Pump). The approximate failure mileage was 60,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #320

Apr 172012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving my 2005 MINICooper on Tuesday, the steering felt odd. When I went to drive the car the following day there was no power steering. I felt I didn't have control. When making a turn I had to physically turn the steering wheel to get the car to straighten out. It was frightening. I took it to my mechanic who informed that this problem has been reported to him by other MINIowners. Upon further investigation I found alot of information on the internet from other 2005 MINICooper owners. I have made an appointment to have the situation checked out at my MINIdealer in freeport, NY. On Monday. When informing them about this problem and what my mechanic and the internet have stated, I was told they were not aware of such problems and that it would cost me $130 just to get a diagnosis from them. I then called MINIusa to report it to them and I was told that they are aware of such problems and that I should call them from the MINIdealer after the diagnosis is performed and they will let me know if they can help me.

- Mineola, NY, USA

problem #319

Apr 042012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,503 miles
Lost power steering while driving my 2005 MINICooper S. all of a sudden, have no power steering. Very difficult to steer, but not impossible. Thank god I was not in a place that this could have caused an accident. I note that I can turn off the motor, then turn it back on and the steering is ok for a few minutes, then goes out again. I love my MINIcooper, but this is a serious safety problem. I am afraid to drive it now, if I can't count on the steering to function correctly.

- Cape Elizabeth, ME, USA

problem #318

Oct 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,500 miles
Was traveling at neighborhood speed, turned into driveway and power assist on the steering failed. Had I been at speed this would have resulted in hitting a tree next tot he driveway. The car was essentially unsteerable without tremendous force, a condition completely unexpected. After turning off the vehicle and restarting it, the problem was no longer there, so obviously an electrical problem. The problem recurred about a month later while driving on an interstate highway. I have no idea where as I did not notice it until decelerating to exit the highway and the car was very difficult to steer. At the bottom of the ramp, it again became nearly impossible to maneuver. After turning it off and back on, the problem was gone. This has recurred on and off ever since. A local BMW/MINIspecialist mechanic informed me that this is not an infrequent problem with 2005 MINIs. he indicated the power steering functions fine except for intermittent electrical problems that cause it to fail. The problem has now come back and is very frequent. This is particularly troublesome at low speeds, and while parking. I feel there is sufficient instance of this to warrant a recall as obviously something is not right with the design or engineering of the power steering in far more cases that just my vehicle.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #317

Mar 302012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 96,630 miles


The power steering failed during driving and the vehicle became very difficult to steer. I had to pull over to access how much control I still had. The car continued to be very difficult to steer but I was able to drive home.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #316

Mar 272012


  • 84,000 miles
On date of incident, was attempting to park when the steering wheel locked up (became very difficult to move). I managed to get the car into a spot and called for tow assistance. The repair shop diagnosed as a power steering pump failure and had to replace that and other affiliated components (cooling fan, etc.). approximately 4 days before the failure, the power steering fan was uncharacteristically whinny, but went away after a few minutes and was not heard again before the failure.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #315

Mar 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68,549 miles
Power steering started failing approx. 3000 mile ago, at lower speeds the power steering would fail. Needed to restart the car to have power work again. Finally the power steering fan would stay on when the car was turned off. Took the car to MINIdealership, technician was approx. 30 feet from car and he had a diagnosis. Power steering pump had failed and so did the power steering fan unit. Since the car did not properly shut down I had to replace the battery. I had contacted MINIusa when the problem started and they would not do anything until the could replicate the issue of the power steering failing. This went nowhere fast. When pump and fan finally again they still would nothing for me and would not acknowledge any issues with the car.

- Laguna Beach, CA, USA

problem #314

Sep 062011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70 miles
While driving my 2005 MINIthe power steering went out without warning. This has occured numerous times while driving on the highway. Once the vehicle cools off, the power steering functions normally. I have contacted the MINIdealership about this problem to see if there have been any recalls issued, which there have not. It's obvious that this is a very serious problem and many others have experienced it as well. Can someone explain to me why a "recall" has not been issued?

- Burton, MI, USA

problem #313

Mar 142012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
The car has been having issues with the power steering assist. The power steering assist goes out intermittently making it dangerous to drive in the transition from power steering assist to manual steering. I hope this assists the investigation into this issue.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #312

Mar 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Power steering intermittent. Generally, it will go out after driving 20-30 minutes, however, it has failed to turn on when starting in the morning on occasion. In both cases, turning off the engine and restarting brings the power steering back on. It looks like this is related to investigation EA11005.

- Sahuarita , AZ, USA

problem #311

Mar 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
While driving the vehicle the power steering intermittently goes out. It is very unpredictable, where I will be driving for several miles with the power steering intact, then all of a sudden it goes out making the vehicle difficult to turn and control. Later the power steering returns. I had the vehicle examined by the MINIdealer, the insurance company mechanic, and my personal mechanic. None of them were able to notice any damage to the power steering. The fluid level is intact as well as the pump. The MINIdealer stated that they've "seen a lot of this" issue, but there are no recalls or open campaigns. The dealer believes the issue is due to an internal electronics failure and will not agree to fix it in good faith. In calling MINIusa, there are no open campaigns or recalls for the issue either, despite over ~50,000 cars of the same model year reportedly having the same issue. This is a very dangerous and frustrating situation with the potential to cause accidents due to an unpredictable loss of control while driving.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #310

Mar 202012


  • 120,774 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while driving approximately 55 mph, the steering became difficult to maneuver. The contact stopped on the shoulder of the road and shut off the vehicle. Once restarted, the vehicle regained power steering function. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technician advised the contact that the power steering pump would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 120,774.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #309

Jul 152011


  • 64,500 miles
While driving at 40 miles per hour the car lost all power steering. The loss of power steering made it extremely difficult to turn the car. The car was more difficult to turn than a car that has no power steering. The power steering went out without any warning. It was working one moment, then after a short driving for a short period it just ceased to work. Checked power steering fluid and the fluid level was ok. After restarting, the power steering worked again. This has happened several times. The power steering will just quit working while driving. You are given no warning that it is no longer working, until you attempt to turn and the car does not respond.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #308

Mar 152012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Have been noticing my MINIs fan has been sounding louder than normal thought maybe a cooling issue going on however last week the power steering randomly went out in the car while driving. I managed to pull the car over and tried turning car off and restarting it, power steering came back on. I thought it was a weird fluke and checked all my engine fluid levels when I got home. All fluids were at normal level and thought nothing of it. Today again power steering quit this time early in the morning as I was getting ready to leave for work (car had not been driven since previous night). I had to drive into work with no power steering as I could not call out and same thing driving home today power steering was still out. I started searching online and saw there had been supposedly a "safety recall" on 2005 MINICooper's for "campaign - power steering fan relay wiring modification -notes :si M32 03 04" stating: "service action: Correct the wiring for the power steering fan relay". I just called my local MINIdealership (boston) gave them the last 7 of my VIN for them to look up if there were any recalls on my car, they stated my car is not on the recall list despite this recall was supposedly on models R50 and R53 (my model is R50). I cannot drive this car now without performing this repair, my car has just turned 60,000 miles (still considerably low I think for something like this). In my searching I have found there are 14 other complaints literally just like mine since just January of this year!!! how is this not on a recall list ? I loved my car up until now, I feel like MINIhas a huge problem they already know about and are sticking their customers with paying a bill for something they publicly acknowledged as a safety issue in their cars.

- Millis, MA, USA

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