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 12 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #287

Oct 172011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 51,252 miles


Power steering fails during driving. Seems to be after engine gets hot. Happens unexpectedly and without warning.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #286

Jan 272012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
While driving on the freeway (I-684) at 65 mph the vehicle lost power steering assist approx. 30 miles from my home. This made the car difficult to control, especially when taking turns in and off of exits. Much force was required to maintain control and steering the vehicle for the rest of the trip home. I will report this to MINIon Monday.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #285

Jan 252012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,744 miles
Power steering pump failure and car become very hard to turn. Almost crashed into a curb take a 90 degree sharp turn. All fuses related to pump did not fail. Steering fluid level is at proper amount. I jacked up the car front the front and it was a little better without any load on the from end but felt very notchy about every 20% of a full turn of the wheel. Electric cooling fan that cools the pump is not blocked and I can spin it freely. Many MINIcooper owners are complaint about this. My power steering pump does not keep running after the car is shut down.

- Osterville, MA, USA

problem #284

May 022011


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the power steering failed without warning. The contact mentioned that she was unable to maneuver the vehicle without applying an excessive amount of force to the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to duplicate the failure but replaced the power steering fan as a temporary remedy. The remedy failed to repair the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 84,000.

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #283

Jan 172012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
After igniting my car, sometimes power steering doesn't work. All I can do at this moment is that I turn off and restart my car again. And most of times if I restart my car, power steering works fine. Also power steering once in a while stops to work when I drive slowly, e.g when I drive local. I have to restart my car in this case too. Until a couple of days ago, I felt this problem only happened when I ignited my car or drove local, so I thought this is a minor issue as long as I can restart my car safely. But the most dangerous moment occurred two days ago when I was making a turn to exit on parkway. Suddenly it was very hard to control the car on highway, and I had to stop at side road and restart. I brought my car to local mechanic and had him examine it yesterday. He said power steering wheel pump needs to be replaced.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #282

Oct 232010


  • 103,320 miles
Power steering pump failed and lost steering ability. The relay for the cooling fan remained in the closed position causing the battery to fail. I had to replace the power steering pump and battery. There have been many complaints of the same problem. There should be a recall to fix this before someone gets killed.

- Egg Harbor Township, NJ, USA

problem #281

Nov 262011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 108,967 miles


After running errands in the morning I parked my car in my spot in front of my house. When I walked away the car was silent. Two hours later my neighbor knocked on my door to let me know that my car (which had been off and parked for two hours) was making a loud whining noise. I went outside to check it out, and determined that the noise was coming from my car while it was off. I immediately took the car, which was driving well at the time, to my local mechanic who could not determine the cause of the problem and recommend that I should take it immediately to the MINIdealership. When I arrived at the MINIdealership they immediately took my car back. I was told that my power steering pump was failing and overheating, which caused the power steering fan to keep running while the car was off. The service representative said that this happens time to time, and if I had continued driving the car it may of caught on fire. The technical words on the work order from the MINImechanic were, "scanned car for faults, after checking cars fault memory it was found that there was a current fault for an open circuit on the electric power steering pump." Both the power steering pump and fan had to be replaced.

- Howell, NJ, USA

problem #280

Oct 262011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
While I was driving the power steering all of a sudden went out thus making the steering extremely heavy. It caught me by surprise. Could be dangerous to drivers if failure occurs on a turn. Power steering should not fail.

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #279

Sep 142009


  • 60,000 miles
I had to replace the power steering pump as it had failed. It first failed while I was on a highway off-ramp and nearly crashed. The failure was due to the power steering fan seizing and therefore it was not cooling the power steering pump. After some investigation of my own, I found out that the root cause of this problem was the low fan speed resistor failed on the engine cooling fan. The power steering fan will only activate once the engine cooling fan is running. If the low fan speed relay fails, the engine cooling fan will only turn on at 233F (high speed fan minimum temperature). Once the engine cooling fan turns on at 233F, the power steering fan will turn on to cool the power steering pump. The power steering fan will be too hot at this point and will overheat itself and seize. The power steering fan failure then causes the power steering pump to overheat and fail. If the power steering fan is not replaced before the power steering pump fails, this causes the entire hydraulic system for the power steering system to fail as well and leak hydraulic fluid. If the power steering system fails, this can cause the power steering pump to ultimately catch on fire due to it overheating from low levels of hydraulic fluid. The complete replacement of parts alone for the power steering system is $1,296.35. This system is required for driving the vehicle at any speed as it is a "power assisted steering" system, thus making it very hard to control the vehicle at any speed. If you visit any MINIforum (I.e. or you can find hundreds of posts about the power steering system failing in minis. I replaced the pump and fan ($876.46 parts cost), then had to replace the entire system ($1296.35 parts cost) when the system failed again because of the low speed engine fan resistor failing and causing the entire problem.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #278

Sep 102010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Sometime in late summer of last year, my car began to make a "honking" sound. It sounded like the clutch that had already been replaced on both of our 2005 MINIcoopers under warranty (another possible safety issue?) but the clutching seemed ok. Up until the time I was able to get the car in to the shop to get looked at, I noticed a puddle in the garage, and I also noticed it was getting harder to steer. The shop determined that my steering rack was leaking and needed to be completely replaced, which we did. Now, just over 1 year later, the car is already exhibiting the same behaviors exactly. Something in the vehicle is causing the rack to malfunction and require replacement.

- Lol, FL, USA

problem #277

Dec 232011


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving approximately 15 mph, the steering became difficult to maneuver. The contact stated that the failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact believed that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact referenced a concurrent investigation under NHTSA action number: EA11005 (steering steering:hydraulic power assist:pump steering:electric power assist system steering:hydraulic power assist system) that could possibly have been related to the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Louisburg, NC, USA

problem #276

Dec 072011


  • 115,000 miles
While driving 2005 MINICooper, I went around a corner at about 30 mph and when I tried to straighten out the power steering had quit working. It almost put me in the ditch on the wrong side of the road. Just thankful of no oncoming traffic.

- Onaway, MI, USA

problem #275

Dec 222011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 83,175 miles
My wife was backing out of a parking spot and the power steering assist appeared to have been turned off. She re-started the car and the power steering worked fine after that. It happened again when I was also backing out of a parking spot last night. I am afraid this could become a big issue if this happens in traffic thus the report. From an internet search, it seems that numerous other people have the same issue so there seems to be a problem which MINIneeds to fix before this ends tragically for someone.

- San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA

problem #274

Dec 012011


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact was driving 70 mph when the power steering failed.the contact was able to safely merge to the shoulder where the vehicle was shut off. Once restarted, the steering resumed normal operation. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 79,000.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #273

Dec 072011


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to steer and seized without warning. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and was not taken to the dealer for diagnostics or repairs. The VIN was not available.the approximate failure mileage was 118,000.

- Albertville, AL, USA

problem #272

Dec 092011


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. The contact stated that while starting the vehicle, the power steering system malfunctioned and the steering wheel became very stiff. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic where the mechanic stated to the contact that the entire power steering system needed to be replaced. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer or call the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #271

Aug 102010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Intermittent failure of power steering beginning at approximately 48,000 miles, with increasing frequency and duration until complete failure of power steering at approximately 55,000 miles, despite full power steering fluid reservoir at all times. MINIdealer advises new power steering pump required.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #270

Dec 062011


  • 80,781 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact was driving 45 mph when the power steering seized and became extremely difficult to maneuver. The dealer was contacted who advised that there were no recalls for the vehicle and that he should bring the vehicle in for repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,781.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #269

Nov 012010


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. Then contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was stopped and shut off. The vehicle was then towed to an independent repair shop and the power steering pump was replaced. The failure recurred approximately one year later. The vehicle was taken back to an independent repair shop, but repairs were not performed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Oldsmar, FL, USA

problem #268

Nov 172011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
I recently bought my 2005 MINICooper, after moving to Tacoma, wa. Only after a week of driving I started having problems with the power steering. I have not even made a payment on the vehicle. I have contacted ukmini and my information was forward to BMW head office in germany. Miniusa contacted me to bring the vehicle into a local dealer to verify the fault. They didn't say they would cover the cost. But being in the military I will ensure that soldiers are aware of the problems they may face with this company.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

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