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 14 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #247

Sep 012008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


Noticed level of power steering fluid was low. No apparent leak on ground. Noticed the boots on rack and pinion are pressurized and realized that is where the fluid is leaking into.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #246

Sep 012009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 28,452 miles
The power assist for the steering fails intermittently. Often this occurs midway through a turn. Sometimes turning the car off and re-starting will resolve the problem, other times it does not. Reported the issue to the dealer service department and before I could finish the sentence the two service writers said there was not issue with the power steering pump! without the power assist the steering is very heavy. As a strong, experienced driver I knew what to do when the power assist failed, but this would be very dangerous for an older or less physical driver since the assist failure is sudden and without warning. As a driver you go from being able to casually steer with minimal input to instantly needing to forcefully turn the steering wheel to maintain control of the car!!!! the car currently has 40,011 miles and continues to have this problem intermittently.

- Roslindale, MA, USA

problem #245

Aug 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
The failure in my power steering pump occurred at 70,000 miles while driving on the interstate highway at 75 mph. The steering wheel locked as I was driving while changing lanes. I could not turn the wheel without excessive force. I have also found that a pump, in the process of failing, causes another problem; the pump might randomly start working again, and possibly in the process of a turn. This actually happened to me and caused an over compensation when turning a corner (on 2 occasions) and potentially endangered the other motorists on the road, as well as myself! I found that it will cost me $1000+ to have this repaired. I am currently unemployed and cannot afford this expense. In the mean time, my beloved MINIsits in the garage until a recall or until I have enough money to pay for the repairs.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #244

Aug 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles


I started to hear this winding or loud humming sound, did not know where it was coming was examined by a mechanic, ,and it was the power steering pump failing, and the electric cooling fan failing. Read about many problems with this steering pump on 2005 MINIs. the cost was $1226 to replace. Even though I did not lost power steering, it could have happened at anytime.

- Cliffside Park, NJ, USA

problem #243

Sep 012009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Power steering would fail intermittently and then go out all together. Power steering pump replaced under warranty. Lasted a year. Failed again, and dealer replaced out of warranty but charged labor. Third pump failing.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #242

Sep 102011


  • 52,000 miles
My power steering pump on my 2005 MINICooper S failed at 45 mph in downtown los angeles. I have taken my vehicle in for a diagnoses in which they informed me the repair would be over $1K. I declined the repair as I have located a number of complaints regarding this issue, and am now taking it up with MINIhq.

- San Grabriel, CA, USA

problem #241

Sep 042011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,300 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the power steering failed without warning. The contact mentioned that she was able to merge onto the shoulder but was not able to continue driving. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who diagnosed that the steering pump was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 62,300 and the current mileage was 64,000. The power steering pump was replaced. Updated 10/18/11 updated evoq 11/01/11.

- San Francisco , CA, USA

problem #240

Sep 122011


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while turning at approximately 15 mph, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was stopped and shut off. Upon restart, the vehicle operated as normal but the failure recurred on a daily basis. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Crystal Lake, IL, USA

problem #239

Sep 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 104,366 miles
Power steering went out while driving on the freeway. Has been happening for several months, but usually when this happens I can turn the car off and when the car is turned on again it is fine for a while. I had power steering fluid topped up but apparently it didn't fix the problem. I was told it is a power steering pump that needs to be replaced and costs approximately $1,000- $1,2000. Today the power steering went out completely and would not return to normal after above said actions. I read that continuing to drive the car in this state can cause battery drainage/failure, fan problems, and/or electrical fires.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #238

Sep 142011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,575 miles
Power steering stopped working near the end of a 15 mile drive to work. Power steering functioned normally on the drive home 9 hours later.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #237

Aug 262011


  • 128,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving at any speed, the contact stated that the manual steering function would illuminate without activating intermittently. The dealer ordered the part that the contact needed to repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was 130,000. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #236

Feb 152011


  • 63,000 miles
Intermittent loss of power steering, usually when making a turn - extremely dangerous in middle of intersection - have almost had two accidents when steering went out. It became progressively worse and as of may, 2011 the power steering was completely "out" - however as of August 22, 2011 it returned to full working order - and lasted for approx. 9 days and then started to pop in and out intermittently after starting and turning off the vehicle. As of approx. Sept. 8, 2011 the power steering is completely out.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #235

Sep 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 96,400 miles
Bought my dream car, an '05 MINICooper S Monday, labor day, and immediately started having problems with the steering randomly cutting in and out. Not awesome! each time, turning the car off and then back on has resolved the issue, however it would seem that it shouldn't be happening, like, at all, let along having to 'cycle' the engine each time.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #234

Aug 012011


  • 1,000 miles
Power steering turns on and off when you least expect it during turns or drivng on a straight highway.

- Plainfield , IN, USA

problem #233

Sep 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 25,200 miles
I was driving down the interstate last Thursday and upon exiting the power steering went. I was terrified. I am just lucky I have a straight exit from the interstate; if there had been a curve I would have been into the wall or off the road. My personal feeling is there should be a recall for the power steering pump as failure can be very dangerous. What are we waiting for, someone to be killed? I limped my MINIto the dealer and was told it will cost $1257 to replace the power steering pump and fan. I am now unable to drive my MINIas it is unsafe.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #232

Sep 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Power steering pump failure, drained battery due to power steering fan continuing to run after vehicle is turned off.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #231

Sep 022011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Traveling back home to a short drive from a local store. When I went to make a right turn onto my street the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn. Had my wife or daughter been driving the car, I think it may have resulted in an accident because they may not have been able to exert the necessary force to get the vehicle to turn.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #230

Sep 022011


  • miles
Parked the vehicle after a short trip of approx. 10 miles. Left car for approx 5 to 7 minutes. Returned to find smoke billowing from under the hood. Immediately started to unhook the battery cable. Got the battery unhooked and smoke diminished. Tried restarting car, restarted fine, but no power steering. Assuming that the power steering pump went up in smoke. Fortunately, damage seems to be limited to ps pump... not sure yet if smoldering/smoke indicates any other damage under the hood or not.

- Zionsville, IN, USA

problem #229

Aug 282011


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving, the contact stated that the vehicle would loose power steering and the contact would see and smell smoke coming from underneath the hood. The dealer nor manufacturer were notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 103,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #228

Jul 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
Power stearing went out on 2005 MINIcooper while driving on lots of curves along columbia river, seems to be a thing with these cars after looking on line. Just glad I'm not swimming with the fishes due to having to muscle the car on the road.

- Grays River, WA, USA

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