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 18 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #167

Oct 162010


  • 64,000 miles


Started noticing the steering wheel was very difficult to turn, usually right after starting the vehicle, but turning the car off and restarting would rectify the problem. Initially it would occur every 2 to 3 monthes, but as time went on it became more frequent. I decided to take it to the dealer to have the problem checked out after it happened 3 times in one day - twice while I was driving causing me to pull to the side ofthe road and shut off and restart the car in order to be able to easily turn the steering wheel. Only after getting the power steering pump replaced was I informed of the the frequency of issues like this with other cars. The dealer did fix the problem by replacing the power steering pump at a cost of approximately $900.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #166

Mar 202011


  • 53,000 miles
Power steering has failed twice. Once was in rush hour traffic and the other was in mid-day traffic. The vehicle became extremely hard to handle. The first time, I almost caused an accident. My car only has 53,000 miles and this should not be happening.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #165

Jan 032011


  • 55,000 miles
Lost power steering and ability to make turn easily

- St Louis Park, MN, USA

problem #164

Aug 012010


  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that when driving at low speeds and attempting a turn, the steering would become increasingly resistant. The failure would only occur when turning and once the turn was complete, the steering would return to normal. The vehicle was inspected by the dealer and they advised that the steering pump may be the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was approximately 76,000.

- North Hills, CA, USA

problem #163

Jan 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 88,412 miles
Power steering pump was making a loud whining noise as soon as the car was started, and would "wind down" a few seconds after the car was turned off. The pump and fan were both replaced thankfully before the system failed.

- Caldwell, NJ, USA

problem #162

Mar 142011


  • 106,000 miles
Lost power steering while driving. Significant force was needed to turn the vehicle. The problem lasted for one day. The power steering returned the following day, but the motor stayed on after the car was turned off. The dealership has to replace the motor and the fan.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #161

Aug 012008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Power steering unit had to be replaced twice because of ps motor failing suddenly and with no warning. First occurrence nearly caused crash because ps failed while negotiating intersection.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #160

Mar 122011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Power steering failure on my 05 MINIcooper-S. power steering just stopped working while driving the car on the road in regular traffic, was turning left into a parking lot from a 5 lane road when it quit working, was barely able to turn the wheel enough to safely make it into the parking lot and avoid a crash. Apparently as of now if I turn the car off and then back on the power steering might come back on; terribly dangerous problem to have on a part on a car that should last the life of the car. Repair estimates are around $800-1300, and is apparently a common problem w/ these cars.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #159

Dec 032010


  • 75,350 miles
The vehicle has loss the power steering assist due to power steering pump failure. Thus requiring increased force to steer and control the vehicle. Steering has becomes extremely difficult and has made manoeuvring this car far harder and dangerous. The car has spotty electrical failures; example the window just doesn't want to roll up; no, wait, it does. No, wait, it doesn't. the stereo just gives up; no sound anymore, then it plays again. The same with the drivers side door you could here it unlock and re-lock, but the door would not open and then it would. Also both of my keys to open the door both turned off at the same time and I had to have the keys re-calibrated at a MINIdealership to reopen the vehicle.

- Estelline, SD, USA

problem #158

Mar 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 72,300 miles
I have a 2005 MINICooper S with mileage of about 72K. The power steering failed on and off for a week and was completely gone on Mar 5. updated 07/26/11 the dealer replaced the power steering pump. Updated 08/19/11

- Rego Park, NY, USA

problem #157

Mar 112011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,148 miles


When I got in my 2005 MINICooper convertible to come to work today, I found that I didn't have power steering. I drove approximately 20 miles to a gas station and filled up the tank. When I started the car again, the power steering worked perfectly. After I got to work, I looked on the internet to see if anyone else had experienced this and there were many different people who had dealt with this and according to a few news sources, this could be close to a recall situation. The fix for this is extremely expensive according to the sites that I visited, but the safety of the situation is the over riding factor. If this would have happened with my mother or with my wife driving, I'm not sure if they would have been able to control the car.

- Fountain Hills, AZ, USA

problem #156

Nov 012010


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. the contact stated that the steering wheel was difficult to control and the steering pump stayed on while the vehicle was turned off causing the battery to fail. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the power steering pump failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 74,000.

- Mableton, GA, USA

problem #155

Mar 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
Power steering stopped working. Power steering replacement, trunk repair and driver's side door repair. Updated 07/26/11

- Red Bank, NJ, USA

problem #154

Mar 082011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I had two separate incidents of losing power steering in my 2005 MINICooper convertible. About a month ago, I was driving and made a right turn. The steering wheel felt very heavy and it was extremely hard to make the turn - complete loss of power steering. The problem persisted for any turn on the way home. The next time I drove the car, the steering seemed fine, and continued to seem fine until yesterday afternoon (March 8, 2011). Once again, I made a right turn and found that I had no power steering. I needed to stop for gas, so after some rather tricky maneuvers to get parked by a gas pump, and shutting the car off, the power steering seemed ok again. I have seen where there are multiple reports of similar problems, so I wanted to add my incident to your database.

- Melrose, FL, USA

problem #153

Mar 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
My 2005 MINICooper S had the power steering fail while I was driving. This car only has 56,000 miles. I took the car into the dealer to have maintenance done on it last week and was told the power steering pump was "seeping" but was not of immediate concern and I could wait on fixing/replacing it. Today there is almost no fluid in the reservoir and I am unable to purchase at any local auto part store as no one carries (chs 11S) apparently a type of mineral spirit. In researching the issue, I found this to be a very common complaint and discovered that the national highway safety administration is investigating the issue so I wanted to add my voice. I was traveling at a low rate of speed in a slight corner at the time and yet still had a very hard time maintaining control of the car. Please look into this issue, this could really lead to a tragedy.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #152

Feb 272011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
Our 2005 MINICooper S has intermittent steering issues. The power steering comes and goes. When researching the fix, I found that a lot of people are having the same issue. There is even a guy on ebay selling remanufactured power steering pumps at an average of one every three days. (based on ebay feed back).

- Ottawa, KS, USA

problem #151

Mar 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
The power steering pump in my 2005 MINICooper intermittently stops working while driving. This makes turning extremely difficult and hazardous and happens at what seems to be 'random' times. I took it to the MINIdealer and they charged me $125 to tell me that my power steering pump was fine, but shorted out a couple of times causing the difficulty in steering. They were going to charge $1060 for the replacement. From what I'm understanding this is a problem that effects 223,000 MINIdrivers and yet there is no recall yet.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #150

Feb 212011


  • 53,000 miles
Power steering assist failed to operate without warning while I was parking the car, MINICooper S 2005 model year. There was no service light or any other warning before the failure occurred.

- Chadds Ford, PA, USA

problem #149

Dec 132010


  • 61,500 miles
The first time I had a problem, I was driving and maintaining speed when suddenly the power-steering failed. I jerked the steering wheel and turned it with force, and then the power-steering returned. Another time, the power-steering failed while I was driving and remained off until I turned off the ignition and then turned the ignition back on.

- College Park, MD, USA

problem #148

Jan 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
2005 MINICooper power steering failure. The power steering has failed several times in my MINICooper. The car becomes extremely hard to drive when it fails (much harder than an old car without power steering-its nearly impossible to steer when the power steering fails). Several times it has happened in the middle of the road while making a turn. If I turn off the car and restart it the power steering will come back for a while. Very dangerous situation!

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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