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 21 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #107

Dec 122010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles


2005 MINICooper sudden loss of power steering. Due to defect in design power steering cooling fan fails, causing pump to overheat and relay gets fried. MINIrefuses to acknowledge problem, and fix. Cost for replacement of pump, fan, labor is $1300-$1400. Vehicle has 59000 miles. Curiously they have redesigned fan with cover to protect it and pump has also been redesigned. Why hasn't there been a recall.

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #106

Dec 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
For the second time in two months, I lost power steering in my 2005 MINICooper. The second time happened as I was driving on interstate-84, outside hartford, in Connecticut. Very scary and dangerous! my mechanic says I have a leak in my power steering electric pump, and it needs to be replaced for almost $600 for a pump. He says the MINICoopers he's worked on all have needed this repair. How can a common power steering problem not be dangerous and warrant a recall?

- Unionville, CT, USA

problem #105

Nov 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
2005 MINICooper 2 door standard vehicle has a power steering failure. It started 2 months ago with an intermittent loss of the power steering at any given time of the vehicle in use. 60% of the time the power steering goes out. It is very difficult to steer or turn corners. It happens without warning and is very scary as the drive handling is immediately changed and the maneuvering to the end of the curve changes drastically. This problem has now increased as of late to the power steering not turning off, even after the key has been removed from the ignition. The power steering motor hums and whines loudly as the car sits parked and with no key inserted. I had to disconnect the battery to turn the car completely off. I called concord, ca. MINIBMW), and after having explained to them the above mentioned problems, they state that there are no bulletin claims for this and my warranty has expired. They further state that to fix this problem will cost me at least $1200. I went online and found 225,000 other folks with this exact same problem. I am hoping that this forum and my added complaint will generate enough concern for driver safety and bring about a recall or some level of ownership on MINIto rectify this situation. For now I will keep my MINICooper off the street and battery disconnected as it is a danger to the safety of my family and other drivers and pedestrians.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #104

Jan 052010


  • 30,209 miles


The contact owns a 2005 BMW MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph the steering column malfunctioned causing the wiring harness and engine harness to ignite. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who informed the contact that there was a short in the steering pump which caused the fire.. the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 30,209. The VIN was unavailable.

- Sanfrancisco, CA, USA

problem #103

Dec 052010


  • 113,306 miles
The contact owns a 2005 BMW MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering failed without warning; it was very difficult to keep the vehicle under control. The dealer replaced the power steering pump, and cooling fan. The cooling fan was previously replaced under the warranty. The failure and the current mileages were 113,306.

- Merrimack , NH, USA

problem #102

Dec 062010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 89,500 miles
I was driving my 2005 MINIcooper and took a sweeping right turn onto a freeway on ramp. During the turn the power steering stopped working and it took an extreme amount of force on the wheel for me to avoid hitting the side of the overpass as the car wanted to continue going straight.. it proceeded to cut out again as I tried to get it home. Luckily I was able to control it and park it. When I turned the car off the pump continued to run and drained the battery overnight. The car would not start in the morning.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #101

May 012007


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving at any speed, the contact stated that the power steering would fail intermittently. The vehicle was inspected by her personal mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure. The dealer was not contacted. The contact did not inform the manufacturer of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was 91,528 and the failure mileage was approximately 40,000.

- Bristol, RI, USA

problem #100

Oct 062010


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINIcoopers S. while driving 30 mph, the power steering begin to fail and the vehicle became uncontrollable. The contact shut off the vehicle and when restarting, the power steering resumed normal operation. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where a diagnostic test was performed. The dealer informed the contact that the power steering pump would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified who advised the contact that there were no recalls on the vehicle and offered no further assistance. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 93,000.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #99

Oct 162010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I own a 2005 MINIcooper. It has a power steering pump fan that has gone out, and is causing unsafe steering issues. I understand NHTSA is investigating this issue.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #98

Nov 252010


  • 62,400 miles
2005 MINICooper S power steering failure, while turning power steering failed, no leaks, and fluid reservoir full. Researched possible problems and found an article on new MINIword report published on talks about this same problem effected 175,000 MINIs between 2001-2007. This seems pretty serious and with that many vehicles I shouldn't incur any costs for repair.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #97

Sep 242010


  • 74,200 miles


Power steering pump fails. Power steering goes out intermittantly

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #96

Nov 262010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,123 miles
MINIcooper 2005 California usa. Loss of power steering problem - currently, intermittent loss of power steering, either from cold-start, or while driving on short or long distances. Can happen for only a few seconds or remain for minutes. Once the power loss is realized, it is possible to switch engine off then on again to regain power - sometimes - but problem can return after minutes or hours. It is very scary to be driving on busy roads when cornering is required, lacking faith whether one will be able to steer the vehicle out of the path of other road-users... internet searches show other people experiencing similar problems but dealers and manufacturers are ignoring or side-stepping this serious safety issue.

- Lompoc, CA, USA

problem #95

Nov 222010


  • 125,000 miles
My 2005 MINICooper S appears to have lost its power steering. Just happened today (11/22/10) as I was driving on the interstate. I did not lose control or anything like that. It just became exceedingly difficult to steer the car.

- Peachtree City , GA, USA

problem #94

Nov 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 77,800 miles
After about 77,000 miles on my 2005 MINIcooper, I encountered sudden and intermittent difficulty with the steering wherein the power steering would abruptly fail. The first two incidents occurred ~3-4 months ago, both directly after starting the vehicle's engine and pulling out of parking. The most recent incidents occurred within the past 6 weeks, randomly during the first 40 miles of my commute. After each incident, I was able to regain full control of the steering by pulling over and shutting off the vehicle's engine and then reengaging it. There have now been a total of 6 incidents. The most recent incident, a few days ago, occurred while I was driving the vehicle on a winding highway and was making a turn. When the power steering failed, it was extremely difficult to correct the angle/speed of the vehicle's turn and a crash into the oncoming traffic lane seemed extremely likely. After cautious braking and relying on the remaining manual steering, using very firm and swift hand-over-hand motion on the steering wheel, I was able to maintain some control over the vehicle's wheels. Then, engaging the vehicle's hazard lights, I was eventually able to pull over at the next available highway's shoulder, but it was an extreme awkward maneuver requiring some of the drivers of vehicles around me to adjust their own speeds and turns. I have since brought the vehicle to the dealership's service center and am awaiting the results of the vehicle inspection in response to my complaints. I do not intend to drive the vehicle again until the issue with the power steering is completely resolved, for my own safety and the safety of other drivers. A crash in the future would seem inevitable, otherwise, with inconsistent power over the steering during any commute that involves many winding turns. (if the power steering could be completely disengaged, allowing only manual steering, it would seem far safer than for it to randomly turn off in the midst of driving).

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #93

Nov 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
After my 2005 MINICooper passed the 60,000 mile mark, the power steering began to fail on a regular basis. After driving the car for about a half-hour, the power steering would simply stop working and it became very difficult to turn the steering wheel. Pulling over, shutting down and restarting the car would temporarily fix the problem. My local BMW dealer repeatedly checked the car and was never able to find any problem. A local independent mechanic determined that the problem was caused by a faulty cooling fan on the power steering pump which was replaced at my expense. The power steering has been ok since. Updated 08/03/11 updated 12/05/11

- Kings Park, NY, USA

problem #92

Nov 052010


  • 71,000 miles
Following rear end impact, there was an engine compartment fire, which was later traced to the power steering pump. Terminals were burned off the pump, and alternator also failed as a result. Note: There was absolutely no collision damage to front end.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #91

Nov 112010


  • 67,543 miles
While driving about 30 mph, the power steering suddenly quit working. I attempted to make a right hand turn and controlling the vehicle was very difficult. There was no warning that the steering was about to go.

- Milton, WA, USA

problem #90

May 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 69,953 miles
Over the course of about a month and a half, the power steering began to "stick" in that I could not steer right or left without physically forcing the wheel to the right or left, using all my strength to do it. I thought I lost control of the car. The first time, it was a terrifying event. Then it would go back to "normal" the next day, but then "stick" again on various occasions with no rhyme or reason; there was no pattern as to when it would occur. But it did happen at least once a week. The steering wheel would "stick" no matter if the car was at a complete stop, or while driving. After checking with local garages, they suggested to have my MINIdealership repair it as no one could find the cause of the problem. MINIdiagnosed the failed power steering, and installed a fan with protecting "gri" (part # 32-41-6-781-742 @ $222.43) and installed a repair kit, lower "sect" (part # 32-30-6-763-722 @ $186.63). MINIservice found the steering shaft knuckle seized up, making it hard to turn the steering wheel. MINIreplaced the steering shaft, and also found the power steering fan to be seized, so they also replaced the steering fan. Included in this diagnosis, MINIfound the control arm brackets, which are part of the steering of the car, needs repair in the near future too.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #89

Nov 052010


  • 63,423 miles
My power steering in my 2005 MINIcooper failed while driving. This is a common issue for all 01-07 MINIcoopers and before someone dies or is seriously injured BMW MINIneeds to issue a recall and replace this faulty part. I was driving home from work and the steering started to lockup on the highway, I then pulled over and turned off the car then restarted and the steering worked just fine. Two days later I was pulling off of the highway again and the steering started to lock up once more. I barely made it to a nearby parking lot strong-arming the car with each turn. I pulled into a parking spot and turned off the car once again. After restarting the car the steering still would not work, I even let it cool down for a few minutes to try once more. Still unable to steer. Had to get my car towed and had to replace power steering pump and fan on car. This car is less than 5 years old and the power steering should last the life of the car.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #88

Nov 092010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Power steering pump and cooling fan failure. Unsafe to drive and safety hazard. Poor engineering design with regards to placement of pump / fan and electrical load. Defective (rebuilt and not new) parts from MINIdealership repaired under warranty one time. MINIdoes not stand by its products or engineering. Replacement and repairs occurred 3 times in less than 5 years and less than 65,000. Updated 07/26/11 updated 2/29/12

- Sound Beach, NY, USA

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