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 22 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #87

Nov 052010


  • 63,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while driving 30 mph, the power steering failed. The failure was intermittent. At times, the power steering would reset itself after being turned off and restarted. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was approximately 63,000.

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #86

Nov 052010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
I own a 2005 MINICooper. As I was driving it, I suffered a complete loss of power steering. I have had little to no problem with my MINIbefore this, but completely lost ability to steer. Luckily I was in an alley at the time and was able to safely pull over. The car has been towed to the BMW dealership who was unaware of any investigation into minicooper.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #85

Oct 222010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
I drive a 2005 MINICooper S, with approximately 49,000 miles driven. On October 22, 2010, the power steering on the car completely failed while driving on the highway, leaving barely enough control over the car to drive very cautiously. The car was diagnosed by two mechanics, one a reputable new england chain and the other an expert MINIcooper facility, and both determined that the power steering pump, rack and fan had all failed on the car. Even using refurbished parts, the repair is costing $1,100; with new parts, my understanding is that the repair would have been upwards of $2,000. My understanding is that NHTSA is already investigating frequent power steering issues for minis in this date range. The MINIshop doing the work for me certainly confirms the stories I've read about other shops around the country - the manager told me that they're doing about 6-7 power steering jobs per month on these cars. Hopefully the addition of my situation to the database can help justify a recall - it certainly seems warranted based on the volume of problems that MINIowners have had.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #84

Nov 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


2005 MINICooper S, 50,000 miles on the odometer, loses power steering which causes significant problems at slow speeds. The car will still steer at faster speeds, but with very heavy, unpredictable response. The problem began with an increased droning noise when the steering wheel was in the neutral position which would diminish when the steering wheel was turned. The problem was intermittent, and therefore, I thought it was related to a low fluid level issue. I went to the dealership and purchased "special" steering fluid, and no mention was made to me about any steering pump defect. I installed the fluid to the recommended level with no change in response. I telephoned the dealership service department and the person who answered the phone said he knew the problem, and that I needed a new steering pump, cooling fan, hoses, and reservoir, and the cost of the work was $1600. I then did internet research and learned that this problem is frequently experienced in 2004 and 2005 MINIcooper models. I then telephoned MINIcooper's corporate complain department and I was told to spend the money to repair the car. This problem is undoubtedly a persistent defect, and should be the subject of recall repair program.

- Succasunna, NJ, USA

problem #83

Feb 272008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
1 normal driving all the sudden steering wheel got hard to move, then it loosened up and then caused oversteer 2 power steering pump failure put car into ditch damaged 2 tires/rims 3 replaced the fan unit once then the entire pump the second time it is currently out for the third time.

- Copley, OH, USA

problem #82

Sep 202010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
I own a 2005 MINICooper S 2 door hard top with currently 90,000 miles. Just recently a semi loud whirring sound started from underneath the hood as soon as the engine is started. Immediately I can notice that the pitch of the noise subtly changes when you go to turn the steering wheel in either direction. I had a certified mechanic look at the car and he confirmed to me that the power steering pump is failing. When I am driving the MINIcooper the steering will intermittently begin to get a little harder to steer. The pump is on the way to complete failure and hard steering will end up being the result. I have been researching this issue via the web and have discovered that the failing power steering unit in MINIcoopers has been a known issue with BMW but I have yet to find any information as to what they are doing about it. Aside from speed, steering a motor vehicle is one of the most important safety concerns when in operation.

- Delta, PA, USA

problem #81

Aug 132009


  • 91,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact was driving 65 mph and attempting a turn when the steering wheel became abnormally stiff making causing limited control of the steering wheel. The contact pulled over and shut the vehicle off. After restarting, the steering resumed normal operation. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for diagnostic testing yet no failure codes were generated. The mechanic stated that the module would possibly need replacing. The steering module was replaced yet within six months, the failure recurred. The contact called both the manufacturer and dealer regarding the steering failure and was advised by both parties that they had not received any similar complaints regarding steering failures within his year, make and model. The contact was concerned that the steering failure could potentially cause a crash. The contact was no longer driving the vehicle. The failure mileage was 91,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #80

Nov 302009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
I have a 2005 MINICooper convertible - R52. The power steering does not work well. It started being problematic about a year ago right after I purchased the car. While driving the powersteering goes very stiff. It is difficult to turn and sometimes when turning off a highway while the power steering is not working, it comes back on, and I end up oversteering off the road and then back on to the road. This has been happening with increasing frequency during the time I have owned this car. I was told by MINIthat this is not a common problem, but my research seems to indicate that there are 10's of thousands of MINIowners from 2002 to 2006 who have this problem. Ottos MINIin West chester pa quoted me over $1000 do repair it...and they do not seem to see the scope of the problem. I am considering buying the new parts (fan, motor and circuit board) and installing my self. I just cannot spend 1000-1500 bucks to fix this. The parts are about $500 bucks and the install hopefully is pretty easy from what I have read. I hope that your testing does prove this problem needs to be resolved by a recall. It appears that they made a design change that has eliminated the problem in the 2006 or 7 model year. That alone is enough for me to believe that, while I love my MINII am driving a time bomb, that will cause and accident due to poor engineering. Please help me. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #79

Sep 272010


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact noticed an oil leak on the ground under the vehicle while parked in a residential driveway. The contact inspected the vehicle and found that power steering fluid was leaking. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where the mechanic replaced the power steering pump, steering hose, pressure hose, return hose, and the suction hose. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 54,000 and the current mileage was 61,400.

- Menlo Park, CA, USA

problem #78

Aug 012010


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact was driving 55 mph when the power steering failed without warning. The steering wheel became increasingly tight when the failure occurred. The contact replaced the power steering pump himself. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 113,000.

- Webster , MA, USA

problem #77

Oct 252010


  • 117,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While traveling 40 mph and turning right, the power steering suddenly stopped functioning. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 117,000.

- Haddenfield, NJ, USA

problem #76

Sep 222010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
2005 MINICooper S. complete power steering failure. Shutting off engine and restarting corrected problem for a short time, then problem resumed. Happened numerous times over the course of the next two weeks.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #75

Aug 092010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The power steering on my 2005 MINICooper S began malfunctioning on 8-9-2010. While going left on a mixmaster, the power steering failed and I thought I was going to hit the side of the bridge and perhaps drive off of the side of the bridge. The passenger in my car helped me steer (with force) to the left and drive to the straightaway. The power steering is intermittent, working five percent of the time. My car was serviced in June of 2010 due to a problem with the tension belt, which caused the car to have a burning smell and no air conditioning. The "service engine" light is on ten percent of the time and the "check tire pressure" light is on often, though I no longer have run-flat tires. My car is difficult to drive due to the lack of power steering. At the time of the first incident, my car had approximately 75,000 miles.

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #74

Oct 032010


  • 59,700 miles
Complaint in association with NHTSA action number: PE10038 2005 MINICooper S - power steering failure while driving. I own a 2005 MINICooper S with approximately 60,000 miles on the clock. Recently while driving home from work, in the process of turning a corner, the steering on the car became instantly heavy causing me to temporarily veer in to the oncoming traffic lane. Fortunately at the time there were no other cars coming in the opposite direction and I was able to compensate for the loss of steering control and correct the direction of the car. The situation remained for the duration of my journey, but I was able to safely navigate the car home. I restarted the engine and this appeared to correct the problem. However, during the next 2 car trips similar failures occurred (fortunately I was prepared for the possibility and so did not end up in the opposing traffic lane). The MINIdealership diagnosed this as a failure of the power steering pump, a problem which I understand to be the subject of a recently opened NHTSA investigation (PE 10038). Personally I believe this situation to be potentially extremely dangerous. There was no warning that the power steering was going to fail, and when it did, the impact was immediate and caused me to steer in to the oncoming traffic (as a result of not being able to turn the corner at the required angle). Due to the immediate nature of the failure I was not able to correct the problem safely in time. I am writing this report to be added to the existing NHTSA investigation (PE 10038).

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #73

Oct 212010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
I have lost the power steering on my 2005 MINICooper about six times. This has become a big, frustrating, and potentially dangerous problem.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #72

Oct 122010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
The power steering in our 2005 MINICooper has a recent history (within the past year) of intermittently failing, making the car difficult, if not impossible, for our small-sized drivers (about 100 lbs.) to maneuver. This has proved dangerous on the road, but injuries have so far been avoided, just when we were going to get it fixed, the problem appeared to self-correct. This week, however, the car has failed to start or take a charge to a one-year-old battery. Our reliable and trustworthy mechanic cannot diagnose the source of the problem, but we are wondering if there may be a drain on the battery from this power steering problem.

- Western Springs, IL, USA

problem #71

Oct 142010


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving approximately 55 mph the steering wheel became very stiff and difficult to turn. The vehicle was driven onto the emergency lane and shut off. Within a few minutes he was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle drove normally for approximately 15 minutes before the failure recurred. The failure began to recur intermittently, so the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the power steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 61,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Corinth, MS, USA

problem #70

Oct 182010


  • 33,500 miles
While picking my grandson from school on Oct 18 2010 at 2:30 pm I was backing out of a parking space onto the highway, half still in parking space and half on the highway my car stopped--- it would not go forward or backward --- could not turn the steering wheel, it would not turn--the motor running all the time --I turned the key off and on twice before the car would move.only reason we were not hit by traffic is because we were in a school zone and traffic was slow at that time. I called my MINIdealer in baton rouge and asked if they had other people with trouble with their MINIthey said no-- asked they to check if MINIhad anything going on with MINIS they would not check they just saying they had not received and official notice they said I could bring it in and it would cost me about $800 to have it fixed.

- Sorrento, LA, USA

problem #69

Sep 202010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 74,200 miles
The power steering in my 2005 MINICooper has gone out. It started failing intermittently for about 6 months then as of September 2010 has failed completely. It is extremely difficult to steer and turn the car. I took it in to my local mechanic when it was failing intermittently and they could not recreate it. Nothing has been changed/fixed at this time.

- Croton On Hudson, NY, USA

problem #68

Oct 032010


  • 122,000 miles
Twice, while parallel parking my 2005 MINICooper convertible, I lost power steering. It seems to happen intermittently and restores when I restart my car. Dealer says I need to replace my power steering pump.

- Ardsley, NY, USA

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