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 24 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #47

Aug 262010


  • 27,000 miles


Dear sir/madam, today (9/29/2010) I saw a news item, "( -- the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into possible power steering failures in MINIcooper cars" and felt compelled to add to the existing complains regarding the dangerously defective power steering electrohydraulic pump in my 2005 MINICooper S. while driving in the city, average speed of 25 to 35 mph, the power assistance provided by the power steering went down to zero, totally unassisted, without any previous warning whatsoever, making the steering of the vehicle extremely difficult, almost impossible, while going around a roundabout (traffic circle) at no more than 25 mph. Consequentially I was unable to steer first right and the left around the circle, my passenger side front wheel striking the right side curb at the point that I needed to turn left, damaging both the wheel and the tire, and possibly the suspension (macpherson strut). And I ask you, what if I had to steer to avoid a mother pushing a baby stroller, or even an errant dog or cat at the moment the power steering assistance decided to quit" what if the failure occurred at a higher speed while merging on a freeway" I consider BMW/MINIto be totally responsible for any deaths or injuries and property damages related to their negligent failure to engineer a properly working power steering pump (an known problem as the newer models have done away with the electrohydraulic pump in favor of a totally electrical assisted steering). I also urge you to look into the failure rate of the power steering fan due to its absurd location (under the car unprotected from the dirt, water, stones, etc. 5-6 inches from the road) an afterthought of a solution that BMW/MINIused to resolve the previously known to them power steering pump failure. My car has 27,000 miles, and is dealer maintained since new. I urge you to take action regarding this problem before something more tragic happens. Thank you.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #46

May 082010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, all steering functionality was suddenly lost, making the steering wheel difficult to turn. She was able to drive home. The vehicle was then taken to an authorized dealer where the contact stated that problem was common and was repaired at the contact's expense. The current and failure mileages were approximately 47,000. Updated 05/25/11 updated 05/31/11

- San Diego , CA, USA

problem #45

May 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
2005 MINICooper S power steering assistance suddenly disappearing from time to time, at least once a month. So far I avoided accident but this can be dangerous. I heard it happens to a lot of minis, but there is no recall issued.

- Secaucus, NJ, USA

problem #44

Sep 192010


  • 89,800 miles


On Sept. 19, 2010, my 2005 MINICooper S had been parked in a garage for about 10 hours. When I went to leave, I found that the power steering was not working at all and I had to really muscle it to drive it. I'd never had a problem with it before. Because I had to get to where I was going, I drove it very carefully. After about forty minutes, I stopped at a service area to use the restroom. When I came back out and started my car up, the power steering was working again. Since then, I've had no problem with it. I had planned on mentioning this to my mechanic when I go in to have my brakes done in the next week. But then my husband forwarded me a news story about the power steering issue and I figured that I should report mine.

- Sandy Hook, CT, USA

problem #43

Sep 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
2005 MINICooper power steering goes out typically within the 1st hour of driving. The power steering failure is not consistent, but I find it happens more often in hot weather when I have the A/C on "auto" or full blast. ("?") the A/C also affects the radio reception, so perhaps it drains too much power. At times I need to pull off to the side of the road and drive as if I have manual steering. I turn off the engine, let it rest for 30 seconds then start it up again. The power steering goes back to normal. We have not taken the MINIin for service, as it is not consistent and we do not like the dealership as they seem to take advantage of our automotive ignorance and charge an arm and a leg. Updated 08/17/11 updated 1/27/2012

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #42

Sep 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My 2005 MINICooper lost powersteering functionality during a short interstate drive (Indiana interstate 65 from exit 64 to exit 68) on September 15th, 2010 at 11:20am. Parking lot maneuvering and interstate on-ramp driving was normal, interstate off-ramp and subsequent in-town driving was with no powersteering assist, and therefore required a great deal of force to turn. The power steering pump cooling fan was later determined to have completely seized, presumably causing thermal shutdown of the powersteering pump. My analysis of the failure of the cooling fan leads me to conclude that the spal brand fan used was improperly applied to the application. The design and placement of the fan into the MINIcauses water and foreign material to pool into the blade housing and cause corrosion of the steel fan motor housing and eventual seal damage resulting in motor failure. This is obviously a common problem with these vehicles: The online message boards show numerous similar failures. I am waiting on a new cooling fan to arrive to fix the failure.

- Morgantown, IN, USA

problem #41

May 222010


  • 45,000 miles


My power steering is going out. Upon my own investigation I have learned that this is a common problem. Should such a vital piece to having control of the car be a problem? no. Cost of repair is $1,070 as quoted from my dealer.

- Hobart, IN, USA

problem #40

May 152010


  • 45,000 miles
Power steering pump failed while driving on freeway over snoqualmie pass. Since it is a windy road, steering became difficult.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #39

Jun 012010


  • 110,000 miles
Electric fan that cools the power steering pump on our 2005 MINICooper failed. Our mechanic says had we driven very far, our power steering pump would have failed. He tells us this is a common problem with minis, and a full 50% of his MINIcustomers have experience fan failure, pump failure, or both.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #38

Sep 262009


  • 55,000 miles
2005 MINIcooper - sudden loss of steering on interstate highway at 70 mph. Dealer stated power steering pump failure & not uncommon in 5 year old car. Not covered under warranty. Power steering pump replaced.

- Plant City, FL, USA

problem #37

Sep 182010


  • 66,890 miles


Loss of power steering and power brakes in a 2005 MINICooper convertible. No warning and intermittent occurrence. Sometimes would happen while driving and some times would be immediately after turning car on. Took car to mechanic and he could not find cause. No computer damage, no codes present to indicate that any thing unusual had occurred. I traded the car in for a different maker and model.

- Lunenburg, MA, USA

problem #36

Sep 202010


  • 46,000 miles
2005 MINICooper S (BMW) power steering unit failure - vehicle has less than 50,000 miles.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #35

May 182010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While backing out of the driveway at approximately 5 mph, a complete loss of power steering occurred without warning. The contact experienced difficulty turning the steering wheel and applied excessive force to steer the vehicle. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle resumed with normal functioning in the steering wheel. The intermittent failure progressed to whenever the vehicle was in operation at any speed being traveled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and they were unable to repair the vehicle and advised that the vehicle be taken to an authorized dealer for repair. The contact scheduled an appointment at the dealer for diagnosis and repair. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000.

- Los Angeles, CO, USA

problem #34

Sep 052010


  • 69,023 miles
I noticed a strange noise coming from the passenger side wheel area. Took the car to the dealer and power steering pump failure was diagnosed.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #33

Sep 022010


  • 82,000 miles
I started my car after it had been sitting parked for a few days, to find that my power steering had completely failed. The car was next to impossible to drive - but I had to move it to avoid it being towed. While able to maneuver the car with great difficulty, this unpredictable failure could have been catastrophic had I been driving on the highway, or in a densely populated area requiring quick steering reactions. This seems to be an endemic problem. See this thread on the MININorth american motoring discussion pages:

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #32

Aug 162010


  • 61,800 miles
Power steering intermittently turned on and off during the normal operation of the car three times since purchase ten months ago. The actual failure of the power steering pump occurred on 8/16/2010 when the relay within the unit failed and would not turn the pump off even when the cars engine was off. The result was a drained battery and the car was unable to be jump started because the power steering pump turned on and continued to drain power as soon as it was connected to power even with the engine off and the key out of the ignition. This is very dangerous as the steering wheel is nearly impossible to turn when the pump shuts down and all three occurrences were when traveling at highway speeds in excess of 55 mph. Also when the car is off the cooling fan is also off and the pump heats up to the point where there is a very real risk of engine fire. The car was towed to a mechanic to have the power steering pump and the cooling fan replaced. The work is not yet completed but the estimated cost is 1,700 usd. This appears to be a recurring problem with MINIcoopers as the number of forums devoted to and persons reporting this issue on the forums are astounding.

- Highland, MD, USA

problem #31

Aug 142010


  • 72,000 miles
Pulled into a bookstore came back 30min later, tried to pull out of the parking lot and there was no power steering. My wife isn't quite strong enough - so I had to drive it the rest of the way home. Very sudden and without warning, could have been much worse. Power steering pump failure.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #30

Jan 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
There were no "events" leading up to this. Sudden failure of power steering pump as I turned off the highway onto a city side street - no notice, just complete failure of component. The failure left the vehicle with no power steering - only manual "arm strong" steering until repaired. Personally replaced the pump with new part - no support from dealer or manufacture.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #29

Jun 252010


  • 57,000 miles
My power steering completely went out in my 2005 MINICooper while coming around a turn on a busy highway in a major city. I was away from home and scared to death. After doing a little research this appears to be a common problem with MINImodels 01-06. This part needs to be recalled asap before someone is killed. Currently I am fighting with the MINIcustomer relations department because my "caseworker" is also mysteriously unavailable and they will not let me speak to anyone else because my "caseworker" has all the details about the car's defect eventhough they work out of a call center and all the notes are uploaded in the computer and visible for all "caseworkers".

- Watervliet, NY, USA

problem #28

Jun 142010


  • 44,500 miles
I was on my regular commute through city streets. After about 10 miles of driving I was going about 40mph on a fairly straight road. On the next light curve I noticed the wheel was more difficult to turn. I slowed down to turn into a side road and that's when I realized the power steering must have been out. I checked the reservoir and it was full. I called the dealer and they said they were aware of many complaints of power steering going out. They also mentioned that there is no recall for the power steering. Dealer notified me there would be a $100 charge for diagnostics. If its found to be the power steering fan it would cost $300 plus labor. If it's the pump it would be $800 plus labor. Warranty expired 5 months ago. Apparently MINIdoes not want to have to pay to fix a problem that numerous MINIowners are having. This is a safety issue! having the power steering go out mid-drive can easily cause an accident!

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

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