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 4 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #447

Jan 222014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 38,308 miles


Sudden failure of power steering resulting in very high steering effort, traced by dealer to a well-known failure mode in electrohydraulic power steering pump. Pump and associated fan were replaced by dealer under special ("secret") warranty coverage, due to common incidence of this failure. Existence of this special warranty was found only after search and location of many identical failures on the internet. The vehicle battery was found to be completely discharged upon arrival at dealership. Once a shop battery was connected, the pump was found to be running continuously even though the vehicle ignition was in the full off position. Also, the alternator was found to have failed, presumably because of excessive stress imposed by the defective pump on the vehicle electrical system. Cost of alternator replacement was not covered by the manufacturer. This known failure mode is believed to be a significant safety defect. Formal recall of affected vehicles by NHTSA is warranted, since sudden loss of power steering at speed can result in loss of vehicle directional control.

- Harwich, MA, USA

problem #446

Mar 102013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The power steering pump on my 2005 MINICooper S failed, making it extremely difficult to drive the car. A service shop indicated this is a common problem for the MINIs. my is out of the warantee, howvere it only has 45K miles. When I called BMW/ MININorth America to discuss a remedy but they told me the VIN number for my car was not one covered by the extended warranty for this problem, while my car is a 2005 with very low milage they will not offer any assistance whatsoever to help me replace the part as my cars production date is June 2005, which is past the production date for cars getting the extended warantee on P/S pumps. It seams unscroplous to hide from responsability of faulty parts, also potential safty issue. While my car may be produced a few monhs after the production date from the cars they are willing to warantee, it apperars I am suffering from same issues as the otheres they are waranteeing. Verry discuraging BMW/MINI

- Sea Cliff, NY, USA

problem #445

Mar 262014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
My power steering just totally went out in the middle of a corner and I came within inches of plowing through oncoming traffic. I took it to the shop and they said that there might be a recall on this soon. Powers steering will now come on intermittent.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #444

Feb 272014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 168,850 miles


Power steering, periodically stops working. It usually does not work when the car starts up and will then start working. It has now stops working at unexpected times and seems to come back on after a period of time.

- Hoschton, GA, USA

problem #443

Feb 072014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
The power steering pump stopped working the first time when I stopped to get a sandwich. When I restarted the car to drive off the steering was very heavy. I shut the engine off once again so I could look under the hood to check things out but everything looked fine so I restarted the engine to try to drive off again and the steering still was very heavy. No power assist. This has happened four times since, one time while I was driving.

- Englewood, OH, USA

problem #442

Feb 202014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,425 miles
I was on my way home from work, I was only two houses from my home going around small curve thought my car had cut off then realized only the steering had gone out very hard to steer if had been on hwy at med rate of speed could not have been able to drive car and possible wreck.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #441

Oct 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


My car started with a low hum and as time has gone by the sound has gotten louder and ever since the sound has been there the power steering has intermittently gone out, but now is out almost all the time. My wife drives the vehicle the most but we were planning on giving it to our 17 year old daughter for her graduation present but now that this problem is an all the time thing we will have to go purchase a different vehicle for her. It is just frustrating that after reading all the complaints and them being the same it almost seems useless to file a complaint due to MINInot wanting their vehicles to be good. Also about 3 months after purchasing the vehicle the airbag light for the passenger seat is always lit.

- Kodak, TN, USA

problem #440

Feb 132014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,900 miles
After I turned my car off, a noise like a fan kept running. It drained the battery causing me to get my car jumped. Then power steering went out, and when I arrived home after struggling to turn vehicle and operate safely, the fan did it again, after 5 minutes battery was dead. This is a major issue with this year of MINII have found after researching tonight, and I am very displeased to see that Canada has recalled this issue and the usa has not! people could get seriously injured. There is no rhyme or reason as to why, or when this will happen. This needs to be addressed as BMW is not taking responsibility in us as they have been forced to in Canada!!! I am a young, female college student and it was very scary being stuck and then not to have steering either.

- Eugene , OR, USA

problem #439

Jan 092014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
The power steering pump on my 2005 MINICooper S failed, making it extremely difficult to maneuver the car safely in traffic. I was able to get the car to a service shop and later discovered that this is a very common problem. I called MINIand they told me that the VIN number for my car was not one covered by the extended warranty for this problem, even though my car is a model year 2005. They offered no financial assistance whatsoever to help me replace the part. A new part was quoted as 1300 dollars, and that was aside from the labor. For cost reasons, it looks like I will have to install a refurbished part instead, which gives me concerns about future failures.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #438

Nov 082013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
I was on my way back to work from lunch in my 2005 MINICooper S and my power steering suddenly and without warning failed in the middle of a curve! I fortunately managed to regain control of the vehicle and limp to the parking lot to pull over. Then, I turned the car off to get out, and discovered my power steering pump was still running even with the car completely off!? I was afraid that this would cause a meltdown or fire, so I quickly called a MINIdealer to ask how to shut the pump off. I was told that the battery had to be disconnected! the battery had to remain disconnected while the car was off or the pump would run continuously. I did not feel the car was safe to drive at this point. My power steering was now unpredictably intermittent when the car was running. The power steering would suddenly fail and then suddenly come back on, causing a jerk-and-swerve reaction in the steering wheel for me while driving. So I called MINIusa to report the problem, and I towed the vehicle to a MINIdealer. The MINIdealer diagnosed the problem to be the known power steering failure covered by the extended warranty on the power steering pump and associated pump cooling fan for model years 2002-2005 for up to 13 years/150,000 miles. But MINIusa denied coverage despite my car only having approx 70,000 miles, claiming that they stopped coverage after Feb 2005 because the newly designed replacement parts were installed after Feb 2005. My car was built in May 2005 and was proven by the MINIdealer to have the original faulty power steering parts, not the newly designed parts. I am reporting this as a known potentially dangerous safety issue that should instead be a safety recall, rather than this extended warranty that MINIusa does not properly advertise or honor, so that all MINIowners will get their steering checked before anything bad happens.

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #437

Oct 172013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,689 miles


I was driving along at about 35 mph steering through a curve when the power steering failed. It required major effort to keep the car turning through the curve to avoid oncoming traffic. This seems to be common occurrence on first generation MINICoopers and could easily result in a serious accident. If my 16 year old daughter who typically drives the car had been at the wheel at the time this could have had catastrophic results because of the amount of effort required to maintain the steering of the car. A car shouldn't be at risk of having major component failures with only 50,000 miles.

- Draper, UT, USA

problem #436

Dec 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
While driving at any speed I or my husband have lost power steering in our 2005 MINICooper S. this electro-hydraulic power steer pump & fan has been a long standing problem in these minis. (this has been a complete recall in Canada.) the loss of power steering makes the vehicle very unsafe as it is a sudden onset. It is problematic at slow or fast speeds. I can barely steer the vehicle when this occurs. It is almost impossible to get in/out of our garage or in/out of parking spaces. I have had to find parking in strategic areas most often where I could pull straight in a spot and pull straight out. It is also scary on ramps or interstate as instead of having a responsive sporty car it feels like you are driving a tank that you cannot control. This has happened many times in last 10-12 months. It has become more frequent in last few months. We received a notice for "warranty extension/ repair reimbursement" and called for several months but were told MINIhad been unable to get the parts. We called and they now say they have the parts so we drove nearly 1 hour to dealership and now they will not repair it because the part has not failed. They state they drove it and there has been no failure. I would guess it has stopped working while I have been driving it about average 1X/week but more frequent as time progresses. The failure may end up being me... in a casket!

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #435

Dec 112012


  • 70,057 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, she noticed smoke emitting from under the hood. In addition, there was a strong burning odor inside of the vehicle with a sudden loss of power steering. There were no warning indicators illuminated at the time of the malfunction. The vehicle taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The failure was contributed to the faulty cooling fan, which caused the power steering system to overheat and expose melted wires. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 70,057.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #434

Sep 222013


  • 96,650 miles
While I was driving, my power steering suddenly cut off completely. Luckily, I was close to home, but it was almost impossible to parallel park my car. The next day, the power steering worked again.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #433

Jul 182013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The power steering pump starts and stops whenever it wants to. You can be driving and the pump stops and the steering gets very hard. The pump also runs after the car is shut off. I took the car to the dealer and was told that there was an extended warranty to cover the problem but they could not repair it for two months until parts came in. I took the car back when the parts came in and then when they ran the VIN they said the cutoff was in Feb and my car was built in April so it is not covered under the extended warranty.I called MINIand they said that they worked extensively with you to figure out what years had the bad parts. When I look on line I see many problems noted for 2005 and even 2006 and it looks like Canada made them recall the cars. Would you revisit and see what is going on with the 2005 models before someone is seriously injured. Thank you

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #432

Sep 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
I was driving and lost all power in my steering. Very hard to turn, nearly got into an accident crossing the yellow line in the middle of the road. Recovered and drove the rest of the way home.

- Spencer, MA, USA

problem #431

Aug 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
My cooling fan burned out causing the power steering to fail. I found out that this was a known problem in my model year and that the warranty on that part had been extended. However, MINIclaims that they started putting new pumps in Feb of 2005. My car was made in Mar of 2005 and thus they will not cover it. I went the extra step and had the dealer do a diagnostic which found that my car has the same part with the same problem as described in the warranty extension. Still MINIwill not cover it. One of the reps tried to cover it up by telling me that there is confusion on the part number matching because they used the same part number when they changed the oem part. That does not compute because if that were true, there would be no way to accurately distinguish the good parts from the bad ones. There 222 other steering complaints at ntsb so I'm not only one. I'm calling a lawyer because this is ridiculous. How can MINIlet cars that have a known safety risk continue to be on the roads?

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #430

Aug 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Power steering in the vehicle went out without any warning making it very difficult to steer the vehicle correctly. Since this date the power steering comes and goes intermittently.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #429

Aug 102013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Driving about 10 mph on a one lane street, I tried to negotiate a right hand turn and the steering wheel became very difficult to turn. The car ran off the roadway and collided with some shrubbery.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #428

Jul 172013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
The first of multiple steering failures occurred in a parking lot, thankfully. None has yet to happen on interstate or at a deadly rate of speed, which that wouldn't have to be very fast if a child riding on their bike unexpectedly darted in front of you. If the steering malfunctioned at that moment it would be over for the kid. I don't understand how a known, potentially dangerous, issued goes unaddressed. I'm bewildered.

- Fleming Is,, FL, USA

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