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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,885 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #11

Apr 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles


I have noticed for the last 2 years that my car has been lurching. In just the last week I have noticed that when I get to about 55-65 mph, my RPM's are around 4000. I take my foot off the gas and the RPM's increased. I had some minor work done on the auto-sequential transmission in 2010. I had broken the line and has been welded back in and had no major problems aside from the lurching until recently. All factory parts are still on the car. Transmission has not been replaced. I am outside my warranty.

- Oklahoma City , OK, USA

problem #10

Mar 122010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 43 miles
Hi, I'm writing to report that my 2005 MINIcooper, with less than 43K miles is in need of a third transmission. I nearly did not make it home one evening because the jerking motion the car was making and because the engine just felt like it was going to shut off. I nearly stalled on the highway, while in traffic. The first transmission, while under warranty was replaced in November 2007 at 28K miles. On 12/16/08, I had an accident where the transmission pan among other things had to be replaced. It was the only known damage caused to the transmission. The auto body and paint shop that I contracted with did not know how to fill the transmission fluid and therefore the car had to be towed the local MINIcooper dealership. They performed that piece of it. Now, the dealer is telling me I need a new transmission and the car is out of warranty. The dealership also states they don't know if the transmission damage was a residual of the accident or not and therefore, were trying to open up the old insurance claim from January 2009. However, my insurance company does not want to pay for the new transmission because they state the repairs from the accident $7,888.70, plus the cost of a new transmission, around 8K will be more than the value of the car. So, who should pay for this new transmission, the dealer, the auto body shop (whom did no work on the transmission, seemingly) or me" how do I know, this is not just another bad transmission" there is no way to tell on a MINIcooper (no way to check) transmission fluid and no indicator light came on.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 202009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,937 miles
(2005 MINICooper transmission) vehicle does not move from standing position when accelerator depressed. Suddenly jumps into gear (in drive or reverse position). Needed to step on the brakes immediately to prevent accident. Also lacks acceleration while passing on the highway.. updated 03/30/10 sporadic initially. Became more frequent over the next two months (January to March 2009 time frame). Problems surfaced just at the end of warranty mileage. Taken to dealer on March 26, 2009. Service technician found no faults from scanning or in linkage operation. No effect due to resetting adaptations and shift solenoids. Transmission was found to be faulty. Transmission replaced. Updated 07/07/10.

- Bedford, MA, USA

problem #8

Oct 012009


  • 47,000 miles


2005 MINICooper automatic cvt transmission failed at only 47,000 miles. When taking my foot off of the gas, the RPM's would rev up as the car slowed down. Then my check engine light and ep (transmission) warning light came on and the car would no longer shift above second gear, making the car practically undrivable. This vehicle has always been serviced promptly and well maintained through MINICooper dealerships. My factory warranty expired 6 months ago. The interior belt or chain on the transmission has "completely come apart" and the entire transmission needs to be replaced. MINICooper estimates $7600 to replace this transmission!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Jun 022009


  • 98,000 miles
2005 MINICooper S-began having issues with the car jerking when shifting gears (not a manual transmission) in early 2009. I took it to my mechanics. They had it for quite awhile, trying to determine the root cause. They advised that they even consulted with the dealership, but said they felt like the dealership wasn't very forthcoming in their information. My mechanic ultimately decided that he thought it was a sensor that needed to be replaced. $500 to replace this sensor. The rough shifting continued and on June 2, 2009, while I was out at lunch, I lost first gear altogether. The car would move forward, but was not able to pick up any real speed until the RPM's got high enough. I pulled over into a parking lot, put the car in park and turned the car off. When I started it again, I had the use of first gear again, but this time it felt as though it wouldn't shift out of third. I drove it very slowly and carefully back to my office. I called the dealership, told them that I was going to need to have it towed in, and asked if they had a towing service. She said no, but recommended a towing company. I had it towed it but didn't hear anything back from anyone until Monday, June 8, 2009. My husband was told it was the transmission and that it would be $8,000 for the transmission and $2000 for the labor. Hard to believe anyone could say that with a straight face. Around June 9, 2009, the MINIservice manager said he was going to work with it a little bit and see if he could get any of those costs covered under a service bulletin. Today is June 16, 2009. My husband has called, left voicemails, and even gone up the dealership. We have heard nothing back from the MINIservice manager. My husband spoke to the BMW service manager, who told him that we'd have to wait and talk to the MINIservice manager.

- Oakland, TN, USA

problem #6

Mar 122009


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle jerked and made rattling and popping sounds. The vehicle shut off and the contact pushed it to the side of the road. The key could not be removed from the ignition and the vehicle had to be towed to the dealer. She was informed that the transmission failed and would cost $7,000 to repair. The contact will call the manufacturer for assistance. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Petaluma, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012008


  • 47,500 miles


During November of 2008, I broke down 4 times. The first time was on 11/1 (when I had an appt to have my ailing car looked at on 11/3). I made the appt for 11/3 on 10/30 when I was on a highway and the car began bucking like a mechanical bull. Obviously, I did not make it to the appointment. I had it towed to the dealership on 11/1 after breaking down in the middle of a busy intersection while trying to make a left hand turn. The diagnosis was I needed a new battery, valve cover gasket, and transmission. I was "good-willed" the transmission by otto's BMW because I was over my warranty in time and not mileage (passed 4 years, but not 50000 miles). I paid $386 to fix the first two items. The next day, I got my car back. On 11/8, I broke down again while pulling out of a driveway. I realized on my way to my destination, I destroyed two streets and my family's driveway with my transmission fluid. I was irate, and the dealer towed it in. They said the trans cool line disconnected. I had my car back in a couple days. On 11/23, I broke down again in the middle of the street. The car's ems and check engine soon lights came on. The car would restart, but then shook viciously and then conked out when it was put in gear. MINItowed it in again. They "couldn't verify the concern" and said it drove off the flatbed fine, and yet I couldn't get it to move again 24 hours after breaking down. MINIkept the car for approximately three days to ensure they were thorough in their efforts. On 11/30, I broke down again on my way to have the car detailed to prepare it for sale the following day. I had to call out of work on 12/1 to wait for MINIs tow company to come retrieve the car for the forth and final time. The service advisor said it was "acting up real nice" when they got it off the flatbed this time. By this point in time, I was having panic attacks behind the wheel of any car because I was so paranoid and didn't feel safe. Why has no one recalled the MINI

- Glenolden , PA, USA

problem #4

Jul 122005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
My 2005 MINICooper S automatic suddenly stopped twice for no apparent reason while driving. Car was only 4 months old, about 4000 miles on car. I was actually in motion, and the car just stopped moving! I had to turn off the car and restart it. Eml and check engine lights came on once the car stopped. The check engine light stayed on for a few days, then went off, so I assumed it was a fluke and nothing to worry about (otherwise I assume the light would stay on). The second time it happened was exactly the same scenario as the first. I have since learned that MINIis calling this "limp mode", but I had never received any recall notification from MINIor anything indicating that they knew about this problem. However, the did know, based on what I have read of others who complained to them about the exact same problems!! yet MINIapparently did not notify dealerships, because the first one I called had no idea what the problem was which I described, and wasn't going to take me for service until 2 weeks later. I called a second dealer who immediately knew the problem, and said it was a voluntary recall. Still I had not heard anything from MINIusa. I took my car in and it was fixed in an hour--they reprogrammed the dme. This is a safety issue! I still haven't heard anything from MINIabout a safety recall for this problem! maybe they didn't notify me because I had it taken care of already, but had this happened on the freeway, rather than in my neighborhood, I could be dead now! why isn't MINInotifying owners who purchased the 2005 automatics!! why aren't they issuing a recall" are they waiting for someone to be killed"

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #3

Jul 142005


  • miles
I had my brand new 2005 MINICooper S automatic for less than one month when it stalled in the middle of the street - the engine just stalled out or went into what I've been told is "limp mode". luckily, the street wasn't crowded and I was able to coast to the side of the road. But what if I was on the freeway"??" I've subsequently found out many people have had the same problem and BMW knows about it, but hasn't been able to fix the problem correctly. I believe this is a huge safety issue! BMW said it is a software problem and they have made updates, but I don't believe it has been corrected. I am still afraid to drive on the freeway for fear of becoming a statistic! BMW should at least notify all mcs automatic owners of the potential hazard!

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 032005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
On 3 different occasions after traveling a few hundred yards or so our MINIwould suddenly lose power and go into a "limp mode" as we move from either a stop sign or traffic signal. This would cause the vehicle to stop in the intersection causing a potentially hazardous condition. The vehicles ses check engine light also comes on. We have taken our vehicle in for service three times to get this defect addressed. MINIstates that it is a "known" problem with the current software. I now have a third version of the software, but we are afraid to drive the car to "test" it out. I hope either MINIor the NHTSA will post a recall on this dangerous condition.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 162005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,250 miles
Started vehicle in the evening when leaving work then drove out onto the street and the vehicle stopped. The throttle would not do anything and the car wouldn't move. The dealer said a temperature sensor told the computer it was out of range and sent the automatic transmission into a limp mode. After pulling over and restarting the car it was possible to drive it home, but the service engine light was on. The vehicle was only 1 month old. The dealer has replaced two map sensors and an electronic throttle motor, but it's not supposed to be fixed until they correct the software. There are 7 MINICooper S automatics with the same problem at this dealer and many more throughout the U.S.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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