really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 28
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,215 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.

2003 Mini Cooper steering problems

steering problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Mini Cooper:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 11 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #44

Jun 192008


  • 85,000 miles


My 2003 MINICooper S had a total failure of the power steering pump. The failure occurred while driving the car at aprox 60 mph on an expressway near buffalo, NY. The pump was replaced by me at a cost of aprox $800.

- Youngstown, NY, USA

problem #43

Sep 232010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 112,300 miles
Driving vehicle normally, power assist for the steering fails causing greatly increased effort to steer. This is addressed in PE10038 but the model years affected should include 2002 and 2003 as the electric power assist systems were the same. I have not yet attempted to replace any parts, only have confirmed fluid is full and both cooling fans operate. Cycling the ignition key briefly to the off position will cause power assist to resume.

- South Park, PA, USA

problem #42

Aug 232010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 122,621 miles
Loss of power steering while driving.

- East Lansing, MI, USA

problem #41

Jul 152010


  • 70,000 miles


Complete loss of power steering when warm car is started. Not a problem when car is cold. Requires approximately 1.5 hours for car to cool before car can be started and safely driven with power steering restored. Will be replacing with oem power steering pump. New pump is approx $600 and labor is approx $150 at independent mechanic. Dealer estimate is approx $1300. Other family members will not drive car due to fear that power steering will be lost while driving though this has not actually happened.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #40

May 282009


  • 95,000 miles
Power steering pump on my 2003 MINICooper S stopped working suddenly on the freeway. There were no signs indicating an imminent problem; it just cut assistance to steering and failed completely. Even though it was difficult, I was able to drive it to a mechanic to get a replacement ps pump for $820. This seems to be a very common problem for the MINIbrand since more and more people are reporting power steering pump failures even at 40kmiles (in my case, the car had 95kmiles when the pump failed). The failure of the power steering pump does pose a safety issue, since the steering wheel becomes extremely heavy and difficult to turn.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #39

Jul 192010


  • 26,799 miles
My MINICooper S has less than 27,000 miles on it. It has been carefully driven and has sustained no crash damage. Had several warning lights come on the car and had failures with the ABS, steering angle sensor, and front wheel sensor. In addition and most importantly, I was told that I had "mushrooming" and cracked front shock tower mounts on both sides of the car, and that alone would cost over $1,400 to repair. I was told that hitting potholes or other road hazards caused this. In addition, the dealer, roadshow MINIin memphis, tn, stated that the shock towers and front bushings were considered wear items, and that they could be redamaged immediately if the car came in contact with another pothole. Additionally, I was told by MINIusa that no engineers or national representatives could be contacted, and that the dealer would handle all questions and concerns. I asked if there were any upgrades and fixes offered by MINIand was told that there were none. However, this problem seems to be fairly common, and there are several aftermarket companies that address this issue, . the service manager at the dealership stated that he sees this problem on 3-4 cars in the shop every month. It appears that this is a design flaw, that there can be strut collapse or suspension failure while driving, and that MINIshould have addressed this problem with these cars. For normal driving conditions to have resulted in deformed and cracked strut towers is unacceptable and represents a hazardous situation. I have never owned an automobile that had strut tower failure under normal driving conditions.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #38

Jul 112007


  • 63,350 miles


2003 MINICooper power steering failure. While driving at normal speeds the power steering suddenly quits working intermittently. It will work on and off.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #37

Jul 032010


  • 103,800 miles
Power steering failure. While driving the MINIfor about 20 minutes we made a turn on our road home and the power steering failed with no warning whatsoever! it was almost impossible to turn the wheel! we feel very fortunate because we live on a windy road that has many large redwood trees on the sides of the road with a creek down a ravine. We could have easily hit one of those trees head on. Or if we weren't able to turn the wheels we could have ended up at the bottom of a ravine in the creek! extremely dangerous!

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #36

Jun 102010


  • 76,500 miles
2003 MINIcoopers- power steering failed during exit from nys thruway-ran off the ramp due to unexpected loss of steering power. No damage or injury- turned engine off- restarted- power steering back on. Condition has occurred several times since.

- Utica, NY, USA

problem #35

Jun 142010


  • 47,400 miles
My 20 year old daughter has a 2003 MINICooper with approximately 47,000 miles. The vehicle has been maintained very well, including oil changes, a 100 point inspection at 25,000 miles, coolant flush, brake system flush, etc. She was driving it home from work on a county road. As she rounded a curve the power steering went out. The failure had never occurred before this time. She could barely turn the wheel, according to her description and narrowly missed hitting an oncoming car. She drove it to the nearest parking lot and called me at work. I left work and exchanged cars with her. The problem was intermittent for about a week and then the power steering went completely out. I called the MINIdealer, which is about 50 miles away and they claimed the problem was not very common but to drive the vehicle until the problem persisted. They suggested this because they wanted to be able to track active fault codes. No injuries were sustained as a result of the failure but it was a close call. I searched the internet, only to find out that BMW was well aware of the issue. I also found extensive documentation from other MINIowners who shared similar experiences. Someone should not have to be injured of killed before BMW is forced to step up and do the right thing by addressing this significant, known, safety issue. Oh and by the way, I just picked my daughter's MINIup from dreyer and reinbold BMW in indianapolis. The bill was $1200. Ironic that BMW can afford to invest millions of dollars in indy car sponsorship but they are not willing to step up and take responsibility for a safety issue.

- Columbus, IN, USA

problem #34

May 012010


  • 116,000 miles


My friend and I got into my 03 MINICooper S this past weekend. We were driving along il rte 1 until I got up to a 2 way stop. I was making a left turn but I realized I lost all power to my power steering unit. I barely was able to make the turn in order to avoid getting broadsided by a Dodge Ram barreling at me at 60 mphs.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #33

Apr 122010


  • miles
Power steering pump on my 2003 MINICooper S failed, very hard to steer once failed, now I'm having the same failure again after replacing it last year. Read on threads and owners everywhere are having the same problems.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #32

Apr 052010


  • 80,000 miles
The contacts owns a 2003 MINICooper S. the contact stated the power steering failed intermittently. He confirmed that when shutting off the engine for a few moments the power steering would reset itself once it restarted. Neither the dealer nor manufacturer was contacted to report the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were 80,000. Updated 11/03/10.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #31

Mar 282010


  • 65,688 miles
MINICooper power steering failure. Need to maneuver vehicle to avoid a collision with another and on coming vehicle. Steering wheel locked-up and driver was distracted. This power steering failure was a result of failed power steering pump. This failure was corrected by a repair. Costing $850 us dollars. Old part is available

- Milford, CT, USA

problem #30

Mar 262010


  • 103,000 miles
Sudden failure of power steering assist in traffic I was barely able to control car.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #29

Jan 112010


  • 74,500 miles
The power steering on my 2003 MINICooper stops working while driving without warning. It happens when going straight, as well as mid-turn. It has happened three times. I was told I must replace the power steering pump.

- Monticello, NY, USA

problem #28

Aug 092008


  • 74,000 miles
2003 MINICooper. Power steering pump failure. It works, then stops.. cuts out mostly during turns. Dangerous! told by MINIdealer that no recall was involved. Parts and labor was over $1200 to repair. New power steering pump lasted 2 years before same exact problem occurred.

- Newburgh, NY, USA

problem #27

Nov 192009


  • 89,305 miles
The power steering pump and related parts in my 2003 MINICooper had to be replaced in 2006 and again in 2009. There was no specific incident that caused the problem: The power steering just stopped working while I was driving the car. 4/26/2006 38,492 miles power steering fan seized - replaced by dealer under warranty 5/03/2006 38, 709 miles power steering pump faulty -replaced by dealer under warranty 11/19/2009 89,305 miles power steering pump, power steering rack and steering shaft defective - repair paid for by car owner. Mechanic returned defective parts to MINICooper.

- Mountainside, NJ, USA

problem #26

Jan 092010


  • 90,000 miles
2003 MINICooper S, 90000 miles. Power steering wheel failure during normal driving. The steering wheel is extremely hard to turn manually, thus causing panic and real danger, because the car swerved out of a turn. Dealer says it is a common issue, and need to replace the fan or pump, repair price $1300. MINIneeds to recall the car.

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #25

Dec 062009


  • miles
My 2003 MINICooper S spontaneously caught fire while parallel parking in los angeles, ca. The power steering pump failed, a fire shortly followed. The los angeles fire dept. Was phoned. Car needed to be towed.

- Long Beac, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?