Notes: Power steering problems are a major issue with the 2004 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:
0 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,563 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.

2004 Mini Cooper electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Oct 012011


  • 46,901 miles


The electric power steering pump failed... saw smoke coming from engine area, even when power to engine was shut off and key removed. After several attempts to restart vehicle after talking with service mechanic, he advised to "restart" car until the power steering unit possibly turned back on. After 6 attempts (appox 3 mins apart), the system started to work again, but with a "stiff & grinding" noise coming from the pump being transmitted thru the steering wheel. Cause of failure is "power steering pump/fan unit". very dangerous, as this happened at speed on freeway, and lost almost all control of steering.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 012011


  • 74,500 miles
Powers steering pump failure, power steering pump cooling fan failure

- Cutchogue, NY, USA

problem #10

Mar 082011


  • 112,000 miles
Power steering fails. On multiple occasions the power steering has failed, both while driving as well as after just starting the car. The problem is intermittent and I see no pattern to it's occurrence. Typically it is remedied by turning off the car and re-starting. There has been a few occasions where it will sputter in and out before it goes out completely but the most common occurrence is when I start the car, there's is no power steering.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 012010


  • 66,000 miles


My car has had intermittent power failure since 2008, usually lasting a few days. More recently my power steering has been out for the past 2 months. Today it started working on my way home from work but the power steering fan remains on after I turn the car off. I had to disconnect the battery in order to keep the fan off. Consequences have resulted in near accidents on the highway and road when failure occurs (failures happened when I have gone into turns). Power steering pump and fan will need to be replaced.

- South Elgin, IL, USA

problem #8

Jul 052010


  • 70,000 miles
On my way up driveway I noticed a sharp stinging sensation in the lumbar of my back. Felt sort of like an "continuous electric shock". I immediately arched my back as a reaction to the sting and had to straighten my back in order to control the vehicle. When straightening my back I felt something hot, very hot this time like something that was on fire. I could not longer control the vehicle grabbed for the handle opened the door and rolled out onto the driveway while the vehicle was moving. The vehicle bucked and stalled out. I immediately looked at the vehicle interior and noticed that the seat was smoldering and there was a hole the size of a quarter burned through the seat in the lumbar. It was a 100 degree day so I wasn't using the seat heater, nonetheless it was on, malfunctioned, caused a fire which resulted in me jumping out of the moving vehicle. I also read online about this happening to another 2004 MINICooper S "passenger seat" as well.

- Towaco , NJ, USA

problem #7

Nov 012008


  • miles
2004 MINICooper with motor mount, electrical, flat tire sensors issues. Cvt transmission replacement recommended. One day while driving on the highway, the vehicle just stopped; dead no power. The consumer stated the vehicle is sitting in the garage un-drivable because she doesn't have the $8,000 to replace the cvt transmission.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #6

Feb 242010


  • 39,000 miles


When the weather is cold, the center console controls (heat, rear defogger), the headlights, front/rear wipers will not function. When car starts to warm up, those items will start working when the steering wheel is turned to either side. When car is fully warmed up, will work most of the time unless you hit a bump. MINIshop said it was a bad computer - $800 to fix. Engine had an oil plan leak 2 years ago resulting in major loss of oil. Fixed under warranty. When getting electrical problem fixed, MINIshop found 3 oil leaks. Total cost to fix was $3200. Not necessary to get the fix but need to watch the oil levels.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #5

Jan 242010


  • 50,003 miles
2004 MINICooper- 50K miles- power steering fan / motor failure leading to electrical system malfunction, heat/fire damage resulting in inability to turn off engine.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #4

May 052005


  • 10,721 miles
A year after purchasing the car, the front driver's window's automatic motor worked intermittently, then would not work at all. The dealer fixed it since it happened to be under full warranty. Two years later, the passenger's automatic window motor ceased working at all. At the same time, the driver's side window was making a scratching sound as it was automatically rolled up /or down. I only had a few months left on the warranty, and the dealer was required again to replace the window motor. I have read several other MINIowners that had to replace at least one window motor as well, but at their own cost since the warranty had run out. If this is a incessant and obvious defect by MINIcooper, it should be recalled or addressed in a fair consumer manner.

- Grand Terrace, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 012008


  • 45,000 miles
At first my battery died after I came out of work. I couldn't understand why since I didn't leave anything on. So I got the battery replaced for $200. Recently the steering has been cutting out while driving. If you pull off into a parking lot and turn off the car you can still hear the cooling fan going. After approx 30 min the power steering will return to normal until it overheats again. So my battery was being drained by the power steering cooling fan.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #2

Apr 152008


  • 39,000 miles
I own a 2004 MINICooper S model, with 39,000 miles. The car is well cared for. My warranty expired at 30,000 and I began receiving annoying calls and letters from MINIto purchase an additional extended warranty. I did not, believing that simply maintaining my car properly would take care of any future issues. I trusted BMW/MINIthat they would stand behind their product if some unusual failure or breakdown occurred. Approximately one month ago my power steering would intermittently go out. At first, only after starting the car and then it started occurring while driving the car. We checked the power steering fluid and all was well. Took it in to my mechanic and he informed me that the power steering pump needed to be replaced. He explained that MINIhad told him "they" had been experiencing a high instances of steering power pump failures. He asked if the power steering pump was on the recall list. "they" told him no and explained that the pump was electrical and not manually therefore it was considered wear and tear. Crevier MINIwhere I purchased the car told me it would cost $1100 to replace the pump! my mechanic told me he would replace it for $880. My mechanic informed me that in order for him to get a power steering pump, he needed to turn my old pump into them. Crevier told him that "they" were rebuidling these!.they could not keep enough of them on the shelves. This is a scandalous outrage, particularly after reading various blogs and complaints about the exact same problem that I am experiencing with my MINII should consider myself lucky in that my car did not catch fire, since it is always garaged, or that I did not kill myself or hurt some innocent people by the problem occurring on a steep curvey grade while driving. Additional problems approximately six months ago, my driver side window stopped working!! took it in crevier wanted $900 to fix the problem, again stated wear and tear!! my mechanic charged me $400.

- Sunset Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 182008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I had driven 2004 MINIfor about 30 minute, then parked it in driveway. Within 15 minutes I looked over to see smoke coming from the engine. I opened the compartment and got help. We pushed it into a nearby field and called the fire dept. If it had stayed in the drive, it would have also ignited 2 cars, the house and a boat. Who know about people and animals. I almost got run over trying to stop the MINIas it was pushed. After the car was out, we had it towed to inskip auto in warwick ri. Jeof said at first it was a power steering hose that burst and got on the hot exhaust...igniting. After looking at it further and with metlife insurance agent, they thought it was the power steering fan and pump failure. This overheated the electrical harness, to start the electrical fire. Neither the insurance nor inskip felt it was covered by them. I am to pay $2,600. Today when it pick it up. This covers labor, a power steering pump, fan and harness. I googled the problem on the internet to upsetting to me and find at least 250 posted MINIs with the same problem. I don't understand how MINIdoes not have to recall it. Are they waiting for just as many deaths?

- Onset, MA, USA

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