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:
9 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,059 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 10 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #237

Nov 112011


  • 120,000 miles


Steering fluid pump was just replaced a few weeks ago, problem has returned and will not go away... steering wheel very rigid hard to turn. Very difficult to make turns, alot of effort to turn the steering wheel. Trying to make a sharp or quick turn if needed, would be dangerous & almost impossible. I recently researched and found that thousands of 04 MINICoopers had this same problem.

- West Islip, NY, USA

problem #236

Oct 242011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,200 miles
Power assisted steering will cease working while driving, making the car very, very difficult to steer/control. This problem is currently intermittent, but when it does happen it is very scary. Currently, I will not allow my wife or grandchildren in the car until I fix this problem. MINIusa thru main line MINIbala cynwyd, pa stated no recall for this vehicle via email. Research of NHTSA online data base shows 113 reported complaints for year 2004 MINIs and 120 for year 2005 for steering problems and no fix by BMW. This is a serious safety problem and suggest readers file complaints and hope it does not take a death to get someone's attention.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #235

May 022011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that immediately after starting the vehicle, the power steering failed. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred on three occasions. During the most recent failure, the power steering pump continued to run after the vehicle was turned off. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 89,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #234

Nov 102011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles


I am the original owner of a 2004 MINICooper S, now with a power steering problem. The power steering repeatedly fails for no detectable reason--this according to my MINIBMW mechanic. I drive the car for approximately 15 miles and the power steering fails. I shut the car off, let it cool and restart it. It returns to normal and then again fails after a few miles. The on-board computer records the failure, but does not explain it in a way that would suggest a solution. The car's computer reads: "fault stored: Short circuit/open circuit at control unit." Hence, my mechanic has no idea of how to fix it short of replacing the entire system which, as he says, is no guarantee that the problem will stop. As it is, the car is unsafe to drive, and I will no longer permit my wife to drive it. I do hope the NHTSA will look into this issue. I read online that allegedly is investigating the issue, and I would be happy to provide my mechanic's written evaluation if it would contribute to your research. The steering now fails each time I drive the automobile. Thank you for your attention.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #233

Nov 282011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68,439 miles
Power steering intermittently working causing severe oversteer while entering highway traffic. Had no indication of problem while on interstate. Upon exiting interstate on a 30 mph loop steering failed. Presently power steering is intermittent so the wife no longer gets to drive the cooper. Good fortune was with me and I have driven cars without powersteering. Even so I was caught off guard and I am hopeful this report will prevent others which may be less fortunate or experienced. The MINIdealership didn't seem to care.

- Lewisburg, TN, USA

problem #232

Nov 042011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
About a year and half ago the car was leaking steering fluid, the mechanic stated that the cooling fan on the steering pump was a bad design, he adjusted it and it lasted until November of 2011 again the leaking started, grinding noise from the front left, steering was difficult on turns. I had all the steering components replaced at a cost of @ $1,100. Mechanic still believed it is a design flaw, should have a recall.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #231

Nov 222011


  • 74,000 miles


Power steering failed. Re-engaged when car cooled.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #230

Oct 152008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Power steering dropped out unexpectedly while I was making a left hand turn, traveling approximately 10-15 mph. I was able to regain steering control before a collision, but power steering never came back on. I found out the power steering pump had failed, perhaps brought on by a power steering fan failure. Both the fan and pump were replaced.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #229

Oct 202011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 158,000 miles
Driving at approximately 45mph, when power steering failed. Power steering failure accompanied by other electrical issues. Gauge cluster reset, all failure lights went on. Power steering restored shortly after failure. Occurred approximately two more times after first incident. After power steering failure noticed, issue with charging system also. Charging system voltage consistently low, sometimes even going down to 10V accompanied by loss of power and other malfunction lights.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #228

Jun 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,105 miles
The power steering on my 2004 MINICooper S has failed several times without warning. The car is very difficult to steer when the pump strops working without warning and my wife nearly had an accident because of this intermittent failure. I checked online and there are many complaints about the very same problem.. stopping the car and shutting the engine off and then restarting it, clears the problem.

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #227

Oct 292011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 101,286 miles


Lost power steering on freeway at 70 mile an hour. Next day it work for 40 miles then failed again on freeway at 70 miles an hour, there is no warning or fluid loss, just complete steering loss. Then it is very hard to control.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #226

Oct 282011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 81,100 miles
The steering wheel went almost completely rigid and the wheel required a great deal of effort to turn. Turning the wheel was far more difficult than in any vehicle I have driven without power steering, and there was a pulse of differing pressure against the turns at times. After shutting off the car and starting again, the steering was back to normal.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #225

Oct 262011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 37,999 miles
After stopping at a red light, when I accelerated to make a left turn, lost power steering. Drove to work next day with no power steering, but on the way home, it came back on. However, when I turn off the engine, the electric motor kept on running. Had to disconnect battery to keep it from draining and/or cause a fire.

- Wilmington, MA, USA

problem #224

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 #223

Oct 162011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
Pulled into a parking lot. Was making a right turn into a spot and lost all steering. I turned off the car and restarted and it worked again, but it was impossible to steer without the power assist. I see this morning that this problem is now common and I hesitate to go into MINIto have it fixed right away since it will cost more than $1000 to fix! why isn't this a recall?

- Long Beach, NY, USA

problem #222

Jul 082010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Power steering failure while driving; had new steering rack/pump installed at 90,000, worked fine for a year and now the power steering has failed for the second time; a new steering pump/rack needs to be installed...

- Gpw, MI, USA

problem #221

Oct 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 169,975 miles
The vehicle's power steering failed without warning while driving down the road. This caused the vehicle to be very difficult to steer. The car is almost impossible to drive.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #220

Oct 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Failure of power steering.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #219

Jul 212011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 52,206 miles
Driving to work and tried to make a right hand turn. The power steering failed making the wheel very hard to turn. I pulled over to the side and shut the car off, and when I restarted it, the power steering worked again. It does this intermediately a few times a week since then... MINIsays its an internal fault in the power steering pump.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #218

Sep 272010


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper S. the contact was driving 45 mph when the steering wheel became hard to maneuver. The vehicle was merged onto the shoulder and then towed to a local mechanic who inspected the failure and informed the contact that the power steering pump needed to be replaced. The power steering pump was replaced. The manufacturer was notified who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Little Rock, AE, USA

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