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 12 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #197

Jul 182011


  • 140,000 miles


I purchased my 2004 MINICooper S 5 months ago. I was told by the dealer everything worked fine on the car. There was a whining noise in the car, which he told me was normal on min coopers. I was driving from boise, id to olympia, wa in my 2004 MINICooper S. then suddenly, about 200 miles into my trip, while I was over taking a semi truck on a right hand curve. My power steering tightened and I had to hold on really tight. I almost ran into the side wall. After further investigation I found that my power steering had died. It seems that there should be some kind of safe way for the power steering to die. Loosing power steering the way it did, and how hard it is to turn the steering without the pump sounds very scary. I drove down steep hill with sharp curves during the trip and I'm so glad the pump didn't die then. I then drove the rest of the way carefully as possible without the power steering. Now I know that the whining noise was from the power steering since the whining noise went away once the power steering died. It seems that this is a common issue with others as well. Now my car is parked and I'm not sure if I should replace the part or not. I feel BMW should take some initiatives to fix this issue.

- Olympia , WA, USA

problem #196

Jul 222011


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering failed while driving approximately 45 mph. The steering wheel became extremely stiff and additional force had to be applied in order to turn the steering wheel. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the local mechanic who located the failure at the power steering pump and cooling fan. The local mechanic replaced the power steering pump and the cooling fan. The failure was not corrected and the steering continued to fail intermittently. The failure and current mileage was 55,000.

- Broussard , LA, USA

problem #195

Mar 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Loss of power steering. At first intermittent, now complete.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #194

Jul 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles


I own a 2004 MINICooper, the power steering pump completely stopped working without prior warning. We were on our way to eureka springs Arkansas when this happened, luckily my husband was the one driving, I don't even want to imagine what could have happened if it had been me. I don't think I would have been able to handle the car through those curves.

- Muskogee, OK, USA

problem #193

Jun 152011


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the power steering failed and it was very difficult to steer the vehicle. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer were made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Berea, OH, USA

problem #192

Apr 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Loss of power steering assist while driving making it difficult to steer the car. At times, there would be no power steering assist; restarting the car would solve the issue. Ultimately, the issue appeared to be a built-in electrical relay in the electric power steering pump that sticks. Only replacement option was to replace the entire pump.

- Colchester, VT, USA

problem #191

May 152011


  • 93,500 miles


The power steering in my 2004 MINICooper S failed, leading to extremely difficult operation of the vehicle. At speed the car is ok, if a bit cumbersome. At low speeds or in a parking lot, a tremendous amount of effort is required to be able to control the car. At first, the problem was intermittent - restarting the car sometimes restored control. However, for the past few weeks the power steering is completely dead.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #190

Jul 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
I am writing to complain about my 2004 MINICooper S power steering pump failure. I have done hours of research on the internet and have contacted half a dozen MINIdealerships to find out, this is a recurring problem (on 2001-2005 models) and can be very dangerous. There is no warning (check engine light) when this part goes defective, so basically while driving the power steering just shuts off leaving about 30lbs of pressure to turn the steering wheel. Good thing I am a strong male, because I was able to stop the car on the side of the road for assistance. By no means am I sexist, but believe me this car is really hard to maneuver without power steering assistance. The cost of repairs ranges from $1000-$1500 ($800 just for the pump), plus $200 for having the car towed to the nearest garage. I believe something should be done about this issue before there are some serious injuries or even deaths.

- Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 00, USA

problem #189

Jul 082011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 72,342 miles
While leaving a shopping center my power steering failed. I was about 15 miles from home and I very cautiously proceeded home. What concerns me is there is extensive evidence that this is a recurring problem with the 2003-2006 MINIcooper. Some have narrowly escaped injury.

- Oregon, WI, USA

problem #188

Jul 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,800 miles
I was driving on I-65 at 62 mph. Right as I approached the on ramp to I-265, the power steering failed. I almost did not get the wheel turned in time to make the curve. I had no warning.

- Lanesville, IN, USA

problem #187

Sep 252010


  • 64,321 miles


The power steering fails on the car. It has happened multiple times. It can happen when you first start the car, or it can happen afteryou have been driving for some time. All of the sudden you lose your power steering and it is very difficult to steer without the power steering. I am a female and I have to use both arms to get the car to turn without the power steering. I am afraid that the power steering is going to go out at a bad time and I won't be able to get the car to turn quick enough and I could cause an accident.

- Covington, WA, USA

problem #186

Jun 302011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
Power steering failure.

- East Quogue, NY, USA

problem #185

Jun 302011


  • 87,000 miles
I have lost the power steering in my 2004 MINICooper S at least ten times within the last month. On each occasion the power steering was absent when the car was started. After shutting down the car and restarting, the power steering came back. I took the car to the dealership to get this fixed, and they said that the power steering was not getting enough electrical power and replaced my battery. However, after leaving the dealership and while parking, the power steering failed, again. After restarting the car two times, the power steering came back on. I will be returning to the dealership this evening.

- Parkton, MD, USA

problem #184

Jun 292011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
Driving under normal daylight conditions when the power steering failed on my 2004 MINICooper.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #183

Jun 272011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 178,655 miles
Power steering failed while driving car, causing vehicle to become much harder to steer, nearly causing accident.

- Westfield, IN, USA

problem #182

Jun 112011


  • 54,729 miles
Unexpected loss of power steering on 2004 MINICooper without any warning. Purchased the 2004 MINICooper being unaware of the power steering failures, and while I was driving in heavy traffic the power steering failed and I almost collided with another vehicle and almost got rear-ended while struggling to get the car off the road in heavy traffic. I hope they issue a recall because when I started researching how many people are having problems I find it extremely disturbing that MINIhasn't been forced to issue one yet. The power steering failure happens daily so took vehicle to mechanic and was informed that the power steering pump needs to be replaced. I have never experienced anything like this before in all of the cars I have purchased through out my adult life. What a safety hazard! I am so thankful my grandchild wasn't with me that day.

- Milwaukie, OR, USA

problem #181

Jun 012011


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

- Cutchogue, NY, USA

problem #180

May 282011


  • 117,000 miles
The power steering failed while driving car. Happens at different times with no warning.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #179

Jun 072011


  • 60,550 miles
Power steering pump failure on 2004 MINICooper. Hard to steer while driving at all speeds. Ordered new part from dealership.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #178

Jun 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Failure of power steering system in 2004 MINICooper S. vehicle performed fine the night before, then the power steering wasn't working the next morning. This is the third instance of the problem I have encountered. The dealer said it was an electrical problem, and the best thing to do was restart the car and maybe the computer would reset itself. That worked the previous 2 times, but not this time. Now I'm out of the warranty period...

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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