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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Mini Cooper:

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

2004 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 15 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #137

Jun 012009


  • 55,000 miles


Failed component 1: lower control arm bushings diagnosed at dealership as bad and oil leak is due to faulty O ring. Failed component 2: power steering total failure. Dealer stated this was due to poor design of steering pump fan (poor placement of the fan). Dealer stated there was a possible recall regarding power steering failure due to this poor design possibly pending. Work to repair these failed components has not been completed pending a dealer recall. The car is not drivable.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #136

Feb 182010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
After starting the MINIwhich is parked in a parking garage, I noticed the steering wheel was very difficult to turn, as if the power steering wasn't working. This had happened once before, but that time the problem went away after a few minutes. It was approximately 70 outside, and the power steering fluid was full. I drove the car to do errands, approx 10 miles round trip, and the problem persisted even after turning off the car and letting it sit for a few minutes while I went to the store. The steering functioned when I used a lot of force to turn the wheel, but I was worried about safety if I had to swerve or turn the wheel quickly for any reason; I would be unable to do so.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #135

Feb 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 116,600 miles
While driving my 2004 MINICooper S, the power steering failed while making a turn at low speed. Without the power steering, it is hard to steer during low speed. After turning off engine and restarting, the power steering came back. But the power steering pump seems to be on all the time with a humming noise even after the engine is turned off. Which leading to the draining of the battery. The battery gave out after a couple jump starts. As of 2/15/2011, I have disconnected the power to the power steering pump and fan. Because I cannot afford of the high cost of replacing the power steering pump and cooling fan. I have not replace them yet. I still have these parts.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #134

Feb 102011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles


Power steering in 2004 MINICooper almost completely locks up with no warning whatsoever. No warning lights or other visual indicators depict the status of the power steering fluid or overall steering system. Ability to steer car changes instantaneously from full "normal" control to nearly impossible to parallel park (at extremely slow speed) or make a basic 90 degree turn (at any relevant speed). Makes the car dangerous and stressful to drive.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #133

Nov 112010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,458 miles
Complete failure of steering column, it locks up during driving, can barely turn the wheel. This happens randomly during driving, even on a straight road not making any turns. Have to force car over onto shoulder and restart the car. Nothing bad has happened yet, but very dangerous when driving with kids in the car. All fluid levels check out, no warning lights about steering failure.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #132

Jan 202011


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that power steering failed intermittently. The failure occurred without any warning. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who stated that they could not find the cause of the problem. The vehicle was still being inspected. The current and failure mileages were 130,000.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #131

Feb 122011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,616 miles


Purchased a used 2004 MINICooper from a dealership. 7 weeks after purchase the steering became increasingly difficult at times in the last 24 hours. Taking it on Monday but the "steering" isn't covered under their 9 month, 9000 mile warranty. Taking it in to the dealership on Monday for their service dept to take a look at it. Hoping it's covered but I doubt it.

- Shelton, WA, USA

problem #130

Feb 072011


  • 115,000 miles
Suddenly lost power steering while driving and had substantial difficulty turning to get out of traffic. It happened a few times, then took it for repairs. Was told that the pump and fan were bad and that this was a known problem with 2004 minis.

- Ct, CT, USA

problem #129

Feb 052011


  • 68,000 miles
Last night while driving on a busy street in one of the largest cities in the U.S., I experienced complete power steering failure - which became evident to me only when I attempted to make a right turn and found that the steering wheel was nearly impossible to turn. Before this happened, no warning lights became illuminated on the dash & nothing about the car's performance suggested a problem with the vehicle - there was simply no warning of any kind. At the time this occurred I had been driving for less than 15 minutes @ approx. 35 mph & I had made several turns (right & left) during the course of this trip without any problems - the last of which had been only 2 or 3 minutes prior to this event. Though I was ultimately able to complete the turn without leaving the road by using all of my strength to slowly turn the wheel, my car traveled for approx. 1/2 block in the opposing lane of traffic before I was able to steer the car back into my lane. If there had been oncoming traffic on the street I turned onto I would have been completely unable to avoid a collision. Despite being restarted several times since this event, the vehicle's power steering has not returned or improved. At this time it appears that the power steering pump is the cause of the problem. This experience was extremely terrifying & could have easily resulted in the serious injury or death of myself and/or others.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #128

Dec 282010


  • 67,700 miles
1. 04 MINICooper S power steering failure while driving. Occasionally while driving the pump will loose power and steering will be very difficult. Power steering fan stays on after vehicle is turned off which tends to drain the battery. 2. eventually the pump started leaking and fan stop working needing replacement. Loss all power steering while driving. 3. replaced pump and fan with new units and problem is temporarily fixed but problem has come back. Noticing the same symptoms from #.1 post happening again.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #127

Jan 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 116,000 miles


Sudden failure of power steering. Control of car was not lost. It will require a new power steering pump.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #126

Jan 282011


  • 95,000 miles
I drove my MINIcooper 2004 S with 95K miles on the freeway and noticed my steering very difficult to move. I arrived to my destination safely and searching on the web for steering problems with 2004 MINIcooper and found federal investigation in progress. I towed the vehicle to the MINIdealership and explained the problem. They found the power steering pump defective as described on the website and repaired the vehicle for 1500 dollars. The dealer/BMW offered no compensation to defer the cost. I contacted BMW customer relations and received a non response on if and how BMW would respond.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #125

Jan 022011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
2004 MINICooper S, power steering failure. I have experienced intermittent failure of power steering in my 2004 MINICooper S. this has occurred seemingly at random and causes great difficulty with steering the vehicle. This creates an unsafe driving condition in which it is difficult to control the vehicle. This has happened several times in a given day or sometimes only once in a week. The failure has occurred at various times of operation, including immediately after starting the car in the morning, mid-commute, and at the end of a long drive. The only consistency is that it seems to occur just after putting the car in reverse, then back in 1st gear (though not every time). Power steering is almost always restored by turning ignition off and back on- not a safe action in most of my driving circumstances. On one occasion the power steering pump continued to run audibly after the vehicle was turned off, threatening to drain the battery. This lasted for about 20 minutes and was only resolved by driving the car again for about five minutes. When the car was turned off again, the pump finally shut off.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #124

Jan 212011


  • 97,525 miles
Power steering pump failure on 2004 MINICooper S.

- Greeneville, TN, USA

problem #123

Jan 202011


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. While driving less than 20 mph, the contact lost power steering with no prior warning. The steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn. The vehicle was driven to the side of the road. The engine was turned off; and after restarting the vehicle the power steering began to function normally. The similar failure recurred on a different occasion. The dealer was notified and an appointment was scheduled for a diagnostic test. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #122

Jan 152011


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper S. the contact stated that while driving and making a turn the power steering suddenly failed making the steering wheel difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed the contact that the power steering pump failed. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 170,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Washington, NJ, USA

problem #121

Jan 102011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I was driving very slowly into the drive thru burger king and I lost power steering and it became very difficult to control the car I could not get it to go the direction I wanted it to go so I ended up crashing into the curb. Another time this happened was when I hit a patch of ice my car lost power steering a few seconds later and I had to restart my car, but it did come back on.

- Plainville, CT, USA

problem #120

Dec 102010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Intermittent power steering failure. Continues to occur almost daily. To date, I have not had trouble driving the car, but the power steering goes on and off with no apparent reason.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #119

Jan 012010


  • 95,000 miles
During 2010 I experienced the power steering going on and off while driving throughout the year. Also, sometimes the power steering would not work right at the start up. I then had to turn the car off, and re-start it. My mechanic could not find a direct problem. 3 days ago, Jan 2011, the power steering failed completely, and my car was not drivable, it would not start. My mechanic examined my car and found that the power steering unit was completely broken.

- Cortlandt Manor, NY, USA

problem #118

Jan 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Our 2004 MINICooper S is loosing power steering randomly making it very unsafe to drive. Its very random, I thought it was some kind of sport mode but you cant even control the vehicle when the car kicks into "paralysis", totally weird...I've owned all foreign cars mostly Japanese, and german...this is the first time I've seen anything like this and I grew up in the car business driving everything you can think would be a shame if MINIlooses its reputation over something like a power steering problem just fix the problem its obviously a major defect on the engineering.....sounds like a recall to me....please don't join Toyota crash parade.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?