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 16 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #117

Jan 112011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


My power steering failed in the middle left turn causing me to wreck right into a signal light. I have a 2004 MINICooper 5spd transmission non-S.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #116

Jan 032011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Power steering in my 2004 MINICooper went out while going around a turn and caused me to swerve off the road.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #115

Nov 242010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,506 miles
While driving onto a freeway on ramp, my steering became excessively difficult and I almost ran into a median. I pulled over and the steering resumed normal activity and then became very difficult again to the point where I could barely steer the car enough to take it to a repair shop three blocks from my house where they informed me that my power steering pump had failed.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #114

Jan 092011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 43,600 miles


I own a 2004 MINICooper. I've had a couple incidents with the power steering system. While driving the vehicle, the power steering will cease to operate. The result is a steering system that is extremely difficult to maneuver. This is a safety hazard that needs to be addressed by BMW. I've read a few online articles on this matter and now realize that my power steering pump is going bad. It needs to be replaced and I plan to do so. I was surprised however by the number of online articles I found on this topic. Operating a vehicle with a randomly faulty power steering system is extremely dangerous. I can only imagine the worst should the power steering fail on my MINICooper on a winding road with oncoming traffic. It is a completely random failure of the power steering system under all driving conditions. The problem first occurred a couple months ago and went away. Recently it happened multiple times on the same day. So far my solution has been to turn the car off and restart it. Based on internet research I know now that I need to replace the power steering pump.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #113

Jan 062011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The driver was driving at an unknown speed when the steering wheel became very stiff and difficult to turn. The vehicle was parked and shut off. Upon restart the steering wheel remained difficult to turn. The failure and current mileages were 60,000. The power steering pump failed internally. The power return line was leaking. Also, both struts were leaking. Updated evoq 02/02/11

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #112

Jan 032011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 73,281 miles
Power steering failure during driving. Became sluggish/very hard to turn on the highway at speed.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #111

Jun 052010


  • 60,000 miles


The power steering pump failed on my MINICooper at high speed, curvy road at night without warning. I had to replace the pump and the cooling fan to the tune of $900. This happened just outside of warranty at 60K miles. Mechanic said that he replaces about 10 a month...all MINIs pumps fail under 80K miles.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #110

Jan 022011


  • 39,011 miles
04 MINICooper S with under 40,000 miles. Intermittent power steering pump failure. Car is extremely hard to turn when the power steering is not working. Restarting the car sometimes causes the power steering to start working but it went out while driving at 25 miles per hour on Jan 02, 2011. This is an indication of a power steering pump failure.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #109

Dec 302010


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper S. while driving approximately 35 mph the power steering failed. The contact was not driving so he did not know the full details of the failure. The person driving was able to drive the vehicle to their residence. The failure was not diagnosed by a dealer. The failure and current mileages were 60,000.

- Troy, OH, USA

problem #108

Nov 152010


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW MINICooper S. the contact stated that while starting the vehicle the steering wheel jammed and she was unable to turn it or control the vehicle. She turned the vehicle off and back on, she was able to turn the wheel after it reset but it was very hard to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 35,000 and the current mileage was 39,000.

- Alexandria , VA, USA

problem #107

Dec 212010


  • 72,400 miles


The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper S. the contact stated that when pulling out of his driveway and attempting to make a turn, the vehicle was difficult to steer. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed him that he needed to replace the steering pump. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 72,400. Updated 09/07/11

- Airmont, NY, USA

problem #106

Jul 012008


  • 65,000 miles
2004 MINICooper S - power steering fan/pump failure VIN# [xxx] my power steering stop working completely. This power steering would go "on" and "off: Intermittently over the past year a half (4-7 times a week over the last 8-10months). I'd park the car when I went to leave, no power steering. This has gotten progressively worse and now the power steering has stopped working while driving on the road!!I have only has the car for 2 years and it has 70K miles. I brought the intermittent failures to the dealerships attention numerous times but they need to "see it happening" to fix it. Now that my power steering has completely failed, they now told me to its the power steering fan/pump that has failed. I can not afford the repairs and have been driving with no power steering for over 3 months. I see this issue has been discussed everywhere online & that this is a dangerously huge and common issue for my model & year MINIcooper. I don't know if this process of filing a complaint will even do anything to make a difference, but if someone is reading this complaint, please help us. Thank you ** the website would not accept my VIN # as valid so I was unable to add it to the appropriate place during this complaint filing.

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #105

Dec 032010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
The power steering on my 2004 MINICooper intermittently fails. To date, 5 failures have happened lasting from 10 to 30 minutes in duration. Last failure was December 3, 2010.

- New Palestine, IN, USA

problem #104

Dec 202010


  • 58,900 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW MINICooper. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph when the power steering pump failed, making it extremely difficult to maneuver the steering wheel. The dealer was contacted who was unaware of the problem. The contact did not inform the manufacture nor was the vehicle repaired. The current and failure mileages was approximately 58,900. The VIN was unavailable.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #103

Dec 182010


  • 44,600 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINIcopper. While traveling 25 mph the power steering failed which made the steering wheel difficult to turn. The failure only lasted for a short time and began to function normally. The failure and current mileages were 44600.

- Riverside, NJ, USA

problem #102

Jan 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Started to have intermittent power steering failure in January 2010, then it finally stopped working in July 2010, haven't had power steering since.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #101

Dec 132010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My 2004 MINICooper S suddenly and without warning lost its power steering. I had to have it towed to the mechanic who said the whole steering was shot. That is when I found out that MINIhas had a lot of these failures. If I had been on a curve and at any faster speed I may have been seriously hurt, and now BMW won't even fix the car! this is not right especially when they have known there is problem, what is it going to take a few people getting killed like with the Toyota brake problem? make them do something to fix this problem.

- Pelzer, SC, USA

problem #100

Sep 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68 miles
The steering is so hard and it is difficult to move while driving, I had this problem for last few month but every time when I turn off/on, the problem goes away for a day or two. Since last week, it become permanent. I surf on internet and call MINIcustomer services, they told me that this issue is under investigation and if I fixed the problem and if there will be a recall, they will cover only parts not labor. This is very serious and unsafe while driving.

- Middlesex, NJ, USA

problem #99

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 #98

Feb 172010


  • 79,600 miles
The power steering assist failed during cornering. Required me to apply extra force to the steering wheel at which point the power steering assist re-engaged causing the car to over steer. I needed to make a quick correction in order to avoid crossing over the centerline and hitting an on coming vehicle. The power steering assist has been on and off for the first couple of months since that time and has been completely non functional for the last month or so.

- Zeeland, MI, USA

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