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 21 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Oct 152009


  • 58,000 miles


Power steering suddenly cut out during normal driving conditions in downtown san francisco, making it very difficult to steer. Driver was able to bring the car to a stop safely, but this failure could have caused an accident had it occurred on a curving road. The power steering pump was determined to have failed, and was replaced by the consumer, for a repair cost of close to $700. The power steering pump is not supposed to fail this early in the lifetime of a vehicle.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #16

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 #15

May 022009


  • 37,640 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. While driving 15-20 mph, the power steering suddenly failed. The contact had to pull the vehicle over. A diagnostic has not been performed to determine the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was 37,640.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 172009


  • 38,000 miles


Intermittent power steering failure.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #13

Jan 202009


  • miles
Power steering failed soon after starting. The car had been outside on a cold day, but not unusual (~20 degrees F). It functioned again when re-started.

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #12

Nov 302008


  • miles
While driving on the freeway my power steering pump died I could hardly change lanes on the freeway, it felt like my steering wheel had locked, turning in any angle was very hard worst than driving a truck, I kept a firm grip with one hand while trying to control the gears, my arms, back, and hand is still hurting, had no warning signals, it wheel just locked up and was very hard to managed I wasnt able to handle the car did not feel safe, did not have full control of handling the steering this is serious protential accident waiting to happen I called the dealer and was told that there were recalls but not for my VIN 2004. My MINIis now in the repair shop to have the pump replace and the fan. This is a deadly issue and MINIshould recall and pay for this problem for those of us who had to pay out of pocket we should get refunds, so far out of pocket is over $1100, I hope this send a message to the manaufacture that lives are at stake here, great car but not safe to drive without full control. I'm so thankful I didnt have to move quickly out of the way or I would not be here to report this bad experience I lost a day of work trying to get this resolved and the cost of a rental car.

- Rancho Dominguez, CA, USA

problem #11

Nov 262008


  • miles


Approximately one month ago I was on ortega highway in southern California with my child in the back seat. As I was maneuvering the MINIalong the curvy road the power steering went out. Fortunately I had gotten through the worst of the hair pins and was going slower than the speed limit etc. Suddenly the steering began to work again. My husband was informed by a mechanic that it was the power steering fan. We had it replaced and it seemed okay. On November 26th I had my children in the car going to my sisters I went to make a left hand turn and the car didn't want to turn. The power steering failed again. I was fortunate once again as there was no on coming traffic because if there was I would have had a head-on collision. There are no warning lights for this issue and I had never been informed of power steering issues being so sudden on this vehicle. I believe a massive recall for the 02-04 years would be an extremely good idea. I goggled the issue and have found many others with these years that are having the same problem. My vehicle is only 4 years old. I have a truck older than it that has never had to have the power steering replaced. I can not afford to replace it now due to financial issues. The pump alone is between 400-500 dollars. Please, please, please get them to recall this before someone dies! or is that what everyone is waiting for"!"

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 302007


  • 20,000 miles
I bought a used 2004 MINICooper last year. Under certain conditions on a curvy road the power steering pump would get very hard to turn the wheel, especially in a sharp curve. With no dealerships within 150 miles I put up with it. Now it stays on all the time and cannot be disconnected without taking the battery cable off the battery. It ruined 2 batteries before I realized it was staying on 24 hours a day. I bought the repair book and wiring diagram cd's to find it is straight wired from battery to inside the pump which glows bright red after running a few hours. If I had any type of oil leak, it would catch on fire. I contacted a repair center in atlanta ga and they can change it out for about $1000+ for the power steering pump and the open faced fan that caused the failure in the pump. It failed the exact month my warranty was over and they said sorry charlie. Cannot currently pay to have it repaired so it has been sitting in my yard for almost a year.

- Millbrook, AL, USA

problem #9

Oct 162008


  • 55,300 miles
As an owner of a 2004 Cooper S I was greatly disappointed to learn that I now need to replace my electric steering pump at only 55K miles. I have been told by the dealer that the part "goes regularly" and that "we keep a bunch in stock" and that it will cost me $600 for a new one not including labor. With this bit of information, I began to search MINIcooper fansites and blogs to see how often this problem occurs. I wasn't surprised to find that many of the members and "fans" of the car have had multiple pump failures, and that there is a growing number of those who are discussing the failure issue. I believe this is both a costly fix as well as a safety problem. The sudden loss of a steering pump is quite dangerous and may cause some drivers to lose control. I am fortunate that I noticed the problem and understood what the failure was, so I personally did not have an accident, but for those who are less car savvy, they may not notice the noise of the failure that is about to occur.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #8

Apr 232008


  • 42,000 miles
Power steering went out in early 2008. Luckily the car was parked when that happened or else it would have been a disaster since MINIsteering wheel is already heavier than other cars. Had it fixed (replaced) at the dealership and had to pay around $1000 since the warranty expired. It's unacceptable that the steering power pump died this early only after 4 years. It's a ripoff for the consumers. Something must be done about this. A few months later, the steering column and the lower shaft started to have issues as well. They started to make creaking noises. Took the car to the dealership and they quoted at almost $1000 to replace the parts. The steering column and power pump should not have to be replaced after only four years!

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #7

Aug 172008


  • 54,320 miles


Power window on passenger side comes down only sometimes and sometimes it doesn't work for weeks. Steering is making noises.

- Bellflower, CA, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Jul 032008


  • 65,000 miles
I own a 2004 MINICooper S and the power steering pump has failed after only 4 years and 65,000 miles. This seems to be a very common occurrence with this vehicle and the manufacture is acutely aware of the issue, but will not issue a recall or warranty the item.

- Collegeville, PA, USA

problem #4

Jul 032004


  • 57,800 miles
(1) on Thursday, July 3rd, I attempted to manipulate a 90 degree righthand turn in my 2004 MINICooper S during my very short commute to work and did so only with great difficultly. From that point forward my car turns neither left nor right properly and only with great difficulty. There was no warning or noises of any kind to alert me to the problem. My significant other, who is a trained mechanic, inspected the vehicle and identified the power steering pump as the problem. I also spoke with several individuals herb chambers BMW MINIof boston who acknowledged that the power steering pump was either a known and/or common problem. The parts department explained that the pump manufacturer who made the pump in my MINIis no longer making pumps for MINI2) the power steering pump has failed therefore my MINIis relying on the rack and pinion to turn. The MINIturns only with great difficulty and requires two hands on the wheel at all times; this is exceedingly difficult to do while navigating corners as I have a standard transmission. The MINIis unsafe to drive, so I am forced to borrow another vehicle. (3) my car has approximately 57,000 miles on it and MINIs warranty only covers problems up through 50,000 miles despite the fact that the pump is a known problem and safety hazard. Nothing has been done by the dealership to correct the problem. My MINIremains parked while I await the new power steering pump that I ordered and paid for. The new pump is manufactured by a different company than the defective pump that has failed.

- Enfield, NH, USA

problem #3

Jun 012008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 43,500 miles
The power steering pump on my 2004 MINICooper has failed. I believe that this failure made the car dangerous to drive. The car is a low-mileage vehicle (43,000 miles at 4 years) and I believe this component has failed prematurely. I am a member of several MINIenthusiast communities and am aware that this is a common problem with the MINIa href=""> has reports of around 1 in 4 vehicles having this pump fail prematurely. I believe an investigation is important due to member reports of fires starting under the hood. The part was replace at a MINIdealership.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #2

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

problem #1

Apr 052008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
I have a 2004 MINICooper with about 61000 miles, and have recently experienced problems with the power steering. It was a very scary situation as the steering locked as I was driving on a los angeles freeway at a high speed. There is no warning indication, and there is definitely a potential danger.

- Tustin, CA, USA

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