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 3 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #377

May 172013


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the steering system seized while the contact was changing lanes. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic however, no details regarding the steering system defect was provided by the mechanic. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #376

Mar 112013


  • miles
My daughter had been driving my car with no problems, when she parked to pick me up I put the car in reverse and was barely able to get out of the parking stall the steering was so hard. I then had to drive home using every ounce of strength I had, while making sure not to hit anything. I too have researched this and am truly disappointed with BMW.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #375

May 092013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 176,300 miles
I was on an exit ramp from the highway and around the curve I felt the steering stiffen. When I had to turn right I had to swing very wide into the other lane because I had no power steering. Thank god no one was there! it returned after I shut my car off after pulling into a parking lot. Then the next day it did it again. Today it went out and hasn't returned yet. My husband checked to make sure the fan worked and it does. This is a known to BMW problem and no recall in the usa. Canada has a recall. Tell me please, why we do not?

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #374

Apr 152013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 127,445 miles


I was exiting interstate and slowing to a stop when steering wheel no longer worked easily. The steering wheel became hard to turn, I was able to pull over and avoid an accident.

- Alta, CA, USA

problem #373

May 312012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
I drove my sister's 2004 MINICooper sometime in spring of 2012 to check on work done from the dealership. As I yielded into a roundabout and entered it, the power steering cut off which steering effort became very heavy and very nearly had a collision with another vehicle. I sister informed me afterwards that the issue just happen recently occurred to her too, as she exited a highway exit ramp at nearly 55mph, and power steering had failed. Luckily, she was able to react quickly with the power steering loss. Pulled to the side, shut the vehicle, and turned on the vehicle again, and power steering came back on. It has intermittently going off/on w power since then which the dealer recognizes, but warranty has been expired since it's 9 years and over 100,000 mi. And we are left with a bill at around $1,400 average. $800 in parts alone. There are many MINIcustomers known to have this issue of power steering loss in their early models too, same as my sister's year model. So far fortunately, there are no injuries nor fatalities directly from this power steering loss from what I know of. But many are faced with this large repair with we're facing, and some may forego/ delay repairing it. Transport Canada, recognizes this as a safety issue, and recalled about 9,000 MINIs last year. And the power steering pump part is no different than theirs. When are we going to act like our neighbors" until we get someone horribly injured or killed?! or have MINIcustomers such my sister facing this large repair order on this defective part that's known to fail prematurely" this is a serious gamble with lives.

- Towson, MD, USA

problem #372

Dec 132012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I had parked my car at a donut shop and when I came out and started the car and go, it was very hard to turn. I had to call a friend to help me tow it to my house.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #371

Apr 052013


  • 75,000 miles


Power steering pump failure.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #370

Apr 012013


  • miles
2004 MINICooper. Consumer requests assistance for hazardous vehicle transmission and steering wheel. The consumer stated the vehicle stalled while driving on a busy highway.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #369

Apr 012013


  • 74,372 miles
The steering became very tight and the steering wheel was very hard to turn. The sudden loss of power steering was very scary at normal street speeds. Shutting off the car and restarting it will return the steering to normal only for a little bit...after a few minutes the power steering is gone again.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #368

Mar 272013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 86,915 miles
I bought my used MINICooper S (64,686 miles) from Honda dealership - serramonte (daly city, ca) on March 13, 2012. I'm the second owner of this vehicle. The steering problem first occurred on June 2012, but it was temporary. While driving the steering wheel became hard to maneuver from left to right. I had to pull over and stopped the car to see what's wrong. It came back to normal after I turned on the engine. The steering problem would happen occasionally, I would do the same procedures and the steering would go back to normal again. Today (3/27/13), while I was driving at 35 mph in the residential area, I noticed my steering wheel stiffen like last time. I stopped and turned off the engine and fired it back up. This time, it stayed stiff permanently. I had to drive the car back home during rush hours. Luckily I managed to get home without getting involved in an accident. I checked the steering fluid level under the hood and found out that it was full. I googled the steering problem on the 2004 MINICooper S, I came to find out the same problems were experienced by many MINIowners. I need your advice as soon as possible on how I can get my car repaired before it cause a major accident on the road. This is the only vehicle I have to make a living. Because of these common steering problems, I hope MINIwould take full responsibility for this.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #367

Mar 212013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


Sudden loss of power steering, couldn't turn wheel, hit curb.

- Hunter, NY, USA

problem #366

Feb 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Power steering randomly goes out on car. Low-speed fan has seized, damaging power steering pump. Car has no power steering at all.

- Baldwin City, KS, USA

problem #365

Mar 162013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
I stopped my car in a parking lot to run some errands. When I returned to my car and got it started, I realized that the power steering of my car became really stiff. It was really hard for me to steer my car left and right. The power steering of my car no longer function as before and it was really difficult for me to drive on the road, especially when I have to turn left or right at a road junction.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #364

Feb 012013


  • 95,500 miles
My power steering is failing. It causes myself or when my wife drives (with both my young children in the car) to come and go intermittently. At times in parking lots or even at highway speeds it will go from normal usage and ease of use to heavy manual steering. This needs to be addressed more then just "being looked into." This is very dangerous and could/will cause loss of life if not resolved per BMW/MINIcooper and it's ownership. I listed it as "crash" in the yes form. So far it has only been into the curb a few times at typical parking speeds. So far is the statement here. This will become an issue if not resolved and I hope that it is just a curb and not another car/family that are affected due to this "known" issue.

- Randolph, ME, USA

problem #363

Feb 012013


  • 71,000 miles
Loss of power steering on my 2004 MINICooper. This problem comes an goes and my local service station said the pump has a crack.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #362

Mar 042013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Power steering failure. Unknown cause.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #361

Feb 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
While driving on I95 going around a curve, my steering column locked up. I was able to pull over to the shoulder. It has happened a few times but I was able to pull over and wasn't sure what to tell my mechanic since it was so random. This weekend as I drove through an intersection making a left turn, with my children in the car, it locked up after months of not recurring. I was able to stop in time before colliding with oncoming cars at the red light but it was very scary for all of us. I am appalled MINIhas not issued a recall considering the precious lives that are at stake. I suppose it will take a fatality for someone to recall this defective part.

- Clayton , DE, USA

problem #360

Feb 222013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 106,600 miles
Power steering assist intermittently failed multiple times today at various speeds. Turning the car off and back on again seems to temporarily fix the problem but after some time, the power assist will fail again. Car is very difficult to steer without power assist.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #359

Feb 132013


  • 102,000 miles
Power steering went out as we were driving down the road. Almost caused an accident. Power steering still out. I just read up and it seems everyone's waiting for the recall. This is dangerous!!

- Wilton Manors, FL, USA

problem #358

Feb 122013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Driving off-ramp at 35 mph power steering stopped functioning and steering became really hard, lights went off, ac stopped working, and lots of engine lights came up, almost crashed when turning a corner and engine started home and shut off car, when tried to turn on again, it failed to start.......

- Miami, FL, USA

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