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 4 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #357

Jan 262013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 81,000 miles


2004 MINICooper occasionally would lose power steering once every couple months after a few years of owning it. Turning off car and starting it back up would always resolve it. While driving down highway at 60mph, lost power steering. Could not pull over immediately. Took exit ramp with a sharp curve, could barely make it around the curve, ended up on the shoulder. Easily could have been an accident, or worse.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #356

Jan 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Beginning early 2012 (approx), there was intermittent power steering failure; the frequency increased through 2012. Total power steering failure as of January 19, 2013. Mechanic advises this is a failure of the power steering pump - a well known issue with 2004 MINIcoopers.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #355

Jan 092013


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the power steering failed. The vehicle was shutdown and restarted and after a few minutes, operated as designed. The vehicle had not been diagnosed by a mechanic but the contact was sure that the power steering pump was the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 91,000.

- Foster, RI, USA

problem #354

Dec 272012


  • 116,000 miles


Took my car into the mechanic to have it look at for a new clutch. They noticed the power steering pump was leaking. They replaced the fluid and cautioned me about getting it replaced soon.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #353

Dec 282012


  • 119,987 miles
I was driving home on the high way from my friends house, when all of the sudden my steering got hard and I was going about 65mph, I pulled over and shut my car off wondering what had happened, turned it back on and it worked fine but it felt like it was getting hard, again like it would get hard and let go real quick, started driving really slow until my nearest exit and it got really hard before I got off the highway, and it stayed that way until I got home and its been happening since.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #352

Dec 302012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 88,986 miles
Power steering pump failed at speed. Was very difficult to control the vehicle and presented a hazard to me and the vehicles around me. This is a common and known issue on many minis of similar year, should not occur to due the safety hazards.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #351

Dec 172012


  • 88,416 miles


The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering assist failed intermittently and the steering wheel became hard to turn. The failure occurred for a brief moment and the steering returned to normal function. However, the failure became permanent over time. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and a diagnostic was performed. The failure was located at the power steering pump. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 88,416 and the current mileage was 88,570.

- San Francisco , CA, USA

problem #350

Jan 032011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Power steering has failed on 2004 MINIcopper twice. This is the second occurrence in 1.75 years. This is a safety concern especially as a city driver where the need exists to parallel park, park in parking decks, and driving and turning on narrow streets with traffic. There is not always the option to make a wide turn. Model years 04 and 05 have this issue and MINIhas not addressed. In addition they have not made it an affordable repair.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #349

Dec 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Backing out of parking space and upon shifting from reverse to drive and starting forward power steering went out. Very difficult to operate car due to difficulty steering.

- Coweta, OK, USA

problem #348

Nov 192012


  • miles
My 2004 MINICooper has had multiple incidents where the power steering pump fails. It has failed numerous times, some even while driving. The problem starts if the steering wheel is cranked all the way for a tight turn, gradual turn or does not turn on when the car starts. Sometime the pump will reset if the car if shut off then on again or the pump regains pressure. I have checked the pump itself, there are no leaks, fluid is filled to the appropriate level and no other issues have come up. This is a very dangerous thing to have happen while driving and needs to be resolved. It is a costly repair that I find BMW should assist with being that the pump appears to be faulty.

- San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #347

Nov 242012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Power steering wheel suddenly failed and became stiff while getting off freeway. Took great force to turn steering wheel to steer car. Luckily able to stop car safely.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #346

Nov 082012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,420 miles
While driving home as I turned into my street the steering power suddenly went out causing me to drive into the incoming traffic lane, luckily there were no vehicles but if there would have been any vehicles I could have been in a front collision. The fact that this happens while driving makes this issue extremely dangerous.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #345

Nov 072012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 118,850 miles
Left home with no power steering issues. Half way to work, driving on the highway and began to take a right hand curve in the road and out of no where there is no power steering. No warning or indication that anything was wrong prior to this. Luckily I reacted quickly and the curve was not too sharp because I was in the right hand lane with cars to the left of me and behind me. Would have been bad news had the curve been a little sharper. I checked the power steering fluid level and it was full. When I turned the car off and back on again, the power steering was working again. Drove the car again later in the day, when I started the car everything was working perfectly and then part way to my destination the power steering went out again.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #344

Oct 182012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
The power steering cut out while driving around town. After driving further about 20 minutes, power steering returned. Power steering now acts erratically, operating sometimes and not others. Power steering periodically does not operate.

- Starkville, MS, USA

problem #343

Oct 122012


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. While driving approximately 40 mph, the power steering failed without warning. The contact was able to continue driving. On a separate occasion the contact noticed that the electric power steering pump remained in continuous operated although the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who advised that the power steering pump would need to be replaced, which posed a fire hazard. The power steering pump was disconnected. There was a concurrent investigation under NHTSA action number: EA11005 (steering:electric power assist system) that could have been related to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Sparks, NV, USA

problem #342

Oct 242012


  • 80,300 miles
While taking a corning my power steer abruptly vanished almost causing me to crash. Very dangerous. Have heard of this happening with many other minis around the same age.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #341

Oct 212012


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper. While driving approximately 65 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The contact shut off the engine and after restarting, the vehicle regained power steering capabilities. The power steering continued to fail intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 96,000.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #340

Dec 042010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
12-4-10: The power steering pump kept running after the car was off and drained the battery in 2 hours. Sept., 2012: Two incidents of power steering loss while driving. First time I had no power steering when I started the car. I drove a short distance, stopped and restarted the car and the power steering worked. Second time I lost power steering briefly while driving at low speed. My mechanic found that the power steering fan had seized and replaced it. When he took it for a test drive, the power steering pump was making a loud noise. He replaced the pump as well and the problems were corrected.

- East Lansing, MI, USA

problem #339

Oct 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,500 miles
Power steering goes out suddenly and unexpectedly making the vehicle extremely hard to turn and steer. Has happened 3X in two days. Happened one time a year or more ago and I thought it was a fluke. This is now no fluke. When I restart the vehicle (so far) it has come back, but I cannot reliably drive this vehicle this way. Canada ordered a recall on this same issue and MINIis fixing and extending the warranty to 200,000km. Seems only fair that us drivers get the same treatment. It is a dangerous situation and not one we can afford to let go unsolved.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #338

Oct 062012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
As I was driving 40 mph on my local 2-lane road, my power steering suddenly failed with no warning whatsoever. I returned carefully home and left the car parked in my driveway until I could contact my local MINIdealer (prestige MINIin Mahwah, NJ). When I got into the car to take it to the dealer, the power steering was suddenly working again. Prestige MINIclaims that my strut towers ($645) and lower control arm bushings (also $645) were shot and needed replacing. The advisor told me verbally that it had nothing to do with the power steering pump and/or the power steering pump fan, but so far I cannot get prestige to reply via email (in writing) that this is true.

- Cornwall, NY, USA

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