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 7 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #297

May 212012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 57,198 miles


Power steering is of great concern as it has periods where it seems that the power steering quits working. Also when adjusting the direction as I am backing up into my driveway steering is sort of lazy and it make a high pitch whining noise when I turn the steering wheel.

- Columbia , SC, USA

problem #296

May 192012


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINICooper S. while driving approximately 65 mph the steering wheel locked and became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Salom, OR, USA

problem #295

May 182012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 128,400 miles
The power steering is not working. I am a 280 pound man and I can barely turn. Also while driving at times it feels harder to turn, once again like power steering not working.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #294

May 112011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles


Power steering pump failed while driving. Luckily incident happened at low speed.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #293

May 072012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
Power steering pump failure at 127,000 miles.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #292

May 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
I was merging onto highway I-25, taking a sharp turn at 50 mph when the power steering suddenly failed. I nearly missed the turn and almost crash down the on-ramp, which would've placed me heading perpendicular straight into highway traffic.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #291

Apr 252012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,590 miles


While driving my 04 MINICooper at freeway speed, I suddenly lost power steering assist. I can still drive the vehicle, but it is very difficult to turn. I took the vehicle to a local repair shop and was told the new power steering pump alone will cost me over 600 dollars. This does not include the labor and other miscellaneous costs associated with replacing the unit. The repair will cost me in excess of 1000 dollars, which I can not afford at this moment. I understand that multiple complaints relating to the power steering system in the 04 MINICooper have been filed. However, I have not seen a recall regarding this issue. I would like to know if you foresee a recall for this issue, and would appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you for your time and consideration.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #290

Apr 192012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 45,773 miles
At 35 mph I noticed intermittent loss of power steering (ps). I was diving on 2 lane winding country road with no shoulders and ended up in the oncoming lane before I regained control. Luckily was no traffic at the time. The most terrifying thing is when ps it's dead for a while and then suddenly comes back on. If you are in a corner, because you've just been muscling the steering wheel, and ps comes back you will be suddenly over-steer and veer out of your lane.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #289

Apr 192012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
My power steering failed as I was driving during rush hour on a major highway into Washington, DC. The wheel was not locked, but it became extremely difficult to turn the wheel in any direction, which was very dangerous as traffic was going 70mph. I was able to pull the car off at an exit, and stop it on the shoulder. I turned off the engine and re-started the car, at which time the power steering appeared to work normally again. This was the most recent incident of this type, but there have been at least ten. In other instances, the power steering fails during parallel parking in the tight spaces on city streets. This is unpredictable, however -- months can pass with no problem, and then it starts again.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #288

Apr 132012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 86,500 miles
Lost power steering when driving on the freeway. Feels like the steering locks up but can still steer when using a lot of strength. Since first incident, this has happened again several times. Usually after driving for about five minutes.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #287

Apr 222012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles


My MINIwas parked for about 2 hours. When I went to leave in it, I could not steer it. The power steering was completely unresponsive. I was able to drive it home (about 5 miles) but it was very difficult to steer and unsafe to drive.

- Jacksonville, OR, USA

problem #286

Apr 062012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
Power steering pump wont shut off after vehicle is disabled, causing the battery to die. The power steering pump will disable while driving.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #285

Apr 102012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 120,760 miles
While driving approx 35 mph my MINIsuddenly felt as if I had several flat tires. I pulled over and checked all my tires. I had no power steering, it was extremely difficult to steer the MINII have driven cars in the past without power steering) it took all my strength to drive the MINIto my destination. I turned off the MINIand called my husband. When I restarted the MINII had power steering. It concerns me that the power steering when out while driving without any warning.

- Perry, OH, USA

problem #284

Mar 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
I was unable to get my vehicle smogged. The obd was not communicating with smog machine. Took it to dealer and found the power steering electrical was causing a short circuit in the system.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #283

Feb 072012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 74,252 miles
Hydraulic power steering assist system failed while on the road 3 times causing a crash hazard. The power steering would return intermittently until it completely stopped working.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #282

Mar 272012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,939 miles
Driving car on highway rounding curve, power steering failed completely.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #281

Mar 132012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 37,414 miles
BMW installed plastic power steering pump that should have been recalled because the part is faulty and leaks power steering fluid. I had to replace pump with metal power steering pump.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #280

Feb 182012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Power steering failed while in traffic jam. Vehicle extremely hard to steer. Fourth incident of this happening. This is the second complaint filed with NHTSA. Owner was contacted by BMW in August 2011 for complaint review, but owner has not heard back from them and cannot get through to telephone number given by BMW.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #279

Feb 202012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,500 miles
Occasional power steering failure. At first it occurred mostly at start up for less than a minute. After calling the dealer for info, I added fluid, turned the wheel to lock in both directions and that seemed to help for a couple weeks. The issue has since returned, about 1 occurrence per week. Most recently I had no power steering for the entirety of a ~30 minute drive. I'm concerned that the steering will fail mid-turn, particularly while driving dangerous mountain roads. Does the pump need to be replaced or is this an electrical issue as described in existing complaints?

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #278

Mar 212012


  • miles
Power steering pump fail. No check engine light or any warning light. Found out that its not working while driving!!! I couldn't turn my steering wheel it became very stiff. Its very dangerous and very expensive to replace. About $900 for the part only!

- Wayne, NJ, USA

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