Notes: Power steering problems are a major issue with the 2005 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:
1 / 12
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,687 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.

2005 Mini Cooper electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Oct 122010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles


The power steering in our 2005 MINICooper has a recent history (within the past year) of intermittently failing, making the car difficult, if not impossible, for our small-sized drivers (about 100 lbs.) to maneuver. This has proved dangerous on the road, but injuries have so far been avoided, just when we were going to get it fixed, the problem appeared to self-correct. This week, however, the car has failed to start or take a charge to a one-year-old battery. Our reliable and trustworthy mechanic cannot diagnose the source of the problem, but we are wondering if there may be a drain on the battery from this power steering problem.

- Western Springs, IL, USA

problem #11

Jul 082010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
I have a 2005 MINIcooper. The airbag sensor in the passenger seat failed around 66,000 miles. I was told that the passenger seat airbag and both door sensors had to be replaced along with the battery cable at a cost of $4000. Sounds as if BMW still has real electrical problems in their cars and are sticking it to consumers to fix it instead of fixing these problems themselves. The car has never been involved in any accident.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #10

Sep 212010


  • 42,500 miles
2005 MINICooper passenger light comes on with or without any passenger sitting. However, after driving for a while goes away. When the car is turned off and started again, the passenger light stays on again. This is not normal. I have seen other recalls for different years, why 2005 is not a recall?

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #9

Aug 252010


  • 45,505 miles


I was travel at a speed of 70 mph, when my vehicle lost power immediately down to 15 mph. The engine did not shut off, but I could not accelerate above 15 mph. I was able to pull to the right because the traffic flow was spaced so I could safely pull over. There was no warning that this malfunction was going to happen. The vehicle was said to gone into "limp mode". the electronic belt was replaced that apparently controls the vehicle function at a cost of $3400.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #8

Jun 152010


  • 30,000 miles
2005 MINICooper convertible does not turn off even after key is removed. Safety issue potential with their drive-by-wire ignition" dealer said it is caused by wire harness and/or rear tail light connection. Car may be unsafe"

- Mill Valley, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 182010


  • 40,800 miles
Defect initially occurred at night time in rush hour traffic: Dash-lights went out, turn indicator not functional, heater blower stopped working (causing fogging of windshield/windows), air bag lights went on, seat belt light on consequently had to pull on the side of road (limited visibility, no speed indicator, could not operate vehicle safely). A couple of attempts at ignition cycling partially restored functionality. After initial defect, problem could be reproduced intermittently (all/some of the component listed above failed during course of normal operation of vehicle). Vehicle inspected by MINIBMW dealer, root cause: Interference on K-bus of one of the audio component, resulting in failure/malfunction of other components on the bus. Ultimately component (MINII-pod interface) had to be removed -- part is available if needed. Request to have repairs covered was rejected by MINIBMW customer relations on grounds there was no recall (vehicle is 5 months out of warranty --- 41K miles).

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #6

Oct 222009


  • 63,300 miles


2005 MINICooper S. approximately 63,000 miles. October 22, 2009. I had just gotten home from work and parked in the garage. Going in the house I smelled something burning. After a couple minutes of investigating in the house, I decided to go back into the garage, and find that it is a little smokey. I open the garage door and back the MINIout onto the driveway. Now there is smoke streaming from under the hood. I can hear spinning/clicking noises coming from the engine compartment. I open the hood and see flames coming out of the back of the engine, below the exhaust manifold. I emptied 3 fire extinguishers into the engine bay and it was still burning. Called 911. By the time the fire department came, the fire had burned itself out. I was extremely fortunate that I went back into the garage within minutes to investigate, otherwise it could've been a huge car fire and potentially fire damage to the garage and house as well.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 082009


  • 35,230 miles
Power steering pump fan seized. Per dealership and independent mechanic, most common MINIrepair. Problem is that seized fan motor continues to draw power which drains battery. Had to have car jumped by aaa to get it started to bring in for repair. Now all the dashboard electrical functions are malfunctioning: No speedometer/tach/gas gage read out. In excess of $2K to fix plus already paid $400 for new power steering fan and battery, hoping that was all that was needed.

- Minnetonka, MN, USA

problem #4

Oct 302008


  • 97,000 miles
Auto was parked in driveway after a 30 mile drive, turned off and keys removed. After some time being parked, car started billowing smoke from under the hood. Dash lights came on, parking lights came on spontaneously. No keys present in the vehicle. Before I was able to disconnect the battery the apparent short circuit had drained the battery. Vehicle was towed to MINIof peabody MA where it was determined the electro-hydraulic power steering pump had shorted out causing the wiring harness to be destroyed and also destroying the battery.

- Hollis, NH, USA

problem #3

Jul 122005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
My 2005 MINICooper S automatic suddenly stopped twice for no apparent reason while driving. Car was only 4 months old, about 4000 miles on car. I was actually in motion, and the car just stopped moving! I had to turn off the car and restart it. Eml and check engine lights came on once the car stopped. The check engine light stayed on for a few days, then went off, so I assumed it was a fluke and nothing to worry about (otherwise I assume the light would stay on). The second time it happened was exactly the same scenario as the first. I have since learned that MINIis calling this "limp mode", but I had never received any recall notification from MINIor anything indicating that they knew about this problem. However, the did know, based on what I have read of others who complained to them about the exact same problems!! yet MINIapparently did not notify dealerships, because the first one I called had no idea what the problem was which I described, and wasn't going to take me for service until 2 weeks later. I called a second dealer who immediately knew the problem, and said it was a voluntary recall. Still I had not heard anything from MINIusa. I took my car in and it was fixed in an hour--they reprogrammed the dme. This is a safety issue! I still haven't heard anything from MINIabout a safety recall for this problem! maybe they didn't notify me because I had it taken care of already, but had this happened on the freeway, rather than in my neighborhood, I could be dead now! why isn't MINInotifying owners who purchased the 2005 automatics!! why aren't they issuing a recall" are they waiting for someone to be killed"

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #2

Mar 102005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While accelerating onto the highway, the car lost power to the wheels and did not operate properly until I turned the car off and back on. The car was brought to the dealership and the problem was not found or corrected. A second incident occurred a few weeks later, again as the car was accelerating from a stop. This time, the power returned without having to shut the car off.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jun 242005


  • Manual transmission
  • 79 miles
Consumer was driving home when people starting honking and waving at consumer. Brake lights were not working. Consumer had dealer come and get vehicle, dealer told consumer that it was an electrical problem. Consumer said that vehicle was in her possession for 24 hours when brake lights failed. Consumer bought vehicle new from dealer, who supposedly fixed it. But consumer had not been able to check to see if brake lights actually worked. Consumer stated that it was significant that this happened after dealer had done the safety preparations for delivering the car. Dealer said that the preparations were done, and they checked the lights and all the fluid levels.

- Deroit, MI, USA

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