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 1 of 3)

problem #52

Feb 082016


  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving 60 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. When the vehicle was turned off, the contact noticed that the electric fan kept running. The following day, the vehicle failed to start. The battery was dead. When roadside assistance arrived, the battery was jumpstarted and the fan remained active. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering pump and the power steering fan needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 67,000.

- South San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #51

Feb 112016


  • 53,000 miles
On 2/11/2016 I got home from work and I parked my 2005 MINICooper S (53,000 miles) on the driveway, turn off car and stayed with my kids & wife since they were waiting for me outside, my wife notice a sound & smoke coming from the car, the smoke were coming from the engine, I immediately open the hood & there was more smoke coming out, the headlights & all the lights turned on & stared flickering, also the wipers turned on, couple of seconds later the botom of the engine was engulfed in flames. My wife ran to get the water hose & I were able to put the fire out, we were lucky that I didn't walk inside the house like I always do, it could have been a horrible tragedy for me, my family and even our neighbors. The next day I had the car towed to my mechanic who after an inspection found out if was the power steering pump that got on fire and damaged all the wires around it, since he is a MINIspecialist he told us about a recall for that specific part, but to our disappointment he ran our VIN # and found that our car is excluded from that recall since its a late 2005 production. That exactly same thing happend to us with the actuators, one day while my wife was shopping with my kids, they just got locked inside the vehicle with the windows rolled up, it was a summer day and luckily she was able to get out through the back trunk, we contacted MINIbecause there is also a recall for the actuators and they also excluded our car saying that it was a late 2005 production and were not able to get the recall. The way we see it MINIis not taking responsibility for their defective components, it is not fair since I have no way to find out if my car was build with not defective parts, obviously it was. I am terrified by the idea this could have been worst since we R always driving with our kids. U need to do something about this & make MINIliable for these safety issues.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #50

Apr 152015


  • 95,000 miles
Power steering problems, air bag off and on, clutch went out near accident, electrical issues(many) windows up and down on their own, ever brake not working properly numerous items I have them detailed on paper

- St. Jacob, IL, USA

problem #49

Sep 032015


  • 90,000 miles


Lost power stearing, heat and air all at the same time.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #48

Jul 072015


  • 57,000 miles
After an hours drive, I was standing outside of the vehicle talking w/ the car off. All of sudden smoke starts pouring out from under the hood. I quickly opened the hood to hear some type of electrical fan/pump sound & smoke coming from the bottom/rear side of the motor. I was able to pull the battery terminal & the noise/smoke stopped. I then searched online & found the known issues of the electrical assisted power steering. I found the fuse for the circuit, a 100 amp fuse hidden on the bottom side of the fuse box that had not popped even though the pump was burning itself up. I had enough tools w/ me to pull the fuse, get the car started & make my way home w/O the power steering assist.

- Franklinville, NJ, USA

problem #47

Jun 012015


  • miles
2005 MINICooper. Consumer writes in regards to engine electronic failure. Consumer has another vehicle complaint listed in artemis. The consumer stated the problem he experienced with his vehicle was a computer test called comprehensive component kept reading incomplete. The dealer found an internal short inside the engine basic control computer. The consumer stated the cost to replace the electronic hardware was $1968 which was excessive.

- Fair Lawn, NJ, USA

problem #46

Apr 042015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Parked at shopping mall and not running for at least 30 minutes, come out to MINIcooper on fire. Smoke coming out of engine area, high pitch fan whirling, electrical smell. Power steering failed, shorted out, and caught on fire. Vehicle was not even on and parked when this happened. Appears to be a major failure many others owning a MINIcooper have experienced. BMW/MINIcooper of usa did nothing for us and put it all on our and my insurances shoulders. Amazed so many cases of this same issue have happened yet they do nothing and seem to expect everyone else to foot the bill. Got the run around by BMW and unless it was for my insurance company, the MINIwould have been scrapped.

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #45

Sep 172014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Power steering system fire.

- Landenberg, PA, USA

problem #44

Jun 022014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I got in my vehicle and shut the door. I turn the key to on, the locks went down (locks usually go down when car is in gear and moving) I turned the key further to start the engine and nothing happened. The door would not open, the windows would not go down, the sun roof would not open, the fob would not work, at that point I was locked in my car. I had to kick out the window to get out of my car. When I did get out, I re entered the car and opened the hood and jiggled the battery connection. I shut the hood and tried to start the car again and it started. I noticed as I was driving it home that the lights on the steering collum were not working and that when I parked it at home the brake lights stayed on.

- Carleton, MI, USA

problem #43

Jan 222014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 38,308 miles
Sudden failure of power steering resulting in very high steering effort, traced by dealer to a well-known failure mode in electrohydraulic power steering pump. Pump and associated fan were replaced by dealer under special ("secret") warranty coverage, due to common incidence of this failure. Existence of this special warranty was found only after search and location of many identical failures on the internet. The vehicle battery was found to be completely discharged upon arrival at dealership. Once a shop battery was connected, the pump was found to be running continuously even though the vehicle ignition was in the full off position. Also, the alternator was found to have failed, presumably because of excessive stress imposed by the defective pump on the vehicle electrical system. Cost of alternator replacement was not covered by the manufacturer. This known failure mode is believed to be a significant safety defect. Formal recall of affected vehicles by NHTSA is warranted, since sudden loss of power steering at speed can result in loss of vehicle directional control.

- Harwich, MA, USA

problem #42

Feb 132014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,900 miles


After I turned my car off, a noise like a fan kept running. It drained the battery causing me to get my car jumped. Then power steering went out, and when I arrived home after struggling to turn vehicle and operate safely, the fan did it again, after 5 minutes battery was dead. This is a major issue with this year of MINII have found after researching tonight, and I am very displeased to see that Canada has recalled this issue and the usa has not! people could get seriously injured. There is no rhyme or reason as to why, or when this will happen. This needs to be addressed as BMW is not taking responsibility in us as they have been forced to in Canada!!! I am a young, female college student and it was very scary being stuck and then not to have steering either.

- Eugene , OR, USA

problem #41

Sep 202012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,246 miles
In September 2012 I noticed a loud fan noise that wouldn't turn off. The car was also overheating. I noticed that it was very hard to steer the car, but I thought that was due to the overheating. Mechanic determined failed cylinder head gasket in 11/2012. The radiator was replaced and the thermostat was replaced. In 11/2012 the water pump was also replaced. In 12/2012 the battery had to be replaced. In 06/2013 the heater core was replaced. I believe that these issues are directly related to the loss of power steering and the associated fan failing, which caused the car to overheat and the battery to fail. Please see NHTSA complaints 10453158, 10444328, 10379750, 10442431,10379459 for similar cases of these same issues related to the failure of power steering and the associated pump.

- Mckinleyville, CA, USA

problem #40

Jul 152012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,900 miles
While I was driving on the highway approximately 65 mph my steering gave out and locked up, almost slamming me into the guard rail. I was fortunate enough to stop before tragedy. Unfortunately I was blocking a lane of traffic until I could force my way of the roadway. The second incident happened as I was turning into my own driveway. The steering locked up again causing me to miss my driveway and crash into the ditch. The other safety issues with my car is the windshield wipers will stop working at random and the reverse and tail lights will fail at random. The engine light stays on and the codes read emissions failure. When I talk to MINICooper customer relations they gave me an extended 100,000 mile warranty on the power steering and emissions. MINICooper claims they can't do the safety repairs due to a part shortage. They extended my already extended warranty to 150,000 miles and are wanting to charge me for diagnostics on these extended warranty issues. They will not offer any resolution and claim it is my problem as a consumer and claim the power steering issues are not safety related. When I asked about the electrical lighting issues they replied with that's not MINICoopers problem.

- Howe , OK, USA

problem #39

May 152013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 35,890 miles
Occupant seat sensor failure in passenger seat, airbag light comes on and stops airbag operation. I see that NHTSA has contacted BMW for this problem and for this model year; however, BMW/MINIwon't take blame for airbag failure. BMW takes irresponsible attitude that even though car has only 36,000 miles, safety is my problem, not thiers. As a side note, dealer says part is $1200 plus installation and reprogramming. BMW, the ultimate driving (and killing) machine.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #38

May 202013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 35,900 miles
2005 MINICooper. While driving approximately 45 mph, the front passenger air bag off indicator illuminated with an occupant positioned in the seat. In addition, the failure would occur even when an occupant was not present in the front seat. The illumination no longer continued when the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who stated the passenger seat mat sensor would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 35,000.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #37

Mar 152013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 85,103 miles
Intermittent power steering failures while car is in motion. One minute power steering functions, next minute, no ps at all. Power steering pump continues to run even when engine is off and key out of ignition. After returning to vehicle, battery is dead as a result of continuously running pump or fan.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #36

Jan 162013


  • 87,000 miles
Power steering pump failure. ## VIN failed ##

- Jamaica Plain, MA, USA

problem #35

Jan 142013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Driving to work in the am. I smell something in the car. When I look at my passenger side seat I saw smoke. Pull over and got a better look at it. I have a holes in my car seat and the two vest that I place on the seat. It appears the heated seat had a electrical failure. Took car to MINIdealer. They said it real odd this happen. They also nice to say I would have to paid to fix it. Look at many site on internet and seen BMW/MINIand other company have issues with heated seats. It do not seem to odd to me. I did not even had the heated seat on because no one was seating there.

- Cottonwood, AZ, USA

problem #34

Nov 142012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 76,525 miles
Started vehicle in the morning of 11/14/2012. The shift indicator on the dash shows ep mode instead of D, R, N, etc. The car seemed to drive fine but there's something wrong with the shifter electronics. The car does not seem to know what drive mode is in. Putting the auto manual transmission into sports mode does not change the shift indicator on the dash. In sports modes it still showed ep. In ep mode the car does not rev beyond 3000rpm and drives rough at certain speeds. This may be a manufacturer defect with a transmission sensor, or the shifter electronics.

- Wellesley, MA, USA

problem #33

Dec 082012


  • 65,000 miles
Son returned from town, a 10 minute drive, parked car in garage. Next morning there was a strong smell of an electrical fire coming from the car. Opened the hood and the smell of fire was overwhelming. Top of steering fluid pump appeared to be charred. Family afraid to drive car to dealer, some 35 miles away. After starting car, electrical fire smell returns.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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