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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,661 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #11

Apr 092016


  • 60 miles


Transmission went out at 60K miles because of the way it's made it had to be completely replaced. Many many complaints about this faulty transmission. BMW has to pay for it.

- Monrovia, CA, USA

problem #10

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 #9

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 #8

Dec 202014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles


About two weeks prior to the fire, my back bumper was hit by someone, nothing too serious just the tail light broken. Their insurance had my car fixed at world Toyota collision center in atlanta Georgia. On Saturday morning, I picked up my car. I noticed clicking noise coming out from inside the car and the steering wheel becoming rigid as soon as I started driving. I pulled to the closest gas station (was in need of gas as well). White smoke came out from the front right after I parked. My husband lifted up the hood trying to see where the smoke is from. Not even two minutes later, there was flame, yes, actual fire underneath the engine compartment. Fortunately, there were two officers next to us at that time so they used fire extinguisher to take the fire down. I'm extremely frightened and disappointed at MINIcooper. Very dangerous car.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Mar 132013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 82,300 miles
When accelerating from 30 to 40 miles an hour/shifting from 3rd to 4th gear, my transmission would rev up the rpms and my car no longer accelerates. It went from about 2 to 5.5 rpms, even after I took my foot off the gas pedal. Once it finally does shift, it lurches the car forward violently. It takes a while for the transmission to start acting up, but once the car is fully warmed up, it seems nearly impossible to have it not happen. It's even more frustrating and frightening because I do all city driving, where I slow down and speed up so I am constantly having to get within the 30mph range. My car stops accelerating so I am afraid of my transmission dying in the middle of traffic or slowing down so much that is causes an accident. Bottom line: My car does not function properly and potentially endangers me, so I am afraid to drive my car.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #5

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 #4

Dec 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 41,230 miles
At low miles the transmission has to be replaced. No fore warning just gone. I'm trying to drive and at 10 mph I'm revving at up to 3000 RPM's. this should def not be happening! I'm fuming being that I have to now replace the transmission when I have not beaten on it or anything to make this happen. So far my experience with BMW has not been good. I would have been better buying anything else.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #3

Feb 062012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,315 miles
The vehicle began to feel like the transmission was slipping: Hesitation, wheels skidding, rough acceleration and deceleration. The problem continues after 2 trips to MINIcooper in which the car's computer was "reset" because no problems with the transmission were found. The problem described above persists, but there was also one episode where the car did not start and later turned off while driving on a congested nyc road.

- Jackson Heights, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 212012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Earlier in the day I took the car on a day trip to lake Tahoe driving a combination of interstate and mountain pass road. 3 hours later, my wife had taken the car to run an errand and came home and parked the car in the garage completely off and locked. 10-15 minutes later we hear the car alarm going off. We opened the door to the garage and saw white smoke coming from the engine compartment. There was high pitched wining also. When I opened up the door the put in neutral, the lights on the instrument panels were all on with no keys in the ignition. Opened the garage and moved the car to the driveway and away from the house. Called the fire department and I used an extinguisher underneath where orange glow was visible. The glow of the flames were toward the back part of the engine compartment and low. Saw no visible flames in the main compartment when the hood was popped open when fire department showed up they used a garden hose to cool engine compartment and suggested to disconnect the battery which I did. I had the car towed to the MINIdealer in reno, nv. Updated 8/8/12 the consumer stated the parts that seemed to have caused and were damaged in the incident were the power steering pump, power steering cooling fan, and electrical harness all in the engine compartment of a 2005 MINICooper S. updated 08/14/2012

- Verdi, NV, USA

problem #1

Jul 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 89,600 miles
Defective cvt transmission! the dealership said that it was no fault of ours that we needed a new transmission, but due to the way this transmission was designed!!!!!!!!

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

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