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 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,275 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Mini Cooper:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #13

Oct 232014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles


A "pop" was heard when I was driving my vehicle on I95. I was able to pull over to the side considering when the "pop" occurred, my MINIlost power. As I was pulled over, the vehicle burst into flames.

- Felton, PA, USA

problem #12

Jul 182014


  • 50,000 miles
My problem is with a 2005 MINICooper S. why is their not a recall on the water pump? it has been know for going out premature and BMW has redesigned the new pumps with a metal impeller instead of previous plastic. Talking to the dealer, they made me feel fortunate that my water pump made it to 50,000 miles stating they replace many water pumps in the 1st generation series around 20,000 miles. I strongly believe this is dangerous, as the failure can cause overheating and requires you to shut off the car, and sit on the side of the road. Cars are not made to over heat. This greatly increases the chance of a fire. BMW knows they have a problem but is not recalling the water pumps until 2006-2011. I think the 1st generation minis should have the same recall as most minis including mine has/had a water pump issue and would like over a thousand dollars to have it replaced. I have caught mine early but only because I jack up my MINIto clean the underbody about once a month. MINIcoopers are well known for their water pumps, thermostats, and power steering, failing. I am 18 years old and would like to use this car to travel from South Carolina to Wisconsin in the future, yet if my coolant system (water pump or thermostat) could go out again at any time and cost a fortune to replace and leave me stranded on the side of a highway. I will be taking a plane every time I travel a few hundred miles and rent a car. This must be addressed! I just paid 1200 for MINIto replace a water pump that should have had at the least 30-50 thousand miles more.

- Simpsonville , SC, USA

problem #11

Feb 042012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,610 miles
Generally, I love the MINICooper having purchased it in the after market. However, not long after the warranty ran out, I had problems for several weeks with my steering wheel seizing up but an incident in February 2012 sticks out most in my mind since I was on I-95 in the rain and could not adequately steer the car to take an exit. My 11 yr old daughter was with me at the time. I pulled to the shoulder and shut the car off and was able to restart and resume driving. Financially, I could not afford to take the car into the dealer but the condition and work around continued intermittently for a few weeks when I could afford the repair. In early May 2012, I took the car to the dealer for repair and it cost over $1300 to replace the power steering pump. At the time of the repair, it was noted that the cooling fan also needed repair for another $720 -- I just didn't have it. Today, my 2-yr old battery failed apparently due to draining from the fan. For now, I replaced the battery for $249. I will be incrementally getting repairs done, however, in reading some people's experience with the steering pump, I understand that there may be some relevance between the pump going bad and an impact on the fan. I'd appreciate any insights you may have on that possibility. I am reporting this not only for myself but for others who also may be impacted by the pump defect that I am learning is somewhat common. I look forward to the outcome of your engineering analysis. Thank you.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #10

May 062012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


My 2005 MINICooper S out of no where buried the needle on the thermostat and was completely overheated. Unable to drive any further as I smelt smoke and possibly a sweet smell coming from the engine. Had it towed to a mechanic and have now seen that this is an item that has been recalled on all MINIcoopers S from 2006 to 2011, I find it hard to believe that the 2005 does not have the same pump electrical circuit board etc. As those and I feel that my car should be also recalled for this item. Obviously, I can not drive it and the price is outrageous to fix it.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #9

May 022012


  • 59,930 miles
Vehicle fire 5/2/2012. Car parked for 4 hrs. Returned to car & drove it <50 yards for ~2 minutes (moved it from street to parking lot). Turned it off and went in store. Returned ~4 minutes later, noticed smoke/exhaust smell; presumed it was adjacent car. Unlocked car. Car would't start (no lights/electrical at all). I then noticed white smoke coming from hood. Opened hood then noticed flame/fire inside engine compartment. Went in store, got fire extinguisher and put fire out. Invoice was >$3500 from MINIdealer. The dealer's assessment: "verified power steering pump has overheated to the point where it has burned up internally as well as externally (melting all three connectors and the wiring leading to them). Inspected power steering cooling fan and verified cooling fan is seizing up which very likely led to the overheating and eventual failure of the power steering pump. Removed engine compartment fuse box to examine megafuse powering the power steering pump, fuse is intact and did not burn up. Inspected power steering pressure hose and it appears the rubber section of the power steering pressure line was subjected to the heat/melting of the main power connector (it's in very close proximity to the connector) and it appears the hose has taken a level of damage from the heat. Recommend replacement of power steering pump, the wiring section/connector pigtail from the fuse box (this is the main power connector), the engine wiring harness (contains two other electrical connectors to the pump which received extensive damage), the power steering fan (likely cause of failure), power steering pressure line (high pressure hydraulic line which has been exposed to the main connector melting and subsequent heat), and other miscellaneous items associated with those components (O-rings, crush rings, hose clamps ect...)"

- Mercer Island, WA, USA

problem #8

Mar 222011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Over heating constantly no technical person knows of a remedy. Overflow tank blows out when car overheats constantly.this seems to be a problem since the beginning no matter what year the car was built and never remedied. Why not a recall" not knowing what other damage this causes to the engine. This has to be a recall for the company to fix it is a hit and miss fix??" this is a costly process and even in the forums on MINIit has been an ongoing issue. Front end fails all at the same time. (control arms, cv joints) steering becomes hard to control. MINIhelp

- Vero Beach , FL, USA

problem #7

Jan 272009


  • 58,900 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. The contact stated that the instrument panel gauges all began to point to zero. The vehicle then lost power steering and the engine rpms began to fluctuate erratically, as well as the warning lights. The air conditioner also shut off independently. The contact continued driving the vehicle and as he exited, the vehicle caught on fire from under the hood. The fire was extinguished and the vehicle was towed to the dealer who repaired the power steering pump, power steering gasket, pressure hose and gasket, fan and motor, valve cover, engine harness, and thermostat. The contact stated that the failure recurred after repairs but the vehicle did not catch fire. The dealer was contacted and informed him that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was approximately 58,900.

- Woodside, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 012010


  • 110,000 miles
Electric fan that cools the power steering pump on our 2005 MINICooper failed. Our mechanic says had we driven very far, our power steering pump would have failed. He tells us this is a common problem with minis, and a full 50% of his MINIcustomers have experience fan failure, pump failure, or both.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #5

Jul 182010


  • 61,000 miles
2005 MINIcopper caught on fire. The fire resulted in a total loss of the automobile.

- Montgomery Village, MD, USA

problem #4

Jul 312009


  • 77,280 miles
The MINIcooper engine has an internal thermostat that is plastic, when mine cracked and leaked I had no signs showing that. The engine one day got hot, I drove about 5 miles and stopped. I took it to a repair shop and I need a new engine. The repair shop said this happens alot.

- Aptos, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 122006

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,600 miles


Our 2005 MINICooper S has been plagued with an engine problems since we first purchased it in July of 2005. While driving, the engine suddenly loses power causing the vehicle to stop suddenly. This problem has occurred while driving at a speed of 65 mph on a major highway. We've contacted the dealer a number of times and requested service appointments. We have been told each time that it is not necessary to bring the car in and that the problem is being caused by a loose gas cap. Living in the state of NJ where you cannot pump your own gas, we consistently remind the gas attendant to properly attach the gas cap and we check the cap after getting gas. The problem is still occurring. However, regardless of whether or not the problem is being caused by the gas cap, this is a huge safety hazard. My wife was 8 months pregnant and driving the car on the highway one of the first times this occurred. She was stuck in oncoming traffic for 10 minutes while trying to get the vehicle restarted. If this problem is not addressed very soon, someone is going to be seriously injured.

- Madison, NJ, USA

problem #2

Sep 062005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving this vehicle it has frequently gone into what dealers and other owners call "limp mode". it basically loses all power while driving. This has happened in the middle of intersections and is entirely unsafe and unacceptable. It would not be acceptable for any car to stall this often let alone a new car. This car is months old and we are having significant safety problems. I have come to find out that the manufacturer is well aware of this and has made several unsuccessful attempts at repairing them although they have never notified any owner or done a formal recall campaign (according to BMW customer service rep.). this is outrageous considering what is at stake. This is a major mechanical safety problem not a convenience item failure. I encourage everyone who owns this vehicle to address this with your dealers before it starts happening to your vehicle. We only found out that there were things to be done when art dealer looked at our VIN number at our request. No notice was given, and others seem to report the problem continuing after the current fix is applied. Good luck!

- Westminster, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 162005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,250 miles
Started vehicle in the evening when leaving work then drove out onto the street and the vehicle stopped. The throttle would not do anything and the car wouldn't move. The dealer said a temperature sensor told the computer it was out of range and sent the automatic transmission into a limp mode. After pulling over and restarting the car it was possible to drive it home, but the service engine light was on. The vehicle was only 1 month old. The dealer has replaced two map sensors and an electronic throttle motor, but it's not supposed to be fixed until they correct the software. There are 7 MINICooper S automatics with the same problem at this dealer and many more throughout the U.S.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

Not what you are looking for?