ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,654 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #17

Apr 102017


  • 83,000 miles


Problem with the transmission. Transmission does not shift properly downshifts at high speeds causing the engine to rev really high. Jolts a lot on the speed changes. Having signs indicative of transmission failure.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #16

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 #15

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 #14

Sep 032015


  • 90,000 miles


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

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #13

Jul 082013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
My wife bought a 2005 MINICooper convertible and it drove fine for like one day, then after that it stopped shifting gears. We noticed it would go around 35mph then the gears would not shift. After awhile it wouldn't even go over 15mph. After taking it to get diagnosed for some reason it ran 40 mph for about 30 minutes then the same problem occurred again.

- Houstn, TX, USA

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problem #12

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 #11

Jan 272012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,258 miles


Power steering pump seized and needed to be replaced. Power steering fan failure and also needed to be replaced. Power steering hoses leaking and also needed to be replaced. Output shaft seal is leaking, but has not been replaced at this time. These repairs cost me approximately $1000! I have found numerous complaints about power steering failures in the 2004-2005 MINIPlease make BMW pay for this!

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #10

Oct 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Power assisted steering will cease working while driving, making the car very, very difficult to steer/control. This problem is currently intermittent, but when it does happen it is very scary.

- Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #9

Mar 162011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,500 miles
Trunk door opened while driving around 50mph. Items in trunk flew out. Another driver pulled up alongside me to notify me of the situation.

- Red Bank, NJ, USA

problem #8

May 082011


  • 97,005 miles
The steering wheel on my MINICooper has become hard to steer on and off for the last couple of days. At the onset, I was going at about 15 to 20mph and turning right. The steering got hard to turn and I was having difficulty staying out of on coming traffic. I pulled off to the side of the road, turned off the car and hood under the hood to see if there was anything to explain what was going on. I was not able to identify anything to explain this occurrence, so I restarted the car and it was back to normal. Since then it has done this on and off several other times. I call the mechanic and was told these vehicles have lots of problems with the steering pump, cooling fan and rely switch.

- Newton, KS, USA

problem #7

Apr 242011


  • 81,000 miles


Experienced abrupt and complete loss of the power steering system simultaneous with an immediate and sharp decrease in power. This incident occurred at 75 mph on an interstate highway, car in middle lane. Very narrowly avoided collision with a truck when moving vehicle to full stop in emergency lane. Vehicle currently not in use as we feel it is a road hazard and unsafe to operate in current condition. Also awaiting for response from MINIdealer.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 032010


  • 75,350 miles
The vehicle has loss the power steering assist due to power steering pump failure. Thus requiring increased force to steer and control the vehicle. Steering has becomes extremely difficult and has made manoeuvring this car far harder and dangerous. The car has spotty electrical failures; example the window just doesn't want to roll up; no, wait, it does. No, wait, it doesn't. the stereo just gives up; no sound anymore, then it plays again. The same with the drivers side door you could here it unlock and re-lock, but the door would not open and then it would. Also both of my keys to open the door both turned off at the same time and I had to have the keys re-calibrated at a MINIdealership to reopen the vehicle.

- Estelline, SD, USA

problem #5

Feb 182011


  • 38,000 miles
The power steering pump is defective. I had a local Firestone car repair shop diagnose an unusual noise emanating from the engine compartment that intensified when the steering wheel was turned. They noted the defective steering pump and that it would cost at least $1,223.39 to replace. They said if I did not replace it, I could lose control of the car at any point while making a turn. I researched the problem online and found hundreds of other people having the same or similar issues with the steering pump. The ones who left the issue unresolved ended up losing control of their vehicle mid-turn when either the pump randomly shut off, or if it had already failed, randomly turned back on mid-turn. These situations are dangerous enough, but there were also reports of the electrical components catching fire. In light of this, I could not risk the safety of my family or myself, and took it into a local MINIdealership to repair the problem. They confirmed that the pump was failing and that it was good that I brought it in before it failed. The diagnosis and replacement cost was $1,417.49. They acknowledged that they were aware of the defect and were awaiting the results of the NHTSA investigation before committing to refund the cost of the defective part(s). Thankfully, thanks to all the reports of this problem online, I was able to fix this problem before anyone was seriously injured.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #4

Dec 122010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
2005 MINICooper sudden loss of power steering. Due to defect in design power steering cooling fan fails, causing pump to overheat and relay gets fried. MINIrefuses to acknowledge problem, and fix. Cost for replacement of pump, fan, labor is $1300-$1400. Vehicle has 59000 miles. Curiously they have redesigned fan with cover to protect it and pump has also been redesigned. Why hasn't there been a recall.

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #3

Oct 112010


  • 67,000 miles
The power steering has failed twice, once when I parked while running errands and once while driving at low speed. On-line, I read that this is a common complaint for minis produced between 2001 and 2007, but primarily those from 2004-05 and that it is related to the hydraulic power steering pump. My understanding is that the lack of heat shielding of the pump electronics permits flaking of carbon, that settles on the conductors and forces the pump to fail, until it cools off or until the flakes move on. MINIusa is not offering any solutions, nor is the dealer that sold me the vehicle, two months ago.

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #2

Jul 202005


  • miles
Consumer had 2005 MINICooper in shop for collision repairs that were not made. The consumers vehicle had been at the body shop for over 2 months, because the auto body shop received the wrong part 3 times.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 012005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Purchased car new 10/2004. In February 2005 it began to act as if it was going to die at low speeds, especially when first started. When the rpms are low it acts as if it is not getting fuel. Calls to the dealership re: This problem were met w/ "MINIknows about the problem, it is a software problem and there should be a fix by May." I brought up my concerns regarding safety and was told to "be careful". having the car die in mid-turns or when trying to drive across an intersection is not acceptable.I called the dealership again today and was told they have been told by MINIthere is no fix to this problem and owners will have to wait until the gasoline in the usa is "better".I hope the NHTSA will be able to do something before someone is killed because of this "unfixable" problem.number of failures noted was calculated by multiplying approx.# of days since this problem began by the ave # of starts per day.

- Camas, WA, USA

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