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:
10 / 17
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,175 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 10 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #332

May 262012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles


Parked car on city street and turned off car. Heard high-pitched noise like something was still running. Turned car on and back off again. Still heard noise. Saw gray, acrid smoke billowing from beneath hood. Car started but power steering was out. Had car towed to dealer. High-pitched noise was power steering pump fan which didn't turn off when car was turned off which burnt out the power steering pump, wires, harness and other related parts. $2000 repair made at MINIBMW dealer in san francisco.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #331

May 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Since I had the car in 2009 I had this problem with the power steering that it has a failure. BMW no response for this its a pump that its not design correctly. Lost of minis has this problems. Hard to steer and almost got into a crash.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #330

May 102012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
Last Thursday May 10, 2012 I was driving home and suddenly and without any warning, I lost the steering power function; the steering wheel got totally rigid and almost impossible to manipulate; with a huge effort and very carefully, I could arrive at home. I am lucky that I am an experienced driver. After switching off and on the car the power steering was working fine again. The problem has been intermittent since then; we are dealing with MINIcooper and its authorized dealer right now to get the car repaired but so far the experience with them has been traumatizing. I researched in internet and I found multiple complaints about this issue for the MINIcooper models between 2002-2007; I contacted MINIcooper and my husband took the car to the authorized dealer this morning but they do not want to assist us with this life- threatening issue; the customer service has been awful here and unconsidered.

- Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #329

May 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 63,002 miles


I started the car cold before heading out and the power steering was completely out. After several minutes it started working again, although not with the full assist. Since this time, every time I start up the car, I have a varying degree of assist for the first couple minutes of driving it.

- Beverly Hills, MI, USA

problem #328

May 112012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 110,700 miles
Electric power steering pump failed while I was in a turn at 30 mph. Steering became very heavy and nearly caused the car to leave the road due to greatly increased required steering effort. Shut car off and checked fluid level. Fluid level found to be full. Researched the problem when I got home and found that this is a known safety issue with MINIs. additionally, Transport Canada has issued a recall already on these power steering pumps due to continued failures.

- Trempealeau, WI, USA

problem #327

Feb 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Power steering cuts out intermittently. Power steering comes back after restarting vehicle. Then fails later again.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #326

Mar 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles


I have lost power steering intermittently over the past two months. It causes loss of control and makes the car undrivable and there is no warning. I pull over and restart it and it has power steering again. I am afraid to drive it on the freeway.

- Carmel, CA, USA

problem #325

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 #324

Apr 202012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 79,700 miles
The car had been performing normally and when I attempted to turn into a parking space it was suddenly extremely difficult to turn. After coming out of the store the car resumed steering correctly. Then a few days later the same thing happened-it was terribly difficult to turn the vehicle. I called my mechanic who suggested checking the power steering fluid level. I was unable to find in my owners manual where the power steering reservoir was located. The mechanic checked the fluid the following week and found the level to be normal. He investigated and found that there had been problems with power steering in other cars of my type. I ended up having to have everything replaced-pump, fan and reservoir at a cost for parts alone at $1033. I feel that if this problem was known to the manufacturing company that this should have been a recalled item for safety sake. The recall extended only to vehicles manufactured as of December 31, 2004. My vehicle was made in February 2005.

- Alamo, CA, USA

problem #323

Apr 122012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Power steering went out while driving, has not come back.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #322

Mar 302012


  • miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering failed and the vehicle was unable to be controlled. The contact crashed into a curve and punctured the rear driver side tire. In addition, the was an abnormal humming heard from the engine and the battery failed. The contact was advised by an independent mechanic that the power steering pump would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 102,000.

- Athens, TN, USA

problem #321

Apr 182012


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while the contact was driving approximately 40 mph, there was a complete loss in the power steering without any prior warning. The contact was able to continue driving with caution at a reduced speed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that the power steering pump would need to be replaced. The contact planned to have the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. There was currently there an open investigation associated with NHTSA action number EA11005 (steering: Hydraulic power assist: Pump). The approximate failure mileage was 60,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #320

Apr 172012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving my 2005 MINICooper on Tuesday, the steering felt odd. When I went to drive the car the following day there was no power steering. I felt I didn't have control. When making a turn I had to physically turn the steering wheel to get the car to straighten out. It was frightening. I took it to my mechanic who informed that this problem has been reported to him by other MINIowners. Upon further investigation I found alot of information on the internet from other 2005 MINICooper owners. I have made an appointment to have the situation checked out at my MINIdealer in freeport, NY. On Monday. When informing them about this problem and what my mechanic and the internet have stated, I was told they were not aware of such problems and that it would cost me $130 just to get a diagnosis from them. I then called MINIusa to report it to them and I was told that they are aware of such problems and that I should call them from the MINIdealer after the diagnosis is performed and they will let me know if they can help me.

- Mineola, NY, USA

problem #319

Apr 042012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,503 miles
Lost power steering while driving my 2005 MINICooper S. all of a sudden, have no power steering. Very difficult to steer, but not impossible. Thank god I was not in a place that this could have caused an accident. I note that I can turn off the motor, then turn it back on and the steering is ok for a few minutes, then goes out again. I love my MINIcooper, but this is a serious safety problem. I am afraid to drive it now, if I can't count on the steering to function correctly.

- Cape Elizabeth, ME, USA

problem #318

Oct 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,500 miles
Was traveling at neighborhood speed, turned into driveway and power assist on the steering failed. Had I been at speed this would have resulted in hitting a tree next tot he driveway. The car was essentially unsteerable without tremendous force, a condition completely unexpected. After turning off the vehicle and restarting it, the problem was no longer there, so obviously an electrical problem. The problem recurred about a month later while driving on an interstate highway. I have no idea where as I did not notice it until decelerating to exit the highway and the car was very difficult to steer. At the bottom of the ramp, it again became nearly impossible to maneuver. After turning it off and back on, the problem was gone. This has recurred on and off ever since. A local BMW/MINIspecialist mechanic informed me that this is not an infrequent problem with 2005 MINIs. he indicated the power steering functions fine except for intermittent electrical problems that cause it to fail. The problem has now come back and is very frequent. This is particularly troublesome at low speeds, and while parking. I feel there is sufficient instance of this to warrant a recall as obviously something is not right with the design or engineering of the power steering in far more cases that just my vehicle.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #317

Mar 302012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 96,630 miles
The power steering failed during driving and the vehicle became very difficult to steer. I had to pull over to access how much control I still had. The car continued to be very difficult to steer but I was able to drive home.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #316

Mar 272012


  • 84,000 miles
On date of incident, was attempting to park when the steering wheel locked up (became very difficult to move). I managed to get the car into a spot and called for tow assistance. The repair shop diagnosed as a power steering pump failure and had to replace that and other affiliated components (cooling fan, etc.). approximately 4 days before the failure, the power steering fan was uncharacteristically whinny, but went away after a few minutes and was not heard again before the failure.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #315

Mar 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68,549 miles
Power steering started failing approx. 3000 mile ago, at lower speeds the power steering would fail. Needed to restart the car to have power work again. Finally the power steering fan would stay on when the car was turned off. Took the car to MINIdealership, technician was approx. 30 feet from car and he had a diagnosis. Power steering pump had failed and so did the power steering fan unit. Since the car did not properly shut down I had to replace the battery. I had contacted MINIusa when the problem started and they would not do anything until the could replicate the issue of the power steering failing. This went nowhere fast. When pump and fan finally again they still would nothing for me and would not acknowledge any issues with the car.

- Laguna Beach, CA, USA

problem #314

Sep 062011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70 miles
While driving my 2005 MINIthe power steering went out without warning. This has occured numerous times while driving on the highway. Once the vehicle cools off, the power steering functions normally. I have contacted the MINIdealership about this problem to see if there have been any recalls issued, which there have not. It's obvious that this is a very serious problem and many others have experienced it as well. Can someone explain to me why a "recall" has not been issued?

- Burton, MI, USA

problem #313

Mar 142012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
The car has been having issues with the power steering assist. The power steering assist goes out intermittently making it dangerous to drive in the transition from power steering assist to manual steering. I hope this assists the investigation into this issue.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

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