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 11 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #312

Mar 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Power steering intermittent. Generally, it will go out after driving 20-30 minutes, however, it has failed to turn on when starting in the morning on occasion. In both cases, turning off the engine and restarting brings the power steering back on. It looks like this is related to investigation EA11005.

- Sahuarita , AZ, USA

problem #311

Mar 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
While driving the vehicle the power steering intermittently goes out. It is very unpredictable, where I will be driving for several miles with the power steering intact, then all of a sudden it goes out making the vehicle difficult to turn and control. Later the power steering returns. I had the vehicle examined by the MINIdealer, the insurance company mechanic, and my personal mechanic. None of them were able to notice any damage to the power steering. The fluid level is intact as well as the pump. The MINIdealer stated that they've "seen a lot of this" issue, but there are no recalls or open campaigns. The dealer believes the issue is due to an internal electronics failure and will not agree to fix it in good faith. In calling MINIusa, there are no open campaigns or recalls for the issue either, despite over ~50,000 cars of the same model year reportedly having the same issue. This is a very dangerous and frustrating situation with the potential to cause accidents due to an unpredictable loss of control while driving.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #310

Mar 202012


  • 120,774 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while driving approximately 55 mph, the steering became difficult to maneuver. The contact stopped on the shoulder of the road and shut off the vehicle. Once restarted, the vehicle regained power steering function. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technician advised the contact that the power steering pump would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 120,774.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #309

Jul 152011


  • 64,500 miles


While driving at 40 miles per hour the car lost all power steering. The loss of power steering made it extremely difficult to turn the car. The car was more difficult to turn than a car that has no power steering. The power steering went out without any warning. It was working one moment, then after a short driving for a short period it just ceased to work. Checked power steering fluid and the fluid level was ok. After restarting, the power steering worked again. This has happened several times. The power steering will just quit working while driving. You are given no warning that it is no longer working, until you attempt to turn and the car does not respond.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #308

Mar 152012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Have been noticing my MINIs fan has been sounding louder than normal thought maybe a cooling issue going on however last week the power steering randomly went out in the car while driving. I managed to pull the car over and tried turning car off and restarting it, power steering came back on. I thought it was a weird fluke and checked all my engine fluid levels when I got home. All fluids were at normal level and thought nothing of it. Today again power steering quit this time early in the morning as I was getting ready to leave for work (car had not been driven since previous night). I had to drive into work with no power steering as I could not call out and same thing driving home today power steering was still out. I started searching online and saw there had been supposedly a "safety recall" on 2005 MINICooper's for "campaign - power steering fan relay wiring modification -notes :si M32 03 04" stating: "service action: Correct the wiring for the power steering fan relay". I just called my local MINIdealership (boston) gave them the last 7 of my VIN for them to look up if there were any recalls on my car, they stated my car is not on the recall list despite this recall was supposedly on models R50 and R53 (my model is R50). I cannot drive this car now without performing this repair, my car has just turned 60,000 miles (still considerably low I think for something like this). In my searching I have found there are 14 other complaints literally just like mine since just January of this year!!! how is this not on a recall list ? I loved my car up until now, I feel like MINIhas a huge problem they already know about and are sticking their customers with paying a bill for something they publicly acknowledged as a safety issue in their cars.

- Millis, MA, USA

problem #307

Jan 202012


  • 62,000 miles
Power steering pump had to be replaced at 62,000 miles due to failure.

- Garnet Valley, PA, USA

problem #306

Mar 092012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 103,600 miles


While driving approximately 45 mph, the power steering on my 2005 MINICooper failed and I had trouble turning the car. The power steering failure continued until I was able to pull into a parking lot and turned the car off. I let the car to cool down for approximately one hour before restarting it and the power steering worked fine the rest of the trip home. This was the second time I experienced this failure, but did not record the date, etc. Of the first incident so am unable to accurately report that. Both times that the power steering failed, it was only due to my driving vigilance and arm strength that I was able to successfully avoid an accident. The local MINIdealer cannot look at my car for almost two weeks to identify the problem and I am afraid to drive my car fearing another failure of the power steering.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #305

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 #304

Mar 022012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn while driving 35 mph. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and the current mileage was 53,000. Updated 03/15/12

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #303

Feb 242012


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they advised her that the power steering pump failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contact and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 82,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Ivan, UT, USA

problem #302

Feb 272012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles


The car lost power steering intermittently lasting different length of times. The steering was extremely hard to move. This occurred as I was driving 35 mph with no warning on a left hand turn. MINIdiagnostics identified the power steering pump and fan needed to be replaced and said it was infact the same issue being investigated by NHTSA but declined to assist in repairs.. $1200... standing only behind the 30,000mi/3 yr warranty expiration. Please recall the 2005 MINIfor this issue...

- Severna Park , MD, USA

problem #301

Feb 282012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
Power steering failure. Very difficult to steer to back up or drive. After shutting off and restarting car twice the power steering is working again. Car is unsafe if power steering fails at any speed. Could cause loss of control resulting in injury or death.

- Fort Wayne , IN, USA

problem #300

Feb 252012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,600 miles
Vehicle darting around on road like steering stops then starts back up, acceleration darts left, deceleration darts right.

- Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA

problem #299

Jan 202012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Was driving in traffic on interstate 95 when power steering failed without warning. Car became very difficult to drive. Pulled off road, checked fluid levels and couldn't find any obvious problems. Power steering came back on when restarted car. Power steering stayed on for rest of drive, but has gone out several times since. Always comes back if turn off car and restart.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #298

Feb 242012


  • 35,192 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while parking, the power steering system malfunctioned and the vehicle became difficult to steer. The contact restarted the vehicle and the power steering system began operating normally. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 35,192.

- Oakland , CA, USA

problem #297

Oct 262011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 64,525 miles
Power steering failed on low and high speed. Had to slow down to stop, key off and rekey several times to get power steering to return. This has happened many times since the first time. It happens without warning and with no notice. By looking at this website and online forums I see this is a ongoing concern, and that this concern resulted in a recall in Canada. I would hope that NHTSA would adopt the same recal as Canada, as this defect is not the fault of the consumer. The appx cost of a known defect in the $1200 to $2000 dollar range that is not the fault of the consumer seems grossly unfair.

- Milford, MI, USA

problem #296

Mar 112011


  • 151,770 miles
I was on my way to work and as I made a right hand turn, I almost lost control of the vehicle. The power steering had failed and I had to find the strength to turn the steering wheel before I ran into the building on the navy base where I work. I had a power steering pump put on. It hasn't even been a year and already I am having the same problems with the power steering. I do not think I should have to buy a new power steering pump every year.

- Pace, FL, USA

problem #295

Jan 272012


  • 41,000 miles
Power steering pump failure. The steering wheel completely locks up and can't be turned. On top of that, it's completely unpredictable when the failure occurs. The first time it happened I was taking a right turn out of a roundabout, when the steering wheel wouldn't turn completely. Fortunately, I was going slow enough that I could brake so that I didn't have a head on collision with a car waiting at a stop light. It was extremely scary.

- Brighton, MA, USA

problem #294

Jan 272012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Power steering failed while making a right hand turn. The failures have been off and on since then. Failure is usually during in town driving.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #293

Feb 142012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
At highway speed, the power steering suddenly lost power (no noise or other indications). The wheel became extraordinarily difficult to turn. I managed to get the car off the road, but the steering would not have responded to a smaller/weaker driver.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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