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 13 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #272

Dec 092011


  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. The contact stated that while starting the vehicle, the power steering system malfunctioned and the steering wheel became very stiff. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic where the mechanic stated to the contact that the entire power steering system needed to be replaced. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer or call the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #271

Aug 102010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Intermittent failure of power steering beginning at approximately 48,000 miles, with increasing frequency and duration until complete failure of power steering at approximately 55,000 miles, despite full power steering fluid reservoir at all times. MINIdealer advises new power steering pump required.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #270

Dec 062011


  • 80,781 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact was driving 45 mph when the power steering seized and became extremely difficult to maneuver. The dealer was contacted who advised that there were no recalls for the vehicle and that he should bring the vehicle in for repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,781.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #269

Nov 012010


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. Then contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was stopped and shut off. The vehicle was then towed to an independent repair shop and the power steering pump was replaced. The failure recurred approximately one year later. The vehicle was taken back to an independent repair shop, but repairs were not performed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Oldsmar, FL, USA

problem #268

Nov 172011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
I recently bought my 2005 MINICooper, after moving to Tacoma, wa. Only after a week of driving I started having problems with the power steering. I have not even made a payment on the vehicle. I have contacted ukmini and my information was forward to BMW head office in germany. Miniusa contacted me to bring the vehicle into a local dealer to verify the fault. They didn't say they would cover the cost. But being in the military I will ensure that soldiers are aware of the problems they may face with this company.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #267

Oct 092011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 44,776 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph the power steering became unresponsive. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the power steering pump was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 44,776. Updated 01/18/12 the stated she experienced a total failure of the power steering as she rounded a curve. The sudden loss of power steering forced her off the road and nearly into a ditch. The consumer was informed it would cost $1400 to replace the steering pump. Updated 02/28/12

- Twinsburg, OH, USA

problem #266

Oct 092011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles


The power steering on my 2005 MINICooper convertible suddenly failed on a turn, nearly causing me to go into a ditch. My MINIdealer told me it was probably the power steering pump & would cost $1400 to replace. I researched the problem on the internet & found this was a common issue with the MINIcooper & that an investigation was taking place into the defective pump & that a recall might be forthcoming. I called MINIusa's customer service dept. Their rep told me that they were aware of the issue & that they might be able to offer "goodwill" assistance in getting it replaced if I took it to my dealer for verification that it was a pump failure. I took it to the dealer who verified that the pump needed replaced. Their service department said this had been a common problem & that they were aware of the complaints made about the pump going bad. I called MINIusa's customer service, spoke to a supervisor who told me she'd get back to me. A week later, she called & told me that my request for assistance has been denied & that I would be responsible for the replacement. I strongly feel that, in light of the numerous complaints about the power steering pump, BMW/MINIshould be held accountable for its replacement. $1400 is an incredible amount of money to replace something that shouldn't have gone bad in the first place. There are no local mechanics who can take repair this so MINIusa/BMW has us right where they want us - powerless to fight a big company & helpless because we need our vehicles. I would have never expected this to happen on a car with less than 45,000 miles on it. Suddenly losing one's power steering can be extremely dangerous. I encourage NHTSA to further investigate this vehicle's power steering pump defect & issue a recall to ensure the safety of the vehicle's drivers, passengers & anyone who could be injured due to sudden loss of its power steering.

- Twinsburg, OH, USA

problem #265

Jul 212011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Driving home from work at about 70 mph, the power steering failed. I was going around a bend in the road when suddenly the power steering failed that almost caused an accident. Without notice the car reverted to "rack-and-pinion" mode. I was fortunate that time to gain control of the car and did not go over the side of the road or hit another car. I didn't drive the car for several months then took it to a few mechanics for an estimate. Dealer says replace the steering pump at $1200 but they will not honor any assistance due to the premature failure of the steering pump or the electrical connection to the cooling fan failure. The power steering fan quits then the pump gets hot and shuts off. I called MINIusa today and they said they will not assist me in paying for the manufacturing defect. My pump failure is intermittent suggesting that the problem is electrical and on point for a recall on 2004 MINICoopers. My car has the same problem and was manufactured in 2004, but is the 1707 car outside their "official" recall range. MINIBMW sent a "Mr. Driver" letter out on 12/2004 for this "recall." My car had not been purchased yet. The dealer says that replacing the steering pump will solve all the problems including the electrical issue. Apparently, the new steering pump has a design feature that eliminates the electrical failure problem (defect code: 0032630100 & labor code: 0055719). The more the pump overheats because of the fan non-operation problem, the pump will need to be replaced, it will be burnt out. One thing is sure, I have a premature failure of the steering pump making my car dangerous to drive. I can't afford to fix it. Nor do I believe, I should be responsible for the manufactures design failure. The car is not fit to drive as intended. Why is BMW getting away with this? many thousands and thousands of drivers have this same problem.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #264

Oct 192010


  • 55,000 miles
Power steering for the last year or so only works a fraction of the time. The first time it went out was while driving on the freeway. Last weekend it stopped working and didn't work again for a full week. Very hard to drive this vehicle when it goes out unexpectedly.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #263

Nov 202011


  • 87,212 miles
Going into a turn on the northwest side of I-465 in indianapolis and the MINICooper's power steering went out. I braked hard and pulled off the side of the road. It came out of nowhere.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #262

Sep 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


In the early fall, September 2011, I encountered issues with my car not shifting properly. It's an automatic transmission so I know there was nothing I could be doing to cause this problem. The car has been serviced regularly and driven with care while in my possession(I'm the second owner. No similar issues on carfax report). While the engine is cool and not yet at its optimal temperature the drive is fine and you may not even notice a problem; however, every ride, once warmed up the car begins to shift incredibly violently as it is obviously struggling to switch gears. This occurs also while slowing down and the car is downshifting creating an opportunity to be "slung" into a car from behind(this happened in the mid summer of 2011). After dropping this car off September 15th to the local MINIdealership, I did not hear from them for almost three weeks. In the first week of October I was contacted and told it looks like my car is very easily fixable and should be ready shortly. It was explained to me that a seal had broken on the transmission leaking fluid onto it causing this shifting malfunction. When they finally told me I can pick up my car(approximately October 18th) they regretted to inform me the problem was not able to be fixed and I would have to bring it elsewhere as they do not rebuild transmissions. Now it is back in my possession where I am forced to commute in it daily, driving worse than it was before I dropped it off. It now displays "PE" for its current gear from time to time. This is not the only complaint I have filed for this car matching other consumer complaints. I am a victim of their failed power steering as well.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #261

Nov 162011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Steering wheel locks while driving. I have talked to the dealer and the dealer believes the problem is with the steering pump. I researched it on the net and found many people complaining about it.

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #260

Nov 172011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving at normal speed and approaching a right hand turn the vehicle's steering stiffened. Thus, making it difficult to make the turn safely. Instead of completing a tight turn into the closes lane, I made a wide turn into lane 2. once the car was turned off, parked and turned back one the problem did not persist.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #259

Oct 012011


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the steering wheel would seize while driving at various speeds. Whenever the failure occurred, the contact would restart the vehicle. Once restarted, the steering wheel would operate as normal. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer but they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 89,000.

- Crestwood, KY, USA

problem #258

Nov 112011


  • 89,000 miles
The first incident happened as I was merging onto the interstate. I couldn't move the steering wheel and thought my car had died, but it hadn't and then all was fine so I thought maybe I imagined it. The second incident was on 11/11/11. I went to pick up my grand-daughter from school. I turned the car off and when I restarted it I could not pull out of the school lineup. I waited until all other cars left and drove forward using all my might to turn the steering wheel so that I could park the car while I tried to figure out what to do. I turned the car off and on a few times and then the steering worked. I drove my grand-daughter home, safely, thank god, returned home and parked the car in the garage. I'm now terrified to drive it and upon doing research online I realize that I am far from the only one with complaints. This is a very, very dangerous problem. Being unable to steer puts not only me and my passengers in danger but many others on the road as well..

- Crestwood, KY, USA

problem #257

Oct 132011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 40,100 miles
Random loss of power to power steering system at varying speeds and conditions. Loss of power steering can vary in times from a few seconds to a several minutes. Steering vehicle becomes extremely difficult to turn and may result in an accident due to loss of power in steering pump/system. Condition seems to go away for a few hours to a few days.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #256

Sep 192011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,215 miles
I was driving down brookwood street and went to make a curve when I realized that I couldn't turn the car. I was able to pull harder on the wheel and make the curve. I pulled over and turned the car off to look things over, checked the power steering fluid which was full. I restarted the car and the steering worked again.I finished driving to work with no problems. When I came out of work I again had no power steering and had the car towed into a shop where they told me the power steering pump had failed and it was going to cost over $1300 to fix. I had the repair done but am afraid to drive the car as they told me it could happen again even with the new part.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #255

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 #254

Oct 242011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 63,500 miles
Driving off a parking lot about to make a left onto traffic, car suddenly lost power steering, try to correct direction but weight tons to steer into right direction and runs straight into traffic.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #253

Oct 212011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Power steering pump failed without warning while I was in the middle of a left hand turn. The car's steering suddenly became so heavy that I almost drove into somebody's yard. Since the road was a 3 mile straight shot to my home, I drove it the rest of the way. The problem seemed to come and go to varying degrees over that distance. I will not be driving it again until repaired.

- Richmond, VA, USA

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