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 14 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #252

Sep 042011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles


Temporary loss of power steering. After driving for about 2 hours, I stopped to fill up at a gas station. I then started the car and began to drive out of the gas station. I soon noticed the power steering was not working. I pulled into a parking space, opened the hood, and proceeded to check the power steering fluid. The power steering fluid reservoir was full. I restarted the car after about 5 minutes and the power steering was working again. This temporary power steering loss has occurred 3 more times over the last month since the initial incident described above. During the last occurrence, I drove a short distance back to my home with no power steering. I'd like to point out steering was very difficult, nearly undriveable around slow speed turns. The steering effort was much more than manual steering cars I've owned in the past.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #251

Oct 042010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,655 miles
Power steering completely fails.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #250

Aug 292010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
On multiple occasions at various speeds and at random times, the power steering on my 2005 MINICooper S will stop working. After researching the issue, this appears to be a very common problem that plagues almost every MINIsold since 2002. I would also like to reference NHTSA action number :EA11005, as it applies to my particular issue.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #249

Aug 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


About 2 months ago the steering started getting hard to steer as if the power steering was broken. Took it to the mechanic and he could not find anything wrong. It was an intermittent problem. On 9/26/11 the steering became hard to steer all of the time and my wife almost got into a collision when she found it very hard to steer. Took it to my mechanic and he discovered that the power steering pump had failed. In addition, he told me that there has been numerous reports of power steering unit failure with my 2005 MINICooper. I called my local MINICooper dealer and was told there was no recall at all in regards to the power steering unit. Since my wife and I have to drive the car, I had the power steering pump repaired at a cost of $1055.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #248

Sep 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
As reported by hundreds of others to NHTSA and by thousands on the internet, the power steering pump in our 2005 MINICooper will simply stop working intermittently and unexpectedly. This is very dangerous as it becomes almost impossible to control the vehicle. There are thousands of other complaints about this on-line and will eventually lead to a death. It is my opinion that NHTSA must immediately move to escalate this from engineering analysis to require BMW of North America, llc issue a recall on all 2005 & 2006 model MINICoopers, if not earlier models as there are complaints on-line going back to 2002 when the model was first introduced to the us market. The cost to replace this unit is the better part of $900, but what¿'s the cost of a life? MINIshould have long since recalled this unit and they have known about this issue since 2002 but they have clearly ignored complaint after complaint instead claiming they ¿¿work closely with NHTSA on all complaints¿ (they¿¿re required to do so by law so their statement doesn¿¿T hold much weight). As the failure is intermittent an unpredictable how can I allow my wife or daughter who is preparing to learn to drive to drive either of our MINICoopers until it¿'s replaced? MINIshould be forced to do it. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Boone, NC, USA

problem #247

Sep 012008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Noticed level of power steering fluid was low. No apparent leak on ground. Noticed the boots on rack and pinion are pressurized and realized that is where the fluid is leaking into.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #246

Sep 012009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 28,452 miles


The power assist for the steering fails intermittently. Often this occurs midway through a turn. Sometimes turning the car off and re-starting will resolve the problem, other times it does not. Reported the issue to the dealer service department and before I could finish the sentence the two service writers said there was not issue with the power steering pump! without the power assist the steering is very heavy. As a strong, experienced driver I knew what to do when the power assist failed, but this would be very dangerous for an older or less physical driver since the assist failure is sudden and without warning. As a driver you go from being able to casually steer with minimal input to instantly needing to forcefully turn the steering wheel to maintain control of the car!!!! the car currently has 40,011 miles and continues to have this problem intermittently.

- Roslindale, MA, USA

problem #245

Aug 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
The failure in my power steering pump occurred at 70,000 miles while driving on the interstate highway at 75 mph. The steering wheel locked as I was driving while changing lanes. I could not turn the wheel without excessive force. I have also found that a pump, in the process of failing, causes another problem; the pump might randomly start working again, and possibly in the process of a turn. This actually happened to me and caused an over compensation when turning a corner (on 2 occasions) and potentially endangered the other motorists on the road, as well as myself! I found that it will cost me $1000+ to have this repaired. I am currently unemployed and cannot afford this expense. In the mean time, my beloved MINIsits in the garage until a recall or until I have enough money to pay for the repairs.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #244

Aug 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
I started to hear this winding or loud humming sound, did not know where it was coming was examined by a mechanic, ,and it was the power steering pump failing, and the electric cooling fan failing. Read about many problems with this steering pump on 2005 MINIs. the cost was $1226 to replace. Even though I did not lost power steering, it could have happened at anytime.

- Cliffside Park, NJ, USA

problem #243

Sep 012009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Power steering would fail intermittently and then go out all together. Power steering pump replaced under warranty. Lasted a year. Failed again, and dealer replaced out of warranty but charged labor. Third pump failing.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #242

Sep 102011


  • 52,000 miles


My power steering pump on my 2005 MINICooper S failed at 45 mph in downtown los angeles. I have taken my vehicle in for a diagnoses in which they informed me the repair would be over $1K. I declined the repair as I have located a number of complaints regarding this issue, and am now taking it up with MINIhq.

- San Grabriel, CA, USA

problem #241

Sep 042011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,300 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the power steering failed without warning. The contact mentioned that she was able to merge onto the shoulder but was not able to continue driving. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who diagnosed that the 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 repaired. The failure mileage was 62,300 and the current mileage was 64,000. The power steering pump was replaced. Updated 10/18/11 updated evoq 11/01/11.

- San Francisco , CA, USA

problem #240

Sep 122011


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while turning at approximately 15 mph, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was stopped and shut off. Upon restart, the vehicle operated as normal but the failure recurred on a daily basis. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Crystal Lake, IL, USA

problem #239

Sep 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 104,366 miles
Power steering went out while driving on the freeway. Has been happening for several months, but usually when this happens I can turn the car off and when the car is turned on again it is fine for a while. I had power steering fluid topped up but apparently it didn't fix the problem. I was told it is a power steering pump that needs to be replaced and costs approximately $1,000- $1,2000. Today the power steering went out completely and would not return to normal after above said actions. I read that continuing to drive the car in this state can cause battery drainage/failure, fan problems, and/or electrical fires.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #238

Sep 142011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,575 miles
Power steering stopped working near the end of a 15 mile drive to work. Power steering functioned normally on the drive home 9 hours later.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #237

Aug 262011


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving at any speed, the contact stated that the manual steering function would illuminate without activating intermittently. The dealer ordered the part that the contact needed to repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was 130,000. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #236

Feb 152011


  • 63,000 miles
Intermittent loss of power steering, usually when making a turn - extremely dangerous in middle of intersection - have almost had two accidents when steering went out. It became progressively worse and as of may, 2011 the power steering was completely "out" - however as of August 22, 2011 it returned to full working order - and lasted for approx. 9 days and then started to pop in and out intermittently after starting and turning off the vehicle. As of approx. Sept. 8, 2011 the power steering is completely out.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #235

Sep 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 96,400 miles
Bought my dream car, an '05 MINICooper S Monday, labor day, and immediately started having problems with the steering randomly cutting in and out. Not awesome! each time, turning the car off and then back on has resolved the issue, however it would seem that it shouldn't be happening, like, at all, let along having to 'cycle' the engine each time.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #234

Aug 012011


  • 1,000 miles
Power steering turns on and off when you least expect it during turns or drivng on a straight highway.

- Plainfield , IN, USA

problem #233

Sep 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 25,200 miles
I was driving down the interstate last Thursday and upon exiting the power steering went. I was terrified. I am just lucky I have a straight exit from the interstate; if there had been a curve I would have been into the wall or off the road. My personal feeling is there should be a recall for the power steering pump as failure can be very dangerous. What are we waiting for, someone to be killed? I limped my MINIto the dealer and was told it will cost $1257 to replace the power steering pump and fan. I am now unable to drive my MINIas it is unsafe.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

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