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 15 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #232

Sep 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 94,000 miles


Power steering pump failure, drained battery due to power steering fan continuing to run after vehicle is turned off.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #231

Sep 022011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Traveling back home to a short drive from a local store. When I went to make a right turn onto my street the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn. Had my wife or daughter been driving the car, I think it may have resulted in an accident because they may not have been able to exert the necessary force to get the vehicle to turn.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #230

Sep 022011


  • miles
Parked the vehicle after a short trip of approx. 10 miles. Left car for approx 5 to 7 minutes. Returned to find smoke billowing from under the hood. Immediately started to unhook the battery cable. Got the battery unhooked and smoke diminished. Tried restarting car, restarted fine, but no power steering. Assuming that the power steering pump went up in smoke. Fortunately, damage seems to be limited to ps pump... not sure yet if smoldering/smoke indicates any other damage under the hood or not.

- Zionsville, IN, USA

problem #229

Aug 282011


  • 103,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving, the contact stated that the vehicle would loose power steering and the contact would see and smell smoke coming from underneath the hood. The dealer nor manufacturer were notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 103,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #228

Jul 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
Power stearing went out on 2005 MINIcooper while driving on lots of curves along columbia river, seems to be a thing with these cars after looking on line. Just glad I'm not swimming with the fishes due to having to muscle the car on the road.

- Grays River, WA, USA

problem #227

Aug 012011


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. the contact stated that the power steering pump would continue to run even when the vehicle was turned off, causing the vehicle to loose power steering while driving. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer were notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 73,000 and the current mileage was 74,000.

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #226

Aug 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,355 miles


Power steering pump failure. It began to run all the time even with the key off. Please note less than 2 months ago I filed claim # 10411560 predicting that after the fan had failed the pump would fail in a short time. It did.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #225

Aug 012011


  • 49,000 miles
2005 MINICooper has power steering problems on several occasions in the last few weeks. Seemingly resolves spontaneously.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #224

Jun 242011


  • 26,154 miles
I was leaving my house for work in the morning. As I was backing out of the driveway onto the street, I discovered that the steering wheel was really hard to turn. Consequently I ended up all the way on the other side of the street, and it took great effort to get the car into the direction I intended. Fortunately there wasn't oncoming traffic when I was on the wrong side of the street, otherwise it could be dangerous... I stopped on the side of the street, checked that everything else was ok except power steering. Since I only needed to take local streets, I was able to drive to work - it just felt like my very first car that was manual and without power steering!

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #223

Aug 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 110,242 miles
2005 MINIcooper power steering abruptly failed while driving at 55 mph on a winding 2 lane rural road. I was able to keep the car on the road and was able to drive the car home with great difficulty. Had this been a heavily traveled highway, the results could have been much different. When it happened, it took a little time to figure out what was going on and I found myself in the oncoming lane before I was able to recover.

- Downsville, LA, USA

problem #222

Jul 272011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


2005 MINICooper S - engine fire a few days ago (7/27/2011) my 2005 MINICooper S caught fire in the lower rear engine compartment while parked in a business parking lot. It had been driven a short distance (about 6 miles) three hours prior with no indication of a problem. The car ignition was off and there was no key present in or near the vehicle. Fortunately, a co-worker spotted the car billowing smoke from beneath the hood and we were able to quickly extinguish the fire before any significant damage was done to the vehicle or surrounding property. According to the mechanic who diagnosed the car and subsequent electrical fire - the incident was caused by an overheating and eventual ignition of an electrical harness caused by a sudden failure of the power steering pump. I must emphasize that prior to the fire, there was no indication in the vehicle (warning system) or by the vehicles performance that there was any problem with the pump or handling. It failed completely without warning! while parked and unattended! thankfully, the car was not parked in my garage at night where the fire would have certainly gotten a lot worse before being discovered and could have potentially been devastating to my property and family. As it stands the car is scheduled to be repaired at a cost of nearly $1000, possibly more as we do not yet know if there was any damage caused to additional components within the vehicle by the pumps failure. I am the original owner and only driver of this vehicle. This car has been regularly maintained and was recently mechanically inspected last March. No issues were found with the vehicle at the time of it's last maintenance and inspection.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #221

Jun 122011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Without warning, in March 2011, my power steering failed. Service determined the cooling fan for the electrohydraulic steering pump motor in my 2005 MINICooper needed to be replaced--intake manifold and fan with protecting grille. No mention was made that a further failure, of the pump itself, could occur. In June 2011, the electrohydraulic steering pump motor failed whilst I was driving on the highway. Service revealed the failure was due to an internal short circuit and said pump was replaced.

- New Market, MD, USA

problem #220

Jul 132011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,100 miles
The power steering just stopped working and became nearly impossible to steer. The lack of control nearly caused an accident. I pulled over and turned the car off. I restarted the car and it seems the power steering was okay. It keeps cutting out and I have to shut down the car and restart it in order to get it to work again. I have been told that eventually it will stop working completely. I took it to a local mechanic however they were unable to determine the problem. They recommended having the dealer run diagnostics. Diagnostic at the dealer is expensive and is not credited towards the repairs so I have been unable to get the issue addressed by the MINIdealer.

- Spring Hill , TN, USA

problem #219

Jul 282011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Power steering has been going out intermittently while the car is being driven - usually after going over a pothole or bump in the road.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #218

Jul 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,045 miles
Power steering failure while driving 2005 MINICooper. Requires stopping vehicle and restarting engine. The frequency of failure or power assist increasing.

- Saint Michael, PA, USA

problem #217

Feb 122011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 21,100 miles
I have a January 2005 built MINICooper S (R53) with approximately 21,000 miles on it. On February 12, 2011 I was driving the car on a winding road in southern California when the power steering pump catastrophically failed without any warning in the middle of a high speed turn. The unexpected power steering pump failure made the steering completely unresponsive causing the car to spin out of control and nearly hit a tree (I was very lucky that I wasn't killed!). after doing some research, it appears that unwarranted power steering pump failures are quite common with the earlier MINIcooper models. I feel that this is a huge safety concern that should be addressed by the manufacture via a mandatory safety recall. After the initial catastrophic failure of the power steering pump, the pump would work intermittently in that it would run fine for a while and then fail again without warning a short time later making the car extremely dangerous to drive. At times, the electric power steering pump would not switch off after turning off the car's ignition and the car's battery would ultimately go flat leaving us stranded. We took the car into the MINIdealership on 2/17//2011 and they diagnosed the car as having a bad battery (claiming that the battery was so low that the car was actually shutting down the power steering in order to stay running). They charged us $160 for the diagnostics. We then replaced the battery with an oem batter from the dealership ($130) and it didn┐T make any difference. We also contacted the manufacturer (MINIusa) directly and they were unwilling to help claiming that the car was no longer under the manufacturer's warranty. Ultimately, on July 26, 2011 (at 21,385 miles) we replaced the failed power steering pump (part # 32-41-6-778-425) at a cost of $735.29 (plus labor). The MINIdealership wanted well over $1,000 to perform the work and so we purchase a remplacement pump from the MINIdealership and had it installed ourselves.

- Foothill Ranch, CA, USA

problem #216

Jul 182011


  • 64,000 miles
Power steering pump failure on 2005 MINIcooper leads to dangerous driving

- Nevada City, CA, USA

problem #215

Jun 222011


  • 65,000 miles
Upon starting the vehicle and sometimes while moving at low speeds the power steering would fail making the vehicle extremely difficult to steer. The dealer explained that the relay in the auxiliary engine fan had failed likely as a result of the power steering fan failing. Both the auxiliary engine fan and the power steering fan had to be replaced. The cost of the repairs and labor was $1060.14.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #214

Jul 042011


  • 89,450 miles
Power steering is intermittent making car difficult to control. I'm the second owner of car. First failure occurred at approximately 85,000 miles.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #213

Jun 102011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 58,143 miles
Power steering cooling fan failed. Power steering pump got very hot and all the fluid boiled away. Pump did not fail but is probably damaged and failure can be expected.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

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