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 17 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #192

May 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles


My 2005 MINICooper VIN # [xxx] just lost power steering while driving on the side street, tried to shut off the engine and restart, it works but decided to just park in the garage since I was afraid to get involve in a accident. Then suddenly, a weird sound coming from the engine compartment, left it overnight, next thing my car battery died and could not start the car. Jumped start it let my husband drove it around the block and exactly the same problem occurred. The power steering became stiff and very hard to maneuver even just making a 45 degrees angle and returned to a driving position. I just decided to just park it and wait until a possible recall. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chatswort , CA, USA

problem #191

Apr 222011


  • 50,000 miles
My 2005 MINICooper S has power steering wheel failure. It started happening after the car hit 50,000 miles which I think it's still too low for any cars. I first encountered the problem a couple weeks ago when I was trying to make a left turn on a main rd. The steering was so difficult to turn even with both hands that I had to come to halt in the middle of the road. The car would have hit the building if I kept on going at full speed which is 30 miles. So glad there was no car behind me. Encountered a few more times after this. My car is now parked at my condo lot as it cost over $1300 to get it fixed. It will be very dangerous is this happens on the freeway. A few of my friends have the same problem. Something needs to be done or life will be lost. BMW/MINIneeds to do something about this.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #190

May 082011


  • 97,005 miles
The steering wheel on my MINICooper has become hard to steer on and off for the last couple of days. At the onset, I was going at about 15 to 20mph and turning right. The steering got hard to turn and I was having difficulty staying out of on coming traffic. I pulled off to the side of the road, turned off the car and hood under the hood to see if there was anything to explain what was going on. I was not able to identify anything to explain this occurrence, so I restarted the car and it was back to normal. Since then it has done this on and off several other times. I call the mechanic and was told these vehicles have lots of problems with the steering pump, cooling fan and rely switch.

- Newton, KS, USA

problem #189

Apr 122010


  • 49,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated the power steering failed without prior warning. The contact stated it would be almost impossible to turn the vehicle because the electronic power assist would prevent the wheel from being turned. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 49,000 and the current mileage was 52,000.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #188

May 072011


  • 60,000 miles
Power steering has been failing to work intermittently over the last couple of years. It occurs mainly after starting the car and driving away from a stop. Stopping and restarting clears the problem. It did happen once at freeway speed on a left hand off ramp. It made the steering very heavy and hard to turn and could have lead to loss of control had the pavement been slippery. The power steering did return after slowing and completing the turn.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #187

May 082011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated the power steering failed, without warning, while driving approximately 55 mph. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road and shut off. He inspected the vehicle and was unable to detect a failure. The contact restarted the vehicle and resumed operation with the steering failure. The contact planned to take the vehicle to the dealer for diagnosis. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 57,000. Updated 06/03/11 the consumer was informed by the dealer that the power steering pump failed. Updated 06/13/11

- Glen Allen , VA, USA

problem #186

Mar 142011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles


Intermittent loss of power steering of a 2005 MINICooper. It occurred at least twice (3/14/2011 and 4/8/2011).

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #185

Apr 192010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering would fail intermittently without warning. Once the vehicle was shut off and restarted, the power steering would reset itself. The contact had a mechanic inspect the vehicle and they stated that the power steering pump and rack would need to be replaced. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 85,000.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #184

May 022011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 84,309 miles
For the past week, the power steering on my car has failed twice. When it fails, I will suddenly be unable to steer the car. This has occurred while driving the vehicle, e.g. while making at turn while driving on local streets, on an on-ramp to a freeway, and also while parking, maybe it impossible to pull into a parking space within reasonable time. While driving local street, I have had to slow down (for fear of not being able to make the turn trying to steer the vehicle with my own arms) and nearly got into an accident. Updated 08/17/11 updated 02/02/2012

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #183

Apr 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
The power steering pump failed intermittently while performing turns or actions which could have resulted in over/under steering. The failure could have easily resulted in an accident.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #182

Apr 192011


  • 65,000 miles


My power steering failed as I was making a turn in my neighborhood. The problem is intermittent and a little unnerving. I am strong enough to drive the car without the power assist, but this is not true of my wife. If the problem were to occur when she was driving she might lose control.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #181

Apr 102011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
While driving, the power steering stops working. This problem is intermittent and happens every few days. Simply cycling the ignition gets it working again but is a big safety concern in my book.

- Bayfield , CO, USA

problem #180

Apr 162011


  • 91,000 miles
When backing out of garage noticed that steering felt "heavy", then as I proceeded forward, all power steering assist ceased. This has occurred two or three times (with no warning) in the past, and on the highway. The power steering outage may last a few minutes, or a few days. The outage reported here lasted 10 days. The car can be steered, but only with great effort.. very dangerous.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #179

Apr 162011


  • 91,000 miles
When backing out of garage noticed that steering felt "heavy", then as I proceeded forward, all power steering assist ceased. This has occurred two or three times (with no warning) in the past, and on the highway. The power steering outage may last a few minutes, or a few days. The outage reported here lasted 10 days. The car can be steered, but only with great effort.. very dangerous.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #178

Apr 242011


  • 81,000 miles
Experienced abrupt and complete loss of the power steering system simultaneous with an immediate and sharp decrease in power. This incident occurred at 75 mph on an interstate highway, car in middle lane. Very narrowly avoided collision with a truck when moving vehicle to full stop in emergency lane. Vehicle currently not in use as we feel it is a road hazard and unsafe to operate in current condition. Also awaiting for response from MINIdealer.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #177

Apr 232011


  • 55,744 miles
2005 MINICooper power steering failure. Having problems with the power steering intermittently failing. Have been told by MINICooper dealership that this is not a "problem", but will probably need to replace the power steering pump. After reading multiple posts, and the investigation that your organization has started...this is looking more like a coverup on MINIs part instead of an acceptance of responsibility. This is my wife's car, and it has put her safety at risk twice now when it failed while making a turn.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #176

Apr 132011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
While driving at speeds of 45 to 55 mph, the power steering of the vehicle fails, causing the car to swerve dangerously into other lanes, as it requires a lot of strength to keep the car in its lane when this happens on a bend in the road. This occurs approximately once a month. At other times, the power steering pump does not even turn on when the vehicle is started. The steering wheel is nearly impossible to turn like this. When this occurs, the steering pump or fan can be heard clearly struggling. The car must be turned off and restarted several times to correct the issue. This occurs usually once weekly. I have heard this was a common problem with the MINICooper and not isolated to me and to file a complaint. Nothing has yet been done to correct the issue.

- Maryville, IL, USA

problem #175

Apr 182011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
The power steering has been failing on and off for the past 2 years. I first noticed it when I was trying to get out of a parallel parking spot. Upon turning off the car and restarting it, the power steering was restored. It most often happened when maneuvering out of parallel parked spots. Sometimes it would happen several times in one day and then not again for a few months. Several times when I was driving I felt the power steering lock up and have had to drive the car to safely and restart the steering. I took it in to the MINIdealership and described the problem. I was told it sounded like the power steering pump and given a quote of $895 to get it replaced.

- Ca, CA, USA

problem #174

Apr 112011


  • 99,400 miles
Although it did not seem noticeable on the highway, when the power steering pump started to fail I was using extra pressure to stay in my lane. The pump would then work again and the car would lurch off to the side I was favoring and I almost went into a guard rail. When coming off the highway and not knowing the pump was quitting again, I would have to jump into emergency mode to negotiate the turn.

- Kings Park, NY, USA

problem #173

Apr 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
On Tuesday, 5 April 2011, I drove my 2005 MINICooper S about 20 - 25 miles heading for work - I made a brief stop for coffee. The car operated properly during this drive, however, when I left the coffee shop I notice a very acrid smell in the area. When I got in my car and started it the "battery" indicator light was on. I check the owner's manual and it said this indicated the battery was not being charged. As the car was running I decided I could drive it to work and then address the charging issue. When I back out of the parking spot I realized I had also lost my power steering. I was concerned that my car might not be cooling as well, so moved the car to a spot further out in the parking lot to allow for a tow truck to pick it up. I realized the acrid smoke smell was still with me and decided to check under the hood. When I lifted the hood I found there was a fire in the engine compartment. Fortunately I carried a fire extinguisher and was able to put the fire out - the fire department also responded. The car was towed to sandia MINIcooper in albuquerque nm and I have since been informed that the power steering pump malfunctioned and caused the fire. From some research I have done on line it appears this is not an issue isolated to my vehicle, but that it was occurred in a number of cases.

- Sandia Park, NM, USA

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