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 18 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #172

Mar 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


My 2005 MINICooper S had a sudden power steering failure while approaching a highway off ramp. I went to turn into it and the car had become a tank. After some panic braking and all the upper body strength I could muster on the steering wheel... I did not fly into the ditch, but had the road been wet or icy I have no doubt the results would have been different. Contacted the local dealership and was estimated $1200 for the repair of a known factory defect.

- Lawrence, KS, USA

problem #171

Mar 102011


  • 70,000 miles
Power steering fails intermittently. Failure has occurred numerous times while parking and twice unexpectedly while driving and making a right turn. Makes car hard to maneuver and unsafe because of the unpredictable nature of the failure.

- Webster, TX, USA

problem #170

Sep 102010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Electric power steering pump & fan failure during left turn. Several thousands of MINIcoppers in the uk have had similar recalls. In fact I did find a recall for the power steering pump fan for faulty wires. I could fall under the same recall, but BMW MINIdealers are stating that it will cost me just for diagnostics (roughly $90), they also states they knew about a filed complaint but said they couldn't even look at the fan without charging me. I did find after days and days of internet searches that their was a recall # issued for the fan but could not locate it again. Website citing bbc article. Everyday I feel less and less safe driving my MINIThanks.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #169

Mar 282011


  • 51,000 miles


We purchased our 2005 MINIcooper less than a week ago. It has 51,000 miles on it. I was traveling on the interstate for about an hour. I tried to take an off ramp to the right traveling about 60 mph and realized the power steering had failed. I applied the brake and brought the car to a stop. I slowly drove the car to a gas station where I turned the car off. The fan continued to run. I waited for about 10 minutes and restarted the car. The power steering was working again. 2 days later I was driving in town only 10 minutes and the power steering failed again. I was driving in freezing rain...thank goodness I was in town. If the steering had failed on the interstate with these weather conditions there could have been a serious problem. I am taking my MINIinto the dealership tomorrow. When we bought the MINIcooper we thought we were buying a safe and dependable it looks like an unsafe money pit.

- Fargo, ND, USA

problem #168

Mar 282011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,226 miles
Power steering very suddenly failed! nearly caused a serous accident when negociating a roundabout. The car is next to impossible to manoeuver, especially at a dead stop, or rounding corners. Steering is very hard to return to "middle" position.

- Ottawa, 00, USA

problem #167

Oct 162010


  • 64,000 miles
Started noticing the steering wheel was very difficult to turn, usually right after starting the vehicle, but turning the car off and restarting would rectify the problem. Initially it would occur every 2 to 3 monthes, but as time went on it became more frequent. I decided to take it to the dealer to have the problem checked out after it happened 3 times in one day - twice while I was driving causing me to pull to the side ofthe road and shut off and restart the car in order to be able to easily turn the steering wheel. Only after getting the power steering pump replaced was I informed of the the frequency of issues like this with other cars. The dealer did fix the problem by replacing the power steering pump at a cost of approximately $900.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #166

Mar 202011


  • 53,000 miles


Power steering has failed twice. Once was in rush hour traffic and the other was in mid-day traffic. The vehicle became extremely hard to handle. The first time, I almost caused an accident. My car only has 53,000 miles and this should not be happening.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #165

Jan 032011


  • 55,000 miles
Lost power steering and ability to make turn easily

- St Louis Park, MN, USA

problem #164

Aug 012010


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that when driving at low speeds and attempting a turn, the steering would become increasingly resistant. The failure would only occur when turning and once the turn was complete, the steering would return to normal. The vehicle was inspected by the dealer and they advised that the steering pump may be the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was approximately 76,000.

- North Hills, CA, USA

problem #163

Jan 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 88,412 miles
Power steering pump was making a loud whining noise as soon as the car was started, and would "wind down" a few seconds after the car was turned off. The pump and fan were both replaced thankfully before the system failed.

- Caldwell, NJ, USA

problem #162

Mar 142011


  • 106,000 miles


Lost power steering while driving. Significant force was needed to turn the vehicle. The problem lasted for one day. The power steering returned the following day, but the motor stayed on after the car was turned off. The dealership has to replace the motor and the fan.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #161

Aug 012008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Power steering unit had to be replaced twice because of ps motor failing suddenly and with no warning. First occurrence nearly caused crash because ps failed while negotiating intersection.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #160

Mar 122011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Power steering failure on my 05 MINIcooper-S. power steering just stopped working while driving the car on the road in regular traffic, was turning left into a parking lot from a 5 lane road when it quit working, was barely able to turn the wheel enough to safely make it into the parking lot and avoid a crash. Apparently as of now if I turn the car off and then back on the power steering might come back on; terribly dangerous problem to have on a part on a car that should last the life of the car. Repair estimates are around $800-1300, and is apparently a common problem w/ these cars.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #159

Dec 032010


  • 75,350 miles
The vehicle has loss the power steering assist due to power steering pump failure. Thus requiring increased force to steer and control the vehicle. Steering has becomes extremely difficult and has made manoeuvring this car far harder and dangerous. The car has spotty electrical failures; example the window just doesn't want to roll up; no, wait, it does. No, wait, it doesn't. the stereo just gives up; no sound anymore, then it plays again. The same with the drivers side door you could here it unlock and re-lock, but the door would not open and then it would. Also both of my keys to open the door both turned off at the same time and I had to have the keys re-calibrated at a MINIdealership to reopen the vehicle.

- Estelline, SD, USA

problem #158

Mar 052011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 72,300 miles
I have a 2005 MINICooper S with mileage of about 72K. The power steering failed on and off for a week and was completely gone on Mar 5. updated 07/26/11 the dealer replaced the power steering pump. Updated 08/19/11

- Rego Park, NY, USA

problem #157

Mar 112011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,148 miles
When I got in my 2005 MINICooper convertible to come to work today, I found that I didn't have power steering. I drove approximately 20 miles to a gas station and filled up the tank. When I started the car again, the power steering worked perfectly. After I got to work, I looked on the internet to see if anyone else had experienced this and there were many different people who had dealt with this and according to a few news sources, this could be close to a recall situation. The fix for this is extremely expensive according to the sites that I visited, but the safety of the situation is the over riding factor. If this would have happened with my mother or with my wife driving, I'm not sure if they would have been able to control the car.

- Fountain Hills, AZ, USA

problem #156

Nov 012010


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. the contact stated that the steering wheel was difficult to control and the steering pump stayed on while the vehicle was turned off causing the battery to fail. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the power steering pump failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 74,000.

- Mableton, GA, USA

problem #155

Mar 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
Power steering stopped working. Power steering replacement, trunk repair and driver's side door repair. Updated 07/26/11

- Red Bank, NJ, USA

problem #154

Mar 082011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I had two separate incidents of losing power steering in my 2005 MINICooper convertible. About a month ago, I was driving and made a right turn. The steering wheel felt very heavy and it was extremely hard to make the turn - complete loss of power steering. The problem persisted for any turn on the way home. The next time I drove the car, the steering seemed fine, and continued to seem fine until yesterday afternoon (March 8, 2011). Once again, I made a right turn and found that I had no power steering. I needed to stop for gas, so after some rather tricky maneuvers to get parked by a gas pump, and shutting the car off, the power steering seemed ok again. I have seen where there are multiple reports of similar problems, so I wanted to add my incident to your database.

- Melrose, FL, USA

problem #153

Mar 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
My 2005 MINICooper S had the power steering fail while I was driving. This car only has 56,000 miles. I took the car into the dealer to have maintenance done on it last week and was told the power steering pump was "seeping" but was not of immediate concern and I could wait on fixing/replacing it. Today there is almost no fluid in the reservoir and I am unable to purchase at any local auto part store as no one carries (chs 11S) apparently a type of mineral spirit. In researching the issue, I found this to be a very common complaint and discovered that the national highway safety administration is investigating the issue so I wanted to add my voice. I was traveling at a low rate of speed in a slight corner at the time and yet still had a very hard time maintaining control of the car. Please look into this issue, this could really lead to a tragedy.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

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