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 20 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #132

Mar 142010


  • 50,000 miles


Multiple power steering failures. Initially when driving for more than 1 hour, now (Jan. 2011) often goes out when driving more than 10 minutes. Sometimes comes/goes during a turn. Extremely difficult to handle when cornering in the city or parallel parking.

- Lancaster, AL, USA

problem #131

Jan 272011


  • 81,948 miles
Same issue as complaint 10378962, related to investigation 10-038. Power steering failed when attempting to make a left hand turn.

- Sun Lakes, AZ, USA

problem #130

Jan 172011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I have a 2005 MINICooper I just hit 55K miles and my power steering pump has failed. My battery is now dead, alternator is fried. It was running fine one day and the next it turned on and I couldn't get it out of my garage and then the battery completely died. This is dangerous and an expensive cost that is the fault of the manufacturer. This is unacceptable that in the uk they are paying for parts but in the us it is a minor issue.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #129

Mar 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


Have a 2005 MINICooper with intermittent loss of power steering, driving along and occasionally the power steering just goes. Requires increased force to steer and maintain control of vehicle with great difficulty. Stop the car restart and all appears okay again.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #128

Jan 152011


  • 81,500 miles
Power steering failed while attempting to turn corner. Failure continued for several miles/hours and then began working again after a period of inactivity

- Sun Lakes, AZ, USA

problem #127

Jan 142011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 51,180 miles
On 1/14/11 while driving my car on a highway my steering wheel tightened up and made steering impossible. I was able to get back to my driveway. It didn't happen again until 1/16/11 and then 1/20/11, all while driving my car at different speeds, also while trying to back into my driveway. It happens with absolutely no warning. No warning lights or notification from the MINIcomputer system has alerted me.

- Mamaroneck, NY, USA

problem #126

Jan 192011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 28,500 miles


I just bought a 2005 MINICooper and the power steering failed this morning. After researching this issue, I have found that this is a common complaint and that the NHTSA was looking into these issues already. Since I have had the vehicle one day, I do not have any other information about whether the power steering failure comes and goes or when it is most likely to occur. This morning it was not functioning properly.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #125

Jan 102011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,500 miles
Power steering pump failure while driving vehicle. While driving, my wife had to exert strength to drive vehicle to safe place when the power steering failed. Prior to this incident (reporting this as we are not sure if it is related) our 2005 MINIrequired replacement of the power steering pump fan (at cost of $245.60) on 8/21/2009, to fix a loud noise. On 1/12/2011 we had to replace the power steering pump due to power steering failure. MINIagreed to charge me only 1/2 the warranty part cost and reduced labor (total job cost me $443 versus almost $1200 until I complained). Given the number of incidents (and I read of similar concerns in britain), there should be a recall of this system and I should get a refund of what I paid for the pump and the fan I had replaced in 2009. I also had to have replaced front lower control arm bushings at a labor and parts cost of $767.24. Again, not sure if this is related to the power steering pump failure. Our car only has 46,500 miles, so these failures seem unusual for a car with such low mileage. We are original owners.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #124

Jan 072011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,125 miles
While driving my 2005 MINIcooper, my power steering went out. I was in the middle of a right turn from a very busy street when the steering went out in the middle of the turn. I nearly crashed head-on into oncoming traffic and the steering was so difficult, I pulled a shoulder and back muscle just trying to complete the turn. The power steering was out for the rest of my trip. Since then, the power steering has failed intermittently on a daily basis and comes with no warning. It will drive for several miles with no problem and then suddenly stop working.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #123

Jan 112011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Power steering suddenly failed while driving and the vehicle became very difficult to steer at all speeds. Updated VIN. 02/22/11.

- Corona, NY, USA

problem #122

Dec 242010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles


After starting up my car I attempted to drive out of my driveway, but the power steering wasn't working. I restarted the car and tried driving again. It still didn't work. After about 15 minutes of trying this it finally started to work again. The next day this happened again both in the morning and again after the car had been sitting for 3+ hours. Later that night when I drove my car it worked fine. This has happened randomly approximately 8 times in the last 2 years, but the mechanic can never duplicate the incident nor find anything wrong with the power steering.

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #121

Dec 312010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Intermittent power steering loss resulting in several complaints to dealer. Dealer provided no working resolution. Power steering loss in this vehicle made steering very difficult and resulted in excessively dangerous driving conditions. Power pump finally failed and needed to be replaced.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #120

Dec 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 83,297 miles
My daughter is 18 years old she was driving home from work 2am raining out side when all of a sudden she started having steering problems real bad thank god her brakes worked. Come to find out her power steering box went out and her fan she has a 2005 MINICooper.

- Tampa , FL, USA

problem #119

Jan 022011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,954 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel locked up suddenly. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the power steering pump and gasket were replaced. The current and failure mileages were 56,954. Updated 3/7/11 updated 03/14/11

- Wylie , TX, USA

problem #118

May 262010


  • 65,000 miles
Power steering will go out without notice at all speeds. It will reset if the car is turned off and restarted, however the interval to the next power outage is unpredictable. It occurred the first time, and then didn't reoccur for a couple of months. Then when the problem returned it did this for approximately two weeks, then didn't happen again for another month. It has no been a fairly common problem. Have also had experiences where making a turn, the power assist will go out, and then return, which has me putting extra exertion into making the turn, only to have it come back on resulting in oversteer.

- Doraville, GA, USA

problem #117

Dec 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
2005 MINICooper S. intermittent failure of power steering under varied driving conditions. Although NHTSA has opened investigation, BMW has not issued a recall yet. Local MINIservice department will change the electric steering motor at about $1000, but is unaware of the reason for the failures.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #116

Dec 242010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,500 miles
The power steering suddenly went out on my 2005 MINICooper S as I was about to turn right onto a highway on ramp. I felt the lack of power and continued straight so I could pull into a service station up ahead. The power steering was intermittent for a bit then totally out, leaving me with a 45 minute drive down the mountains to home without power steering. I have had multiple incidents of the power steering fan running after the car was off. Now it looks as if the fan is no longer cooling the pump causing it to overheat which could start a fire. I am planning to try to replace the fan soon but I am just a broke college student so I really hope this recall goes through.

- Taylors, SC, USA

problem #115

Dec 102010


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph and trying to make a turn, the power steering failed making it very difficult to maneuver the vehicle. The failure was intermittent. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 80,000.

- Santa Cruise, CA, USA

problem #114

Nov 152010


  • 85,000 miles
2005 MINICooper S power steering pump failure. This is the second time within a two year period that I had to replace the pump. The result is a sudden loss of steering control and degradation of the battery.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #113

Oct 012009


  • 67,000 miles
The power steering failed during a left turn, almost causing me to head straight into opposing traffic waiting at the left turn signal opposite me. I managed to pull the wheel hard enough to get it to the curb. I restarted the car and it was fine. This happened again months later on a canyon road and finally on a 2 hour road trip where I was freeway driving approximately 70 mph when I felt the wheel tighten. As I was on straightaway, it wasn't obvious until I had to exit. Again, I pulled over, turned the car off and restarted with no problem. I brought it in on 11/30/2010 and had to have the power steering pump replaced. Now I have to go in because there is an electrical current coming through my steering wheel. There have been several other issues with this model that are not life threatening but have been an unnecessary expense. Without quick reflexes and, quite frankly, a bit of strength, this could have been a very serious accident.

- Venice, CA, USA

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