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 22 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #92

Nov 052010


  • 71,000 miles


Following rear end impact, there was an engine compartment fire, which was later traced to the power steering pump. Terminals were burned off the pump, and alternator also failed as a result. Note: There was absolutely no collision damage to front end.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #91

Nov 112010


  • 67,543 miles
While driving about 30 mph, the power steering suddenly quit working. I attempted to make a right hand turn and controlling the vehicle was very difficult. There was no warning that the steering was about to go.

- Milton, WA, USA

problem #90

May 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 69,953 miles
Over the course of about a month and a half, the power steering began to "stick" in that I could not steer right or left without physically forcing the wheel to the right or left, using all my strength to do it. I thought I lost control of the car. The first time, it was a terrifying event. Then it would go back to "normal" the next day, but then "stick" again on various occasions with no rhyme or reason; there was no pattern as to when it would occur. But it did happen at least once a week. The steering wheel would "stick" no matter if the car was at a complete stop, or while driving. After checking with local garages, they suggested to have my MINIdealership repair it as no one could find the cause of the problem. MINIdiagnosed the failed power steering, and installed a fan with protecting "gri" (part # 32-41-6-781-742 @ $222.43) and installed a repair kit, lower "sect" (part # 32-30-6-763-722 @ $186.63). MINIservice found the steering shaft knuckle seized up, making it hard to turn the steering wheel. MINIreplaced the steering shaft, and also found the power steering fan to be seized, so they also replaced the steering fan. Included in this diagnosis, MINIfound the control arm brackets, which are part of the steering of the car, needs repair in the near future too.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #89

Nov 052010


  • 63,423 miles


My power steering in my 2005 MINIcooper failed while driving. This is a common issue for all 01-07 MINIcoopers and before someone dies or is seriously injured BMW MINIneeds to issue a recall and replace this faulty part. I was driving home from work and the steering started to lockup on the highway, I then pulled over and turned off the car then restarted and the steering worked just fine. Two days later I was pulling off of the highway again and the steering started to lock up once more. I barely made it to a nearby parking lot strong-arming the car with each turn. I pulled into a parking spot and turned off the car once again. After restarting the car the steering still would not work, I even let it cool down for a few minutes to try once more. Still unable to steer. Had to get my car towed and had to replace power steering pump and fan on car. This car is less than 5 years old and the power steering should last the life of the car.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #88

Nov 092010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Power steering pump and cooling fan failure. Unsafe to drive and safety hazard. Poor engineering design with regards to placement of pump / fan and electrical load. Defective (rebuilt and not new) parts from MINIdealership repaired under warranty one time. MINIdoes not stand by its products or engineering. Replacement and repairs occurred 3 times in less than 5 years and less than 65,000. Updated 07/26/11 updated 2/29/12

- Sound Beach, NY, USA

problem #87

Nov 052010


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while driving 30 mph, the power steering failed. The failure was intermittent. At times, the power steering would reset itself after being turned off and restarted. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was approximately 63,000.

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #86

Nov 052010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles


I own a 2005 MINICooper. As I was driving it, I suffered a complete loss of power steering. I have had little to no problem with my MINIbefore this, but completely lost ability to steer. Luckily I was in an alley at the time and was able to safely pull over. The car has been towed to the BMW dealership who was unaware of any investigation into minicooper.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #85

Oct 222010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
I drive a 2005 MINICooper S, with approximately 49,000 miles driven. On October 22, 2010, the power steering on the car completely failed while driving on the highway, leaving barely enough control over the car to drive very cautiously. The car was diagnosed by two mechanics, one a reputable new england chain and the other an expert MINIcooper facility, and both determined that the power steering pump, rack and fan had all failed on the car. Even using refurbished parts, the repair is costing $1,100; with new parts, my understanding is that the repair would have been upwards of $2,000. My understanding is that NHTSA is already investigating frequent power steering issues for minis in this date range. The MINIshop doing the work for me certainly confirms the stories I've read about other shops around the country - the manager told me that they're doing about 6-7 power steering jobs per month on these cars. Hopefully the addition of my situation to the database can help justify a recall - it certainly seems warranted based on the volume of problems that MINIowners have had.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #84

Nov 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
2005 MINICooper S, 50,000 miles on the odometer, loses power steering which causes significant problems at slow speeds. The car will still steer at faster speeds, but with very heavy, unpredictable response. The problem began with an increased droning noise when the steering wheel was in the neutral position which would diminish when the steering wheel was turned. The problem was intermittent, and therefore, I thought it was related to a low fluid level issue. I went to the dealership and purchased "special" steering fluid, and no mention was made to me about any steering pump defect. I installed the fluid to the recommended level with no change in response. I telephoned the dealership service department and the person who answered the phone said he knew the problem, and that I needed a new steering pump, cooling fan, hoses, and reservoir, and the cost of the work was $1600. I then did internet research and learned that this problem is frequently experienced in 2004 and 2005 MINIcooper models. I then telephoned MINIcooper's corporate complain department and I was told to spend the money to repair the car. This problem is undoubtedly a persistent defect, and should be the subject of recall repair program.

- Succasunna, NJ, USA

problem #83

Feb 272008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
1 normal driving all the sudden steering wheel got hard to move, then it loosened up and then caused oversteer 2 power steering pump failure put car into ditch damaged 2 tires/rims 3 replaced the fan unit once then the entire pump the second time it is currently out for the third time.

- Copley, OH, USA

problem #82

Sep 202010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


I own a 2005 MINICooper S 2 door hard top with currently 90,000 miles. Just recently a semi loud whirring sound started from underneath the hood as soon as the engine is started. Immediately I can notice that the pitch of the noise subtly changes when you go to turn the steering wheel in either direction. I had a certified mechanic look at the car and he confirmed to me that the power steering pump is failing. When I am driving the MINIcooper the steering will intermittently begin to get a little harder to steer. The pump is on the way to complete failure and hard steering will end up being the result. I have been researching this issue via the web and have discovered that the failing power steering unit in MINIcoopers has been a known issue with BMW but I have yet to find any information as to what they are doing about it. Aside from speed, steering a motor vehicle is one of the most important safety concerns when in operation.

- Delta, PA, USA

problem #81

Aug 132009


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact was driving 65 mph and attempting a turn when the steering wheel became abnormally stiff making causing limited control of the steering wheel. The contact pulled over and shut the vehicle off. After restarting, the steering resumed normal operation. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for diagnostic testing yet no failure codes were generated. The mechanic stated that the module would possibly need replacing. The steering module was replaced yet within six months, the failure recurred. The contact called both the manufacturer and dealer regarding the steering failure and was advised by both parties that they had not received any similar complaints regarding steering failures within his year, make and model. The contact was concerned that the steering failure could potentially cause a crash. The contact was no longer driving the vehicle. The failure mileage was 91,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #80

Nov 302009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
I have a 2005 MINICooper convertible - R52. The power steering does not work well. It started being problematic about a year ago right after I purchased the car. While driving the powersteering goes very stiff. It is difficult to turn and sometimes when turning off a highway while the power steering is not working, it comes back on, and I end up oversteering off the road and then back on to the road. This has been happening with increasing frequency during the time I have owned this car. I was told by MINIthat this is not a common problem, but my research seems to indicate that there are 10's of thousands of MINIowners from 2002 to 2006 who have this problem. Ottos MINIin West chester pa quoted me over $1000 do repair it...and they do not seem to see the scope of the problem. I am considering buying the new parts (fan, motor and circuit board) and installing my self. I just cannot spend 1000-1500 bucks to fix this. The parts are about $500 bucks and the install hopefully is pretty easy from what I have read. I hope that your testing does prove this problem needs to be resolved by a recall. It appears that they made a design change that has eliminated the problem in the 2006 or 7 model year. That alone is enough for me to believe that, while I love my MINII am driving a time bomb, that will cause and accident due to poor engineering. Please help me. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #79

Sep 272010


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact noticed an oil leak on the ground under the vehicle while parked in a residential driveway. The contact inspected the vehicle and found that power steering fluid was leaking. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where the mechanic replaced the power steering pump, steering hose, pressure hose, return hose, and the suction hose. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 54,000 and the current mileage was 61,400.

- Menlo Park, CA, USA

problem #78

Aug 012010


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact was driving 55 mph when the power steering failed without warning. The steering wheel became increasingly tight when the failure occurred. The contact replaced the power steering pump himself. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 113,000.

- Webster , MA, USA

problem #77

Oct 252010


  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While traveling 40 mph and turning right, the power steering suddenly stopped functioning. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 117,000.

- Haddenfield, NJ, USA

problem #76

Sep 222010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
2005 MINICooper S. complete power steering failure. Shutting off engine and restarting corrected problem for a short time, then problem resumed. Happened numerous times over the course of the next two weeks.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #75

Aug 092010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The power steering on my 2005 MINICooper S began malfunctioning on 8-9-2010. While going left on a mixmaster, the power steering failed and I thought I was going to hit the side of the bridge and perhaps drive off of the side of the bridge. The passenger in my car helped me steer (with force) to the left and drive to the straightaway. The power steering is intermittent, working five percent of the time. My car was serviced in June of 2010 due to a problem with the tension belt, which caused the car to have a burning smell and no air conditioning. The "service engine" light is on ten percent of the time and the "check tire pressure" light is on often, though I no longer have run-flat tires. My car is difficult to drive due to the lack of power steering. At the time of the first incident, my car had approximately 75,000 miles.

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #74

Oct 032010


  • 59,700 miles
Complaint in association with NHTSA action number: PE10038 2005 MINICooper S - power steering failure while driving. I own a 2005 MINICooper S with approximately 60,000 miles on the clock. Recently while driving home from work, in the process of turning a corner, the steering on the car became instantly heavy causing me to temporarily veer in to the oncoming traffic lane. Fortunately at the time there were no other cars coming in the opposite direction and I was able to compensate for the loss of steering control and correct the direction of the car. The situation remained for the duration of my journey, but I was able to safely navigate the car home. I restarted the engine and this appeared to correct the problem. However, during the next 2 car trips similar failures occurred (fortunately I was prepared for the possibility and so did not end up in the opposing traffic lane). The MINIdealership diagnosed this as a failure of the power steering pump, a problem which I understand to be the subject of a recently opened NHTSA investigation (PE 10038). Personally I believe this situation to be potentially extremely dangerous. There was no warning that the power steering was going to fail, and when it did, the impact was immediate and caused me to steer in to the oncoming traffic (as a result of not being able to turn the corner at the required angle). Due to the immediate nature of the failure I was not able to correct the problem safely in time. I am writing this report to be added to the existing NHTSA investigation (PE 10038).

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #73

Oct 212010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
I have lost the power steering on my 2005 MINICooper about six times. This has become a big, frustrating, and potentially dangerous problem.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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