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 23 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #72

Oct 122010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles


The power steering in our 2005 MINICooper has a recent history (within the past year) of intermittently failing, making the car difficult, if not impossible, for our small-sized drivers (about 100 lbs.) to maneuver. This has proved dangerous on the road, but injuries have so far been avoided, just when we were going to get it fixed, the problem appeared to self-correct. This week, however, the car has failed to start or take a charge to a one-year-old battery. Our reliable and trustworthy mechanic cannot diagnose the source of the problem, but we are wondering if there may be a drain on the battery from this power steering problem.

- Western Springs, IL, USA

problem #71

Oct 142010


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving approximately 55 mph the steering wheel became very stiff and difficult to turn. The vehicle was driven onto the emergency lane and shut off. Within a few minutes he was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle drove normally for approximately 15 minutes before the failure recurred. The failure began to recur intermittently, so the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the power steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 61,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Corinth, MS, USA

problem #70

Oct 182010


  • 33,500 miles
While picking my grandson from school on Oct 18 2010 at 2:30 pm I was backing out of a parking space onto the highway, half still in parking space and half on the highway my car stopped--- it would not go forward or backward --- could not turn the steering wheel, it would not turn--the motor running all the time --I turned the key off and on twice before the car would move.only reason we were not hit by traffic is because we were in a school zone and traffic was slow at that time. I called my MINIdealer in baton rouge and asked if they had other people with trouble with their MINIthey said no-- asked they to check if MINIhad anything going on with MINIS they would not check they just saying they had not received and official notice they said I could bring it in and it would cost me about $800 to have it fixed.

- Sorrento, LA, USA

problem #69

Sep 202010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 74,200 miles


The power steering in my 2005 MINICooper has gone out. It started failing intermittently for about 6 months then as of September 2010 has failed completely. It is extremely difficult to steer and turn the car. I took it in to my local mechanic when it was failing intermittently and they could not recreate it. Nothing has been changed/fixed at this time.

- Croton On Hudson, NY, USA

problem #68

Oct 032010


  • 122,000 miles
Twice, while parallel parking my 2005 MINICooper convertible, I lost power steering. It seems to happen intermittently and restores when I restart my car. Dealer says I need to replace my power steering pump.

- Ardsley, NY, USA

problem #67

Sep 152010


  • 44,370 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power assist locked up and he lost power steering functionality. The steering wheel would become extremely stiff, making it difficult to steer the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the power steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been. The contact called the manufacturer who offered 15% off for the repair costs. The current mileage was 44,389. The failure mileage was approximately 44,370.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #66

Oct 082010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles


The power steering suddenly stopped working while I was making a left turn. Oncoming traffic had to stop suddenly because I was not able to turn safely within a normal turn. I had to turn very hard and with great difficulty.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #65

Sep 132010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,800 miles
On September 12th I was making my commute home from work in my 2005 MINICooper S. upon my return home, my battery indicator light went on. I parked and turned off the car and the next morning when I went to run errands the power steering was non-existent. I had he car towed to the BMW/MINIdealership where they gave me a diagnosis of a failing power steering pump and a bad alternator. Updated 09/08/11

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #64

Sep 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,750 miles
I just bought a 2005 MINICooper which is in excellent condition upon buying. After a week, my power steering went out on a turn that I could barely make. I couldn't make any of the turns all the way home! I thought maybe it's because the key wasn't in the ignition right. I took out the key and re-started my car. It worked and the power steering came back on! well, a couple days later this issue has now become a dangerous problem. I would make a right turn off a main road and I was shocked that my car wouldn't turn. To make things even worse, there was a school bus I almost hit! I had to slam on the brakes and try to make this impossible turn. After this incident, the problem has happened every time I have driven my car. Its becoming more frequent! it goes out all the time and I'm not able to drive my car for short distances. I have been keeping track of how many times this has occurred, I'm now at 31 times! many of those times, I was very close to hitting many people! I'm am very lucky to have not been in an accident or driven off the road!! updated 08/17/11 updated 1/27/2012

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #63

Apr 102010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 57,775 miles
Power steering pump failure without warning and intermittent steering system degradation prior to total failure. My wife was driving the 2005 MINIwhen steering started failing. Pulled over and was towed to garage for repairs. Poor design and no accommodation for system failure.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #62

Apr 122010


  • 49,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the power steering suddenly malfunctioned without warning. The contact called the local dealer but was told that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 49,000. The VIN was not available.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #61

Oct 062010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 40,090 miles
I was driving my 2005 MINICooper today when the power steering went out and it became very difficult to control the vehicle around sharp turns at slower speeds. I have not yet corrected the failure.

- Eureka, CA, USA

problem #60

Mar 222010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 27,850 miles
Power steering in my 2005 MINIcooper with 28,000 miles sometimes functions and other times does not-mostly though it does not function. This issue has been ongoing since March, 2010. On rare occasions, I will start the car and the power steering will function as normal.

- Prairie Village, KS, USA

problem #59

Oct 032010


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While traveling 40 mph the contact noticed that the steering wheel suddenly become tight and was difficult to turn. The vehicle was not diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 48000.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #58

Oct 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Steering on my MINIcooper 2005 failed this morning, resulting in a near accident in a parking garage. It felt like the power steering was failing. It came back briefly on the way to the repair shop, but the tech confirmed that there is a problem. It is currently being diagnosed, but it is likely the power steering pump.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #57

Sep 282010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 102,100 miles
I have a 2005 MINICooper S. last year the power steering pump randomly stopped working on my way to school. I did not crash or anything but it was very hard to steer my car. I have not replaced the pump because honestly I do not know how to and I believe the pump costs nearly $1000. The pump on my car still works fine most of the time. Now every once in a while on sharp corners the pump will give out and if I pull over, shut the car off, and turn the car back on the pump will work again. This is obviously either a defect with the pump itself or the electronics which run the pump. The fact that shutting my car off and turning it back on makes me think it is mostly an electrical problem, possibly inside the pump itself.

- Stafford Springs, CT, USA

problem #56

Sep 172010


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINIcooper S. the contact stated that the power steering failed intermittently. When the failure occurred it became extremely hard to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was not inspected by the dealer when the complaint was filed. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage and current mileages were 15000.

- Summitt, NJ, USA

problem #55

Mar 242010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 30,222 miles
Per the MINICooper power steering pump investigation - on March 24, 2010 I paid to have my power steering pump replaced after having my battery die for a second time. The MINIdealership failed the first time to find the problem but upon the second battery dying they reported that the power steering pump was remaining on and drawing power from the battery even when the car was turned off. This also explained why I had been noticing the power steering stopped working on a number of occasions.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #54

Aug 162009


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while trying to move out a parking lot, the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who could not duplicate the failure. On another occasion while driving 25 mph, the power steering seized up. The replaced the power steering pump which corrected the problem. The failure mileage was approximately 55,000. The current mileage was approximately 58,000.

- Columbia , SC, USA

problem #53

May 032010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
My 2005 MINICooper S has had the power steering go out several times. This happens with no warning and has caused me to almost be involved in an accident. As I was changing lanes on major highways I couldn't turn the wheel and almost went into a concrete wall. It also went out while on a trip in the mountains, I was very concerned about going off the side of a mountain road. This power steering pump also has stayed running and killed my battery leaving me to find a jump. The issue is that it turns off and on at random times and with no warning.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

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