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 25 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

Aug 162010


  • 61,800 miles


Power steering intermittently turned on and off during the normal operation of the car three times since purchase ten months ago. The actual failure of the power steering pump occurred on 8/16/2010 when the relay within the unit failed and would not turn the pump off even when the cars engine was off. The result was a drained battery and the car was unable to be jump started because the power steering pump turned on and continued to drain power as soon as it was connected to power even with the engine off and the key out of the ignition. This is very dangerous as the steering wheel is nearly impossible to turn when the pump shuts down and all three occurrences were when traveling at highway speeds in excess of 55 mph. Also when the car is off the cooling fan is also off and the pump heats up to the point where there is a very real risk of engine fire. The car was towed to a mechanic to have the power steering pump and the cooling fan replaced. The work is not yet completed but the estimated cost is 1,700 usd. This appears to be a recurring problem with MINIcoopers as the number of forums devoted to and persons reporting this issue on the forums are astounding.

- Highland, MD, USA

problem #31

Aug 142010


  • 72,000 miles
Pulled into a bookstore came back 30min later, tried to pull out of the parking lot and there was no power steering. My wife isn't quite strong enough - so I had to drive it the rest of the way home. Very sudden and without warning, could have been much worse. Power steering pump failure.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #30

Jan 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
There were no "events" leading up to this. Sudden failure of power steering pump as I turned off the highway onto a city side street - no notice, just complete failure of component. The failure left the vehicle with no power steering - only manual "arm strong" steering until repaired. Personally replaced the pump with new part - no support from dealer or manufacture.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #29

Jun 252010


  • 57,000 miles


My power steering completely went out in my 2005 MINICooper while coming around a turn on a busy highway in a major city. I was away from home and scared to death. After doing a little research this appears to be a common problem with MINImodels 01-06. This part needs to be recalled asap before someone is killed. Currently I am fighting with the MINIcustomer relations department because my "caseworker" is also mysteriously unavailable and they will not let me speak to anyone else because my "caseworker" has all the details about the car's defect eventhough they work out of a call center and all the notes are uploaded in the computer and visible for all "caseworkers".

- Watervliet, NY, USA

problem #28

Jun 142010


  • 44,500 miles
I was on my regular commute through city streets. After about 10 miles of driving I was going about 40mph on a fairly straight road. On the next light curve I noticed the wheel was more difficult to turn. I slowed down to turn into a side road and that's when I realized the power steering must have been out. I checked the reservoir and it was full. I called the dealer and they said they were aware of many complaints of power steering going out. They also mentioned that there is no recall for the power steering. Dealer notified me there would be a $100 charge for diagnostics. If its found to be the power steering fan it would cost $300 plus labor. If it's the pump it would be $800 plus labor. Warranty expired 5 months ago. Apparently MINIdoes not want to have to pay to fix a problem that numerous MINIowners are having. This is a safety issue! having the power steering go out mid-drive can easily cause an accident!

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #27

Jul 242010


  • 56,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving at 35 mph, the power steering failed and the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn. The contact shut off the engine and when restarting, the power steering assist did not reset itself. The contact was able to drive the vehicle to her residence having to utilize extreme bodily force to maneuver the steering wheel. The dealer was contacted and they advised having the power steering pump replaced. The power steering pump was replaced at the contact's expense. The failure and current mileages were 56,500. The VIN was unavailable

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #26

Feb 152010


  • 66,000 miles


I bought a 2005 MINIcooper in Sept 09 with 61,450 miles. Several months later the steering "cut out" as I turned a corner. I took it to our mechanic who couldn't find anything wrong & said that it may just be that a speck of dirt that got into the system. It happened a couple more times and I assumed that the "dirt" was working its way out. Then I had a dramatic incident where not only did the steering suddenly and unexpectedly cut out, but there was tremendous "drag" on the system and it took all my might & main to turn the steering wheel. Trying to make a right turn I found myself in the opposite lane. I took the car back to the mechanic who eventually got the car to fail for him. He told me to go to a MINIservice center who could deal with the faulty electronics. I called MINIof America to ask for assistance in making the car "right" but I was told that cars break, that it is beyond the 50,000 warranty and that if the car was unsafe, I should have it fixed. The rep said that "maybe" they would pay for part of the problem after it was diagnosed. I then spoke with a mechanic at a MINIservice center who knew immediately what was wrong. He said this is a common problem with minis before 2007 ----first the problem is intermittent, then the electronics completely fail. Paying for maintenance and repairs for a car that I own is my responsibility but I believe that a car manufacturer is obligated to put out a safe car. If this is a design error, then the company should make it right. When I turn the wheel, I need to trust the electronics to respond -- because my life and the lives of my passengers depends on it. I think that MINIshould be required to insure that the computer that governs steering operates properly. At present I have a car that sits driveway because it is too dangerous to drive. I am making a trip to a city that has a service center in two weeks and I am hoping that MINIcorrects this problem with no expense to me.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #25

Feb 182010


  • 78,000 miles
Nothing specific to lead up to failure power steering will intermittently fail, and occasionally be restored nothing has been done to correct the failure.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #24

Mar 242010


  • 67,000 miles
Intermittent complete loss of power steering. Now is no longer working. Has caused very serious situations and potential accident.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #23

Apr 092010


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving at approximately 20 mph, the power steering failed without warning; the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed that the steering assembly overheated which caused the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The contact planned to call the manufacturer. The current and failure mileages were approximately 42,000. Updated 11/05/10. Updated 12/7/10

- Cranston , RI, USA

problem #22

Apr 062010


  • 95,000 miles


2005 MINICooper S; while driving at highway speed 60 mph going around a bend on the highway complete failure of power steering car was very difficult to maneuver and almost crashed into median.

- Berwyn, IL, USA

problem #21

Apr 042010


  • 52,000 miles
I was driving on the highway when I noticed my steering felt "tight". it was difficult to navigate a curve. I tried to pull into a rest area when I realized I had almost no steering ability. I was able to turn the car by using both hands. I almost crashed on the ramp. It was a very scary experience. The problem is still there. I spoke with the dealer. It is my power steering pump. It is a very expensive repair and it seems there are lots of complaints. I am very glad I did not have to do any emergency turns, I would not have been able to steer the car. This could have been a disaster.

- Metuchen, NJ, USA

problem #20

Jan 312010


  • miles
Owner parked MINIcooper at store went inside. While in store, heard over intercom that her vehicle was on fire. She went outside and saw flames underneath front of vehicle. Fire went out before fire department arrived. Investigation found that electro-hydraulic power steering system wiring had overheated and burned only - nothing else ignited. The damage was consistent with the previous ea analysis EA07-011 pertaining to 2002-2003 MINIcoopers.

- Seekonk, MA, USA

problem #19

Jan 062010


  • 56,000 miles
The power steering on my 2005 MINIcopper S foes out intermittently which could potentially cause a terrible accident. I refuse to pay more than 1,000euros (since I serve overseas) to fix a "known" problem that BMW MINIchooses to ignore despite the valid complaints from all over the world....

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #18

Feb 012010


  • 79,142 miles
2005 MINICooper convertible with approx 78,000 miles. About a week ago the power steering failed with no warning during commute. Took car to regular local foreign car mechanics. Power steering was working when they examined so could find no problem. Day car was returned power steering failed again on afternoon commute. Consistently has failed once car warms up. Took to MINIyesterday with power steering in full failure mode. Dealer says it is fan which cools power steering pump. While dealer maintains they have rarely seen this problem online search of MINIrelated sites as well as article printed in uk daily mail shows that this is a very common problem with this year car.

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #17

Jan 122010


  • 84,000 miles
2005 MINIcooper power steering pump failure, while making a turn, without notice my power steering pump failed my vehicle has aprox. 80K miles on it. MINIis remanufactuing the pump with design improvements this tells me they know something is wrong with the original pump, they should be made to repair the original pumps fee of charge not the $800 they want just for the pump. This is not an isolated incident.

- Clayton, NJ, USA

problem #16

May 072007


  • 60,000 miles
1. steering under normal driving conditions 2. power steering assist motor cuts in and out, making control difficult and unpredictable: Steering gets heavy so additional force is applied but then the power assist 'reactivates' causing dramatic oversteer. First occurred at approximately 60000 miles, turned car on/off steering was fine. Re-occurred at approximately 100000 miles and has become more frequent. 3. mechanic has suggested replacing assist motor.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #15

Oct 152009


  • 54,000 miles
Sudden and unexpected failing of power steering function while routinely driving the car. Car is very hard to steer as a result. Ten + incidents of this. Dealer and manufacturer are aware of defective power steering pump. Pump was replaced at a cost of about $900. No more problems since.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #14

Oct 222009


  • 63,300 miles
2005 MINICooper S. approximately 63,000 miles. October 22, 2009. I had just gotten home from work and parked in the garage. Going in the house I smelled something burning. After a couple minutes of investigating in the house, I decided to go back into the garage, and find that it is a little smokey. I open the garage door and back the MINIout onto the driveway. Now there is smoke streaming from under the hood. I can hear spinning/clicking noises coming from the engine compartment. I open the hood and see flames coming out of the back of the engine, below the exhaust manifold. I emptied 3 fire extinguishers into the engine bay and it was still burning. Called 911. By the time the fire department came, the fire had burned itself out. I was extremely fortunate that I went back into the garage within minutes to investigate, otherwise it could've been a huge car fire and potentially fire damage to the garage and house as well.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 122009


  • 75,000 miles
On Monday morning, October 12, 2009, I was driving to work on the freeway (280 South, daly city, ca). I was driving my 2005 MINICooper. I was in the fast lane on a slight curve in the road, and suddenly my steering wheel completely locked up. I had to immediately apply the brakes to keep from veering into the left barrier, and use all my strength regain control of the vehicle and adjust to speed and steering control to get safely off of the freeway. This was an extremely dangerous and frightening situation that could have very easily ended in a serious accident. Especially since I was traveling at high speed (65 mph) in the fast lane of a busy metropolitan city with cars also traveling at high speed all around me. I've done some research and have found that power steering failure is a documented issue with the make and model of my car, and that in addition to multiple complaints, your organization, NHTSA, has opened an investigation into such claims (NHTSA action #'s from public record: PE07022 and EA07011). My friend, who is also a MINIowner, had this very same failure happen to him, and recommended that I file a formal complaint with you (as he did). I understand BMW attempted to address this issue in the 2002/2003 production models, but this issue continues to occur in subsequent production years: Mine (2005) and this person (2004): the power steering mechanism needs to be recalled. Me, my passenger, my dog, and anyone else driving near me could have been seriously injured if not killed had I not been able to maneuver my disabled vehicle to safety by brute force. Please help me and any others who might come across this problem avoid a possible catastrophe. It will not help much to replace this part with another faulty part that will also fail in the future. A recall must be issued. Please let me know what course of action I can take now to get my car running in a safe, mechanically sound condition. Thank you.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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