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 5 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #432

Sep 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


I was driving and lost all power in my steering. Very hard to turn, nearly got into an accident crossing the yellow line in the middle of the road. Recovered and drove the rest of the way home.

- Spencer, MA, USA

problem #431

Aug 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
My cooling fan burned out causing the power steering to fail. I found out that this was a known problem in my model year and that the warranty on that part had been extended. However, MINIclaims that they started putting new pumps in Feb of 2005. My car was made in Mar of 2005 and thus they will not cover it. I went the extra step and had the dealer do a diagnostic which found that my car has the same part with the same problem as described in the warranty extension. Still MINIwill not cover it. One of the reps tried to cover it up by telling me that there is confusion on the part number matching because they used the same part number when they changed the oem part. That does not compute because if that were true, there would be no way to accurately distinguish the good parts from the bad ones. There 222 other steering complaints at ntsb so I'm not only one. I'm calling a lawyer because this is ridiculous. How can MINIlet cars that have a known safety risk continue to be on the roads?

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #430

Aug 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Power steering in the vehicle went out without any warning making it very difficult to steer the vehicle correctly. Since this date the power steering comes and goes intermittently.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #429

Aug 102013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


Driving about 10 mph on a one lane street, I tried to negotiate a right hand turn and the steering wheel became very difficult to turn. The car ran off the roadway and collided with some shrubbery.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #428

Jul 172013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
The first of multiple steering failures occurred in a parking lot, thankfully. None has yet to happen on interstate or at a deadly rate of speed, which that wouldn't have to be very fast if a child riding on their bike unexpectedly darted in front of you. If the steering malfunctioned at that moment it would be over for the kid. I don't understand how a known, potentially dangerous, issued goes unaddressed. I'm bewildered.

- Fleming Is,, FL, USA

problem #427

Sep 202012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,246 miles
In September 2012 I noticed a loud fan noise that wouldn't turn off. The car was also overheating. I noticed that it was very hard to steer the car, but I thought that was due to the overheating. Mechanic determined failed cylinder head gasket in 11/2012. The radiator was replaced and the thermostat was replaced. In 11/2012 the water pump was also replaced. In 12/2012 the battery had to be replaced. In 06/2013 the heater core was replaced. I believe that these issues are directly related to the loss of power steering and the associated fan failing, which caused the car to overheat and the battery to fail. Please see NHTSA complaints 10453158, 10444328, 10379750, 10442431,10379459 for similar cases of these same issues related to the failure of power steering and the associated pump.

- Mckinleyville, CA, USA

problem #426

Jul 152012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,900 miles


While I was driving on the highway approximately 65 mph my steering gave out and locked up, almost slamming me into the guard rail. I was fortunate enough to stop before tragedy. Unfortunately I was blocking a lane of traffic until I could force my way of the roadway. The second incident happened as I was turning into my own driveway. The steering locked up again causing me to miss my driveway and crash into the ditch. The other safety issues with my car is the windshield wipers will stop working at random and the reverse and tail lights will fail at random. The engine light stays on and the codes read emissions failure. When I talk to MINICooper customer relations they gave me an extended 100,000 mile warranty on the power steering and emissions. MINICooper claims they can't do the safety repairs due to a part shortage. They extended my already extended warranty to 150,000 miles and are wanting to charge me for diagnostics on these extended warranty issues. They will not offer any resolution and claim it is my problem as a consumer and claim the power steering issues are not safety related. When I asked about the electrical lighting issues they replied with that's not MINICoopers problem.

- Howe , OK, USA

problem #425

Jun 192013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 123,890 miles
The manufacturer has recently stated they are going to extend the life of the warranty for the power steering pump for models ranging from the years 2002-2005 and some 2005 MINIconvertibles. I have a 2005 MINIconvertible, and have the faulty power steering pump that they have extended the warranty life for. I immediately called my local MINIdealership to get my car fixed and found that there is a waiting list to get the work done. From what I have been told the parts are entirely unavailable, and I can expect to wait up to a month before I can expect to be able to get my car fixed. Till then however I cannot get my cars inspection renewed as in my state a car cannot pass without power steering. I have been left without any feasible means of transportation, and upon begging MINIto help with my problem which they have created I was told that they were going to do nothing about it. This leaves me with either having to break Texas state law and drive the car without current inspection, or drop out of school as I will have no way of getting there until the MINIfixes the problem.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #424

Dec 292011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
Car was making a very loud noise. Took it to shop who identified it as a failing power steering pump cooling fan, and replaced it.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #423

Mar 292013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the steering wheel failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was advised to the contact that the steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #422

Nov 112011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,250 miles


Power steering fan burned out which caused the pump to fail. Seems to be a known problem with this model year. The placement of the fan is really bad because it's subject to constant road grime, salt, etc. Cost me over $1,200 to fix. :(

- E. Dundee, IL, USA

problem #421

Apr 092013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 51,033 miles
Problem of power assist failing causing steering to become difficult. Only happens after been on highway for more than 15 minutes. Very similar to other reports on 2004-2005 MINICooper S's reporting this problem.

- Edina, MN, USA

problem #420

May 142013


  • 106,000 miles
Temporary loss of power steering.

- Franklin, WI, USA

problem #419

May 162012


  • 96,720 miles
I had been having problems with the power steering in my car going in and out at random times. To fix this problem I would just turn the car off and then back on. Now, however, the power steering is always off. I have managed to drive just fine for months without, because I simply don't have the money to get the system replaced. It has finally come to the time of year when I have to get my inspection renewed, and I have now learned that the car will not pass inspection in my state because of its lack of power steering. If the car cannot pass a state inspection without the power steering, how is it that there has not been a recall made because of the power steering system failure making the car unsafe to drive? there is clearly a design flaw with the power steering system. It is entirely unfair that not only has there not been a recall made forcing BMW to fix this design flaw, but there is also laws in place that force me to either stop driving, get a new car, or spend money I don't have to get it fixed.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #418

Apr 262013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Wife was driving her 2005 MINICooper (R50) when the power steering failed thus causing a very frightening and possibly very dangerous situation.

- Calgary, CA, USA

problem #417

Apr 162013

Cooper 4-cyl Diesel

  • 104,000 miles
While driving on a curvy road the power steering went out making it very difficult to maneuver. This seems to be an intermittent problem and is very dangerous!

- Belton, SC, USA

problem #416

Apr 052013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 99,427 miles
Power steering pump failed while driving. It is a combination electro/hydraulic pump. Electrical burn smell was evident. I almost got in an accident, and luckily there was no car in the other lane or I would have hit them. Canada has made BMW MINIrecall these as it is a common problem.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #415

Jan 252013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
The steering wheel stops turning while mid-turn. I took the car to MINIof san francisco and for whatever reason, they could not find a problem. The steering continues to be a problem, happening randomly when the car is first started up.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #414

Apr 182013


  • miles
Hello, over the past few months the steering on my 2005 MINICooper cuts out unexpectedly. The wheel is almost impossible to turn when this happens, and it occurs with no warning. It appears that the steering pump fails when the car warms up. I have noticed many other owners of this make and model making the same complaint in online forums. The car is not safe to drive in this condition. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Guilford, CT, USA

problem #413

Apr 102013


  • 77,000 miles
Loss of power steering..nearly a collision.

- Lititz, PA, USA

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