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 6 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #412

Mar 092013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle became difficult to maneuver. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #411

Sep 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Parked the car to go in a store, in the store for 10 minutes. Came out to start the car and the steering wheel was stiff and did not want to move. Cut the car off and was looking into ways to get the car towed. I tried to start the car back up maybe 15-20 minutes later and it was working just fine. Ever sense then, the car's power steering would stop functioning and then reset itself once the car was stopped and idle. You can never predict when this will happen or when it won't. the power steering issues have gotten progressively worse with longer intervals of wait time before the power steering starts functioning again. The wheel when the power steering stops functioning is virtually immovable it is almost impossible to make turns unless they are wide ones. This is a tremendous safety hazard and the power steering pump is clearly defective.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #410

Mar 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving approximately 18 mph, the steering wheel became extremely difficult to maneuver without warning. The vehicle also overheated and a loud noise was heard coming from the front end of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the technician advised that the power steering fluid needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 74,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #409

Mar 312013


  • 66,040 miles


Was driving on nys thruway when I thought I'd gotten a flat tire due to sluggish steering now hours later and a little internet investigation I think it to be the power steering pump. This should be recalled asap before someone is killed.

- Camden, NY, USA

problem #408

Mar 292013


  • 100,850 miles
The power steering failed. Searching, this appears to be a very common problem.

- Hillsboro, VA, USA

problem #407

Mar 242011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 80,045 miles
I was driving on straight road then into curve...noticed the steering was hard to turn....went in & out for a day then totally power steering...have replaced this and now it's out again!!!!

- Woodruff, SC, USA

problem #406

Mar 212013


  • 83,200 miles


While driving on a 2 lane 2 way (1 per direction) rural road very windy on my daily commute into my office I lost power steering. I was on a straightaway and luckily not in a curve because the steering instantly became tight and at low speeds is almost unable to steer. I say almost because I I am able to drive with great effort and attention however any evasive movement for an emergency may cause me to be involved in an accident. I have seen mimi had a recall for the exact issue in Canada but has not had a recall in the usa while we are having the exact problems. MINIalso changed the steering pump/fan/wiring in the 2006 models which is the last year of production on the exact model I own. Obviously they (MINIis aware and tried to fix the issue on their end without a recall.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #405

Sep 102010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 86,667 miles
During the first incident I was driving in town, suddenly the steering had a hard resistant making it difficult to do a right turn. I had to muscle the wheel in order to keep from veering into oncoming traffic. When I pulled the vehicle over to do an under the hood inspection and check the steering fluid level, I saw nothing that indicate damage. Once I restart the vehicle, it seem to correct itself. I though was it was maybe a fluke. Later on, my wife indicated she heard a whining noise that came from under the hood, and ask me to look into it. After looking it over, I add some belt dressing, because I thought could have been the problem. In the meantime I made several calls to the MINIdealership in tempe, AZ. The service manager stated this noise could be several indicators, such as an aging steering pump, a mixture of non-recommended fluid in the reservoir or the pump could be going out. I dismissed the mix fluid indicator, because the levels were always within range and to my knowledge was never tampered with or topped off. As several months went by, the vehicle continue to operate without incident, other than the whining noise, which was heard when the vehicle was started for the first time of the day, or while the vehicle was running in idle. Recently, my wife call me from work and indicated while she was driving to work for the 2nd time, the steering seem to lock and was difficult to steer. She manage to drive home without injury to herself or others. That same day, when I looked over the vehicle for leaks, damage or fluid levels and the vehicle steering again locked in place. After a little research, I found this has been a major safety issue with the 2004 and 2005 MINIcoopers, which has been acknowledged by MINIof Canada who issued a recall. On the flip side, MINICorp in the us and local dealers do not. Please advise with a reply.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #404

Mar 102013


  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the steering became extremely difficult to maneuver. The failure recurred as the contact was driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the power steering pump would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 64,000.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #403

Mar 192013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,905 miles
Intermittently on cold start the power steering is inoperative. Turning the car off and then back on again will usually result in the power steering becoming operative again. Dealership says pump needs to be replaced.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #402

Dec 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


The power steering in my car has failed continuously. We had the entire rack replaced in 2011 - the steering fluid constantly leaks, or burns dry - for the last few months, the power steering pump does not stop running when the vehicle is parked - requiring for the battery to be disconnected at every stop, or risk a dead battery.

- Lol, FL, USA

problem #401

Mar 162013


  • 18,600 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, he attempted a right turn and the steering wheel failed. The contact stated that the amount of energy needed to turn the wheel increased. The contact powered off and restarted the vehicle as it resumed normal operation. The vehicle function properly until the failure recurred the following day. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 18,600. Returned by usps on 4/8/2013. 2nd attempt on 4/9/2013.

- Sidney, OH, USA

problem #400

Mar 152013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 85,103 miles
Intermittent power steering failures while car is in motion. One minute power steering functions, next minute, no ps at all. Power steering pump continues to run even when engine is off and key out of ignition. After returning to vehicle, battery is dead as a result of continuously running pump or fan.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #399

Mar 172013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 69,565 miles
I made a left turn at a light and the power steering quit working in the middle of the turn. The steering became very heavy and I thought I had a flat tire. I pulled over and checked the fluid and the level was correct. I continued driving and the steering was fine.

- Cottonwood Heights, UT, USA

problem #398

Mar 092013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 92,750 miles
-my dependent daughter was driving approximately 50 mph during in normal conditions when power steering assist turned off. Steering became very difficult and dangerous. Follow-on occurrences were regularly repeated after approximately 10 - 15 miles. Due to safety concerns driving the vehicle was ceased until repairs made therefore was unable to commute to / from school of higher education. Vehicle brought to local repair station and a faulty power steering motor was determined to be the cause. Subsequent repairs totally $934 usd appear to have fixed problem. The fact that the manufacturer had prior knowledge of this potentially catastrophic condition, and chose to put my daughter at risk or harms way is shameful.

- Modena, NY, USA

problem #397

Mar 122012


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle, the steering wheel began to shake and became difficult to maneuver. The failure recurred numerous times intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the power steering pump would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 118,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #396

Jan 292013


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road and then towed to the contact's residence. The failure occurred five times. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Buzzards Bay , MA, USA

problem #395

Feb 162013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
While turning into a shopping plaza parking lot the steering wheel locked up and I was not able to control or complete the turn. Thank god I was driving at a slow speed and pedistrians were not near by. I experienced the same thing when I was leaving to return home and two more times after that. Something needs to be done, innocent lives are at risk.

- Buzzards Bay, MA, USA

problem #394

Jun 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
After driving at highway speed, I slowed down to turn into a parking lot when the power steering failed. The car could still be turned, but only with great effort and had there been any need to avoid another vehicle or pedestrian, it would have been impossible. After turning off the vehicle and restrarting, the power steering resumed working. The same failure has occurred on several other occasions but is only intermittent.

- Saint Johns , FL, USA

problem #393

Feb 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
The power steering has been going in and out for the last three weeks. When it first happened I was driving on the highway at 50 mph and the steering became very difficult. Turning took a large amount of effort. After arriving at home and taking it out the next day it worked fine and then went out again while going 35 mph and trying to make a curve in the road. We took the car in for repairs and was told the power steering pump and fan worked fine but the power steering was intermittent when driven. A power connector for the pump was repaired and the next day the car starting losing the power steering again. If this happened at highway speed it could easily cause an accident and/or injuries. I've read too many stories online for this to be a fault with the design.

- Union, KY, USA

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