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 7 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #392

Feb 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


After driving around town for 15 minutes power steering stopped working and had to struggle to turn a corner. Had to make a wide turn. If another vehicle had been approaching, there would have been a collision. Very difficult to control this vehicle when power steering fails. This loss of power steering has happened four times within last two weeks. Research on internet shows this to be more than a common problem; it seems to be widespread. This much I do know: It scared the hell out of me and is dangerous. If BMW doesn't voluntarily fix the problem, then the government should force a recall on all affected vehicles before someone is seriously injured or dies.

- Newburyport, MA, USA

problem #391

Jan 102013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 85,354 miles
The MINIcooper was sitting in the garage. My family noticed a distinct burning smell. We did not know where is was coming from. The burning smell was traced to the garage, but still did not identify the source. The next day when the vehicle was driven, there was no power steering. Upon inspection and removal of the power steering pump, all the electrical connections to the unit were melted. The power steering unit and the wiring harness leading to the unit are damaged and must be replaced. In conclusion the unit drew power while the car was off and fried the electrical connections.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #390

Feb 142013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 144,411 miles
The power steering pump suddenly went out on my 2005 MINICooper S. fortunately for me (although this easily could have been tragically unfortunate for someone else) this happened in a school zone, which means I was driving very slowly. But with little children around this could have been extremely dangerous. In doing some research I find this sudden power steering failure is a common problem on early MINIcoopers. The pump has been recalled in Canada, but why not in the U.S.a" can you tell me why this is not a recall item here"

- Heber, UT, USA

problem #389

Feb 072013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 69,165 miles


Power steering failed as I was making a right hand turn from one street to another. While 1/2 way into the turn the steering no longer responded and started to go straight into oncoming opposing traffic. It took quite a bit of effort to yank the steering wheel and avoid a crash (much more effort than steering my 54 Chevy pick up truck). Had car towed to BMW/MINIdealer - diagnosed as "power steering pump shorting". cost of repairs to replace power steering pump (including new P/S hoses): $1977.62.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #388

Feb 022013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
While driving the power steering pump stopped working.

- Nesquehoning , PA, USA

problem #387

Jan 242013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 100,060 miles
Power steering failed at freeway speed. Driver narrowly escaped accident at freeway speed. Power steering pump total failure. Someone will die unless this issue is addressed.

- Sebastopol, CA, USA

problem #386

Nov 122012


  • 110,000 miles


Was driving along the road and came up on a turn when the steering locked up. Put all of my weight into the steering wheel to keep from jumping the median. Scared the life out of me. Immediately pulled over to figure out what happened. Turned the car off, then back on and it seemed fine. Then getting on the freeway, I was on the clover-leaf and it locked up again so I put all of my weight into it again, then it suddenly released. With the sudden jerk/movement (and it has done this a few times) someday I know it will cause the car to flip. The power steering seems to work in phases: It will be fine for a couple days, then its intermittent/gone for a week or 2. the past few days, it has sounded like the engine fan was engaged even though I had not been for a strenuous drive. I think it was actually the pump not turning off when the car was turned off. This morning I got to my car to find the battery completely drained... an apparent short in the power steering pump (and/or fan) killed it.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #385

Feb 012013


  • 119,000 miles
No power steering. Hard to steer.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #384

Jan 242013


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated while attempting to exit a parking lot, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. There was an investigation under NHTSA action number: EA11005 (steering) that could have been related to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000.

- Ridgewood, NY, USA

problem #383

Jan 172013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
While driving my MINICooper S '05, I suddenly lost power steering, which made it extremely difficult to steer. I feel threatened driving my car.

- Eagletown, OK, USA

problem #382

Jan 162013


  • 87,000 miles


Power steering pump failure. ## VIN failed ##

- Jamaica Plain, MA, USA

problem #381

Dec 292012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,895 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. the contact stated that while attempting to turn, the steering wheel failed to respond. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic were it was found that the power steering pump failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the issue and offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were 59,895. Updated 1/29/13 updated 2/7/2013

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #380

Dec 282012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
Intermittent power steering failure. After long drive ~150 a loud buzzing under car continued after car engine was shut off. Moving the steering wheel made the buzzing change sounds. Starting and shutting the car's engine did not resolve the buzzing. Disconnected the battery to avoid battery failure.

- El Segundo, CA, USA

problem #379

Dec 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 56,400 miles
On my drive to work on the third of December the steering assist went out while on the freeway and trying to exit onto an off-ramp. The turn was very sharp and I nearly didn't make it. Thank goodness it was a slow time in the day for if it wasn't I may have hit someone else. This is a large safety issue and having read that this complaint is becoming wide spread I would hate to see anyone get hurt. The steering is still an issue and I made sure to take precaution on my drive home not to take any route that would produce a sharp turn in fear of not being able to make it quick enough. The steering is extremely difficult, and I stress extremely as if you are working against the car to try to get the steering wheel to move and the car will not take sharp corners as it once did, but rather must take long shallow turns, which is not always a possibility.

- Delafield, WI, USA

problem #378

Dec 022012


  • 58,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was awaiting diagnosis. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure and the current mileage was 58,500.

- Rocky Point, NY, USA

problem #377

Nov 132012


  • 69,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the contact was exiting the highway when the power steering failed. The contact was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure recurred several times after the vehicle would warm up. The manufacturer was notified and they stated that the vehicle was not included in a recall. The failure mileage was 69,500.

- Valley Cottage, NJ, USA

problem #376

Nov 072012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 120,334 miles
The power steering went out and was virtually impossible to steer.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #375

Jun 062012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph the power steering failed and all of the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 88,000.

- White Salmon, WA, USA

problem #374

Nov 022012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68,660 miles
I was driving down the freeway attempting to change lanes when I noticed that my steering wheel suddenly became very difficult to turn and maneuver, as if the power steering feature had been disabled. Initially, I thought it was just the surface of the road making handling of the car difficult, but the problem continued to persist even after I exited the freeway. While performing left-turns and right-turns on the side streets, I had to exert tremendous labor to complete the turn, and on a couple of occasions I almost hit adjacent cars on the road because I couldn't forcibly turn the steering wheel enough. When I arrived at my destination, I turned off my engine, re-started it, and to my relief and amazement, the steering wheel became easy to maneuver again, without a trace of the steering problems that had just occurred.

- Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

problem #373

Jun 202011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,500 miles
Loss of power steering while driving. Car did not hit or come in contact with anything when power steering was lost. Full power steering and fan had to be replaced as a result.

- New York, NY, USA

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