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 8 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #372

Oct 112012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


My daughter was driving on the highway back from college and the power on the steering went out on her. It started coming back on and off intermittently and she was able to steer it slowly back home from there.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #371

Oct 142012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 147,825 miles
Had been driving for about thirty minutes was going West on a busy four lane city street, preparing to turn onto a side street and the power steering stopped working. I could hardly turn the MINIinto the side street and came close to hitting another car turning beside me. Was able to park and an hour later tried to drive home, power steering worked for about 5 minutes and then quite again. Did not have an accident but it was close several times. It was all I could do to steer the car at slow speeds and I am 6'2 and 205 pounds a woman would not have been able to do it in all probability.

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #370

Feb 012012


  • 63,000 miles
The power steering goes out intermittently.

- Rancho Cucamonga , CA, USA

problem #369

Jan 092012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles


Power steering went out making the car very hard to steer. The first time was January 2012, randomly off and on since. I have had the power steering return after simply turning the car off then on, other times after a week. It appears the power steering pump has decided to quit altogether at this point.

- Southbridge, MA, USA

problem #368

Mar 082009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,500 miles
In 2009, the power steering would intermittently work, usually restarting resolved the problem. Increasingly worsened. P pulling out from the business to a residential street, very busy afternoon traffic. I hurriedly turned right onto the street, then left at the traffic signal. While making the left my power steering decided to stop coming too close to running straight into a light standard on the opposite corner. Hitting the curb very hard and steering with no power, I corrected my direction to avoid hitting other vehicles, hit the curb again, found the first possible parking lot and pulled off and thank god I didn't hit anyone. May 2012 no pow steering wed, October 3, 2012 @ 117K mileage, belt broke, battery light came on, overheated. Miniusa takes pride in being responsible and caring about their customers. Their jovial, freethinking, cleaver banter is so falsely represented since I can't even get some one at MINIto talk to me. Now, I'm waiting on finding the right repair shop that won't cost me my retirement. In 2007, I locked my glove compartment since I had just picked up the $2500 engagement ring my son had been paying on so he could propose to his girlfriend. When I got home the glove box wouldn't come unlocked, other than forcing it and risk breaking something I took it to the dealership where I purchased, the car, hoping they might have a known ways, secret solution. Unfortunately, a $80 service fee from just driving onto the lot, plus $350 for a new glove box! just because I locked it for the first time for safety. Now undrivable, I shudder a the thought of repair bills for everything that's failing now, I am obviously not the only one. Not so funny now MINICooper!

- Alvarado, TX, USA

problem #367

Feb 052010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 47,700 miles
I had just bought the car and flew to New Jersey to get it. The mechanic told me that the power steering was out and he was not sure what the problem was. I drove it back to Florida and did not have power steering the whole way. In April 2010, the power steering came back. I continued to have power steering and then in October 2010, it went out again for two days. Then it came back. Then in 2011, it went out again for two days during the year. And now it has been out since April of this year. I had been on disability from January till July, so I was not driving my car that much. I have not worried about fixing it. Also, when I picked my car up in NJ, they had written on my receipt that they would pay $500 towards the repair of my power steering. I have not had a chance to ask my attorney if that would still be valid or not. But it seems that a lot of the MINIs are having the same issue. I was wondering if MINIwill be recalling the power steering and I can have my car fixed?

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #366

May 022012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,230 miles


The first problem was when the power steering failed for about 15 minutes. The vehicle became very difficulty to control, but eventually the steering started working again. In August the same problem occurred only this time for an hour. This made the vehicle almost useless. Today 10/2/2012 the power steering failed completely while my wife was on the interstate. It was physically tiring to maintain control of this tiny car. This vehicle is dangerous and we no longer feel comfortable driving it.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #365

Aug 302012


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving approximately 20 mph, there was a complete loss of power steering without any warning. The contact was able to continue driving with extreme difficulty in turning the steering wheel. The steering malfunction recurred three times. The vehicle was taken to an independent auto shop where the power steering pump, fan and other related components were replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. There was a concurrent investigation under NHTSA action number: EA11005 (steering:hydraulic power assist:pump). The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Basking Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #364

Sep 072012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,925 miles
The power steering pump stops operating while the vehicle is in motion. It has happened three times to date: The first incident was at low speed in a parking structure; the second incident happened at freeway speed; the most recent incident occurred on a surface street while decelerating to a stop. In each case, control of the car was maintained but was very difficult. The pump function was restored by stopping and cycling the vehicle ignition to off and then restarting the engine.

- Valley Center, CA, USA

problem #363

Aug 112012


  • 149,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while attempting to drive the power steering failed. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. However, the dealer was contacted who stated that the power steering unit might be defective. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 149,000.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #362

Sep 102012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,100 miles


When turning off the engine, the fan won't turn off and keeps running. It drains the battery very quickly. I took it to auto shop and the report says steering pump internal failure.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #361

Sep 102012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 113,250 miles
Drove on the highway at 65 mph for about 15 mins. After exiting the highway, I realized the steering wheel was very difficult to turn. Fortunately, I was coming to a traffic junction and I was able to stop the car and pull aside without any incident. From what I've read on the internet, there is an inherent problem with the power steering pump that causes the power steering to fail intermittently while driving. This is a very serious problem that can easily cause an accident. There is also a whining noise that I hear coming from the engine compartment while driving the car which I found is also related to the power steering pump problem.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #360

Aug 312012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 96,266 miles
I was exiting the interstate and the ramp curved to the right, as I began to negotiate the curve I noticed I had no power steering at all. I reached my destination about 15 minutes later and had no power steering assistance at all the entire time. I parked the vehicle and did not use it again until 9/3/12 and the steering appeared to be working properly again. In reading the investigative study I noted that it may be due to an error in the internal electronics and may also result in a continuous running of the power steering pump. Last year almost to the day, the electrical system went haywire and the car would not steer and had what seemed like power surge and after shutting the car off and removing the key the car continued to make a clicking sound and the windows rolled down by themselves. I could not get the car to restart and had it towed to the dealer and was told to replace the battery, which I did, I now wonder if that was a related incident.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #359

Aug 222012


  • 75,000 miles
The passenger air bag weight sensor stop working. As a result my vehicle displays a warning that the passenger side air bags are off. My driver side fog light housing melted and crack apart. I used stock 55W halogen bulbs. My passenger side fog light housing has also begun to melt. My power steering is not leaking now. But it has been replaced 3 times.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #358

Sep 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
Power steering failed, called dealer twice and BMW company twice, knew about problems, but sent me in a circle. Dealer said to go to company for help and info, company said to go to dealer, very deceptive practices.

- Hopkins, MN, USA

problem #357

Sep 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Power steering pump failure.

- Loxley, AL, USA

problem #356

Aug 312012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 52,200 miles
Right after exiting the highway, the steering wheel became suddenly very stiff as I was making a standard 90 turn. I almost hit the car next to me but didn't as I managed to hit the brakes. I finished the curve on the very last lane on the right. If a car had been on my way, it would have been a crash, fortunately there was none. MINIdiagnosed a power steering pump failure. Browsing on the web, I came across pages of people having had the same issue for this year's model (MINICooper S 2005). Canadian authorities even ordered a recall for this exact same failure. I have also read that NHTSA is currently studying this issue; could you please confirm this is true any idea how long is the process to decide whether or not a recall will be decided if a recall was decided, would we get reimburse not matter the repair was done in a MINIdealer or an independent garage ? thank you

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #355

Feb 042012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,610 miles
Generally, I love the MINICooper having purchased it in the after market. However, not long after the warranty ran out, I had problems for several weeks with my steering wheel seizing up but an incident in February 2012 sticks out most in my mind since I was on I-95 in the rain and could not adequately steer the car to take an exit. My 11 yr old daughter was with me at the time. I pulled to the shoulder and shut the car off and was able to restart and resume driving. Financially, I could not afford to take the car into the dealer but the condition and work around continued intermittently for a few weeks when I could afford the repair. In early May 2012, I took the car to the dealer for repair and it cost over $1300 to replace the power steering pump. At the time of the repair, it was noted that the cooling fan also needed repair for another $720 -- I just didn't have it. Today, my 2-yr old battery failed apparently due to draining from the fan. For now, I replaced the battery for $249. I will be incrementally getting repairs done, however, in reading some people's experience with the steering pump, I understand that there may be some relevance between the pump going bad and an impact on the fan. I'd appreciate any insights you may have on that possibility. I am reporting this not only for myself but for others who also may be impacted by the pump defect that I am learning is somewhat common. I look forward to the outcome of your engineering analysis. Thank you.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #354

Aug 242012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 30,200 miles
My power steering went out while I was making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic. I managed to avoid hitting the curb and pulled over after completing the turn. It felt like driving with four flat tires. After restarting, the power steering worked again. The same thing happened again two days later. In both cases, this happened shortly after starting up.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #353

Mar 032010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph making a left turn the power steering failed. As a result, it became very difficult to maneuver the steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 80,000...updated 11/29/12 the consumer also stated the power steering pump would come on periodically when the vehicle was off and would run, until the battery drained. Updated 12/03/12

- Philomont , VA, USA

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