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 9 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #352

Aug 252012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,595 miles


Daughter/co-owner was driving car. Shifting from 1st in to 2nd gear. Loud clunk or rattle/clicking from unside. Car lost power steering, battery light came on. Could not control vehicle. Had to call tow truck.

- Marana, AZ, USA

problem #351

Jan 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I cannot remember exact dates as this part has been bad for so long. The power steering pump whines very loudly. A couple times the power has gone out and the car became difficult to steer. The problem is very intermittent and only lasted a few seconds each time.

- Hobart, IN, USA

problem #350

Jun 022012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Just got off the highway cause the steering started to get very difficult. After we looked in the manual and couldn't find anything about power steering fluid levels we headed towards our destination about 10 or so mins. Later. Steering was fine after that, then about 3 weeks ago we had the same issue, thankfully we were on a local road and it lasted about 3 mins. Then steering became normal again.

- Derby, CT, USA

problem #349

Jul 282012


  • 39,207 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering failed while driving 40 mph, causing a loss of steering capabilities. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic for inspection where they stated that the power steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,207. The VIN was not available.

- Missouri City, MO, USA

problem #348

Jun 222012


  • 108,000 miles
The first time my power steering went out I was at a stop sign. I was making a right turn and had difficulty making the turn. The power steering went out again another time when I was in the middle of a turn, making it difficult to turn. I was fortunate there were no other cars around. Today, 8/20/2012 is the most recent day that it went out. I was driving at approximately 35 mph and making a left turn when I noticed it was out. I have figured out that if I turn off my car it comes back on. Luckily I had to stop before getting onto the freeway so I was able to control my car at high speeds.

- Ardmore, OK, USA

problem #347

Jul 012012


  • 83,000 miles
The power steering went out while driving the vehicle. It has occurred intermittently since then.

- Holland, MI, USA

problem #346

Aug 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 123,102 miles


Power steering failed when parking the car.

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #345

Jul 222012


  • 105,916 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. the contact stated that power steering failed. In addition, the vehicle was unable to be started. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who advised that the failure caused damage to the electrical system, which had become inoperable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,916 and the current mileage was 105,960.

- Ballston Lake, NY, USA

problem #344

Jul 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 79,889 miles
I was driving my 2005 MINICooper and when I slowed down to make a left and enter a shopping center, the steering wheel was really hard, there was oncoming traffic and I felt very unsecure and in danger. I took my car to an auto parts shop and checked the power steering fluid and it was ok. I turned the engine on and drove away and the power steering wheel was ok. 3 days later I noticed a buzzing sound from the engine, it would not stop even when I turned the engine off and removed the keys. I took it to the mechanic and I was informed that the power steering pump failed. I am reluctant to enter the freeway, I feel the car might fail and I can get into an accident.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #343

Sep 122011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Intermittently and rarely, when the car first starts, the power steering does not work. It is very difficult to move the steering wheel at all, and there is no apparent effect on the wheels of the car. Each time this has happened, I have immediately turned off the car and restarted. Restarting the ignition has been enough to regain the power steering. After this happened between 5 and 10 times over the past year, I realized it was a pattern and decided to lodge a complaint. I also realized that the louder-than-ordinary steering fan noise might be another symptom of problems with the power steering. In mid-September 2011, the car battery died. The steering fan was very loud. I now wonder if the battery failure was due to the steering fan, although no one at the dealership commented on the very loud fan that was extremely noticeable when they restarted the car.

- Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

problem #342

Feb 022011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles


The power steering has been going out for some time. Often it will reset if I turn the vehicle off for a few seconds and restart, but recently it hasn't been resetting right away and often will be out for quite some time before resetting. There have also been strange creaking/groaning sounds every time I turn the wheel recently, as well as a whirring sound that goes on and off while the car is parked and turned off. The steering will go out when I start the car or when I'm driving. It's worrying to drive a vehicle where you can never be sure if a light turn of the wheel will do the trick to avoid another vehicle or if it will require all the strength I have--if I misjudge this by either applying too much force or too little, an accident is very likely.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #341

Jun 022010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,324 miles
Power steering assist fails repeatedly. Solution has been to stop car and restarted engine; seems to reset pump electronics. This intermittent power steering failure has happened dozens of times in the 3 years we've owned the car and can be very dangerous if driver is not aware of the change in steering ability. We're going to have to replace the pump I believe and with all the other complaints about this problem I feel MINIBMW should view this as a manufacturer defect and cover under warranty -- it is clearly a dangerous part and poor design.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #340

Aug 102011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
Intermediate power steering failure, ran off the road hit a fence to avoid on coming car, thank god I was not hurt, was on my way to work, after 8 hrs at work got in it steering was workin almost to my drive went out again never know when this will happen but happens quite often lately come drive it will scare your pants off.

- Shepherdsville, KY, USA

problem #339

Nov 292005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 9,654 miles
I slowed down from approximately 40mph to 35mph as I entered a shopping mall parking lot from the main street when the power steering failed. It was almost like the steering wheel was locked up or shut off. I immediately turned off the engine and coasted to a safe stop barely missing parked cars. Similar situations occurred intermittently and sporadically with no recognizable pattern throughout the years. I mentioned the steering loss at the service appointments, but was not able to duplicate the situations. The MINIservice at the dealer never mentioned any problems to me so I assumed it was just an electronic glitch. Most recently the battery was run down and would not hold a charge. While purchasing a new battery the technician determined that the power steering pump was stuck or staying on after the ignition was turned off thus running down the new battery. When I researched the price of a new power steering pump online I found sites with complaints that were very similar, if not exactly the same as the problems I had experienced in the past with steering power loss. The MINIdealer that installed the new power steering pump was not willing to oblige me due to my MINIbeing 8,000 miles over the warranty. After reading the other complaints I feel this is a safety recall issue, and I feel that MINIshould refund me the money spent replacing this defective equipment.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #338

Sep 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Driving around a corner, power steering dropped out. Restarting solved the problem. Has occurred occasionally since then. Also, occasionally the pump continues after the car stops. Seems related to EA11005.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #337

Feb 222012


  • 78,000 miles
I was turning the corner to pull into my street and the power steering went out. I barely managed to turn the vehicle into my driveway and then turned it off. When I went to try it again a few days later, I could not turn the steering wheel.

- Marion, IL, USA

problem #336

May 232012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 91,500 miles
My power steering unexpectedly stopped working while driving to work. Steering fluid level is fine and when I left work it was back on. It is continuing to stop and start working at unexpected times and without warning which makes steering hard when it goes out.

- Albany, OR, USA

problem #335

May 182012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
When this happens, it becomes very difficult to turn the steering wheel. The first time it happened, the power steering was fine and then all of a sudden became stiff. I was driving up a curvy mountain road when it happened and I had to slow down to make sure I could navigate the turns. The problem has happened 8-10 times since - sometimes with a completely cold car, other times after driving 25-30 miles, turning off the car and then turning it back on again. If, when I turn the car on, the power steering isn't working, I turn the car off, let it sit for 10 seconds or so and restart it. This process failed once, but after turning it off and on again, the power steering came back on. I have not experienced the power steering failing while driving since the first incident. However, my partner has experienced this problem twice while driving. I spoke with someone at the MINICooper dealership's service department in denver, co regarding this problem and he didn't acknowledge that there have been any problems or investigations regarding this problem.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #334

May 292012


  • 85,000 miles
Power steering suddenly does not seem to work. The steering is difficult and jerky.

- Fargo, ND, USA

problem #333

May 172012


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. the contact stated that the power steering failed and while at a traffic stop, the contact was unable to turn the wheel. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the electronic power assist would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage and current mileages were 44,000.

- Alameda, CA, USA

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