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 1 of 26)

problem #512

Dec 062016


  • 117,634 miles


About a month ago vehicle steering became very difficult. Vehicle has 117,650 miles on it. Driving is very difficult as steering is very heavy.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #511

Nov 192016


  • 113,000 miles
Power steering issues: MINICooper convertible 2005. The first evidence of my problem was when the electrical system seemed to be faulty. I replaced the alternator, and that fixed the car for about two weeks. At that point, I noticed a fan running a lot, and then found the battery dead on several occasions. Finally, I figured out that a fan was continuing to run--and I traced the noise to the power steering pump. I disconnected the battery, and then drove to the shop. They replaced the power steering cooling fan. This solved the problem for about three months. This weekend, I parallel parked in a tight space with a slight dip. I realized while parking that I suddenly had no power steering, but I thought it was because of the way I parked. It did not get better as I left. I muscled the car out of the space, and drove it to my local shop, where they told me that the fan still worked, that the fuses still worked, but that the power steering pump had failed. Had already read extensively about power steering pump failure issues when I heard the fan running in the first place. But... I thought after a few months that I was lucky to avoid the pump failure--in catching the fan first-- but it seems that many here have described. Exactly the same trajectory. I called miniusa and a local dealer, and they refuse to help, because my car's manufacture date is a little under two months past the date included in the "extended warranty notice". this is ridiculous! it is exactly the same problem described in the recall, in every detail, and it is a safety issue. I am extremely lucky I was not hurt by it. I filed a formal complaint directly with MINIusa. If I felt it were for lack of maintenance, or normal wear and tear, I could accept that, but this car has meticulous maintenance, and records to back it up.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #510

Oct 062016


  • 101,000 miles
My vehicle caught fire while parked directly after driving it six miles, saved by fire extinguisher and fire department. Cause determined to be faulty power steering module.

- Pacific, WA, USA

problem #509

Oct 182016

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


I have had the steering pump fail twice in my 2005 R53 MINIthe 1st time the power steering would cut out at random while driving and the pump would continued to run after car was turned off (had to disconnect battery for it to stop). This was replaced in 2013 at a MINIdealership under an "extended warranty" at the expense of MININow 3 years later I am having the same symptoms, the power steering cut out on while changing lanes on the highway and then the pump continued to run when I arrived home and turned the car off (had to disconnect battery). The next day the steering pump actually burnt itself out (smoked) while the car was idling in the driveway. I understand MINIhas issued a more extensive recall however since mine was "fixed" already I am not covered - it seems as though the replacement parts are just as faulty as those they have replaced and will most likely experience the same dangerous failure.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #508

Sep 172016


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. The contact stated that the steering unit failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering fan and steering pump failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The failure mileage was approximately 145,000....updated 01/05/17

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #507

Aug 242016


  • 58,000 miles
Electro-hydraulic power steering system recall. MINIcompany and dealership refuse to tow our car for repair. We recently experienced this issue of steering "freezing up" - severely limited, on the highway, which was scary and did not feel safe. All dealerships require driving on the highway from our home. Dealership stated that it was safe to drive, but I do not agree, having experienced the problem first hand. MINIrefuses to tow because it was not part of the recall. Please note: Incident date is an estimate. Will get actual date asap. Note: This steering limitation has also happened last winter when trying to steer the car out of a parking spot. I was not able to move the steering wheel (1/16). Called dealership, but did not have new part in stock yet and did not know when it would be available. Car did not do it the next time (few days later). Dealership never contacted us to alert the part was available (as it now is).

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #506

Aug 122016


  • 67,545 miles


The power steering goes in and out. Sometimes it steers properly and sometimes it is like turning a truck. Happens both while stationary and when moving.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #505

Jul 012016


  • 178,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. the contact stated that the power steering failed intermittently and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic diagnosis. It was unknown if the vehicle was repaired. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 178,000.

- Farr West, UT, USA

problem #504

Oct 012015


  • 145,000 miles
Over the past 9 months my power steering will stop working, I will usually notice this when I start my car and go to move I am able to drive my car but it is very difficult to steer, if I turn off my car and turn it back on occasionally it will start my power steering back up this is not a constant thing but is happening more frequently. I have found that there is a recall on the power steering for the MINIcooper but my VIN number isnt included in this recall I am very concerned that I have the same problem I need help please

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #503

Jun 272016


  • 180,000 miles
Complete power steering failure on my way to work this morning while turning a corner from the highway to city street. I found an open safety recall Dec 2015 for 2005 model MINICooper S but my 2005 VIN is not included. It seems a major safety concern like this would be taken care of by the oem.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #502

May 232016

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


Takata recall. The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. Without warning, the steering wheel was tight, extremely difficult to turn, and seized several times. The contact had to use extreme force to maneuver the vehicle each time the failure progressed. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V205000 (air bags). The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000. Parts distribution disconnect. Updated 08/03/16 updated 08/09/16.

- West Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #501

Apr 212016


  • 123,000 miles
The power steering has failed in this vehicle. MINIcooper has a recall on this make, model and year but says my VIN is not included. Mechanic stated power steering unit needs to be replaced.

- Queensbury, NY, USA

problem #500

May 262016

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while driving 35 mph, the vehicle lost power steering ability without warning and became difficult to steer. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the power steering pump failed. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 131,000. Updated 07/12/16 updated 07/14/16.

- Coos Bay, OR, USA

problem #499

May 022016


  • 87,000 miles
Electro/hydraulic power steering unit failure @ 87,000 miles. Unit will not shut off unless the battery cable is disconnected. MINIusa refuses to cover the part under the current recall.

- Aventura, FL, USA

problem #498

May 012016


  • 86,000 miles
There is a power steering pump recall for this model (NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000) but the date cutoff is for cars produced by February of the 2005 model year. My car (2005 MINICooper S with 86,000 miles) has a production date of June 2005 and is not eligible for the recall. The power steering pump has failed making steering difficult and more erratic. Steering now requires substantially more force, so my wife is currently unable to drive the car without concerns for her own safety. If the manufacturer feels that the part they used after February 2005 was not subject to this "glitch", then why is the part malfunctioning in the same manner as the admittedly faulty part?

- La Porte, IN, USA

problem #497

Sep 102015


  • 67,155 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering); however, the failure of the power steering pump caused metal fragments to enter the rack and pinion, which caused a failure. The manufacturer was notified. The contact was informed that because of the tread act, the manufacturer was only obligated to repair the power steering pump under the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 67,155.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #496

Mar 302016


  • 110,000 miles
My son was driving the MINIcooper and the steering stopped working, he had called MINIwhen he got it in Nov 2015 about recalls and they said that the MINIwas recalled for the steering and the passenger seat air bag. When we called the local MINIdealer they said only the air bag. I just got off the phone with a cassandra from MINIand she said there is a recall for the steering for minis made between March 2005 and February 2005 and his car was on the tail end of it and they would not warranty it to be fixed. I believe that these car dealers know about safety problems but don't want to fix them properly. My son could have been killed if not for the fact that it came back long enough for him to get the car stopped. I hope that you can get this resolved so they will take care of this safety issue

- South Barre, VT, USA

problem #495

Apr 032016


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving approximately 65 mph, the power steering failed. The fan for the power steering pump was not working properly. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 86,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #494

Mar 182016


  • 140,230 miles
Power steering pump went out while driving and it stays on when the engine is off. I was on a city street when it happened. I have to disconnect battery cable so it doesn't drain the battery.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #493

Mar 112016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The part needed to repair the vehicle was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA

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