MINI Cooper Power Steering Failure

17 02 2009

http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog

The Mini is 50 in 2009. Once ever-so British, it was re-launched by BMW in 2001. Since then, more than a million have been produced worldwide and, as they say in their adverts, it’s no ordinary drive, more a ‘Mini Adventure’.

But some of you have found your ‘Mini Adventure’ is more a test of your nerves, because a crucial part of the steering system can fail without warning, and drivers can be left fighting for control of their car.

Frightening

It happened to Heather Hinam as she was driving her five-year-old Mini around a roundabout. Heather said: “I came to a roundabout, went to turn the wheel and there was nothing. It was just like the wheel was rigid. So, I wrenched on the wheel as hard as I could. I just managed to get a little bit of movement in it sufficient to get me around the roundabout. It was very frightening.”

Heather had bought her Mini from a used car dealer but she took it directly to her local BMW garage for repair. They said that her power steering pump had failed. That’s the crucial part that has made manoeuvring modern cars so much easier, and it’s so essential that if it fails, steering becomes extremely difficult – far harder in fact, than an older car with no power steering at all.

BMW’s customer service told Heather this wasn’t a common fault, which is surprising because we’ve heard from dozens of other Mini owners who’ve told us they’ve had exactly the same problem, and have had to fork out anything up to £800 for the repair.

Shocked

Natalie Redford was shocked to find the steering on her six-year-old Mini became hard to handle on her journey home from work. As she turned right, she couldn’t turn the steering wheel enough to make it around the corner and she mounted the pavement, narrowly missing a wall. “I was quite shook up – really shook up actually,” Natalie told Watchdog. “Someone could have been on that path, and I could have gone into them, and there was nothing I could do about it at all.”

BMW say that power steering pump failures are not common. When we rang 45 main dealers, 30 denied there was a common fault, 14 said they’d had a few problems and only one dealer said the power steering does have a tendency to go wrong. But if the problem really is as rare as BMW would like to make out, we were surprised to hear from one Mini specialist telling us he’s doing a roaring trade replacing the faulty part.

Common problem

Matt Pike is an independent Mini mechanic, and a supplier of spare parts. He says he can barely keep up with demand for replacement power steering pumps: “At least 60 per cent of our regular customers have all had pumps changed. And we’re getting at least two calls a day from people after power steering pumps because they’re such a big failure. I’d say it’s the most common problem we have with the Minis.”

Some worried drivers have contacted VOSA, the government body responsible for vehicle safety. VOSA said they’d done their own tests, and were convinced that even if the pump fails, the car can still be driven safely.

Motoring expert Mark Brown is surprised the Mini’s power steering pumps are failing so early in the car’s life, and is concerned by the risks the failure can cause: “I’d expect power steering pumps to last virtually the lifetime of the car, with a few exceptions. I think that because of the number of reported incidents, and the potentially dangerous situation it can leave a driver in when the failure does occur, that we’re getting into the realms now where a safety recall ought to be seriously considered.”

BMW say that they’re aware of an electrical issue which has the potential to affect the Electro Hydraulic Power Assisted Steering system fitted to more than 223,000 petrol-powered Minis sold between 2001 and 2007. This includes 175,000 Mini one, Mini Cooper and Cooper S cars sold between 2001 and 2005, 9,000 convertibles and 32,000 Mini Hatch cars sold in 2006 and 7,800 Mini Convertibles sold in 2007. BMW say that in January 2005 a modification was made to the pump supplied with all new Minis which virtually eradicated the issue.

Statement

In a statement the company said: “Mini UK strives to provide the best possible service to its customers and is concerned when they are not satisfied with their cars. We can appreciate that the issues these Mini owners experienced can be disturbing, but we have thoroughly investigated the cases of each customer, and worked hard to eradicate the issues described. As with all modern cars, power steering systems are an added support function that makes steering easier, especially at slow speeds, when parking for example. They are not an essential component of steering systems and cars can be driven perfectly safely without power steering assistance. All new Minis on sale today also feature new power steering mechanisms completely unaffected by these issues.

Mini Cooper Forum

“However, Mini UK takes such incidents very seriously and has worked closely with the independent regulatory bodies who have liaised with us on the most appropriate route to take with this issue. Furthermore, we would advise that if any owner of a petrol-engine Mini produced between 2001-07 has concerns over this issue or has experienced a similar situation, they should contact our dedicated Mini UK Customer Service line on 0800 777129.”

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137 responses

13 04 2009
curtis thompson

I experienced exactly the symptoms described above this past Friday – completely without warning. While driving in a hilly area near my home, I suddenly lost the power steering function, and had to haul on what felt like 30 lb. weights to get the wheel to respond; quite a challenge to negotiate turns/curves, and get the car home! This morning the car seems perfectly normal – so I suspect some kind of intermittent electrical malfunction.

Any suggestions/advice would be very welcome.

CT

18 06 2009
Mike

Hi CT,
i got the same issue. Mine is a 2005 Mini Cooper cabrio.
Send the car back to dealer and they say it is a problem with the power steering pump. need to get it replaced.
There are alot of others having this problem as well.
I suggest u approach your dealer asap as this could be very dangerous.
Also, write in to Mini UK. tell them your problems.
Mini UK should issue a warning to recall all Minis produced from 2001~2007!!!

Mike

3 10 2010
Meishio

On Oct 2, 2010, I experienced the identical symptoms while driving my 2004 Mini Cooper. Luckily, I was making a right turn on to the street of my house. Suddenly, I lost the power steering function, and had to drive on the other side of the street (if there is a divider) to park. I was totally shocked and feeling very lucky that I wasn’t driving to my work location. The winding curves on highway 1 in California means a death sentence to me.

I called Mini dealer and described the situation. The person didn’t even ask more question simply said “tow the car in, it needs to replace the power steering pump”. I asked if it is a recall. He said NO. This is a design issue and can be fatal. Why there is no “recall”?

I called AAA to tow my Mercedes- Benz to fix and told the AAA service personnel what had happened to my Mini. The person asked to check the car. After the inspection, he said “I am unable to identify your car has any of the known mechanical problem can cause the freeze of the steering”.

From the above, I realized that Mini is aware of the issue. But, there is no action of RECALL. May be Mini is waiting for some death records to shoot up to sky high to bring to media’s attention to take action.

23 10 2010
Michelle

I had the same problem as I was driving home from work on Thursday. My car is a 2003 S with about 103k miles. It worked perfectly fine the next morning. Just to be cautious, I took it into my mechanic and he found that the cooling fan for the power steering pump had locked up. Not sure yet if there is damage to the power steering pump (I hope not as it is really expensive to fix). We are going to replace the fan and hope that there is no further damage. Hope this helps!

18 06 2013
lee stone

call me. I fixed my quick. The dealers will not tell you but will take your money. 423-526-8565

23 06 2009
Mickey

As of this month, I’ve had three different major repairs done to my 02 Cooper CVT power steering system, including the pump, column, and now the cooling fan/wiring harness.

9 06 2011
sonia

I have a 2002 as well.. pump just went out suddenly.. almost a thousand dollars to fix…. I think with this many problems there should be some type of recal.

1 07 2009
Bob Snyder

I just bought a used 2003 cooper mini which I discovered to have power steering loss on & off and one time the pump stayed running after the car was turned off having to remove the battery cable to shut it off. Next day it was ok but I see posts on many forums saying much the same including a possible electrical fire from that problem. Love the car but if it’s gonna keep me broke fixing it………

7 08 2010
Tom

same EXACT symptoms happened to me a week ago.
im gonna try to reconnect battery and see what happens…

16 07 2009
notepad

well after reading about these faults i aint nicking one and im sticking to my word on that. imagine doing 70mph round a corner and the steering pump goes. yeah right.. dont think so matey!

27 09 2009
Paul

I agree with Mike. I have a 2005 Mini Cooper Convertible. Absolutely love it.
Except for the power steering failure. It happens all the time. There should be a recall before someone gets killed. I purchased this car in 2007 and it had about 60 k miles on it. The steering went out the first week and the dealer said he would fix it. Well guess what……………..nothing so far.

28 09 2009
debbie

The power steering on my Mini Cooper suddenly failed without warning last night at around 10:30pm as I was driving along the M56 and on to the M6 at Warrington. How scared was I? I was on my own and it was dark and I was on a motorway and about 25-30 miles from home!! The wheel just suddenly went rigid and heavy, I could not steer the car properly. I managed to limp home but with great diffculty as driving it was like dragging a huge weight through tar. When I got home I went on the computer and Googled “Mini Cooper Poser Steering Failure” and up popped the BBC Watchdog item. So, if you’ve got a petrol Mini aged 2001-2007, beware as this is a fairly coomon fault. Apparently it’s the power steering pump that fails and needs to be replaced. Depending on the age and mileage of the car, BMW may just make a contribution towards the cost of repair. If it happens to you call Mini Support on 0800 777129 and they will tell you to take it to your nearest Mini dealer to get it looked at. I love my Mini and will get this fixed but if it costs me £800 I may have to fall out of love with it….

5 10 2009
mr stuart

I bought a mini copper s, 2005 model Oct last year for my partner who is nuts about these cars. I have had many cars and have had 3 minis (original). After about 4 weeks of owning the car we discovered a few minor faults. Shortly after this we discovered the car kept losing water and was over heating. We had the theromostat and housing replaced because of a leak. Three days later whilst driving along I lost power stering. I opened the bonnet and smoke was pouring out. We left the car hoping it would catch fire and that would be the end of the problem but unfortunately it wasnt. We have now had to have the electronic PS pump replaced plus associated wiring as its burnt out. These cars are dangerous and I would not recommend buying one.

13 10 2009
Joe

The Mini obviously has two failure modes for the power steering pump. First, the pump itself can fail and secondly the integral relay that controls it can fail. The latter often causes dead batteries since the pump won’t turn off and run constantly after the car has been turned off. In either case you have to replace the pump which Mini in Peabody, MA estimates at $1000. When the relay seizes it is an inexpensive item itself costing a few dollars. It frosts me that this relay isn’t in the relay box where it can be easily replaced. Not to mention that when we brought our Mini to this dealer for a dead battery problem they replaced the battery and sent us off to come back again with another dead battery. Never correctly diagnosing the problem. That is something we had to do ourselves. Given all the failures and pump replacements why hasn’t this problem been recalled? Can they discount the relay failures and stay under the threshold?

17 10 2009
Young

Same thing happened to my 2005 mini.
I’m in USA, don’t think there is a recall on this eventhough I did see many ppl on forums complaining about the same Power steering pump failure.
Dealer said it will cost $800 for parts + 4 hrs of labor ($500) = $1300 to repair.. @_@

29 06 2011
russell pina

call the DOT and file a complaint like i did , pass this on to as many people as you can , it’s the only way to get this fixed

19 10 2009
Marcus

Same as with all you guys – mine’s a 2004 Cooper with 30,000 miles on the clock – the power steering pump has gone on mine too! Argh!

Exactly the same symptoms – intermittant power steering failure when the engine wamrs up – you switch it off and if it’s still warm, no steering assistance at all – I like the comment Mini UK say at the end of the text about it being a support function and not an essential part of the steering where it can still be driven safely. I’m a 30 year old male, and call myself fairly fit physically – however I could not turn that wheel at all, let alone try and turn it at low speed around a corner – very bad!

27 10 2009
Massi

Is is possible to use an ordinary electric oil pump. Why should it not work? Has anyone tried it, cause i want to? massikader@gmail.com

27 10 2009
Massi

Why has mini not recalled back those troublesome cars to have the powersteering pump fixed, replaced or have the problem solved?

31 10 2009
Mandell

Where in the USA is a cheap place to buy a new pump? Willing to do the labor but $500-$600 for a power steering pump is CRAZY….

4 08 2011
gary lint

o’rielly auto parts in Mesa Az. my resale acct. is less than $300 + A$50 CORE CHARGE

8 11 2009
itty

my 04 Mini just started making the steering noises. topped off the fluid but it didn’t help. I’m resigned now to bringing it in and spending $$$ to fix as it’s out of warranty. Sigh…….

8 11 2009
Marcus

I wrote a letter of complaint to Mini UK after my power steering pump went – I was so angry and was/still am on the verge of making a complaint directly to the Health & Safety Executive for the UK.

WIthin 18 hours they refunded the cost of the pump directly, so I only paid for the labour….is this a sign of acceptance from the company? People are still adding problems about this on this site. It seems to be so huge!

4 12 2009
Kris

I have been wrangling with Mini to get the cost of our faulty steering pump repair (£1300) rapaid. Do you have any further details about your case that I can quote in my next letter to them? Surely if they refund 1 customer the cost of repair they should refund all?? A specific case or reference number for me to quote would be great!! Any help appreciated.

13 11 2009
Janine

Hi,

I live in the United States. Does anyone have information about power steering failure in the United States?

Thanks
Janine Zhu

28 09 2010
angel_not

my daughter’s failed two days ago – mechanic says $1050 after part refund. i hate this car – it does nothing but break – so never again, mini cooper – i’ll buy japanese, instead.

21 11 2009
Mickey

Janine,

I live in the US. My fan went out this summer, and the repairs ended up costing me over $1200. This was my third power steering system failure on my 2002 Cooper. On the previous occasion, MINI replaced the column. This time it was the fan, wiring harness, and the thermostat. The pump has also been replaced, I believe. So yes, it does happen with some frequency in the US. MINI, at least at my dealership, is definitely aware of the problem, whether they will acknowledge it or not.

5 01 2010
Chibbi

I had the same problem. have a new pump but I can’t find the the integral relay location

16 01 2010
daniel

same thing happened to me as am a 19 year old lad and from some of the complants made if a 30 year old man is struggling to turn the steering wheel then how the hell am i goin be able to turn a bent. it happened to me last tuesday as i was on the way to work at 8 am doin 30mph as a was turning left the power steering decidied to suddly stop working with no indication. but sooner or later there will be a death caused by this problem that BMW have and the one to blame will be BMW am very shocked that they have built a car with such lack of care to the ppl driving them and i dont see why they have not done a recall i reali want to take the car to BMW dealer and say turn that and see if he struggles!!!!!!!!

19 01 2010
Mouse01

Same thing is happening to me now, the dealer will not do anything about it, unless i pay the approx $1600 to repair. I am so upset, I love the car but since i purchased it, had nothing but issues.

25 01 2010
Zoe

My power Steering went too on the way to work I didnt have a clue what to do just held on tight!!! Its like steering a Lorry around the corner!! Lucky i wasnt going to fast as the bendy country lanes could have been Lethal!! Any one know how much it costs to get the pump repaired? Dont think I will buy a Mini again!!! Just after the gear box crashed on me!! im not made on Money The problems are getting beyond a joke!!!

26 05 2010
linda

My mini power steering pump has gone also but ive shopped around and found a few companies that sell new ones ~{so they say i havent recieved it yet} “partsgway or 1st choice or 247spares..I Paid £343.10 including vat and delivery ..

3 02 2010
Jenny

My Mini Cooper 03 plate (48,000 miles) now needs a new power steering pump. Called Mini helpline, no help at all. They have informed me that due to the age of my car i am only eligable for a 20% discount off the total bill! Oh how generous of them!!!!! (Please note my sarcasm here).
Anyone recently had the PSP replaced on an 03 plate? What was your outcome? Anyones help would be appreciated!

29 06 2011
russell pina

jenny i also have an “03″ my sterring went out last week , can you tell me what the outcome of your questions to mini where ? i live in wisconcin , an think if enough of us ,band together maybe we can get some kind of help here , from someone ! thanks
Cutter880@hotmail.com

11 02 2010
Zoe

Hi Jenny,

My Mini was 02 plate too. I paid £160.00 for the pump and my uncle fitted it free of charge I was lucky there!! I was quoted £600.00 all in from BMW Mini Garage!!! If i was you i would call BMW headoffice throw a hissy fit and they may well pay the lot for you!!
Good luck!!

12 02 2010
Barbara

Not only has my 04 plate Mini developed power steering failure but it also failed its MOT due to worn bushes. The chap at the MOT station said that he has seen five or six Minis fail on the same thing. So I have had two quotes for £220 and £320 to sort the bushes out and am waiting to hear from BMW how much they are going to subsidise the power steering pump.
Great. Have no clue how I am going to pay for this. I am amazed that there has not been more publicity about it.

15 02 2010
Kris

Sucess!! Mini are paying up for our faulty power sterring pump to the total of £1315.

This despite the vehicle not being repaired at a Mini garage or using a Mini approved mechanic.

Seems that pestering really does work!!

26 02 2010
Joel

We should unite. We deserve our recall. Our safety is at stake!

18 02 2010
Barbara

Well done Kris, I wish I had been as lucky. Offered 50% of cost of part and 0% of labour. According to Mini Customer Services, Watchdog is an “entertainment” programme and the content should not be taken seriously, and this forum and all the others are written by one person with a grudge using different email addresses to cause trouble. There is no problem with the power steering pumps, apparently.

This is obviously crazy. I did point out that offering 50% of cost of parts means that due to retail mark up BMW are still making a profit out of me, also the garage who do the repair will be making a nice profit out of it.

What is the point of investing in a “reputable” make when they behave disreputably? I would advise any potential Mini purchasers NOT to buy one.

5 03 2010
Ryan

There is a ad on ebay were they will rebuild your pump for $200. And it should take .9 hours to replace.

10 03 2010
Erika

I just had the same thing happen to me! I was driving home from work and for the most part it’s a straight shot but when I had to turn left across traffic!! It froze I was making this huge turn with a lead wheel just praying to get across before the oncoming traffic slammed into my side! I barely made the turn without clipping the lawn of the corner establishment! Man..why has nothing been done about this, yet? Where was the warning light for that freakout?!! It seems I can’t get the damn things turned out when I no longer have a problem, haha why when I need a warning??!!

10 03 2010
Barbara

Poor Erika, it’s frightening isn’t it? Good luck with your Mini dealer and with BMW to sort it out. Cynically they are making a fortune out of this…..they may pay as goodwill a percentage of the costs but retail markup means that they are still making a profit, and so are the garages who are fitting the parts.

BMW will tell you that there is not a problem, but we all know differently.

24 03 2010
Andy chen

This problem happen to my gf’s 04 Cooper, this is extremely dangerous when the driver is female, she couldn’t get off the freeway and she was forced to park on the exit ramp, she turn off and restart the car and the power steering works again…… This is my personal experience, I couldn’t believe this issue is never recall…..

24 03 2010
ANDY CHEN

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm

LOOK, JUST LIKE TOYOTA, BMW WILL NOT DO ANYTHING UNLESS D.O.T. FORCE BMW TO DO THE RECALL….. FILE A SAFETY COMPLAINT……….. I’M FILING IT TOMORROW……

AND FOR THOSE WHO ALREADY PAID FOR THE REPAIR, YOU STILL CAN FILE A COMPLAINT…. JUST SAVE YOUR REPAIR INVOICE FOR REIMBURSEMENT…………………..

“BY PHONE: Call the Hotline, Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm at
(888) 327-4236 , TTY: (800) 424-9153″

2 04 2010
Dan

My pump went this week.
Mini Cust Services denied there was any issue with the part. Wouldn’t fix it for me as it was out of warranty.
Suggested I took it to Mini Dealer and get them to apply for assistance of Mini UK.
They paid for half the price of the unit.
411 BGP bill in the end.

4 04 2010
Lionel Godbout

Yesterday was a very warm (near 30 C) and the P3S pump of my 2004 Mini fails. It was OK this morning after overnight the thermic relay cools down. Very dangerous to drive whitout P/S assistance. Security concern is similar to Toyota accelerator pedal. The corporate reputation of BMW could be affected if this issue is not adressed correctly.

5 04 2010
Eric

I live in Toronto, Canada. I have a 2002 mini cooper, 75,000 KM. 2 weeks ago when I made a slow right turn, i lost power on the steering wheel. it was so dangerous, coz i have to make a really wide turn in a heavy traffic road. then i pull over and restart the engine, everything went back normal. till now i had total 3 times same problem within 2 weeks. i just called mini cooper toronto. they said i have take my car to dealer and pay for the inspection. they will see whats going on. can anyone suggest me what can i do now? please send to my mail box jiang722@hotmail.com thanks.

9 04 2010
Valarie

Well, I have just paid of my 2003 mini and have had to put over $3000 in to my car. Today I go to drive and the power steering is gone. Isn’t that how it goes??? I have had to replace two wheel bearings, the valve cover gasket, two tires, rf strut mount, and the power steering hoses. I called the dealership and asked them what could be the problem and they think it is the power steering pump, but can’t tell me exactly because they don’t have the car there. They also said it would cost around $800.00. I also asked if replacing the hoses had anything to do with the pump going? I asked because the repairs were just last week! I am not saying they did anything intentional, but why did the pump just go out? I do have 140,000 miles on my car, but they are all highway miles. I have not had any major issues until recently and it killed the excitement of paying it off. I am going to call the DOT and report this issue and I hope others do as well so we can make BMW do a recall. I do know they did a recall on the airbag light and the dealership never told me until I researched my car and saw the recall. Why not tell us? Hopefully our voices wil be heard…

19 04 2010
Andy S

Just taken my 04 mini into the dealership with a buzzing sound coming from the engine whilst stationery. AA said it was the power steering, and a common fault. It VERY QUICKLY drained the battery, and the engine stayed hot. Its now in for them to diagnose it (£40), then quote for the repair. Prior to this I also had the same problem with the power steering failing whilst driving. because this had happened a couple of time when I started the car up, I managed to get the car in a straight line, then depressed the clutch, and turned the engine off, and on again whilst coasting. Power Steering came back on OK. Nerves were shot to ***** and back!

30 04 2010
andy chen

did anyone read my post on march 24, 2010 ???

okay, here is an update, i file a safety issue to D.O.T…….

they told me, since 2002, only 10 mini cooper owner (including me) file a safety concern on the vehicle (the power steering failure)

the same day, i also call BMW usa & file a complaint on the same issue

on April 27th, 2010……… we got approve by a local BMW dealership, we will just need to pay for the labor of $250usd & BMW usa will cover the rest………

ALL I CAN SAY TO ANYONE WHO IS GOOGLE THIS ISSUE, CALL D.O.T. & COMPLAINT THE PROBLEM !! FOR A NATION WIDE RECALL, 10 COMPLAINT IS NOT GONNA CUT IT !!

26 05 2010
linda

What does D O T mean?

28 09 2010
angel_not

Department of Transportation

24 06 2011
Jun

Hi Andy, I also owned a 2005 mini cooper s & I have the same issue & i want file a complaint , pls give me some points or an example of complaint letter that you sent to DOT & to BMW USA…
I really appreciated it..

thanks & goodluck to us,
Jun of LA

9 05 2010
Lionel Godbout

File a safety concern on the vehicle (the power steering failure) to Transport Canada 1-800-333-0510

Message à l’attention de Monsieur Patrick Lamothe
Enquêteur sur les défauts
Transports Canada

J’ai laissé un message dans votre boîte vocale cet avant-midi et je vous fais suivre quelques informations en attendant votre retour d’appel afin de faciliter la compréhension .
Voici le signalement:

Problème lié à la sécurité d’utilisation du véhicule automobile

La marque, le modèle et l’année de production du véhicule; MINI Cooper 2004

Le nom, l’adresse du propriétaire;Lionel Godbout Sherbrooke Québec QC

Le numéro d’identification du véhicule (numéro de série): WMWRC33494TC49755

Un résumé de l’incident: la direction assistée a lâché sans avertissement et la conduite du véhicule est devenue extraordinairement lourde alors que l’auto avançait à 55 km/h sur le boulevard de Portland dans la ville de Sherbrooke. J’étais à moins de 5 km de la maison lors de la défaillance, en rentrant d’un voyage aller-retour à Montréal (300 km). Il faisait chaud (30 Celsius) pendant les heures précédant l’événement. Le lendemain matin, tout était redevenu normal sauf un ventilateur bruyant qui continue de tourner plusieurs minutes après que le véhicule est immobilisé et que le contact a été fermé.

Mes recherches démontrent qu’il s’agit d’une défaillance courante sur les véhicules de la marque MINI Cooper construits avant 2005. La situation a été corrigée depuis mais la défaillance continue pour les modèles 2001-2004 qui n’ont pas été réparés avec de nouvelles composantes exemptes de ce vice de conception. Je ne m’y connais pas vraiment mais j’en comprend qu’un “relay” coupe l’alimentation électrique de la pompe hydraulique (électrique et non pas entraînée par courroie) de la servo-direction en surchauffe. La situation redevient normale quand la pompe s’est suffisamment refroidie après un arrêt prolongé. À la longue, la pompe finit par lâcher définitivement.

La conduite d’une MINI Cooper avec servo-direction inopérante ne se compare pas à la conduite d’une voiture des années 60 sans servo-direction. En plus de l’effet de surprise au moment de tourner le volant, celui-ci est extrêmement lourd à manoeuvrer et j’affirme qu’il faut des bras vigoureux pour en venir à bout. Je crois que la sécurité automobile est concernée autant pour les occupants de la voiture que pour les cyclistes et/ou les piétons sur la trajectoire d’une MINI filant à vive allure qui perdrait soudainement sa direction assistée. MINI (BMW) devrait envisager un rappel et ainsi démontrer son engagement envers la sûreté des autos dont il assure la distribution.

Salutations.

Lionel Godbout

I hope many MINI owners will do same…!!!

13 05 2010
Goldie McMahon

My experience was similar to all the other comments. Driving home from dog kennel and power steering suddenly went out…..had a difficult time getting home and when I asked the dealer about a recall he pretended not to be aware of any problem. Cost me 1350.00 to repair and Mimi will hear from me about their lack of accepting the responsibility for this and recalling the cars. I love my mini, but am now looking to buy american……

21 05 2010
Greg Felten

We had the same issue with the power steering on our 2005 MINI with 68,000. Intermitent loss of power steering and it is now at the dealer in Chicago area.

I did talk to MINI USA…1-866-MINI-USA and they were going to work with me after the dealer contacts them. How much is left to be seen. Should be full payment since the part was replaced in Jan 2005 by BMW on new cars produced AFTER that date after hearing of many problems with 2001-2007 MINI cars power steering.

They know about it but unfortunately it is up to us to say something or get the NTSB involved or BBB(Better Business Bureau). This approach has worked for me with my 2007 rear brakes on my Hyundai Santa Fe when the pads went down to the rotor at 30,000. That was a RUSTY mess. Paid IN FULL after raising HELL!!

Good luck!!

More on monday 05-24-2010.

GF

23 05 2010
Gregory Kolasky

We have a 2002 Mini Cooper with 110,000 miles and a couple weeks ago our power steering problem went from intermitten (no warning light) to total failure, then the electric fan went out and this affects the A/C… trying to figure out what to do next… Gregg + Ginger

24 05 2010
Greg Felten

Monday 05-24-2010

MINI/BMW agreed to pay for the cost of the part and the dealer cut us a break on the labor…about $150. Not going to argue and the dealers are caught in the middle but thought it should be fully covered. Just my opinion. Good luck with those of you who have this issue and let’s hope it doesn’t cause a tragedy.

For the record I think the car and customer service provided were excellent. A recall is not needed but if it does occur it should be covered. These things happen with cars but as long as it’s handled professional that’s all you can ask for sometimes.

Greg

30 05 2010
Rachel

I only ended up on this page while researching the cost for a wheel bearing on my 2005 mini convertible. My mechanic said that it is broken. I asked him to check out my car when I noticed an unusual noise, like a dulled helicopter turning. He said that the bearing is broken for sure, and hopefully the bearing will fix the problem noise. I also noticed some side issues, but I brushed them off, and now I am worried that I may have to bite down and get ready for some major issues. My 2005 mini convertible has 80,000 miles on it, and until this point, has had no major issues. I do feel that I have done frequent maintenance with the tires and connecting components, but then again, I drive around a lot, and the roads here are disastrous.

So, my questions for anyone and everyone:
1.) Does this sound similar or related to any of your experiences? Do I need to take up weight lifting and then prepare for the power steering to go out?
2.) Who should be contacted if a seemingly common error occurs? DOT? MINI USA? Basically, what has worked to help those of you who have had issues before? What is the chain of contact for resolution and/or claims?

I am from just outside Milwaukee (Wisconsin), so if anyone has suggested dealers to visit or really any assistance, it is all greatly appreciated…as is every post that I have read in this forum!

It’s great to see everyone here looking out for one another!

30 05 2010
Rachel

My apologies, I forgot to mention the side issues taking place, and I also forgot to elaborate on the noise. Yes, it sounds like a dulled helicopter turning, but I forgot to mention that this occurs while I’m driving, no matter how fast. The faster I go, the faster the frequency of the sound.
Also, without much previous worry, and without relation to the prior listed noise/bearing issue, my check engine light has been coming on more than periodically. It illuminates yellow. I also hear a buzzing sound when I go almost halfway on the RPM gauge…especially once I accelerate over 40 MPH. With these observances, my gear shifting seems a bit unusual. The RPM goes down, then zooms up, goes down…and so forth, but only occasionally and sometimes subtly.
Phew! So, anyone else relate? Hopefully you saw the earlier post from me so my possible issue can be better understood, or possibly experienced by another.
Thanks for any insight that can be provided!

11 10 2010
RACHEL

The issue ended up being two broken wheel bearings. They cost almost $300.00, closer to $260.00. With labor,I paid $400.00 for each bearing to be fixed. My tires are pretty messed up from it. I have a 2005 mini cooper convertible, 70,000 miles.

7 06 2010
wanda

Hi

I experienced similar problems to everyone here. My wheel suddenly froze one day while backing out of my garage. Mini quoted me approx $1500 for the entire fix. I didnt have the money, so I delayed the appointment. Came home last weekend to a dead battery. Seems the real/initial problem was the steering fan, which in turn ruined the pump. Now my dad is buying the parts and fixing it himself. We found an online store (carpartswharehouse.com) that charges only 415 (re-manufactured) or 495 (new) for the pump and 135 for the fan. Free shipping via UPS. Not a bad deal if you have someone that can install it for cheap or free. Keep in mind Mini didnt even suggest replacing the fan. Which means in time the new pump would have failed me and again I would have been in need of service. Love the car, but I wish the company would be a bit more straightforward when it comes to accountability.

7 06 2010
Lana

June 7th,2010

Exact same issue here. We just bought this 2005 JCW Cooper S last week. Just over 85,000 highway km. We live in Vancouver, B.C.

Before we bought it, we took it to the Mini dealership in Richmond, B.C. and paid over $250 for a full purchase inspection. They didn’t find this problem then?!?! You’d think by now that they’d be looking for it!

This is extremely dangerous. There is no warning and its inconsistent when it goes out.

Anyone who has any advice as to where to get a replacement pump or how to get this covered by BMW or Mini please email: lanababi@gmail.com

This should be a recall. We will definitely be taking this up with Mini Canada and will report back if any refund or coverage on repair costs take place.

3 06 2014
Judy

Hi Lana,
Wondering what your outcome was. I live in Vancouver and current have the same issue and dealing with Richmond Mini.

Judy

23 06 2010
Clark Hartwick

Our ’05 Mini Cooper Convertible first lost the power steering in August ’09 at about 35,000 km and about 3 months out of warranty. Pretty frightening when negotiating turns at highway speeds and almost impossible to parallel park. Checked the fuse and fluid levels which were fine but as it would come and go we tried to figure out if there was anything we did when the power would return. As others have said turning off the ignition and letting it rest often worked but the most immediate fix seemed to be opening and firmly shutting the trunk lid. How could that be!? I have no idea why but it consistently worked. This got us from Vancouver to Kamloops and back. When we took the car to the BMW dealer it (of course) was working fine and they said bring it back the next time it happens whereupon a diagnosis would be about 2-$300 and a if it required a new pump it would be about $1600. But actually the steering has been trouble free for last 10 months and only recently has the problem returned. I plan on phoning that Transport Canada # mentioned in an earlier comment (1-800-333-0510) and then I guess going to the dealer. Slamming the trunk lid dosen’t seem to be working as well as last year but it may help get us home.

25 06 2010
Crystal

ISame thing happend to me today leaving Boston…holy crap I almost hit the offramp divider. So wicked pissed!

14 07 2010
Carl Shea

My power steering is doing the same thing! I JUST bought a used 2003 MINI and about 1 week later the steering went out while going around a corner on the off ramp of the freeway. Traveling at 50 MPH and suddenly not having ANY steering is frightning and dangerous! I hit the brakes, gained control and pulled off the road. The steering worked again. My first thought not knowing the car was that maybe it began to die when I took my foot off the gas pedal and caused the loss. However, 2 days later while parallel parking, it happened again! This time it lasted through turning hte car off and back on, then began to work while driving back home. BMW needs to fix this! I can see now that it is a DEFECTIVE PART that NEEDS TO BE RECALLED BEFORE A DEATH OCCURS! I would be suprized it there already hasn’t been a death, but the root cause was not known or acknoledged by BMW.

18 07 2010
ulysses sabillena

My friend bougth an old model mini cooper and we find out its hard to turn the steering wheel while parking so im planning to put an electronic power steering like they use to ATV Yamaha did somebody tried it before?
Regarding to others having problem with their power steering pump you could try other brands of steering pump and modify it to your car

29 07 2010
Lauren

The power steering pump on my 2004 Mini Cooper S went last year, as well. It was intermittent, so with no warning I’d go from power to none or no power to power. Getting off the highway on a curve with no power steering wasn’t a big deal, but when it would start working again midway through the curve, that was a big deal. Very, very dangerous. I knew that Mini didn’t recall the car and don’t like dealing with dealerships, so I went to my local mechanic to have it fixed on my own dime. It’s a ridiculous repair to have to pay for. They could be responsible for injuries or even deaths and they should recall the cars.

4 08 2010
Rachel

I wrote a few posts up about my 2005 Mini Cooper Convertible. Although I had not witnessed the power steering, I wrote about 1.) wheel bearing issues (which I guess can be common, especially with how low to the ground a mini is) and 2.) a check engine light coming on a lot.
The bearing was fixed and solved the noise issue ($300-$400). The check engine light was an oxygen sensor (cost about $400.00).
As I said earlier, I have had my Mini since 2008. It has 85,000 miles on it, and I have only performed routine maintenance up until these two issues, and they weren’t that bad or uncommon in even the most of cars.
I am aware that this Power Steering issue is always possible, so my question now is:
Who do we call or write to progress this recall? How can we get Mini to pay for the flaw that is prevalent?
I love my Mini and I hope to never drive any other type of vehicle, especially when each model gets even more brilliant, but I also know that this duplicated Mini Power Steering issue could always come my way, and I want to help those out who have to suffer the heartache of handing over A LOT of cash. I cannot believe a recall hasn’t been issued already…SOOOO, WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO TO GET THIS ISSUE SETTLED?

16 08 2010
smart car

I did not realise Mini’s had such a bad record. Thanks for this my brother’s just bought a John Cooper Special so I’ll definitely be giving him a heads up.

17 08 2010
Jack

More of the same. 02 mini s with 102000 miles in U.S.. Intermittent failure of power steering is now constant. Very, very dangerous defect. I am wondering if complaints to anyone accomplishes anything. I have put a significant amount of money in the car since purchasing it used (95K): brakes, tires, spark plugs, egt valves, headlight module ($600). This is the final straw. This is a safety issue.. a common problem. This will get someone killed..if it hasn’t already. If Mini or BMW does not do something about this, I vow to make every effort to alert future buyers of Mini’s of this defect, the dangers, the cost to repair, and the attitude of the company toward their buyers. In other words, DO NOT CONSIDER BUYING A USED MINI. Too dangerous, too defective, and too expensive to repair!

17 08 2010
marilyn

my ’04′ mini cooper began losing power steering 2 weeks ago. turn off the car then turn on again and you may have power steering. but this does not always work. sometimes it has to sit a while. turn off car and let rest, then it regains power again. my mother and father needed to borrow the car one day but i could not let them for fear the power steering would go out and they would not be able to turn the wheel and maybe have an accident or just not be able to get back home. they are elderly. it is very hard to steer without power steering. 48,000 miles.

17 08 2010
Ryan

I just joined the burnt up Mini power steering pump club. Mine (unfortunatley) followed the standard chain of events as well; cooling fan malfunction>psp relay overheated and shorted>psp wont turn off>battery dies, unable to jump start. Seems like the warning sign is that the power steering shuts down intermittently before a complete failure. Mine shut down three times over the past few months, the last time being in the middle of a torrential downpour on a remote section of highway in the Appalachian mountains. A crash there in those conditions could have realistically been fatal as a loss of steering has a good chance of sending someone off the side of a mountain. I filed a complaint with the DOT and am planning on calling MINIUSA tomorrow to file a complaint with them as well. On a side note, my Mini has 61,800 miles on it and this kind of equipment and safety failure is unacceptable, the Mini is my 5th vehicle i have owned and only the second that I have purchased with less than 100k miles on it. None of my other vehicles have ever required a major repair except for my 95′ Pontiac Grand Am needing a new transmission at the 172,000 mile mark which cost about $2000 and the garage servicing my Mini is quoting me $1700 to fix my psp. I’ll post back with my results.

23 08 2010
Armenoid

Just happened twice in one day to my girl in LA. Mini is “diagnosing” the problem now. I’m going to start a sh*t-storm if they try to charge for this.

Lawyer has already been contacted.

28 08 2010
Jenny Cook

I don’t mind so much when I lose power steering, it is a small car, and a lack of power steering is not too bothersome. However, when the power steering comes back while your mid-turn it is very hard to control the car. Oversteerage could put you in the ditch or into on-coming traffic in a hurry. I was looking forward to a new Mini in a few years as I had planned to pass this car to my children when they start driving. It will depend how Mini treats me on Monday.

I will contact DOT at 888-327-4236 on Monday either way. There needs to be a recall. Mini knows about this problem and they need to tend to it before someone gets hurt.

Everyone in USA with this issue needs to contact DOT.

1 09 2010
Tony

My 2005 Mini S, has had the same issue with power steering. first time I had battery failure with the power steering fan staying on. I replaced the battery not knowing why the battery was dying. After the battery replacement I realized my power steering was on off, I am 35 years old and very fit and let me tell you I have owned a vehicle without power steering in the past it was never this hard to turn so good luck to the ladies. The problem went away after awhile and here I am 8 months later with the problem back and this time it’s not going away. I was driving and all is well, I pull into a Starbucks to get a cup of coffee when I returned to the car and got to pulling out of the lot, the power steering was gone. It was so freaking hard to turn the wheel, it’s been a week now and the problem is still there. I bought my Mini because I love BMW, not anymore, I sold my 540I and next will go my mini. I will buy me a VW GTI, BMW has really gone down the tube with their quality lately.

11 09 2010
Lucien Magdalena

I have the same problem with my steering,some time it is on and most of the time i do not have an power steering.

1 10 2010
Ken Porter

Same problem as all the others my friend told me about a recall today after listening to me explain my problem a few weeks ago- quite shocked to find all the others out there with the same problem and no action taken. I guess its like a little leak in the gulf ….

6 10 2010
Suzie Q

I just came close to crashing my 2003 MINI (67,500 miles) due to a sudden and total failure of my power steering pump. Even after turning off my car, the pump was still running and starting to catch on fire. My car was saved by the immediate disconnecting of the battery and the steering pump. Terrifying experience!

15 10 2010
Kimm

power steering is gone in my 05 mini, I was hoping to read that there was a recall, not that lots of people, in lots of different countries having problems

18 10 2010
Hal Whitman

It just happened to me. I went to turn left and the p.s. was gone. I was glad Jenny Cook posted the DOT telephone number above. I will just repost it so people will have another chance to see it. This problem needs to be addressed. I-888-327-4236.

19 10 2010
Tony

Just replaced my power steering pump, ordered from a guy in New Jersey. I tell you it’s a pain in the rear to get the old one out and the new one in. I am sure anyone taking it to a mechanic will pay a good sum to get this thing installed. it’s a week later and now my alternator went. what a bummer with MINI, I bought my car for the BMW quality I guess their quality has gone south. to replace the alternator it’s another major job and one expensive part. this sucks if I had known all this I would have never bought a mini. the darn thing is 4 years old why am i spending so much to maintain. I won’t recommend anyone getting one, save your self some hassle and get your self a Honda or Toyota, yes I said it.

4 11 2010
Ginger

I found this site because I trying to learn more about my power steering pump (it failed on Saturday). I had my MINI towed to a local dealership and they called me two days later to confirm what I reported as a power steering failure. They also claimed there were some suspension problems, etc. to the tune of more than $2,000. I’ve driven higher end imports and I’ve never gotten an estimate that outrageous. Plus, she received two clean bills of health during yearly inspection and then during her annual oil change (the second visit with an independent foreign car mechanic). Customer service at the dealership is lacking at best and a friend suggested getting a written estimate and getting a second opinion. No response from the dealership yet. I sent emails and called the service reps. BMW just recalled cars in the U.S. for this very problem. My Mini is a 2003 hard top. Has anyone else dealt with this? I’m debating towing the car to the independent mechanic instead of the dealership. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this car. Hate the run around. I feel like Minis are still treated like alien vehicles by most repair shops, so we are at the mercy of the dealerships.

16 11 2010
gary fagri

i have a mini coopers 2003 have 61000km on the clock.WHAT A F.UP. The powersteering pump has packed up. R9400 is the cost for a new one. I feel this is a disgrace for a car that has done only 61000km. I NEED COMPENSATION.PLEASE COME BACK AND LET ME NO. GARY FROM SOUTH AFRICA.

19 11 2010
Richard

Same thing happened to my mini. There is a relay for the pump that my cousin found. Disconnected it and the pump stopped working and killing my battery. There is a class action lawsuit against BMW for this. Google it. Good luck.

24 12 2010
darwin

I am looking at the bill now from the MIni shop. Over $1400 to replace the power steering pump, hoses/lines and fan motor. Not happy.

7 01 2011
Denese

I took my 2005 Mini Cooper S Convertible in for 90,000 service in November. Cost was $6000 ($3000 extended warranty) I was assured that the car would go another 90,000 as everything was updated now. In December fluid began leaking and the shop I was able to find while traveling filled the steering fluid and replaced a clamp directing me to contact Mini upon my return home. Yesterday I took the car in and was told the pump would need to be replaced soon. Today, the power steering went out! Fortunately, I was in a parking lot and not driving fast!

28 12 2010
Joe

Wow – I have really enjoyed my 2006 Mini everyday to 120K… until this year.
The Thermostat gasket ($50) has dried-out to leaking, twice!
And today I discover that the power steering ELECTRIC motor kept running until the battery died. Which after googling, I find that I’m lucky the whole car didn’t catch on fire. And yes the cheapest replacement pump is $450!
Due to these prices, I’m trading it in for a Ford (low cost replacement parts) or Toyota (no replacement parts necessary).

29 12 2010
Frank

2004 mini S 72400 miles my steering pumps is being replaced today

you should file a complaint on this website https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
or call 1-800-831-1117 it only takes a few minutes

this problem is already under investigation by the NHTSA so the more people complain the more likely they will do something about it. Also if they do recall

the steering pump and you already paid for the repair they have to refund you the cost

4 01 2011
Dave J

I have been having the problem for a couple of months with intermittent failing of the power steering at poor times.
Mine is a 2002 “S” and has clocked over 100K with almost no problems.
I had the high speed relay in the main fan housing weld closed and flatten the battery on me. I ended up having to pull the fuse each time i finished driving until I fixed it.
I removed the relay from the fan housing and placed it on the interior guard under the bonnet where it could be accessed and changed. I then had the main fan seize. The cost quoted to me to replace the fan unit, part only was $850.00 AU.
I bought a locally sourced thermatic fan, adapted the plastic mounting unit to accept the different mounting style and then adjusted the wiring. The system worked very well except for the crappy resistor for running the fan at half speed which I just ignored and ran the fan at full speed all the time.
I agree, this should be a subject of a recall from BMW as it appears I am also up for the cost of a new power steering pump and fan and not happy about it at all

6 01 2011
jordan

dnt no why you lot are bitchin for i payd £3000 for a 03 plate mini cooper red and white with 75000miles and the power steering went on the way home i was driving it for 2months with the power steering gone an i loved it really got a new pump after 2 month fited it my self not a hard job if you no what axle stands are and a ratchit and sockit set look like a month later sold it on for £4200 with 79000miles “nice” the steering wasnt that hard to nice drive good car i would have a next one any day think you lot need to the gym dnt you what about your nan”s back in day pullin there lardas round with no power steerin what are you lot playin at i say you lot need to get some muscles

1 06 2011
Klee

I am glad you were able to fix your power steering but maybe you should work on your grammar next. And please do remember that not everyone knows how to fix car issues. MINI should recall this and do it fast before someone gets hurt. I am glad that I was able to pull over and stop after mine went out this morning.

17 02 2011
Kiko

My wife’s Mini’s PSP caught fire yesterday, it had been giving her a problem for some time. Would anyone advice where I could get a PSP? BMW dealership here is trying to rip us off.

25 02 2011
jayash

I just got my power steering pump replaced in BMW/MINI – they stated I was the second replacement they had done…..maybe for this year 2011…

26 02 2011
Tia Lanzi

Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there.

6 04 2011
Albert De Matas

Hi there mini lovers,
Well I am all the way on the island of Trindad and after buying my dream mini here, 2004, we have the worst after purchase service.
I had to change my pump after 1 1/2years and I had a lock up again a few weeks ago. It only lasted a few seconds and was back to normal. What I found out is that the fan MUST BE WORKING TO STAND A CHANCE. The minute the fan stops working the pump over heats.
I still dont know, and the dealer cant help me, to understand how to test the fan to see if it works.
If anyone knows a test for the fan please share. I rather keep a spare fan than buy a pump every other year

10 04 2011
Marcy

My daughter, her boyfriend, and I left home to visit family in las vegas. drove 22 straight hours through the mountains on I-70 when the power steering went out. I made it to vegas, but driving in this traffic is ridiculous without power steering. This is HELL!!!! Now Im left to try and fix it in vegas and pay the added price because its in “vegas” or risk driving it home, hoping it will not catch fire or just freeze up all together. I have read all these posts and I am angry to see the same problem happening to everyone. I filed a complaint with the DOT. Now Im moving on to BMW. I can only hope they will pay for most of the cost.

21 04 2011
Matt

Hey guys! Same problem here. Power steering going in and out on my 03′ mini. Went out and came back on while driving. Nearly ran into the back of another car from the over compensation of non power steering. Now the power steering is completely shot. Afraid to even talk to any of the dealers for an outrageous repair cost. Already filed a complaint with DOT. They said they had 43 complaints on the 03′ minis. Need more complaints to get a recall. The more the merrier. E-mail me if you have any suggestions on getting it covered. mattchannels@hotmail.com

Thanks

10 05 2011
remo

2002 mini same problem. Lost pwr steering on my way home from work. Stopped and checked under the hood for issues. Felt hot. Took off and worked fine for abt 5 mi than out again. As soon as i get rid of this junk i’m gonna buy another HONDA!

13 05 2011
Kay Angle

I am having the same problem with my 2006 convertible it has been making a weird sound for about a month had it checked said power steering pump needs to be replaced and also the gas gage has decided to work when it feels like it I am on the phone with BMW they are telling me just yesterday they were notified of a possible safety recall on the minis go to http://www.NHTSA.gov for info this is nuts someone is going to be killed i was getting ready to take a trip to md and was taking the mini to save on gas but not now no way not till this is fixed

19 05 2011
Kay Angle

Well its me again Kay Angle took my mini down to Jacksonville to the mini dealer and he gave me a nice estimate for 1900 dollars to start all the lines were leaking everywhere and the water pump was leaking and needed replaced for 850 bucks so i thanked them and took a drive to carmax and sold that piece of junk never again will own a mini

5 06 2011
jackie

My sister has a mini 2005. Her power steering failed as she was pulling into her driveway.God knows what could have happened to her or someone else if she had been travelling on the freeway.
Get it sorted BMW before it’s too late !!!!!!

9 06 2011
sonia

I have a 2002 mini cooper talked to BMW and MINI basically got “sorry about ya”… this is insane. If this many people are having a problem good customer service would tell you to fix it. My mechanic told me the dealer told him that he keeps twenty pumps a month in stock and uses every one… YOU cannot tell me that this is NOT a problem. I am fortunate that I have decent upper body strength and could handle the situation but someone who does not could get really hurt. The part cost $600… is insane. I love my mini but am disappointed with their care of customers.

22 06 2011
Geoff Lord

Perth Australia – 2005 Cooper S – same story as the others – genuinely
frightening and I’m an experienced driver. Imagine a young girl or old lady, down a hill, sharp bend at the bottom etc etc – no way

Cost me $1800 to fix – local BMW distributor doesn’t want to know and questioned why I didn’t have them do the repair. Said they would advise Head Office in Oz – nothing from them either

I don’t intend to give up – have now written to the Dept Road Safety, the Police,
Dept Transport, Consumer Affairs – will report back if any news

23 06 2011
AndrewT

I have been looking at a used Mini 2006 and am about to have it inspected…. but after reading all the above seems I may have to get another car even though I love the look of the Mini.

Am i right in sayin this problem is non existant after 2006?

29 06 2011
John

I have a 2004 mini cooper and am having the same problems with the power steering as all above have had. I guess there is no recourse with BMW at bthis point for a recall. It seems they just ignore it unitl forced by overwhelming evidence and government intervention. I will go that route just because I hold no hope of BMW acting in a resposible manner.

18 08 2011
Tom Harrington

I experienced the power steering failure with my 2006 Mini. Has anyone successfully gotten reimbursed?

26 10 2011
Paddy-Annn Pemberton

26th Oct 2011 – Have only had my 2005 MiniCooper convertible for one week and nearly freaked out while driving on a highway here in New Zealand when the steering went. Thankfully I have a 24 month guarantee so I am hoping this new pump that you are all talking about will be covered. Am waiting to hear tomorrow from the AA who supposedly will collect my car and take it to the nearst BMW dealer.I think I will copy all these comments to ensure I get a new pump. Can anyone tell me if the replacement pumps are reliable?
Scared to drive it now!
Paddy-Ann

26 10 2011
Samine

Exact same issue with my 05 Cooper, I live in Toronto, Canada. From what I understand this is a very common problem. I have already filed with Transport Canada and they already do have an investigation going on for this “Power Steering Failure” issue but what they need is more people to submit a claim. they don ‘t currently have enough number of claims filed to have a solid stand against BMW/Mini Canada… so for those of you living in canada please please please file in a claim either through the phone # above or you can do it online, jsut follow the instructions at https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/7/PCDB-BDPP/fc-cp.aspx?lang=eng ….it is really simple and won’t even take 5 minutes.

28 10 2011
Heather

2004 Mini Cooper S, failed steering this morning in a 10 mile/hour zone. Turning the car off and on has temporarily fixed it, but I am incredibly worried about driving and having this go out on some turn in the road at any speed (appointment at MINI scheduled). I can tell you, my MINI was much much more difficult to turn than any vehicle I have ever driven without power steering. I love this car, but this is going to lead to a major crash for someone… Please file a complaint with NHTSA http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov or call them at 1-888-327-4236. The NHTSA action number is EA11005 for 2004/05 MINIs, and the complaint description is as follows:

ODI has received 339 complaints alleging an unexpected loss of power steering assist while driving the vehicle. When the power steering assist stops working, drivers experienced difficulty in steering and/or controlling the vehicle. According to BMW drivers may experience either a temporary or permanent loss of power steering assist. BMW further advised that a temporary loss of power steering assist may be due to a malfunctioning cooling fan or an under-voltage condition in the power steering system. A permanent loss of power steering assist may be due to an error in the internal electronics, and may also result in the continuous running of the power steering pump. The VOQ complaints allege 5 minor crashes and 3 fires. The crashes are described as “hit the curb”. The fires are described as “melted wires”. There were no property damage claims. ODI has received similar complaints for other model year Mini Cooper vehicles. Additional information is required to evaluate the frequency, consequence, and scope of this issue. Accordingly, the investigation has been upgraded to an Engineering Analysis.

12 11 2011
John Turner

2003 Mini Cooper S, I have had the power steering go out on me intermittently for the last year and a half. 2 days ago, it decided to give up the ghost entirely. I replaced the fan about 6 months ago even though the original seemed to be OK. Driving it around, it seems to sometimes come back on partly while on the highway, but tightens down after about 10 seconds while pulling into a parking lot, then it’s completely non-functional. Fluid level is fine, and I don’t see anything leaking. Best price I have found so far is $685+$50 core just for the pump. Between the power steering, the supercharger gearbox (which drives the water pump) potentially ready to give out, and the mushrooming strut towers, this car is getting to be a lot more trouble than it’s worth.

12 11 2011
Udo Schaffrath

Well it looks like I have joined a club of many, I have been driving my Mini for 8 week with no power steering due to the cost of the pump $850.00 I picked the pump up yesterday and am going to install it myself. Dealer wanted $1650.00 Why is there no recall? With all these people you would think a bell would go off at the dealers indicating this is a common problem.

16 12 2011
Stephen

Drove my friends mini recently and noticed the power steering was definitely not working right. Googled Mini Cooper Power Steering and found this website. :/

28 12 2011
Deborah

I have just finished reading all of these statements concerning the power steering failure. I am aghast. I have just lost the steering in my 2005 zmini Cooper S. This definitely should not happen at 59,000 miles. Also have had the thermostat replaced. I am so mad about this. The cost at the dealership is $1,500.00. I am currently calling Mini USA to see if there is a recall. Very disappointed. i love my car but not all the quirks. This is the first time I have had such weird things happening to a car so early in the mileage. The power steering failure is very dangerous and scary.

24 01 2012
Blake

My 2006 Mini Cooper S lost complete steering ability on a curve causing me to run into a curb and hopped over to hit a concrete lamp post. My car was totaled. The BMW factory rep determined that the car had the required power steering fluid required so it was determined not to be a defect. No one could explain why the steering wheel was unable to turn with 2 men attempting to turn the wheel. Fortunately myself nor my passenger were injured but we were REALLY shook up hitting a lamp post. BMW No America was contacted and I was offered NO compensation nor credit to purchase another car. Now I walk everywhere.

1 02 2012
Upstate NY

We just ran into the same power steering issue on our 2005 Mini with 73K miles.

Contacted Mini USA and might just as well been a recording……no help and no recognition that this problem could result in a death…..how many incidents do they need to admit they need a recall! (ala Toyota!!!) The dealer is just as bad…..you can bet that this will be the last Mini/Beemer product we buy!!!!

Will file a complaint with the NHTSA and suggest that everyone else on this forum do the same.

17 02 2012
Paddy-Ann Pemberton

What a shame. I had only had my 2005 MIni Cooper two weeks when the steering went while on the highway . A BIG fright but no accident. Upon researching the problem I have discovered that the 2002 – 2007 models have had problems with the steering. Fortunately I had a guarantee with my purchase and I insisted that a post 2007 ( not reconditioned ) unit be installed. It didn’t cost me a penny and I am thrilled and feel confident that the problem will not reoccur. I really think that BMW need to address this problem before someone is killed .
Paddy-Ann New Zealand.

3 02 2012
Greg

joining the club as well. 2005 MCS. Intermittent problem. PS stops while driving. A few minutes later I might pull into a gas station, fuel the tank. restart the car and the PS is back. File a compliant with NHTSA last week.

6 02 2012
gary marx

My power steering went out today and I’m reading the comments posted here and can’t believe that the company refuses to take steps to make owners aware of the problem and try to correct it in some way. I guess it’s the same story… where a company won’t spend a dime unless forced to. I think every owner should pursue any avenue to bring this to the attention of the consumer.

25 02 2012
Diane

Apparently Mini is still using the same problem parts. I started hearing a strange whirring noise during turns in my ’09 Clubman S with < 50K mi. I took it into a local garage that specializes in german cars and was told that the power steering motor was going out and that since it's an integrated system the whole steering column would have to be replaced at a cost of over $2000! Contacted Mini Assistance and got a line of BS about normal wear and how it's dependent on maintenance, climate and other factors. Really?! I am so disapointed in Mini/BMW. I will definately be filing a complaint with the DOT.

9 03 2012
Nicole (Upstate NY)

I took my 2006 Mini-S to my local mechanic, as the dealership where I purchased the car is two hours drive one-way. He diagnosed it having a failing electronic power steering pump, and suggested I call the dealership. They said that the car had to be dianosed by a certified Mini-technician before they’d even discuss helping with repairs. I called the corporate office and was told the same thing.
A brand new dealership in Shelburne, Vermont just opened this month, which is about half the distance away. I have an appointment for the car this coming Tuesday morning. They fortunately do have a pump in stock, so the car can be repaired that day. Coporate told me to call them back after the car has been diagnosed, and then they will see if there’s anything they can do to assist me.
My car has 87,000 miles on it. I took possession of the car in Dec. of 2005, just a month before they started installing a different power-steering pump. Gee, after all of the reading I’ve done, it would seem that BMW would come clean with this safety hazard and make good on parts and labor to correct the problem.
If anyone has suggestions for me, I would welcome same. Sixth sense tells me I’m gonna have to battle on Tuesday…

13 03 2012
kay

Forget it they won’t do a thing for you just put out the money and go on it so sad i sold mine i just couln’t afford to get it fixed so off to carmax i went!!

16 03 2012
a greg

I have an 03 MCS and had the Powersteering problem at 90k miles. Luckily I have another car and was able to afford to have my car in my garage for a week, so I managed to fix/rebuild the ps pump myself with common hand tools. It just takes patience taking it out of the car.

The common problem is the carbon brush powder getting into the control circuit board which is also located inside the pump assembly.

I posted a little write up here at my site http://www.minicooperguide.com

check it out and if you need a lil more assistance, send me a holler on my email.

23 03 2012
Nicole (Upstate NY)

The new dealership, Burlington Mini, is wonderful!!! Aimee there is tremendous, and I just can say enough positive things about her and the brand new dealership. I ended up only having to pay for the labor, which was $98.00. Whew, I love my Mini-S & so happy to have it back. Thanks!

28 05 2013
Steven

That URL you listed doesn’t work. I was really looking forward to reading your write up, too. Could you please give us the correct URL?

23 03 2012
Paddy-Ann Pemberton

Paddy-Ann again from New Zealand- I posted a comment back in Oct when I had had my 2005 covertible for only a week when the power steering failed. I insisted that the replacement pump be a post 2007 model -. This has been done. The dealer in Alexandra where I purchased the car works closely with a whizz guy mechanic in Dunedin. Problem fixed ( under guarantee)- I now have faith driving it once again . I am feeling for those of you who have not had success in getting your pumps replaced. It sure is frightening when you lose the steering with the power but the car is still just drivable – you feel as if you have blown four tyres at once.
Good luck !
I just love my wee car and have a neat personalised no plate -
TOWN CRIER
I CRY 4U
OYEZ OYEZ OYEZ

as I am the local district Town Crier

Paddy-Ann

12 04 2012
Ginny

Was about to buy a used 2004 Mini C S this afternoon, private sale and came across this website by accident, looking for info. re. tyres believe it or not! Have called seller to say I won’t be coming to buy car this p.m. as a result of what I’ve read here. I told her about all the problems Mini’s are having and she told me the power steering pump had gone out on her Mini, December 2011 and she’d paid £400 to replace. I have been thinking about buying a mini for ages and found a new article in the Metro of all places, last October and I quote:

“Fire fears over Mini Coopers”

Article relates to US Minis/BMW and 2007/08 models catching fire, possible recall: some while driving, others while the engine is OFF! 5 vehicles totally destroyed it says. Worth checking out folks. Article from Tuesday October 18th 2011, Metro newspaper (free from trainstations/on trains).

Wouldn’t touch Mini/BMW with a ‘barge-pole’ as they say.

18 04 2012
Zhuang

My 2003 mini failed at about 70k mileage. I went to a dealer in PA and they said my car is 9 years old and it is out of warranty. They diagnosed my car and said that the alternator and battery were bad. They asked $1400 to repair it. I do not replace it at the dealership. I bring my car back and replace them at a local mechanian. However, the power steering does not work after replacing the alternator and battery. The porblems do come from the power steering pump. I will contact the dealer again. Very disappoint about MINI……

19 04 2012
marshall

DItto to the steering issue-i acquired a 2002 mini from a private party-steering is faulty and dealer will only collect a bunch of $ to try to resolve the problem(s), i’m suppose to enjoy driving the thing not prespire as i steer and hope to make my destination!!! Where’s the fun in that?! I’ve not even put 4K miles into the thing!

10 05 2012
john

hi all..

i have mini cabrio 2005..today after checking it on the scanner..i got these mesggaes:
Power steering 9.12.1(error memory)
5517 Thermal protection for steering aid(maximum exceeded)
5517 Thermal protection for sterring ai(less than minimum).

i live in angola and its hard to find someone fix minicooper

i really appreciates you help

thank you

11 05 2012
kay

Its the powersteering pump they are known to go up I got rid of my mini after was quoted over 2000 dollars to fix all the leaks in the hoses and that didn’t include the pump

24 06 2012
Nugent

My daughter died in a mini BMW 2006 2008 I found out about design flaw.you pay diagnose the computer can not tell good form bad. BMW are replacing two and Evan four times.one girl told that BMW let her drive her car four times afer hitting the Kerb .one dealer said come back when it gets noicer .BMW are taking money for the pump two three and four times. For something should last the life of the car. Nothing done in uk but look up courthouse new jersey BMW mini lawsuits power steering.25 pages sayin this car should not be on the road. BMW black man wheels no BMW means bloodily murdering wasters.hope America takes every penny from them.if you look up recalls you wouldn’t buy a car

24 06 2012
coopers2003oopers2003

I replaced the power steering pump on my 03 mini because the old one burnt up. The new one wont run I cant find the relay the controls it. does anyone know where it is located

15 10 2012
Greg Volkland

2005 Mini, 140000 miles, problems with the power steering system 10/15/2012. Eastern edge of Kansas, USA. Take it in to dealer tomorrow but may try to fix it myself. See minicooperguide at .com

9 07 2013
Roger Pacific

Well same thing here in Michigan. My 03 Mini power steering fortunately failed in my driveway. Took it to the dealer and they have had it for 7 weeks waiting on parts. Finely got a call they are working on it and they will install it at no charge. Great I thought. Then they said that the power steering unit is covered but the hoses are leaking and they are not covered. “How much I asked?” Now the BOMBSHELL. The hoses installed it will be $900.00. Now I just lost my summer vacation completely and can not attend the Mini across the Mack world record attempt. Bummer.

16 07 2013
donminimania

Hi Roger – Call Mini Mania at 1-800-946-2642. We have Power Steering hoses and may be able to save you a lot of money!

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