i have recently bought a mini cooper s 2004 on 5th of December 2012 from a used car agent at autotrader at Heathrow, with 97k mileage. I have been using it for less than 200 miles.
A few days ago, when I was about to reach home, while driving slowly, I notice my steering has become very heavy and stiff. I then immediately turn off the engine and restarted it. It was then back to normal. I then found out about this forum and I notice that my power steering pump might be failing. I have not driven my car since then because I am afraid of what's going to happen if the system suddenly failed during driving.
I have emailed my local mini dealer and this is what they said.
I need some advice on what I should do now. Should I proceed with the diagnostic? What is the probability of them finding the fault within the hour of diagnostic? I do not want to waste £90 if they cant find the fault.
I have also checked my power steering fluid level and I notice that the level was a bit below the minimum, so I immediately ordered the Pentosin CHF 11S Fluid from ebay. this is my first car, so I am a bit scared to go to garage to ask them for refill as they might charge me crazy for something that I can do myself. The power steering fluid has not yet arrived. So is it possible that my problem is due to the power steering fluid?
One more option is buying a reconditioned one through ebay and ask for independant local garage to install it for me. Anyone know how much is the average local garage would charge for the labour cost?
You need to try your car again to see if the power steering has failed completely, if so the diagnostic will definitely get you full goodwill, however if it is intermittent I guess their is a risk the diagnostic may not find a fault or the Dealer may not believe you....it may just depend on how helpful they are. Many owners on here have got the goodwill and just paid the diagnostic fee in similar situation with intermittent failure.
The steering won't fail completely to turn.....it just gets very heavy, so as long as you are aware, the car can still be driven short distances in safety if you have the strength!
A very slightly low fluid level is unlikely to cause the problem.
In a good independent garage approx. 1 hour labour charge (2 hr. max) should cover replacement. Pump price will depend on whether reconditioned or new.
I would get the diganostic done by the dealership and push hard for the goodwill gesture and get the new pump installed for free. It almost seems like a recall item. Show the dealership guy the POLL on the First gen Faults & Fixes sub forum about " IMPORTANT. Have you had a power steering pump failure? Please vote YES or NO!!! "
I'm sure if you tackle it right you can get it done for free. Hasn't happened to me yet but I bought my JCW on 74k and its currently on 77 and it might have a new pump I don't know about. Still I am scared of this happening to me too.
Also if it's intermittent, I remember reading a case in which a guy drove around his local Dealership for a while until it happened, then quickly pulled up parked and left the engine running so the diagnostics saw the pump was faulty. Best of luck.
My first Cooper S had to have the power steering pump changed in 2003 it was a very common problem and symptoms are as you describe, including the fluid level being low, basically they leaked and lost the fluid.
My dealer at the time topped it up with fluid and sent me on my way for a couple of days, whilst they ordered a new one. I had noticed it getting noisier and heavier over a few weeks so decided I better get it checked, it was all done under warranty.
I would definitely get it checked by the dealer it was such a common issue on early Cooper S's that they will almost certainly know what it is. You need to get the dealer to definitely talk to Mini to get a goodwill payment or contact them yourself separately mention the Mini2 BBS and how this is a known issue.
I have heard of people having to get the whole steering rack changed because they ignored the pump failure.
just some update guys. the problem occur again so i decide to go to MINI sytner Cardiff for diagnosis. Also, I asked them to contact MINI UK for goodwill. And guess what, they agreed to pay for it! I just need to pay for the diagnosis plus oil (90 +15). That saves me quite a lot of money. thanks for everyone help.
Hello, after reading your problem I am beginning to have a similar problem. Every now any then the power steering fails to the point when I have to pull over and restart the car. The main problem is it has happened to my girlfriend and worried she may panic and wind up crashing etc. occasionally there is a high pitched wine when turning slowly, might this have something to do with it?
It's an 03 R53 cooper S. after reading this thread I have brought it up with my local dealer to see if they can get it replaced.
Fingers crossed!! Is there anything else I need to tell them to help me with getting a replacement FOC? I have brought up this forum and the recall etc.
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