From memory, the sound you describe maybe the power steering fan constantly turning/being powered. As for what's causing it I have no idea. Perhaps some type of short-curcuit is cauing it? Or perhaps it's internal switching is blown.
I think that you should find a reputable local mechanic to come and have a look at it and give you a price. Get a few quotes if you can. Failing that, BMW is the only way.
Have you got AA/RAC cover? Maybe use them to get the car to the mechanic once you have decided. They'd charge for this service. It's just a pity if you have cover that you didn't call them then as some schemes cover you for a tow to a service centre.
All the best and thanks.
PS: The number should work. It's a UK (government?) agency.
II am new here, and I am now reading in dread all the things I could have just purchased. An 03, used with just under 60K miles on it. I have had it only 3 weeks myself, and I have got this steering problem. I am calling the dealer tomorrow, and see if they will take care of it. I will do my best to relate all this info I have read so far in this thread. I will make notes, and relate when I find out more.
Well, I got my luv luv back, and it turns out the fan under my hood that cools the cellunoid for the power steering motor had blown out, causing it to get too hot, and shut off automatically. It was a simple fix, and rather cheap (250 US dollars). My s teering is back, and so I am happy.
This past weekend, I was driving around boston, and my fan did not turn off with the engine when I got to my location. I remember reading in this thread about how it could kill my battery, so I tried what I could to get it to stop. I ended up turning my AC off (it was a warm day), and when I turned off the ignition, the fan turned off with it. It is the only time I have expereinced this problem, and I anticipate not the last.
I am new to this forum , I own an October 02 MCS which has had power steering failure . On investigation the pump connections to the main feed cables have completely burnt away and blown the 100A fuse .
Is this a common problem ?
The dealer ( Damon Hill ) said that they have no seen this problem before and because the car is out of warranty they have no obligation to pay .
My first Cooper was an 8/2001 model and after 30000 miles all the power steering fluid leaked through the seals into the steering gaiters. Fairfield BMW in Southend looked at it and original repair cost to replace pump and steering rack was £1450.
I objected and said 30000 miles in 4 years was a bit low for steering to fail so they contacted BMW who agreed to pay for all parts and half labour, a total price of £220.
New pump was very quiet like on my 06 MCS and they told me steering rack was changed design, this meant it needed new parts to front suspension.
By the way they charge £200 to do a KDS chassis alignment check!
My 03 Cooper with a whole 7,900 miles on the clock just had its power steering pump replaced due to leaks.
The car was 1 week out of warranty.
BMW paid for the parts when I asked for a bit of "goodwill", so the cost was £95 rather than £480.
Now I need to work out how to sort out the rattles and squeaks that just seem to have appeared. BMW won't help with these and the quote was at least 3 hours of labour (@ £95/hour).
I've just found this forum and thought I'd share my story. I have an '03 Mini (34,700 miles) that has had problems the entire time I've owned it. The clasp on the gas tank cover was broken when I bought it, my passenger power window moter has gone out twice and my driver's side window moter once, and for a while my power steering cut in and out on a regular basis. That problem started at about 2 years/25,000 miles. The dealership could finally "duplicate the problem" and they replaced my pump. I've dealt with three separate dealerships and two of the three have had horrible customer service. The POS is almost out of warranty and I'm selling it for something more reliable. I can't believe so many people have had the same steering problems. I rate my mini experience a 4-5/10 and wouldn't buy another unless I had a reliable back-up.
Check out this thread on NAM (northamericanmotoring.com) about Spontaneous Engine Bay Fires. Please add your own information to keep a running list. If we get enough info, we can petition MINI to have a recall on this serious issue.
I have a 2005 MINI. The steering began making strange noises and felt rough. Although the dealership was backlogged for weeks on repairing non-emergency problems, they told me to come in immediately when I described the problem. That told me it's common, and potentially dangerous.
They checked the power steering fluid and it was empty, told me to leave the car and gave me a rental. They ended up replacing the power steering pump. I hope they've diagnosed the root cause of the problem, or the pump is somehow a different design. Otherwise it's bound to happen again.
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