My 2003 MC with 44,500 miles on it is in the shop this weekend because the P/S failed. I was motoring along on Friday and discovered it when I made a turn; no power assist. A rather unpleasant surprise to say the least. I'm glad I didn't end up swinging wide and taking out someone on the other side of the street. The thing is it was working again when I started it up to take it to the dealer. They [MINI of Towson, MD] said that happens sometimes, but they would probably end up replacing the pump.
Today, 28 Mar 2007:
It looks like US DOT NHTSA might be investigating the power steering problems on the MINI. I submitted my p/s problems to the NHTSA complaint site because of the number of other posts I'd read about p/s problems and in two or three other cases, fires. I did not submit because I was dissatisfied with the repair response from MINI, but because others with the problem were not getting satisfaction from MINI. If there are enough complaints filed, they will investigate and possibly order recalls or force warranty extensions. I received the e-mail below the other day. I faxed the repair order this morning. If you've had a power steering problem on your MINI and live in the USA, you can file a complaint with NITHSA on line at his address:
HELP! My powersteering failed on the way home tonight on the dual carriageway. I checked it still has powersteering fluid but no sounds of life from the pump!
Guess i have to go back to the dreaded dealer tomorrow. My MCS is out of warranty and i was wondering whether i need a new Powersteering pump? Has anyone had to pay for one and how much would it cost to rectify?
This may be of help for the cooper S owners, it gets more cooling air into the fan,not that expensive -around £45 , -in stock !!!! easy to fit item ,only 4 screws and about 5 mins to fit,certainly cheaper and easier than a new pump replacement-send me a PM if you would like me to send you one
Unless BMW/MINI's warranty stance has changed, you are up for a HUGE fight if you want to reclaim your losses. They'll wheel out the "That's what the warranty is for" line.
As for being out of warranty, only exceptional car dealers will do things for free... incidentally, my Skoda Fabia vRS recently had it's first MOT. It's done 10,000 miles over it's warranty and failed because one of the front ball-joints had slightly excessive play. The Skoda dealer replaced it for free, to get it through the MOT. No questions.
My MINI has been very fun to have for the past 5 years, and the unfortunate power steering failure occured fairly recently (June 27, 2007). The engine compartment caught fire and I had to call the fire department when it re-ignited. The fire damaged the main wiring harness and the battery. So three components need to be replaced. The mileage was at 65500 when this occured. It is the end of July and I still do not have my car. Luckily I was not in the car when it caught fire, but the odd thing was that I had only driven it for a few seconds to move from one parking space to another.
I have filed a report with the Consumer Affairs of Transportation and was informed they have been trying for some time to get a recall notice for the power steering issue. If you have not done so, please contact Derek Rinehardt at 202.366.3642 email@example.com
**More cases of the power steering failure can be found at myCarStats website**
I also tried contacting the BMW national headquarters but have only received one response. Here is that contact information as well: Jase Gammon MINI Customer Relations and Services Representative 866.ASK.MINI (866.275.6464)
Just had a power steering failure - the car has done less than 40000, but is out of warranty. BMW are being unhelpful and suggesting I get it fixed (£658 + VAT) and then approach MINI UK for a goodwill payment. I’d rather get that arranged first before shelling out, so I’m trying to gather some ammunition.
This thread started in 2004 by trying to get people to contact VOSA. I’ve gone through all 16 pages and can’t see that there’s been any outcome to that – does anyone know if it’s succeeded or has it just died a death?
Just had my Cooper S in for an MOT at the weekend and I'm slapped with a bill for over £900 for a failed steering rack! Seems the seals have leaked, like so many others listed on this thread. The car is an 03, so the warranty is long gone, but its only covered 20k miles and I thought a steering rack failure was a bit excessive for such low millage. Needless to say I googled this issues for a common failure mode and found this thread .
The car is due to be repaired on Wednesday at my expense ... but not without a fight.
Anywhose I printed out the last few pages from the forum, especially quotes from "minimaniauk" (thx for the info posted 7th Nov. 06) and went in to confront the dealership (David Holmes Manchester). The response in this case, without argument, or even checking the cars history with the mechanic, was to fill out a "dealership warranty claim form" and forward/email to mini-UK today (Mini-UK don't appear to run a telephone service of any description, even for dealerships ... is/can this be true?). I should have an answer by Wednesday lunchtime as to whether they will reject the claim, pay parts or parts and "some labour", and any discount will be debited from by final bill when I collect the car on Wednesday
It was difficult to tell whether the response from the dealer was "standard", someone is complaining, so pass the buck on to Mini-UK, or "we've heard this one a thousand times", so some form of warranty payout is likely . I'll post the outcome on this thread and fingers crossed I've not lost out to the tune of £900!
I guess a re-call for so many Mini's would be expensive business both in terms of cost and publicity, so BMW are probably operating a low profile system of payout/fight on a case by case basis for these issues.... which is bad new for all us Mini fans.
I have stripped down a number of the failed motor/pumps and all have excessive carbon /brush deposits and dust , there is no provision for the carbon dust to escape and it builds up inside the motor- carbon is conductive -
vents in the motor would help ,but also allow water/moisture in .The location on the car makes this option not viable. the carbon brush material however could have been altered to one less prone to dusting-
Heat build up in the motor will not help ,the "dust" turns into a kind of "paste" coating the inside-commutator and brush blocks and windings - remember it is a conductive paste!!!
Mileage will be less of guide to the build up of carbon, the useage will be more important, by useage I mean the type of driving cycle ie lots of very low speed or parking actions put a greater load on the motor and pump , so brush wear increases and so does the heat build up- without any benefits of cooler air flowing under the car.
any added cooling must help
Certainly there seem to be a number of failures with the pump,just how common it is only BMW would know,what constitutes a "common" or design failure again only BMW would know.
MTBF - Mean Time Between Failure
A lot of components are rated with a MTBF but I dont know the criteria that are used by BMW or what is considered normal
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