Is my power steering pump about to fail? - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2011, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Is my power steering pump about to fail?

Hi,

I've got a 2003 Mini Cooper S. It was serviced 2 months ago at a specialist, and one of the things I got them to look at was a whining noise. My steering has always had a bit of a whine, but it was starting to get louder, and not just when I turned the wheel. They service the car and checked everything but couldn't find an actual fault. When I asked about the noise they said the power steering pump could be on it's way out - but don't do anything yet as it's expensive to replace. (Everything else was fine on the Service - and it was a major one, so everything was checked/replaced as needed).

Anyway a couple of months later and now a loud awful whine/clattering noise has appeared. It comes on as soon as you start the car, doesn't change with speed, doesn't seem to be linked to the fan etc. The only time the noise changes is when I turn and then the pitch of the noise changes slightly. People on the street are even helpfully telling me my car sounds awful - so it must be pretty loud!

I've added a video on file so you can hear it: youtube.com/user/loulousunshine1/videos

I have read about the dreaded power steering pump issues, and can't help but think it may be connected. But at the moment my steering still works fine, and the noise stops when the engine is turned off. And so far I haven't found any posts about people with a noise in the run up to it failing.

Has anybody else had similar issues to these? Do you think it's the steering pump, or something else?

I have talked to the Mini dealer near me, but they want 90 for a Diagnostics session even before any work is done!

Last edited by louiser78; Dec 21st, 2011 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Adding an audio file
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 2011, 02:50 PM
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Hi, not sure if this information will help you at all, but about 4 months ago my power steering pump stopped working. There was no unusual noises or anything before it broke. It literally just stopped working one day when I was driving it. I hear they are a common problem.
I managed to pick a refurbished power steering pump (with 2 year warranty) off eBay for 170 pounds and I took it to a local garage (not a MINI garage) to get fitted. The fitting cost 30 pounds. So changing the part only cost 200 pounds altogether.
When the power steering pump broke I managed to drive it home (about a 40 mile journey, on back roads and through towns) and managed to take it to the mechanics the next week, and it wasn't too difficult driving around, only really found it difficult when parallel parking.
Is the diagnostic just to check the power steering all will they also check other components that they think might be causing the problem?
Hope its all OK for you.
Kind Regards,
Danny
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2011, 12:46 AM
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When My power steering went it would go out after the car was good and warmed up, if i parked for a few hours and let it cool down it would be fine untill car heated up again. Finally it pooped out completely, its a good work out for your arms but dont drive it long without the pump because you will damage the rack and financially increase your headache.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2011, 09:22 AM
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The pump on ours (daughter owned at the time ) started to get very noisey then yes it did pack up 74000 aprox miles- just over 8 years old.Most early minis will need that job to be done it's just a matter of time.
Regards Chris
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2011, 10:40 AM
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Hi,
I have never heard a MINI power steering pump failing but that sounds like an alternator to me, or to be more specific the bearings in the alternator breaking down. Is the battery charging ok?
Probably wrong, it's just a thought.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Wow I thought everybody new that early minis had steering pump problems--On one site it is quoted as possibly 80% 2001- 2005 . BMW did after alot of complaints at the relacement cost drop the part price by nearly 50%.Hope that does not come as a big shock to you. Regards Chris.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2011, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rieste View Post
Hi,
I have never heard a MINI power steering pump failing but that sounds like an alternator to me, or to be more specific the bearings in the alternator breaking down. Is the battery charging ok?
Probably wrong, it's just a thought.
Wow, well just to let you know its a MAJOR issue on the 1st. Generations, try a search on this forum or North American Motoring

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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Hi,
Sorry, i have heard of the problem, it's all pver the place on here and various other forums. I have never actually heard the sound of the pump failing! Sorry for the confusion.
If that is the pump in the you tube video it maybe the bearings in the pump i guesss
My car is a 2005 and the pump makes a little noise but it has not got any worse whilst i have owned the car, i.e. in the last 9 or 10 months
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2012, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louiser78 View Post
Hi,

I've got a 2003 Mini Cooper S. It was serviced 2 months ago at a specialist, and one of the things I got them to look at was a whining noise. My steering has always had a bit of a whine, but it was starting to get louder, and not just when I turned the wheel. They service the car and checked everything but couldn't find an actual fault. When I asked about the noise they said the power steering pump could be on it's way out - but don't do anything yet as it's expensive to replace. (Everything else was fine on the Service - and it was a major one, so everything was checked/replaced as needed).

Anyway a couple of months later and now a loud awful whine/clattering noise has appeared. It comes on as soon as you start the car, doesn't change with speed, doesn't seem to be linked to the fan etc. The only time the noise changes is when I turn and then the pitch of the noise changes slightly. People on the street are even helpfully telling me my car sounds awful - so it must be pretty loud!

I've added a video on file so you can hear it: youtube.com/user/loulousunshine1/videos

I have read about the dreaded power steering pump issues, and can't help but think it may be connected. But at the moment my steering still works fine, and the noise stops when the engine is turned off. And so far I haven't found any posts about people with a noise in the run up to it failing.

Has anybody else had similar issues to these? Do you think it's the steering pump, or something else?

I have talked to the Mini dealer near me, but they want 90 for a Diagnostics session even before any work is done!
FYI - I paid for a 'Diagnostic check' at my local mini dealer for 45 (30 mins), and they confirmed it was the PSP. They called Mini HQ and it's being fixed today for free! Apparently the decision whether to do it for free depends on the age of the car, mileage and service history. But saved me about 600 from what I'm told.

The dealer didn't believe I'd get it paid for, and said he'd never heard of them failing (!!??) and didn't want to call mini HQ at first, but after a mini tantrum, they did, and seemed to work out well (to their surprise).

So if yours is failing (or failed) then call mini HQ for advice.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2012, 07:56 PM
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United-Kingdom Is my power steering pump about to fail?

Hi, I noticed yesterday that my steering was really heavy and today it seems worse, I have started doing some research on the net and am horrified at the problem and potential cost, although I have found one post from a chap who managed to get Mini to cover the cost of a replacement.

Having read your post i have noticed a high pitched wine which gets worse when you turn the steering wheel but is there most of the time, ti wasn't always like that. I was in a car park the other day and I heard another Mini sounding the same which assured me that they must all be like that, but reading the problems with power steering pumps they are most likely about to have the same problems.

My car is an 04 plate but had only done 45,000 miles

Just what I need straight after Xmas!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2012, 10:14 PM
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My 2002 power steering pump has been noisy for the 5 years I have owned it and Mini's have heavier power steering by design as it is a 'sporting' car..........however if anything has changed noticeably from what you are usually used to then it may be about to fail. Replacement ps pumps are widely available for 200-300 and any good garage should be able to fit one inside an hour or so for a reasonable price. You can also try for 'goodwill' from BMW as they seem to be paying out more recently if you persist.

More info here:
Power Steering Pump replacement - Forums
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