MINI Cooper Forum banner

Anybody who has or has had the left pull, PLEASE READ.

4248 Views 35 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  mr.bill
I think you buggers have made me paranoid? ;)

Got my MAY build Cooper last weekend. The car is FANTASTIC, I love it and when I get around to scanning my photographs you'll be able to see it.


On driving down the A1 on Sunday night my worst fear appeared to be coming true - the drift to the left - at least, I think it is...
My first question is this: Even when there's no obvious camber in the road, is it still possible that there is one? i.e. for drainage.

Being on the A1, I was sometimes able to get it to drift to the right by driving in the right-hand lane, though more often than not it would drift to the left when letting go of the wheel - the same was true when driving in the middle of the road. However, it was sometimes possible to see an obvious left camber even in the right-hand lane! Maybe I'd have to drive south in the north-bound lanes to test this properly. :eek:

I phoned the dealer, who obviously said to bring it in for a drive (it's in on Saturday) - he knew about the problem on early builds and said all new cars are fine. I might suggest he let me take out a BMW as I'm quite open to the fact this may all be in my head having read about this 'left pull' on here over the past few months.

Ok, next questions. If he says it doesn't pull and after I've driven another car which I think is as straight as a die, at least compared to the MINI. What should I do? It's like my word against his - some graduate ex-old-banger driver against Mr BMW know-it-all. What could I do?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated - I can't believe I’m making this post :(


p.s. I know this should be in faults & fixes, I just wanted to attract as much attention as possible. :eek:

Note: This is my first car with power steering and I must say I'm a little disappointed with the slight 'numbness' compared to the 100% solid feel (warts n' all) from driving cars without.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Left Pull or Left With No Brain

OK, time for some kon-tro-ver-see. I fully expect to get a flaming but am still saying as I see it:

Does the left pull exist?

Yes, possibly! I've driven my sisters MINI One which she claims has a left pull. I've driven it but it's nothing like as extreme or severe as I expected - just a (very)mildish tug. I don't have any pull syndrome on my Cooper.

Any other reasons for the left pull?

Some people may have been pyschologically "convinced" that they have a left pull by other posts.

Drainage gradients/camber exists on all roads. Some roads are worse than others. Camber exists on roads unexpectedly. You may think it looks flat but looks are often deceptive. I thought that one 5 mile stretch of the A20 was totally flat until I rode it on my bike and nearly had a hernia at the tough going!

Channels created by lorries often cause ruts which cause the steering to tug. You often cannot see the ruts unless it's been raining. If you drive a route regularly then you may think you car has a problem.

I also think that many MINI drivers may have driven "lesser" machinery with poor steering responses. I know my sister did - a Vauxhall Corsa 1.4 with appalling steering that fought through the wheel when you cornered. I had until April a Saab - which was also indirect in steering. After driving the Saab for a week, I'd jump into the MINI and be constantly steering excessively for the first few miles. I'd turn the wheel on the MINI and be finding myself steering too close to the kerb.

Food for discussion perhaps?

PartlyPerplexed DC
See less See more
I think alot of people, me included, were more aware if not actively looking for the reported problems when they received their cars. However, would I / you have been concerned had you not read about the problem on here first? It is a difficult question. All cars drift with the camber, the mini has very direct steering so may drift slightly quicker than on other cars.
My Cooper doesn't pull left and it does drift left or right depending on road camber. A road local to me has a right camber and my car drifts to the right. On 'perfectly' flat ground the car tracks dead straight. I would not have had any concerns at all if I had not read the faults and fixes section of this web-site everyday for a year. I do have a couple of the other reported problems, but these really are niggles that i have not raised with my dealer. The left fix supposedly went onto the production line in build week 9, which was early march, my car was built late march.
MINIGUY when did the left pull 'fix' go onto the production line on all models?
See less See more
Paranoia probably ;)
When I got my MINI I was very sensitive to every pull this way and that of the steering wheel and I'm positive that mines absolutely fine. One deeply tracked tarmac the steering will follow any grooves in the road.
This is just becaurse the steering feedback is SO GOOD you know exactly what they are doing. To be honest after having my car for just over 3 months now, I love this attribute to bits.
I've driven several BMWs over the last couple of weeks and to be truthful they are nothing feel wise compared to my Cooper. And they're supposed to be the ultimate drivers cars :rolleyes:
The thing is now though I can't drive anything else without critising the lack of feel ;) :p :D

How bad is your "drift"?
I can drive on the motorway and admittedly the car will drift ever so slightly, but this is due to camber and all I need to do is rest my hand on the wheel to stop the drift. I do not need to hold it frimly at all and I have no lack of confidence in it. In the fast lane however there are no problems.

Give it a chance I say. It took me a good month to persuade myself that mine was normal :p :p :p
See less See more
Hi dietcoke,

The Cooper I have driven had a really pronounced left pull, not a drift. If you had lost concentration for an instant, it would have had you in a ditch. I am used to cars with sensitive steering input, and that was not the cause.

I don't think all Coopers had this fault and I am prepared to believe that BMW have finally sorted it out. However it was a genuine problem which affected several people on this site.

I need someone to correct me if I am wrong (no problem of that here, I think) but cars in the US are supposed to be built with a slight pull to the right. The reason for this was that if the driver fell asleep at the wheel the car would then drift onto the shoulder rather than into oncoming traffic. Since the UK drives on the other (I did not say wrong) side of the road wouldn't a slight pull to the left accomplish this same thing. Just thinking out loud. Might be completely wrong about this.
to describe my symptoms in simple terms
if i am driving along the road with the wheel at 3-9
and let go the wheel wheel turn from 130 to 730, approx 45 degrees

this is on any road and various cambers

if i was to let go i would crash and it takes two hands and firm resistance to hold the wheel straight
I've got a bit of a left pull and whilst its not as bad as Eliseboy's if I do let go of the wheel I will end up in a ditch pretty quickly.

What concerns me is that when I had to brake quickly the car yanked my arms strongly to the left, this has happened on 3 seperate occasions (bloody phesants:rolleyes: ) and the first time when I wan't ready for the pull it was very scary.
Does the "left drift" exist you ask? or is it "left-pull" you mean?
Some people have become convinced that the left pull is a figment of their imagination that does not really exist. They have listened to people on the internet and some dealers who say that the problem only existed on a handful of cars and that the problem was of sub-standard component manufacture. Some dealers insist that they have never heard of the problem. They have simply popped a few tablets and happily driven off. I jest of course, because the reverse arguement is used by those whose cars steer as straight as an arrow, and they refuse to accept that the problem was widespread on earlier models.

Sadly many cars have been built with varying degrees of left pull and not just a drift.
Of course the car should be camber sensitive, but we are talking annoying tug, arm ache stuff on more extreme cars.

To address this problem BMW will happily fix these cars with steering pull provided you kick up a big fuss should the dealer try to play dumb. Don't get me wrong, not all dealers deny the existence of the pull. My dealer says that all the early models had a left pull to one degree or another. That's why my MINI is at the dealers right now getting a new front suspension system and is travelling back to the BMW plant at Thorne tomorrow to get the realignment done. If it was all psychological then it looks like I have even managed to convince BMW too.

Cars built week 9 and after have the fixed suspension. That does not mean that it will not pull if the alignment is out though, or if the tyre pressures are up the creak. Its just a lot less likely though.

If you want to test your sanity try the following:

Find a deserted stretch of flat, smooth, straight road, on a windless day.

Drive from North to South and note the steering pull (or a lesser drift).
Now drive South to North down the SAME wheel tracks.

If the car always goes East or always goes West then your car is doing what it is supposed to. If you don't like it, tough. Buy a different car coz it cant' be helped.

If it goes East and then West, or vice versa, then you had better make tracks to your dealer to fix it as your car has a pull in one direction.
See less See more
Well CMT got his in March and I got mine in May, and he say's his Pull left and Mine doesn't! So Mine must have the fix. Now ine seems to pull left, but according to CMT its under braking you can tell most. If you brake (where its safe to do so) while not holding onto the wheel and your steering wheels veers of a lot, then it mat have a pull.

I've seen COlin do it on his and it turns considerably, while on mine, it turns a little (Due to camber). The only differance between mine and his is mine has 17" wheels and his has 16". THe only other differance I suppose is Mine has Air Con so more weight over front end.

Anyway I think you maybe neing just paranoid. I know I was at first.
Does my left-drift exist?

Thanks for all the responses guys, it really is appreciated - my first task will be to try and gather some more empirical evidence, probably in a similar way to what Apial has suggested - it's the only way I'll be able to put this to bed.

Smiffy, you've got a new car which seems to exhibit the left-drift, do you have anything to add in your case?

As for my paranoia, that may have been caused by a mis-spent youth. :p :eek: If only I could convince myself the drivers seat didn't creak...:D

Cheers fella's, I'll post an update.

Potts ;)

p.s. Selling the car could never be an option.
See less See more
well i did a quick test with the hire car as i drove home - a Toyota Avensis - YUCK!!:(

let go of the wheel
no movement in either direction
just straight as a die
On many roads my Feb built Cooper seems to have a slight left drift, certainly not a pull. But on many newly paved roads, it tracks straight and on some old roads it drifts slightly right. My dealer agrees that it has a slight left drift and says all of the early cars do. He is waiting for the correct fix from BMW, though he says he has an idea of what to do if the 'real deal' never comes down from BMW.

For now it is so slight that I don't care. My other car had a left drift of similar amount -- it was reduced by an alignment but on most roads it still has a slight left drift so in a way my Cooper feels like home... I know, I shouldn't be satisfied with cars that drift a little but at least it sounds nothing like the terrible left tugs reported by others.

I believe a massive part of the 'problem' is the lack of anything official or even 'unofficial' on this web-site. People on this site work for MINI and have sad nothing about this fault. It does exist, if it didn't BMW / MINI would have released numerous statements about there being no fault.
Why haven't MINI replied to Paul's numerous requests for an official statement on the matter?
Do MINI believe saying something about the problem will cause them more hassle?
Although I thankfully don't have this problem, people like Apial who have put up with the wait deserve better. More information about what is going on. Dealers may be telling the truth about not having enough information or maybe they are not doing their job properly and can't be arsed chasing it up with oxford. I think we will probably never know how wide spread the problem is or was. However, what is even more scary is do BMW / MINI even know how many cars suffer with the fault and what to do to fix them?:(
See less See more
pull is real, not psychosomatic

I had just got mine and had just come back from my first extended drive when I first noticed it. I had never heard of left pull, or this site before. I found MINI2 because I was searching the net to find out if anyone else's MINIs were pulling left.

And it wasn't due to the crown of the road. Here in the US, pull-to-the-left means propelling me & my smiley-faced new friend up over the crown and into oncoming Ford Brontosauruses.

I was appalled at my dealer's response. At first they said "Yeah it's definitely pulling. Must be wheel alignment" blah blah blah. Then after having talked to corporate, called back and said like brainwashed automotons "There is no pull. All front-wheel drive cars do this." Having driven nothing but Hondas for the last 15 years, I knew this was a lot o' hooey.

I decided to be philosophic and not engage in air guitar while driving. I knew that when they had a fix they'd let me know. These big monolithic corporations are inherently evil, but BMW seems to be making an honest effort in spite of themselves.

Yesterday they did call, saying the fix was ready. Surprise surprise -- especially since it was the first time they had admitted there was a problem! I only hope the mechanics at my dealer have gone to school on this. While nice as all getout, they don't seem to know a whole lot about the MINI yet.

Regardless, I love my MINI to the hilt!
See less See more
Left Pull - The Australian experience

I also found this site while looking to see if anyone else had a MINI that pulled left.
Forget the psychobabble about being influenced by what you read on MINI2, does everyone now have a dash that rattles?If you can feel the pull then it is real.
I drive the MINI on the same roads on which I have driven countless cars for the last 20 years. NONE of the previous cars (Minis, MGs, Rovers, Fords, Holdens, Toyotas, Mitsubishis) have ever pulled to the left. Here in West Aus road camber is very slight if it exists at all and as often as not it cambers the wrong way. (If the WA road engineers had worked for the Romans they would have been fed to the lions)

Took the MINI back to the dealer yesterday for a fix and guess what
"Its the camber of the road, they all drive like this" is the official line.

The service staff were very helpful and told me they had a BMW model that did exactly the same until replacement parts were fitted. They are searching for answers.

The left pull doesn't stop me grinning as I drive.
See less See more
But what did you expect?

well i did a quick test with the hire car as i drove home - a Toyota Avensis - YUCK!!:(

let go of the wheel
no movement in either direction
just straight as a die
hold onto the wheel
no feel in either direction
the car in front is a ... zzzz.....

Psychosomatic my arse!

My wife who had her licence for 12 months when she drove my Feb build Cooper for the first time turned to me within five minutes and said, "Why does it pull to the left?". I drove her Celica on the same stretch of road, same 17x205x45 tyres and a wheelbase about 3% proportionally different and did it pull? Did it funk!

As for misinformation, my dealer told me that after it completed its geometry test that it 'exhibited the characteristic pull inherent in the MINI's design'. What the funk does that mean other than "fault" in any other words? He practically admitted it could have been a PR disaster for MINI and fortunately the mainstream press hadn't picked it up and ran with it in a bigger way.

I do however feel there is a grain of truth in the view that the forum actively encourages people to be unduly paranoid about their cars (especially if you check the faults forums daily ;-)

I honestly have to try really hard not to LISTEN for creaks and rattles, and forget about the b*llocks and just have fun in it! However, that increased awareness is a tiny peripheral consequence of spreading genuinely helpful information, for which I'll be eternally grateful. I know it sounds sad but I actually love the fact that we've all got the same wheels, are all mad keen on them and have this forum to express our views...

See less See more
Where did you get it fix zoom180 ???


I just got my Mini 2 days ago, and I already felt there is a slight left drift on the freeway. It is not that obvious when I am driving slow. However, if you let go the steering wheel, it will SLOWLY drift to the left. I live in Southern California, so I really like to know which dealer knows how to fix the problem. I am going to give it a few weeks to make sure it is REAL and not all in my MIND. But if possible, can you let me know the name of your dealer ?
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.