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I think that the battery warning light comes on when the battery voltage is low. This is different from most cars that only light the battery light when the alternator is not working.

The electro-hydralic steering (on all petrol minis) will probably turn off when the battery voltage is low. It will have to turn off when the car is parked.

I would try just changing the battery, or you could check the voltage. I don't know if the diagnostic computer can show battery voltage.
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