The power steering in your Mini Cooper assists you in turning the wheels whichever direction you need them to go. As soon as you start turning the steering wheel, sensors kick in that use electro-hydro to turn the front wheels.
The Mini uses a system called electro-hydro power assisted steering, which is a combination of electric and hydraulic power steering systems. In this system, an electric motor is used to drive the hydraulic power steering pump rather than using a belt. This system allows for the car to use less horsepower while ensuring the car handles well. Without power steering, it is very difficult to turn the car, but not impossible. However, the problem with the electric-hydro power assisted steering method is that the system causes heat build-up, which can cause problems with the power steering.
Why Are There Problems with Mini Cooper Power Steering
Heat is the enemy of most car parts, specifically electrical parts. This will reduce the life of the car parts and will cause more frequent part replacement. The more you push your Mini Cooper while driving it, the harder the pump is working, and as a result, a lot of heat is produced. In addition to heat production, the pump is located below the exhaust manifold, so even a smooth drive will cause the temperature of the pump to rise. We all know that Florida weather is hot in the summer, but you also have to make sure that you take care of your mini in the other months.
A fan is located near the pump that provides cool air over the pump, but the fan is located on the vehicle at a point that is exposed to the road, so it often fails due to being hit by road debris, such as rocks, and other pieces of metal. The more the pump is exposed to heat, the faster it will fail. When the pump does fail, it will overheat or seize
(moving parts bind and stop moving as a result of excessive pressure, temperature, or friction
). The steering will freeze completely, if the pump fails because it is no longer using the hydraulic pump. This will cause the steering wheel to feel incredibly heavy and your vehicle will function as a manual.
Mini Cooper Power Steering Pump and Power Steering Motor:
The pump and the motor are the heart and soul of your power steering assembly.
- Run every other component of the power steering assembly.
- Send fluid through the hydraulics system to move the wheels.
- Disengage the power steering when not in use.
Mini Cooper Power Steering Failure
If you are driving and your car’s power steering begins to fail, the first step is to stay calm and not to panic. Your vehicle will still have manual control and you will be able to pull over and get off the road. The solution to a power steering malfunction is generally to replace the pump assembly entirely. It is important to have a certified mechanic make sure that it is the pump that should be replaced. In some cases, the fan may be broken which would cause your power steering pump to fail again if it is not also replaced. Determining the root cause of the issue is important and will help you save money in the long run. We can help you.
Bring your Mini into our shop
and we can usually diagnose it on the spot for you. Or you can call us 954-921-1515.
If you cant drive your Mini to the shop, we can arrange for a tow.
If either of these parts begins to fail, you may experience:
- Fluid underneath your car.
- Difficulty in turning the wheel
- Your Mini makes noise even after motor is shut off.
- Excessive noise coming from the power steering system during normal operation.
- The steering wheel occasionally locks, making all steering impossible.
Mini Cooper Power Steering Fan:
Specifically, the power steering fan ensures that your power steering system is cool and operational. If the power steering fan fails, then the next thing to fail is the pump, and then the motor. Be aware of any dashboard warning lights, or a decrease in the drivability and handling of your Mini Cooper.
Mini Cooper Power Steering Fluid:
Without power steering fluid, there would be no power steering. The fluid is sent by the pump to fill the hydraulic cables and move the tires. If there is a problem anywhere with the power steering fluid, you may notice:
- Fluid leaks underneath the car.
- Impaired ability to turn the steering wheel.
- Steering wheel lock-ups.
If there is a leak in any of the hoses housing the fluid, then your fluid levels will deplete rapidly. This means that your power steering will begin failing.
Mini Cooper Power Steering Gear – Rack:
The motor powers the pump, the pump sends the fluid through the hoses, the fluid goes to the gear rack, and the gear rack physically moves the tires. If you’re experiencing any problems with your power steering, then it could be the gear rack as it is the final stopping point along the power steering chain before your wheels begin turning.
What to do:
All of the above parts are critical components in your power steering system. If you find your power steering is malfunctioning in any way, take your Mini to a service expert. For the best service at an excellent price, stop by our shop in Hollywood, or Call us 954-921-1515 where we provide the same expert care and service as a Dealership, but at a fraction of the cost to repair.