The MINI Cooper is one of the smallest cars available in the market today, but it is far from lackluster when it comes to design and performance. In fact, the car can hold its own in a number of settings, seeing as it gets the name Cooper from being a favorite of racing legend John Cooper.
Like other top car models, the MINI is not immune to technical malfunctions. To this end, some owners have complained about having issues with the power steering pump failure.
What is a power Steering Pump?
The power steering pump is a component within the power steering system in your MINI. It puts pressure on the hydraulic fluid, which turns the steering wheel. The power steering fluid flows into the pump where it is compressed under high pressure. The amount of pressure under which it is compressed is directly proportional to how fast the engine will run. Most MINI Coopers have an electric power steering pump.
Another function of this pump is to enable smooth steering of the car when moving at lower speeds.
What happens when it fails?
A failure in the power steering pump will often result in a number of issues. Some of these issues include:
These noises come from the belt on which the pump is driven. When the pump fails, every turn of the steering wheel will produce some squealing sounds, indicating that there could be a fault. These noises get louder the more you turn the wheels. Some owners have reported that the noise goes on even when the car has been turned off.
Lack of power in the steering
When the power steering pump fails, the steering wheel will start slipping. This is because of the communication breakdown between the pump and the steering wheel. The steering wheel may also become difficult to turn when the car is moving at low speeds or when it comes to a complete stop. The wheel may also have a hard time going back to its initial position.
You may notice a reddish fluid under your car after parking it for a while, overnight for instance. This is the power steering fluid leaking from the faulty power steering pump. The leak may have been triggered by cracks in the pump or along the lines. Note that transmission fluid can also be red in color, so if this is your only symptom, it may be a transmission issue.
Complete locking of the wheel
When the power steering pump failure is left unchecked, the steering wheel may completely lock itself, forcing the car to be towed to a mechanic. The locking may also be intermittent; happening only from time to time.
Why it fails?
Some of the reasons why the MINI Cooper’s power steering pump fails prematurely include:
Overheating in the engine
Being that the power steering pump in the MINI is electric and considering its position under the exhaust manifold, the heating of the other car parts as they run will automatically lower the efficiency of the pump. This overheating causes the fans to be overworked as well, which can cause the pump to stop without abruptly. This stopping is felt when the steering wheel becomes harder to move.
Failure in the cooling fan
The cooling fan is supposed to regulate the temperature in the car parts as they perform their duties. When the car parts get too hot, the cooling fan is overworked to the point of stopping. When it stops, the pump will also stop, causing steering failure.
General wear and tear
Over time, the power steering pump parts become subject to wearing. The only way to prevent this from happening is to take the car for regular servicing after the recommended miles have been covered.
Power Steering Pump Repairs
If your Mini Cooper shows any of the symptoms pointing to power steering pump failure, it is highly advisable that you take it in to a repair shop and have a certified mechanic look into it.
In case you have experienced any of the symptoms of a faulty power steering pump, Germany’s Best Inc. should definitely be your next stop. We have the skills and technical knowledge that will help get your MINI right back on the road in no time.
* Green Mini Cooper Car image credit goes to: robilusso.