A very common problem with Minis is power steering pump failure. It affects cars built between 2001 and 2007. The failure usually begins with a whining or grinding noise from the power steering pump area. After a short time, complete failure occurs. When it fails, it results in a complete loss of power-assisted steering. This can be scary and lead to an accident.
Mini’s Unique Power Steering Pump
Minis are designed with a unique system called Electro-Hydraulic Power Assisted Steering System. Since these vehicles are compact, larger steering systems aren’t ideal. This system uses electric and hydraulic steering.
Symptoms of Power Steering Pump Failure
Keeping your Mini in top working order is important. It needs to be safe on the road for your safety and the safety of others. If you believe that you are experiencing power steering failure, call Bavarian Auto today. Continuing to drive your Mini could lead to complete failure. When this happens, it can be very hard to steer your vehicle. Below are the most common symptoms of a power steering pump failure:
Hard to Turn Your Steering Wheel
Turning the steering wheel should be easy. Your Mini should respond immediately. When the power steering pump begins to fail, you may notice that it is harder to turn your car. The steering wheel may feel stiff. If it is hard to turn, there may be a delayed response. This can be dangerous when you need to get out of the way immediately.
A Whining or Grinding Noise
If you hear a whining noise, the fluid levels may be low and need to be topped off. This could be the sign of a fluid leak. Leaks can negatively affect the performance of the power steering. On the other hand, a grinding sound can indicate the power steering is already failing.
Rust Colored Fluid Leak
A rusty colored fluid under your Mini could be a power steering leak. If so, you will likely need to replace the power steering pump system.
Cause of Power Steering Pump Failure in a Mini
Heat buildup is the most common cause of power steering pump failure. It is a major issue that has become synonymous with Minis. Poor design and location doomed the design from the beginning. The pump sits below the exhaust manifold, close to the road. This positioning makes it susceptible to damage. The fan is also open to the elements and to road fodder. This allows rocks and debris to enter, which can cause the fan to stop completely.
Avoiding Power Steering Pump Failure
Once you begin to experience signs of failure, call us as soon as possible. We can get your Mini fixed before you experience complete failure.
Routine checks are also very important. We will help to ensure you don’t have to deal with failure. Our expert mechanics know how to service your MINI’s specific model and look for problems inherent to your brand.
Mini Cooper models built after 2007 have newer power steering pump systems. These newer systems have been designed to eliminate the issues that the previous system had. Even if you have a newer model Mini, it doesn’t mean that you cannot experience failure. Stay current on your service schedule to make sure that you don’t have to experience the dreaded steering pump failure.
What to Do if You Ever Experience Power Steering Failure
If your power steering fails while you are driving, do not panic. You will still have control. It will just be harder to turn your wheel. As soon as it is safe, pull off the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights, then call us for help.
When the power steering pump completely fails, the complete pump assembly will need to be replaced. If only the pump is replaced, but the fan is also bad, you will experience failure again. Replacing the complete system now will help you save money in the future.
Give Us a Call Today
Bavarian Auto, Inc. is an independent, family-owned business. We are here to help you extend the life of your vehicle. Power steering pump failure can be a scary experience. If you believe that you are having symptoms of failure, call our Bavarian Auto service center today. We proudly serve the Ootelwah, Hixson and Chattanooga, TN areas.