How To Identify A Bad Power Steering Pump in Your Mini

MINI Power Steering Pump

A bad power steering pump will immensely affect the operation of your Mini Cooper. The Mini brand, known for its sporty appearance was welcomed back into the U.S. after years of selling exclusively in Europe. Although the power steering pump is considered an innovative design, it was obvious that it had certain issues not recognized in its initial manufacturing after a few years. If you drive a Mini, it is important to know how to identify a bad power steering pump when it begins to fail.

The Design of the Mini Power Steering Pump

The power steering pump on the Mini received accolades for its design of using both being electrically and hydraulically controlled. In hydraulic only power steering pumps, there needs to be a constant hydraulic fluid pressure. This constant pressure is usually supplied via a drive belt attached to the engine.

With the hybrid power steering pump, the hydraulic pressure is supplied via an electrical signal only when needed by the driver. Without the belt drive, this created more room for other components in the engine well of the MIni.

Signs Your Mini Power Steering Pump is Bad

Before we get into the causes of a failed power steering pump in a Mini, let’s look at some of the signs your pump needs the attention of a qualified technician.

  • Leaking Hydraulic Fluid: If you notice a leak under your Mini, it can very well be the hydraulic fluid leaking from your power steering system. If this fluid becomes too low, it will cause issues with steering while operating your vehicle.
  • Stiff Steering: If anyone has ever driven an older car without power steering, you’ll know what it is like when a power steering pump goes out. Your Mini will still drive, but making turns requires a significant amount of force. If your power steering fails while driving, your radius of turns decreases tremendously. If caught by surprise, it can result in an accident.
  • Whining Noises: A typical sign of a failing power steering pump results in a whining sound coming from under the hood.

Causes of Mini Power Steering Pump Failure

The failure for a Mini’s power steering pump in older models was a defect in the design. Newer year Minis have had the manufacturer’s modifications to correct the issue. When Mini designed the system, it knew it must have a cooling system for the power steering pump as it would gain heat as the car operated.

The fix for the overheating problem was to have a fan placed specifically to keep the power steering pump cool. The issue that arose was they underestimated the reliability of the cooling fan. After a few years of service, fans began to fail from outside debris clogging them. This resulted in the power steering pump overheating. Added to this, the design of the electrical drive for the motor was susceptible to heat due to not enough insulation.

How to Prevent Power Steering Pump Failure in Your Mini

There are two options for Mini owners. One is to have the power steering pump and fan replaced with newer versions that are built sturdier and less susceptible to heat. The other is to watch for and clean out any debris like leaves that tend to clog the fan.

The best way to handle this is to bring your car to a Mini professional for regular servicing. Trained Mini technicians know the car’s issues with its power steering pump and will look for any signs of trouble in the system during servicing by the technician.

Who to Trust With Your Mini

If you would like to have your Mini serviced MINI Power Steering Pump Inspection by professionals who will keep your Mini mechanically and electrically sound, bring it to Mike Johns Imports. Serving Crestwood, Hurstbourne, Jeffersontown, Louisville, St. Matthews, and Jeffersonville, IN, our trained and certified technicians will find the small issues before they turn into costly repairs.

Our team is the Mini and BMW experts of our region who know the problems that plague even the finest built automobiles. Contact us today to have your Mini serviced by our quality staff and keep your power steering pump healthy.

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