The Mini Cooper S is different than most cars in more ways than one. One of the main differences is its power steering setup. Most models have the power steering pump driven by the engine belts, but the Mini Cooper S is driven by an electric motor.
While this frees up some power because it’s not driven by the engine belts, it also has a disadvantage. As the pump runs, it gets hotter and its location directly below the exhaust manifold can make the heat problem more significant.
Mini Cooper powering steering, in general, has garnered a fair amount of complaints from owners. It is one of the most common components to fail on these vehicles so you can find steps to remove the old pump and replace it with a new one below.
Start by disconnecting the battery. The work takes place near the starter motor, so this is an important first step.
Remove the cap for the power steering fluid reservoir. Remove as much power steering fluid as you can. The best way to do this is to use a siphon to suck the fluid out. This helps to prevent excessive amounts of power steering fluid from pouring onto the ground.
Next, you want to create a little slack on the fluid lines so detach the reservoir from the mounting bracket on the firewall. You don’t actually have to do this but it is helpful to have some extra play when you remove them from the old pump.
Remove the nut securing the clamp around the reservoir and the two nuts and rubber grommets holding the bracket to the rear firewall.
Now get yourself underneath the vehicle and take off the two nuts that hold the power steering fan in place. Remove the fan and disconnect the wiring harness. You now have access to the two connectors that connect to the pump. Remove them. Take off the smaller one first, then the larger one. You will see two hose connections that attach to the pump. One is the high-pressure side that sends fluid and the other is the low-pressure return line. Both need to be disconnected.
Next remove the bolt that holds the high-pressure line and take out the mounting. At this point the pump and lines will be leaking fluid. Make sure you have a pan below to collect this fluid; do not let it run into the ground.
There is a nut on the bottom of the sub-frame that needs to come off next. There are two more bolts on the opposite side of the steering rack that need to be removed before you can take out the pump. Once you get the pump off, you need to remove the mounting frame so it can be added to the new pump.
Place the newly mounted pump and reconnect the fluid lines. Then reconnect the electrical connectors and the fan. Finally, refill the fluid reservoir until it reaches the maximum line on the dipstick. Reconnect your battery and start the engine and begin to turn the wheel full lock to either the right of left. Repeat this a few times to bleed the air from the system.