Monday, December 19, 2011

Cooper "S" R53 Power Steering Pump Failure - click to read

Cooper "S" R53 Power Steering Pump Failure
A Mini Cooper "S" R53 was driven into the shop last week. The alternator light was on, and there was a horrible burnt smell and smoke coming from under the hood. Once the smoke cleared, (literally) we checked what was going on. My first thought was alternator seized up and the burning smell was the belt. The belt was moving freely, and the smoke had stopped. However the power steering had stopped working. Evidently what has happened the P/S pump had grounded internally causing the large positive power lead to the pump to begin melting down. Is the power steering pump the cause of the melt down or the result of the melt down? Once we removed the burnt power lead from the P/S pump the alternator light went off and the alternator was able to charge the system. Evidently the alternator was severely over loaded to a point where it was not able to keep up with the demand.
I'll keep you posted on our findings?
here is the photo of the replacement pump and the destroyed pump.


  1. I'm having power steering problems... The steering feels like its manual & the pump has failed. However, I can here the pump running while turning the wheel (I hear the whine). Does this mean it's not the pump? If so, what could be the cause?


  2. For sure you need to make sure there is fluid, and that the fluid is clean. Not burned up and brown.

    Is the P/S not working at all, or only on first start then once you apply throttle it works correctly?

    If the pump is not working at all but makes noise, and has sufficient fluid, then its the pump that has failed. Also confirm the little fan under the pump is not frozen or not working, this may be the reason the pump went out. - Al

  3. This just happened to my mini overnight while car was parked in the garage. Thank god it didn't burn my garage/house down. My car was dead & garage full of smoke/burnt wire smell. Next step, get MINI to replace it.

    1. We have a 2005 Mini Cooper in our workshop with the same fault as yours - frightening smoke caused by an electrical meltdown of the power steering pump. I've just spoken to Mini customer services - they'd never heard of it happening! I told them to "Google it". Did you get your's repaired? Did the Mini dealer help out with the cost?

  4. Thanks for doing this! I am rebuilding my power steering pump right now and it's great to see your photos. There are descriptions is not too much,though and that would be helpful.
    Steering Rack


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