Locking steering on a mini cooper

i own a 2004 mini cooper. just a cooper(automatic), not an S. around 50, 000 miles, which was thanksgiving '07, my steering gave out. when i shut the car off, and restarted, the problem stopped. the next time this happened wasn’t until the end of this past february. after that it happened randomly, once a week, a few weeks in a row.

in the meantime, my alternator went, and i had it replaced. (around 53, 000 miles) the steering issue since then has only occurred once, and that was several months ago. i am of course no longer covered by BMW, and have gone back to my regular mechanic for service.

upon looking online, some website where mechanics have access to different scenarios with cars, it seems that alot of mini owners are having this problem around 50,000 miles. it wasn’t really clear on the site as to what needed to be done to reconcile the issue. i think one of the things it mentioned was a fan.

ironically, my girlfriend who owns an '05 S convertable, just hit 40,000, and is having the same exact problem. i told her that because she told me this, i will no longer postpone writing into the cartalk site to try and get to the bottom of this!


i had wanted to buy a fourth year on my warranty, but the service manager at BMW talked me out of it, saying it wouldn’t be worth it, since my car was in great shape and didn’t need breaks or anything in the near future. i just took his word for it. ( during my 3 year warranty, i had many things fixed on the car on their dime)

anything anyone can tell me to give my mechanic to go on, would greatly be appreciated!!!

Please describe in detail what happens.

I agree with texases that we need to hear a much better description of what happens with the steering, and under what conditions this occurs.

And, as to the extended warranty, you should bear in mind that brakes would not be covered by the warranty, but if something breaks, that might be covered.