2 months ago while driving the power steering failed. After parking for 5 minutes it worked fine. Again this week the power steering failed. After parking for 2 hours it still didn’t work, but the next morning it worked fine. Any ideas?
Have you checked the power steering system fluid level?
Have you checked the PS pump belt for tension and the pulley for signs of belt slippage?
How old is the fanbelt that drives the pump?
By chance was it raining when these failure events happened? Had the Mini gone through water deep enough that water really splashed up? If so the power steering drive belt may have gotten wet and sliped until it dried off. A new drive belt might be in order. Also make sure that all the splash shields are in place and intact.
Hope that is what it is.
Older Mini coopers have an exposed power steering pump fan that has been known to get plastic bags blowing on the freeway caught in them, causing the pump to overheat and fail. Newer Mini’s have a shrowd over the fan now, but it sounds to me like your pump has gone bad - a very common problem on pre 2006 Mini’s.
I have a 2004 MINI Cooper S and the power steering pump is electric. “No Belt” Mine just went out for the first time at 195,000 miles. I have 197K now and I will drive it until 200K then change it and the original clutch.