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Power Steering Fan Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Power Steering Fan Replacement

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

13mm socket, small screwdriver.

Applicable Models:

R50 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2002-06)
R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2005-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08)
R53 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2002-06)

Parts Required:

Power steering fan

Hot Tip:

Fabricate a grille piece for the fan if you have lost yours.

Performance Gain:

Prevents power steering pump failure

Complementary Modification:

Replace power steering pump.
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The MINI Cooper S uses a different type of powering steering setup than most cars. Rather than having the power steering pump driven by the engine belts, the pump is driven by an electric motor. While this frees up some power from not being driven off the engine belts, it also has a disadvantage. As the pump runs, it gets hotter and hotter. It is also located directly below the exhaust manifold, which adds to the heat problems.

BMW's solution to this problem was to mount a small electric fan just in front of the steering rack. When the power steering pump reaches a certain temperature, a thermostat controlled switch activates the fan. The fan then draws cooler air up and over the pump, keeping it cool, and preventing the power steering pump from locking up under high heat.

In some cases, the fan can lock up, preventing the cooling of the power steering pump, which in turn causes the pump to overheat and fail. In some instances, the plastic protective grille on the outside of the fan can be knocked off. In this case, even something as simple as a plastic bag on the road can get sucked up into the fan. If this happens, it can bend the shaft and render the fan inoperative. In our case, the grille from the fan was missing altogether and the shaft was bent, preventing the fan from turning at all.

There seems to be some confusion about the power steering fan in the factory parts list. The list shows the fan being sold with both the grille and the frame. However, cross checking shows that the part number has been superseded to a number that just shows the fan itself without the grille or housing (See Figure 1). If your car still has the grille attached, remove it from the fan housing with a small screwdriver and set it aside.

The first step in removing the fan is to jack up the front of the car and secure it on jack stands. Next, locate the two 13mm nuts holding the fan housing to the subframe. Lower the fan housing down and unplug the harness connector going to the fan (See Figure 2 and Figure 3). Now cut the zip ties holding the wiring harness to the housing and release the harness connector from the small plastic tab on the fan housing (See Figure 4).

In order to remove the fan from the housing, you'll need to drill out the rivets securing it to the fan housing. The idea here is to use a drill bit that is the same size as the inner portion of the rivet. Use cutting oil and low speed to drill out the center of the rivet. Be sure to wear eye protection while doing this (See Figure 5).

Now line up the fan on the back of the metal housing. You'll notice that the fan itself is secured to the housing with four Phillips head tapping screws. These screws cut into the plastic holes of the fan and secure it in place. Slide the new harness connector onto the plastic tab on the fan housing (See Figure 6 and Figure 7).

If you have the grill piece, just pop it into place over the fan assembly. Since our fan grille was missing, I decided to fabricate a protective grille for the power steering fan using some steel mesh. The grille is held in place by the Phillips head screws that hold the fan to the frame along with some washers. This simple screen can be duplicated with just some metal snips and a few extra minutes. This will prevent any damage to the fan while spinning (See Figure 8).

Now reconnect the wiring harness, position the fan back up under the car and re-fit the two 13mm nuts that hold the fan to the subframe.

Shown here is a new power steering fan assembly.
Figure 1

Shown here is a new power steering fan assembly. At this time, we are only able to supply the fan itself without the protective grille. There seems to be some confusion about this in the factory parts list. The OEM parts list shows the fan being sold with both the grille and the frame. Our car did not have a protective grille installed. If you have the grille still attached, remove it from the fan housing and set it aside.

Remove the two 13mm nuts securing the fan housing to the front subframe.
Figure 2

Remove the two 13mm nuts securing the fan housing to the front subframe. Once removed, unplug the wiring harness going to the fan.

Shown here is the power steering fan removed from the car.
Figure 3

Shown here is the power steering fan removed from the car. In our case, the fan blade shaft had been bent, preventing the fan from turning. it's a good idea to clean the fan housing before you continue.

Clip the zip ties holding the wiring for the fan to the fan housing.
Figure 4

Clip the zip ties holding the wiring for the fan to the fan housing. Once the wiring is free, unhook the harness connector from the plastic tab on the fan housing.

In order to remove the fan, you'll need to drill out the rivets securing it to the fan housing.
Figure 5

In order to remove the fan, you'll need to drill out the rivets securing it to the fan housing. The idea here is to use a drill bit that is the same size as the inner portion of the rivet. Use cutting oil and low speed to drill out the center of the rivet. Be sure to wear eye protection while doing this.

Now line up the fan on the back of the metal housing.
Figure 6

Now line up the fan on the back of the metal housing. You'll notice that the fan itself is secured to the housing with four Phillips head tapping screws. These screws cut into the plastic holes of the fan and secure it in place.

Slide the new harness connector onto the plastic tab on the fan housing.
Figure 7

Slide the new harness connector onto the plastic tab on the fan housing.

Shown here is a protective grill I fabricated for the power steering fan using some galvanized mesh.
Figure 8

Shown here is a protective grill I fabricated for the power steering fan using some galvanized mesh. The grille is held in place by the Phillips head screws that hold the fan to the frame. Now just reconnect the wiring harness, position the fan back up under the car and re-fit the two 13mm nuts that hold the fan to the subframe.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Tom_34 Comments: Hello,

On my Mini Cooper 03 i have no fan instaled, i want to buy one and fit it but i cant see where would i plug it. Can you provide some information or help?

Im writing you from Croatia.

Thanks
September 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
randy Comments: I have an '03 Cooper S and have had my Power Steering go out twice while on long drives , but next day would be fine. I figured that the PS Cooling fan might be the problem and replaced it. I need to know if there is a way to test it without endangering my life.Does the engine need to be at running temp. before I can check? Also, I did swap 2 relays that looked the same and it didn't make a difference. Any suggestions? Thanks
October 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The fan for the power steering will come on each time the engine cooling fan is ON. Idle the engine, once it gets hot, the fan will come on, you can then check if the ps fan is on as well. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jeff Comments: Pelican Parts. I replaced the non-functioning PS fan on my '05 R52 with your unit. I have not heard the fan actually run. Can I order the appropriate relay to ensure I don't burn up my ps pump? Please contact me.
August 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I will forward your info, in the mean time it may be faster for you to give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
catwalk Comments: Before I replace the steering pump I would like to replace the relay. but I cannot find a schema of the fuse box mini R50. I think this the Relay R3 based on this image: http://www.mini2.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=147168&d=1212171095. Could you confirm?
February 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: R3 looks to be the correct relay. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bogdan Comments: Hello,
I recently replaced the power steering pump and discovered that my Mini Cooper 2002 doesn't have a power steering pump fan installed. Now i want to buy one and install it but it looks like the wire harness is missing to. I've searched on the internet but i can't find what exactly i need. Can you help me with some information.
Thank you.
Best regards.
Happy holidays.
December 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
silverfox56 Comments: My above fan on my R53 appears to be on permanently on, so I suspect a faulty thermostat and would like to change it.

Do you sell just the P/S/pump thermostat or is it built into the connector shown in your figure 1 above please ?


Thank you

January 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The PS steering cooling fan is activated by the same relay that activates the engine cooling fan. If both fans are stuck On there may be a problem with this relay. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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