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I need help determining whether what I am experiencing is normal or not. If I make minor steering movements backing up, say move the wheel about 1 inch, I experience stops and starts in the steering feel. Occasionally, turning into my driveway, I feel a tug in the wheel as it straightens out. Steering is tight and requires more effort than I think it should when first stating up and driving off. Steering feels smooth and normal at speed. No problems at speed so far. My MINI is a 2015 Cooper S hardtop with auto tranny. It haws only 8500 miles.


Opinions please. Went to dealer once and got "tech could not reproduce". How aggressive should I pursue this with dealer.
 

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I think I understand the sensation you're getting and strangely have found it in all the generations of MINI, the first time I experienced this was in my girlfriends R53 Cooper S and the only way I could describe it was as if one of the front wheels was buckled (minus the bad vibrations through the car) giving a strange 'lumpy' feel to the steering, tried hunting this issue and both front tires were in perfect condition and the alloys were checked and found to be fine with not flat spots or buckles...

I then drove my mums R59 Cooper S and low and behold hers did exactly the same, even though the R59 is electronic steering and the R53 is hydraulic! Again hers is a 2013 car with less than 10,000 miles and is in flawless condition so I can't imagine there's any issue with alloys and it recently had new tyres

Strangely mine also does what you're experiencing albeit a LOT less pronounced, but I was surprised when I first felt it in mine (2016 F56 JCW)...I think what you're feeling could be a 'characteristic' of MINI's, however if it for any reason gets clearly worse then I would take it back to MINI and offer to take one of their technicians out in the car to try and help them feel the issue for themselves
 

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Mines the same at very s!ow speed you can feel the electric motor of the steering doing its work.feels gritty but just occasionally. Not always,seems you just have to catch it in the right spot! Sounds normal to me. Put your foot on steering column at the base and you can feel the motor working too.
 

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I've had this in all three MINI's I've had, even my second generation Cooper - I like the word that @james-B39 used to describe it, it is like a buckle effect... Happens when I'm reversing on my cobbled driveway and also at low speeds if I turn the wheel to fast.
 
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