Common Mini Repairs
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What are the top 10 Mini repairs we see?
1. Routine Maintenance Due - This is very important and can assure your good reliability and often prevent bigger repairs down the road. Some items like transmission service are not on the Mini maintenance schedule yet are very important. See number 5 below.
2. Malfunction Indicator Lights (MIL), Check Engine Light - May indicate minor or serious problems. Have this checked out by a pro with the proper Mini test equipment.
3. Electric Power Steering Pumps - Can be prone to failure. If your power steering pump has to be replaced it is a good idea to check out the cooling fan and other related parts while the vehicle is apart.
4. Clutch Failure - Early clutch failures seem to be related to hard use. We can estimate clutch wear as part of our inspection.
5. Transmission Issues - Problems with the automatic transmission come down to the manufacturers saying that their transmissions do not need fluid changes. This is a big problem because not changing the transmission fluid will cause it to fail early. Changing the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 40,000 miles will save thousands of dollars in repairs. The CVT transmissions installed before 2008 should have regular oil changes; however the 5 speed automatic transmissions used on most Minis are much more reliable.
6. Timing chains - Can start rattling. This problem can be worse when the engine is idling. This is a fairly major repair, but do not ignore it or you could end up with some major problems. It seems like this issue is also related to not changing the transmission oil/fluid often enough. (See number 5)
7. Water Pump and Thermostat Housing Leak - If your Mini Cooper has over 50,000 miles you should consider replacing the water pump and thermostat. This can save hours of labor if you replace them before finding a leak.
8. Performance Issues Related to Variable Valve Timing (VVT) - This can happen when the oil is not changed enough. The VVT requires a good flow of oil to operate the system. When the oil is not changed, sludge builds up and blocks the tiny passages.
If this happens, we suggest changing the oil to try and let the detergent in the oil clean the oily supply passages. To prevent the problem, change the oil as soon as it gets dirty, even if it's after a couple of thousand miles. If the passages are not blocked completely this might solve the problem.
9. Damaged Front Radiator Support - The front radiator support is made of plastic and it supports the radiator, fan, and condenser. It sits very low, and it doesn't take much to damage the support. Just a moderate impact on a high curb can cause a lot of damage. The lower coolant hose sits even lower and if this is hit it can also cause a lot of damage, so be sure to take care when parking your car.
10. Interior trim and hardware - Knobs, latches, handles, latches and doors start to fail as the car ages. Looking after these makes your car more comfortable and greatly increases resale value.
All that said, don't let this list alarm you. Mini Coopers aren't the most expensive cars to purchase new, and with regular maintenance the cars are designed to last a long time.
Speak directly to the technician working on your car, never a service writer on commission.
Fast accurate repairs since 1979.
Call now for your free diagnostic inspection (949) 438-5200.
Mini Service World
26881 Vista Terrace, Suite G
Lake Forest CA 92630