Many consumers gained a newfound respect for MINI Coopers after they stole the show in the action-packed movie, The Italian Job. We love MINI Coopers, but as with every make and model of automobile on the market, some are prone to hiccups. As long as you know what those hiccups are, you can stay ahead of them with regular maintenance and TLC and as a result, you’ll enjoy a long, adventure-filled relationship with your MINI.
So, whether you own a MINI or are shopping for one, here are five potential issues to watch out for.
Top 5 MINI Cooper Problems & Repairs
Early clutch failure is a pretty common problem with early MINI models with manual transmissions. The problem can be caused by hard driving or other component issues. If the clutch pedal becomes hard to push, take your MINI in for an inspection, as early clutch failure could be the culprit.
Early models of the MINI Cooper have experienced significant failures with its automatic transmissions. Later model transmissions are built better, but problems can still result from MINI’s maintenance specifications, stating that fluid either never needs changing, or that it should be changed at much longer intervals.
Changing the transmission fluid once a year — or at least every 30,000 miles — is a simple way to keep your MINI transmission in tip top shape for years to come.
3. Water Pump/Thermostat Housing
Second generation MINI models were made with a plastic thermostat housing, so the majority of these will fail over time.
Most mechanics recommend replacing the water pump and thermostat at 50,000 miles, as it’s better to replace them before you even find a leak. Most people find that counterintuitive — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? But you’ll save yourself a lot of money and headaches if you are proactive with this one.
4. Electric Power Steering Pump
MINI electric power steering pumps were recalled in 2002-2005 MINI Coopers. According to Pelican Parts:
The MINI Cooper S uses a different type of power 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.
The failure is often caused by low power steering fluid or an electric cooling fan failure.
5. Power Windows
We’ve listed this issue among our BMW problems and Mercedes problems posts as well. Window motors can fail, it’s just one of those annoying things. If your MINI’s power windows are operating slowly or not at all, bring it in for a quick diagnosis and we’ll get it fixed right away!
Call today with any questions about your MINI Cooper!