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MINI Problems: the Most Common Issues

MINI Problems

The Mini Cooper has become an extremely popular car in recent years and it’s no surprise why. They are compact, good-looking, relatively inexpensive, and offer an overall rewarding driving experience. However, like all cars they do have their weak points and if you have a Mini or are looking to buy one you should be aware of these common issues Mini Cooper owners deal with.

Failed Electric Power Steering Pumps

Mini Coopers have a tendency to be weak in the electric power steering area and the pumps are prone to failure. Problems with power steering will make it difficult to take turns and if you notice this it’s time to check the fluid levels, inspect the hoses and lines, and finally the pump for possible leaks. Chances are if the power steering is acting up you’ll have to go in and get the pump replaced.

Transmission Problems

Transmission issues can be almost entirely avoided through proper maintenance, but if you’re hearing whining, clunking, and humming or having a general lack of response in the vehicle, chances are the transmission has a fault. Mini Cooper owners should make sure to get transmission fluid changes every 48,000 km to 64,000 km if they want to avoid thousands of dollars in repairs down the road as not changing the fluid will cause the transmission to fail before its time. Minis with 5 speed automatic transmission are by far the most reliable.

Front Radiator Support

The Mini design makes it vulnerable to damaging the front radiator support that keeps the radiator, fan, and condenser in place. It’s made of plastic and sits very low, making it easy to damage with even a moderate impact. That being said, Mini drivers should be careful when parking.

Water Pump and Thermostat Leak

Like all vehicles, Mini Coopers start to show wear as you drive. One area in particular is the water pump and thermostat housing which may start to leak. Simply replacing them around 70,000 km can save you time by dealing with the issue before it arises.

Rattling Timing Chains

Mini Coopers sometimes have the timing chains start rattling, a noise that often intensifies as the engine is idling. This problem requires a bit more intensive repair and can often be traced back to a lack of upkeep in the changing of the transmission fluids. Taking the car to a mechanic before it gets worse is the safest way to go.

Performance Issues Related to VVT

The Variable Valve Timing (VVT) needs a good flow of oil to continue operating at the optimum level. If you ignore changing the oil, the valve will accumulate sludge that will eventually block up the tiny passages. It’s best to keep up with the oil changing, however, if the problem does occur you can try and change the oil and allow the detergent in the oil to clean up the supply passages.

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