Lucas Auto Care specializes in European automobile service and repair and we have a ton of customers who drive MINI Coopers. These little wonders are popular, fun, and reliable. This does not mean they don’t come without a set of common problems, however. Every automobile make and model has a set of problems exclusive to it. For MINI Cooper, we repair the following six things frequently.
The first and second-generation MINI Coopers have a problem with the clutch. It fails quickly, sometimes as fast as 20,000 miles, which should not happen on any car. The premature failure affects both the five and six-speed models. Hard driving can cause premature clutch failure even earlier.
MINI and its parent company, BMW, faced a class-action lawsuit for premature transmission failure in the first generation CVT (R50). Unfortunately, if your CVT (R50) automatic transmission fails now, the covered repairs awarded by the lawsuit have expired and you’ll be stuck with the cost yourself.
Timing Chain Rattle
Many MINI Coopers suffer from a timing chain rattle that is particularly loud during cold starts. Low oil could be the culprit, so it’s best to get your MINI Cooper’s oil changed every 3,000 miles. Even if you are faithful about your oil changes, have any rattles checked out right away to avoid timing chain damage.
Water Pump Leaks
A leaking water pump is sure to overheat your engine, and the first and second generation MINIs usually end up with this leak after 50,000 miles. Another leaking problem on the second generation MINI Cooper is the thermostat housing. It’s better to replace the parts before they start leaking to avoid additional damage.
Some MINI Coopers have plastic radiator supports that house the condenser assembly, cooling fan, and radiator. That’s a lot of weight on plastic and even a slight tap against a curb can break it. You can also damage the lower radiator hose, as it rests underneath the support and can easily hit bumps and curbs.
Power Steering Pump
MINI Cooper’s electric power steering pump was recalled because it failed easily. Low fluid or the electric cooling fan were generally the culprits behind the pump’s failure. Fluid leaks from the power steering hoses were also at fault. If you notice your steering seems strange, it could be the pump.