Repair and maintenance information for Mini vehicles
TOP 3 MINI REPAIR PROBLEMS
Mini Coopers equipped with manual transmission are prone to transmission shift cable detachment. This cable connects the gearshift lever to the shift linkage in the transmission whenever the driver shifts gears. Due to corrosion and rough shifting, this cable can disconnect. Once this happens, the transmission will be stuck on the last gear selected. The compact car can still be driven as long as it is stuck on a forward gear. However, if it detaches while the gear is in neutral or reverse, you'll have a big problem. You will need to install a retaining clip at the end of the shift cable to prevent detachments.
This is a tough task even for an experienced DIYer. However, it will be a lot cheaper compared to taking it to the shop. To install the retaining clip, disconnect the battery ground cable and remove the following components: air cleaner assembly, speed control cables, and the upper steering column shroud. Next, place a scratch awl in the bottom area of the steering column shroud. Push the ignition lock cylinder release clockwise to the run position and remove the lock cylinder from the steering column tube. Remove the lock steering column shroud and the screws. Identify the shift cable and re-attach it to its proper place. Then place the retaining clip at the end of the shift cable. Lastly, reinstall everything and tryout the shifter. For more detailed instructions, refer to your owner's manual or get the help of a friend who's knowledgeable about transmission systems. Mini transmission failures are common and it is recommended that transmission fluid be replaced every 30,000 miles with manufacturer-approved fluid.
BMW's first generation of Mini Coopers are equipped with faulty power steering pumps. Once the pump overheats, it will cease from sending power steering fluid throughout the steering system. In most cases, the main culprit is the cooling fan. There are connection problems here, and the fan does not do a great job of cooling the pump. You need to inspect the steering system and determine whether it is the fan or the pump that has the problem. Sometimes, the pump does not turn off when you park, which may cause battery problems. In case the pump and the fan are both faulty, then you need to replace them with better aftermarket units. Also, check on the connections of the cooling fan. Refer to our how-to manuals for replacement instructions on power steering pump replacement and cooling fan replacement.
Mini Coopers that were manufactured from 2005 onwards have small cup holders. Owners complain about the cup holder's size because it is not big enough to hold most beverage containers. There are many cup holder accessories in the aftermarket industry. You won't find it hard to find the right one for your car. You can purchase one of those units and install them easily. These products usually come with installation instructions that are easy to follow along with attachment hardware. Just pick one that suits your compact's interior design.