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7 Common Repair Problems Mini Cooper Owners Face

The ‘Mini’ was originally introduced by the BMC in 1959 as an economy-built, compact, yet high-performance car. Contrary to popular belief, the Mini isn’t a brand in itself, but a model produced by brands. This brand in particular was originally developed by the BMC who ran development of the vehicle until it was acquired by BMW in 1999.

Two years after the acquisition, BMW introduced their own versions of the Mini’s – the Mini Cooper. The Mini Cooper can best be described as an up-scale version of the original design, but at a relatively affordable price compared to what BMW usually develops.

Notwithstanding several advantages of owning an economy-built, compact, and reliable vehicle, the Mini Cooper does come with its’ fair share of repair problems. Some of these are listed below.

Common Repair Problems in Mini Coopers

As the first generation of the Mini Cooper model is coming to an end, several repair problems in the original design are being highlighted. Some of these problems are specific to certain models, but some are relatively generalized.

If you’re facing any of the following problems, contact a Mini Cooper specialist in Brisbane at Southwest Repairs and Services. Our experts deal in BMW consultations, repairs, and services at affordable costs with maximum customer satisfaction.

1. Transmission Failure

A major selling point for the Mini Cooper was the manufacturers’ insistence that the vehicle does not require regular maintenance as other cars. In fact, it was argued that the Mini Cooper can do well without being checked by a mechanic for two years.

Experts, however, dissuade Mini Cooper owners from heading the manufacturers’ advice on this. Perhaps the vehicle really can go two years without a mechanic having a look at it, but that would require ideal conditions.

Mini Coopers with CVT automatic transmissions usually malfunction and the car comes to a standstill. Mechanics therefore recommend bringing your car in for routine check-ups and refuelling with transmission fluid every 30,000-40,000 mileage.

2. Clutch Malfunctions

While relatively uncommon, a manual Mini Cooper can face a clutch malfunction especially in heavy traffic. This malfunction can come about because of several reasons. For example, poor maintenance of the car, scattered components, and excessive force on the clutch.

3. Water Pump Leaks

A water pump leak occurs when the cooling system of the Mini Cooper is malfunctioning. This is typical in older versions of the vehicle where the cooling system was generally outdated. Water pump leaks are obvious and relatively inexpensive to repair if caught on at the right time.

However, if you allow the problem to linger on then you might end up replacing not just the entire cooling system, but also the engine.

4. Rigid Power Steering Pump

Owners of earlier versions of the Mini Cooper would often complain that the power steering wheel turns rigid after some time. This can be a problem if it happens unexpectedly. Mechanics have deduced that the issue is often due to cooling system malfunctioning or general wear and tear. In either case, the entire steering unit has to be replaced.

5. Loose Timing Chain

If you hear a rattling sound coming from the engine when you first start-up your car, it may be because the timing chain has come up loose. Mini Coopers tend to have their timing chain come up loose well before they’re anticipated to. Luckily, this problem can be solved easily if you consult a BMW performance specialist on time.

6. Exhaust Pipe Damage

Older versions of several BMW vehicles came with crinkled-shaped exhaust pipes. These pipes were part of a larger exhaust system that functioned in close approximation with the combustion chamber of the car. Crinkled pipes had smaller diameters and therefore expelled air fumes at slower rates. If enough gas builds up inside of the exhaust system, the entire unit might malfunction and your engine can combust.

7.  Few Dealerships

Lastly, Mini Coopers come with standard three-year warranties. While the warranty might be great in theory, they’re rarely utilized because BMW dealerships are few and far between. Plus, the flatbed distance covered by the dealership might not be in your range either.


With the first generation of the Mini Coopers coming to an end, it is important to understand that BMW did have a couple of problems with the generation. These problems, while not grave, did impact on the Mini Coopers performance. Hopefully the next generation of the vehicle will come without these issues.

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