The MINI Window Motor Issue

Lately we’ve heard of a couple reports from folks that have been having various (seemingly related) window issues. Here’s a great write-up from a long time reader about his issues and what seems to be the only quick fix at present:

My late-2003-build Cooper S has developed an issue with the passenger window motor three times in the past two or three months, it has stopped working, making it impossible to roll down the window. When you press the switch, you hear something engage, but nothing happens. No dip, no roll, the window stays up.

The first time I tried the “reset” for the window dipping feature – I held the toggle up for 10 sec while the key was on – and the window function returned to normal.

The second time the reset didn’t help, but the window started working again a couple of days later.

The last time this happened, I asked around and learned that a lot of MINI owners have experienced the same issue with their windows. A lot of owners said they thought it was related to the summer heat, and that most problems solved themselves when the outside temperature cooled down.

I finally asked a MINI tech at the dealer about my window issue. This is what I learned:

Apparently, quite a few window motors have been replaced for this or a similar “failure,” sometimes, with the window up and sometimes with it down. What this tech told me was that the contacts on the motor become loose and fail to send current to the motor. I was also told that a quick few taps with a closed fist on the door interior just above the speaker should solve the problem, at least temporarily. He mentioned that some owners have had multiple motors replaced on the same car, and he speculated that because the replacement motors have the same kind of contacts, they often eventually experience the same failure.

Currently my windows are both working, so I haven’t had the chance to try the “tap on the door” fix. but since I have a couple of years left on my warranty I’m willing to let it ride and the next time the window fails, I’ll give it a whack and see what happens for the sake of research and curiosity.

By the way, the service department said they would be more than happy to replace the motor under warranty if I felt it needed to be replaced. If your window has failed and you’re still under warranty, feel free to get it in and replaced. That’s what warranties are for. If you’re out of warranty and don’t want to spring for a new motor, you might try the “tap on the door fix” until you hear that an updated motor is available.

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