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.

  • 2K3 MCS
  • KevinR

    Driver’s side window for me. After I couldn’t get in touch with the Service Manager for over 2 weeks, I got fed up and tried the “beat on the door panel” technique. Has been working since (approx 2 weeks).

    Crude, but effective…

  • dickdavid

    My driver’s window motor was replaced in less than a year.

    Now my passenger window motor is going out. I’m beating the door panel until I take it in for my next service.

  • http://www.gbmini.net/ Ian

    Yes – a relatively common problem that GBMINI#2 suffered from too – one time the techs at MINI Peabody disassembled the failed motor and could see little bits of worn plastic inside; the motor is just not “butch” enough for the job :(

    The “hit door with fist” fix does work for a while, but failures come more and more frequently as the motor wears out.

  • mapleleaf

    Well, this article would have been very helpful had it come out two weeks earlier! :) That is when my 11/04 build MCS had an issue with the driver’s side window. It was in the full-up position and when I went to close the door the window hit along the top and back side because it didn’t drop the 1/2″ it normally does when you open the door.

    After my initial panic that I would break the window by closing the door I did a little research on the web and also found the “hit door with fist” fix. I must admit it took more than a “tap” as was mentioned above. After “fixing” with my fist it has worked now for two weeks with only one oddity…no mater how far up or down the driver’s side window is it drops the 1/2″ when I open the door now. It could be all the way up, open a crack to let in air, halfway down, etc. It always drops that 1/2″. When I close the door it only goes up the 1/2″ if the window was in the full-up position.

    My concern is that I live 400+ miles from the nearest dealership and now that the window is “working” I’m not sure if they will replace the motor in there or not.

  • Timothy Sipples

    I’ve never really seen the point in power windows on two door cars, particularly small two door cars, although the way MINI windows roll up just after closing the door is a bit of an exception. Same with power antennas — just one more part to fail. (Does anyone miss power antennas on their MINIs? I sure don’t.) I don’t think any original Minis had power windows.

    If MINI ever doesn’t need the close door/roll up feature, here’s hoping power windows become an option. Just extra weight IMHO.

  • PocketRobot

    Windows! Don’t get me started!

    My late ’03 had the driver-side window problem where it would not go down the 1″ when the door was opened, so when you closed it the window was on the outside of the door frame. I waited until my 10,000 maintenance and the motor was replaced.

    Then, the passenger side-window started sqeaking when it was used. Again, I waited until the 25,000 maintenance and it was replaced.

    MINI–great car–bad window motors.

  • Ian F

    Has anyone else experienced the window “studdering” when going down?

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    I find these issues interesting considering the BMW E46 3 series (a car that the MINI shares many components with) is nortorious for similar window issues. You’d think MINI/BMW’s supplier would have gotten this right over the years.

  • Rob

    I just had this problem fixed under warranty.

    If the replacement motor is just as prone to failure, does this mean I can look forward to this happening again, possibly once I’m out of the warranty?

    Because that would be…less than ideal.

  • http://www.jwardell.com/mini/ Josh Wardell

    I still think I’m the only MINI owner out there who’s never had a window issue and on their original windshield! :p

  • Aaron

    A friend of mine with a 2004 MCS has the same problem.

    I propose a new name for the ‘thump-the-door-above-the-speaker-with-the-base-of-your-fist’ repair… It’s the FONZIE FIX. He was an auto mechanic, after all… how else would Fonzie fix a bad electrical contact?

  • Theotherbruce

    The Prince of Darkness is back! Lord Voldemort… er, Sir Joseph Lucas has returned from the grave.

  • Bob

    i ordered my first mini cooper about a month ago. i would not have gotten the power windows had i known about this…

  • Rvan

    I just got an 05 MCS last Sat. and I have a passenger side window problem too. When you turn on the turn signal the passenger window rolls up. Kinda fun but kinda annoying. Then yesterday it just stopped working all together. It was in the all the way up position, I didn’t know about the reset function till I read this article. But then after a drive I hit the toggle and it went down about 2 inches and stuck and then I let the car sit for about an hour and went back out and the window went back up again. So now I am not even gonna mess with the window till I can get it looked at which will be in about a month. Hopefully I won’t be too annoyed with it till then.

  • Angie

    I had the driver’s side window motor replaced about three weeks ago on my ’03 MC. Last weekend, the passenger side started acting up, but I guess I don’t have the “Fonzie” touch — beating on the door panel didn’t do anything but hurt my hand.

  • Angie

    Bob — non-power windows aren’t available, so you wouldn’t have had the choice even if you had known. But seriously, you would prefer crank handles on the possibility of the window motor maybe failing at some point in the future. C’mon…

  • Mini2Go

    My ’02 never had any troubles – and is still on its original windshield.

    I’d be curious if there is any correlation to be made whether the car is garaged or parked outside and if certain regions (weather/humidity) accelerate this failure or not??

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    Just a quick note for all those now worried about power window failures…

    After two MINIs and almost 3.5 years of MINI ownership I have yet to experience any issues whatsoever with my power windows.

  • Paul C.

    1/04 Built Cooper S, (Driver Side) mine started two weeks ago, thought it was the heat from where it happened. I drove to a cooler climate and boom, window worked fine. Happened again, last week, again from hot to cold, every-things fine again!! Fonzi Fix, on the next try.

  • Bilbo Baggins

    “Ian F / August 24, 2005 9:23 AM / Permalink Has anyone else experienced the window “studdering” when going down?”

    I have the same problem with “studdering” but not just going down but also going up. Doesn’t do it all of the time but about half of the time.

    Sometimes the drivers window, sometimes the passengers.

    My guess is a dry window mechanism. Next service I will have it looked at.

  • Bilbo Baggins

    “Mini2Go / August 24, 2005 10:32 AM / Permalink My ’02 never had any troubles – and is still on its original windshield.

    I’d be curious if there is any correlation to be made whether the car is garaged or parked outside and if certain regions (weather/humidity) accelerate this failure or not??”

    I could see that high temperatures would make things worse. The plastic would expand with the heat and loosen the contacts allowing them to be dislodged. Cooler temps would make the contacts tight again.

  • Mark

    I had my 04 passenger go out. The Mini tech he stated that the window motors that where in there and earlier windows are cheap and has since been changed, but they where still installing them until they ran out. My driver side is now acting up, time to get that one changed.

  • Joy

    I have a 2004 MCS (built in Nov 2003). My windows opened & closed OK in the winter but in summer, when it was hot, they screached and shrieked. The passenger side window made a scraping noise that accompanied the screaching. The first two visits to the dealer resulted in lubrication of the mechanicals which didn’t resolve the issue. The third visit got me a new set of motors. Problem solved!

  • Joy

    Sorry. It’s been a long day. That’s screeched.

  • http://www.minisofmiami.com Frank

    Fortunately, we haven’t had this problem occur in neither one of our MINIs (’02 MC and ’05 MCS).

  • http://www.minisofmiami.com Frank

    Oh and we are also on the original factory windshields. 😉

  • Siddhartha

    Ah, percussive maintenance, a long tradition in the care of British cars.

    Also of note in other fields of endeavor:

  • Siddhartha
  • LorenH

    My passenger side window acted up last summer, but began working again on it’s own. It is currently out again and I do admit, the Fonzie technique works, but only for a day or so.

    I have read in a few places (including MF) that it may be electrical, but I also feel as though it may be mechanical. After several iterative attempts to break the problem down to it’s root cause, I ultimately feel as though it is a fit/clearance issue as well.

    -Loren

  • Nathaniel Salzman

    For all those outside their warranty…

    I’d be curious to see which contacts were going out on these motors. Is it the interior contacts that reverse the polarity as the motor spins, or simply the external power connections? If it’s external power source connections, then the issue isn’t in the motor itself and it seems logical to me that a drop of solder on each would resolve the issue without replacing the motor. Obviously, if it’s in motion and internal to the motor then that’s not an option. If it were simply the motor hook-ups, however, a little solder would do the trick and worse case you’d have to heat them up again to get the motor loose if it failed internally. But how often does that happen?

    Again, if the failure is internal to begin with, then all that’s out the window (presuming it will go down). But to read the article and hear the descriptions of heat-relation to the problem, solder could be a quick, albeit semi-permanent fix.

  • Rich

    I’d much rather roll my own windows and save weight and complexity than all of this garbage. We pay about a $2,000 to $3,000 premium over similar cars and they can’t give us beefy motors?

    Anyway, kudos to the Motorer who makes his or her own aftermarket window motor for the MINI. They will sell like hotcakes. I’d be in line to buy them right now, even though my windows are working fine so far.

  • Z4MINI

    “I’d much rather roll my own windows “

    Oh no! The situation was much worse in the Classic Mini where you did have manual winders.

    The winders were so cheap you could practically rip them off the door.

  • Brendan

    BMW usually is pretty good about fixing problems with their cars. I think if there are enough mini folks, in and out of warranty with the problem they may do a recall of some sort eventually. Also if you people who are out of warranty call mini usa and politely explain the situation they may pay for the new motors. I think personally everyone who has this problem should call mini corporate customer service and at least raise the red flag. This way it will be more urgent. Make sure to ask that BMW re-designs the motor, not just replaces.

  • nervous

    I have a late build ’03 S. Passenger window stopped working & motor was replaced under warranty.

    I, too, been plagued with squeaky windows – the dealership “fixes” have not been permanent.

    I’m also experiencing some strange vertical streaking on the windows… anyone else?

  • Nathan

    It seems that 2004 and before models seem to have this problem. Does anyone with a 2005 model have this problem?

  • BIG BEN

    I also have the vertical streaking on the windows. I was assuming it was salt residue from winter road salt that is stuck down in the door where the window dissappears to when it is down. I have not been able to permantly get rid of this issue.

  • Lee L

    I literally set an appointment to have my Drives window fixed this morning.

    I had the passenger window fixed 2 weeks ago and this sweekend the drivers side gave up the ghost.

    Hendrick MINI in Charlotte was great about it and said they ahd seen a few lately.

  • HB 05

    Have a 2005 (Sept ’05 Build) and haven’t had the failure problem, but: – do have the vertical streaking issue – have squealing up or down, on both windows. No salt or snow to worry about : ) but in Southern California have hot/cold cycles from about 60F-90F every day of the year. Not garaged.

    [only other problem is the dash rattles, which is getting annoying. Otherwise, the car rocks!]

  • HB 05

    Whoops, should have said: “Have a 2005 (Sept ’04 Build)”

  • TSizemore3

    I’ve gone through two repairs on the driver’s side window and one on the passenger side. I was told by the service writer that BMW was having problems with the window lifts on other models also. He said it’s not unusual to see X5’s come in with plastic bags over the window openings – that the lift fails and the window suddenly drops into the door. At lease that’s not happening to us.

    After my last repair I was told that part of the problem was caused when for what ever reason the window stops indexing. If the window gets forcefully pushed down when trying to close the door, it can damage the motor and the lift. The cure I was given was that when I noticed the window not indexing, to leave the door open and roll the window completely down and then back up, and then the window should start indexing again. I must admit that since I have started doing that, I have not had another failure. It still kinda bugs me that it might fail again after I have driven out from under my warrenty.

  • Jen

    My Jan 03 MC just had the driver side window stop a few weeks ago. Never had a problem with windows at all prior to this. It just stopped – no warning, no shuddering, no streaking, just dead. Luckily, still in the warranty period. Since this happened I have asked around and found several folks on their second and third window motors, all 03’s and earlier

  • Aaron

    I had two motors replaced on my 2002 MCS, but haven’t had troublewith my 2005 so far. I have 11,500 miles and have had it close to a year.

  • HPuck35

    I had the window problem with my 02 MC after only about 6 months. Was very intermittent and only in the summer (I live on southern California). Every time I took it to the dealer, it worked great. Finally the passenger side started doing the same thing. I got so I would keep the windows down a half inch or so (at least) all the time so I didn’t have to rely on the “dip” when I closed the doors, becuase I would never know whether the windows would work or not. Finally happened to the tech at the dealer and then they finally replaced the motors and a control module in both doors. Good thing it happened then as I was at about 35,000 miles when they were replaced. It has been about a year and a half since and no problems to date. (I shouldn’t have pressed my luck and said that!!)

  • Vanwall

    Hey! We could back to the 2-piece sliding windows from the Mk 1 Minis! 😉 Actually, I wish the rear quarter windows popped open at the rear like the originals.

    I’ve had a regulator replaced under warranty on the driver’s side, and a minor persistant adjustment problem that I recently fixed myself, but that’s it. The regulator problem was corrosion related, and as it can get pretty hot here, I’ve not had any of the heat-related issues mentioned. Fingers crossed.

  • Fred

    Hi, I have a 2005 MCS, have the vertical streaking issue on the inside of both windows, it seems to go together with rainy weather? I had the the original windshield replaced once. Luckily No window motor problems…

  • Glassintrepid

    Ive had mine replaced too. Pain in the butt and kinda embarassing too.

  • terry

    just picked up an 03 S and have not experienced streaking, however i am experiencing the squeaking of the windows as they roll up/down.

    as for the streaking, sounds like you guys have a seal or molding that’s not secure inside the door. i would bet that this seal or mold is causing additional strain on the window motor and then ultimately wearing out the motor. does anyone have instructions on taking apart a door panel? i’d love to take some pictures and see if there’s some fixes that we can do outside the dealership. DIY fix.

  • F.R Walter

    Well after all the MINI is an English car and there is still a little Rover left in it.

    This reminds me of the old joke “Why do the English drink warm beer? The refrigerator is a Lucas.”

  • petsounds

    I’ve had this happen several times a few months after I got the car — in the summertime. Haven’t had it happen this summer at all (knock on plastic), which is odd considering it has gotten pretty hot here in LA.

    This used to happen ALL the time in my ’95 VW Jetta GLS, and with multiple windows. The “Fonzie” trick worked for a while, but eventually all you could do is wait it out. I was pretty disappointed to see it happen on the MINI, to say the least.

  • Ellen

    My comments about this are on the NAM that is currently rolling on this topic. I’m lns1122. LSS, pass motor replaced by dealer at 40+K under extended warranty. A few weeks ago at 58K, driver side wouldn’t open after being parked on a hot day in the sun … next day after being in garage all night it worked fine. Last week it happened again, also hot, also worked next day. Banging fist on door didn’t work.

    I agree with Brendan. This is a recall issue not a warranty issue. It has to do with the date of production and the version of motor installed NOT how many miles you’ve driven. Give me a break! If the powers that be just keep putting the same deficient motors in ‘because they have some left’ and we keep paying for them, then who’s the idiot?

    Also agree with Rich about after market opportunities, since my MINI is becoming more AM than OEM. I would pay for a reliable motor if MINI won’t fix their mechanical issues … but only after the next one fails and I lose the lawsuit … LOL

  • andrew Zimmerman

    this used to happen to me. how i fixed it was to close the door and hit the down window switch at the same time the door closed. somehow it tricks the motor into working again.

  • groland

    I’m on my third driver’s window and second passenger’s window motor/regulator. I live in Florida and the car bakes in the sun almost everyday while I’m at work, but is garaged at night.

  • Clete Baker

    Gee … ya think this is a pervasive problem? Look at all the commentary built up in just one day so far.

    My ’03 MCS had the driver’s side window go wonky at about 12k miles. It was replaced under warranty. I’m now at about 19k miles and the replacement is toast. With drive-in banks, coffee shops, fast food outlets, etc., it’s a real PITA when the motor goes south.

    Each time the motor spent about a week intermittently working before crapping out entirely, and no amount of “percussive maintenance” persuaded it to work once it quit outright.

    I’m about to schedule yet another 400 mi. trip to sick bay; I hope they’ve changed the design of the motor this time around, but from the tone of the discussion here I fear that won’t be the case.

  • Rich

    I had the problem on a ’98 Cavalier just before I bought the MINI. Obviously it was an older car so this was an expected problem. I had already gotten a window motor from a junkyard and thrown it into the front passenger door myself when that motor went. And it worked great to my surprise. However, it isn’t so easy with MINIs because first, they aren’t plentiful at junkyards yet. And second, because any window motor you get from a junkyard is just as unreliable.

    Anyway I think the current motors are a little bit too slow, so I’d love to have someone make an aftermarket solution. I’d pay up to $150 per motor to not have to deal with the problems I had on that Cavalier. These things should not be happening on a car thats this much “better” than the Cavalier in reliability.

  • Nate

    Heh… I’m glad it’s not only my car.

    Happens on my 04 MCS all the time. My driver’s side window will get stuck up and both windows squeak and squeal during operation. Occasionaly the passenger side window will make an awful cracking noise when it is rolled all the way up.

    What doesn’t help is the fact that my driver’s side interior door release is inoperable, so I HAVE to roll down the window to get out. Just imagine what happens when the driver’s side window gets stuck in the up position. Chaos.

    I’m over two hours away from the nearest dealer, but in a few week this should all be fixed.

  • Allison

    Well, before last week, I too could have written that I had no problems with either the windshield or windows on my 02 Cooper…but the windshield developed a stress crack and was replaced under warranty. No problems with the windows, however, the motor on the sunroof seems to struggle every now and again. Anyone else ever have any issues with the sunroof motor?

  • Jen
    Hey! We could back to the 2-piece sliding windows from the Mk 1 Minis! 😉 Actually, I wish the rear quarter windows popped open at the rear like the originals.

    This is a wish of mine too!

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    Anyone else ever have any issues with the sunroof motor?

    Yes – every spring my ’02 seemed a bit slow. The dealer simply lubbed it up and it always worked perfectly after that.

  • Dustin Tarditi

    Try a small amount of silicone lubricant in the tracks of the windows to prevent “stuttering” as it does up or down.

    The lube is avail at most auto parts stores – get the kind with the straw that fits on the nozzle so you don’t end up with a “slip-n-slide” MINI interior! :-)

  • Evan

    I had my passenger window regulator replaced after complaining about a rattle in the door, and now it’s fine. The window always worked. My driver’s window makes an occasional crunchy noise, but so far no probs, although i forsee the same fix for that side soon. I have a 12/03 build 2004 MC.

    If the motor’s are faulty, they should recall, but there’s probably a threshold for number and severity of issue…

    My window’s squeak when it’s dry outside or hot, a lube problem on the seals but too intermittant to do something right now.

    And I was sad last spring when I had to replase my orginal windshield- although I lost all of the pit marks.

  • Glenn

    Both driver and passenger windows on my ’03 MCS (22K miles) began “stuttering” – took my MINI in for service and they replaced both window motors to resolve the issue. Didn’t inspire a lot of confidence for me in the durability.

  • James Gaston

    My driver’s side window failed today, the first real problem I’ve encounterd with my 2003 MC. Fortunately East Bay BMW (Pleasanton, CA) has Saturday service appointments. Inconvenient, yes, but not disabling.

    Nevertheless, the MINI is such a wonderful car.

  • http://www.clubeminibmw.net/ Jorge

    Just wanted to thank you all very much for the tips, I just fixed my window which wouldn’t open :)

    The “reset method” resulted!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lounytoon L2

    This is ridiculous. I’m about to call the dealer to make an appointment to check my driver’s side window. This will be 2 visits per window now. The window won’t properly close, thus letting in rain, and won’t open, not allowing me to swipe my garage card without getting out of the car.

    I’m just a TINY bit frustrated.

  • Edie

    Thanks to Andrew Zimmerman!!!!! Closing the door with the toggle held down at the same time WORKED!!!! All the closed fist pounding and resets did nada but your remedy did.

  • Brett

    Does anyone know where to get the motor after market? Looks like I’ll be replacing one now that the warranty ran out. I found the power steering pump for 271.OO and replaced that in about 2 hours. Beats what some have paid!

  • Mark

    Everyone

    I have been sitting here reading this post in desperation after spending 1/2 hour lying on my back mucking around checking fuses etc for this problem. I had a chuckle about the “Fonzie Fix” but thought what have I got to lose …. so I went out to the car gave it one decent thump above the speaker and hey presto the darned window now works ! Many thanks to you all for the basic tip……. Next time, I’ll check the web first !

  • Jake

    I had my motor replaced when my car was still under warranty. Now both are acting up again. The “reset” with the toggle method works for me some of the time.

    I too have noticed that as soon as it started getting hotter, they started acting up. Is there anyone out there who has replaced the motors themselves? My car has almost 60k and I do not want to pay Mini to fix a problem that I feel should be a recall issue, especially since both motors have already replaced once already!

  • MCSCleveland

    When will this heat wave end? My Mini passenger window died two days ago and neither the reset nor the Fonzie fix worked. When I called the dealer I was told I have to wait a week for them to be able to fix it. And I am moving to another state by driving the Mini in two days! I am very disappointed with the service in Cleveland. Given that it is a known problem you would hope that the dealer would have a quick procedure to assemble and disassemble the door, that wouldn’t need a week’s advance notice and an appointment.

  • http://MotoringFile Rodger

    I was just about ready to take my MCS to the shop for the passenger side window not going down. I was told that it was the window regulator. Sure am glad that I came across this article, as I tried the fist tap above the speaker and it worked. Saved me between $250 – $350. Now can anyone tell me if the regulator and the motor are one in the same. Or should I just replace the motor?

  • Chip

    Brought my ’04 (mfd 7/03) to Spain with me. Service in Chesapeake was fantastic, however the warranty here is only for 24,000 miles/2 yrs. Passenger side window acted up last month. Stopped rolling down. My ten year old daughter was attempting to listen to where the relay was making noise and struck her head on the door above the speaker. The window started working. Drivers side started acting up today. Won’t roll down. No joy with the reset option. The quick strike above the speaker worked first time. I would really like to see a recall effort by Mini. A show of good faith would probably convince many Mini owners to be repeat customers. (If they do have a recall, I hope they either extend it to Spain or at least send me the motors).

  • siobhan

    I encourage everyone who has had a problem with the window motors to file a complaint both with MiniUSA and with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov As several of you have mentioned, a recall will only happen if enough folks bring up the issue. Note that the NHSTA does not have to have a minimum number of complaints in order to open an investigation, but it will happen much sooner if there are more complaints. Their online service for filing complaints walks you through the process pretty easily. Or you can call them. And they also have interesting information on Federal Code Title 49, Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. See Part 571.118 for power window information.

    I love my Mini, but safety is paramount.

  • Bebe

    Here’s one: the black plastic trim piece next to the windshield has cracked and has had to be replaced THREE times! I suspect the problem is this phantom failure of the window to conduct that micro-adjustment at the top causing it to “catch” on the trim next to the windshield and cracking it. I’ve had body shop people tell me they’ve seen this phenomenon in several other Minis–has anyone else had this experience??? My ’03 Mini is about to go out of warranty and I can’t keep replacing this @#$%^ trim!!!!

  • Trev

    Jackpot! I thought I was alone with my 03 Cooper driver door window. Which is on the right hand side of the car, me being here in England! But I’m not. My daughter once caused the window to fail by setting the eq on my stereo to ‘powerbass’ then playing some of her RnB rubbish, I thought my teeth were going to fall out it was such deep rumbling. Then I went to open the window and it was stuck fast. I whacked it with my hand above the speaker and it fixed it. So no more powerbass. Then I noticed the window was stuck shut again after we had had some rain. A couple of days later it was fine. Now summer is here, and it is more humid, it is stuck fast again. PITA as I was at the Nurburgring race track with it last week (did an 11.5 min lap if you’re interested, kept up with a Yam R6 on lap 2, yeehaa!) and I had to rely on the aircon the whole time. I’m out of warranty so my mate is going to have a look at it for me, he is ex motor trade and had suggested the problems above already, based on his mate who has a 3 series Beemer and who has had similar problems. Fingers crossed eh!

  • http://n/a Kelly

    My driver side window motor just failed in my ’06 MCS Convertible w/only 9K miles and only 6 weeks old. I have attempted to talk with MINI USA’s Warranty department about this issue several times over the last few weeks, however, MINI USA does not seem to be accepting any responsibility for this known MC window motor/regulator issue. I recently set up an appointment for warranty service for my window motor with Mini of Nashville, but would like to see MINI recall these window motors and replace our Mini’s with new “Beefier” window motors that work 100% of the time. I, too, would like to encourage everyone who has had these problems with the MINI window motors to file a complaint both with MiniUSA and with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

  • Shannon

    Thanks for the advice fellow MINI drivers. My “new to me” 2003 MCS driver side window was working fine this morning and then it wouldn’t roll down this afternoon. It was a warmer, more humid day today, I’m not sure if that’s related or not, since I haven’t had the problem before. Regardless, I tried the door pounding procedure and was not successful, but the hold the button down while shutting the door worked great. Hopefully it will continue to work! Either way, seeing as this is clearly a routine problem, I will be filing a complaignt with the NHTSA. Perhaps we’ll be able to convince them to get a better motor for our MINIs.

  • Andre

    I have an 03 MC and my driver side window was stuck in closed position. The reset din’t work, but a few taps with a closed fist made it move up and down again. Thanks for the tip! Andre

  • Kate

    I brought a 03′ Mini a month ago, but I’ve now got a problem where I come back to my car either after work or in the morning and the windows are about 1 sometimes 2-3 inches open when i have not opened the windows at all. Is there an easy cure for this?

  • Quillin

    My ’04 MINI has had the driver’s window fail 3 times now. I am no longer under warranty and am pissed because I just had to replace my driver’s Xenon headlight housing that mysteriously stopped working about 1000 miles after warranty expiration. That having set me back $1G and who knows what the window will cost, and given the fact that this is the third window motor failure and second headlight failure and my brake lights mysteriously stay one after I lock the car sometimes, I am seriously contemplating hawking the thing for fear of what is to come. I filed a complaint about the Window here: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov

  • Ajana

    After replacing my second passenger window motor in my 04 Cooper I tried the “Fonzie” method when it failed again and it really did work!! WHEEEEE!!! Here’s to percussion maintanence.

  • danfrom PA

    own a 03mc, was lucky with the tranny due to this websie, demanded they check it . found major problem ,7 days to warranty lapse had the tranny replaced (phew) today,, driver’s door window unmovable and rang mini of the mainline in Philly and told me I needed a new motor at a replacement cost of over $300 just for the part..pissed, tried the reset ,no joy then the Fonzie and to my relief it worked..Thanks guys. will be also be complaining to NHTA.dot.gov. Thanks again..

  • danfrom PA

    sorry my MC is a 04 not an 03 ,I don’t think it matters other then he fact I have about 30’000mls on the clock..I should also mention large amounts of water on the passenger floor, discovered that the water running from the roof escapes through a gully into a tube which is in the door and can sometimes detache and the water will run into the floor of ur MC….really thinking of moveing to a Japanese car..very disapointed..loved the MINI but not this one.

  • Garth

    Fonzie fix in hot, stickie SC for the win. Thanks for the “tap.”

  • Laura

    04 MC and hot sticky FL here; the shut-the-door-while-pressing-the-toggle-down trick fixed my driver’s side window that wouldn’t roll down (I also had the problem where the window didn’t adjust when I close the door, leaving a gap between the window and the car). Beating on the door didn’t work, nor the reset option. I have had this problem before, and had the passenger window motor replaced under warrenty. Ironic that it happened again today because I just received my title in the mail!

  • sharon

    Yay! It WORKS! I just purchased a 2003 used MINI and was horrified yesterday when my driver’s side window froze just short of closing. You know how the windows are designed to open/close to accomodate the seal? I noticed the window wasn’t closing any longer.

    Just now my 16-year old son and I experimented using the “closed fist on the door” method, and it WORKED!

    I know it’s s stop-gap measure, but boy–are we happy (for the moment)!

    Thanks!

    :)

  • Ryan

    Here’s a different one. Driving down the road tonight the driver’s window started oscillating between the up position and the 1/2″ down position and the dome light came on while driving. I checked to make sure the door was completely closed, it was. I pulled over, turned the car off and on again and it was still doing it. It seems to stop for about 3 minutes then start up again. Up, down, up, down… I had to disconnect the battery for fear of it running down overnight.

    Anyone had this problem yet? Anyone know how to fix it?

  • William

    Bought a used 2004 MCS (manufactured 10/2003) about a month ago. Driver’s side window locked in “up” position, tried resetting dip…nothing. So tried the Fonzie bump and it worked! Actually had to hit the door panel pretty hard to make it work. Just before the window froze up, I was listening to the sound system pretty loud. Any correlation?

  • http://MotoringFile Bill Watkins

    My 2002 Mini S driver’s side window would not lower. I found that there was voltage to the motor. I removed the motor by reaching up thru the speaker hole, removing the 4 screws at the motor flange which allows the stator can to be lowered exposing the rotor. By turning the rotor clockwise, the worm will unscrew and the rotor can be lowered. I found that the commutator was dirty, but the brushes were in good shape. I cleaned it up, reassembled and it works fine. This is not brain surgery, it’s more difficult than that. You have to work by feel with occasional updating with a mirror and flashlight, but it is possible. Mostly it requires patience; it took me about 5 hours.

  • http://MotoringFile Bill Watkins

    The reason that the window gets stuck in the up or down position is that the motor brushes stop at a position where conductivity is lost due to oxide on the commutator that develops from arcing. Bumping the panel above the speaker may jar the motor enough to cause the rotor to turn slightly to a more conductive spot.(This didn’t work for me however) The long-term solution is to remove the oxide as stated above. It requires a long T-handled Allen wrench to do the job. I put the rotor in a drill press and cleaned it with a fingernail file.

  • Becky B

    My 02 Mini has had the window motor problem for at least two years. I read about the “beat the door” technique and it got me through for a long time. Living in NH I can agree the problem only happens when it is hot outside. I am sad to say two days ago it happened agin and beating the crap out of the door has done nothing to help. I also cannot hear the clicking sound when I press the toggle so it is time to replace the motor. I was hoping they would come up with a new motor style by now to prevent this problem. ;-(

  • Kay S

    My ’02 Mini driver’s side window started acting up about a year out of warranty. At first it was that the door didn’t close properly because the window didn’t dip. Then, like others have posted here, I could reset or beat the door and it would work. It ALWAYS works in my Chicago winters, but has totally stopped working when temperature goes up in spring. I wrote to Mini because I feel this is a design flaw. They told me to take it to a dealer to see what the problem is and they’d see what they could do. Bottom line is, dealer offerred a 10% discount on a $360 repair. Mini USA said regional manager could not do better than that. I declined their offer, will take it to my local mechanic who I think can do the job and to whom I’d rather give my money. I’ll also follow up with another letter to BMW/Mini and this time include a list of all my previous cars which I owned a minimum of 10 years and NEVER had an automatic window failure. Love my Mini, but not the BMW/Mini suits or service.

  • Charliecolwat

    Edie Oct 22nd, 2005 Link Thanks to Andrew Zimmerman!!!!! Closing the door with the toggle held down at the same time WORKED!!!! All the closed fist pounding and resets did nada but your remedy did.

    Yep! Worked a treat on my 2001 model – thanks!

  • Bill Watkins

    KayS &Charlie…: If you look at my 2 messages above you will understand what the problem is and how it can be fixed. Mine works perfectly now.

  • Kay S

    Bill Watkins,

    Thanks. I’ll give your instructions to my mechanic. I’m don’t think I have 5 hours worth of paitence :-}

  • T D

    I have the same issue, brought it tot he dealership and they said that mini has a new bulletin for this issue, and if needed they will replace the module. But the update does check the entire car to make sure it is factory, (including the carp AMP). If you have replaced the amp with a third party amp. the update will stop and fail. I am have repalced the stereo amp and am having this issue. The dealer is stating that since I have changed the amp I am the one preventing the upgrade to fix the windows… So just a warning of what to expect with this window fix…..

  • Rob

    Thanks for the tip! Just banged right above the speaker on my 02 Mini Cooper S and it is now working. Thanks for saving me $500. Lets hope it lasts.

  • christine

    my 2002 cooper s doesn’t respond to the fonzie-fix. It is winter here in Australia – days are currently around 15 degrees celsius, car is garaged and my driver’s side motor seems to have died. Planning on a newer model replacement motor at this stage, probably will do the work ourselves. Glad to know we are not alone !

  • Bill Watkins

    Christine: Look at my postings on March 4th and 9th 2009. You don’t need a new motor, it’s just as easy to fix the old one.

  • Sharon Alexander Green

    I have an ’05 Mini convertible with this window issue. It’s out of warranty and I’m going to wait until I hear that there is a replacement that doesn’t have this same problem. It is also not working when it’s hot, which is really aggravating because you can’t put the top down unless the windows will go down. I’m excited to try the “hitting the door” technique next time it’s stuck.

  • http://N/A Graeme

    I have added the below for those of you not having any success with the good tricks suggested above. My 2003 ’53’ Cooper S (UK) passenger side window had the same problem; no movement when window switch was pressed. I first thought it to be the fuse, so replaced that. No change; window motor just clicked as I pressed the switch. The motor was probably clicking before I changed the fuse, but I did not notice at that point. I then found some forums on the problem. I tried holding both window switches up for 20 seconds and then down, etc, but nothing changed. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, but no change. I tried thumping the door around where the window motor is positioned. No change. I then, with extreme reluctance, went to my local BMW Mini dealer to see what they recommended. Of course their recommendation was to open my wallet, bend over and think of Scotland! BMW Mini, instead of deducing pretty quickly what the fault was likely to be from a vast history of experience with this common problem, wanted to hook the car up to their diagnostics PC for a FULL vehicle check; £80 + VAT. So, I’d be near £100 worse off and would only have a confirmation of the fault to show for it. i.e. nothing would be repaired at this point.

    BMW Mini would then be asking a further £70 + VAT for a new window motor, or £140 + VAT for the regulator together with 1 to 2 hours labour on top of that for fitting (a further £80 to £160 + VAT). To be fair to BMW Mini, the parts would come with a 2 year warranty, so if like a few other Mini owners have found, the problem persists due to a motor/regulator design fault, I’d at least have a bit of comeback.

    Needless to say, I left the dealer to have another crack myself. I took off the door panel. This only required the removal of the three torx screws around the interior door handle + the torx screw under the clear reflector near the door lock/unlock indicator pin. It was then a case of prizing the panel away from the door. Not an easy task, but it does pull straight off, away from the door with a bit of persuasion. Prying tools are probably best, but not having any myself, I tackled it with my bare hands. There are a few areas on the door where you can get good leverage to free the panel clips. Try gripping the panel with both thumbs and forefingers and lever/push against the door with your other fingers.

    After the panel was removed, I could see what I was dealing with and that I didn’t want to go pulling things out in case I broke something and then required urgent BMW Mini Dealer attention…..££££££!

    I tried the ‘Fonz’ trick again, but the motor did not budge; even holding the switch, starting the car and hitting the motor simultaneously would not work for me. I was about to admit defeat and book the car into BMW Mini, but then gave this last thing a try. I grabbed one of the regulator cables, just at the point before the cable goes around the white (or green in some models, I believe) sheave/pulley at the bottom of the door on the front-most of the two black window guides (i.e. window guide nearest motor). I got a good grip of the cable and tugged it each way as I started the car then pressed the window switch………………..hey presto! The window went down. I really don’t know if my regulator or motor are on their way out, so I may have to replace either or both at some point soon. One point I noted was that the window runs up and down a lot smoother than before. Previously the window ran rather juddery as if on a dry mechanism. I am unclear at the moment what my yanking of the regulator cable has actually done for the motor or regulator, but hopefully it all works for a wee while.

    I have looked at second hand motors and regulators, which are £40 for the full assembly. Nice idea, but the second hand parts may already be in the same state or worse as my current parts. If I was going to the trouble, I think I’d rather have new parts installed (with a warranty).

    Anyway, I hope this helps someone out there and keeps you away from the expensive dealers for a little while at least.

    Good luck.

    • Charley1952

      Pull the panel and lubricate the regulator tracks. You may find is fast and easy.

  • Bill Watkins

    Graeme: Instead of thinking of Scotland, look at my postings above.They describe the problem and the solution. I fixed both of my windows and they both work perfectly and it cost nothing but my time. The second one took me about two hours.

  • KayS

    Just thought I’d share the news that my driver’s side window has started working! I never did bother to have it looked at after BMW/Mini wanted $350+ to install a new motor. It has always worked fine in winter but quit when the temp got up to 80 or so. Last year when we barely broke 80 it didn’t work. This year when we’re consistently close to 90 it works. Don’t know why. Now each time I get in the car I hold the lever UP wait for the drop and then close the door. It’s working for now…

  • Jonathan Davies

    My 52 Plate Mini Cooper S drivers side window recently stopped working and its been an absolute nightmare, i have just read the threads and have just successfully applied the “bang the door just above the speaker with your fist fix”, packed the haynes manual away now.

    Cheers!

  • rip

    From 2005 to present, I’ve read all the posts for the drivers side window problem. 2003 cooper. Tried the bang above the speaker. Fist sore. Need to know more about the “reset solution.” Before I kick the panel anymore. I haven’t even looked at the fuse because I hear a click when I engage the down button. I’m tempted to try the close door at same time as press button…but is this a permanent fix? And who protects Canadian Mini owners? How do I reset my windows before I beat my car up?

  • Jeff

    I have a 2002 MSC, built in August 2002- I have had the passenger door window stuck up for a few months. Just read this blog before ordering parts, tried the reset- did not work, tried shutting the door while holding switch- did not work, then tried hitting the door above the speaker while holding the switch down- AND IT WORKED. Thanks to the many who mentioned the Fonzi Fix.

  • Lee

    I have an 02 S and replaced at the dealer my passenger window and lock actuator at the same time almost 1 1/2 years ago. 2 months later my drive side window stopped going down. It came back alive a week later for about two days. I never had it repaired as I am always out of town and it was not a priority. I was looking for parts today and found this forum. I tried the banging above speaker and no change. I then tried the closing of the door at same time as activating window and after all this time it’s working again. The moral of the story is: If it’s not under warantee try to not give BMW money for over priced sometimes cheaply manufactured parts. My 2002 JCW S is still as fin to drive as it was 8 years ago.

  • Xellerx

    My 2004 drivers side window went dead so I ordered a new window regulator, motor, guides the whole assembly. Replaced the window assembly which was pretty easy but no fix. The window still acts like its in a bind or something. I am completely baffled as to why this didn’t fix. Any takers on why this didn’t fix? Also after install the switch operates the window backwards, window up hold switch down, I don’t know!? Going to return part and see if that makes a difference.

    • Xellerx

      The cables to the assembly was all frayed and destroyed unfortunately pounding on the door wasn’t going to fix mine. Also, found out buying a cheap motor is not a good idea. Purchased factory motor and assembly and everything works now FINALLY!

  • Johncoote69

    My girlfriends Cooper S Mini driver window was stuck – after reading a few firums – i bashed the door a few times with my fist between the 2 sets of speakers – and VOILA – the window now works! Amazing tip!

  • RonJ

    i have a 2005 MC super and the passenger door window was stuck in the up position for about 6 months.  could hear the click noise when ignition was on and pushed down on the window button, but the window would not budget and the auto retracting didn’t work.  just read about some of the interesting quick fixes on this website: first tried the ignition on, window button held down while closing the door but it didn’t work;  second, tried the Fonzie method and it worked.  thanks for the help.

  • Keefwindas

    just tried all above methods and hey presto nicsh!

  • Tony

    Had the motor replaced but when driving there is a very small gap and as speed increases a lot of wind noise. Garage state there is no more adjustment

  • Black

    I started engine, pushed the window lift button for 10 sec, the window now works again Thanks all