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
Written By: MF Reader

  • 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.


  • 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

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