Official Starter Button Retrofit

Another DIY Friday here at MotoringFile. This week we’re featuring a pretty slick piece of kit that mimics the newer BMW and the upcoming MINI systems that use a button to start/stop the engine. It makes a little less sense in the current MINI with the standard key system, but anytime you can add a big round button that says “start”, we say go for it.

While we can’t guarantee our US readers will be easily get their hands on this kit, we do guarantee, you’ll at least know how to install it if you do.

[ MINI Start Engine Button ] Official PDF
  • BadBurro

    I want it.

  • Steve

    Any pics of the finished look?

  • Jim Harris

    Retrofitting a starter button would make no sense for any other car, but somehow for the MINI it has an appeal.

  • I’d like to see pics of the finished look as well.

  • Rocco Rocket

    So any idea of cost? Also do you think a MINI dealer in Italy would stock it?

  • Berthil

    Here’s a good picture:

    I think its a pitty the button has no lighting on it! I rather have the 1-series button where these is orange lighted text. But the dealer says he can’t swap them. Maybe I’ll have ago with this DIY 🙂

  • MHoltsberg

    I had it installed & love it..It just makes sense in my cabrio…I LOVE IT.

  • mfc

    is it April 1st already?

  • Max

    It would make more sense if the button was located on the other side of the steering wheel ala Honda S2000. After you switch on the ignition via the key, you can select start the engine while selecting first gear.

  • bluzeke

    Does the replacement Decor Trim Piece come in every color/style currently available or are you just stuck with the one finish? If so, I suppose you could drill out your current Trim Piece to accomodate the switch?

  • So where can the US MINI owners get their hands on this precious jewel?

  • Damon

    That’s ugly! We had a Honda S2000 and I hated the starter button. Makes no sense and is annoying. I would always get in the car, put in the key, turn it and then get frustrated that the car didn’t start. The button just adds one more step to starting the car.

    To save time the key ignition should be on the left side of the steering wheel or dash like on a Porsche. That way you can start the car and put it in gear at the same time. That is why a Porsche is set up that way, it saved the race car drivers time off the line.

  • hexproject

    where do i get the parts! haha.. the cool and worthless factor… my kind of DIY…



    From the Instruction Manual…………………………….

    To start a petrol engine.

    Switch on the ignition with your ignition key. Do not press the accelerator.

    Press the start button until the engine has starter, but for no longer than 20 seconds.

    If the engine does not start after your first attempt, for example if it is very cold or hot, press the accelerator halfway down and repeat the starting procedure.

    Also….there’s a typo, can you find it?

    Doesn’t Lexus have a system where you unlock the car then you just push start?

  • Doesn’t Lexus have a system where you unlock the car then you just push start?

    That is an option on new BMWs and will be one on the 2007 MINI…

  • Steve772

    When the instruction manual says….

    To start engine, have key with you (in your pocket) and just press start button, because the car will not start without the key being near the vehicle.

    Then I will buy it!

    My comment was the same earlier this week when I saw one that was like the one in the article at MyMini.

  • …I’ve seen the picture of the,”start button”,kit…can you kids say,”pimp my ride cheesy?” I knew you could,…

  • MINIDryvr

    Please anyone find out where we can buy this stateside…


  • O(=^=)O Capn

    Ha, my favorite the very last thing written:

    Do not remove the ignition key (1) if the car is rolling. The ignition lock would engine if you were to attempt to steer.

  • This is cool, but it is an extra step. I just wish there was a way to override the steering wheel lock as well.

    It would be worth it if all you had to do was insert the key and press the button (like with BMW and Rolls-Royce) or even better, just have the key near the ignition (like Lexus). I can’t wait to see how the 07 has this integrated.

    I guess I’m just being lazy wanting convenience over coolness.

    Does anybody have any pricing or availability? I might be able to look beyond the extra step if the price were right.

  • Ray

    I can’t see the benefit to mototing with all the extra effort. I think they should look at making the mirrors better or making the alarm standard. Heck even making the locking glove box standard issue. Give me some free stuff from the MINI store and avoid the extra work.

    But then again, what do I know. 🙂

    Humm… Maybe they can encorporate a smoke screen or an oild slick or ejection seat wings or…

  • Starter buttons = Cool in a gadgety sort of way. But man, does this look nasty. I like the aftermarket one much better.

  • Edge

    I discovered this on a while ago, well actually a friend did and told me about it because he KNEW I’d want it. I placed an order for it, it arrived at the dealer a short time ago, and I’ll have it installed soon. Unfortunately, it only comes in 3 dash colors – Anthracite, White Silver and Alu Patina… so it will probably require some extra labor to remove the button from the pre-fabbed dash piece, cutting a hole in my Hyper Blue dash, and transferring the button.

    Anyway, for those curious, here’s a link to it on

  • Edge

    Hmmm… I just noticed the VERY LONG LIST of part numbers in the install document… compared to the 5 listed on the RealOEM page… maybe they have added all those numbers to include the other dash colors? I must investigate. 🙂

  • Greg W

    As us old classic Mini people know, the first Mini Mark 1 had a starter push button on the floor on the tunnel just below the front edge of the seat cushion. Most old British cars has a push button starter.

  • Larry

    That button looks like something out of a JCW(hitney) catalog. No thanks!

  • KevinR

    Actually, it looks a lot like the Z8‘s start button…

  • Gregg

    Now, if they’ll just come up with a little pull thingie that puts the choke on for those cold winter mornings…

  • Steve

    FYI I found out a List price on the Kit. My father works for BMW so I had him look up the part numbers. It Lists retail at $256 plus labor. Sounds kind of expensive just for the cool factor oh having a start button.

  • hexproject

    $256.. that’s list.. i am sure you can get it for cheaper.. but for $256… maybe a arm rest more practical..

  • Steve

    Oh and by that price is from the same automotive group that owns Morristown Mini, which one of Motoring files sponsors.

  • Kev-e-Kev

    Has anyone ever installed the starter button that goes into the cigarette lighter socket?

    I think I saw it on or something and thought it was neat. Seemed to be a lot easier than installing the one in this article.