MINI Dealer Tests Torque Steering Fix

Updated: MINI hasn’t officially released this fix. The dealer alone was responsible for it and MINI USA has not released a torque steering fix and has not given dealers any information about this update. This fix was only done to one car as a test and the cost was to simply pay for the labor. That said (and here’s the real news) the simple task of updating a 2007 MCS with software for the 2011 MCS did eliminate the torque steer as hoped. For some background on the software (standard on all 2011s) check out this previous article.

After talking to a technician and service advisor, they agreed to experiment on my car. It worked and they have done a couple others since. The price of $165 was the labor to perform the update. Again this is only being done at one dealership at this time and will not be available at your local MINI dealer just yet. A free update on the JCW has not been confirmed by MINI USA.

We’ve reported previously on Motoringfile that the 2011 MINI mid-model refresh includes new programming to eliminate torque steer in the MINI range. This software update coordinates the traction, stability and ABS systems to counter and eliminate torque steer. We’ve seen the results first hand on MTTS and they’re impressive. The burning question remained, however, would this fix be retroactively installable on pre-2011 R56/R55/R57 MINIs? The answer appears to be yes!

We’ve received word that a software update will be made available to owners soon. Pricing is a little unclear. One of our readers paid $165 for the update but that could simply be an hour of labor charged from the dealer. If so it would mean MINI is handing out the update for free and allowing the dealers to tack-on whatever labor they typically charge for a software update.

Our sources also tell us that on their 2007 MCS, the update performs as promised: no more torque steer. There are still some unanswered questions (will JCW owners get this free for starters) but it’s available starting today.

See your local service advisor for more details and let us know how the update goes on your MINI!

Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • robble
    Driver of tuned R53 with much more torque than an R56:

    Really? Where is that person?

    I saw ryan say he has 260lbs torque in his highly modded r53.

    Funny that I’m hitting right at 270wtq with only a canned tune and intercooler. Alta is hitting right at 300wtq..

    The r53 may be great for upper rpm HP, but the r56 rules below 5000 rpm.

  • that.guy

    Sorry, Robble, let me be more precise: “Driver of tuned R53 with more torque than a stock R56.” Plenty of those people around.

  • pete

    … I wanted to learn about the fix, instead, I got to read useless comments about R53 vs R55.


  • robble
    that.guy Oct 6th, 2010 Link Sorry, Robble, let me be more precise: “Driver of tuned R53 with more torque than a stock R56.” Plenty of those people around.

    I still don’t get where you say “unexceptional low end torque of the R56″. I bet the R56 has more lots more torque at 2k rpm than your modded r53.

    pete Oct 6th, 2010 Link … I wanted to learn about the fix, instead, I got to read useless comments about R53 vs R55. awesome.

    Hi Kettle! Glad to see you had such an informative post that everyone wants to read.

  • that.guy

    @Robble Apologies if you still don’t understand my point. Clearly I am being inarticulate. I meant “unexceptional” as in there are other FWD cars on the market with as much or more low end torque than the R56 that don’t have massive torque steer issues. Or at least their owners don’t whine about torque steer so much that the manufacturers were forced to issue a software patch to cover up the problem.

  • lavardera

    I think the only thing that has been made clear is that it’s the R53 owners that whine about the R56 torque steer.

  • jbkONE

    I own an ’02 R50. Definitely no torque steer there. I took a 2009 R56 S for a test drive a few weeks ago and didn’t feel a hint of tq steer- I even let go of the wheel and it kept straight. I wish I knew what you were all talking about.

  • http://Motoringfile.com Art B

    I have just had the software downloaded in my 2009 JCW Clubman……The results have been interesting…..

    1. Although not mentioned as an anticipated change, I would put money on an even greater steering resistance increase with the Sport Button on.

    All settings on default…no sport button, no DTC…NO Torque Steer!

    Sport Button and DTC active: First several hard accelerations…NO CHANGE…all over the road…As I drove several more miles with several more starts, it seemed to “learn and re-adjust” to a level of not being present at all times.

    Example: Hard start in first gear, No Torque Steer, it seems to be ready for the hard torque at this stage…But shifting to 2nd and 3rd with hard acceleration ….the power/torque come on at different points in the power band, over-powering the fix to a noticable degree. It will squirel around a bit, but nothing like before the upgrade.

    On my 12 mile trip into work this morning I was hard pressed to motivate any Torque Steer at all.So…..

    At this point I’m satisfied with the results and the added resistance in the steering effort!

  • Greg Epperson

    So 3 days of comparisons between models, If you want the fix go check it out, if not don’t worry about it. No matter what model you drive we are all MINI OWNERS can’t we all just get along? We all love OUR mini’s for different reasons, stick/ auto, convertable/ hardtop. Mini owners none the less…

  • Pingback: Torque Steer Software update - MINI2 - MINI Forum()

  • Ray

    I’m running the Alta Stage 3. Dyno’d at 260ft lbs at the wheels. I’ll go with the mechanical locking diff when I replace the clutch. All this programming is going to slow the car down. Apply the brakes, let up on the electronic throttle, and there ya go. No torque steer. Come on now. Does Mini/Bmw think we are stupid? The only reason the JCW or MCS does have mechanical LSD is to save costs. Also this 1.6L is capable of so much more. Why is it so detuned?


  • DK

    Wow – Just had my dealer install the software update to my 2009 MCS R57 convertible (May 2009 Build Date)and the torque steer is TOTALLY GONE. I detect no fall off in performance or acceleration from a standing start and I can’t feel anything unnatural in the steering feel. This was more than worth the $160 the dealer charged!!! Amazing difference!!!

  • ArtD

    Can someone who has had the torque-steer software upgrade installed provide the name of the dealer.

    My MINI dealer wants to speak with a dealer that has already performed the upgrade before considering doing it for me.

    I have a 2009 JCW convertible, and the torque steer can be dangerous. I recently stepped on it aggressively to pass someone, and the torque steer pulled the car so vigorously to the right, I almost hit the car I was passing.

  • DK

    Mine was done by Global Imports in Atlanta, GA. The technician was Gabe. A friend also had his JCW reprogrammed by Global and he reported excellent results – no more torque steer.

  • ArtD

    Thanks for the help DK!

  • Anonymous

    So did this update get released? 

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