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Section: Faults & Fixes

MINI Shortens Oil Change Interval

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes Apr 16th, 2012 35 Comments

A regular topic on White Roof Radio is our opinion that the factory-specified 1 year/15,000 (approximately) mile oil service intervals on the R56 MINIs are far too long. WRR co-host and MF contributor, Todd Pearson, snapped this photo of a window sticker on a recent MINI showing a new oil change interval of 1 year/10,000 miles. Given the number of R56s (and R50/R53s) that have had oil-related troubles, it makes sense that MINI would re-consider this interval. However, we don’t yet have any information as to exactly why MINI has dropped the interval back to 1 year/10,000 miles, which was the original service interval on the R50/R53.

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Quality Parts Matter

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, MotoringFile Garage Mar 22nd, 2012 22 Comments

This story comes to us from WhiteRoofRadio host and Detroit Tuned founder, Chad Miller.

The automotive aftermarket has a lot of great parts to offer. That said, not all replacement parts for your MINI are created equal. When your looking to repair or maintain your MINI, don’t just look at the price and go for the cheapest option. Many parts on the market are not made to the same high standards as what comes in your car from the factory. These substandard parts can actually cause damage over time. For example: oil filters. continued →

BMW/MINI Sued Over CVT Failures in Early MINIs

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, In the Press Dec 15th, 2011 28 Comments

It’s well known in the MINI community that the CVT automatic transmission used in the early R50s was — how shall I put this delicately — kind of a pile of crap. I don’t think anyone would dispute that it was a terrible transmission with a notorious reputation for spontaneous, premature failure and extremely expensive repair costs. Those issues are well known and oft mentioned on WRR. I don’t think anyone would dispute the reputation the CVT earned for itself, but the law firm of Baron and Budd is alleging more. The national law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against BMW claiming that MINI’s parent company knowingly cut corners on these early CVTs in an effort to rush the car to market, keep up with its explosive demand and keep its asking cost as low as possible. continued →

NHTSA Investigating MINI Engine Fires

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, Recalls/Campaigns, Safety Oct 17th, 2011 14 Comments

The Detroit News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the ’07-’08 R56 Cooper S after 12 complaints were filed, including five vehicle fires. At this point we can only speculate as to the cause of these incidents (as to whether or not they’re turbo-related), but it’s important to keep in mind that we’re talking about five cars in approximately 36,000 vehicles, with no injuries or crashes reported. So we’re pretty sure it’s safe to go ahead and drive your Cooper S to the office this morning. While only preliminary at this point, we’ll keep you posted on any findings this investigation turns up. Full story excerpt after the break. continued →


MotoringFile Interview: MINI Engineering Head Oliver Friedman & MINI USA Product Manager Vinnie Kung

MotoringFile Sections: Diesel, Efficiency, Faults & Fixes, Podcast, R60 (Countryman), R61 (Paceman) Jan 11th, 2011 11 Comments

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Todd and I sat down with head of MINI Engineering Oliver Friedman and MINI USA Product Manager Vinnie Kung today at NAIAS 2011. We hit all the topics as requested:

  • Paceman
  • JCW (lack and standard equippment
  • Hot turbos and engine issues
  • 3 Cylinders
  • Stop/Start tech
  • Clean diesels

In short we didn’t hold back on the tough questions. But we also had a great time chatting with two people that are clearly passionate about the MINI brand. continued →

BMW Recalls Fuel Pumps. MINI Does Not.

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, R56 (Hatch), Recalls/Campaigns Oct 27th, 2010 30 Comments

Recently an owner outcry over engine issues caused BMW to recall the high-pressure fuel pumps used in some 130,000 turbocharged ultimate driving machines. With similar systems and similar complaints from some MINI owners, some expected the same action from MINI. According to Jalopnik, the word from MINI spokeswoman Nathalie Bauters is that there will be no similar MINI fuel pump recall because the turbocharged R56 Cooper S actually uses a different fuel pump than the one recalled by BMW. Still worried? In July, MINI extended the warranty on these high-pressure fuel pumps to 10 years or 120,000 miles for ’07-’09 models. That, according to Bauters, is why there will be no MINI recall at this point. Though that may be cold comfort for folks experiencing issues. Is this a widespread problem? It’s discussed here on NAM. Any MF readers having fuel pump issues?


MINI Dealer Tests Torque Steering Fix

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Oct 4th, 2010 66 Comments

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! continued →

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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