Frequently Asked Questions

Have A Question About Your Mini Cooper?

How often do you need to change the oil in a Mini Cooper?

San Diego Mini Cooper Independent Garage recommends Mini Cooper owners to get an oil inspection from new purchase of mini (0 miles) to 30k miles you can change oil between 5-7k miles maximum. From 30k to 60k its 5k maximum before getting an oil change. Lastly from 60k and beyond we recommend every 3k miles.

*Note: Every 1k miles after the 60k miles, your Mini’s oil should be inspected and topped off as needed (if you want your car to last more than 100k miles.)


How do I check the oil level in my Mini?

All models prior to 2015 oil dip sticks must be present and checked before car has started for the day (on a cold engine) the level needs to read between the center of the low and high of the dip stick marked form the factory. Add accordingly.

What oil should I use in my Mini Cooper?

MINI has a list of recommended synthetic oils that are safe for your MINI vehicle: MINI High Performance Synthetic 5W-30 Oil (must be LL01 certified) it will be mentioned on all oil containers with mini cooper specifications no matter what brand or type of oil. This is the most highly recommended option, as it is used by MINI themselves during a MINI Oil Change and is even listed with other MINI Cooper parts.

LL01 Certified Oil

DO NOT go by name or brand. As you can see Long Life 01 or LL01 oil is what is recommended by us. This is the factory recommended oil. 

What are the common problems with Mini Coopers?

2002 -2006

  • Front Radiator Support / Brake

     due to customers negligence coming too close to curbs or climbing over obstacles and hitting parking curbs by keeping the car away from the obstacles. To remove and replace front radiator support, front end of the car must be removed including radiator condenser, bumper and grill (approx cost $1500)

  • Electric Power Steering Pump:

     because of defective power steering pump, shorts occur internally due to hydraulic S11 fluid that leaks from power steering hoses onto pump either causing top malfunction or catch on fire. Mini’s with this issue was on recall but is expired since.

  • Transmission failure on non S Mini Cooper models

     was called a CVT transmission. This transmission was an excellent transmission and the only reason it had a bad rep was because the dealers claimed to have lifetime fluid and were not required to be serviced which was completely false. This transmission should have been serviced every 60k miles and failure to do so caused it to malfunction and break down. On S models the exact same problem occurred and to this day the dealers still claim mini transmissions have lifetime fluid not disclosing that the lifetime of the transmission fluid is 60k miles and not the life of a human. (100 years)

2007 – 2013

  • Movement in the Timing Chain Can Create Noise and Vibration:

     due to delayed oil changes or oil starvation. (low oil) Timing chain rattles mainly because hydraulic tension-er stops working due to no oil pressure. Normally consumer negligence is the cause. The average cost of this repair ($190 after all things considered)

  • Variable Valve Timing (VVT) Issues:

     caused normally due to oil shortage delayed oil changes and poor maintenance in some engines there are 2 pulley which can cost anywhere from $1500-$2500 in repairs.

  • Water Pump and Thermostat Housing Leaks:

     the water pump on mini coopers were originally plastic and were not able to withstand temperature changes and fluctuations therefore cracked. To try and fix this issue they were modified to an alloy pump and are only designed to operate for 60k miles. The avg cost of repair ($165 for pump, $55 for water pump pulley, $45 for drive belt if needed $25 for coolant and $330 for labor).

  • Thermostats are not faulty there were only designed to operate for the duration of the mini service which is 3yr or 30k miles otherwise would crack or cause a fault code. (check engine light) avg cost 175 thermostat, $25 coolant, $330 labor plus potentially needing a water pipe which connects thermostat to water pump. ($85)
  • Clutch Failure: (2002 – present)

     are generally due to consumer negligence, operating incorrectly or used on track as a race car. Riding a clutch pedal or delayed removal of foot on the clutch pedal are most common premature clutch failures.  Mainly mini coopers are all teenager dream cars and always end being the car most young mini enthusiasts begin to learn how to drive a stick shift vehicle on.

Fuel pump and high pressure pump failures. (2007-2014)

In many cases mini cooper will hesitate and have multiple misfire codes and run really rough and stall at cold starts and in some cases will run rough even when warmed up.

This is  a classic case of a bad high pressure fuel pump that was recalled and defective on mini’s. The warranty was extended for this problem 10 years 120k miles for no charge by dealer. To repair out of pocket this repair will cost $220 labor and approx $1000 in parts in some cases even higher.

In tank fuel pump normally last 120k miles and if this fails the car will shut down and not start at all. When ignition turns no response from in tank fuel pump. This repair is generally $450 for pump and $330 in labor.

Fuel pump shorts out and burns out body control module / fuse box on the passenger side kick panel because fuel pump relay is actually embedded in the fuse panel and is not a separate relay. The cost will generally include in take fuel pump $450, fuse box panel $400 and $550 in labor. Because this requires programming after installation is completed.

Ask A Question

Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Hit the button below and ask us any question you may have about your Mini. We have experienced technicians ready to answer all your qyestions.

Ask A Question

Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Hit the button below and ask us any question you may have about your Mini. We have experienced technicians ready to answer all your qyestions.