The Mini Cooper has existed for three generations and is currently in its 3rd. This article and video reviews the top 5 Mini Cooper problems owners have experienced with the 2nd generation, years 2007 to 2013.
Common 2nd Gen 2007 to 2013 Cooper Mini Problems
1. Valve Cover Leaks
Symptoms of Valve Cover Leaks
- Oil leaking from the valve cover
- Oil leaking onto the exhaust
- Smell of oil burning
Causes of Valve Cover Leaks
Oil is known to leak from the valve cover, and especially at the corners. It may also fall on the exhaust, and you might smell oil burning.
How to Fix Valve Cover Leaks
You might be able to replace just the valve cover gasket, but often the valve cover that’s made of plastic can brittle and warp over time. You might want to replace the entire valve cover, and to do this you’ll need to remove the 10mm bolts from the cover and remove the coil packs.
2. Coil Packs
Symptoms of Faulty Coil Packs
- Engine running rough
- Check engine light on and possibly flashing
Causes of a Bad Coil Packs
The ignition coil is what gives the spark plug its spark. The spark plugs could have failed and been neglected, causing the coil to fail since it needs to work harder.
How to Fix a Failing Coil Pack
There are four coil packs since it has a 4 cylinder engine. Disconnect the connector grab the coil pack and twist it back and forth and slide it out. Replace spark plugs at the same time.
3. VVT Solenoids
Symptoms of VVT Solenoid Failure
- Check engine light for a vvt-related code
- Horsepower loss at low rpms and high rpms
Causes of Problems with VVT Solenoids
The VVT solenoids are valves that control the valve variable timing, and the computer controls them electronically. You may experience horsepower loss at lower or higher rpms depending on how the valve has failed. These typically fail because there’s a lack of oil in the engine, but dirty oil can also cause problems with the VVT solenoid. This usually happens from the oil not being changed regularly. If theres not enough oil, it wont reach the solenoids and they wont be able to work properly and causr the valves to fail.
How to Fix a Defective VVT Solenoid
One VVT solenoid is located next to the exhaust manifold. Another is located on the backside next to the intake manifold.
To prevent this problem, change the oil regularaly at the recommended intervals.
4. Water Pump Failure
Symptoms of a Failing Water Pump
- Coolant dripping on the ground
- Engine overheating
Causes of a Bad Water Pump
If coolant is leaking near the water pump, and o-ring in the crossover pipe in the back could be leaking, but the water pump is known to be the cause of this problem on the mini cooper. You might also want to replace this pipe when replacing the water pump
How to Fix a Defective Water Pump
The water pump is located in the passenger side wheel well. Consider replacing the crossover pipe seal or the entire pipe that is known to leak while your working on this area and replacing the pump.
5. Door Latches
Symptoms of a Bad Door Latch
- Doors might not open from the outside or inside
- Door locks itself
- Door may not unlock
Causes of Problems with the Door Latch
Door latches are known to fail and might cause you to have to open the door from the outside to get out of the car.
How to Fix Door Latch Failure
Replace the door latch.