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MINI Cooper Care & Maintenance



  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    'A couple things about the screen instead of a solid piece:
    - does it cause the unacceptable heat in the car on a high-temperature day ( like 75 degrees or above). I live in San Jose (South Bay Area of CA) ?
    - does it bother the driver occasionally/frequently because the constant sunlight coming the glass/roof into the car ? or that through-light is minimal enough that it does not bother driver on most Sunny days."

    Yes, and sometimes, respectively to your 2 questions. The heat issue is real, especially after parking in the sun for awhile. And the Mini's A/C is not the most powerful unit around!

    The advantage of the mesh screen is that you can open the moonroof, but pull the screen shut. And you'd get the ventilation and extra light, but prevent leaves, cigarette butts and other debris from flying into your car.
  • morgan5morgan5 Posts: 13
    I had the same dilemma, I wanted a non-sunroof car, but since I was looking for a used 2006, I pretty much had to choose from what was available. In the end I got a great S with a sunroof. I did two things which addressed your concerns. First, I went to a tinting shop and darkened the roof glass, but it still got pretty warm during the summer here in Virginia Beach. Therefore, I then bought insulated sun shades (I believe it was from Mini Mania, check online catalogs) for the two glass roof panels. They are just like the ones you use to protect a dashboard, but these are sized to fit perfectly in the roof openings. They are held in place by the sliding screen.

    The shades work great, they keep out the heat (or cold), road noise and they are easy to remove and slide behind the driver seat when I want to open up the top. Although I was originally against the sunroof, I am glad I got one. Now that fall is here, there is nothing better than opening up the top during my daily commute.
  • See my post #115 on oil changes if you care about your car.
  • See my post #115 about oil changes if you care about your car.
  • I have owned a 2006 Mini Cooper for just a few months. The other day, the warning lite for a possible flat tire came on. I didn't have a flat but the drivers side door wouldn't open from the inside and now is doing that sporadically. Yesterday the check engine lite came on, but did not come on today. I live in N. Michigan and it had been really cold when I had the door problem. Should I be looking for something else?
  • I am down here in Indy and have the same problem with the door.
    What I have found out the the latch on the out side does not release all the way.
    I have pull the leaver out and it works fine. This only happen when it gets cold and a little wet.
  • I live in Florida where there are only two seasons, hot and hot as hell and I have the same issue with the door. Very frustrating, I have to roll down the window and open it from the outside or use the auto unlock. Been to the dealer once about it but the dealer is 50 miles away and I can not justify taking a day off of work for it.

    bitsies mom I have news for you, you have not purchased a 'high-quality' vehicle.

    Good luck though.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    We have an '07 Cooper and about a month ago the check engine light came on, but went off after about 3 on/off cycles of the ignition. It hasn't come back on, the car drives normal, so I assume whatever condition triggered the light is no longer present. :)
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 380
    We have had a recurring problem opening the passenger side door in our '03 Mini, but it's clearly related to very cold weather. It happens every winter, but only when the temperature gets below 10 degrees. The door cannot be opened from the inside or the outside. I suspect it might have something to do with the power locks, because when you try to open the door from the outside, the handle acts as if the door is locked. Has anyone else here experienced the same issue? Any ideas on how to fix this?
  • My did the same thing......What happens is the handle on the outside does not spring back. If you help it spring back you can get in and out of your car from the inside. I have not tried yet but I am going to use a dry lube and see if that helps.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 380
    Thanks much for responding, but it sounds like our car has a different issue. Our outside handle DOES spring back normally...just as if the door was locked. The good news is that the door is working again because it warmed up to 20 degrees where we are today. But I really would like to figure out a permanent fix as not being able to count on a working passenger door in extreme cold is a real pain. Anybody else have any ideas?
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 380
    In addition to my previous post on the passenger door not opening in extremely cold weather, when the temperature gets close to zero, both the windshield and headlight washers stop working (sounds like our car really hates cold weather, eh?). I always use washer fluid that is suppossed to work to 25 below, and don't have the same problem with our other vehicles. You can hear the electric pump(s) trying to pump the fluid, but no fluid comes out. When the weather warms up, the washers start working again. Anyone else have the same issue?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    That might simply be due to the nozzle openings being clogged with ice, or other debris.
  • ltqltq Posts: 28
    You might ask, how can ice form (see bodble2 answer) when I'm using -25degF washer flui? Well, I have seen high-methanol content used in washer fluids to achieve that selling point. However, when the weather is "warmer", or just over a long period of time even in the bitter cold, the methanol portion evaporates leaving the washer fluid right at the sprayer nozzle outlet, with low methanol content - Presto! Frozen fluid.
    You need to get the glycol-based fluid like Prestone. Unlike methanol, ethylene glycol will evaporate slower than the water portion, and therefore retains the anti-freeze properties at the nozzle. For exactly the same reason, this type of washer fluid will not re-freeze on your windshield (while the methanol-based ones do that, once the methanol evaporates).
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 380
    Thanks so much for your response, makes sense! Actually what happened was that the wiper washers started working again when the temperature went back over 20 degrees, but the headlight washers did not because one of the hoses on the underside of the hood blew off...I'm assuming from the pressure due to the headlight washer nozzles being blocked by ice.
  • Took my 2002 Mini in for an oil change at a garage that often services the car but has not done an oil change. 103,000 miles. Usual cost at BMW is $80, today it was $25. I asked if they had used snythetic oil and they said a 'semi synthetic'. Does that make sense? Then they said the wheel bearings on front driver's side are "very bad". $280.00 approx to replace. Does this all make sense? I've used this garage many times before for the Mini. Do garages usually check wheel bearings when they do an oil change?
  • I had about the same problem last week. Went to the dealer and they said the Intake Manifold had liquid in it. They cleared it and it runs fine now. I supposed extreme cold weather will make the water in the pipe to freeze.
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    Semi sythetic is good :shades: ,believe in it.
  • ltqltq Posts: 28
    The MINI specifies FULL SYNTHETIC only. You should not be using anything else if you are depending on the CBS to tell you when to do an oil change. Period. If you change at 3K or 1.5K intervals regardless, then it would seem that semi-synthetic would do OK.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 380
    I would be very suspect of any garage that puts motor oil in your car that fails to meet the manufacturer's spec without discussing it with you first. While I would agree with the other person who responded that semi-synthetic probably won't hurt your engine if changed much more frequently, if it were my car I would not take the risk. Do you know why Mini specifies full synthetic oil? It's very possible it's merely to extend the change intervals, but there could be other reasons that you are not aware of. One other thing, you did not mention that you have an "S" model with the supercharged engine, so I assume you don't, but if you do I would immediately demand they put the right oil in as a supercharged engine runs at higher tempatures that a full synthetic oil will withstand far better. Garages don't normally check wheel bearings with an oil change, but if the wheel bearings were that bad it's possible they might have heard something while moving the car, but if they were THAT bad chances are you would have heard something too. More typically you would have to drive the car at 30 MPH or more to notice a bad wheel bearing. You did not mention which bearings they replaced, but assuming they were the rear bearings $280 sounds may be time to look for a new garage!
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