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MINI Cooper Care & Maintenance

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
Routine care and maintenance keeps your MINI going longer! Share your maintenance schedule and ask questions here.

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  • I am finally ready to place my order for an S and I have a question. Is anyone using synthetic oil such as Mobile One? I live in Vegas and would like to know if this is a wise choice given our 100 degree plus heat. Dan
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    The Mini comes from the factory equipped with Castrol Synthetic motor oil and that or Mobil 1 is suggested by Mini for oil changes. Your Mini comes with 3yr/36k free maintenance and the oil/filter changes are @10k intervals under factory recommendation. No more worries!
    Motor on......

    Ray T
  • I've read a great deal about how people take care of their MINIs...

    What do you all use and do you have any suggestions for your basic, lazy, person who doesn't want to get into too much "detail"?

    I've heard of Autoglym, Meguiars, Mother's, etc. but they all seem very much geared to the nonlazy types.

  • rochamboerochamboe Posts: 1
    I have owned my Cooper S for about a month now and have roughly 2700 miles on it. My question is regarding the changing of the oil and filter.

    I am aware that the car uses synthetic oil which is recommended by MINI to be changed every 10,000 miles at its time of scheduled maintenance. I admit that I am not very familiar with the unique qualities of synthetic oil, having been a "normal" motor oil user for the life of my previous car, but despite the improved quality of the synthetic oil I have my doubts about leaving it in for 10,000 miles (these doubts have been reiterated one-hundred fold by my dad, a serious car guy who has been taking care of his own cars and, needless to say, changing his own oil in 3,000 to 6,000 mile intervals his whole life). Even if the oil itself doesn't break down as quickly, it still collects as much dirt and grime as the old-fashioned kind. Isn't this dirt which builds up in the oil still going to put unneccesary wear on the engine sooner than the 10,000 mile boundary? Are there any other MINI owners out there who change their oil at shorter intervals and/or would recommend doing so?

    Thank you!
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Mini will not change your oil for first service any sooner than the 10k mark under their maintenance schedule. Then after that its by the countdown clock built in to their computer which calculates for your drivng conditions. If you want it done sooner you'll have to pay for it. I personally felt the same as your dad initially and was of the "old school" thought too with oil changes, I did them every 3 to 5k on my cars, not anymore. The new synthetic oils are incredible and so much better than the ole dino juice oils. BMW's, Corvettes and many others now come standard with them from factory for a reason, their superior performance which has been time tested.
    Tell Dad times change with better products.
    I do however change the oil in my Mini after every 15k, that to me is enough miles, my countdown clock says I can still go another 2 to 4k but I draw the line there.
    I have 56k on my 03 Cooper and have done 2 of the 4 oil changes in its life myself so far with no issues.
    Take advantage of the syntech oils and delay your changes until recommended intervals, then take dad out to lunch with the money saved.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Are the Mini engines big oil consumers. With such long oil change intervals, have you found that you have to top up the oil several times between oil changes?
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    If you have a heavy foot (like me) yes I have had to add a 1/2 qt in between the 15000 mile oil changes intervals. I would not consider that heavy oil consumption by no means, but think of all the fun I'm having driving the daylights outta this car. Drive it like ya stole it ! :shades: Mileage also drops 30 to 33 mpg with a heavier foot. 56k and counting..........

    Ray T.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    You're right. 1/2 quart in 15,000 miles ain't bad at all1
  • The little register on my mini says - 9400. Am i to wait until it gets to 10,000 to take it in? How will i know?
    I feel so clueless about this stuff... help! :) :P
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    That means you have 9400 miles to go till the oil needs changing (it's a "countdown" clock). As stated before Mini does first oil change at 10k there after within 600 miles of the countdown clock run out. That's why you may see your next oil change done with 18k on the last change. It's based on how you drive. I commute 100 miles a day which is relatively easy miles on an engine compared to stop & go city driving which would shorten the oil change interavals.

    Ray T. :shades:
  • Thanks Ray...
    I guess the thing that confuses me is that it keeps increasing. Like it says -9400 but last week it was at -9000. It makes me thing im over my 9400. Will it be very obvious when it hits the number when its time to change?

    Again...Thanks for helping the clueless chick in the cutest car ever ;)
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Are you sure your looking at the countdown clock on display or your odometer mileage ? Maybe they set yours to count up but I don't think so.

    Read thru your manual and get aquainted with your new car, there are a lot of helpful miniizzums they go over as to how it all works...............

    Ray T. :shades:
  • I recently purchased a 1967 Mini S Cooper, Mark II. It has been sitting in a warehouse for 31 years ! If any one has some ideas as to what I should be doing to get it driving again please contact me. So far I have only drained the fluids. I'm not even sure what type of oil to use.
    The car has 12,389 miles on it and is in excellent condition, but has not been on the road since 1974.
    I would appreciate any advise you can give me,
    Thanks, mike in stw
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,388

    Congrats on your "new" acquisition. There are lots of books available on Mini restoration. Also, you can check out this website.:

    Good luck,

  • A sales person told me the MINI base model will run fine on regular unleaded. I can't confirm this on the websites I've checked. Anyone have experience with this or have some reliable information. My fear is he was just telling me what he thought I wanted to hear to sell a car.

  • mcallamcalla Posts: 1
    Two questions for you Ray. Do you know how to reset the counter and where do you get the correct wrench for removing the oil filter?

    Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.

  • Minis already have Castrol synthetic 5w30 in it.
  • First make sure you use 5w30 synthetic oil. It comes with castrol from the factory. The size of the oil filter housing is a 36mm. Using as shallow a socket as possible will help. Make sure you just loosen it to just past the gasket AND DO NOT REMOVE THE FILTER CAP UNTIL YOU DRAIN THE OIL. This will save you a very large mess to clean up off your car and garage. There is no reason to reset your counter as it will mess with your service maintenance plan. You can get the socket from a snap-on dealer or sears. Hope this helps a little.
  • Hes correct. It is actually a recommendation to run low octane fuel, as it burns faster than high octane fuel, if your vehicle tends to act like its going to die at idle. The reasoning for this is a purge valve(part of fuel evaporation emissions system) situation that creates a small vacuum leak thats not recognized by the DME(computer). So, all that said, yes its ok to run regular. And if your car runs funny at idle, there you go too.
  • mjn810mjn810 Posts: 2
    We just purchased a razor bluetooth enabled cell phone. Our salesman told us our 2006 cooper S was bluetooth enabled. Can anyone tell us how to get the phone working with the car radio.
  • rbell1rbell1 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know where a good place for body work is in the Hollywood area. I had a fender bender and my front bumper is pretty scratched up. It's one of those repairs that I will get vastly different quotes from place to place.
  • minitechminitech Posts: 11 can go back to mini dealer and tell the salesman that he is on crack!! The Mini is not factory equiped with a Bluetooth kit. There is a dealer installed kit available though. You can see it on dealership website under accessories..not cheap but it works. Dont expect crystal clear quality, but if you are used to any bluetooth product you know what I mean.

    If by chance I am the one on crack by telling you that your car does not have bluetooth already..
    goto settings on phone..connections..bluetooth..set up..find before hitting find me. You have to get car bluetooth into pairing mode. The dealer kit(which is what Im used to) goes like this..options..setup..pairing. Something like that. read manual..thats right off top of my head so if Im a little off..sue me. Now hit find me on phone-will tell you discoverable for 60 sec. on phone hit back..handsfree-phone will look for a should link. Minis are good about bluetooth link, unlike BMWs. once it has found device pair to it and there you go...if i left something wont work..keep trying. read manual. but i think i got everything.. good luck
    but i think your salesman is on crack...
  • macdpjmacdpj Posts: 1
    I purchased a mini 2005 in June of 2005. One month after owning the car it completely died in the middle of a busy bridge. I was stopped and tried to accelerate and it started sputtering and jerking then died. It was towed to the dealership where they said they solved the problem. It then occurred two other times with trips back to the garage. Since then I find it very jerky and, as someone mentioned, feels like it's about to die in idle. I've only used premium gas as the owners manual recommends this but the guys at the dealership did mention to use lower octane gas. Has anyone had this experience with their mini and does anyone know what is the cause because the guys at the mini garage don't seem to know.
  • esquaredesquared Posts: 2
    Don't know if this has been addressed else where, but I just bought a 2006 Mini S Convertible (WHICH I LOVE). Mini doesn't seem to recommend one product over another to care for my ragtop. Anyone have good recommendations? Its my first convertible (second Mini) and unfortunately I don't have covered parking so this is an issue.

  • eashleyeashley Posts: 8
    I change oil and filter every 5,000 miles, have 45,000 miles on my '03 Cooper, no problems whatsoever. Call it peace of mind insurance. I also drive lots of short-haul trips in Maine winter weather, so I figure that in to the stress quotient too.
  • Does anyone have any problems with noisy wheel bearings?

  • mhenderson1mhenderson1 Posts: 164
    After reviewing many MINI sites, one convertible care product that came up was called "303 Aerospace Convertible Top Care Kit". I found one site selling this product for at least around $21. I don't know the site address offhand, but you can google it, and type in "Superior Car Care". I also heard that "Leatherique" which is also sold by them, is a good solution for your leather or vinyl. I ordered some and I will tell you how well it works in the next few days. I also heard that BMW sells a solution for convertible tops as well. I believe they wanted at least $18 for the top cleaner only, and $69 for the entire kit.
  • esquaredesquared Posts: 2
    thanks very much for this. I will try this out this weekend and see what happens.


  • mmitch09mmitch09 Posts: 1
    Hi I have a question. My MINI's warranty recently expired and I want to do my own maintenance. My only question what do I need to do? I already have changed my own oil, but what else should I be doing. I know normal cars have certain times to change coolant and other things but the MINI is very different than your average car. So if you could offer some advice or a place to find that information I would be grateful. -mmitch09 :P
  • jackel142jackel142 Posts: 47
    I had spent the past 20 years as a service & parts manager for Mercedes Benz, and for Acura. I left the business a year ago due to the constant deception the company was forcing us to feed to the customers.
    Mercedes Benz came up with the 10,000 mile oil change back in late 97, the reason they did, was to lower the cost per mile of maintance of the car. The tests they performed were using european grade oil (not available in the US). When the cars began to "use" oil, We were told to tell the customers that it is "normal" and that anything less than 1 quart per 650 miles is within spec. THIS IS A JOKE! You try telling a customer who has spent $100,000 on a car that they need to add a quart of oil every 600 miles.
    The MB's also have up to a 8 quart oil pan. If you don't change your oil every 3000-5000 miles, you will have long term problems!
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