The valve cover gasket on the Mini Cooper keeps oil from leaking as the engine floods the lifters and valves with oil to keep them moving smoothly. You also know the valve cover as the location where you add oil to the car. When the gasket goes bad on the valve cover, it will begin to allow oil to leak out around it. This can also happen if you open the valve cover and then pinch or tear the gasket when taking it off. It takes only a few minutes to replace the gasket on the Cooper.
Disconnect the negative cable from the battery using a wrench to loosen the nut on the terminal. Remove the spark plugs using a socket, ratchet and extension.
Remove the nuts holding the valve cover in place using a wrench. Lift the valve cover away from the mounting surface. Peel the old gasket material away from the valve cover mounting surface.
Place a new gasket on the valve cover mounting surface. Carefully set the valve cover on the gasket so that you do not move it out of place. Reposition the valve cover on the new gasket. Start the nuts on the valve cover mounting posts by hand. Tighten each nut on the valve cover using a X-pattern to make sure it seals properly.
Reinstall the spark plugs and tighten them using a socket, ratchet and extension. Connect the battery terminal and tighten the nut with a wrench.
If you find that you have to scrape any of the gasket material away from the mounting surface, do so gently so that you don't gouge the cylinder head.
Do not attempt to work on anything electrical on the Mini Cooper without disconnecting the battery as instructed or you risk electrical shock.