The Mini Cooper is marketed as a sports car. These little cars are the modern reincarnations of the classic British Mini Coopers from the 1960s and early 1970s. Like any vehicle, Mini Coopers develop issues over time. If you have a Mini Cooper giving you troubles, concentrate on three areas to troubleshoot and diagnose. By having a beginning knowledge of the issues you may save money at the repair shop. Concentrate on the ignition-fuel, electronics and the drive train when troubleshooting the Mini.
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Turn the Mini Cooper's ignition switch on and listen for stuttering or misfires in the engine. If present, there may be water in the fuel line. Drain the tank dry, then add one bottle of gas treatment solution when refilling the tank.
Sit in the car and turn the ignition. If the Mini will not turn over, check that the automatic gear lever is in park. The Mini will not turn over if it is not in park. Push the stick until in park and try the ignition.
Turn the key to the neutral position and try turning on the lights or radio. If they do not come on, or are on but very low, the battery is most likely dead or drained. Have a friend jump start the car and drive to recharge the battery. Have the alternator tested to ensure it is not the cause of the battery troubles.
Turn the Mini Cooper on. Turn on the radio or any other electronic powered devices. Check that the buttons are working or that the device is on. If not, check the Mini's fuse box, found under the hood, to ensure all fuses are viable. Use the Mini's owner's guide for the legend for the fuses.
Go for a drive and try turning on the cruise control. Also try using the steering wheel controls for the radio. If these systems are not working, take the Mini to a licensed and certified Mini mechanic where they can run electronic diagnostic tests with the computer equipment.
Turn on the heater or air conditioner and check that the units are functioning. If not, look at the fuse box for any blown fuses. Replace if blown and try the air or heat again.
Drive the Mini to an empty car park.
Make 180 degree turns at low speed and listen for any crunching or grinding noise in the front wheel wells. These indicate ball joint issues.
Drive the Mini in reverse, going in a 180 degree slow turn listening for any crunch or grinding. Move forward to check the transmission between forward gears and reverse. Any clunking under the vehicle indicates possible transmission issues.
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