Mini Cooper Scheduled Service and Maintenance
Your Mini Cooper will remind you when it’s time to bring it in for a scheduled service checkup. It’s not worth trying to save a couple hundred dollars, only to spend several thousand down the road due to insufficient maintenance. Following your Mini Cooper’s official maintenance program is the best way to ensure it’s still operating ten years from now just like it was when you drove it off the lot.
Every Mini Cooper has service needs that can vary by year and model, so come visit our shop to have your vehicle inspected by our expert technicians. Below is a very generalized guideline of a service schedule, but feel free to give us a call for a service schedule specific to your vehicle.
Angelo’s Performance Plus always uses OEM original equipment. Call us today to discuss your vehicle’s needs.
Mini Cooper Oil Change and Oil Filter Service
Mini Cooper oil changes—using a high quality synthetic oil—are part of the service schedule every 7,000 to 7,500 miles. Older Mini Coopers can vary when it comes to their oil change needs, so consult with Angelo’s to find out what’s best for your Mini.
As is the case with any vehicle, oil filters should always be replaced with the oil. You’ll want to use a high quality oil filter, such as brand name filters marketed by Mini Cooper, or the original equipment.
Mini Cooper Air Filter Service
Automobile enthusiasts of all sorts tend to have pretty strong opinions about the best type of air filter. Generally, and as is the case with Mini Coopers, there are two kinds—the typical paper air filter, and oiled-fabric filters, such as those made by K&N. The purpose of either is to prevent debris from contaminating the workings of your engine, and related systems under the hood (or should we say bonnet?). Some contend that oiled-air filters can lead to debris winding up in the engine, while others feel that paper filters have insufficient airflow.
Either way, replacing air filter based, or cleaning your K&N filter on time or mileage, is of great importance to the performance of your Mini Cooper.
Mini Cooper Brake Service and Brake Fluid Replacement
You should have your brake fluid checked at least every other year, bare minimum, if not every year. The reason for this is that brake fluid is hygroscopic. That means that it absorbs any water that it comes in contact with, whether that’s moisture from the air or water kicked up from the road.
This is a problem for two reasons. First, as the ratio of water to brake fluid rises, the boiling point of the Mini Cooper brake fluid drops. Braking produces a great deal of heat due to friction. If the boiling temperature of old brake fluid drops below the temperature of the heat produced by your brakes, then the fluid will boil and produce water vapor, filling the brake lines. This will lead to very “mushy” feeling brakes, and your ability to stop your car will be severely compromised. This can lead to accidents, and it has occurred many times in the past. Fresh brake fluid will always work reliably.
The other problem with moisture absorption is that the moisture will contaminate your Mini Cooper brake system, causing corrosion and rusting of metal parts, and will prematurely age and crack rubber hoses. It’s a lot cheaper to change out brake fluid than it is to change out brake parts.
Mini Cooper Spark Plugs Service
Copper spark plugs are usually the best-performing, due to the metal’s high electrical conductivity. However, it’s also the most susceptible to wear and tear. Platinum is the least conductive, but lasts the longest due to the metal’s hardness, while iridium spark plugs tend to be in the middle when it comes to performance and endurance. Traditional copper spark plugs last for about 60,000 miles under good driving conditions, while iridium and platinum spark plugs can last as much as 100,000 miles. Consult with your Mini Cooper technician to see what’s ideal for your vehicle – we generally recommend replacing them every 60,000 miles, using the original type of spark plugs that your vehicle was built with.
Additionally, when your spark plugs are being checked or replaced, have the Mini Cooper valve cover gaskets replaced as well. The gaskets are made out of rubber, and like any other rubber part, will harden and crack with age. If the gasket’s seal fails, engine oil will reach areas of the engine that it shouldn’t, including your spark plugs. Oil will foul the spark plugs, necessitating their replacement within a small fraction of their lifetime. If you’re having to change out spark plugs frequently—you’ll know it’s time because your engine will run loudly and roughly—then it’s likely that they’re being fouled by leaking oil, and it’s time for the gaskets to be replaced.
Mini Cooper Fuel Filter Service
You can put the priciest gas in the world into your Mini Cooper, but if its fuel filter hasn’t been changed in five or ten years, then it won’t make a bit of difference. Fuel filters help clean gasoline of particulates and any buildup that happens to break loose from your Mini Cooper gas tank or other parts of the fuel system. This debris, unchecked, can clog and ruin Mini Cooper fuel injectors, which can be costly to replace.
Your fuel filter should be replaced every 60,000 miles, but if you’re not terribly indiscriminate about the gas you put in your car, then you may want to consider having it replaced more frequently, such as every 40 or 50 thousand miles.
Mini Cooper Power Steering Fluid Replacement
Power steering fluid is quite hardy and long-lasting, as it doesn’t have the hygroscopic (moisture-absorbing) properties that plague brake fluid. However, as with any mechanical system, buildup and other particulate contamination will increase over time, so it’s generally a good idea to replace the power steering fluid every 40 or 50 thousand miles.
Mini Cooper Transmission Service – Automatic and Manual Transmission Flush and Fluid Replacement
Many believe that the gearbox oil in manual transmission Mini Coopers, as well as the lubricant in automatic transmissions, will last the lifetime of the vehicle. However, many disagree with this claim. Take the time to check with your Mini Cooper mechanic, but flushing your transmission fluid, filter and pan gasket every 60 thousand miles or so will likely keep your transmission running smoothly far longer than it otherwise would. If you tend to drive in cold areas, let your service center know, as there are transmission oil blends that are tailored specifically to work well in low temperatures.
Mini Cooper Cabin Air Filter Service
Cabin air filters don’t make a difference in how your car runs. But, they do make a difference in how you breathe. Cabin filters capture dust and debris that flow into the passenger area. Typically, they should be changed every 30,000 miles or so. But if you smoke in your car, your passengers have allergies, or you often drive in polluted areas, then you’ll notice a big improvement in the air quality of your vehicle if you replace the filter every 15,000 miles.
Mini Cooper Belts
Mini Coopers use serpentine belts—also referred to as auxiliary belts. The difference between a belt and a chain is that a belt is made out of rubber and other components, while chains are made out of longer-lasting metal. This should be replaced every 60,000 miles.
Mini Cooper auxiliary belts provide power to a lot of secondary systems in your car, such as the alternator, and the water pump that operates your radiator. If this belt fails, you may lose electrical power, but worse, your engine may overheat and be seriously damaged. Your Mini Cooper serpentine belt should be checked whenever you have your oil changed. If there is any evidence of wear or cracking in the belt, your service technician will tell you that it should be changed. Don’t wait—have it replaced immediately.
Mini Cooper Engine Coolant Flush and Replacement
Under typical driving conditions, it’s ideal to have the coolant in your radiator flushed and replaced every 3-4 years. Some owners go the extra mile and regularly change out parts that are prone to unexpected failure, such as the thermostat, overflow reservoir, and water pump. If your radiator isn’t working correctly, your engine can be seriously damaged due to overheating. It’s not uncommon for engines to be completely destroyed due to overheating. Therefore, it’s better to have the radiator fluid changed out regularly, rather than skimp and risk having to spend thousands in repairs.
Miscellaneous Mini Cooper Service – Replacement of Water Hoses, Fuel Hoses, and Hose Clamps
Usually, as Mini Cooper parts are replaced over the years, the hoses connecting them to the rest of the car are changed out as a matter of course. However, a few tend to sneak through the cracks and escape inspection. However, hoses, like any other rubber part, will weather and crack due to dry climates and changing weather, as well as exposure to moisture and pollution. Even if you store your car and don’t use it, the rubber will degrade due to the passage of time.
At maximum, hoses should be replaced after 150,000 miles of operation, though it’s preferable to replace any hoses that have been in service for more than 100,000 miles. Brand name Mini Cooper hoses (and the plastic clamps that hold them in place) are very inexpensive compared to most commonly serviced items, so there’s no reason not to use high quality replacement parts.