As with any automobile, a Mini Cooper’s engine relies on the health of its spark plugs to supply power to continue to drive you safely to your workplace, doctor’s office, grocery store, and back home after a long day’s work. Because your Mini Cooper’s spark plug supplies power to your engine, it’s important to know when it’s not working properly so that you and your Mini can always be in the best condition and as safe as possible.
Below are some early warning signs to watch out for to know when to take your Mini to a maintenance shop right away to avoid any expensive repairs or accidents down the line. Remember: Regular care will always beat waiting for your Mini to break down. Regular maintenance is almost always more affordable than a repair, and it’s much safer for you and your passengers.
Your Mini Cooper’s spark plugs will usually last about 30,000 miles or 3 years. If you bought your Mini new, you shouldn’t have to worry about your spark plugs until you’ve driven it excessively or when three years have passed. If you bought it used and your Mini is approaching 30,000 miles (or more), it may serve you and your vehicle to have your trusted mechanic ensure your plugs are in good condition. After all, good spark plugs mean a good and healthy engine!
If you notice your Mini isn’t using fuel as efficiently as it used to, it could be a bad spark plug. Damaged spark plugs can affect the way your Mini Cooper processes fuel and make it use fuel less efficiently than the way it used to operate. If you notice you’re putting more money into gas than you used to (and gas prices are relatively the same), take your Mini to your most trusted maintenance shop. Replacing bad spark plugs could save you hundreds of dollars in fuel and relieve the stress from your bank account.
A bad spark plug can make your usually-smooth ride in your Mini Cooper feel like a bumpy, loud bus ride. If you’re noticing your Mini Cooper isn’t driving as before, bring it to our trusted service center to replace your spark plugs. These are an inexpensive fix to an annoying and awful problem. A smooth ride is one of the best feelings in having a sporty and fun Mini Cooper!
Does your Mini Cooper’s exhaust smell like rotten eggs or sulfur? You may have a failing spark plug. If you notice a foul smell coming from your exhaust, bring your car in for a diagnostic check. Most likey, it is a quick and easy repair to get you back on the road safely.
Turning Wrenches for All Your Mini Cooper Needs in Louisville, KY
For decades, we’ve been Louisville’s go-to shop for the most popular European makes and models, helping drivers take better care of their cars. We offer a 36-month warranty on all of our vehicles and guarantee friendly and knowledgeable answers to your questions every time you visit us for repairs or maintenance.
We are ASE certified mechanics, offer after-hours drop-offs of your vehicles, and offer free Wi-Fi while you wait for your vehicle to be serviced during our hours of operation (Monday through Friday, from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Stop by our office at 1304 English Station Road to make an appointment or call us today for a convenient appointment.
There is nothing worse than seeing a black puddle underneath your MINI where it’s been parked. When your vehicle starts to leak oil, you might write it off as an everyday thing that can wait for a repair. But a drop becomes a steady drip which can become a leak. Sooner or later, you will have to face it: your car has an oil leak.
We see oil leaks all the time, and for the most part, the culprit is a cracked or broken crankshaft seal. This little widget is essential to a healthy, happy car. When you first notice that tell-tale stain on your driveway, don’t despair. A crank seal replacement is an easy job for your local mechanic.
The reason your Mini needs oil is to keep the crankshaft lubricated while it rotates. Your crankshaft has 2 caps, one on either end, keeping the oil inside the crankshaft case. When one of those crankshaft caps becomes cracked or damaged, the pressurized seal becomes compromised, and oil leaks out.
Causes of a Crankshaft Seal Failure
Crank seals are made of durable rubber, which is lightly lubricated. Over time, that rubber dries out and begins to crack. These cracks break the seal around your crankshaft and cause oil to leak out gradually as the rubber part loosens.
This is a natural part of the life cycle of your Mini and not a sign of an underlying issue. Crank seals typically have a lifespan of 100,000 miles but may wear out faster if exposed to extreme temperature fluctuation.
How To Spot A Crank Seal Failure
The most evident sign of crank seal failure is an oil leak. You might find your vehicle just can’t seem to hold oil no matter how many times you fill it up. You could find the oil light never seems to shut off, even after filling it up just hours ago.
If the crank seal has broken, the oil in your engine will escape through the broken seal. Given the necessity of oil in the function of your engine, this is a safety hazard. If all those moving parts aren’t oiled up, they’re bound to stutter or scrape, wreaking havoc on your engine and possibly causing your car to stop working while driving.
If you notice that your vehicle has begun having trouble holding oil, or if you’ve found a big black puddle underneath your vehicle, it’s a good idea to bring it to an automotive technician as soon as possible.
Fixing a Cracked or Broken Crankshaft Seal
We service old, cracked crankshaft seals all the time. It is a routine repair that you should expect to experience during your Mini’s lifespan. The process is straightforward and can be completed in just a few hours.
First, we raise your vehicle and place the body on jack stands. This allows us to easily access the underside of the chassis. While our mechanics lift the vehicle, we also have a chance to ensure your vehicle is properly aligned and free from other potential problems.
Next, we remove the crankshaft damper along with the timing belt. While this is a routine maintenance task, it should only be performed by factory-certified technicians with experience in the make and model of your particular vehicle. DIYers who attempt this repair risk damaging the timing belt or crankshaft. These are delicate parts that require specialized tools to remove and replace.
The next step is the removal and replacement of the crankshaft seal. Because the engine is off during maintenance, the oil is below the level of the crankshaft at this stage. We do not need to drain the oil to complete the job. We still recommend an oil change if your vehicle has been leaking oil to ensure enough oil is in your vehicle for smooth operation.
Once we replace the crankshaft seal, we reinstall the timing belt and crankshaft. We lower the vehicle, and you are ready to drive home without leaving a trail behind you.
Find Technicians You Can Trust at Turning Wrenches
We know that when your car is having trouble, it can be stressful. At Turning Wrenches, our technicians have the skills and ability to make sure your car can continue to run reliably for you and your family.
We’ve always had a passion for cars, but we’ve been helping the community of Louisville, KY drive safely since 2013. Turning Wrenches is here for any of your automotive needs. Bring your vehicle in for service today.
Your MINI is a sporty and fun vehicle, designed to be reliable and with some of the best engineering on the road today. When the starter does not work, it can be frustrating to the car owner. To help avoid this issue and other problems with your car, it is important for all car owners to stick with a routine maintenance schedule. MINI owners should also recognize some of the possible causes of their model failing to start so they can take the proper steps to prevent these issues from happening.
The Fuel Tank is Empty
This is a simple solution to why your MINI may not start. If the tank is empty, there is no fuel to ignite in the engine. It can be hard to impossible for your engine to run on just fumes. If this happened because the fuel gauge is malfunctioning, then it is important to talk to a mechanic right away to get the gauge replaced. Damage can occur if you constantly run it with low fuel, including clogged filters and more.
The Battery Died
Sometimes your MINI will not start because the battery dies. Batteries will charge while you keep the car actively engaged during driving. Then the alternator will generate power that will keep the battery charged, even when you keep the car parked at night.
If the alternator stops doing its job, it is impossible for the battery to hold a charge and work. Eventually, the battery will drain and stop holding a charge, making the car unusable. If you are worried about your battery not working properly, take your MINI to a licensed mechanic to see whether the alternator is the problem or if you need a new battery altogether.
A Failing Starter
When a car owner tries to start their car and they hear a grinding noise or clicking sound, then the issue may be the starter. When the starter fails or breaks, it is something a mechanic can fix, but it may be expensive. Failing starters on a MINI are common, so the car owner must consider routine maintenance to make sure the starter is checked out routinely to avoid issues with this part.
A Failing Ignition
One reason that your car is not working is that the ignition switch has failed. This is often accompanied by power loss and stalling. The car then will stall while you are driving or when you want to get it to start. These are big red flags that something is wrong with your MINI and you need to bring it in for an inspection and diagnostic testing. If you have ignored some of the other signs leading up to the car not starting and have not taken your MINI to a qualified mechanic, you could be left stranded if the ignition module fails completely. Don’t wait. Call Turning Wrenches today to speak to a technician.
Fixing Problems with Your MINI Cooper
As soon as you notice there are issues with your MINI starting, it is important to take it in for an inspection with a licensed mechanic. This will make it easier to find the problem and get it fixed before it turns into something much bigger. The sooner you get the repairs done, the safer it is for the whole vehicle and your peace of mind.
MIN owners should also consider routine maintenance on their model as well. This will ensure that any potential problems are found before they cause your car’s condition to deteriorate. Your owner’s manual should give recommendations on when to get each component on the vehicle replaced or repaired to make this easier. You can also talk with your mechanic to set up a good repair and maintenance schedule to keep your MINI working well.
When your MINI fails to start, it is important you bring it to our professional mechanics to have it checked out. At Turning Wrenches in Louisville, KY, we are here to repair your car and get you back on the road with confidence in your MINI. Contact us today to get your appointment scheduled. We look forward to earning your repeat business for service and maintenance.
Modern vehicles are a complex system of combustion and moving parts. In order for the combustion process to get started at all, though, the spark plugs need to fire to ignite the fuel and air in the cylinders. The ignition module is responsible for firing the spark plugs, and its failure could keep your MINI on the sidelines instead of the open road.
This article is going to cover a few different ways to spot a bad ignition module in your MINI, as well as the best place to get it fixed in Louisville.
One of the most glaring symptoms of a bad ignition module is poor engine performance in your MINI. Poor performance may come as weak acceleration or unusually low gas mileage. Many drivers may not notice that their car is guzzling gas, which will then hurt their wallet, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the dashboard to monitor your vehicle’s fuel economy.
These performance issues are caused by the bad timing of the spark plugs firing, which often comes as a result of an ignition control module that has gone bad.
The Check Engine Light
The engine control module monitors the ignition system, including the ignition module. When it detects a problem, it will warn you by illuminating a light on your dashboard. While a check engine light may be illuminated for any number of reasons, if you notice any other symptoms in addition to the light, there’s a chance that the ignition module is to blame.
Your MINI Is Running Rough
Because the ignition module is responsible for directing the spark plugs, when it fails, combustion in the cylinders will not be as efficient nor as effective as it could be. You may notice that your MINI feels rough or jerky as you drive.
Your car stalling is never something you want to happen, but a bad ignition module may cause just that. Ignition module issues can cause the car to stall and not be able to start after. Sometimes the car can be restarted after giving the engine a while to cool off.
Because the ignition module is responsible for helping deliver the spark, its failure could result in a no-start for your car. The engine needs the spark from the spark plugs to run, so even if the car does crank, it will not be able to continue running. Continuing to try to start the car will just end up draining your battery.
Your MINI’s temperature is something you should always keep an eye on, as an overheated engine can cause costly damage. A faulty ignition module can cause large fluctuations in temperature, between an overheated and cold engine.
How to Fix Ignition Module Issues
You will want to make sure that the ignition module is actually causing the problems with your MINI before going headfirst into repair work. If you’ve determined that the module is the issue, the first step is to locate it in your engine. Your owner’s manual will be able to help you locate and identify the ignition module in your model.
Broken ignition modules must be replaced. This is tricky to do in MINIs cramped engine space without the proper equipment, so a trusted auto technician is usually your best option for a reliable replacement. The good news is that new ignition modules are relatively inexpensive.
Visit Turning Wrenches in Louisville
Do you have issues with the ignition system in your vehicle or think the ignition module is the problem? Thankfully, the expert technicians at Turning Wrenches in Louisville, Kentucky are here to help you.
Our team of world-class technicians believe in the value of a reliable repair that is done right the first time, and our staff will always put your needs first. Because we stand by our work, we always offer a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty for any service that we do.
Because we specialize in only European vehicles, you can rest easy knowing that your MINI is in the best possible hands. For a team of honest mechanics with a commitment to getting the job done right, visit Turning Wrenches in Louisville, the leaders in repairs, maintenance and customer service.
Keeping your car in working order requires constant maintenance, but it will ensure the reliability you have come to love on your Mini. When issues appear, your vehicle may develop additional problems that can have detrimental effects. Any problems you notice under the hood should be a reason to take your car into a professional shop.
Faults with the catalytic converter can be serious and should certainly warrant a visit to your trusted Mini expert. While the catalytic converter is a relatively unknown part for those not interested in vehicles, it is one of the reasons you are allowed to drive your Mini at all. Learning about the catalytic converter is the first step to learning the signs that point out something being wrong with it.
What does the catalytic converter do?
The catalytic converter, as mentioned, is a large reason why you are able to drive your car at all. Without the catalytic converter, your vehicle would have countless emissions problems that would stop it from being legally on the road. As your engine goes through its internal combustion process, there are harmful chemicals released as byproducts.
Getting rid of these byproducts and only allowing for safe fumes to escape from the exhaust requires a working catalytic converter. As the harmful fumes move through the exhaust system, they pass through the catalytic converter, where the process begins to make them harmless. As they pass over the catalytic converter, there is a component that separates the chemicals.
From this point, the chemicals are released through the exhaust tailpipe and sent out into the air. When your car takes an emissions test, it is essentially measuring the effectiveness of your car’s catalytic converter. If yours is not working as it should be, you may also notice that problems develop with the exhaust tailpipe.
The catalytic converter also keeps these harmful gases out of the cabin, where they can be extremely dangerous for you and your passengers.
Fortunately, there are a number of key indicators that can tell you when your Mini’s catalytic converter is developing problems. As outlined above, never hesitate to take your vehicle into the shop when you notice issues arise with your catalytic converter. Allowing these problems to develop will only hurt your car in the long run.
Signs of a Failing Catalytic Converter
While the below signs are not the only indicators of something being wrong with the catalytic converter, they are the most common. These signs can help you to diagnose this problem sooner and get your car into a professional MINI repair shop before more issues develop:
Bad Fuel Efficiency
Your fuel economy is partially determined by the cleanliness of the fumes that are in the exhaust section of your vehicle. If there are too many harmful byproducts, your Mini’s performance may be hindered to the point of getting worse gas mileage. Check to see if you are at the pump more often or if the amount of gas you go through seems to be disproportionate.
Check Engine Light is On
Your check engine light is a fantastic system that is connected to your vehicle’s onboard computer. This computer can sense when things are wrong under the hood of your car and will respond by turning the check engine light on. In fact, issues with the catalytic converter are one of the leading causes for a check engine light to turn on.
As with getting worse fuel efficiency, issues with your vehicle’s acceleration may be attributed to a failing catalytic converter. If the fumes being released are not as pure, your engine may not run smoothly and your acceleration may be rougher.
How Turning Wrenches Can Help
At Turning Wrenches, we understand how important your Mini is to you and we are able to restore it to its former performance. With that in mind, we can only handle the issue if you trust our experienced mechanics to troubleshoot your vehicle. We have experience working with clients in and around Louisville, KY, which means that we are a trusted name in the community.
Please give us a call or come visit us today to set an appointment so that we may show you why we are the best in the business. We look forward to earning your business and trust.
When it comes to ensuring the reliable power of a Mini, proper maintenance is imperative. There are numerous parts under the hood that ensure your engine works as it should and that the ride itself is a comfortable experience overall. When any single part goes out on your Mini, it can lead to longer-lasting issues that could prove damaging to the vehicle.
The suspension system of your vehicle is intricate and can begin to wear down over time. Any issues that you suspect have arisen with the suspension system should be taken care of as soon as possible. Not taking care of these issues can result in a lack of stability in the vehicle and reduced driver control.
The Importance of the Suspension System
Most people overlook the suspension system of their vehicle and assume it is rather unimportant. This could not be further from the truth. This entire system ensures that the vehicle’s cabin is a comfortable place to ride, and it keeps the car in control for the entirety of your journey.
The largest part of the suspension system is the chassis. This holds the main cabin of the car. There are also a number of springs, sometimes air springs, that support the weight of your vehicle. These are directly responsible for absorbing the energy from the road and dispersing it so that it is not felt too much by a driver or passenger.
Another overlooked aspect of the suspension system is the fact that it constantly maintains the correct tire contact between the vehicle and road. This helps to increase the friction and tire grip of your Mini and keeps you in control of your car.
When you drive out on the open road, the springs absorb the impact and pass them on to the dampers of the system. These dampers, which are often called shock absorbers or shocks, transfer the energy to the rest of the system instead of to you.
Issues with the suspension system can lead to tire friction or grip becoming compromised which may result in a loss of driver control. A less severe but still annoying side effect of issues with a suspension system is a bumpy and uncomfortable ride. Identify the signs of suspension issues and take your vehicle in when necessary.
Signs of Suspension Issues
Given how many components there are in the suspension system, issues are relatively easy to spot early on and can be fixed before they become larger problems. Here are some of the common signs that there are issues with your suspension system:
Pulling to One Side While Driving
This issue may have something to do with the alignment of your tires within the suspension system. Look closely at your tires and see if they have the same level of wear and tear. If they don’t, it may be indicative of an issue with the alignment in your suspension system.
One Side of Your Mini Sits Lower
As mentioned, there are springs responsible for a comfortable ride in your Mini. Should one of these springs become faulty through natural wear and tear or even deflate, in the case of air springs, you may notice one corner of your car dipping lower than the other sides as the weight is not supported.
Bumpy Driving Experience
This potential symptom of an issue requires a keen eye. You know your Mini best, and if the ride is suddenly drastically bumpier, there may be a problem within the suspension system of your vehicle. Before rushing your vehicle to the mechanic, however, ensure you weren’t just driving on an older or bumpy road.
Turning Wrenches for Your Mini Needs
When it comes to servicing your Mini, Turning Wrenches is your solution. We proudly serve clients in Louisville, KY and pride ourselves on being Louisville’s leader in quality and customer service. Our experience in European vehicles means our technicians can troubleshoot your suspension system and get it back to its proper functionality quickly and affordably.
Please give us a call to schedule an appointment today or feel free to come in for a visit. Your satisfaction is our guarantee, and we hope to develop a long-lasting relationship of trust and business with you.
Your transmission is a critical component of your engine. While it isn’t as explosive as the cylinders or as visible as your tires, it still is required for your car to safely motor on the road. When you experience transmission issues, not only do you have to consider safety concerns, but your car’s ability to get you from Point A to Point B.
Preventing Transmission Issues in your Mini Cooper
The automatic transmission of a Mini Cooper typically has problems in particular circumstances, such as when your vehicle reaches a set age or high mileage. Driver habits can also play a large part in how well a vehicle’s transmission functions. That’s why it’s important to drive safely, such as by following speed limits, taking corners safely, and going easy over potholes and bumpy roads.
While there is no surefire way to ensure your transmission never fails, there are steps you can take to minimize damage over time. Furthermore, bringing your vehicle in to a mechanic for regular maintenance and inspections can help you catch issues before they’re engine-ruining.
Catching automatic transmission issues early is the key to avoiding an expensive repair bill in the future. By extension, knowing what to look for before your transmission fails is essential in catching problems before they ruin your engine completely.
Common Signs of Transmission Failure
There are several common symptoms of transmission failure. While many of these can mimic other issues as well, experiencing two or more of them in conjunction is a good indicator that your Mini is having issues in the automatic transmission.
If your vehicle vibrates, shakes, or shudders when you accelerate or your engine shifts, this is a sign that your transmission is experiencing issues. As one of the more severe and dangerous transmission concerns, you should bring your Mini in immediately if you notice your car vibrating or shuddering.
Transmission Fluid Problems
If your transmission fluid is low, this may be a sign that you have a slow leak in your engine. This can be indicative of other problems, but more importantly, it can lead to mechanical failure of your transmission.
Alternatively, if you find a bright red puddle beneath your vehicle after it’s been parked for a while, this is a sign that your vehicle has a major leak somewhere in the transmission system. Either way, a transmission fluid leak is a sign it’s time to have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic.
Gear Shift Issues
One of the more common signs of a transmission failure is gear shifter issues. These include staying in low RPMs after you shift, problems revving to the appropriate RPMs to shift, or your vehicle prematurely shifting gears. You may also notice that your car jolts or shudders when it shifts.
If your engine is overheating, one of the more probable causes is a transmission failure. The strain of broken or worn out transmission components can serve to increase friction in your engine. This friction can then in turn cause your engine to run hot and overheat. In a worst can scenario, this could lead to catastrophic engine failure.
Check Engine Light Illumination
Your check engine light can be indicative of several mechanical and electrical issues in your vehicle. If it occurs in conjunction with any of these other issues, it’s time to bring your vehicle to a respected Mini Cooper mechanic immediately for diagnostic testing.
Turning Wrenches Can Help
If you notice any of the above signs of a failing transmission, or if you suspect that your Mini Cooper has other engine problems, bring it to Turning Wrenches of Louisville, KY as soon as possible.
Our experienced, certified mechanics will make sure that your vehicle is in the best of hands for diagnostics and repair from the time you drive onto the property until you leave again.
Figuring out transmission issues in your MINI can be tricky, as there can be many different symptoms that can often mask themselves as other issues, meaning that getting to the true crux of the issue can take a lot of trial and error. You may also find that you only experience one or two issues, which can make you doubt is the transmission is to blame at all. Let us help you demystify the signs of transmission malfunction in your MINI with our handy list.
Sign 1: Your MINI Won’t Go into Gear
One of the most commonly-experienced symptoms of a transmission malfunction is a MINI that won’t go into gear or slips or changes gears unexpectedly. This issue can occur at one specific gear or across all gears. Gear issues can be caused by your transmission fluid running low, using the wrong transmission fluid, or issues with the shift cables or clutch linkage.
Sign 2: A Burning Smell
A burning smell will typically be caused by burning transmission fluid, due to your transmission system overheating. Transmission fluid is essential for the correct lubrication and cooling of your transmission system, and therefore, this issue should be remedied as soon as possible. An overheating transmission system can be caused by low fluid levels, fluid leaks, and expired transmission fluid.
Sign 3: Transmission is Noisy in Neutral
Strange noises when in neutral is often sign of a transmission issue, which can usually be fixed by a fluid change. More serious problems that cause this are wear and tear to parts such as bearings and gear teeth.
Sign 4: Gear Slippage
Gear slips are defined by a car that suddenly changes to neutral. This can create a dangerous scenario for drivers and should be treated with the utmost severity by immediately visiting a professional repair shop.
Sign 5: The Clutch Drags
This issue is reserved to MINIs with a manual transmission. It happens because of a failure to disengage the clutch disk from the flywheel. This will prevent successful gear changes and cause a grinding noise. This issue is commonly caused by excess slack in the clutch pedal.
Sign 6: Transmission Fluid Leaks
A transmission fluid leak is a very clear indicator of a transmission system issue. Transmission fluid is identified by its transparent red color and its sweet smell. Transmission fluid tends not to leave the system unless there’s a leak, so if your levels drop, you’ll need to have the problem resolved.
Sign 7: Illumination of the Check Engine Light
The check engine light will illuminate when your MINI’s onboard computer, otherwise known as the ECU, detects problems with parts integral to your car’s health. This can occur for many reasons, including the transmission.
Sign 8: Grinding and Shaking
In manual transmissions, this sign will be noticeable in your MINI when shifting gears. It usually is an indicator that your clutch is worn out or that you have an issue with the gear synchronizers. In MINIs with an automatic transmission, you may notice your car will shimmy into each gear.
Sign 9: Noisy
Hearing odd noises when driving your MINI is never a good sign and can indicate transmission problems. Automatic transmissions will make noises, such as whining and humming, whereas manual transmissions will make much more mechanical sounds, such as clunking.
Sign 10: Unresponsive Transmission System
A working transmission will always shift into the correct gear. Any type of hesitation, delay, or struggle to make this change is a clear sign your transmission system needs investigating for malfunctions. This can be indicative of a failed clutch and should never be ignored, as they can create a dangerous distraction when driving, which can increase your risk of accidents.