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Dead Cooper


Q: I own a secondhand 2006 Cooper which has suddenly developed a really strange fault. It started first time then I drove for about ten minutes, switched the engine off and it refused to restart. The dash lit up as normal when I turned the key but it was completely dead and wouldn’t turn over. I’ve heard that sometimes these MINIs suffer from key fob issues. Could this be the case?

Esme Gosling, Orpington

Hesitant Cooper S

JanFebQAhesitantQ: I own a 2003 MINI Cooper S (pictured) which has a problem when I accelerate. It has had this ever since I bought it in June 2011 but the previous owner did not mention any issues with it. When I accelerate it has a sort of hesitancy between about 2,500-4,000rpm. This then causes a jerky acceleration (like a switch being turned on and off) until it reaches about 4,000rpm and then it stops. I have read on MINI forums about this problem and some people call it the 'Yo-Yo' effect but I can't find any answers as to what the issue might be.

I have changed the spark plugs, plug leads, coil pack and it’s had a new air filter fitted as well as a Milltek exhaust. I have taken it to my local MINI dealer and they have no idea as to what it could be; the technician did check a bypass valve but said that was ok. The problem is most noticeable in second gear but can be felt in third and even fourth. It is not as noticeable when accelerating hard or slowly, it’s mainly in between at about 50-75 per cent load.

I hope that you can be of some help as the problem is taking away some of the enjoyment of driving my S!

Jake Glover, Shrewsbury

Which oil?

NovDecQAoilQ I have a 2008 MINI Cooper Clubman with a petrol engine, and would like to change the engine oil with the MINI recommended Castrol oil, but am unsure which Castrol brand oil I should use. The local MINI dealership uses Castrol EDGE Professional fully synthetic oil with a SAE of 0W/30, and labelled Longlife-04, where as I can only find for sale in local car accessory shops either a Castrol EDGE oil with a SAE of 0W/30, but labelled BMW Longlife-01 or a Castrol EDGE oil with a SAE of 5W/30 and labelled BMW Longlife-04, both of which are fully synthetic oils. In the MINI handbook for the vehicle, it just recommends using MINI Longlife-01, MINI Longlife-01 FE or MINI Longlife 04 engine oils. I am therefore a bit confused as to which is the correct and best SAE and Longlife

Castrol fully synthetic oil I should use for the vehicle. Could you please help and advise me on this?

Keith Jones, Email


Worn tyres

NovDecQAtyresQ Can you shed any light on a problem with my 2010 One convertible please? The outer edge on both front tyres has worn down to a level which will soon show the cords. BMW say the pressures were down, but they are checked regularly. Other thoughts have been roundabouts and speed humps. My previous two MINIs did not have an issue with abnormal tyre wear, so I was wondering if you can advise of any issues you might be aware of.

Len Gray, Email



Manual or Auto?

NovDecQAmanualQ I'm thinking of buying a MINI and wanted to know which is the best, manual or automatic? What are the running costs of each? Are there any known gearbox problems with each and which is more reliable? Your comments will be very helpful.

Ron Chivers, Email




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