You should be booking your Mini in for a service annually or every 12000 miles - whichever milestone you reach first. However did you know that your Mini can be giving you tell-tale indicators that it's in need of a service? Recognising these signs is the first step in preventing a much bigger issue with your Mini occurring!
Why is it important to service your Mini?
Just as you would go to the doctors to ensure you're fit & healthy, your Mini needs the same visit with a mechanic. A health check for your Mini will keep it running safely & in tip-top condition.
What are the benefits of servicing your Mini?
- Catching faults early, this could help you avoid a much larger bill if a problem persists or develops.
- Helps the longevity of your Mini. Keeping all the parts in a good condition can lengthen their lifespan.
- Maintains the value of your Mini should you choose to sell it! Proving that your Mini has had regular service & maintenance is a great way to hold value.
What happens if I don’t service my Mini?
If you don't service your Mini you are putting yourself & other road users at risk.
Any safety concerns that a mechanic would address could potentially go unnoticed & consequently unfixed.
Keeps your Mini running efficiently! We all know how expensive Minis are to run & maintain, so preventative measures can keep costs down.
Minor issues have time to develop in to fatal problems! For example, neglecting small integral components in your Minis engine can result in needing an entirely new unit!
Mini Service Warning Signs to Look Out For
Keep an eye out for these signs between visits to your local garage:
1. Leaks, Drips or Puddles
This is not always a panic situation - occassionally puddles can form around your Mini due to the weather! In hot weather water can leak through the air conditioning unit, if you have a Japanese Spec Mini, or in the cold weather of Winter your exhaust can also leak water.
The time for concern is when the liquid that has leaked from your Mini is coloured.
- Brown liquid could be an indicator that your Mini is leaking oil, brake fluid or steering fluid. If this is the case please contact your nearest garage immediately and do not drive your Mini!
- Multicoloured liquid is likely petrol, the smell should also be a strong indicator for this. If you notice this when you park your Mini up, you need to contact your local garage as this could be a crack or leak in your fuel tank... Don't forget that petrol/diesel is highly flammable!
- Pink, blue, green, yellow or clear liquid could be your coolant! As coolant now comes in a variety of colours, it's hard to give you an exact picture of what you should be looking for. There is likely a cracked or split hose, loose cap, or a leak in your radiator. Depending on how bad this is you may be able to fix it yourself, however if the reservoir is cracked you will again need to visit the garage... This is essential, if your Mini overheats it could be game-over for your engine!
Ultimately, if in doubt - take your Mini to the garage!
2. Unusual Noises
Firstly, assess what kind of noise it is – is there anything you can instantly rule out? For example, you know it’s not a suspension problem if the noise doesn’t persist when driving over speed bumps.
Listen, see if you can work out:
- when does the sound happen? (for example, when you turn, when you brake etc.)
- what is the sound is like? (for example, is it hissing, is it clunking etc.)
- where is the the sound coming from? (for example, does it sound like the noise is coming from the engine bay, the exhaust etc.)
If you're able to let the garage know exactly what sound your hearing, where it's coming from & when it's happening it will make it much easier to diagnose any issues.
Our guide to understanding Mini noises could help you work out what’s wrong & how to address the issue.
3. Loss in power and frequent stalling
If your Mini is struggling to generate power, or stalling more frequently there could be a few reasons. Generally they are not difficult issues to fix.
Your spark plugs could need replacing or your fuel injection system could be not functioning correctly. Check out our Engine & Ignition Servicing blog on how to check these issues & replacing parts where needed.
However a service will ultimately diagnose the issue for you.
4. Brakes behaving differently
Perhaps the most important part of your Mini... The stopping power for your little pocket rocket need some TLC every now and again to keep yourself safe when out and about.
If you're needing to push harder with your foot to get your Mini to stop it could be caused by worn pads, or even leaking brake fluid.
It's incredibly unsafe to drive your Mini if you believe you have an issue with your brakes, a call out mechanic will be able to repair & get you going again.
You can even service your brakes at home in the garage with our handy Brake Servicing guide!
5. Dashboard Warning Lights
Warning lights in your Mini can be troubling, especially if you’re unsure what they mean! They are alerting you to an issue with your Mini – one that will need addressing, don’t hope that they will go away on their own.
But don't panic, check our handy guide on the meaning behind each of these lights here.
If your Mini is juddering at lower revs, if could be a case of the engine mount has come loose, or it may be broken.
Vibrations when you're setting off could be signs of a clutch pressure plate defect or worn friction material. Sometimes a leak could be getting on to the clutch plate.
Get your Mini booked in to a garage for a service as soon as possible to prevent damage.
If smoke is appearing from your bonnet or exhaust, it could be for a variety of reasons.
If the smoke looks to be coming from a fire you should immediately turn off your engine. Get everyone out of your Mini & at a safe distance from the vehicle. Call for the fire service.
If there's no fire, only smoke, you need to work out:
- when does the smoke happen? (for example, when you start the engine)
- what is the colour?
- where is the the smoke coming from? (for example, does it look like the smoke is coming from the bonnet.)
- Temperature - is your Mini overheating?
All this information can be helpful to your mechanic to help the issue get solved quicker. The cause could be a number of things from your Mini Head Gasket to Electrical Wires to the Fuel System.
Where should I book my Mini Service?
Like any vehicle, your Mini needs servicing regularly to keep it in the best condition & to maintain its value. Only at Mini Sport you will find fully trained technicians, Mini-specific tools & the latest computerised diagnostic equipment specifically for your Mini.
Mini Sport use original Mini parts, OE parts or Special equipment parts, designed & engineered by Mini Sport to fit & perform perfectly with your vehicle. Keep your Mini in it's best condition with Mini Sport, we've been keeping Minis on the road since 1967!