Let’s talk Minis! As there is no Mini Cooper new car dealer in Maine, we’ve become the largest Mini service center in the state, aside from the routine day-to-day service, we also get to see some interesting Mini Cooper service challenges, like this one.
Mini Coopers are wonderful cars, but like all cars, clutches do wear out with use and milage. What we’ve also seen is problems with excessive clutch pedal effort. The problem comes on rather slowly, is often not noticed by the driver, who becomes acclimated to it as he/she is using the clutch every day. Comparing your clutch pedal effort to another Mini is a good test, or stop by and ask us for a courtesy check. The key thing here is to catch this BEFORE it damages the engine flywheel, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
This nice Mini came in with the concern of a clutch that could not be depressed enough to disengage. The first thing we noted was the high level of clutch effort, it was really hard to depress the clutch. We found the cause, which we’ve seen more than once, and not just on Mini Coopers, the pressure plate has failed, keeping the clutch partially depressed and allowing slippage. After extended slippage, the heat build-up can be great enough to damage the engine flywheel. Since the Mini uses a “dual mass” or two-part fluid-filled flywheel, this can be an expensive repair
Correction entailed replacement of the flywheel, replacement of the complete clutch assembly, as well as the hydraulic actuating cylinder. With failures of this nature, it is important to always service as a system and replace all related components. For example, a sticking actuating cylinder, which disengages the clutch, can cause a repeat of the failure.
At Atlantic Motorcar, we’re all about providing our customers not only Great Service but also Value. We understand that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” (my mom, a nurse, would be proud I remembered that.), in other words, preventing, or catching problems like this early, can save you more than just money.
Questions, or if we can be of help in any way with service on your Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mini Cooper or other European (and now Japanese) import, please contact us. Our team of Service Specialists is here to help, for even the newest autos! (207) 882-9969.
Knowing, not just “doing”, that’s the Atlantic Motorcar Center way.
The Atlantic Motorcar Center Service Team