Mini coopers are known for their sportiness and longevity. However, they can still suffer from problems, including drivetrain malfunctions.
The most common warning signs of a problem with your Mini Cooper’s drivetrain include weird noises, car stalling, and your Mini Cooper randomly going into limp mode.
You may also experience a shuddering feeling when accelerating or decelerating. In this article, I will explain what this means and the main causes based on my personal experiences as an auto tech.
What Does Drivetrain Malfunction Mean on a Mini Cooper?
Drivetrain malfunction is a generic fault message found on both BMWs and Mini which indicates that there is an issue with your car’s drivetrain. It could be a number of things, including engine problems, transmission issues or a problem with the differential.
The best way to find out is by using an ob2 scanner to scan for fault codes, however, in this article, I am going to share the common causes I have come across in my experience as an auto technician.
Mini Cooper Drivetrain Malfunction Warning Common Causes
Now, that you know that this is a generic fault message and it can be caused by a number of things, here are the most common causes:
1. Bad Spark Plugs
The Spark plugs on your mini are responsible for igniting the fuel in the combustion chamber. When they are faulty, it can cause a misfire which will trigger this drivetrain warning message.
Mini cooper recommends changing your spark plugs every 100 000 miles but from my experience sometimes the plugs do go out sooner so I personally recommend spark plug change every 30 000 -50 000 miles (42 800- 80 000 km).
2. Bad Coil Pack
Another common drivetrain malfunction warning is the Coil pack. The coil pack is responsible for creating an electrical field that helps ignite the spark plug but also triggers other sensors and components within your Mini’s engine control module (ECM).
Other signs of bad coil packs include:
- Lack of engine power when acceleration
- Engine vibrations
- Your Mini cooper Idles Roughly
- Loud Engine Noises
Ignition coils generally last more than plugs It is recommended that you change them every 50 000 – 100 000 miles (80 000 -160 000 km).
If you experiencing any of these signs then check the plugs and coils first.
3. Fuel Injector Failure:
Fuel injectors are known to fail on most Mini coopers over time, the main purpose of fuel injectors is to inject fuel into the engine’s cylinders in order to ignite and power your vehicle.
If you notice that your Mini cooper is not starting or it takes a long time to start followed by a drivetrain fault then one or more injectors are dirty/damaged and in need of changing.
4. Burnt Piston
Another common cause of a drivetrain malfunction is piston failure usually caused by an overly hot combustion chamber and/or insufficient oil in the engine.
This is a very common problem on many Mini Cooper engines and can be easily diagnosed by checking your oil level, looking at the color of the smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe, and listening to any strange noises coming from under the hood.
5. Malfunctioning Cam Position Sensor
The final common cause of a drivetrain malfunction is a malfunctioning cam position sensor.
A camshaft position sensor is crucial to your Mini cooper engine because it monitors the position of the camshafts and crankshaft and sends this information to your car’s computer.
If the sensor is not working correctly, it can cause incorrect timing of ignition events, which can lead to a drivetrain malfunction.
Is Drivetrain Malfunction on a Mini Cooper Serious?
The answer to the question is yes, it can be serious if not diagnosed and repaired right away. The camshaft position sensor is linked to the engine timing, which means that if it malfunctions, it can cause serious damage to your car.
Since you won’t know what is causing the drivetrain warning it’s best you take it to the nearest Mini dealer or any qualified automotive technician who can diagnose the problem and repair it.
This will prevent any further damage to your car as well as save you money on repairs in the long run.