The first-generation MINI is nearly twenty years of age, and while that may make you feel immensely old (sorry about that) it also means that the MINI is now a prime example of bargain motoring.
And with bargain motoring, there is of course the desire to do as much of the work as possible yourself.
The MINI is a simple car to work on, and with your Haynes Manual to hand, you can tackle most jobs. However, it never hurts to have a bit more information, so here are some insider tips we picked up when putting the manual together…
You’re going to need to use a special tool in order to compress the tensioner, there is no other way around it – without it, the job can’t be done. However, you don’t need the specialist MINI tool, as others available. Also, once compressed you can lock it in place with a 4mm bolt.
After removing the front bumper and bumper carrier, the complete modular front-end assembly can be moved to the service position using a couple 8 mm x 100 mm studs. This greatly improves access to the front of the engine, without having to disconnect any coolant hoses etc.
If your MINI suddenly stops running, check the inertia switch. It’s in the left-hand rear corner of the engine bay. It’s designed to work in the event of a crash, but in the real-world aggressive potholes or bumps can activate it.
After replacing the front door window, the pretension adjustment can be checked using a piece of paper: Open the door, and then slowly close it so that the door lock clicks over the first position on the catch. There should be a gap between the door edge and the vehicle body.
In this position, the top of the window should be just touching the door seal. This can be checked by placing a sheet of paper between the top of the window and the door seal.
With the door closed in the ‘first click’ position, it should be possible to pull the paper from place with light resistance.