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2002-2013 MINI Cooper Routine Maintenance FAQ

Mini Cooper Convertible

(Covers the Mk I and Mk II MINI including 2002-13 Cooper, 2002-13 Clubman, 2002-13 Convertible and S models)

Do you own a MINI and have questions about its routine maintenance, such as when to change the oil, or even what oil type? Perhaps you've been wondering how often to change other fluids in your MINI or how often to give it a once over, inspect the brakes and other common checks. Our MINI routine maintenance guide comes straight from the best-selling MINI manual for 2002-2013 model years, as compiled by our UK home office, and has all the information you need! 

Modern cars and trucks need much less maintenance than the vehicles of 25 years ago, but they still have needs. You no longer necessarily have to do a tune-up every 6 months, or change the oil every 3 months, but regular fluid changes are still essential to your vehicle’s longevity.

What follows is our quick reference guide to many of the recommended routine maintenance tasks for MINI (2002 to 2013), most of which you can do yourself at home. If you need more guidance or step-by-step instructions, check out our online or traditional printed manual.

NOTE: Throughout this page you will find references to "Mk I" and "Mk II" models; this is done to simplify which specifications and procedures apply to which models. Mk I models include 2002-2006 Cooper/Clubman and 2002-2008 Convertibles. Mk II models include 2007-2013 Cooper/Clubman, and 2009-2013 Convertible models.

Engine Oil Change

Engine Oil Type*   MINI Longlife-04, BMW LL-01, or equivalent ACEA A3/B3 synthetic.
    SAE 0W-30 or 5W-30 (Mk I Models)
    MINI Longlife-01, BMW LL-01, or equivalent ACEA A3/B3 synthetic.
    SAE 5W-30 (Mk II Models)
Engine Oil Capacity   4.5 liters/4.7 quarts (Mk I Cooper)
    4.8 liters/5.0 quarts (Mk I Cooper S 2005 and onward)
    4.2 liters/4.4 quarts (Mk II models)
Oil Drain Plug Torque   30 Nm/22 ft-lbs
Oil Filter Cover Torque   25 Nm/18 ft-lbs (all engines)

Transmission Fluid Change

Manual Transmission Fluid Type*   MTF 94 Lifetime transmission oil (Mk I models)
    MTF-LT-4 Lifetime transmission oil (Mk II models)
Automatic Transmission Fluid Type*   ESSO CVT EZL 799A or equivalent (CVT Transmission)
    ESSO JWS-3309 or equivalent (Agitronic 6-speed)
Manual Transmission Fluid Capacity   1.7 liters/1.8 quarts (Cooper)
    1.9 liters/2.0 quarts (Cooper S)
Automatic Transmission Fluid Capacity (drain and refill)   4.5 liters/4.8 quarts (CVT or Agitronic)
Transmission Fluid Fill Plug Torque   25 Nm/18 ft-lbs (5sp Manual)
    43 Nm/34 ft -lbs (6sp Manual)
    21 Nm/16 ft-lbs (2002-2011 CVT Auto)
    25 Nm/19 ft-lbs (2012 and later CVT Auto)
    27 Nm/20 ft-lbs (Agitronic Auto Fill Plug)
    27 Nm/20 ft-lbs (Agitronic Auto Inspection Plug)
Transmission Fluid Drain Plug Torque   32 Nm/24 ft-lbs (5sp Manual)
    43 Nm/32 ft-lbs (6sp Manual)
    40 Nm/30 ft-lbs (2002-2011 CVT Auto)
    27 Nm/20 ft-lbs (2012 and later CVT w/10mm plug)
    25 Nm/19 ft-lbs (2012 and later CVT w/18mm plug)

Cooling System Flush and Fill

Coolant Type*   BMW phosphate and nitrate free antifreeze or equivalent mixed
    50/50 with distilled water
Cooling System Capacity   5.3 liter/5.6 quarts (Cooper)
    6.0 liter/6.3 quarts (Cooper S)

Other Miscellaneous Fluid Types

Power Steering Fluid   CHF 11S fluid (Mk I models)
Brake Fluid   DOT 4 brake fluid
Clutch Fluid   DOT 4 brake fluid

Other Miscellaneous Torque Specs

Wheel Lug Nuts   120 Nm/89 ft-lbs (Mk I models)
    140 Nm/103 ft-lbs (Mk II models)
ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Bolt   8 Nm/72 in-lbs
Brake Caliper Bracket Bolts   110 Nm/81 ft-lbs (all front)
    65 Nm/48 ft-lbs (rear) DO NOT REUSE
 Caliper Guide Pins/Bolts   30 Nm/22 ft-lbs (Mk I models - front)
    35 Nm/26 ft-lbs (Mk II models - front)
    30 Nm/22 ft-lbs (Mk I models - rear)
    35 Nm/26 ft-lbs (Mk II models - rear)
Spark Plugs   27 Nm/20 ft-lbs (Mk I models)
    23 Nm/17 ft-lbs (Mk II models)

*Refer to your MINI/BMW dealer or oil manufacturer for equivalent recommendations

Mini Cooper Teardown

The MINI is equipped with a display in the center of the instrument panel, which will show the type of service next due, and the distance remaining until it is required. Once that distance has been reduced to zero, the display will start counting up the distance since the service was due. On Mk I models, the factory specifies Oil Service, and Inspection Service, further broken down into Inspection I and Inspection II, which alternate; if you are unsure of what was last done, start with Inspection II. On Mk II models, a similar system is used, but there is just the Oil Service, and other specific services as indicated on the display. The car's computer takes into account many variables (weather, how the vehicle is driven, mileage, age) and indicates what needs to be changed or replaced based on the factories best guesses for wear and tear. For example, if a vehicle is being used under extreme conditions, the service may be recommended by the display at 10,000 miles, but, if the vehicle is being used moderately, it may occur at 20,000 miles. The services should be carried out when indicated on the display, but this guide will give you some idea of what needs to be done how often.

Mk I MINI Maintenance Schedule

Every 250 miles (400 km) or weekly:

  • Check the engine oil level (Section 2)
  • Check the engine coolant level (Section 2)
  • Check the windshield washer fluid level (Section 2)
  • Check the tires and tire pressures (Section 2)

Oil service:

  • Change the engine oil and filter (Section 3)
  • Reset the service interval display (Section 4)
  • Check the front and rear brake pad thickness (Section 5)
  • Check the operation of the parking brake (Section 7)
  • Replace the cabin air filter (Section 8)

Inspection I - all items listed above, plus:

  • Check all underhood components and hoses for fluid leaks(Section 9)
  • Check the steering and suspension components for condition and security (Section 10)
  • Check the exhaust system and mountings (Section 11)
  • Check the condition and operation of the seat belts(Section 12)
  • Lubricate all hinges and locks (Section 13)
  • Check the headlight beam alignment (Section 14)
  • Check the operation of the windshield/headlight washer system(s) (as applicable) (Section 15)
  • Check the engine management system (Section 16)
  • Change the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) fluid (Chapter 7B)
  • Carry out a road test (Section 17)

Inspection II - all items listed above, plus:

  • Replace the drivebelt (Section 18)
  • Replace the spark plugs (Section 19)
  • Replace the air filter element (Section 20)
  • Check the condition of the driveaxle boots (Section 21)

Every 2 years (regardless of mileage):

  • Replace the brake fluid (Section 22)

Every 4 years (regardless of mileage):

  • Replace the coolant (Section 23)
  • Replace the Mobility System tire puncture sealant (if equipped)

Mk II MINI Maintenance Schedule

Engine oil service:

  • Change the engine oil and filter (Section 3)
  • Check the tires wear and pressure, then reset the TPM (Section 2)
  • Check the engine management system (Section 16)
  • Check the parking brake adjustment (Chapter 9)
  • Check the windshield washer fluid level (Section 2)

Condition Based Service (CBS) operations:

  • Replace the front and rear brake pads (Chapter 9)
  • Replace the brake fluid (Section 22)

Every other oil service (or when prompted by the CBS display):

  • Check the engine coolant (Section 2 and Chapter 3)
  • Check the battery and charging system (Section 2 and Chapter 5)
  • Check the brake system hydraulic lines and hoses (Chapter 9), the brake pads (Section 5), the power brake booster (Section 6), and the parking brake (Section 7)
  • Check the operation of all interior and exterior lights, turn signal and hazard flasher operation
  • Check the operation of horn
  • Check the steering and suspension systems (Section 10)
  • Check the exhaust system (Section 11)
  • Check the operation of the windshield wipers and washers (Section 15)
  • Check the drivebelt (Section 18)
  • Check the seat belts (Section 12)
  • Check the operation of the instrument cluster and all its functions

Mileage-based operations

Every 45,000 miles (72,500 km):

  • Replace the air filter element (more often if driven in dusty conditions) (Section 20)

Every 60,000 miles (96,500 km):

  • Replace the spark plugs (all Cooper S and 2011-2013 Cooper models) (Section 19)

Every 100,000 miles (160,000 km):

  • Replace the spark plugs (2007-2010 models) (Section 19)
  • Replace the automatic transaxle fluid (Chapter 7B)

Every 120,000 miles (195,000 km):

  • Replace the oxygen sensors (Chapter 6)

The manufacturer states that routine coolant changes are not necessary for Mk II models. However, the coolant replacement procedure (section 23) can be used, for procedures that require draining and refilling the cooling system.