The reinvented Mini could have gone so wrong for BMW. It was such a fine line to tread between building a car that was a dull pastiche of the classic version, and hitting the nail squarely on the head. Well, more than 20 years and millions of sales since the first revised Mini appeared, it’s fair to say BMW probably got it right.
However, the first-generation ‘new’ Mini has a reputation for reliability that is perhaps not all it could be. It has suffered a number of annoyingly common problems throughout its life.
But that’s where Haynes is your friend. We’ve stripped down and rebuilt the Mini Cooper, Cooper S, Clubman and Clubman S, so you can rely on us to guide you through any repair jobs. And just think, you’ll be avoiding all those costly workshop labor charges by carrying out the jobs yourself.
What recalls has the Mini been subject to?
The 2005 Mini may have a reliability reputation that isn’t the greatest, but it hasn’t been subject to that many recalls.
A manual transmission shift cable that could suddenly come apart from the shifter forced a recall of early cars.
A faulty mounting screw for the rear suspension strut caused another recall, and incorrect tire information was the source of another recall.
A faulty power steering pump and potentially leaky power steering hoses meant owners had to take their cars back to the dealerships once again.
A software update was required to comply with emissions regulations, and numerous early Cooper S models were recalled to have a crankcase breather line replaced.
What common problems does the Mini have?
The 2005 Mini is known to suffer an issue in which the seatbelt buckles can become difficult to operate, and can even cease to operate altogether.
Several Mini owners have reported an issue that gives the gas pedal a notchy action, while other have had cause to complain about front suspension that clicks and creaks over bumps.
Another common issue on this generation of Min is that the rear brakes can be prone to sticking over time. The good news is that no replacement parts are required.
And while the Mini is undeniably a hoot, it can also be a howl, which isn’t so good. The clutch is the source of the problem.
Is your Mini seatbelt buckle difficult to use?
Seatbelts are a fact of life – and a good thing that is, too. Indeed, they save lives on a daily basis. And that makes it all the more important that they work as they should, because if a seatbelt comes unlatched in an accident, it means the airbags won’t do their job properly, and could even injure you, which slightly defeats the point.
However, the seatbelt buckle in the Mini is prone to becoming blocked by foreign objects, including items such as paper clips, coins, food and drink.
The best solution is to clean the buckle out completely, and the easiest way to do this is to remove it from the car altogether first. Then you can easily clean it out before reinstalling it into the vehicle. And if one is playing up, you can almost guarantee that the others won’t be far behind, so it’s probably worth doing them all.
As ever, the Haynes Mini manual can help you through each stage of the procedure.
Why is your Mini gas pedal notchy?
Your Mini is designed to be enjoyed. The handling, the steering, the grip, the brakes – all designed to make you feel good about driving it.
But if the gas pedal has a sticky, notchy feel, then the whole experience is ruined. You can’t drive smoothly in town and you can’t apply just the right amount of acceleration on a twisty road. This is A Bad Thing.
This problem can arise when the ambient temperature is high or when the heater is blowing hot air at your feet.
You’ll have to replace both the gas pedal (part number: 35 40 6 762 484 for manual cars, 35 40 6 762 483 for CVT cars) and adapter plate (part number: 35 40 0 141 446).
The good news is that the Haynes Mini manual will be able to guide you through each step of removing the old pedal and fitting the new one. Then progress will be silky smooth once more.
If you want to know how to service your Mini's cooling system, just watch our FREE video below.
Does your Mini have creaking front suspension?
We all end up making odd noises as we get older, be it floorboards in an old house or your grandparent groaning as they get up from the sofa. And the Mini is no different.
The front suspension of the Mini is known to generate annoying clicking or creaking noises as it gets older.
The issue lies with the front strut upper bushings, which can become cracked as they age.
However, it isn’t a terribly difficult job to replace the strut mount bushings, so simply follow the step-by-step guide in your Haynes Mini manual and you’ll soon have silent bushings once more.
Are your Mini rear brakes binding?
One of the more common issues suffered by the Mini of this vintage is a rear brake set-up that starts to bind over time. Oddly, this tends to happen to the rear-right brake more often than it does the left.
The issue lies with the routing of the parking brake cable, which can fail to release the right-rear brake completely when you release the handbrake lever.
It’s an easy fix though. Just raise the rear of the vehicle and set it on jackstands, then slightly bend the handbrake cable elbow so that it releases completely.
Then it’s just a case of adjusting the rear brakes so that they work as intended and all should be well once more.
Which part of your Mini is howling?
The Mini is an undeniably cool car. But what is not quite so cool is the fact that it can produce a howling noise every time you pull away from rest. Irritating and embarrassing. It tends to happen more when the vehicle is cold, but eventually extends throughout the entire journey.
It’s the clutch release system that’s at fault, and the only sure option is to replace the clutch assembly and flywheel.
The Haynes Mini manual will be there to guide through every step of the process, so juts study what to do, but the right bits, gather together your tools, and off you go.
No more howling for you!