Figuring out transmission issues in your MINI can be tricky, as there can be many different symptoms that can often mask themselves as other issues, meaning that getting to the true crux of the issue can take a lot of trial and error. You may also find that you only experience one or two issues, which can make you doubt is the transmission is to blame at all. Let us help you demystify the signs of transmission malfunction in your MINI with our handy list.
Sign 1: Your MINI Won’t Go into Gear
One of the most commonly-experienced symptoms of a transmission malfunction is a MINI that won’t go into gear or slips or changes gears unexpectedly. This issue can occur at one specific gear or across all gears. Gear issues can be caused by your transmission fluid running low, using the wrong transmission fluid, or issues with the shift cables or clutch linkage.
Sign 2: A Burning Smell
A burning smell will typically be caused by burning transmission fluid, due to your transmission system overheating. Transmission fluid is essential for the correct lubrication and cooling of your transmission system, and therefore, this issue should be remedied as soon as possible. An overheating transmission system can be caused by low fluid levels, fluid leaks, and expired transmission fluid.
Sign 3: Transmission is Noisy in Neutral
Strange noises when in neutral is often sign of a transmission issue, which can usually be fixed by a fluid change. More serious problems that cause this are wear and tear to parts such as bearings and gear teeth.
Sign 4: Gear Slippage
Gear slips are defined by a car that suddenly changes to neutral. This can create a dangerous scenario for drivers and should be treated with the utmost severity by immediately visiting a professional repair shop.
Sign 5: The Clutch Drags
This issue is reserved to MINIs with a manual transmission. It happens because of a failure to disengage the clutch disk from the flywheel. This will prevent successful gear changes and cause a grinding noise. This issue is commonly caused by excess slack in the clutch pedal.
Sign 6: Transmission Fluid Leaks
A transmission fluid leak is a very clear indicator of a transmission system issue. Transmission fluid is identified by its transparent red color and its sweet smell. Transmission fluid tends not to leave the system unless there’s a leak, so if your levels drop, you’ll need to have the problem resolved.
Sign 7: Illumination of the Check Engine Light
The check engine light will illuminate when your MINI’s onboard computer, otherwise known as the ECU, detects problems with parts integral to your car’s health. This can occur for many reasons, including the transmission.
Sign 8: Grinding and Shaking
In manual transmissions, this sign will be noticeable in your MINI when shifting gears. It usually is an indicator that your clutch is worn out or that you have an issue with the gear synchronizers. In MINIs with an automatic transmission, you may notice your car will shimmy into each gear.
Sign 9: Noisy
Hearing odd noises when driving your MINI is never a good sign and can indicate transmission problems. Automatic transmissions will make noises, such as whining and humming, whereas manual transmissions will make much more mechanical sounds, such as clunking.
Sign 10: Unresponsive Transmission System
A working transmission will always shift into the correct gear. Any type of hesitation, delay, or struggle to make this change is a clear sign your transmission system needs investigating for malfunctions. This can be indicative of a failed clutch and should never be ignored, as they can create a dangerous distraction when driving, which can increase your risk of accidents.
Turning Wrenches are Transmission Experts
Turning Wrenches of Louisville, KY are great friends of the local community. We are your specialists in European cars, including your intricate components of your MINI. We are so excited to become your trusted MINI service center that that we offer a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty as guarantee, meaning you will always drive away happy and 100% satisfied. Call our friendly team today to schedule your next appointment.