Category: MINI Repair

How to Deal with a Faulty Starter Solenoid in a Mini in Los Angeles

MINI Starter Solenoid

The starter solenoid is a powerful electromagnet switch, it’s also known as a solenoid switch. It turns on an internal combustion engine’s starting motor. You could hear it called a starter relay as well.

Two coils of wire wound around a moveable iron core and a series of hefty metal contacts make up the starter solenoid. A small connector and two larger connectors are normally found on the outside of the solenoid.

The starter control wire, which connects to the ignition switch, is connected to the tiny terminal. The battery line from the positive terminal of the battery is connected to one huge terminal. The wire that supplies voltage to the starter motor is connected to the other big terminal.

What are the reasons why a starter solenoid can become faulty?

Faulty starter solenoids can simply become excessively problematic over time and require attention and time because your vehicle will be prevented from starting and working at all. This could eat into your precious time and cause inconvenience to you generally. Let’s shed some light on why this issue should occur and how you can go about the issue of a faulty starter solenoid in your Mini.

  • Bad wiring: Inadequate power supply to the solenoid can be caused by poor wiring. Shorting is a more dangerous consequence of poor wiring. Both, on the other hand, have the potential to produce a malfunction and cause issues with your starter system.
  • Bolts are too tight: This frequently happens when you use high-torque tightening equipment. Some parts of the solenoid or the starting will stretch or break, resulting in shorts or mechanical failure of your beginning system.
  • Excessive heat: Excessive heat can be caused by excessively high currents passing through the solenoid for long periods. The soldering in the starter solenoid contacts might melt and weld together if the ignition switch is left in the start position for too long.

The starter solenoid typically has four common problems:

  • The suction fails sometimes or only works when the engine is cooling and fails when the engine is warming up.
  • The starter solenoid cannot be reset when the engine is turned on. When you release the start button, the starter continues to run and only stops when the power is turned off.
  • After repeated usage, the return spring’s elastic force declines, and the one-way clutch’s drive gear cannot be restored promptly, instead of being driven and reversely dragged by the flywheel ring gear.
  • When the starter is turned on, the starter solenoid makes a periodic noise, but the starter does not rotate.

What can be fixed on a faulty starter solenoid?

  • An Issue with the Starter Solenoid: The movable iron core needs to be able to move freely. If not, you should identify and resolve the issue(s) that are causing the stuck. If the spring is damaged, it should be replaced. The faulty spring is the most common source of the stuck issue.
  • Contact Plate Burnout and Starter Solenoid Contacts: If the solenoid contacts are not significantly burned out, simply polish the surface of the solenoid contacts and contact plate with sandpaper. If the surface is severely burnt out, open the solenoid cap, remove the contacts and contact plate, and file or add flat washers until the two contacts are of equal height.
  • Dissemble the Threads of B/M Terminal Bolts: M8 or M10 copper bolts are commonly used in terminals. The typical method of repair is to remove the starter and starter solenoid from the car, disassemble the solenoid, unscrew the terminal bolt, and rethread the terminal bolts using a threading die.

Carotech Automotive is Here For Your MINI

If you’ve discovered that a bad starter solenoid MINI Faulty Starter Solenoid Fix is the source of the problem in your Mini Cooper, jumpstart your car with jumper wires or call us for a tow. Schedule an appointment with us at Carotech Automotive if you are in Los Angeles, CA or its surrounding communities to inspect your Mini or other vehicle with our expert tools and trained knowledge. We look forward to building a lasting relationship with you so we can keep your vehicles in their top condition for your driving pleasure. Call us today!

When to Replace the Head Gasket of a Mini by Certified Mechanics in Los Angeles

MINI Coolant Warning

Mini Cooper, founded in 1969 and owned by the luxury automotive brand BMW, is a popular British automotive manufacturer that is known for producing high-quality small cars. Minis may experience head gasket issues that, if left untreated, can result in significant problems for your vehicle. You may wonder how you are supposed to know when to replace the head gasket of your Mini Cooper. The expert certified mechanics in Los Angeles are here to help!

What is a head gasket?

The head gasket of a Mini was designed to provide a tight seal between the cylinder head and the engine block, two extremely important parts of the engine. The cylinder head plays an extremely important role in the function of the engine as it houses more moving parts than any other engine component while the engine block itself is designed to support the weight of all engine components combined.

Without a properly functioning head gasket, combustion gases, oil, and coolant can escape resulting in a loss of pressure within the combustion chamber and an overall loss of power to your vehicle.

Experts have not yet said that a vehicle cannot be driven without a properly functioning head gasket. However, it is not recommended. A damaged or broken head gasket will leave you with a vehicle that is unable to emit an adequate amount of power to continue running smoothly, and it can damage your engine.

Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of a Failed Head Gasket

A damaged, faulty, or blown head gasket will produce a wide variety of symptoms. Damage may occur as the result of extreme pressure, exposure to excessive amounts of heat, a flaw in the design, deterioration, or an improper installation.

Commonly reported warning signs to include:

  • Bubbling sounds coming from the radiator and/or coolant reserve tank.
  • While smoke is emitted from the exhaust pipe as a result of antifreeze leaking into the cylinders and being turned from a liquid form to smoke.
  • An unexplained loss of coolant from the coolant reservoir when there are no leaks present.
  • Overheating within the engine due to the coolant escaping through the space created from the damaged head gasket being unable to properly cool the engine.
  • Discoloration in the engine oil, specifically a milky white color from the coolant entering into the oil tank and causes contamination.
  • An obvious loss of power stems from a decrease in pressure within the combustion chamber.
  • Lastly, and most obvious, your Mini will not start as a result of there not being enough combustion pressure to ignite the engine.

Automotive experts recommend that the head gasket is replaced at least every 100,000 miles if you properly maintain the engine oil level, engine oil services by draining and replacing the old and/or dirty oil, as well as proper coolant maintenance.

While several mechanics agree that a head gasket is designed to last drivers approximately 100,000 miles, it is important to know that this intricate part can fail at any time even though it is made of extremely durable material.

Call the European Automotive Maintenance Experts for Help

Carotech Automotive has been helping drivers in the Los Angeles, California area for more than MINI Head Gasket Replacement 50 years. We service popular domestic, Asian, and European makes and models including but not limited to:

Our team at Carotech Automotive is made up of highly-trained, ASE-Certified technicians with years of automotive maintenance experience. As the go-to European automotive maintenance service center in Los Angeles, we will help with all of your vehicle needs.

We offer special financing options on qualifying purchases as well as a 24-month/24,000-mile warranty on qualifying parts and labor. Your warranty coverage can be extended to 36 months or 36,000 miles, should you choose to utilize your NAPA AutoCare easy-pay credit card that offers exclusive discounts and no annual fee. Give us a call today!

What Does a Trifecta Warning Light Mean in Your Mini?

Mini Cooper Car

Your MINI comes with the latest in German engineering, from adaptive cruise control to blind-spot technology. The MINI stands out among the leading compact sports sedans, but what happens when these top-of-the-line technical systems fail?

The “trifecta” warning lights in your MINI refer to three crucial driver-assistance system malfunctions. They include your Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), your All-Season traction Control (ASC)/Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), and your flat tire monitor.

These three systems are intricately connected to each other, so when one fails, the two can follow suit. The “trifecta” warning can appear.

It’s essential to not only understand what these lights mean but also why they’re on. Sometimes when they’re all on simultaneously, it doesn’t mean that all the systems are down, but it does mean something is wrong with the interconnected systems. Keep reading for our quick explanation of what each warning lamp means and also what you can do about it.

The Meaning of the ABS Warning Lamp

You may know what ABS stands for, but you might not know its importance. As a driver assistance system, the Anti-lock Braking System assists with emergency braking in milliseconds. Hard braking can often result in wheel lock-ups and cause an accident when you’re trying to avoid one. To prevent a slide or spin, the ABS pulsates the brakes for each wheel when a lock-up is detected. This pulsating brake pattern helps your MINI regain traction on the road. Then, with the proper traction on your wheels, you can regain control of the car and avoid an accident.

The lamp will illuminate the letters “ABS” in yellow on your dashboard so long as the computer identifies a problem with the braking system. When the ABS warning light turns on in your MINI, it means that the system is not functioning correctly. You can still drive around without your ABS, but we recommend bringing your MINI into the shop to diagnose the problem and solve it.

The ASC/DSC Warning Lamp

Your All-Season traction Control/Dynamic Stability Control warning lamp refers to a problem with multiple systems in your car’s driver assistance kit. For clarity, we note that the ASC and DSC are the same things, but the DSC includes the ASC into its overall system. Your MINI can have one or the other, but the warning lamp is always the same.

The ASC/DSC includes braking systems like the ABS but isn’t limited to it. In short, these are the systems that prevent us from sliding out or spinning when braking hard, turning, accelerating, and starting from a stop. For those who like to “launch” their MINIs, you might notice these lights turning on from the moment you press your foot down on the gas pedal.

A system like this is essential to driving your car safely. They prevent traction issues many earlier car models suffered.

Your ASC/DSC can be damaged or malfunction over time for multiple reasons. If the ASC/DSC light fails to turn off after the engine is started, or turns on during driving, then the system is defective or was turned off using the ASC/DSC switch. It may be that the ASC/DSC’s stabilizing options are no longer available. However, the vehicle will remain fully operational without ASC/DSC.

As mentioned for the ABS, driving without this system is not recommended. Taking your MINI into our shop to diagnose the problems with your braking system is the best course of action you can take. Don’t risk an accident or your life. The repairs can be done affordably.

The Flat Tire Monitor Warning Lamp’s Meaning

This one is pretty straightforward. A flat tire monitor lamp will notify the driver that a tire is a flat or losing air. If it’s losing air, it will eventually become flat with use.

You should always be mindful of a flat tire indicator. Driving with a flat tire can damage your wheel and wear our tread significantly. Blowouts are also standard if a foreign object lodged into the tire’s tubing is causing significant pressure loss.

Keep in mind that even if the flat tire monitor lamp has gone out, it doesn’t mean your tire is no longer flat. Unless you’ve been able to refill the tire at a gas station or with your own tire pump, then chances are you still have a flat. If you still see the flat tire warning lamp after you’ve tried refilling the tire, then bring it in for an inspection from our mechanics, and we’ll help solve your problem.

Resolving Your MINI’s Trifecta Warning Light

Specializing in the MINI Trifecta Warning Light Fix finest European automotive engineering around, Carotech Automotive employs ASE-certified mechanics ready to take on your MINI’s problems. We service residents all around Los Angeles, CA, with honesty, quality, and customer service in mind. Call us today to schedule your service!

* Mini Cooper Car image credit goes to: Neydtstock.

The Importance of Supercharger Oil For Your Mini

MINI Supercharged Engine

In recent years, the Mini Cooper has solidified itself as a reliable choice for luxury drivers everywhere by introducing the supercharger to its system. A supercharger, unlike a turbocharger, is connected directly to the engine via a belt and can provide a huge boost in power and performance. However, this is only true if the supercharger is properly lubricated.

Today, we’re talking about the importance of keeping up with the oil levels in your Mini’s supercharger and some common symptoms to watch out for that tell you it’s time to get the oil changed.

The Supercharger and Oil

One common misconception that a lot of Mini drivers believe is that simply keeping your engine oil levels up is enough to keep the supercharger lubricated as well. This isn’t true, though. Regular engine oil shouldn’t come into contact with the supercharger at all.

A supercharger is an air compressor that includes a lot of moving gears and parts, and it’s constantly under a lot of pressure. Regular engine oil won’t last very long in this kind of environment, and once the supercharger runs dry, it can’t work as well and will negatively affect your car’s fuel economy and performance.

That’s why there is specially formulated supercharger oil that goes into the supercharger’s own oil reservoir. It was created to withstand the conditions of the supercharger and also does a little to help keep the temperature under your Mini’s hood at a reasonable level by reducing the amount of friction.

Signs that You Need to Get Your Supercharger Oil Changed

You may not realize it, but because the supercharger relies on the engine to work, letting supercharger problems fester can cause damage to the engine in the long run in addition to reducing performance and power overall.

Since Mini drivers rely on the reliability and power that the supercharger provides, you’ll likely be able to notice immediately when something is wrong. However, the best way to keep your supercharger and all of your Mini’s other components in great shape is by being proactive and following recommended maintenance routines. For supercharger oil changes, in particular, most mechanics recommend getting it changed every 50,000 miles, though you should ask your trusted mechanic for their specific recommendation.

Otherwise, if you see any of the signs I’m about to talk about, schedule an appointment with your local Mini expert as soon as you can.

The first sign that the supercharger oil is running low is a dramatic decrease in performance and fuel economy. If you notice that you’re going to the gas pump a lot more often than you normally do after driving the same amount, it could have something to do with the supercharger. Similarly, if you’re finding that your Mini doesn’t seem to be able to get up to speed as fast as it used to be able to, it may be because of the same reason.

Another symptom to watch for is strange noises coming from the engine. Specifically, grinding sounds indicate that the supercharger oil has run dry. Since oil is designed to lubricate the gears within the system and keep them from rubbing against each other, grinding noises mean that lubrication has gone away.

Too much friction between different components can cause significant wear that may mean you need to replace the supercharger entirely. You don’t want that to happen, as the supercharger is one of the most expensive parts of a car’s engine to replace.

How Carotech Automotive and Tires Can Help

You may be wondering if it’s possible to change Happy MINI Owner After Supercharger Oil Change the oil in your supercharger by yourself. The answer is that yes, of course, it’s possible. However, a supercharger oil change is not as easy or quick as a regular engine oil change. Even when a professional mechanic does it, it can be a complicated and time-consuming process, so unless you’re a Mini expert or very experienced with DIY car maintenance, you may just end up doing more damage than it’s worth.

Instead, bring your Mini to professionals like the technicians who work here at Carotech Automotive and Tire. Serving the Los Angeles area, we are experienced in servicing a wide range of domestic, Asian, and European car brands, including Minis. We’d love to help you out!