Mini Cooper Drivetrain Malfunction: Complete Guide

The Mini Cooper’s drivetrain can be affected by strange noises, stalling, limp mode activation, and shuddering when accelerating or decelerating.

Mini Cooper Drivetrain Malfunction Complete Guide

The purpose of this article is to provide insight from my experience as a technician into the primary cause of the alert “drivetrain malfunction”.

Mini Cooper Drivetrain Malfunction: Causes

Plugs with bad sparks

In order to avoid misfires, replace the ignition coil every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.

Pack with bad coils

If you hear loud noises or notice power loss in the engine, look for vibrations.

Failure of the fuel injector

Replacement is recommended every 50,000-100,000 miles. Injectors that are dirty or damaged can make starting difficult.

Piston burnt out

Overheating and low oil levels can damage pistons. Make sure the oil level is correct and exhaust smoke is clear.

Cam position sensor malfunctioning

When a sensor fails, timing can be incorrect, resulting in serious engine damage.

A Mini Cooper with a faulty drivetrain:

A Mini Cooper with a faulty drivetrain

Error codes and engine lights

Getting your car inspected should be your first step if you see a check engine light on your dashboard, since it could indicate a drivetrain problem. The exact cause can be determined by a professional through diagnostic testing.

Engine power reduction and limp mode

Mini Coopers that enter limp mode significantly reduce engine power to prevent damage, a symptom of drivetrain problems. In order to prevent further complications, it is imperative to seek immediate professional attention.

Acceleration changes noticeable

Your Mini Cooper might have a problem with its drivetrain if it starts picking up speed suddenly or cannot maintain a steady pace.

Experiencing shakes or judders

It is wise to be alert to signs of drivetrain trouble when you notice your car shaking or shuddering while driving, especially over long distances or at constant speeds.

Read more: Chev Utility Common Problems: Solutions For A Smooth Ride

Strange sounds in the car

Be aware of any unusual noises you hear when you accelerate or slow down, such as whining, grinding or clunking. Drivetrain components may be malfunctioning if this type of sound occurs.

Mini Cooper Drivetrain Fault Overview

Plugs with bad sparksMisfires can occur due to the ignition of fuel in the combustion chamber.
Pack with bad coilsThis spark plug igniter triggers engine sensors and helps ignite the spark plug. Loud noises, vibrations, and reduced engine power are all symptoms of the problem.
Failure of a fuel injectorA fuel injector injects fuel into an ignition system. It is difficult to start the vehicle when suffering from this condition.
Piston burnt outOverheating or low oil are the causes of this problem. Check the oil, color of the exhaust smoke, and noises coming from the engine in order to diagnose the problem.
Cam position sensor malfunctioningMonitors the position of the crankshaft and camshaft. It is possible for ignition timing issues to occur as a result of incorrect function.

Explanation for Mini Cooper Drivetrain Malfunction

In light of the fact that this is a generic fault message that can be caused by a number of factors, here are the most common reasons:

Failure of the fuel injector

On most Mini Coopers, fuel injectors fail over time since they are responsible for injecting fuel into the cylinders of the engine to ignite it and power it.

It may be necessary to replace one or more injectors if your Mini Cooper does not start or takes a long time to start after a drivetrain fault is noticed.

Piston burned out

It is also common for pistons to fail due to a hot combustion chamber or insufficient oil in the engine, which is a cause of drivetrain malfunctions.

There are several ways to diagnose this problem on Mini Cooper engines: simply check your oil level, check the color of the smoke coming from your exhaust pipe, and listen for strange noises coming from under your hood.

Faulty spark plugs

Fuel is ignited in the combustion chamber of your mini by spark plugs.

This drivetrain warning message occurs when they malfunction, causing a misfire.

In my personal experience, spark plugs go out sooner than Mini Cooper recommends, so I recommend changing them every 30000-50000 miles (42800 80000 km).

Packs with bad coils

Drivetrain malfunctions can also be caused by coil packs.

An electrical field is created by the coil pack and is responsible for igniting the spark plug as well as activating other sensors and components in your Mini’s engine control module (ECM).

Bad coil packs may also show the following signs:

  • When accelerating, the engine lacks power
  • Vibration of the engine
  • Idle time on your Mini cooper
  • Noises coming from the engine

Plugs and ignition coils generally last longer than each other. You should change your coils every 50 000 – 100 000 miles (80 000 – 160 000 km).

Check the coils and plugs first if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Cam position sensor malfunction

Last but not least, a malfunctioning cam position sensor can cause a drivetrain malfunction.

Your Mini cooper engine requires a camshaft position sensor to monitor the position of the camshaft and crankshaft and to communicate this information to the computer.

Incorrect timing of ignition events can result in drivetrain malfunctions if the sensor is not functioning correctly.

How should you deal with a malfunctioning BMW drivetrain?

We now know what drivetrain malfunctions are, so the next step is to identify what we should do if we experience them. You should follow these steps:

  • If the drivetrain malfunctions, restart the engine immediately 
  • See if there are any leaking or damaged parts in the engine
  • Diagnose the problem using a scanner (like an OBD II scanner) 

Does a malfunctioning drivetrain affect your driving ability? Once you receive the drivetrain malfunction warning, you should pull over and follow the steps above. Further damage can be caused if you continue to drive the car.

What You Can Do To Prevent Drivetrain Malfunctions

The following steps can help prevent drivetrain malfunctions: 

  • Make sure your spark plugs and fuel pump are functioning correctly by having your car inspected annually
  • A new ignition coil should be installed every 20,000 to 25,000 miles
  • Between 50,000 and 100,000 miles, fuel injectors need to be replaced
  • It is recommended that you use fuel with at least 93 octane

Tips for DIY Drivetrain Care

The drivetrain of a Mini Cooper can be maintained by both professional mechanics and owners. In order to maintain drivetrain health, you need to clean and lubricate components and maintain your tires properly.

Help from Professionals

Whenever DIY efforts fail or if you are uncertain about the severity of an issue, it is crucial to seek professional assistance. A trustworthy Mini Cooper service center understands the intricacies of the drivetrain, ensuring your vehicle is in good hands.

Timely repair is essential

In addition to avoiding inconvenience, addressing drivetrain problems promptly will prevent extensive damage. The timely repair of your Mini Cooper can prevent major overhauls and increase its lifespan.

Drivetrain Life Extension Tips

In order to extend the drivetrain’s lifespan, Mini Cooper owners can take an active role. In order to maintain a healthier, longer-lasting drivetrain, follow manufacturer recommendations, adopt good driving habits, and invest in proactive maintenance.

Drivetrain upgrades enhance performance

In order to enhance the driving experience of a Mini Cooper, it is worthwhile to explore aftermarket drivetrain upgrades. Your vehicle can benefit from these modifications, enhancing performance and adding a personal touch.

Holden Trax Problems: Common Reliability Issues
Mazda Battery Management System Malfunction (Solved)
Code 89 Vauxhall Mokka: Causes & Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I check my Mini Cooper’s drivetrain fluid levels?

In general, fluid levels should be checked regularly during routine maintenance or at least once every few thousand miles.

Can I use any transmission fluid for my Mini Cooper?

Use the transmission fluid recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle to ensure optimal performance and prevent damage.

What are the common signs of a failing Mini Cooper differential?

It is important to address a failing differential as soon as possible if you hear unusual noises, feel vibrations, or experience difficulty turning.

Are drivetrain upgrades worth the investment for a Mini Cooper?

A performance upgrade can be beneficial, but be sure to research thoroughly and make sure the modification matches your driving preferences.

How can I find a reliable Mini Cooper service center for drivetrain repairs?

Ensure the service center has experience dealing with Mini Cooper drivetrain issues by asking for recommendations, reading reviews, and researching the service center’s reputation.


Keeping track of the various parts of your car is crucial for preventing drivetrain malfunctions. Whenever you experience a drivetrain malfunction, be sure to pull over and inspect the engine as soon as possible. You will be safer when such a malfunction occurs, and your car will be protected from further damage.

Leave a Comment