05 MCS R53 Weird power loss

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by Carl Auer, May 28, 2018.

  1. Carl Auer

    Carl Auer New Member

    May 28, 2018
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    I have been using my 05 Mini Cooper S to drive for Uber Eats in the Denver, Colorado area for a couple weeks and recently, as summer temps have finally hit, i am seeing a weird issue.

    A few days ago, after driving three hours in stop and go, rush hour traffic making deliveries, I came off of I-70 onto a hill on Federal, and lost power. It came right back and everything seemed fine. The next day, again, after about three hours of stop and go driving, it happened again, I down shifted, and power came back, but just a few seconds later it lost power again. I nursed the car to my last delivery and home, let it sit for a half hour, took it out again, and the car drove fine. I pushed it, and pushed it hard, but no loss of power. Brought it home, got out while it was still running, and the cooling fan came on. I turned the car off, fan stayed on and did not go off until I tapped the relay. Coolant reservoir was wet, but empty. No leaks, just low. So I topped it off. The next day it seems to warm up rough, the second speed of the rad fan coming on almost as soon as I start the car, but cycles on and off. After driving for, again, about 3 hours, with ambient temps around 90 degrees, I would lose power, and it actually started to fully die on me. Nursed it home, let it sit, and it drives fine. No codes are being thrown.

    My thoughts on what are wrong are:
    1 - Supercharger bypass valve (located under the drivers side, left hand drive supercharger horn) is bad. I can easily move the actuator with my index finger when the engine is cold. My understanding is that it should be about 21lbs of resistance and if I can easily move it with my finger, then there is an issue.

    2 - My rad fan is failing. I am not showing any over heating on the dash gauge, but the way the high speed comes on so quickly. it does not seem right. With the high ambient temps, the stop and go driving, could the car be saying, this is not right, going to shut down now? without a code?

    3 - combination of both 1 and 2?

    Please help. I love my MCS and any help would be great

    Carl in Denver
     
  2. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    How many miles?

    It could be your OEM crank pulley failing if you still have the original one on your car.

    The rubber fails and separates causing this issues when they got hot_

    If that’s the problem get the ATI damper in the stock size.
     
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  3. Carl Auer

    Carl Auer New Member

    May 28, 2018
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    106,000 miles
     
  4. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    The coolent tanks are bad about leaking at the seam. Because it’s hot when it leaks the antifreeze drys making it look like it does not have a leak. I had to change mine 3 times, Last time I bought a metal one. My 02 has about 170,000 on it. I live in the south so my Mini has to put up with hot weather all the time. It’s normal for my fan to come on in the high mode. Also the fan will keep running even after you turn the car off. I would check the power steering pump fan. Jack the car up and spin it. If it feels notchie replace it. If it failed in hot weather it could take the electric pump with it. When that power steering pump gets to hot it can draw a big load and cause problems.
    It could be the bypass valve I would think that would through a code. You can get a zip tie and zip tie it closed to test it and see if that fixes the problem. If it does get the DetroitTuned one to replace it.
    Check your crank pulls like Dave said.
    Tell us what you find.
     
  5. Carl Auer

    Carl Auer New Member

    May 28, 2018
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    update:
    Took the car to my mechanic. TThey hooked up to the computer and there were no errors logged. Oil was low, and a wire going to the coils/ignition was badly frayed. They replaced the wire, did an oil change and thought that would solve it. Went out tonight to drive for Uber Eats, and after 2 ½ hours of stop and go traffic, I lost power. Just for a second, but just like before. Then I drove home, about 5 miles, with no problem. I am hoping that it was a hiccup from the half tank of gas I have with the lucas FI cleaner in it. My mechanic also said my clutch is slipping and will need to be tackled soon. he quoted $2k to fix that. So, please, Thoughts? I am planning a 1500 mile drive soon and do not want the car to give out on me every 3 hours.
     
  6. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    crank pulley could be failing. That would cut the alternator and the water pump. Overheating after a brief period. It would have to be completely ripped through the rubber part. Usually that type of failure can be seen on the pulley, so I am guessing a mechanic would find that.

    [​IMG]

    If it is fully failed like the above, you have no water pump, no boost, no alternator. If it just slips occasionally, it would explain the engine going back to normal for periods at a time. Still hard to believe that it would do that. Also, no alternator would throw all sorts of codes, I would assume.

    Coolant could have been low before, unless you checked recently.

    Loss of power means it runs rough but motor still turns? Or does it cut out and then self bump start itself again?

    Clogged fuel filter could explain any of the rough running and cut out conditions. The overheating symptoms point at the crank pulley or slipping accessory belt (stopping water pump driven by the super charger pulley)

    I'd run a ECU monitor like Torque on my Android via OBD2, to see real time temp gauges, boost and other values. These can be logged, too. The app is free and a bluetooth OBD2 adapter is a few bucks on eBay. That will show you what your temps are doing, what your boost/vacuum is like, engine load, etc. Could really help diagnose the source of the problem. It reads fault codes and to some extent tells you what they mean.



    and connect to this
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-Mini-OBD2-OBDII-ELM327-v1-5-Android-Bluetooth-Adapter-Auto-Scanner-Torque/231217581366

    don't have a better image of it - here I have 4 gauges running - boost, throttle position, coolant temp ,and engine load. I think on the iPhone there are similar apps like Car Scanner ELM. Basically, you get a complete cluster of gauges your car doesn't have to help you diagnose what's going on

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    See post #2 again.

    Just saying.......
     
  8. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    you asked for thoughts - here is what I think. Just based on what I read so far, the car seems to see a lot of "severe service" use, and it appears to be poorly maintained. Things like "frayed ignition wires" are unthinkable to me. If the rest of the car fits that state, you may want to sell and buy a car that can take more abuse, like a Toyota Hilux pickupp.

    It will fail again and again, and if you can't do the work yourself, Mini repair costs will make the vehicle impossible to justify financially. Minis of this age in rough condition are worth little more than one major repair.

    $2k for a clutch is a typical shop quote. Lots of labor, and a hefty markup on parts. Shop around. Clutch with flywheel aftermarket (Valeo) are about $300. The rest is labor. The transmission removal is a pretty involved job and unless you know a good garage wrench with an engine lift, the job will be beyond DIY.

    Here the how to videos - note there are two for a total of 1 hour runtime, which rarely is necessary for other jobs, explaining the high labor cost.



     
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  9. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    @Carl Auer - you have a lot of suggestions to digest, some of them pretty technical. Ultimately the question is do you have the ability to and enjoy working on your ride? If so, your at the right place to get help... :D You have one of the best years for the Gen 1 MINI. But they do take some love with that type of mileage.

    If you want to work on it, first thing I would do is get the Bentley Manual (here is a link at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cooper-Convertible-Service-Repair-Bentley/dp/B009PQHLSE/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1528389372&sr=1-1&keywords=MINI+Bentley+Manual
     
  10. Carl Auer

    Carl Auer New Member

    May 28, 2018
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    Thank you Sully. Unfortunately, I am not in a place I can do a lot of my own work. Eventually, I have plans for a garage with a short lift. I have worked on most of my own cars and will be able to take care of easy maintenance, suspension, oil changes, exhaust my self where I am now, but tearing the whole car apart to get to the clutch is not something I can do right now.

    I know buying any car with more than 100k on the clock you risk a lot of unknowns. When I had the water pump done, everything was good. I do take care of the car. I have fixed all the washer pumps, the height of bumper, cleaned up the engine compartment and made a list of things I need to address as time goes on. The wire that was frayed was on my list, but was not as bad a few months ago. It just surprised me that in such a small car, the transmission is not easier to pull to change the clutch.....I cannot wait until I get it done and the fuel issue resolved.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  11. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    you're in Denver - check out
    http://diyautorepairshops.com/index.php

    Not sure if you'd pay the extra 50% for a technician to be available to you 15 mins per hour - may still be a great deal at $60/hour

    It appears costly with the 8 hour (?) clutch job, but even if it takes you 16 hours, it still would beat a $2k shop charge by a longshot, even if you buy their "tech assisted" package. Bring some friends along who have held a wrench before.
     
  12. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I have done a couple of clutches on R53s its not too hard its just a lot to take apart. You are right you need a garage to do it. I would defiantly change the fuel filter you can do that, its under the rear seat. If you don't mind please keep us posted on your Mini. It may help someone els down the road.
     
  13. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Fully get that, there was a period of time I was in the street working on a car. Its tough especially with such a big job. If your handy with a wrench and have a weekend, @fishmonger find above could be a great way to knock it out and have backup from a tech. While I've never done a MINI clutch, I've done lots of other cars. In most cases pretty straight forward especially with the documentation that is out there now (other video's he referenced I assume). Parts @ $300.. you take a few hours getting it taken apart. Pay ~$50 - $150 for the tech assist when putting the clutch in.. then a few hours putting it back together. You could have a full clutch job for under $500.
     
  14. Carl Auer

    Carl Auer New Member

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    I am finding that the 100,000 mile service was not fully done. Oil changed in supercharger, and a oil/filter change done, but other than that, I am suspect. Buying a car with so many miles, I expect it to have some issues. Unfortunately, somethings, the labor is crazy. I changed the fuel filter, and have yet to have the car stall again. It was pretty black. I also am planning on the mini madness MSD ignition upgrade. My post three is bronzed, and wondering if that and the clutch are all I really have to take care of. I will do the ignition/spark plugs, and I think my cooling fan low side is not running right. The high seems to come on a lot, but I fixed it not going off with a new relay. I also replaced the fuel pump relay. Like I said, no stalls since then. When I have the clutch done, I am doing the axels at the same time. Inner CV boots are torn. Who knows how long, and who knows if they are good or not, so, since there is no additional labor, I am doing those at the same time. Going to a different mechanic. One that specializes in BMW/Mini, Audi, VW and nothing else. Plus, they said if the car is still stalling, to go drive it around until it does, then call them as I head to their shop so they can have a tech and computer at the ready for me to take out and show them exactly what is going on. I am hoping they will put a stage one clutch in, something a little more beefy since I would like to eventually autocross this now and then. At the same time the clutch is done, I am going to be there and we are going to visually inspect the harmonic balance/crank pully. I do not think the other shop even looked at it. If it is bad, I will go, likely with a lightened one.

    Question for anyone in the Denver/Golden area, is there a performance shop that works on Mini's in the area? The first shop will only work with genuine mini parts, no aftermarket stuff, and I do not know if this new place will even consider a stage 1 clutch.
     
  15. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    All sounds good except the MSD coil. Don’t do it, please. The stock coil is good to 300HP. You would have to do some big mods to get there. Some people have had bad things happen with the MSD. Also I doubt you need a stage 1 clutch. I went with the Valeo kit. I love it and gets rid of the duel mass flywheel.

    http://www.detroittuned.com/valeo-mini-cooper-s-clutch-kit-gen-1/
     
  16. myles2go

    myles2go Active Member

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    YES, YES, and YES!

    The MSD coil is not an upgrade to the oem coil and can cause problems. Save the money. Also the Valeo flywheel and clutch works well and you can get them for $324 from RockAuto.
     
  17. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    The MSD coil is junk and made for a Dodge Neon not a MINI. They have also been known to have spikes that kill the MINI ECU so they are not worth the risk for a little red coil.

    Also the OEM coil is on many modded MINI’s that make well over 450 whp. One guy is still modding his very large turbo converted R53 and is going for 850 whp and will only use the OEM coil and OEM wires.
     
  18. Canusrufis

    Canusrufis RMW Powered R53
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    I'd still go back to post #2 - damper fail. I've seen more post on mini related sites lately describing the same problem. I believe heat accelerates their death especially at age. That just takes you pulling the passenger wheel and liner off, and perhaps pulling damper off to inspect. If that rubber is cracked it will cause problems like you described. Its less time consuming thana clutch replacement. Which I don't think is bad either just lots of remove and replace.
     
  19. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    when you as far as to pull the damper for a proper inspection of its condition on the back side, just replace the darn thing with an ATI even if it appears fine.
     

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