Frozen Gearbox - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 93 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 2002, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Angry Frozen Gearbox

We're in the middle of winter in upstate New York, temps last night fell to silly numbers below freezing but we have been experiencing a frozen gearbox. Haven't found anyone with a similar posting. Taking 15 minutes to warm up, last night was tough coz someone left it in gear!

Let me know if I am alone!
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post #2 of 93 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 2002, 10:44 AM
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I haven't heard this but it sounds like a trip to the dealer might be wise. Perhaps the tranny fluid level is quite low or something?

Harry

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post #3 of 93 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 2002, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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FROZEN GEARBOX

Thanks for the response Harry. Will report back tomorrow night on Keeler BMW's (Albany,NY) advice or repair to my mini.
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post #4 of 93 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2002, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy FROZEN GEARBOX IS CLUTCH PROBLEM?!

That's the view of my BMW service department....two and a half hours away from home. "We'll need the car for a few days to try and replicate the problem". What's the matter? Don't you believe me? Look, I know a frozen gear stick when I see, feel, have one.

They'll get the car when I know they know what the problem is. So that's where my Mini2 friends come in. HELP!!!!
Anyone aware or suffered a similar problem? I happened to visit the Keeler service department on a day when the helpline was closed...hmmm...I called 2 weeks ago and told you what the problem was....

Drop me a line if you're aware of anything I can use.

Thank you in anticipation.
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post #5 of 93 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2002, 11:01 AM
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Used to have a VW Rabbit that the emergancy brake wouldn't release when it got cold out. Turned out to be moisture in the cable that would freeze. I'm under the impression that MINI has a cable shifter -- might be the problem.
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post #6 of 93 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2002, 02:18 PM
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Can you move the shift lever with the engine off? If so, then the gearbox is probably okay. If the stick won't move at all with the engine off, then there is either a fault in the gearbox or something (ice, perhaps) is jamming the shift mechanism. If it won't shift only when the engine is running, then suspect the clutch is not releasing. It could be a bad throwout bearing.
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post #7 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy NO RECORDED PROBLEM AT MINI HQ

The service manager at my dealership has reported that the frozen gearbox is a first for Mini, least it hasn't made any records at HQ. They plan to drop the transmission (oh great) to take a closer look unless otherwise advised by Mini in the mean time. Here's hoping they don't have any problems or reduce my Cooper S to anything less than the pocket rocket I remember it as. Woe is me, it's like having a root canal...
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post #8 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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It doesn't go into gear when engine is off Mr Bill

Thanks for your suggestion, tried it last night and it doesn't go into gear. Any ideas will be passed on to my new friends in the service department.
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post #9 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 07:51 PM
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Frozen Gearbox

This AM the temp was 16 degrees F when I left the fire station to start the S. The motor fires just fine, thank you soft ware change, but the gear selector would not move from neutral. I waited about 10 minutes at idle, the thermostat was at the 1st mark, when things came together and into gear we went. 2 calls to MINISTL for advise and one to MINI Minneapolis and I thought I would pose the question to this forum. The dealers feel the lube is the cause and that it may be normal for a 10-20 minute idle to warm the lube enough to allow shifting. I am the first to ask this question of both dealers. The regional rep is to be at MINISTL on 12-5 and I hope to hear his advise. Anyone else had this problem yet? I hate to think what will happen when we hit 10 below this winter!
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post #10 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 08:14 PM
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The other day when the temps were -18C here (-2F) my 5-speed Cooper gearbox was sluggish at first but usable and was fine after a little warmup.

Harry

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post #11 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 09:33 PM
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At 15F yesterday here north of Boston, I had no problem shifting my MC ... cannot believe that what you describe is correct; these cars are arctic tested!

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post #12 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 09:56 PM
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Has been single digits around here for the last 2 days during my morning commute. Outside all the time, no problem.

love those heated seats.

Paul IB/W S
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post #13 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 09:58 PM
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Fine at 12 deg. F yesterday...

Here in Rochester, NY. Started it up and drove it away. I've got to believe the problem is isolated. Ask the dealer if he is telling you that *all* their MINIs do not shift at low temps. Sounds like your dealer is trying to blow you off with a BS story.

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post #14 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 10:24 PM
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15F when I pulled out this morning - no problems. Your manual trans fluid should be synthetic and thereby only mildly affected by the temps. Perhaps your fluid is too low or - not there?

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post #15 of 93 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2002, 10:36 PM
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I also experienced this. The temperature the past few days has been around 10 F and the last time my car was out for a whole day the gearbox was frozen. I usually leave the car in first gear so I had to force it back to neutral position.

I never experienced a gearbox THAT frozen. I am surprised that most of you did not experienced this. I will have to ask my dealer about this.
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