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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 06:25 PM
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United-States 2005 Mini Cooper S - No start problem

Greetings everyone,

My trusty R53 has developed an electrical problem which I've been working to solve for the last few days. Unfortunately its intermittent making it all the harder to trace.

When I put the key in the ignition and turn it to on, usually I get several dash warning lights, hear the fuel pump and heater fan startup, the starter turns the engine over as normal and the car starts. Recently when I turned the key to On, I got one dash light (Door Ajar, I think) no fuel pump and no heater fan. The starter would still turn the engine, but it doesn't start. After a few tries, the fuel pump and heater fan startup, the several dash lights come on it starts as normal.

I've tried to trace the problem through the various control units and relays, but haven't been able to solve it yet.

As far as I can tell, this is not an EWS problem because the starter always turns. If I don't push the clutch pedal in, the starter doesn't turn, indicating the Body Control Module is getting the correct signals from the clutch switch and key code. Plus, all the other Body Control functions, door locks, windows etc. all work fine.

I've got the manual and the electrical diagrams, but am having some problems interpreting them. As far as I can tell, with the ignition switch on, the main relay should energize which in turn triggers several more relays, but haven't found how in the sequence the fuel pump relay is energized.

Does anyone have any ideas or can point me to a reference showing the startup sequence?

Ciao
Simon
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 02:39 PM
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United-States Latest findings - still not fixed

Greetings everyone,

Last night I did some more troubleshooting and went through the Bentley manual.

As far as I can tell, with the Ignition On I should have voltage to fuse F34 in the drivers (US Model) kick panel which is a wake up signal to the engine DME. For some reason I do not.

The diagrams seem to so show that F34 should be turned on by the ignition key, but K6300, the Main relay, also seems to play a role here which I don't understand. The manual also shows the fuel pump relay K96 being triggered by the DME as well, which is also not working.

With the battery disconnected I swapped relays K6300 and K19, the first two relays in the engine compartment fuse box, but that made no difference. Still no voltage to F34.

In order to simplify this, I'd like to concentrate on the Fuel Pump and fuse F34. Can someone give me an idea of how I can test the voltage to F34 or trace where it is meant to come from? It almost looks like it come directly from the Ignition key, but I'm not sure.

Thanks
Simon
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Old Mar 21st, 2014, 03:58 PM
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United-States Problem solved

Hi Folks,

My Mini is back up and running and is apparently a very happy camper. The problem ended up being the ignition switch itself. The fuse I mentioned in the previous post F34 does indeed turn on the Engine Computer, the DME, which in turn turns on the Fuel pump via a few relays. F34 is fed by the Ignition switch.

In my case, the switch contacts were dirty possibly due to the normal arcing that occurs. The odd thing was that they measured 0.1 ohms, but as soon as any current was applied, the voltage would fall to zero. This indicated that the switch could handle the tiny amount of current that a meter uses to measure resistance, but could not handle higher currents used in operation. If you search the web you'll find quite a few posts about faulty ignition switches so this seems to be a common enough problem. The issue appears to be the design of the switch. It uses a leaf spring that pushes the contacts together. A tumbler with eccentrics turns and pushes the contacts apart or allows them to touch. Since there is no wiping action between the contacts, there is no method to clean the arc pits that occur and they build up until the switch is faulty. Most other ignition switches that I've seen, use a rotary action that wipes the contacts against each other.

The solution was to disconnect the battery, take out the switch, a fairly easy process, take it apart and clean the contacts with some emery paper or similar. Put it all back together and test.

I hope this helps someone in the future who has a similar problem.

Cheers
Simon
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