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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:48 PM
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My Cooper S is under-powered - why?

Hi,

I just bought my first Mini and chose a nice 2003 manual Cooper S.
When i test drove it i did notice it felt sluggish, but was in a bit of a hurry and just went ahead and bought it (private sale).

Having just driven properly for the first time, something is not right!

I timed a 0-60 and it took 11 sec. Aircon was off, flat dry road, and no strong winds. Now that is bad! The Cooper S is supposed to be 7.7 sec.

Apart from that, the car drives fine:
* Cruises at 95mph (although took longer than expected to get there!)
* No strange noises
* No unusual temperature
* No unexpected fluctuations in revs

I read that sometimes the Catalytic Converters can go wrong and restrict exhaust flow. Maybe this is the problem?

Any help and suggestions much appreciated.

Julian
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 09:03 PM
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Hi ya

It Could be the cat but I think you would have other problems.
Get your bypass valve checked out this will cause low power normally the thing that fails.
Check your intercooler boots make shore there not leaking or split.

Has the car had any mods done to it ?

When was it last serviced
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 09:27 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by marque (original)
Hi ya

It Could be the cat but I think you would have other problems.
Get your bypass valve checked out this will cause low power normally the thing that fails.
Check your intercooler boots make shore there not leaking or split.

Has the car had any mods done to it ?

When was it last serviced

thanks for quick reply - much appreciated.

I'll get the items checked that you mention.
I dont think there are any mods, certainly the guy i bought from didnt mention. It was services recently, but not a BMW place, a local garage. I'll get it checked out by a decent mechanic.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 10:05 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by marque (original)
Hi ya

It Could be the cat but I think you would have other problems.
Get your bypass valve checked out this will cause low power normally the thing that fails.
Check your intercooler boots make shore there not leaking or split.

Has the car had any mods done to it ?

When was it last serviced

Could it be a supercharger issue? I do remember feeling slight vibration on the pedals/floor on idle now and again (intermittent) when sitting in traffic.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 06:26 AM
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Superchargers normally go noisy when they have problems. As mentioned get the bypass valve checked because if it isn't closing you won't get any boost when you put your foot down
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 07:47 AM
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Just a thought: when I rev up in neutral (standing still) the revs are slow to pick up, and even slower to drop back to idle.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 07:58 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by jjg23 (original)
Hi,

I just bought my first Mini
When i test drove it it felt sluggish,
but was in a bit of a hurry and just went ahead and bought it (private sale).

Having just driven properly for the first time, something is not right!

Julian

Dont buy one in a hurry without driving it properly is the answer that springs to mind.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 09:42 AM
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Hi ya

Like I said check you ic boots and bypass valve, if you pull off the bypass valve make shore it's closing fully, it's a known place to pick up free power.

http://www.mini2.com/forum/first-gen...libration.html

The rattling at idle is most probably your clutch but to check this just push the clutch pedal down see if it goes.

Also a thing to check is you supercharger belt is ok, you can check this quickly by looking at the tensor locking holes you should be able to see the top of the top hole. If you can't see the hole you should replace the belt
if it's slipping you will have low boost = lower power see picture below.

Maintenance :: Girl's Guide to Changing Serpentine Belt - North American Motoring

i don't know if you are interested but i have also attached a picture to make to belt tensioner tool



Hope this helps
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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Get your air and fuel filter changed first if you don't know the history of them. Also the spark plugs. Basically a proper service. Get the easy, cheaper stuff ticked off the list before you start delving deeper.

Also I wouldn't read too much into your 0-60 time. To get anywhere near 7.7 sec time you are going to have to really hammer it, like dropping the clutch at high revs and giving it zero mechanical sympathy.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Sounds like my car when I first got it! Bypass valve !! My car wasn't modded when I first got it and the bypass valve wasn't closing or evening opening fully when I checked it! It ain't hard to get out either, plenty of walk throughs
But
You can check it befor removing it. If you know where it is you can get your hand down there and push the spring type thing and see if it goes in and springs right back out.
About a hour work all in all I'd say,
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 09:38 PM
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ahhh, gotta say big thanks for the great replies, (perhaps except The Nun - nice to kick a guy when he's down!).

I will follow the advice and try and get some progress at the weekend on this.

Cheers guys, appreciated...been a bad week!
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 10:37 PM
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BTW, given that the engine is supposed to be around 160bhp, what kind of effect do you think a bad set of IC boots and/or bypass valve could have on power? I honestly think i'm down by around 30-40% of power. Is it possible to have some much loss from these items?
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 07:50 PM
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Not sure about the boots but bypass valve I had about 30 to 40%
The differance when changed was amazing.
My car didn't really go past 90 mph
But it was really bad damaged.
How is the car in acceleration ?
Get the intercooloer off and then the throttle body and bypas valve. It's very easy to do if your okay with a DIY
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Old Jun 15th, 2014, 09:11 PM
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I too purchased a 2003 MCS a few days ago for my girlfriend and thought it was seriously under powered. Had nothing to compare it to though so decided to do a 0-60 run to compare to factory quoted. By 10 seconds was only in 2nd gear and only at about 50mph. Suddenly the car went into limp mode and threw up a few error codes. Checked out the bypass valve the following day, if you remove it and shake it you shouldn't hear any rattling and the valve should also spring return to closed position. To cut a long story short the seller paid for a new valve from bmw (about £55) I fitted it and my god did it make a difference. I would definatley start with the bypass is a pretty easy job to check out and has made a huge difference.
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