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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Dec 6th, 2013, 08:38 AM
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How do I open tailgate when battery is flat?

One question
-----------------
I want to remove the battery from the car and on the R53 its in the tailgate.

..but with a flat battery, I cannot open the tailgate - is there a manual method ?


Background
----------------
I have the dreaded PSP problem and when I connected an old battery charger to the places under the bonnet - the charger failed. The PSP problem means that the power steering pump is permanently on and this I think is caused the battery charger to blew up (well actually just stopped working).

I have just bought a workshop style charger with 100 amps starting power so this will probably be fine but -- just to be sure - is there any way I can open the tailgate when the battery is flat so central unlocking does not work ?
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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Lift up the rear seat and if you are lucky there will be a cable pull that will release the tailgate. You might need a second person at the tailgate otherwise by the time you get from the back seat to the tailgate it could have latched again.
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Bonza, Thank you
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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Don't allow the psp to run continuously or it will overheat, boil the ps fluid and damage the seals in the steering rack.....worst case it will catch fire! Always disconnect the battery when unattended until the pump is replaced or reconditioned.
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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mab01UK,

Thank you, much appreciated. I can see you know about the PSP issue. Can I ask:

When I lift up the rear seat - the bit that one sits on - there is no cable pull that I can see (unlike my previous car) - should there definitely be one there ? Or might it be behind that part of the seat that one's back rests against ?

Is there another way I can open the tailgate when the battery is flat ?

John Tee / Mini Gearboxes in Coventry have indicated a great price for supply & fit of a replacement PSP. I have used them before and they did a good job..... but I am worried about driving the mini (R53) to Coventry with this problem. Do you know of any mechanic / garage nearer than Coventry - er like in London, please ?
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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I thought that you lowered the rear seat backs and embedded in the tailgate there is some sort of handle that you just have to pull. Well there is on my convertible.
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 02:25 PM
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Thanks guys - I cannot see how to lower the seat backs on my 52 Mini cooper S (R53).

I wonder if anyone else can suggest how I can open my tailgate (boot) when the battery is dead flat, please ?

I have tried removing fuse F39, then trying using the under-the-bonnet jump lead points to charge to but I have an "intelligent" charger whcih just shows "ERR". I worry that some of the electrics have been fried by the PSP - running until it killed the battery.

So, in any event, I am still keen to open the tailagte manually (that is non electrically).
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by grizzlybiker04 (original)
When I lift up the rear seat - the bit that one sits on - there is no cable pull that I can see (unlike my previous car) - should there definitely be one there?

If the car was built prior to October 2002 it won't have a manual boot release (unless one was retrofit).
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 04:07 PM
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Did you try connecting a battery charger, open tailgate, disconnect battery charger?

or jumper cables from another car to yours.

05MCS BEP Alta 22mm rear anti-swaybar, Madness CAI, Alta 15%, NGK BRK7EIX, M7 Strut Tower Reinforcement plates, BSH Lower Engine Mount
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 05:08 PM
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Caveman - Thanks, mine was built July 02 - so I won't need to look for it

Beken -

YESTERDAY
-------------
Well, after the PSP ran and drained the battery flat, I tried to charge the battery using the under bonnet (hood?) terminals - using my old charger. The charger just stopped working. I think something has happened to the electrics. The cheap charger is now bust.

So then I tried using jump leads. As I connected the jump leads to the mini (from my Vauxhall Corsa) sparks came from the under bonnet terminals then they stopped. The mini would not start. Then when I started the engine on the Corsa - pushing a lot more juice into the jump leads, then the mini started, so my son was able to drive the mini home to our house.

Today
--------

I bought a new top of the range charger that is (allegedly) intelligent. It incorporates a 100 amp instant start mode + a regular slow or fast charge a battery mode. However, when I connect it to the mini, it trips and I need to reset it. Something odd is happening.

The mini is now parked againt the front door - bonnet forward - of my garage so I will have to push the car into the street then I will try the jump leads again. If I can start the mini, I will immediately unlock the tailgate so I can then charge the battery.

Then later
--------------

If I can charge the battery - off vehicle - I can the install it in the mini but I dunno what will happen when I try to drive the car to a local garage to get the PSP replaced. I assume the PSP will continue to run and I guess removing the F39 fuse (which also protects the alternator - according to my Haynes manual) might stop the PSP but make steering too stiff to drive safely ?

I can maybe get a mobile mechanic (can anyone recomend one in E. London) or get a dealer to tow the mini to a garage ?

I think I'm in ScheiŖe strasse - so any tips would be appreciated.

Last edited by grizzlybiker04; Dec 6th, 2013 at 05:11 PM. Reason: typos
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 07:51 PM
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You can drive the Mini without the power steering working but it will of course be very heavy. Any good garage should be able to swap the ps pump in a couple of hours, it is not a difficult job.....many owners have changed it diy using the various guides on the Mini forums.

It is possible to access the battery if you have no emergency cable pull by moving/forcing the rear parcel shelf so you can slide a small hand or flat hook type tool down to release the catch/lever on the folding seat back. Once you have folded one seat back down you can access the battery......however it may cause some damage to the fibre board material of the parcel shelf.
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Old Dec 7th, 2013, 07:27 AM
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Thank you, most helpful.
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