R50 CVT Question - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2014, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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United-States R50 CVT Question

Hello! I have a 2003 R50 Mini Cooper, which is essentially stock. I had a problem about 18 months ago with the engine running at around 4k RPM between 50-60mph. Took it to the dealer, and they said the CVT control software needed to be reset and then re-adapted. They did that, and it went back to working normally.

Fast forward to about 3 months ago, and the same thing has started occurring again. I am not interested in spending $350 every 15 months to have the transmission re-adapted, so I have some questions:

1. Given the high failure rate of the early CVTs, is this a sign that the transmission is on its way to failure?

2. Is there any harm to continuing to drive the vehicle in this state? I assume that it is resulting in lower fuel economy, but since I only use the vehicle for commuting, I am not often in that speed range.

3. Is there anyway for me to preform the reset without the BMW diagnostic computer? My understanding is that they do the reset, then drive the car for awhile at a fixed speed (50 mph, I think).

Thanks so much for your help, just don't want to put a lot of money into the vehicle, and certainly not it the CVT is about to fail anyway.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2014, 06:08 PM
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I doubt it's a sign in of itself of it being on the way to failure. MINIs CVTs usually seem to fail without much warning and the problem is generally a physical, mechanical failure not a software problem. Sorry, but no idea on your second and third questions.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2014, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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I doubt it's a sign in of itself of it being on the way to failure. MINIs CVTs usually seem to fail without much warning and the problem is generally a physical, mechanical failure not a software problem. Sorry, but no idea on your second and third questions.
Thanks -- can you describe what happens if it does fail? Does it act like the transmission has been shifted to neutral, or is it more dramatic than that?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2014, 10:34 PM
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Well in my case there were a couple of minutes of a rattling noise (I thought some item I had in the back of the car was making the noise) and then it was as if the car was in neutral, no power at all. I had to coast off the freeway. From what I've read my experience was pretty typical.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2014, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Well in my case there were a couple of minutes of a rattling noise (I thought some item I had in the back of the car was making the noise) and then it was as if the car was in neutral, no power at all. I had to coast off the freeway. From what I've read my experience was pretty typical.
Excellent, thank you. Perhaps I should stick to driving in the lane closest to the shoulder?
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