Bought an '04 Cooper for the wife knowing that it had an issue with the cooling system. Got half way home from picking it up (private sale) and it dumped all it's coolant on the road, and then wouldn't restart.
Got on to this forum, and others, and from scratch learnt everything I needed to know to fix the issues. Diagnosed a duff low-speed fan, learnt how to install a new one, learnt about coolant type and mix, and how to fill and bleed the system. Also searched for all the parts on the internet.
I'm not a professional mechanic, just a moderately enthusiastic amateur. I did the whole job in a couple of evenings of reading and diagnosing, and about 3 hours of wrenching start-to-finish.
It is necessary to take the front bumper off to fit the new fan, but no-one should be scared of that - its nowhere near as dificult as some on the net will have you believe. You DON'T need to jack the car, remove the wheels, or remove the wheel arch liners. I just turned the wheels to one side and got in there with a 3/8 drive ratchet to undo the two 8mm bolts on the corners of the bumper. All the other fixings are simple and accessible and the bumper cover and bumper bar are light and easy to handle.
Thanks to everyone who posted stuff that was useful for this fix, they've made my wife very happy
- aren't car forums great?