Clutch / Running query - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2011, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch / Running query

Hi Everyone,

Could anybody shed some light on the normal running of a Mini Cooper (none s)

Mine does not appear to have a problem but I have always noticed that the car almost runs too lean ever since I bought it. When setting off, select first gear then if you bring the clutch up very slowly, without touching the accelerator, the car should gently move, mine does but its not smooth, its juddery like its laboured. Is this normal with these cars. All my previous cars could be moved smooth with just the clutch.

Also the way the car moves off is different if I start to pull the clutch up then just as it starts to get to biting point start feeding in the revs its not as easy or smooth to pull away as if I set the revs first then start pulling the clutch up (like when your learning).

Just wondering if this is normal as I've always had 2 litre engines and some diesels with loads more torque and not really used to a small engine car and how they behave.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2011, 03:56 PM
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I have an MCS. I've noticed the clutch feels alright (had a 4 cyl manual before) but the gas pedal is very mushy. Seems like I have to push it 50% in just to get the revs to jump. I generally drive it in sport mode to keep the throttle response touchy.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 12th, 2011, 06:52 AM
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Should be smooth. Is this a used car or are you the first owner? Any other noises from the clutch (i.e. rattle at idle or anything)? How many kilometers/miles on the car?

If it's new it could be grabby and you should break the clutch in rather gently for the first 500 or so.

If it's not a new car, I would report this to the dealer now particularly if the car is still under warranty. Clutch wear in this case will be a function of how the previous owner drove the car. Juddery clutches can also manifest with bad engine mounts.

In any event, there seems to be a tendency for some owners to experience clutch failure very early on these cars so I would pay attention to this. Never hurts to have the dealership document the complaint.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 2011, 12:55 PM
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Matt I have a Cooper S R56 and I would say mine is the same. To be honest as much as I like the car and generally the way it drives I would say at slow speeds it drives like an absolute pig. It's very difficult to pull away smoothly and change gear smoothly when driving the car gently. If you've got a bit of a head of steam on it's different but if your pottering round town it can be a nightmare. I've learned to drive around it now and it's fine but in my opinion the car could drive better.

From my experience it's normal on a Mini. Although the newer Mini's appear to have something on the ECU to combat this (mine is an 06 plate) I've had a number or courtesy cars from my dealership (2010 + cars) and they drive much better but i've noticed the throttle response is better on the later cars and they appear to automatically bring the revs up a little as you bring the clutch in to combat the slow speed pull away thing.

Just worth mentioning I'm guessing we are talking about R56's here because the earlier ones drive different again and in fairness my mate's early Cooper throttle response is superb!

Also as a side note my mums new Ford Fiesta 1.4 petrol drives lovely so it's not a small engine thing!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 2011, 08:16 AM
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Have to say my Dooper (59 plate) does the same thing. Not often but enough to raise concern. I mentioned it to dealer on last service but they couldn't repeat it. I usually only notice it when parking behind other car in my drive and try to move gently forward to gets close as possible - there's that horrible feeling when it doesn't move and then it suddenly lurches forward a few inches (or so it feels!).
Never, ever had it happen in any other car I've driven / owned. It's not a throttle thing, it's a mechanical, clutch effect in my case.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Pulling away

I have read this thread with interest, I have a 56 plate cooper park lane that if your not realy concentrating can be a bit of a pig pulling away, its difficult to pull away smothly without judder or bogging down. This can make it not that pleasant around town, open road a diffrent story. The problem seems to be a combination of several diffrent things
1. heavy clutch with a strong return action, the biting point is a bit wooly.
2. the fly by wire throttle pedal has a dead spot at the beggining of it travel so you have to give it a bit of a push so it races if your not careful. This has been documented before as a sort of fluttering.
Its always worst in the winter when the choke is on more, switching ASC off while the engine is warming up makes pulling away easier, I am guessing that it detects and thinks there is to much power when you are pulling away and cuts it, thus the bogging down.
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