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Hi all,

I've been asked by a friend to help with her Mini. Whilst I'm perfectly happy working on 70's cars I'm at a loss with the new ones and I'm hoping some nice person on here can help me out. I'll describe the situation and hopefully someone can help with a diagnosis.

So she drove to work and all was fine, parked it up and when she's come to start it everything's dead, battery flat as a pancake. Jump started it and it was running but no power steering. She had it recovered to a local garage who said that it would be the pump and quoted £320 for replacing it with a second hand pump from a scrapper (3 months warranty). In the mean time she researched the common problem and as a result declined the garages quote and ordered a refurbed pump with lifetime guarantee at £170. The mini was then collected from the garage by her breakdown cover to be returned home, at this point the recovery guy has said that the garage doesn't know what they're talking about and it will be the alternator that has failed and that the pump simply has no power. She doesn't believe that any fault lights were on prior to it conking out.

So my question would be (without a multimeter to hand) is there an easy way to diagnose where the fault lies? My thoughts would be to charge the battery overnight then run the Mini and if the power steering is initially working that would point to a fault in the alternator? But I could be totally wrong, once a pump is bunt out due to the common fault is it dead, dead or could it still work intermittently.
Any advice to diagnose where the fault lies would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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so the power steering pumps on gen 1 mini ie 2001-2006 for hatchback and convertibles up to 2008 have a pump that fails in soooo many ways from bearing failures to seals failing etc,, there is a way that it does fail and drains the battery as its control circuit board does one and never switches off, this can also put heavy load on to the alternator which is possible to overload that as well, even seen one put so much load on v=battery it finished it off,
hence why its never worth guessing whats wrong with them ie need a multi meter and read a few things, first being battery voltage with car running on full charged battery 14.2-14.7v, the battery after being charged over night let stand for 20 minutes then read across it, good battery 12.8v bad battery 12.2v and under, then connect battery to car and try and start it keep multimeter on battery your looking for a perfect battery stays above 12.6v and worn out battery will dump its voltage fairly fast, its sort of bush way of working it out, also car running on idle fully charged battery turn all lights on heater fan heated windows etc everything on, the voltage should stay above 13.9v ,, the other way involves expensive test gear, above way is just a cost of £5 meter off ebay
 
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