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sideburnsteve
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 2002 Mini Cooper has developed an intermittent problem - if I'm sitting in traffic with the engine at idle with the air conditioning on, the dashboard appears to suddenly reset then come back to life. That is, the fuel and the temperature gauge return to the zero position, the fan and the stereo switch off - but the engine is still running. A second later the warning lights come on and go off again, the fan and the stereo powers up and everything returns to normal. It's almost as if the car has suffered a temporary power failure.

I have an aftermarket Becker head unit and 4 channel Genesis AMP / speaker system installed, but they're moderate and I don't drive the system hard - but the issue occurs even with the system switched off so it's not the aftermarket system drawing too much current.

I had an Inspection II done a couple of days ago by an independent BMW / mini garage and they couldn't replicate / find anything wrong. They replaced the alternator belt so maybe this will improve things. The guy at the garage is pretty experienced with Mini's and has never heard of this one - has anyone else experienced something similar?

I put a multimeter on the ciggie lighter with the air con on yesterday and with the engine at idle, when the engine fan kicks in the voltage drops as far down as 11.6 Volts. Is it normal for it drop down this low?

It started happening after I hit a pot hole, but maybe this is a coincidence. I would have thought a problem like this would point to a battery / alternator problem but the battery (although 6 years old) is still showing green on the top and the alternator looks like it's generating 14+ Volts when not at idle.

If anyone else has experienced something similar or has any ideas what the problem might be I'd appreciate the advice!

Thanks,
Steve
 

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754 Posts
I'm not sure if it is the same problem but my Mini developed a fault where everything would sort of reset for a few seconds and the revs would drop down to about 500rpm and then all of a sudden spring back into life.

BMW couldn't find anything wrong with it, even though they said it did it to them, nothing came up on the diagnostics. In the end it turned out to be the battery, because it was doing enough miles each day, in the winter it just didn't have enough charge to keep everything going. Checked the battery at Halfords and it came up as good needing a recharge, never been a problem since.

If it a similar problem could be your battery on the way out and adding the new stereo has pushed it over the edge, along with the aircon which drags a lot of power?
 

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The de Chromed MINI
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3,218 Posts
I've had the same thing happen to me on Saturday, stock boost HU, new battery (kept on trickle charge when not being used) and the radio died then the dials reset and then it all started to work again...
 
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