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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not fond of the MINI official stance of 1 oil change every 20k (yes K) miles so I've decided to go rogue and change my own oil.

At any rate, I've procured the correct OEM filter and plan to get some Castrol Syntec 5W-30 (manual says 20 or 30).

I'm still a bit perplexed by the method though.

First, this whole paper filter thing is new to me, and I guess it makes sense, but in looking into the oil change procedure (Google), I'm finding conflicting info on whether the Clubman is different than other MINI's.

On my engine, the oil filter & housing is on the front and VERY accessible (I wish my other cars were like this - no more having to reach behind the manifold and burn my arm!). In googling, I've found a few sites in which the engine compartment is laid out differently, e.g.:

Terry Sayther Automotive-MINI Cooper S-Changing the Oil

In that case, they need a "special tool" (large socket) to remove the filter housing - eyeing under the bonnet, it doesn't seem to be a special size?

There's also talk of the filter itself: "MINI filters have a rubber seal at one end with a smaller hole, and a larger hole with no seal at the other end. The larger hole goes against the inside bottom of the canister, and the end with the rubber seal ends up going flush against the engine. But first you have to prep the filter by enlarging both of the holes at either end to ensure the canister fits on easily."

My filter has no such setup - the holes are the same size as far as I can tell (11 42 7 557 012 - MiniMania indicated this was the OEM part for the Clubman)

So - which is the case? I don't want to have the oil drained, everything apart and realize the filter is wrong!
 

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The link you posted leads to pictures of an R53 MCS. Not what you have.


Try this one if you have an S.
Try this one if you have a cooper
(basically the same except for the coolant tank being in the way on an S)

Sizes for the tools are T50 torx on the drain plug and 27mm or 11/16 for the oil filter housing.

Having never dealt with an R56 before, I really can't offer many tips other than to make sure you grease up the gasket before you fit it on the filter cap. And when you install the cap, make sure you don't slice up said gasket. Feel and look around the edge to make sure you're going in straight and not crossing threads. First gen had problems cutting up the gasket and leaking the new oil out when screwing the cap back in. I would imagine the same possibility exists since the basic design looks to be the same.

As for the filter. Again, never seen a new gen filter, but the R50/R53 filter had one side with a ring of black rubber. The other side was just filter paper material. That side plugged into the cap. Just press fit on, no need to mess with the whole. Then the black rubber ring side went into the housing on the car. If you look in the housing on the car, you'll see a spring there. This needs to slide against the filter as you install it. I'd imagine you wouldn't want it to dig into the paper side of the filter. If both sides of the new filter look similar, I'd imagine they were interchangeable??? (but don't quote me on that!!!)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the link - that looks exactly like under the bonnet on the Clubman (non S btw). Also the filter appears to be the same (black plastic ends). Hopefully I will be able to get to it this weekend!
 

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I just did an oil change on a MAZDA5 with a cartridge type filter and it was the same on both ends.
Makes more sense and I wouldn't be surprised if MINI figured out it would be easier, too.
I'd be interested to know if the new cap is easier to align than the old one.
I've never damaged anything, but avoiding cross-threading has always been frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah what had me worrying was the horror stories about aligning the "cap" and issues with putting it on. My guess is that it is - the "new" filter location is much more friendly for changing oil.

I've changed oil in a car a hundred times but the MINI is a tad different and I wanted to be sure I wouldn't hit any suprises!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK - I took the plunge and changed the oil this weekend.

Some notes:
- Drain plug is a T50 torx and the filter is a 27mm (use a shallow socket).
- I couldn't use my ramps or a standard jack to lift the car (too low clearance) - I eventually used the spare's jack. You don't really NEED to lift the car - the oil pan and plug are very close to the passenger's front wheel and accessible - but it helps to see what you're doing.
- Oil drains immediately after "cracking" the plug, so be ready.
- Oil filter also comes off easily - be sure to crack it open a bit when the oil is draining and you won't need to worry about spilling oil when removing the filter.
- The filter is lightly held in place in the cap - it pushes on and is retained just enough to make it easy to reinstall.
- Oil the new O-ring with some "new" oil when putting it on and you won't have to worry about it rolling off.
- Be sure to remove the copper washer from the oil pan (it sticks to the pan but comes off easily).
- I used Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5W-30 - about 4.5Q (Walmart sells the 5Q jug for $25! Or you could pay $7/Q at a parts store...).
- At 10,826 miles the oil was pretty dark and very thin - I'm not sure if the thinness (viscosity) is due to the high mileage or the weight of the MINI OEM oil.

Overall very easy - much easier than any other car I've done due to the location of the drain plug and the location of the filter - no more burning your arm on a manifold to get to the filter!
 
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