December 7, 2022

We take a look at the most typical issues to blight the second-generation R56 Mini fashions, and learn how to remedy and stop them on this purchaser’s information.

Information from Efficiency Mini. Phrases: Martyn Collins.

BMW’s relaunch of the Mini model must be the proper instance of learn how to change a motoring icon. But, after 5 years and 1,000,000 R50 and R53 Minis bought, 2006 was time for the second-generation vary.

What stayed the identical was the Mini hatch’s combination of retro-inspired seems, eager driving expertise and large collection of personalisation. However to deal with a few of the criticisms of the first-generation Mini hatch, high quality was improved with a bolder, all-new inside that was much less prone to rattle.

Even larger adjustments happened below the Mini’s clamshell bonnet. A tie-up with Peugeot/Citroen (PSA) noticed the Chrysler-supplied petrol and Toyota D-4D diesel changed with subtle and environment friendly 1.4- and 1.6-litre Prince engines, with the Cooper S and John Cooper Works (JCW) variations now being turbocharged reasonably than supercharged.  All fashions had six-speed handbook or optionally available computerized transmissions.

The diesel engine was initially provided by PSA too, in 1.6-litre type, then later coming from BMW in 1.6 and a pair of.0-litre kinds.

It was developed additional, with spin-off fashions together with the quirky R55 Clubman property, the sporty R58 Coupe and R59 Roadster, and even the industrial Clubvan, primarily based on the R55 Clubman. The R56 hatch was finally retired in 2013 and changed by the present F56 hatch.

It’s 14 years because the earliest R56 fashions hit UK roads, so allow us to determine key faults to assist maintain yours in prime situation.

R56 Mini historical past

In January 2010, MINI made vital adjustments to the Prince petrol engines, the R56 Mini Cooper acquired an influence hike to 120bhp, whereas peak torque remained the identical at 118lb.ft. The Cooper S shared all these new engine options, however added a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct petrol injection and absolutely variable valve management. The latter was BMW’s confirmed Valvetronic system, which adjusts valve carry and opening instances in direct relationship to the motive force’s command on the throttle pedal.

The outcome was 9bhp extra peak energy at 181bhp whereas peak torque was 184lb ft, delivered from as little as 1600rpm via to 5000rpm. With the intelligent overboost operate, peak torque jumped to 192lb.ft for brief durations.

August 2010 introduced vital adjustments, with the LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) facelift. Redesigned entrance and rear bumpers, new back lights with LEDs, recent colors and alloys arrived, whereas inside acquired revised steering wheels and centre console, with new controls for the stereo and air-conditioning. There have been additionally enhancements to the data and leisure programs.

R56 Mini mannequin timeline

  • November 2006 – R56 Cooper (118bhp) and 171bhp Cooper S hatchback fashions launched within the UK.
  • November 2007 – Cooper (118bhp), Cooper D diesel (108bhp) and 171bhp Cooper S variations of the quirky Clubman property launched.
  • Spring 2008 – Efficiency range-topper, the John Cooper Works (JCW) launched with 208bhp. JCW provides bespoke sports activities transmission, suspension and Brembo entrance brake callipers, with costs beginning at £20,995.
  • March 2009 – Cooper (120bhp), Cooper S (181bhp) and 208bhp John Cooper Works (JCW) second-generation Convertible fashions launched.
  • December 2009 – Lastly introduced a Clubman model of the John Cooper Works (JCW) range-topper. Energy is as much as 208bhp, with a prime velocity of 148mph.
  • April 2011 – The quickest R56 diesel, the Cooper SD, is launched. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre turbo engine that comes courtesy of BMW. Key numbers are the 141bhp and 255lb.ft torque, giving an 8.0-second 0-to-60mph acceleration time, but nonetheless returning a mixed consumption determine of 65.7mpg. Cooper SD hatch, Clubman Convertible fashions can be found.
  • April 2012 – R58 Cooper (120bhp), Cooper S (181bhp), 141bhp Cooper SD and 208bhp JCW two-seater Roadster fashions launched.
  • February 2013 – One (98bhp), Cooper (120bhp) and 112bhp Cooper D Clubvan fashions launched. Clubvan is principally a Mini Clubman with out the rear seats, plus sealed rear home windows.
  • February 2013 – Probably the most excessive growth of the R56 JCW hatch, one other GP two-seater is launched after its reveal at Mini United in 2012. Energy for the N18 engine is as much as 215bhp due to an ECU tweak. Acceleration to 62mph now takes 6.3 seconds, simply two-tenths sooner, and the highest velocity is identical because the JCW GP at 150mph. Plus it has trick adjustable coilover suspension.
  • April 2013 – R58 Cooper (120bhp), Cooper S (181bhp), Cooper SD (141bhp) and 208bhp JCW two-seater hard-top Coupe fashions launched.
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Second-generation R56 Mini most typical issues and learn how to remedy them

R56 Mini

Carbon deposits coke up the backs of the valves and require specialist therapy

Coking of inlet valves

On second-generation Mini fashions, the top is prone to coke up, as a consequence of build-up of carbon across the valves and consumption ports. That is the results of the R56 Mini utilizing direct injection for efficiency and economic system. The one solution to remedy that is to have an engine decoked, the place crushed walnut shell is blasted on the inlet manifold and the tops of the valves, costing round £200 at a specialist. Look ahead to the engine warning gentle on the speedo, plus poor acceleration and sluggish efficiency on the take a look at drive.

Coil Packs

One other failure that ought to be apparent on the take a look at drive is failing coil pack(s). There are 4 of those within the Mini’s engine which are regulated by the ECU to create a greater spark and thus give higher combustion and efficiency. You’ll be capable of spot after they’re failing because the engine will really feel down on energy and misfire. The coil packs are situated below a canopy on the highest of the engine; a set of 4 ought to value round £100 and are an easy DIY job to exchange – however, after all, specialists can do that for you too.

Excessive-Strain Gasoline Pump

For those who’re a Cooper S, you could examine that the high-pressure gasoline pump isn’t failing. An enormous giveaway on the take a look at drive is that if the engine surges when you’re driving. That is normally adopted by poor beginning and tough operating afterwards, with an engine warning gentle on the dashboard. The one answer is a substitute high-pressure gasoline pump, which prices round £600 at a specialist.

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R56 Mini

Bypass Valve

It’s additionally price checking the situation of the bypass valve on the take a look at drive of any Cooper S and JCW. Fabricated from plastic, contained in the valve there’s a delicate diaphragm that may develop into pinched or holed. This leads to laggy acceleration, which if left will finally trigger the engine to enter limp-home mode, with an engine warning gentle displaying on the dashboard.

Demise Rattle

One other extra severe fault that impacts N14 Cooper S and JCW engines is the well-documented downside with the timing chain and chain tensioner. Known as the ‘demise rattle’ due to the loud clatter, that is most distinguished when began from chilly. A lot of the affected Mini’s ought to have had this downside rectified by now. If not attended to, they develop into noisier and can break, destroying the highest finish of the engine. The one answer includes altering the most important timing parts, which could be completed at a specialist at a price of round £600.


Entrance wishbones and rear anti-roll bar hyperlinks can fail, resulting in clonking suspension. You also needs to examine the situation of the bushes and shock absorbers. The shock absorbers themselves are straightforward sufficient to exchange and should not expensive. Extra lately, examine the situation of the trick coilover adjustable shocks on the quickest GPs; the topic of many guarantee claims, they’re recognized to fail and knock.

Oil Leaks

Just like the first-generation R53 Mini, it’s essential to examine there’s loads of oil in a second-gen automobile earlier than beginning. The N14 and N18 engines within the Cooper S and JCW, specifically, like a drink – as a lot as a litre of oil for each 1000 miles. Extra of a difficulty with older vehicles, standard failure factors for leaking oil are the rocker cowl, crank seals, sump, turbo oil feed, entrance and rear predominant bearing seals, solenoids and cylinder heads. Head gasket failure isn’t unparalleled. The one apparent answer is to have any leaks repaired.

Thermostat Housing

One other widespread engine downside on second-generation Minis is the thermostat housing, situated on the left-hand facet of the engine. A standard reason behind leaks, its plastic building and shut proximity to the exhaust manifold results in cracks within the housing and leaks. If the leaks aren’t apparent, one other giveaway is a low coolant stage that wants fixed top-ups. A real thermostat housing prices round £120, however decent-quality replacements begin at round £70, with labour on prime.

R56 Mini

R56 Mini Transmission

The usage of stronger German-made Getrag handbook transmissions means handbook transmission points are nowhere close to as widespread as with the first-generation vehicles. However the gearshifts can develop into sloppy, with the lever not sitting centrally when in impartial. That is the results of a worn cup within the linkage, which we’re instructed is a straightforward and simple repair. Apart from that, clutches can put on out fairly rapidly. On the take a look at drive, see if it slips whenever you speed up in a excessive gear.

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There’s additionally the much less standard six-speed computerized transmission manufactured by Aisin, which may endure from issues with altering gears and downshifts.


Improved electrics imply issues with the R56 Mini hatch are uncommon, however they will come up if the earthing strap fails — examine it rigorously. Additionally, search for stereo audio system that don’t work, poorly electrical window motors, failing central locking, and damaged sprint MP3 sockets.

Air con is a well-liked possibility, so it’s uncommon to discover a MINI it’s not fitted to. Be certain it’s engaged on the take a look at drive; if it isn’t, the evaporator may need failed. This can be a expensive restore at over £500, with the primary signal being white mud blowing via the vents. The lean/slide sunroof is one other standard possibility, so make certain it slides easily because it’s simply jammed and repairs could possibly be expensive.

On Convertible and Roadster fashions, examine the electrical hood goes up and down because it ought to, as electrical failures could be expensive to diagnose and restore.

A start-stop system was fitted to all Mini fashions from 2007 and this has been recognized to fail, inflicting the automobile to stall at junctions after which not need to restart – or, extra severely, cease working altogether and leaving an error message on the dashboard. This may be expensive and tough to diagnose.

R56 Mini Bodywork, inside and wheels

Not like the first-generation R53, rust and lacquer peel doesn’t seem to have affected the second-generation R56 Mini hatch. Any rust points could possibly be the results of poor paint repairs. However examine the entrance fringe of the bonnet and bumper for stone-chip harm. Additionally it is price checking for parking harm on the doorways and rear quarters.

The Clubman, Convertible, Roadster and Coupe have extra compromised rear visibility, though the bulk have rear parking sensors –nonetheless search for dents and scratches to the bumpers and bodywork, although.

The windscreen on second-generation fashions could be smaller due to the taller physique, however they’re nonetheless fairly upright in design and as such are inclined to stone chips and cracks, and in the event that they’re within the driver’s line of sight could possibly be a future MOT difficulty.

Inside, the dashboard is extra fashionable nevertheless it additionally suffers from rattles and squeaks, particularly on early vehicles. Search for put on on the inside trim and seat bolsters. There are many used second-generation Minis on sale, so there’s no want to purchase one with a tatty inside.

Verify for kerbing harm on the alloy wheels; Cooper and JCW fashions have the largest rims and are extra inclined. Wheel refurbs are reasonably priced at specialists, however the prices quickly add up if multiple wheel wants work. Extreme harm may be a clue to suspension harm.