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Ask Jared D Your Own Question
Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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I have a 2008 mini with a 1.6 engine. When the car is warmed

Customer Question

I have a 2008 mini cooper with a 1.6 engine. When the car is warmed up the idle is to low and the car stalls
JA: Is the check engine light on? Does the car stall at idle or when driving?
Customer: no engine light
JA: Are you fixing your MINI yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I just told you my problem
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

The most common cause of a low idle and stall on the mini is a vacuum leak. Most of the time it's as simple as the dipstick is not pushed in all the way or the oil cap is loose.

If it's not one of those obvious causes then you will have to do some diagnosis to pinpoint what else might be going on. Do you have access to a scan tool?

Can you hear any whistling, or suction type noises coming from the engine?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
no vacuum leaks or suction noises. I do have a scanner. when clutch is pushed in the idle drops and hunts about 200 rpm and sometimes stalls
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

Does your scan tool monitor fuel trims?

If so, can you see the fuel trims getting pulled lean or rich when you press the clutch?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
it monitors long term and short term in numerical values
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

What does it look like the numbers do when you press the clutch?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the long term hold a 0.8 and the short term fluctuate between 0.0 , -0.6, -1.4, -2.2 and sometimes a little higher. clutch in or out. seems to be the same
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

So it doesn't seem like a vacuum or fuel issue. It can jump between -10 and +10 without causing a stall or being considered lean or rich.

It sounds like a mechanical issue with the clutch. Has the clutch ever been replaced? How many miles do you have?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the clutch feels fine. do you think its not disengaging completely
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

It sounds like it. This is a dual mass clutch set-up on this car. It has a couple of different pressure zones and it can act like it's engaging/disengaging when it really isn't.

Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

There are no trouble codes stored right?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
no trouble codes. is there a hill hold on these cars. I just took it for another test and in the parking lot I step on the brakes and let off and then about a second later the brakes release and the car rolls a little. I turned it around so the other direction was pointing down the slight grade and it did the same thing. I'm wondering if the brakes are staying engaged for a moment and then trying to engage the clutch drags the engine down momentarily and stalls sometimes
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

Some of them have a hill assist option. I'm pretty sure it was an option on the 2008 but there is an on/off button for it on the dash. I think the driver's side of the dash.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
There is no switch to disengage it on a 2008
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

I was almost certain that there was, but I can't seem to find it anywhere in the literature. Are you thinking that's what's going on? It's a normal function of the hill assist?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I did some driving with it last night. Its not the clutch or the hill assist. I am leaning towards the drive by wire throttle body. When I came to a stop sometimes after it has a good heat soak and push in the clutch and the idle will just drop off like it was on a light switch. Try to start again without touching the gas and it wouldn't start. Did that twice. give it a little gas and it starts right up. Don't close out this conversation. I want to remove the throttle body and see if its all coked up. when it doesn't stall and you push in the clutch you can see the idle drop down and struggle to stop at base idle. The tack needle will bob down below base idle and try to come back up. This is all the time. Then sometimes it cant catch its self and the car stalls.
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

I would think it would set some kind of throttle position correlation code if it were a throttle body issue, and I would expect to see the fuel trims go lean.

I just haven't seen a stumble related to the clutch on one of these coopers before.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
any other ideas then. it stalled twice last night and was hard to start till I gave it a little gas
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I did notice the ignition timing advance fluctuates at idle from 7.5 to 18 degrees
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

It still sounds like a clutch issue. It would make sense that you could get it to start by pressing the gas to overcome the load from the partially engaging clutch.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
we are talking about the hydraulic side of the clutch. is this a common issue with these cars. There is about 95k on the car
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

Worn clutches are a common issue on the cooper. Most drivers get about 100k out of them. It's a pretty peppy motor for a somewhat small clutch disk.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
keep this open. I'm going to do a little investigation.
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

Sounds good. Keep in mind if my response isn't rated after a few days then the question will drop to my timed out list.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm just trying to keep it open because as of right now I have not received any info that has helped me to find the problem but hope that I will. I don't mind paying for info that helps lead me to the problem but don't want to pay for a dry run with no results
Expert:  Jared D replied 10 months ago.

I get it. I'm trying to find instances of a similar concern in my sources also.

No problem.