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Dale Stockstill
Dale Stockstill, Automotive Diagnostic Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1238
Experience:  40 years of Automotive Technical Knowledge, Teacher, Diagnostic Specialist
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The fuel filter in my 2003 Cooper manual..proceedure

Resolved Question:

I was all set to change the fuel filter in my 2003 Cooper S this weekend. When I refered to my shop manual, it said the filter was a life time unit and as such if did not give any proceedure on how to replace it. The filter I purchased is a unit from MINI and as such I assumed it could be changed. My car has 164000 miles on it and I'm getting some wild variations in my A/F ratios on my wideband gauge. The amount of variation seems to be different from tank to tank, so I'm running just Exxon gas from an Exxon dealer.

Could my fuel pressure from the pump cause this? Or could a faulty fuel pressure regular on the fuel log do it? My long term fuel modifier is pegged at 20 and I'm getting a code 2096.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 6 years ago.

First of all, I checked the Chilton's data base and it gives a procedure for replacing the fuel filter. I have never heard of a lifetime fuel filter. That does not make any sense to me. Here is the procedure for replacing the fuel filter:

Removal & Installation

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.

  2. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

  3. Remove the rear seat.

  4. Remove the access cover.

  5. Disconnect the fuel line.

  6. Remove the locking ring.

  7. Remove the fuel filter.

  8. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.



Here is the explanation for the P2096 Code.


Trouble Code: P2096 (1.6L L4 VIN - Auto)
Post Catalyst Fuel Trim System Too Lean (Bank 1)

Number of Trips to Set Code: 2

OBD II Monitor Type: CCM Details
Indicators: MIL Details

Trouble Code Conditions:
Engine started, battery voltage must be at least 11.5v, all electrical components must be off, the ground between the engine and the chassis must be well connected, the exhaust system must be properly sealed between the catalytic converter and the cylinder head, and the oxygen sensor heater for oxygen sensor before the catalytic converter must be properly functioning. The DME detected a problem with the fuel mixture. Trim control 1 segment (precision controller with oxygen sensor behind cat.) below delta lambda threshold of less than -1.56. Coolant temperature greater than 45 degrees Celsius. O2 heaters ready, fuel system in a closed loop, but the rear O2 sensor is in voltage outside the parameters.Note: For resistance testing of sensor heating, oxygen sensor should be cooled to ambient temperature. High temperatures at oxygen sensor may lead to inaccurate measurements.

Possible Causes:

  • Oxygen sensor (before catalytic converter) is faulty

  • Oxygen sensor (behind catalytic converter) is faulty

  • Oxygen sensor heater (before catalytic converter) is faulty

  • Oxygen sensor heater (behind catalytic converter) is faulty

  • Check circuits for shorts to each other, ground or power

All I can do from this vantage point is give you the information. You will have to see if you can isolate the problem from there. Sounds like Oxygen Senor problems to me.




Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I recently replaced both O2 sensors in an effort to clear the problem. The sensor on the wide band A/F gage is also new. The gaskets on the header and test pip[e flange were also replaced with the factory metal gaskets about 3K miles ago.


My radiator fan is also not working 100% of the time and will be replaced hopefully this weekend, so the engine may be running warmer than it should. The gauge stays at half way unless I get stopped for a long time (drive thru at bank).


The manual I was refering to is the Bently manual which appears to be a factory manual.

Expert:  Dale Stockstill replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for the follow up.


Really all I can tell you from here is that the computer is going into a lean condition on that bank. Try running some Chevron Techron through it and follow the instruction exactly. Sea Foam is OK but it is not as good as Techron. You need a lot of short trips where the chemical can soak after the engine is hot to get it to clean the system (includinging the intake valve stems).Here is a picture of the product: graphic I have seen this stuff work and clean up a system where other products would not. It has been around for about 30 years. I use if for maintenance every 15-20,000 miles and am very happy with the results. I have many customers that have eliminated their fuel problems by running a 1/2 a tank through once or twice. It sure will not hurt anything and it may clean it up.



I assume you know that I do not get paid for my work unless you accept the answers I have given you.



Have a good day,



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