Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,010 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 Mini Cooper engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #16

Mar 202016


  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 60 mph, there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the power steering pump was replaced however the failure recurred the next day. The vehicle was taken back to the mechanic and unknown repairs were performed. In addition, the air bag warning indicator illuminated continuously. On a separate occasion, the alternator failed and was not replaced. The contact mentioned that the engine cooling fan also failed to function, which caused the radiator to be replaced twice. The engine was replaced at a different time. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 118,000.

- North Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 032016


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle lost power. Also, when making a left or right turn, the engine light illuminated for a second and dimmed. The failure recurred each time the vehicle was driven. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed, but the cause of the failure could not be located. The failure recurred. In addition, while driving 54 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact coasted the vehicle over to the side of the road and it began to smoke and leak oil. The dealer diagnosed that the engine failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 52,000.

- Ardsley, NY, USA

problem #14

Nov 232015


  • 53,000 miles
Our car has only 53,000 miles on it. We are informed by 2 different dealers that it needs a new transmission totaling $10,000. We were not aware of the class action suit for this very issue that settled late last year. BMW/MINIknew about the defective transmission and said nothing. Our car is not drivable now and is unsafe to operate. It is worthless essentially after being maintained per their guidelines. When driving it lost control and was not able to shift into gears. Was stuck in 4th gear one time and was hard to stop. Could have caused an accident but we were able to get control.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #13

Mar 152013


  • 30,000 miles


70K and on my third serpentine belt, battery light goes on and incredibly hard to steer left or right and car dies. When the belt shreds or breaks the car dies and only moves at below 5 mph, only warning is a battery light... people buying this car for teens dont ! had to replace transmission at 30 K... if you buy this car used with low mileage get the transmission checked. Note : transmission check requires the engine to be pulled out and will cost $500 oil pan constantly leaks. If VW is bad BMW /MINICooper is worse and getting away with highway robbery. Seat belts always getting twisted and require the need to pul off road to fix because they tighten and won't release tension. Look into driver and passenger leather seats falling apart... waiting for side impact air bag to go off because of poor material and textile use. If it's rubber it rots or rats eat it because they can enter car engine without issue. With the class action suits, service warnings, and recalls it looks like MINICooper needs a harder more intense investigation. In regards to exact dates I have repair bills, class action info. Regarding transmission...worthless as I have wrong year, also car is on a constant cycle of malfunction... brake lights and head lights constantly need bulb replacement. Please make MINICooper responsible.

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #12

May 242015


  • 72,000 miles
Car spontaneously caught fire while siting in the garage.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #11

May 142015


  • 71,056 miles
I was driving on the road my I turned the ac on and about 20min of me riding in the vehicle me and my infant son my my vehicle started smoking under the hood heavy white smoke under the hood of the 2006 MINICooper S. my car began to loose power while engine bay still heavily smoking I managed to get car in a nearby dealership get my son and I out of the car I put water on the side of the engine that was burning to keep the rest of the car from burning up.the rest of the car I had to call my insurance company the car wont do anything at all the electric system or the wires burnt under the hood.

- Temple Hills Md , MD, USA

problem #10

Jan 012014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Loud noise/rattle at idle. Loose camshaft timing chain due to tensioner failure. It would appear from several forums that this is fairly common problem that dealers are refusing to fix since warranty is expired.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 132013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
In April 2013 I was merging onto highway I20 with my children in the back of my MINICooper S 2006. As I was speeding up to merge onto the highway the car completely cut off. I veered over into a median in the middle of six lanes of high-speed traffic. The car had completely shut off, even the hazard lights. I was very lucky that the median was there and that I had not yet entered the main stream of traffic. The police came, then a friend. After about a half hour it restarted without power steering and he was able to slowly drive it, and he fixed a belt that he said had looked like it had blown out. About four times in the year prior to this the car had cut off, but not while I was driving; it shut down as I was pulling out of a parking spot but then immediately restarted. No one could explain it. After the April incident I went to the MINIcooper dealer and spent close to $3000 to ensure that the car was safe for my children. However, yesterday, 11/5/13, I was backing out of a parking spot and the car completely shut down. I called the dealership for assistance and they said they had never heard of this kind of problem and couldn't help; fortunately the car restarted about ten minutes later. However, I am extremely concerned that this car is unsafe and I have heard from an acquaintance who also has a MINICooper S 2006 who said this has happened to her, that something random happened with her car and it completely shut down while she was driving. She told me that there was a recall, but I called MINIcorporate today, and was told there was no recall and referred me to NHTSA.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #8

Jul 242013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,300 miles
I was driving in moderate traffic (40mph) when my car suddenly jerked so hard it felt like someone hit me from behind. Prior to this incident, I was feeling the jerkiness slightly and intermittently (felt like downshifting). After reading people's complaints in MINIforums, I'm starting to think this could be the beginning of my transmission failure. Luckily no one was hurt but if this continues, there could be some major injuries involved. About four months ago, my MINIstarted to overheat. I get my car serviced regularly so I didn't understand how my water levels and oil levels got so low to overheat my car. After reading up on this, other MINIowners faced similar issues. So now, I am required to check water and oil levels at every 1500 miles to avoid overheating. A little high maintenance? tell me about it!!

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #7

May 302013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
I have an '06 MINICooper and never had any engine/transmission issues prior to today. All scheduled maintenance was done by the MINIdealer. Today leaving to go to work, I started the car, put my seat belt on, checked the mirrors, rolled down the windows, put the car gear in "D" and started moving forward out a parking lot, and after a few seconds while driving, the car lost all acceleration and came to a stop. Then the car won't reverse nor move forward while in any gear. Towed to the dealer and later was told it's the cvt transmission and it will cost thousands of dollars to replace the cvt transmission.

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #6

Jan 162013


  • 74,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle downshifted and stalled. The contact had to pull to the side of the road and shift into manual mode to shift the gears up and down. The contact also stated that the battery light illuminated while the vehicle was parked. The contact also stated that the engine malfunctioned due to the cooling system emitting smoke from the engine and corrosion on the engine itself. The contact did not take the vehicle to a dealer for a diagnostic test. The failure mileage was 74,000.

- El Garnada, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 272013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 7,300 miles
As I turn on the engine, battery light came on, 5 seconds later, engine started to smoke. I turned off the engine. Engine won't turn back on and lost all power, steering wheel won't turn. Before this incident, gear would shift up and down on it's own while I'm driving. Very dangerous!

- El Granada, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 262012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
Driving at 55 mph on parkway. Engine made clunk and lost power. Pulled car onto shoulder and started with white smoke under hood, progressing to black smoke and flame. Exited car at first sign of smoke. Car burned in engine compartment, moved into cabin. Final damage was a total. Front end of car is completely burned. Fire in cabin melted dashboard, moved across and melted ceiling, and melted front windshield. Took pictures of final damages at garage following incident.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 182012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Car lost power and started running and idling very rough. Service shop discovered that the nylon caps for the hydraulic lash valves had deteriorated and cracked and in some cases had fallen completely off having a negative affect on the engine compression. The original caps are bright yellow and after use and heat they turn orange/brown. Internet research shows some MINIs have steel lash caps. Seems that a engine component susceptible to heat damage should not be made of nylon/plastic. The car has a total of 18 of these lash caps and at least 12 are clearly cracked. There are currently no replacement parts available from MINIor in the aftermarket. MINIs only solution is to replace the entire rocker arms which is a very costly repair when the only failure is small nylon caps.

- Rock Hill, MO, USA

problem #2

Nov 132012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Driving on the freeway when I felt the car jerk forward and then it felt as if the automatic transmission was slipping in and out of gears. Managed to pull off the freeway and drive to the local MINIdealership, which was luckily about a mile down the road. Was told by dealership the problem was transmission failure and was quoted $9,000 repair cost. When I asked the mechanic why the transmission had failed this early, told me they had no idea. However, when I asked another employee how many other cars had they seen with transmission problems, he reluctantly admitted "quite a few".

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 212012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,500 miles
Was driving on highway at app. 60 mph, downshifted to pass and eml light came on and power to car was greatly reduced. Found out it was a broken crankshaft vibration dampener. Notified dealer and was told that there was no warranty or recall on this issue. Quite expensive to repair also. Contacted MINIof usa and was told that it had to be diagnosed by a MINIdealer for any possible assistance, but was not guaranteed that assistance would be provided.

- Aurora, IL, USA

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