really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,574 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.

2003 Mini Cooper engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Mini Cooper:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 152013


  • 66,009 miles


The car stalls(reduces speed 0-10mph) it may shut completely down at times this has been the same consistent problem since date of purchase the used car dealership has been informed of this problem since dop and for a moment I thought the problem had been solved but it turned out to be a recall on the power steering pump which was replaced back in July-Aug 2013. The MINIdealer also, thought they found the source of the problem but consistently just charged me monies for problem that never turned out to be the source so I stopped going to them. I tried to file a lemon law suit but was told I couldn't pursue because statute of limitations. So lawyer ref me to contact this office and file a claim because I've spent numerous amounts of money and nothing has been fixed I still feel unsafe and scared for my life when I drive but I'm limited in money to keep trying to find the source that's causing the problem. One thing noted that the car engine has been rebuilt. Also, I'm paying a car note. Please if there is anyway you can't help I feel I was preyed upon and take. Advantage of because the dealer knew there was a problem at the time of purchase and withheld it.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 092013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 109,400 miles
Accelerating after being stopped at a red light, lost power steering, smoke came out of hood, engine temperature redlined, and battery light came on.

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #6

May 062011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 53,176 miles
The car, a 2003 MINIcopper, suddenly slowed down while I applied brake in a evening traffic that was slowing down near a light/signal. It felt like a stall and a loss of power. My foot was on the brake, and on confusion, I tried to adjust the pressure on the brake. At that point, the car's power came back and the car rolled forward and hit the trailer hitch of the truck in front of me, causing a 2' dent and crack on the front bumper. Fortunately, it was a low-speed impact and did not cause any personal injury. Since this was an unusual experience, I went to the dealership after checking the web. They suggested checking the software version ($90) and a revision ($180). The cost of fixing the bumper would be much higher than that.

- Sunnyside, NY, USA

problem #5

Dec 132003

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


My 2003 MINICooper S, upon acceleration, experiences an excessive loss of power that has put me in the position of nearly being hit by oncoming traffic when pulling into traffic flow. I have had the vehicle in to the dealer in cincinnati 5 times, and though they claim the vehicle is repaired, and drives 'normally' it still nearly stalls when accelerating from a standstill.

- Somerset, KY, USA

problem #4

Jul 172003

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1 miles
Engine power loss starting off in 1st gear. When stating from a complete stop in 1st gear the car will hesitate for aprox. 2-3 seconds before the rpms increase. There is no combination of clutch and throttle that will alleviate this situation. The combination of warm temperatures and running the A/C contribute heavily to the power loss. Colder weather does improve this power loss.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

problem #3

Jun 292003

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 7 miles
Purchased new vehicle (delivery date below). Vehicle has serious lurch and power loss in 1st gear, particulary w/ ac running. This poses significant safety risk as normal acceleration is not available. Maufacturer has acknowledged probem stating it is in the computer software--claims no fix to date despite repeated complaints and requests for fix.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #2

May 152003

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 4,000 miles
My 2003 MINICooper S stumbles and bogs down when starting in first gear. When starting from a dead start and letting clutch out, the cars power cuts off for a moment and then cuts back in. This was not a characteristic of the car prior to my dealer upgrading the software for the engine management system. I've contacted MINIusa (aka BMW) and they acknowledge the problem, but have no fix for it. I consider it a safety issue, especially when pulling into traffic and the car hesitates badly.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #1

May 312003

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 4,000 miles
My April build 2003 MINICooper S experiences sudden momentary engine power losses, causing the car to violenty jerk during initial acceleration. Furthermore, the car will randomly and without warning, lose all forward momentum just when I need it most, as in pulling out into oncoming traffic. No matter how much throttle is engaged, the car barely crawls foward for up to 3 seconds, then finally roars to life and takes off. It feels very much like trying to accelerate a car from a dead stop in 3rd gear, though the car is in 1st gear. This situation is dangerous and needs to have the highest priority within bmwna/miniusa. I, as well as many others, have repeatedly brought this to the attention of miniusa/bmwna and we are always told the same thing, that they are working on it. It has been over 6 months since these problems first began to surface. There has been no official communication from bmwna/miniusa regarding the issue.

- Cramerton, NC, USA

Not what you are looking for?