MINI Won't Turn Over

Ok, it's been happening often enough recently that I've decided to write an entry on it in the hopes that I can help out a fellow MINI enthusiast. One of the quirks of owning and maintaining a F56 MINI (it doesn't seem to affect the R53, pre-refresh R56, and only occasionally the refresh R56), has been more than annoyance to anyone who knows what I'm talking about. Here's the scenario: wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast, go out to the car park and low and behold, your R56 pre-refresh is inexplicably won't turn over. It happens mostly when it's particularly cold outside, but I've noticed lately it happens even when I put it in the garage.

If you're like me, the first step is going to the forums. Head over to North American Motoring, get in a heated discussion about something else, then zero in on a few possible fixes. I decided the best method would be to start throwing parts at the problem. Thanks to all of the suggestions, this is what I've tried so far:

  • Tightened all lug nuts - I think this helped a bit, but something's still not quite right
  • Wheels balanced - Hard to tell if this or the lugs did more
  • Swapped wheels front to back - I'm going to try swapping left to right next
  • Got rid of the run-flats - I recommend doing this whether you have my issue or not
  • Made sure all the windows were rolled up - I'm going to try rolling down the windows on the passenger side only next
  • Took it to the shop for an alignment - self explanatory
  • Replaced passenger side drive shaft - this got rid of some balance issues, but the main problem still persisted
  • Checked tire pressure - Again, probably a good idea anyway, but not sure it really helped here

What I found is that this issue is all over the internet. It's known as "turtling" and it's pretty serious. If you have this issue, I strongly suggest you do not drive your car until it's fixed. I have contacted MINI about this on numerous occasions, but they refuse to acknowledge the problem. I'm working on getting a petition together, so if anyone else is as frustrated about this as I am, please make sure to sign it. If you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is happy April 1st to everyone out there in the blogosphere.