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In a Mini Cooper, you might have an automatic transmission rather than a manual transmission. In an automatic car there’s no clutch pedal at your feet and there’s no gear shift, but that doesn’t mean that gears are not shifted in the background. It simply means that as a driver you don’t have to give any input for those shifts to happen.

Your transmission is a very complex machine that handles all of the power from your engine all the way through to the drive shaft. There are many moving parts that interact with one another, and with regular use they are prone to wear and tear. An automatic transmission is comprised of the planetary gear sets, the torque converter, the hydraulics, and the control system. Each of these serves a different role.

The control system is the computer that directs electrical currents to different components within the system. The hydraulic system sends the fluid to your clutch. The torque converter functions just like a clutch and allows your car come to a stop, while the planetary gear sets are a system of interconnected rings. With that many systems and parts in play, there are plenty of things that could go wrong, so it is important to understand what can cause transmission failure and what the signs are.


Leaking transmission fluid is one of the first symptoms you might encounter. Transmission fluid is typically a deep red color, and if it starts leaking from the front part of your car you should take your car in as soon as possible to find the source of the leak.

If your transmission is failing, it will add stress to the other parts of your engine and that stress will cause your engine to overheat. Eventually this can cause other parts to be damaged and eventually fail, but in the interim an overheating engine is absolutely something to pay attention to, both because it can indicate transmission issues and because it can cause further damage if not addressed quickly.

If your check engine light turns on, this is your car’s way of letting you know that something is simply not right. When you are dealing with the transmission, there might be tangential parts of the car that now also need your attention. When you bring your vehicle to our location, we will use the appropriate diagnostic equipment to review the codes your vehicle is sending so that we can figure out precisely what the issue is and address it accordingly.

If your car has problems shifting gears or you notice that your automatic transmission hesitates when you are going from a low RPM to a high RPM, this could be indicative of a transmission failure. If you experience an intense jolt as you’re accelerating or slowing down, it is recommended that you bring the car in immediately.

Your transmission will play a very large role in how your car feels when you are accelerating or decelerating. If you notice while driving that there is a shaking or vibration when you try to accelerate, don’t overlook the symptom.


One of the ways that you can help maintain your transmission is to regularly flush the system. Bringing your car down to have the transmission system flushed will remove all of the transmission fluid by running a combination of a cleaning solution and new fluid through your car. This pushes out any of the sludge that has made its home inside your Mini’s system.

If the fluid that comes out through this process is black, this is obviously a bad sign — healthy transmission fluid should be red and clear. If this happens, it is best that you have the transmission inspected shortly thereafter. Regularly having your transmission maintained by flushing the system can help prevent these issues from taking place.


Our service technicians at Fast Lane European are trained to work on Mini models of all years. With our team members, you get years of combined experience working with this brand and more, on issues from minor repairs to transmission failures. If you are having trouble with your automatic transmission, bring your vehicle down to our shop and let us diagnose it. The sooner you bring it in after recognizing the warning signs, the less damage will take place.

We have a convenient San Jose, CA location for all Mini transmission issues and more. Call us today to book your appointment.