DIY Auto Repair

How to Change Your Mini Cooper Brake Pads

Your brake pads are the single most important thing responsible for ensuring a car stops in time. Without properly working brake pads the brakes will eventually fail and cause a lot more potential damage.

This is easily prevented with regular checks and replacement of brake pads. With some basic tools and an afternoon, Mini Cooper brake pads can easily be replaced.

How they Work

Brakes work on a car by taking the forward momentum energy of the car and converting it to heat. Two pads are pushed against a metal wheel known as a rotor.

This creates a ton of heat and friction which wears down the brake pads and rotors. The harder the brakes are applied the faster the car will stop, and the faster the brake pads are worn down.

Now when it’s Time to Replace

If there is squealing when the brakes are applied then it’s time to replace the brake pads. If there is a grinding or bumpy motion when braking it’s time to replace the rotors.

Always plan to replace the brake pads in pairs. If they are wearing unevenly that means there is a problem with the brake system.

Check the brake pads every ten thousand miles to ensure the lining of the pad is still in place. Many modern cars have brake pad sensors to indicate when the brake pads need to be replaced.

Parts and Tools

Before beginning to replace the Mini Cooper brake pads replacement parts will need to be purchased. Purchase one repair kit that includes brake pads, one brake pad wear sensor, two ventilated brake disks.

The tools needed to complete this project are a 13mm socket, 17mm socket, T50 Torx bit, and a torque wrench. A Torx bit is a six-pointed star pattern.

Removing the Old Mini Cooper Brake Pads

The first step is to jack the car up and remove the front wheels. Be sure to jack the car up on a flat solid surface with properly working jacks.

Once the wheels have been taken off the brake calipers will be easily seen. The brake pads will be on either side of the rotor.

Brake Pad Sensor Removal

The brake pad sensor can be found on the front left wheel. These sensors are very easily broken, especially if the brake pads have been worn down.

Order a new sensor when the replacement brake pads are ordered. This will make the project go faster and easier.

Unfortunately, the sensor must be removed to replace the brake pads. There are options for how to go about removing it.

The first option is to separate the sensor from the bleed line. Then remove the sensor from the pad by being very gentle.

The other option is to is to remove the sensor from the pad after the caliper has been taken off. The wiring will need to be freed up this way by disconnecting the sensor’s wiring.

Caliper Removal

The first step is to remove four bolts. Two are retaining and two are guide bolts. Use a wrench and socket to remove the bolts.

Mini considers the retaining bolts to be single use. Mini officially recommends that these bolts are replaced every time the brake pads are changed.

Now remove the caliper by gently sliding it off the pads and back away from the mounting bracket. Let the caliper hang out of the way of where the brake pads are located.

Do not let the caliper hang on the brake line. This could make the brake line weak which could lead to brake failure while driving.

Brake Pad Removal

The Mini Cooper brake pads should then easily slide out of the mounting bracket. If there is excessive brake dust or the pads are too thin to get a grip on a flat head screwdriver can be used to pry them out.

Check the Guide Bolts

While the brake pads and calipers are out of the way to take this time to check the guide bolts. Inspect the rubber boot around the bolts to ensure it’s in good condition.

Check that the bolts are clean and well lubricated. The bolt should easily slide in and out of the mount.

Install the New Pads

Before the new brake pads are installed the metal clips on the caliper mount should be cleaned. These are the clips where the brake pads sit.

Take a wire brush and brake cleaner to them to remove excess brake dust and dirt. Apply some anti-squeal on the back side of the pads.

Be super careful to not get anti-squeal on the rotor. Next, the piston needs to be squeezed back into the caliper.

Push the Piston Back

There needs to be enough space for the new and thicker Mini Cooper brake pads to be slid into the caliper. Use an old brake pad and a C clamp to push the piston back and hold it in place.

When the piston is pushed back brake fluid is forced back into the system through the linen. If the brake fluid has been topped off there may be too much now.

Clean Up Brake Fluid Overflow

Clean up the excess overflow fluid and use a turkey baster to remove any more excess brake fluid. This often happens when the brake pads are very worn down and brake fluid is added to aid in the function of the brakes.

Reinstall Caliper

Slide the caliper over the new pads ensuring that the guild bolts go into the mount correctly. Next, reinstall the wear sensor.

Use the torque wrench to tighten the bolts down to Mini Cooper specs. Be sure to pump the brakes a few times before driving so the brake pads move into proper position.

Break Them In and Drive

Follow the directions that come with the brake pads for breaking them in. Braking during this period is going to be different than normal.

Replacing brake pads regularly ensures proper function and safety while driving. They can easily be changed at home with two jacks, some tools, and a free afternoon.

Before you start any project on your Mini Cooper you should have the repair manual.