Mini Coopers are by far some of the most fun and performance-driven compacts on the market. They are known for their integral design features that lend to enhanced performance for lead-footed enthusiasts, but are also fuel-efficient and average-driver friendly. Automotive engineering at its finest, MINI is part of the many German-engineered vehicles on the road today; however, like all other engineered mechanical devices, Minis are susceptible to experiencing difficulties from time to time. Preventive auto maintenance can drastically improve driving conditions and address issues before they become damaging; but sometimes, despite our best efforts, we may still experience symptoms of malfunction. One frequently reported symptom that MINI drivers encounter is a shaking feeling while on the road. Here are some of the potential causes of the symptom and what can be done to fix it:
Keeping your Mini’s tires full of air is critical for fuel efficiency, among other things. The pressure in your tires can be directly responsible for any shaking you may be experiencing. Having your Mini’s tires balanced and rotated regularly can make for a much smoother ride, and it can also save you thousands of dollars in replacement tires. When your tires are routinely inspected for uneven wear patterns and kept at the appropriate pressure level, it can prevent issues like blowouts and flat tires at high speeds in addition to more mild symptoms like shaking. It is undeniable that tire health is a critical aspect of ongoing MINI maintenance, and it may be at the source of the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Related to tire health, there is more that can go wrong with these four points of contact to the ground—when we put it in these terms, it feels more critical, doesn’t it? The truth is that inadequate tire health and wheel alignment is responsible for a large number of auto accidents. Your wheel alignment is what keeps all four tires pointed in the right direction, even to the smallest degrees of precision. If your alignment is off at all, it can cause a noticeable difference while driving that can become scary, and even dangerous; you will likely feel a strong shaking sensation in your steering wheel and, if it gets bad enough, the passengers in your vehicle may feel it too. In order to have wheel alignments performed at proper intervals, refer to your MINI owner’s manual—this will give you a good general idea of when alignments should be performed; however, keep in mind that if you just hit a curb it can severely throw your entire wheel alignment off.
It may be that you feel the shaking sensations predominantly while applying the brakes. This may not occur all the time, but more frequently at moderate speeds. Issues with your Mini’s brakes can include problems with brake rotors and/or calipers. If it’s been a while since your last brake service, you may want to consider bringing your MINI in for a tire service or rotation in addition to a brake service; it is generally more cost-effective labor-wise to attend to brake issues and tire issues simultaneously, as it usually requires the tires to be off of the vehicle for a more thorough inspection. Brake rotors can become unevenly worn when a brake caliper “sticks,” which can compound an issue rather quickly. It is best to follow your Mini’s recommended maintenance schedule, in addition to addressing brake issues with immediacy—brake issues can be especially dangerous, and drivers should never procrastinate on attending to them.
When your car exhibits symptoms…
The best thing you can do when your MINI is exhibiting symptoms ranging from mild to downright frightening is to bring it to a trusted automotive shop that specializes in European imports like Mini Coopers. The experts here at Auto Europa have specific knowledge about German-engineered vehicles in particular, and are familiar with the typical issues that MINI drivers face. If your car is shaking at moderate to high speeds, it could be due to any number of issues. Our technicians at Auto Europa pride themselves on performing accurate diagnoses with our advanced diagnostic equipment, and finding solutions that address the heart of the problem—we do not put Band-Aids on symptoms of a bigger issue. Contact us today for more information about our diagnostic services and how we can help you maintain your MINI.
Images credit goes to: ManuelGonzalezOlaecheaFranco