The car brand MINI is an internationally known brand that provides a cute, British charm unmatched by in other vehicles. Their small bodies, the classic stripes, and their rally history make them the ideal multipurpose car, as well as delightful throwback to earlier times, and a cheerful reminisce of living in the English countryside. Despite this, they still face the problems that other cars do, including a misfiring air filtration system or a clogged air pipe.
What is the air intake in the MINI?
It’s important to understand what the air intake system(s) are in any car before you try and diagnose any potential problems. Essentially, the air intake is responsible for pulling air into the internal combustion engine in order to add oxygen to the fuel; this is what makes the car work easier. Fireworks the same way: blowing on a flame helps it grow while putting a cup over it will put it out. When there is no oxygen coming into the engine--or not enough--the engine will not work as well, increasing fuel use and limiting the power of the engine.
Car enthusiasts or people who really want to make sure that their car is at peak performance will often replace the air intake system to improve airflow and increase engine performance. There are 3 types of air intakes: stock air intake, cold air intake, and short ram air intake. The stock air intakes are the ones that come with the car--they are the original version on the intake pipe. Inside the multi-jointed pipe, they also include a paper filter that catches dust or other bits that would otherwise get stuck in the engine. Cold air intakes, on the other hand, are a long, straight pipe that more efficiently sucks larger quantities of cold air into the engine. This means that the engine can use both less heat--and as a consequence--less fuel. Short ram air intakes are somewhat the opposite of cold air intakes. They pull large quantities of hot air into the engine which makes combustion more efficient. They are typically found in larger, higher performance cars, or even airplanes. As a result, it’s highly unlikely to be found in your MINI Cooper.
What are the signs of a clogged pipe?
When your air intake system is not working properly, you’re likely to notice a few symptoms. One of the most obvious is general reduction in the performance of your engine. This can include a decrease in fuel efficiency, slower/less powerful acceleration, or just a general loss of power.
Another common sign is if your Check Engine Light comes on. In cases such as this, it’s always best to hand it over to a mechanic so that they can better diagnose the problem since a Check Engine Light can signal problems with a wide variety of issues.
You may also notice that you have an exceptionally high idle.
What causes the clogged pipe?
Because air intakes use air filters, it’s possible for those to become dirty or clogged, which can decrease fuel efficiency, and otherwise make your engine work poorly. They are responsible for making sure that the air that comes into your engine is clean, and doesn’t include small particles, like dust or other bits. When it becomes clogged, it prevents air from getting in effectively and means that the engine works harder with less. This can often cause drops in your fuel efficiency and use a lot more fuel.
What should you do if you notice it’s clogged?
If you’re experiencing any of the problems here, the best idea is to take the car to a trusted mechanic immediately, to reduce damage and cost. Thankfully, Pete’s Auto Repair is prepared to help you with any and all of the problems that you and your MINI may face. With our years of dedicated service, we guarantee efficient, cost-effective, and safe repair to any vehicle you choose to bring to us. No matter the problem, the concern, or the issue, we’re happy to take a look and help you determine the best fix that will meet your needs. Here at Pete’s Auto Repair, we’re here to help.
* Mini Cooper Countryman image credit goes to: bruev.