MINI Repair & Service

Trust Import Specialties for all your MINI repair service needs in Columbia SC. Our technicians would love to work with you. We have the skills to get you back on the road. At Import Specialties, you get value and high-quality workmanship, guaranteed. Call us at 803-799-2686 for affordable MINI repair and service in Columbia SC.

Our Services

We specialize in MINI repair and service on MINI Hatch, MINI Hardtop, MINI Convertible, MINI Clubman, MINI Countryman, MINI Coupe, MINI Roadster, MINI Paceman, MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S, MINI Cooper S supercharged, MINI Cooper S turbocharged, MINI John Cooper Works.

MINI have 3 types of regular service:

  • Oil Change
  • Inspection 1 – also known as a ‘MINI Minor Service’
  • Inspection 2 – also known as a ‘MINI Major service’

MINI Oil Change

This service includes:

  • Engine oil and oil Filter Change
  • Visual Brake inspection
  • Inspect Parking Brake
  • Inspect Fluid levels
  • Inspect Tire Condition and Tire Air Pressure
  • Inspect coolant hoses
  • Inspect engine drive belt
  • Inspect vehicle lights
  • Reset the oil change indicator.

At Import Specialties in Columbia we also perform a complete visual inspection with an oil change service.

MINI Inspection 1 (Minor service)

Includes services in MINI Oil Change (listed above) plus:

  • Change Interior Ventilation (cabin) Filter
  • Change Transmission fluid (if CVT transmission)
  • Top up Windshield Washer fluid
  • Inspect Windshield Wipers and Washers
  • Lubricate doors and locks
  • Check Battery condition
  • Inspect Suspension
  • Inspect CV boots
  • Inspect Exhaust System
  • Inspect Manual Transmission fluid level
  • Inspect pressure check Cooling System
  • Reset Service Indicator
  • Road test for overall vehicle performance.

MINI Inspection 2 (Major service)

Includes services from Oil Change and Inspection 1 (listed above) plus:

  • Replace engine Air Filter
  • Replace Engine Coolant (every 4 years)
  • Flush & Replace Brake fluid (every 2 years)

Model dependent services include:

  • MINI Spark Plug replacement (100K)
  • Replace MINI engine serpentine Belt (100k Cooper 60K S)
  • MINI Oxygen Sensor replacement (100K).

*Additional inspections may apply for some models. For further details please speak to our Service Advisor.

Why Choose Us For MINI Repair in Columbia SC, Forest Acres, West Columbia, or Northeast Columbia??

Honest, Straight Forward Advice.

The honest facts about your MINI explained in simple terms. We provide an inspection report, recommended service priorities (Now, Wait, Watch), and accurate estimates to help you plan your MINI repair and service. We take a long-term view of our customer relationship that is based on trust.

Value & Savings

Our lower overhead costs help you save on MINI repair and service. We know when to use genuine MINI repair parts and when to recommend after-market parts for better value and reliability (sometimes aftermarket parts are better than factory parts). Just more of our straightforward, honest advice.

Personal Service

Our focus is MINI repair and service in the Columbia SC area. And we do that with a personal, small company feel. We won’t try to sell you a new car – we only want to help you get maximum life from your MINI.

Quick Turnaround

Highly qualified, very skilled, professional MINI repair technicians work together to perform your MINI service and MINI repair on time, and on budget. We have the special MINI repair and service tools to perform MINI repair quickly, and correctly.

Diagnostic Expertise

MINI repair factory diagnostic tools and years of experience with European auto repair help us quickly and accurately diagnose MINI problems and recommend your best, and most economical, MINI service and MINI repair options.

Scheduled Maintenance Repairs

Whether you need a routine MINI oil change or a MINI Major Service rest assured our ASE certified auto repair technicians have the skills and tools needed to be your MINI dealership alternative. Professional maintenance and service for all MINI models.

MINI Dealer

There is no MINI dealer in Columbia SC. Import Specialties is your MINI dealer alternative. We can perform all MINI service and MINI repair. If we find any repairs covered by your MINI warranty, we can refer you to the closest MINI dealer in Greenville, SC (103 miles/1.5 hours away) or Charleston SC (120 miles/2 hours away).

Real Value

We prefer to “solve” problems for the long term. MINI Cooper are special vehicles, with special needs. Often just replacing defective parts with new parts is a temporary fix (they just fail again). We can often repair your MINI Cooper problems for far less cost than the MINI dealer. We have special equipment that allows us to repair many MINI problems, rather than just replace parts. That’s value.

Quality Workmanship

Skills, Training, Experience. All our MINI repair technicians are certified, highly skilled, have extensive experience with BMW designed MINI, and participate in constant training. We invest thousands of dollars every year on diagnostic and specialty tools to enable our MINI mechanics to make Import Specialties in Columbia the best MINI repair shop in Columbia SC.

Rock Solid Guarantee

All of our MINI repair and service has a 24-month, 24,000 mile guarantee. Import Specialties in Columbia is committed to your 100% satisfaction. We stand solidly behind our MINI repair & service work.

Why go to Import Specialties for MINI repair and service:

  • Closest MINI dealer is over 100 miles away.
  • You don’t care for other MINI repair shops in Columbia SC.
  • Tired of high prices at MINI dealerships.
  • Tired of bad service advice.
  • Tired of poor repair quality.
  • Tired of impersonal service.
  • Tired of your MINI problems not being fixed correctly.

Import Specialties in Columbia will fix your MINI better, and for less. Guaranteed.

We’ve got the skills.
We’ve got the training.
We’ve got the experience.
We’ve got the reputation (check our customer reviews).

Oh, and we promise to treat you extra special (we want to keep you as a longtime customer, not a one-time sale).

Mini Repair - Import Specialties Columbia, SC

Common MINI Problems

Rough Running, Carbon buildup, Engine Misfire

One common MINI engine problem is “carbon buildup” on the intake valves. This causes restricted airflow into the engine cylinders which results in rough running and misfiring of the affected cylinders. The proper fix is to use a media blaster to decarbonize and remove the carbon buildup without damaging the cylinder head or valves. Import Specialties in Columbia has the specialized equipment to MINI cylinder head media blast cleaning. MINI cylinder head decarbonize is a factory approved procedure.

Electric Power Steering Pump Failure on MINI

MINI Coopers have an electric power steering pump that is prone to leaks and failure. MINI power steering pump problems are commonly caused by failure of the power steering cooling fan system. When replacing the power steering pump, we advise inspecting the steering pump cooling fan operation.

Often the first indication of MINI steering pump failure is a loud whining sound when turning. Sometimes the MINI PS pump can fail without warning causing steering to become very heavy or difficult to turn. A reconditioned power steering pump replacement is a common MINI repair. When replacing the power steering pump, a power steering fluid flush and replacement is required for replacement pump warranty.

A common cause of MINI power steering problems is power steering pump cooling fan failure. The MINI power steering pump fan is temperature controlled and connected to the air conditioning system and engine cooling fan systems. A MINI power steering pump diagnostic will test all associated systems.

In some cases, the power steering pump control module fails and the motor continues to run after turning the engine off. This can cause total battery drain, power steering pump motor failure due to overheating. MINI power steering problems can cause many MINI electrical issues.

Always be aware of dashboard warning lights or any change in steering effort or steering related noises.

Mini Water Pump Repair

Another common repair is MINI water pump replacement. Warning signs are a coolant leak or noisy MINI water pump bearings. When water pump bearings get worn the seal fails causing a coolant leak and engine overheating which can lead to thermostat failure, head gasket failure, or other serious MINI engine damage.

There are two drain holes on the water pump that usually show early signs of leakage and provide warning before a total water pump failure. MINI water pump leaks can be very gradual and difficult to see. Regularly checking your coolant reservoir level is very important and should be inspected every time your MINI is refueled. Contact us for a MINI water pump replacement cost estimate.

Top Ten Reasons for MINI Cooper Check Engine Light

The MINI check engine light is a warning light for all electrical systems in your MINI. We have the testing equipment to diagnose any MINI check engine light problem.

A Check Engine Light is turned on when the MINI engine control module detects a fault in any of the computer-controlled vehicle systems. One or more diagnostic codes will be stored in the engine module and are just one piece of information our repair technicians will use to diagnose your problem.

When the Check Engine Light comes on, you may experience engine performance issues such as poor acceleration, rough idling, and an engine that won’t start. In some cases, no abnormal symptoms will be experienced. Whether you experience performance problems or not, a flashing Check Engine Light indicates that an electrical system problem has occurred. If you continue to drive the vehicle, you may damage engine or emissions components. Determining the exact cause your check engine light is on can be very difficult.

Here are the top 10 reasons for MINI Cooper check engine light:

1. Loose Gas Cap

Fuel vapors leak from a loose gas cap and the emissions system will detect the leak and cause a check engine warning light.

2. Faulty Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor measures the amount of oxygen in the exhaust to tell the engine computer how much fuel to inject into the engine. A MINI oxygen sensor replacement will often solve low fuel mileage and poor power output.

3. Faulty Catalytic Converter

Catalytic Converter failure is usually caused by engine oil burning, ignition problems, or fuel system problems. These problems must be repaired before the Catalytic Converter replacement.

4. Faulty Ignition Coil

MINI Ignition coil failure usually results from age and normal wear. High operating temperatures can also cause ignition coil failure.

5. Bad Spark Plug

A misfiring spark plug can cause unburnt fuel triggering a check engine light. Fouled spark plug can also cause catalytic Converter failure. MINI spark plug replacement is usually required if you have a Ignition coil replacement.

6. Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

The Mass Airflow Sensor measures the incoming air flow to the engine allowing the computer to inject the correct amount of fuel. MINI mass airflow sensor replacement can greatly improve fuel economy.

7. EVAP System Hose Leaks

Leaking EVAP system vacuum hoses are an emission system problem and trigger the MINI check engine light. Vacuum hoses deteriorate with age and will eventually need replacement.

8. Faulty EGR Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve

The EGR valve helps lower vehicle emissions. A bad EGR valve can cause rough idle, hesitation on acceleration, and engine overheating. Please contact us for EGR Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve replacement cost.

9. Charging System Problems

A faulty alternator or weak battery can cause a check engine light. Your MINI requires a stable electrical system to function. We can quickly test your battery, do a MINI charging system test, or provide a MINI alternator replacement cost estimate.

10. Transmission Problems

MINI transmissions are computer controlled and will trigger a Check Engine Light. MINI transmission repairs start with a check engine light diagnosis to pinpoint the problem.


MINI Factory Warranty Safe

You are not required to take your MINI back to an authorized MINI dealer for services or maintenance services that you are required to pay for. We can perform your required MINI maintenance service while your MINI Cooper is still under factory warranty.

We use factory approved parts and lubricants and stamp your maintenance record book. Our work meets all factory MINI warranty requirements. With our 24 months/24,000 miles parts and labor guarantee (some parts lifetime warranty) you can be confident in our workmanship.

Having Import Specialties in Columbia work on your MINI in NO way limits or restricts your MINI factory warranty. All that is important is that you service your MINI as specified for your vehicle.

Keeping your MINI safely on the road for the most affordable price is our top priority. Our number one goal is to provide you with high quality, total MINI auto service. We work hard at offering the best quality MINI auto repair while keeping within your budget. Many MINI repair shops talk about good service, but at Import Specialties in Columbia we are committed to it!

We strive to surpass your expectations and maintain our great reputation.

MINI Repair and Service FAQ

How often will I need to perform MINI service and Inspections?

The MINI Service Interval Indicator, located in the center of the speedometer, will notify you which service is due. Each time your MINI is started the indicator will display the mileage until the next service is needed. If the service display is flashing and the mileage is displayed as a negative your MINI service is overdue.

Service duration will vary depending on the model and year of your MINI, the climate and conditions in which you drive, and your driving habits. Your MINI Service Interval Display will flash to alert you when it’s time to schedule an oil change, roughly every 7,500 miles. This is the minimum service period. We strongly recommend an oil change service every 5,000 miles. See our warning (below) on MINI engine sludge problems if they are not serviced often enough. One of the best things you can do is a MINI Cooper oil change.

MINI Engine Sludge Problem

The MINI Flexible Service System (FSS) is designed to tell you when your vehicle needs service. However, many Mini owners are experiencing engine failure even when they follow the factory service schedule. Not changing engine oil often enough can cause engine sludge which leads to blocked engine internal oil passages causing problems with the engine variable valve timing gears and MINI chain tensioner failure.

Engine sludge is a thick, dark by-product of fuel combustion that contaminates the motor oil. These by-products collect in the oil and form sludge. Sludge can happen to any vehicle, regardless of the car’s age or mileage. It is worse on vehicles that are driven short distances and do lots of idling in traffic (e.g. city driving). Changing the oil more frequently is the only way to prevent MINI engine sludge problems. Extended MINI Cooper oil change is a false economy. A more frequent MINI Cooper oil change interval is much less costly than a new engine…

Which oils can be used in a MINI?

MINI requires synthetic oils to maintain optimal performance and engine life. You will also get better fuel mileage. You must use synthetic oil in a MINI. We use MINI warranty approved oils.

Why pay a high MINI service price at the dealership?

Import Specialties in Columbia can perform all factory-recommended MINI scheduled service including minor service one and major service two. If we discover any repair covered by your warranty, we will advise you how to get it repaired by the MINI dealer.

Import Specialties in Columbia is a MINI dealership alternative and provides MINI repair in Columbia SC 29205. MINI repair and service in Columbia SC 29205 Auto Repair and Service of all MINI models.

NOTE: This company or website is in no way associated with MINI USA, a division of BMW North America, LLC.