Mini Cooper: Why Doesn't My Air Conditioning Work?

Driving without air conditioning in the summer is simply inconvenient and uncomfortable. Read on to learn how to diagnose the underlying issue.

By Bassem Girgis - June 17, 2016

This article applies to the Mini Cooper (2001-present).

The air conditioner is far past a luxury option in this day and age. The Mini Cooper is a tiny car and offers a freezing cold A/C, but when it stops working, it could completely ruin your drive. There are various things that can cause your air conditioner to stop blowing cold air, or even stop blowing air in general. The dealership loves these kind of repairs because they can charge a lot of money just to inspect it. Fortunately, most A/C issues are rather simple to fix and can be done by most people without much experience. If your air conditioner isn't blowing, then read on to learn how to diagnose it in your Mini Cooper.

Materials Needed (depending on issue)

  • New fuse
  • New cabin air filter
  • A/C recharging kit

Step 1 – Check the fuse

It could be blown.

If your air compressor fuse is blown, your air conditioning won't work. In fact, you should hope the fuse is blown because it means your A/C issue is a simple one to fix. The fuses are designed to break when there is an electrical overheat, which prevents any hazards, such as fire. The fuse box is located inside the cabin, by the driver side's footwell. Remove the plastic cover, then turn it around. On the inside of the cover you will see a fuse box diagram, which will point you to the exact fuse that you need. Remove the fuse and check the metal bar inside of it; if it's broken, then you need to replace the fuse. If it's intact, then your fuse is working properly.

Figure 1. Fuse box diagram.

If the fuse is not blown. proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 – Check the cabin air filter

It could be clogged.

The cabin air filter is designed to filter the air going through your vents, which allows you to breathe fresh air while driving. If it gets extremely clogged, your A/C may not blow cold air, and if it gets too clogged, your A/C might not blow any air at all. The cabin air filter is located under the glove compartment of the passenger side. Just pop the cover off, then remove the old filter and inspect it. If the old filter is dirty, replace it with a new one; that fix should make your A/C blow cold air again.

Figure 2. Replace cabin air filter.

If the cabin air filter is clean, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3 – Charge the A/C system

It could need a recharge.

The air conditioner system could lose its cooling component, which will result in it blowing air, just not cold air. You can visit a professional shop for such a procedure; however, there are kits being sold now that will allow you to hook it up to the A/C and recharge the whole system. The recharging kits should cost you no more than $50 dollars, and the process shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. The kit comes with a gauge and the proper instructions to get the job done safely.

Figure 3. A/C recharge kit.

Related Discussions