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 Posted: Feb 12, 2019 09:25PM
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Hello Ken,

I had a guy checked this afternoon the battery which is perfect (12.4 V). He checked from the fuse box the integrity of the electrical circuits and sensors and everything is perfect. Everything is in good standing. When tried the engine the cranking was "healthier" and louder, almost starting. I am more relaxed thinking that the deep freezing cold is at fault, and the rest of the systems in Mini are Ok, and no need for very expensive replacements.

My question to you: using a few sprays of ether in the air intake of the engine to start it, is compatible with my car? (Mini S, 2009, turbo, hard top, manual).

Although the low temperatures remain for the rest of this week, day by day they will improve, being somewhere between -18C and -5C by Sunday.

What would you recommend for a Mini: an engine block heater, or an oil pan heater?

Thank you kindly and with anticipation,

Radu.

 Posted: Feb 12, 2019 10:35AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenatminimania
Quote:
Originally Posted by bihoreanul
Yes, Ken,

Coming from skiing, I have left with a little bit less than half a tank of premium gas. The spark plugs are those required by Mini and brand new (installed in Nov last year). Battery is a new one, genuine German one and installed in March 2018. I just added 250 ml of gas antifreeze in tank and wait to see what happens.

Thank you, kindly, for your advise.

Regards,

Radu.
I thought about freezing gas, but I read somewhere that gasoline can freeze at about -40F - so I figured you have some head room...  but it certainly doesn't hurt to try the gas antifreeze!

Keep us updated on your progress.

it isn't the gasoline that tends to freeze, but the water that gets into it, either from a less-than-perfect source or from condensation. In cold weather, the tank can be susceptible to condensation, especially if occasionally parked in a heated environment. The tank is cold but the air is warmer and contains humidity. Because tanks are generally designed to allow air in, the humidity can get in too. And then there's fuel that contains alcohol, in which water is soluble. So, either droplets of condensation or dissolved water enter the fuel system, and when the cold weather comes, ice can form in the fuel system, preventing flow.
Logically "gas line antifreeze" has its limitations - it should be added before the gas line freezes. Otherwise it would take a long time to disperse throughout the fuel tank and creep up the fuel line to wherever the ice is. Winter blends of gasoline contain additives to mitigate cold weather issues. Diesel fuel can gel when it gets cold.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: Feb 12, 2019 10:25AM
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Hello Ken,

As I mentioned in the below message, I added some 250 ml of gas antifreeze in tank around 3 days ago. As of yesterday, when I tried to start the engine, it just cranked big time, but not starting. Some of my acquaintance will try diagnose the problem with some "toy" of his. Talked yesterday to my mechanic son-in-law (but located in Ontario ), and he said it might be something related to timing belt/chain (???). Brand new battery, brand new spark plugs, manual transmission fluid changed (Nov 2018), new oil, oil filter and air filter since Nov 2018.

Last night was a bit warmer (-24C/-11.2 F) and right now is -20 C/-4 F. Until the end of this week the day maxim will be between -20C and -17C/-10C or 1.4 F/14 F.

Now the policy of wait and see.

Regards,

Radu Timis.

 Posted: Feb 12, 2019 10:01AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bihoreanul
Yes, Ken,

Coming from skiing, I have left with a little bit less than half a tank of premium gas. The spark plugs are those required by Mini and brand new (installed in Nov last year). Battery is a new one, genuine German one and installed in March 2018. I just added 250 ml of gas antifreeze in tank and wait to see what happens.

Thank you, kindly, for your advise.

Regards,

Radu.
I thought about freezing gas, but I read somewhere that gasoline can freeze at about -40F - so I figured you have some head room...  but it certainly doesn't hurt to try the gas antifreeze!

Keep us updated on your progress.

 Posted: Feb 11, 2019 11:54AM
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Yes, Ken,

Coming from skiing, I have left with a little bit less than half a tank of premium gas. The spark plugs are those required by Mini and brand new (installed in Nov last year). Battery is a new one, genuine German one and installed in March 2018. I just added 250 ml of gas antifreeze in tank and wait to see what happens.

Thank you, kindly, for your advise.

Regards,

Radu.

 Posted: Feb 11, 2019 09:15AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenatminimania
Quote:
Originally Posted by bihoreanul
Yes, there is plenty of cranking but not starting!
If the engine is turning over (cranking) like normal but won't fire, then there must be an issue with the fuel or ignition.

Since ignition does not have any moving parts, I might first suspect a problem with fuel delivery, although stranger things can happen with electrical connections when the temperature drops below zero F....   

Assuming you have good fuel in the tank, you might check to see if your spark plugs are firing - this will narrow down the potential causes....

Ken
The ignition does need information from a rotating encoder to fire a spark, as found out by the previous poster who in the end had a broken timing belt, also in crazy cold weather.

 Posted: Feb 11, 2019 08:37AM
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It might be a wiring connection somewhere that separates just enough when it gets really cold. Check all the relevant plugs to be sure they are fully seated. Be careful with anything plastic though in the cold. A few weeks ago, I tried taking off the plastic engine head cover (non -Mini) and managed to come away with a handful of plastic from its rim.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: Feb 11, 2019 04:40AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bihoreanul
Yes, there is plenty of cranking but not starting!
If the engine is turning over (cranking) like normal but won't fire, then there must be an issue with the fuel or ignition.

Since ignition does not have any moving parts, I might first suspect a problem with fuel delivery, although stranger things can happen with electrical connections when the temperature drops below zero F....   

Assuming you have good fuel in the tank, you might check to see if your spark plugs are firing - this will narrow down the potential causes....

Ken

 Posted: Feb 10, 2019 06:54AM
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See post “Turns over won’t start” a little farther down on this forum.

 Posted: Feb 9, 2019 03:14PM
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Yes, there is plenty of cranking but not starting!

 Posted: Feb 9, 2019 02:50PM
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Is the car cranking but not starting, or not cranking. If not cranking it could be dirty connections at battery, body, or starter. bad starter relay.

 Posted: Feb 9, 2019 12:58PM
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Hi Dan,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

I tested the battery with one of my pals (battery is new - less than 1 year, and it is a genuine German one) and it is in good standing. Fully loaded.

Radu.

 Posted: Feb 9, 2019 12:50PM
 Edited:  Feb 9, 2019 12:52PM
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Modern batteries tend to die a sudden death rather than get slowly weaker with age, because one or more cells get shorted. I had one die on me with about 10-20 minutes between trips on a nice mid day. A boost would get the car started but if i shut it off, it would not start again because it was unable to accept a charge.
A volt-meter may show 12 volts or so with nothing turned on. The battery may even operate light loads like some lights or the horn or something, but it can't provide enough current to operate the starter.

You need to have your battery load-tested. A local Canadian Tire or similar garage can do the test, though may mot be able to install a new battery easily (the electronics!),

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: Feb 9, 2019 10:33AM
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Hello Mini lovers,

I am from Calgary, province of Alberta, Canada, and right now outside is -27C (-18F). With windchill it is -37 (-35F). I have an almost 10 y old Mini S, 2009, turbo, hard top. Never had problems with it. I just changed the oil, oil filter, air filters and breaking pads twice. Not a bulb problem in 10 y. Last year in March changed the battery. Sold my condo and renting an apartment, with the car in the street. Before yesterday when to start the car, it didn't work. There is power in battery, but not starting. When pressing the start button it is just humming, humming, humming. After cca. 5-10 seconds stopped it. I mention that on the day prior to this event I drove without problems to Banff (in Rockies) for skiing, for a total of 250 km back and forth. All systems worked perfectly. Another mention, this weather in this year is coming with lots of snow, and especially very low temperatures for 2 weeks already, which seems to go for another week, at least, according to forecasters.

My question is: somebody knows why the car doesn't start? When electricity is present in battery! Somebody said it is not the alternator, or starter, but it might be condensation in the gas tank ...

Could somebody help?

With anticipated thanks,

Radu.