Changing the oil in your Classic Mini is easy to do, yet you’d be amazed how many people pay garages to do this.
To carry out the oil change yourself you will need the following:
- A 5 litre container of new oil
- A new oil filter
- A large spanner
- A screwdriver set
- An oil filter removal tool or large flat-headed screwdriver
- A funnel
- A clean rag
- An oil tray
First, run your Mini engine for five minutes in order to heat up the oil in the engine. Then park the Mini on a level surface and turn off the engine and open up the bonnet.
Using the large spanner, unscrew the sump plug on the side of the sump beneath the car. Make sure you place an oil tray underneath the car to catch the oil.
When the oil is flowing out of the sump, unscrew the oil filler cap on top of the engine to allow the oil to flow faster.
A Mini engine and gearbox will hold over 4 litres of oil. If the container you are using to catch the oil cannot hold this amount, replace the sump plug to stop the flow of oil while you empty the container. I find it useful to keep an old oil container in which to empty the used oil. Use a funnel to prevent spillage.
While the oil is draining out of the engine, remove the front grill using your screwdriver set to gain access to the oil filter.
Eventually the oil will trickle to a few drips a minute. What I like to do next is to pour in some new oil into the top of the engine using a funnel, and let that drain through. It will come out black at first as it collects gunk along the way. When it starts coming out looking like it went in, clean the drain plug of all oil and metal filings with a clean rag. Use the rag to clean the grooves of the sump hole as well so that it is free of metal filings. You can also pour some new oil onto a clean rag and smooth it into the sump hole and over the sump plug.
Next screw the sump plug back in until tight, but don’t go mad and try to over tighten it. It’s tight enough if no oil drips out when you fill it back up.
Mini oil filters can be hard to remove, which is why you can buy oil filter removal tools. Use the oil filter removal tool to remove the old oil filter. With the old Mini oil filter removed, dab some new oil onto a clean rag and clean the oil filter seal on both the engine and the new oil filter.
Screw the new Mini oil filter onto the engine making sure that your hands and the filter casing are not covered in oil, which can cause slippage and prevent a tight seal. Replace the front grill.
With the sump plug back in place and the new oil filter fitted, start pouring new oil into the top of the engine through the filler hole using the funnel, and let it settle. Keep topping up the oil until the dipstick level reads close to max.
Replace the oil filler cap and close the bonnet. Take the car for a short drive around the block and then park it up and allow the engine to cool down.
Once the engine is cold you will find that the oil level has dropped. Remove the filler cap and top up the oil until the oil level reaches max.
You should find that your Classic Mini runs a lot better after an oil change. I could not believe the difference an oil change made to my Mini in both terms of performance and how smooth the engine ran.
It is worth giving your Mini a regular oil change. Check your oil level periodically, and if the oil on your dipstick starts looking a little black, it’s time for another change.