This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the battery in a MINI R56/R57 vehicle. Even though we used a 2007 MINI Cooper to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2006-2013 MINI vehicle with minor modifications to the repair steps.
A MINI R56 battery replacement is a very simple procedure for the “do it yourself” mechanic.
The MINI R56 Cooper is a fascinating little beast. We are continually intrigued by BMW’s ability to package so much car in such little space. Not only did they turn the engine sideways and “shoe horn” it into the front of the car, they somehow left enough room to cram the battery in there as well.
A MINI R56 battery replacement is a great little repair for the home mechanic. It only takes a few minutes and can save you a bunch of money by avoiding the dealership. There is absolutely no need to use a “Genuine MINI” battery in you vehicle…an inexpensive one from your local auto parts store works perfectly fine with one rule: always use the same battery type (lead acid or AGM) and amperage that is in your car. This is especially important for models with an intelligent battery sensor (IBS) on the negative terminal of the vehicle.
The intelligent battery sensor was installed on many MINI R56s depending on which optional electronics the car was manufactured with. The following image shows a negative battery terminal cable with an intelligent battery sensor. If the negative cable on your MINI R56 looks like this one, then you will need to get your new battery registered after installation.
Battery registration is very simple and can be done with any inexpensive BMW/MINI diagnostic scanner. If you do not have a diagnostic scanner, we have provided a link below to purchase the correct one (we suggest all home mechanics have one) or order one by clicking here. If you do not want to purchase one, most local repair shops will gladly do it for free.
Registering the battery to the car notifies the vehicle’s engine management computer (the “DME”) that you have put a new power cell in. This can dramatically increase the life span of your new battery and avoid any potential wackiness with your electronics. If you do not have an IBS on your vehicle, you do not have to register the battery. For a more in depth discussion on BMW/MINI intelligent battery sensors, please read our article BMW E60 Battery Sensor Failure/Repair .
The only part required for this repair is a new battery. Since battery types and amperage can differ among vehicles, always match what is currently in your car.
- Locate the battery on the right side of the vehicle in the back of the engine compartment.
- Remove the hood gasket from the right cowl cover.
- Using a 10mm socket wrench or nut driver, remove the plastic nut and steel bolt anchoring the right cowl cover to the body of the vehicle (see images below).
- Grasp the right cowl cover and remove from vehicle.
- Using a 10mm socket wrench, remove the battery hold down bracket.
- Use a 10mm socket wrench to remove the negative terminal cable. If your negative terminal cable has an IBS, be very careful not to bump or drop it. Even the slightest impact to the IBS can cause it to malfunction.
- Use the 10mm socket wrench to remove the positive terminal cable.
- Grasp the battery and remove from engine compartment.
- Installation is in the reverse order.