MINI vehicles are known for their high-quality designs and performance-enhancing accessories. When it comes to problems with their handling and safety, it’s important to know what issues you need to watch out for and how to identify potential problems.
Certain MINI vehicles, particularly those from the mid-2000s, can have issues with something called “mushrooming” in their shock towers. While these parts of your car should be offering stability to keep your car in alignment, the mushrooming reduces the safety and reliability of your Mini model.
Damage in Your Mini’s Shock Towers
“Mushrooming” refers to a type of damage that occurs to your shock towers over time. This can cause a variety of issues in how your car handles as you drive. When you drive over potholes and other irregularities in the road, the shock towers and struts of your cars can bang together with a lot of force. This can result in significant damage over time. The impact against your struts causes your shock towers to develop an increasingly rounded shape. Shock towers are meant to be flat, to add your support to your suspension system so that it stays structurally sound when you turn and take corners while driving.
Obviously, any structural damage to your shock towers can have a negative effect on the smooth handling that your MINI car would usually offer. This bulging shape, or “mushrooming,” can cause your driving experience to be more of a rough ride and can also contribute to dangerous driving conditions.
Effects of Mushrooming Shock Towers
When shock towers become deformed, you will start to notice some unusual signs and symptoms in your car’s handling. The shock towers are what help support and maintain your suspension system and alignment.
As the flat shape of your strut towers begins to bend with each collision against the struts, the increasingly rounded shape will cause a shifting alignment that allows your car to pull to the left or right while you’re trying to drive straight forward.
This can be incredibly dangerous, so if you notice this in your car, it should be addressed by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
Why MINI Shock Towers Mushroom
Some MINI vehicles are particularly susceptible to this problem because of the type of material used to make the shock towers. Because of this, MINI’s vulnerable strut towers become the weak point where this “mushrooming” type of damage can occur.
MINI’s will generally have run-flat tires and a very stable suspension. So if strut towers aren’t made with the right material, they can be unable to handle the same force as the rest of the system when the shock towers and struts hit one another.
Your car’s strut towers are supposed to support the stability that maintains the alignment, even as your drive over poorly-maintained roads. What accelerates and magnifies the effects of normal wear and tear on the shock towers is the fact that the sheet metal used in some MINIs has been shown to be too thin to withstand the continual impact between the shock towers and struts.
The rate of damage can be worsened if you drive quickly over damaged roads. As soon as you notice this issue, make sure to drive as slowly as you can while being safe. Try to avoid bumps and potholes in the road when possible, and then take your car to be inspected and repaired to a specialist who can address this issue.
Escondido German Auto Will Help
If there is significant warping in the shape of your shock towers, you need to make sure that the right people are working on your car. Significant deformation of shock towers can affect how easy or difficult it is to replace or repair other parts of your car, so getting prompt and proper servicing is critical to maintaining the health of your MINI.
Mushrooming shock towers in your MINI are never something to put aside. When you notice the signs and symptoms mentioned here, be sure to bring your MINI to Escondido German Auto. Our locations in Escondido, Ranco Bernardo, and Valley Center, CA are ready to service and repair Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche, Sprinter, and Volkswagen cars. We are equipped with the knowledge and competence to service your vehicle. We look forward to meeting you and becoming your trusted service center for your future repair and maintenance needs.
* Mini Cooper S image credit goes to: ManuelGonzalezOlaecheaFranco.