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Locked out of our Mini with dead battery

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Papabear View Drop Down
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    Posted: July/30/09 at 7:56am
So, we have a problem. Our '04 Mini Cooper S has been sitting for a little while (don't ask) and has a dead battery. The remotes won't work, and the even putting the key in the lock doesn't work...the lock just turns and does nothing.
 
Anyone else ever have this problem? Any idea how we can get into our car?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kristin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 8:07am
I'd get on the phone to NW MINI before the service dept closes.  There's probably an easy fix - I just don't happen to know what it is.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phydeaux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 8:07am
Huh, would have thought the manual route with the key would work.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papabear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 8:10am
Yep, we thought that surely just sticking the key in the lock and turning would do it, but no. NW Mini was clueless on this one and said "bring it in". Eastside Bavarian in Issaquah said to try pulling in the handle and turning the key, but that didn't help either. I tried running a rod in through the window to grab the inside handle, but I can't pull it twice fast enough to get it to pop the lock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papabear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 8:22am
I read on someone's post that there's a battery positive terminal in the engine bay. Anybody able to tell me where that is in there? Could I get to it without having the bonnet open?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YakiMini Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 8:44am
yes..... it's on the right side....
One is in a Little Black Box on the left side of the Air Filter Box and the other is a bolt right of that.... (ie... a metal arm that holds the tranny) it will have a little negative symbol next to it... hope that helps
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YakiMini Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 8:45am
where you able to get into it? must have if your asking where the terminals are ....
best of luck to you!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnf36 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 4:27pm
The only thing I could see is to pull the driver side inner fender and that will let you get to the hood latch, from there you can find the + connection in the little black box on the air filter box like Tristan said.

Good luck
If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zippy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 9:18pm
OK, so this sounds weird but did you turn the key far enough? With power it only takes 1/8 turn to unlock. Without power it takes 1/4 turn. It might feel like you are turning it too far but it takes a full 90 deg rotation to push the lock open.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WOODSTOCK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/09 at 11:54pm
One more off the wall suggestion, but did you try the key in the passenger door?  I read somewhere that on BMWs that made a difference.
Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote valvashon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/09 at 11:30am
Originally posted by Zippy Zippy wrote:

OK, so this sounds weird but did you turn the key far enough? With power it only takes 1/8 turn to unlock. Without power it takes 1/4 turn. It might feel like you are turning it too far but it takes a full 90 deg rotation to push the lock open.



I can confirm that Zippy is correct.  at 1/8 turn you can hear the distinct sound of the lock solenoids operating- but in my car they do not unlock the drivers side door.  At 1/4 turn you can feel and hear that you are operating the lock mechanically, which is what I have been doing for the past year or so.  So try that before tearing into your fender well.

Confidential to Linda: every one of these little cars seems to be put together differently, but mine does not have a key lock on the passenger side door.

Val

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnf36 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/09 at 11:49am
I was thinking about dis connecting the battery and trying that, but did not get a chance yet. No lock on my passanger side 06.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CINIMIN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/09 at 2:53pm
John - you say acess to the hood release is thru the driver side fender well  --  wouldn't that be on the passenger side since that is where the hood release is inside the car?
Jack -

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WOODSTOCK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/09 at 3:11pm
I think the latch John may have been talking about getting to is the release up under the hood in the front where you actually raise the hood.
 
Ok - so there isn't a keyhole on the passenger side.....I did say I heard it was a problem with some BMWs.....does that count?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote valvashon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/09 at 3:29pm
Originally posted by WOODSTOCK WOODSTOCK wrote:

I think the latch John may have been talking about getting to is the release up under the hood in the front where you actually raise the hood.
 
Ok - so there isn't a keyhole on the passenger side.....I did say I heard it was a problem with some BMWs.....does that count?
LinDUH.


Why are we talking about BMW's- they don't have anything to do with our little cars, do they?

Val
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnf36 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/09 at 3:52pm
Jack , looks like we have latches on both sides. So I guess that would be both liners now. I am for Zippys choice.

john


Edited by johnf36 - July/31/09 at 4:17pm
If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KnottyMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/09 at 10:26pm
valvashon, BMW owns MINI.  Go look on the driver side door at the tag on the body.  MFD by Bayersche Motoren Werke AG
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papabear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/09 at 4:48am
Sorry, didn't have internet access over the weekend. I've turned the key as far as it will go, and it doesn't unlock. I will have to see what I can do about getting to the battery terminal, but I think we'll probably just wind up towing it in for service.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rob N Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/09 at 5:11am
You might be able to pull that drivers side wheel well cover and get your hand on the battery terminal that is next to the airbox.  With that you might be able to get a chargers' positive lead on the terminal.  You can find a ground anywhere.  That just might be doable.
 
Not much room but I'll bet you could do it by feel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote onepostwonder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/14 at 9:17pm
This saved me yesterday!!! It has taken me this long to come back and post this, but thank you!!

I work for parking services at a local university. Yesterday I received a call about a locked car that needed to be opened. I was specifically called because someone the day before was unable to open it. The owner had the key, but the battery was dead in the car and the drivers door handle is broken. After trying all the usual tricks, I was becoming irritated that nothing was working. The drivers side door panel was off so I was able to get a tool on the lock knob and pull it up as far as it would go, but nothing. I was able to pull on both inside door handles, but no luck. the day before the person was able to push the switch in the center of the dash, but that did not work either. The outside door handles felt more like a electric switch than a mechanical handle to me, and with a suspected dead battery, I was lost so went searching the web on my IPhone and found this thread. I was able to pull the hood release lever and get the hood open. Then hooked up the jumper pack to the battery and the owner unlocked it with the button on his key/remote.  I missed the part about turning the key in the door 90 degrees until after it was open, but with a bad handle, I am not sure if it would have worked anyway. I am not sure what was wrong with the handle, the owner just said that he had ordered one because it was bad and the inner door panel was off. I have not come across a door I could not get open in my four years of doing this until yesterday. Thankfully for this, I still have got them all open. This was, however, the first time I needed the help of the internet to do it. 

A big thank you to all of those who have participated in this thread. Don't look for me here again, my name says it all. But I am very great full for the help on this one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote c0op3r Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/03/16 at 6:23pm
Proceed at your own risk, it worked for me.

OK so this happened to me tonight and here is how I fixed it without taking the car apart or doing any damage.

The positive battery cable runs along the Drivers side (US Cars) in a small channel right behind the side skirt. If you feel along it very careful you will feel the split loom that is covering it. Right as the chassis curves up for the fender well, you will be able to feel the split loom stop as the positive battery cable goes into a channel that is plastic. Locate this first.

Once you have that located you are going to need:

a 12 volt power source
Something that is metal, thin, and sharp 
A helper is great
and wire or jumper cables

OK I will explain what I used and why.

12 volt power source I used was my wife's car (Ford Mustang it always works just fine).For the thin sharp metal, I used a sharped section of metal coat hanger (wire clothes hanger), a helper that was the wife, and for the wire I used a set of jumper cables.

Take the sharpened section of coat hanger and poke it through the 12v+ line I told you how to find above. Hook the jumper cable negative to one of the sub-frame bolts under the car.  Now with the positive NOT connect to the coat hanger, connect the positive and negative to the 12v source you are using (Mustang in my case).   Give the helper the remote to the MINI, connect the 12v+ side of the jumper cables to the Coat Hanger that is pierced through 12v+ line on the MINI.

A minor amount of spark means you got it right as its a minor load from the MINI, if the helper is hitting the unlock button the car will unlock.

If the spark is MAJOR or the coat hanger gets hot, you are grounded and you need to stop right away. 


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