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Is Supercharger Oil Important for a MINI?

MINI Cooper | Professional Automotive

Designed with affordability in mind, yet not scrimping on the fun factor, Mini’s have become a pop culture and motoring mainstay, featuring in classic movie scenes and advertising, ensuring that these small cars pack a big punch when it comes to popularity.

In recent years, and whilst still offering the same style and value for money, Mini has been incorporating luxury and sporting innovations into their vehicles, most noticeably with the inclusion of the supercharger system in many of their models. The supercharger system allows for a sporty boost of horsepower which makes this fun little vehicle a rival to the sporty coupe, as well as even more exciting to drive.

With this in mind, in this article we’re going to focus on what keeps this system ticking, and take a closer look at supercharger oil, and learning why is it so important to your Mini.

Supercharger Oil and Motor Oil are the Same?

No, no, and no again! This misconception is common but can also be very costly to make. The supercharger system is similar to the engine system for sure, as it has moving parts which need lubrication and also produces a fair bit of heat, and its oil levels do need checking and topping up, but that really is where the similarities end. The supercharger oil requires its own special oil and has a designated oil reservoir separate to the rest of the engine for it.

Why Supercharger Oil is Important

Supercharger oil is important because it prevents damage to your supercharger system, and therefore extends the life span of it. Like the engine, the supercharger is an expensive piece of kit, and is costly to fix and replace, so the supercharger oils’ role is essential to keeping the operating costs of your Mini down and your wallet happy.

The supercharger oil performs this task by ensuring the moving parts of the system are lubricated. This prevents them from grinding against one another, which reduces part-wear and damages. Because it helps to reduce friction, the supercharger oil is also partly responsible for keeping the temperatures under your Mini’s hood down too.

Whilst it is still possible to drive your Mini with a failed supercharger system, you’ll notice that performance levels will drop dramatically and the Mini’s overall drivability will become severely compromised.

How to Tell if your Supercharger Oil is Old

Similar to motor oil, supercharger oil will expire over time and need to be changed. Ideally this should be swapped out as part of your vehicles’ annual servicing, but should this window pass, your Mini will let you know there is a problem in the following ways:

Over 50,000 Miles Without a Change

It is strongly recommended by master mechanics that the oil in your supercharger is changed at the very minimum after 50,000 miles to retain peak performance as well as ensure the longevity of the system. Many mechanics will even advise doing so sooner to be on the safe side, but either way, if you can’t remember the last time you had the supercharger oil changed, you should bring your Mini to a specialist as soon as possible.

Grinding Sounds

Hearing grinding sounds from your vehicle is a sign that parts are rubbing against one another when they shouldn’t and needs to be investigated as soon as possible. Whilst there are numerous parts and systems which could be responsible for this, it is essential that you rule out your supercharger system quickly, to prevent an expensive repair bill!

Changing the Oil at Home

A home repair should only be done if you’re a Mini expert or have mechanical experience. Changing out the supercharger oil is far more complicated than changing out motor oil, and can take many hours to complete correctly. Remember also that the system is expensive, so going in blind might actually cause more harm than good and cost you greatly in the long run!

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Luckily for Mini drivers in the Marlborough, MA area, Professional Automotive’s experienced team of friendly mechanics are on hand to help you with any supercharger issues you might be having. From oil changes, to servicing, repairs, and replacement, no job is too big or too small for Professional Automotives’ experts!

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