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2002 Mini Cooper S clutch noise

Occasionally, I get a short squeeling noise as I release the clutch in 1st gear. It’s been doing this since I bought the car 12,000 miles ago, no better, no worse. Release bearing?

If it were the clutch release bearing I think it would make noise at times other than in first gear. A bad release bearing usually makes noise when the clutch pedal is not in use, and gets quiet when you step on the pedal.

Are you sure it’s not tire squeal? My son’s Cooper S easily spins its tires in first gear.

Yeah, I’m sure it’s not tire squeal. Sounds more like a belt noise, but it’s definitely related to the clutch.