2002 mini cooper S

My car won’t shift if it is cold. Once it warms up it is ok. The clutch pedal goes in and out without a problem.

It happened once at the end of last winter the morning after I arrived home to KC, MO from Chicago.

I did have my hydraulic fluid flushed and replaced and no problems since until two weeks ago when I drove to Southern IL in pouring rain. Two days later when I went to leave the temp dropped to 10 and I had to wait for it to warm up. 5 tines in the last week, same thing. Was going to have mechanic drain transmission and put in Redline MTL? Have you ever heard of this happening? Between doing my share to care for mom every 6-8weeks in Chicago with dymentia and my brother in So IL who started hospice, I am big on road trips. I planned on driving to Chicago on Wednesday and they are expecting big snowstorm in IA so now I am worried.

I have seen this problem is cars with top shifters, but I guess it could happen with a cable shifter. The linkage is icing up. There should be a seal on the shifter cables or a boot over the linking, it the linkage is on top. One or both could be torn, letting in water that ices up.

Changing you transmission oil will not help unless water is getting into the transmission. If that is the case, Redline MTL will not do any better than the cheap brand until you get the point of entry repaired.

I appreciate your input and I am inclined to think it’s water getting in. Questions? So in the scenario if water is getting in, does that mean fluid could be leaking out as well and am I risking more damage? Or even if I let it warm up, it is not a good idea to take it to moms through a possilbe snow/ice storm blizzard predicted on I80 from Des Moines to Chicago this Wednesday as I could be doing real damage or will it stay melted? I will have it checked out tomorrow. I might have read a recall on 02 cable shifter something on NHTA Recalls. Thank you again.

IF it’s a water issue, water isn’t getting into the transmission, just the linkage. Then the water is becoming ICE.

Click and Clack had a very similar question a week back. I think they recommended lighter weight fluid in the tranny. Of course they’ve been wrong before. I suspect your owner’s manual may also speak to your problem, suggesting lighter viscosity fluid in cold weather.

Another thing you should do is look for a genuine Mini forum. I’m sure you’re not the only one having this issue.

You’re saying it won’t shift. This is probably not a fluid issue. If it ground or was hard to engage …then I’d say fluid. You’re saying that the shifter won’t move? I’ve never heard of this before in my life. To have it happen routinely is incredible.

But a synthetic fluid like Amsoil’s MTF or Redline’s would be a good thing to do anyway.

I need to be more precise. The shifter moves only left or right in neutral. Trying a gear is almost like it is not an option and there is no noise or grinding. When warm, right into any gear.