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Q: Check engine light

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Hi! I've had my Mini Cooper for five months now. Within the first two months I noticed that my car would stutter on acceleration soon after that my engine light came on and come to figure out I was putting in the wrong gas. I was told to put fuel injector fluid in to get rid of anything clogging my fuel injector. After that and putting in the right gas my car drove fine for the next three months. About two weeks ago I noticed that when starting my car there's this rattling noise when it starts up--only when she's been sitting for awhile. She drives fine and there have been little stutters during acceleration but not as much, my engine light came on again, I've read up on what could be the problem but I'd like to know if my research is right or if I need to prepare for it to be something else.

My car has 65000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there, Thanks for taking time to write...

Hi there,

Thanks for taking time to write in about your 2010 Mini Cooper. The cause of most engine sputtering in today’s modern cars is not fuel-related, but problems with the O2 sensors or other minor electrical gremlins inside the ECU. However, dirty fuel or air filters could also cause similar symptoms. With a Mini Cooper however, I’d wager the issue is with the ignition coil, as this has been an issue with this vehicle for many years.

I would assume with 65,000 miles and the fact you’ve owned it for less than a year that the majority of those miles were driven by somebody else. If that’s the case, it’s very difficult to accurately know how well maintained the vehicle was kept in regards to routine service and maintenance.

The best course of action is to contact a local certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic who can test drive the vehicle, complete a diagnostic inspection and repair what might be "off" with your Mini. Most of the time this is a minor repair, or replacement of a sensor that will clean up the engine sputtering. The key is to have the Check Engine Light inspected for trouble codes sooner rather than later so that you can proceed with the next steps for repair.

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