While the failure rate on the Mini thermostat has been a fairly common occurrence in the shops, you can minimize comebacks after the initial repair if you know what to look out for.
The thermoplastic housing around the thermostat utilizes a silicone gasket. While it’s an ideal for high heat applications, especially in the close quarters of the Mini engine bay, it does not fair well when exposed to leaking oils.
When it comes in contact with oil, it has a tendency to swell. Over time this can cause the thermostat housing to crack, triggering a code. If you swap it out for a new one without finding the source of the oil, you’re going to continually run into the issue.
Check the area for leaks.
Do the necessary repairs.
Make sure all the surfaces near the thermostat assembly are clear of any residual oil.
Do your install.
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