- The hood of my Mini won't open. What could be the cause of this, and what are the things I should check?
The common causes of stuck hood are worn-out and/or filthy latches, loose release cable, disconnected or broken cable, or damage to the vehicle body leading to the misalignment of latches. It is important that you diagnose the problem first so you’ll know which one needs repair or replacement. The fix can be as simple as cleaning and lubricating the latches or adjusting the cable length or latch assembly. You may also be required to repair or replace a broken cable.
- I notice that my Mini hood is rattling lately. What could be causing this, and how can I deal with it?
Observe when the rattling sound occurs. If it seems evident when your Mini hits road bumps, it’s possible that your hood is out of alignment. This is usually characterized by unusual wear patterns on the hood’s painted surface, as well as on some of its metal components. Hood misalignment can be fixed by first aligning the rear edge of the hood, loosening the hinge bolts, and moving the hood to and fro as well as from side to side until you achieve proper alignment. Verify the alignment by checking if the hood still hits the abnormal wear patterns you’ve observed. If it no longer hits those surfaces, then you’ve already aligned the hood, and that’s when you should start tightening all the bolts.
- I parked my Mini outside the house overnight and found bird droppings all over my hood the next morning. What should I to eliminate these?
Bird droppings may look harmless, but they are actually uric acid crystals, which when exposed to alkali metal, start to eat away at the paint. So, you must get rid of those droppings immediately. If you have access to good water source, hose them off right away. In case some of the poop has already dried, hyper-lubricate the affected area with a spray detailer. Let water and spray detailer soak into the bird dropping for a few minutes. Hose it off again and wipe the area with a clean cloth. A piece of advice: consider using a car cover next time you’ll leave your ride in an open parking space.
- After a long trip with my family, I noticed a dent on the hood of my Mini. How can I fix this?
Depending on how big or serious the dent is, you can fix it using a car dent plunger, a dent puller, a mallet, or a hammer. The good thing about using a car dent plunger is that you no longer need to perform touch-up work or other tasks once the dent has been remedied. The dent puller can also do wonders, but you will need to drill a hole right at the center of the dent before employing the puller. Just create a hole that’s enough for the tool’s wire component to get through. You will need to fix the hole once the dent has been fixed. Using a rubber mallet or a hammer, you will need to access the other side of the dent to pop it back in place.
- A friend told me that I can use a hair dryer and dry ice in fixing the dent on my Mini hood. How do these things work?
These objects can help fix the dent by heating and cooling the dented spot. The hair dryer will be used to blow hot air over the dent and its surrounding area for a minute or two. Then, insulate the area by placing a sheet of aluminum foil over it and applying dry ice. The rapid change in temperature (from warm to cold) will make the hood surface expand and contract until the material regains its original shape.
- What about a hole on the hood? How can I fix it?
The hole needs to be filled with body filler, but the process isn’t that simple as you will need to clean the area first, sand the affected spot, mix the right amount of hardener and filler, patch the hole, apply the filler and allow it to dry, and then sand it again to conform to the surrounding hood surface. You will also need to prime the filled spot and touch up the paint.
- I need to remove the paint on my hood before repainting it. What can I use for removal?
There are three ways to strip paint from your hood—sanding, using a chemical stripper, and blasting. Sanding may take time, but you can use a dual-action sanding machine to make the process a whole lot easier. If you’re going to use a chemical stripper, you have to wear a respirator as well as heavy-duty gloves. You may also need to remove everything near the hood that you do not want to ruin by the chemical. Sandblasting the hood also requires you to wear gloves and respirator and to conceal the glass and chrome trim of your Mini. You will also need medium for blasting, compressor, and blaster nozzle.