MINI Cooper R53 Auto Tranny Issue

MINI Cooper Automatic Transmission Issue

For years, we have seen many MINI Coopers in the R53 / R52 line, and some models of the R56 line (up to 2011), with the AISIN automatic transmission (NOT the CVT transmission…those are still without a great solution), have all sorts of issues, usually starting at about 70-80k miles.  This, while concerning, would not normally be an issue, but for the longest time there were no solutions….if this occurred to your car, the only choice was to get another transmission (either used, or rebuilt from MINI).  This is still a solution, but a very expensive solution, and we have seen cases where the repair cost and transmission cost are more than the value of the car.  So, if this happened to you…before, you could just throw a stick of dynamite into the car and walk away, as there was nothing that could be done. You could even make the problem worse by trying to do a normal transmission service…replace the fluid (lifetime type fluid), filter, pan, gasket, and then test drive the car.  You may get about 1/2 mile into the test drive, and then the transmission will quit completely, stranding you.  The new fluid, and clean filter, are so thin, that they “blow by” the current used internal seals / gaskets, and the hydraulic solenoids can not develop the right pressure, and therefore, stop working.

Thank goodness, there now finally is an answer.

The problem laid in the valve body inside the transmission.  Before, you could not obtain any parts, at least not from MINI or BMW….you couldn’t find part numbers, nothing  And, for the most part, that is still the same.  However, there are many other cars out there that use this same transmission.  So, after much research, BRracing has found a source for the internal parts of the AISIN type GAF21WA-TANA or 6F21WA/TF60N automatic transmission.

We can now get any of the solenoids, the valve body, or any of the normal “re-build” type parts.  Not only can we get them, but we have tried various approaches on the rebuild…doing a complete valve body, doing individual solenoids..or some combination, and we can joyously report that ALL these approaches work.  Woo Hoo…no more dead cars, no more throwing the car out w the bath water.

BRracing – solving the tough service issues, and bringing JOY to our customers




  1. Posted August 23, 2017 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    I also faced these issues with my car, this is really a very good blog seen in my search. The solution was really cool and thanks for sharing.

  2. NW
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink


    I have a 2006 Mini Cooper S automatic transmission with shifters behind the steering wheel. How much do you guys charge for the solenoids? Can I purchase them through your website?

  3. Carlos Vazquez
    Posted May 11, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I have a 2005 Mini Cooper s, that’s been having all of these problems that you are mentioning here.
    Can I get the solenoids from you guys? And how much will they cost me?
    My car only acts up in first and second gear, and on downshift also. Can I purchase only one solenoid for that, from you guys?
    Thankyou for your help. Please contact me. Carlos

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