What does a half full check engine light mean?


Asked by Dec 28, 2015 at 09:47 PM about the MINI Countryman

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The car's check engine light came on but car was running fine.  It turned off
when I parked the car for an hour and turned it back on.  The last time it did
this was after I had the oil changed.  I turned it on this morning and it misfired
and started to putter. I let it run for a while and proceeded to take it to
mechanic.(Dealership is 238 miles away) He said it needed all new spark plugs
and coil! Is this common.  I have already sent this car back to the dealership
for it losing power in the middle of the expressway, and for the engine light just
staying on! The extended warranty deadline was Dec 9 and now I'm up a
creek. Is there anything else I can do? Please help.

6 Answers


I don't know what you mean by 'half full' CEL but my suggestion is get an OBDII scan. I also don't know what spark plugs MINI puts in at the factory, and you don't say what year or mileage but modern iridium plugs last upwards of 100,000 miles. And as for coil, no not common. 2007 and later has coil-on-plug. I will try to find the scheduled maintenance but need year before I can. And a common cause for CEL is gas cap

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

It is a Mini Cooper Countryman S 2012. Half of the check engine light was colored in yellow and the other half was colored black. It has 50,000 miles on it.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

http://www.miniusa.com/content/dam/miniusa/PDF/Aftersales/MINI_Maintenance_Program_Brochure_Dec2014.pdf -says new spark plugs at 40,000 miles, but with coil-on-plug they should be good, there is no scheduled maintenance for them

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

http://www.miniusa.com/content/dam/miniusa/PDF/archiveownermanuals/MY12/01402914744_r5556_basis_0712_ue__2012.pdf -See Page 175 - Indicator and warning lamps MOBILITY 175 Lights up in red: Engine malfunction Stop the car and switch off the engine. You cannot continue your journey. Contact your MINI dealer. Lights up in yellow: Full engine power no longer available Y ou can continue your journey, but moderate your speed and exercise due caution. Have the engine checked as soon as possible

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you, but I'm a woman and have no idea what you're talking about. The mechanic said it would cost me 700 dollars to replace the spark plugs and all the coils(4). Says it is best to replace all 4 even though the 4th one on the car is still good...?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Sorry 'bout that. I get overly technical sometimes with the acronyms and such. But THREE coils bad? Unlikely. And even then, coils cost about $35 to $50 each, plugs $12 each = $244. Then the shop will mark them up, say to $300. So that, @ $80/hour (yes, staggering, I know but that's the going rate. Dealers $100+/hour) is 5 hours labor. Really pushing the envelope, I have never done that job on a MINI but seems excessive. 5 hours? But one point, if 3 are bad it is best to do all four. But coils don't normally fail like that. Get another opinion from a dealer or shop. And you being a woman has nothing to do with it... except some not-so-reputable shops will take advantage of women. I just meant that women are not dumb, and you were right to come here and ask for advice.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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