Will the green eye ever come back? and what if it does?

Asked by Mar 26, 2013 at 07:10 PM about the 2006 MINI Cooper Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The MINI battery is original, have been noticing labored starting, so I thought I'd check up on the ole' battery. The
battery is MINI brand and has a 'green eye' hygrometer built into the case which is currently black, and the battery is
thirsty...been chargin' four hours and the needle still around drawing 4 amps.  It's a 2006.  Will the eye ever turn
green with a battery this age? also the belts are crazy loud and the p/s is frothin' after startup  Do nothing. That's
what I thought.

17 Answers


leave the battery on low charge like that overnight, it might come out of it but it is getting weak. Froth in the PS fluid running is telling me that air in getting in the system somewhere or the fluid is contaminated. Belts loud might just be worn out or dirty belts, might check pulley alignment too.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

Modern cars are starting to have a battery function in their multi media systems. The battery is logged in when new and it monitors the battery health and level of charge as it ages. It will tell you when it's time to replace it. The green eye battery is something you tell your great-grandchildren about when they stop by in their new hovercrafts.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

naw, tenspeed this life isn't so sweet would wish this level of trouble on any human being...done the world a big favor with the vasectomy, mother earth will thank me- and wild unprotected times ahead~

alls I know is the battery sounded weak from day one, now with this 'remote key' controls the entire universe, am met with a bit of trepidation, because now it can decide "I don't have enough energy to open your door" with no MANUAL control of it, am forced to call the wrecker to tow me away....that stinks!


I have a battery that the green eye is black. It's only an indication of that certain cell that the eye sits over, but not overall battery health. Stuck it on a trickle charger, and got 12.2-12.4v on it and drive the car every day and no issues, yet for 4 months through this cold winter. Gonna wait till I get the extra cranking syndrome. Batteries have increased in price in the last year or so, so I'm going holding out as long as I can.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

me tom, just the slow solenoid had me wonderin' never did any testing, just slammed the schumbacher into place, now it's down to 3 and the eye has turned green again....hooray....I guess- it's an OEM from 2006, should get a few more years out you might think? nest-ce-pas?


Your batter is already 7 years old. it is very near due for replacement, anyway. The trouble is that the multi-plexed electrical system from Bosch does not like the voltage fluctuations that can come from a weak battery. I would invest in a new one very soon.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

drat, MINI stuff is crazy, numbo insane expensive...the battery is OEM says MINI on it, and has a special tube for battery gasses to exit...never seen this level of fussiness- reluctantly will price this thing out, but also have the transmission level on the CVT that NO one wants to touch, not even the videos have anything good to say about the subject.


Be sure to get that hose and wire brush those terminals when you change that battery. ;)

don't need it tenspeed. This is California!....no rust. under the lid looked brand-new and frankly the notion of only having 33,000 miles means must have had a bunch of short trips--which don't allow full charge up with each use X 7 years = the current level, tho overnite seems to be okay now.

Yay, the battery is at full charge and our green eye has returned. Thanks, everybody!


Just be prepared. On average a battery loses 10% capacity per year, so your 7 year old battery is likely to be around 30% of normal capacity at the moment. It is only a matter of time. Yes, Minis are not inexpensive to keep. That is the fun of owning a German-designed, English-built piece of machinery. Things do tend to be expensive on them. Also, better to spend the money on the battery early, before it is dead, as this protects the alternator and you REALLY don't want to see the price of that. Plus, if the voltage regulator goes, the damage to other parts of the car will ASTOUND you! I have seen perfect Minis being scrapped because of the resulting damage from a dead battery killing the alternator.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Judge: IMPORTANT thing to take note of: 7 years old, and only 33,000 miles on the clock. This means one thing: Time has caught up with the timing belt! Do NOT wait. You are due, and actually overdue, to have it done. It should be done every 6 years or 60,000 miles on most cars. Most owner's manuals, though, don't give the time factor. The rubber deteriorates with the hot/cold cycles, and if that belt snaps, unless you are extremely lucky, you are buying an engine. The engine in the Mini, like most new cars, is an interference design. That belt brakes, a piston hits and valve, and it is game over. No rebuild, just replace the entire engine. Bad enough to put in a used one, you really don't want to think of the price of a new one. Including labour, that would come close to what you paid for the car, if not more.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I am an A.S.E certified mechanic, my advice take it or leave it. If your battery is over two years old, theres not much life left in it. Mini factory battery's are sealed, meaning you can't add any water. In fact mine blew out on me, one day after Mini's famous service. My advice is find either a dealer, or someone who sells Interstate Battery's. Stay outta Wal-Mart, and discount auto parts stores. Interstate does make the proper battery, they make their own. It's a lot cheaper than the dealer and will last you much, much longer.Why take a chance on a re-charged battery when for 70-80 bucks you can have peace of mind. My second choice would be a Motorcraft, if they make your size.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

duly noted Mark, some of your advise has been echoed ad nauseum by myself as well. Does have a curious "vent snorkel" I've not seen anywhere else, also dual containment so no ambient conditions can penetrate...akin to Cadillac's back seat battery...man if that bugger ever caught fire....hope the upholstery more fire resistant than a kid's pair of jammies...never could make certification, too much wrenchin' and no time for studying...now it's like a moving target to stay on the latest automotive happenings...I bet you guys have a monthly publication~....welcome aboard, we always need knowledgeable people, not those who simply stand back on the sidelines and criticize, but actual competent help...you'll find that your reputation will quickly rise if you spend a whole day answering questions...good luck~ Goddamn CVT oil is $310/qt. ooof, she had to have the automatic~


I been professionally out of the business a few years now, and your right. The tech is moving faster than anything ever built. My on board computer is F.R.E.D. F%%# Redickless Electronic Device.I still try to keep up, being a Mini owner you know B.M.W. service: bring my wallet. At least the basics are the same You need electric power, fuel and compression, or the damn thing won't work. It's not so much their complicated, their too damn compact. You need little Jap. hands with little Jap fingers to work on any of this crap, even the larger cars.Anyhow I'm a few keystrokes away if anyone needs a hand. Live Long and Prosper

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Note for Michael: the MINI R50 engine has a timing chain~ My MINI mechanic said the 2006 battery was "just fine" for a while~ so glad to have the $310/qt. green CVT oil replace with a common yellow CVT oil, filled the proper level and does not seem to leak...one thing on deck is the environmental air filter is a relatively easy replace, the rental agency must have rented to someone who took their smelly shoes off...hasn't showed up until the warm weather "Pine Tree" air freshener was slaughtered on the first day....oh, next payday~

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions


Looking for a Used Cooper in your area?

CarGurus has 10,980 nationwide Cooper listings starting at $2,600.


Search MINI Cooper Questions

MINI Cooper Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 590
#2 Robert Charlson
Robert Charlson
Reputation 520
#3 mightymini11
Reputation 400
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Volkswagen Beetle
164 Great Deals out of 8,591 listings starting at $1,500
Used BMW 3 Series
940 Great Deals out of 33,402 listings starting at $1,000
Used Ford Mustang
372 Great Deals out of 46,984 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Civic
501 Great Deals out of 87,899 listings starting at $1,499
Used Jeep Wrangler
266 Great Deals out of 18,634 listings starting at $2,995
Used Volkswagen GTI
68 Great Deals out of 6,187 listings starting at $2,000
Used Mazda MX-5 Miata
43 Great Deals out of 4,448 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda Accord
711 Great Deals out of 87,160 listings starting at $699

Used Cars For Sale

2017 MINI Cooper For Sale
9 Great Deals out of 4,353 listings starting at $20,300
2016 MINI Cooper For Sale
23 Great Deals out of 863 listings starting at $13,699
2015 MINI Cooper For Sale
20 Great Deals out of 528 listings starting at $12,995
2014 MINI Cooper For Sale
7 Great Deals out of 415 listings starting at $11,995
2013 MINI Cooper For Sale
42 Great Deals out of 978 listings starting at $7,923