Mini Knowledge

Ever wondered what a Chili Pack is, what model an R56 is or how to change the date format on your MINI’s dashboard? If so you have come to the right place. Here at we are compiling a library of MINI knowledge, facts and figures.

Mini Knowledge Library

Mini Knowledge:

Essentially, there are three generations of MIN’s – with generations marked not in years, but in changes in the models – and in common with BMW’s nomenclature these are always a letter and 2 numbers as follows:

Generation 1
2002-2006 –   R50 Hatchback Cooper
2005-2008 –   R52 Convertible Cooper and Cooper S
2002-2006 –   R53 Hatchback Cooper S

For a full description of each of the first generation of BMW MINI lick here

Generation 2
2008-2014 –   R55 Clubman S & Non-S
2007-2013 –   R56 Hatchback S & Non-S
2009-2015 –   R57 Convertible S & Non-S
2012-2015 –   R58 Coupe S & Non-S
2012-2015 –   R59 Roadster S & Non-S
2011-2016 –   R60 Countryman S & Non-S
2013-2016 –   R61 Paceman S & Non-S

For a full description for each of the second generation BMW Mini click here

Generation 3
2016-Now –   F54 Clubman S & Non S
2015-Now –   F55 5 door Hatchback S & Non-S
2014-Now –   F56 Hatchback S & Non-S
2016-Now –   F57 Convertible S & Non-S
2017-Now –   F60 Countryman S & Non-S

For a full description for each of the third generation BMW Mini click here

The Knowledge:

These are essentially bundles of optional extras.  Where this gets confusing is they have changed over the years. In the first generation models (R50, R52 and R53) the Chili pack essentially meant AirCon. In the second generation before 2009 Air Conditioning was an option included in the Pepper Pack but not the Salt Pack and after 2009 AirCon became standard.  Furthermore the Salt Pack was restricted to the MINI OneChili Pack.

This is an extract from the 2009 R56 MINI Hatch price list:

what exactly is a Salt Pack, Pepper Pack or a Chili Pack?

For this model year above (2009) Air Conditioning is already standard – and we start seeing things like bluetooth and where Chili Pack once meant AirCon, now it means Climate Control.

Suffice it to say that Pepper is better than Salt and Chili better than Pepper!

(oh and btw – in BMW MINI Speak Chilli is spelt Chili (single ‘l’).  No clue why).

Mini Death Rattle! Mini cam chains (or Mini timing chains, same thing) can cause problems on MINIs fitted with the Prince N12, N14, N16 and N18 Engine.  This 41 minute video shows you how to successfully change the chain.

An instructional video on how to change the water pump on the PRINCE N12/N14/N16 or N18 Mini Engine

A common problem on the early MINI Cooper S was the header tank would start to spit very slowly over time. This leads to corrosion on the nearby coil pack terminal.


A common problem on R56 MINI Diesel is that the start stop system stops working and displays a warning symbol on the dash.  This video shows you how to fix this problem.



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