21 Sep Reasons Behind Mushrooming Shock Towers in a MINI From Certified Mechanics in Boca Raton
If you own a MINI model manufactured between 2002 to 2006, you may notice that you have an unusual problem in your vehicle. Unfortunately and unusually, this model of MINI is known for experiencing “mushrooming” between the shock towers and strut. When this issue occurs, it’s important that it’s dealt with promptly, as leaving the problem alone can cause more issues down the line.
Mushrooming: What it is and Why it Happens
Mushrooming is caused by the repeated bashing of your MINI’s strut into the shock towers. This causes the towers to bend in a way that looks like a mushroom top. The mushrooming effect occurs for a couple of reasons in MINIs:
- General wear and tear can cause the shock towers to mushroom over time.
- Driving roughly can also cause your shock towers to mushroom. When you drive too quickly over potholes, rocks, or bumps in the road, or when you make sudden turns, your shock towers and struts smash together. Drivers who chronically speed over bumps or are otherwise rough on their MINIs can cause the shock towers to prematurely wear.
- In the 2002-2006 model MINIs, the sheet metal of the shock towers was poorly constructed with thin materials. As a result, the shock towers in these models are unable to properly bear the weight and wear and tear required of the component and mushroom over time. Later models were designed with thicker metal to counteract this issue.
Preventing Mushrooming in Your MINI
While you can’t guarantee that any part of your vehicle will never wear down or break, it’s possible to prevent mushrooming in MINIs made after 2006 or MINIS made before that have had their shock towers replaced. Driving responsibly, slowing over potholes and speed bumps, and making slower turns can all keep your shock towers from slamming into your struts. As a rule, the less impact your shocks have to absorb, the longer they will last, with or without the threat of mushrooming.
Furthermore, having your vehicle regularly inspected and repaired as needed is incredibly important. This is especially true of European vehicles, which are designed and built to run comfortably so long as they are kept in tip-top shape. A trained mechanic will know what issues to look for even before they begin exhibiting symptoms, which means the problems can be fixed before they cause damage.
Signs That Your MINI is Mushrooming
The shock towers on your MINI may mushroom slowly over time, or it may happen more suddenly. Either way, there are a couple different signs that your shocks are beginning to lose their proper shape. If you notice either of these symptoms, it’s important to bring your vehicle to a certified mechanic as soon as possible, as bad shocks on your vehicle can be incredibly dangerous to both yourself and other drivers on the road.
Your vehicle is out of alignment
If you notice your MINI pulling hard to either side while you drive, this is a sign that your vehicle is out of alignment. The direction that your vehicle pulls tells you which side the shocks are wearing or mushrooming, as that side will be bent out of shape. If your vehicle pulls to both sides, particularly when you’re turning, this is a sign that both of your shock towers are wearing down.
Your shock towers are convex
Your shock towers should be flat. If you notice that your shock towers are slightly convex or if they are bent in any direction at all, this is a side that your towers are mushrooming. Regardless of if the issue is due to wear and tear or faulty manufacturing, it’s important to get them replaced immediately, as your vehicle is unsafe to drive.
Shores Automotive of Boca Raton is Here to Help
If you suspect that your MINI is experiencing mushrooming in its shocks, Shores Automotive is here to help resolve this issue. Shores Automotive has been serving the areas of Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Lighthouse Point, and Deerfield Beach, FL. We specialize in European vehicles and have everything you need to get your MINI back on the road safely in no time.
* Blue Mini Cooper Countryman image credit goes to: bruev.