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MINI Cooper CVT Transmission Adaptation

How To Perform

This technical article describes how to perform an adaptation on MINI CVT transmissions. Read throuroughly and be sure to perform exactly as described. If adaptation fails, let vehicle cool and begin again.

CVT adaptation procedure

Press and hold brake in the following steps.


  • Begin with a cold engine. Start Engine.
  • Place CVT transmission into adaptation mode using FARSIGHT MVDS.
  • “X” will appear next to the P, R, N, D on the instrument cluster (“X” denotes the transmission needs to be adapted).
  • While the “X” is displayed, the CVT transmission will STAY IN LOW GEAR AND WILL NOT SHIFT UP.
  • Place the gear selector lever into the NEUTRAL position for ten seconds.
  • Then place the gear selector lever into the DRIVE positon for ten seconds.
  • Repeat the above procedure TEN TIMES.
  • After completion, place the gear selector lever into the REVERSE position for ten seconds.
  • Then place the gear selector lever into the NEUTRAL position for ten seconds.
  • Repeat the above procedure TEN TIMES.

NOTE: by placing the gear selector lever into the positions for ten seconds each, we are “ratcheting” the solenoids into a reset or zero positon. Simultaneously we are pulling the ratio gear actuating motor into a zero position.


Up-shift ratio adaptation

NOTE: before attempting the up-shift adaptation, turn engine off. Check the oil level in the crankcase. Check the drive belt condition. Check the coolant level.

BE ADVISED: when you take this vehicle out on the road to “drive in” the up-shift adaptation, the engine can possibly reach high RPM’s in 4000 rpm range. The vehicle will “buck” and shake while the engine is trying to reach adaptation rpms. This is NORMAL.

If the vehicle has high mileage, there is the possibility the engine or transmission can be damaged by this process. Notify customer of risk involved with high mileage vehicles.

  • Take the vehicle to safe area where you can drive safely, accelerating and slowing down without obstructing traffic.
  • From a dead stop accelerate (quickly) up to 55 MPH. As you accelerate, you should feel the transmission slip into something that resembles “second gear”. This will allow the vehicle to reach 55 MPH.
  • When the vehicle has reached 55 MPH, maintain this speed for approximately ten seconds.
  • Slip your foot off the accelerator and allow the vehicle to COAST DOWN to almost zero mile per hour.

DO NOT APPLY THE BRAKE DURING COAST DOWN UNLESS NECESSARY. If brakes are applied, adaptation will stop and need to e restarted from beginning, (it is not necessary to perform the shifting procedure). Be smart, do not take a risk trying to avoid braking. Stop as needed for safety.

  • As the vehicle coasts down, the “X” will go out.
  • When the “X” disappears, this means the adaptation has successfully completed.
  • Safely stop the vehicle, wait ten seconds and then proceed ahead. The transmission should shift correctly now.

NOTE: sometimes the procedure does not work the first time. If so, start from a dead stop and try again. If after a few try’s (3 at most) the adaptation procedure fails to happen, there may be something wrong with the transmission. The CVT has been known to get permanently stuck in low gear if the gear ratio actuator motor fails. This typically results in a transmission rebuild or replacement.