How Do You Take the Side Scuttles off a Mini Cooper?

Learn the simple steps to remove the side scuttles from a Mini Cooper and discover what's behind this stylish feature—read on for the full guide.

To remove the side scuttles from your Mini Cooper, first make sure you're parked on a flat surface and have gathered necessary tools like a trim removal tool or screwdriver. Begin by propping open the hood to access the scuttles near the front fenders. Carefully unplug the turn signal indicator, utilizing a plastic pry tool or flathead screwdriver to gently lift and detach the side scuttles without causing damage. Always handle the signal wire with care to avoid electrical mishaps. Inserting a new scuttle involves precise placement and ensuring secure attachment. Mastering these steps guarantees a smoother installation process, revealing more about maintaining your Mini's distinctive look.

Preparing Your Workspace

Before you start the process of removing the side scuttles from your MINI Cooper, it's important to first clear your workspace of any clutter or obstacles to make sure you have unimpeded access to the vehicle's sides. Parking your MINI Cooper on a flat, level surface is vital to make sure you can work comfortably and safely. This stable environment is especially important when dealing with components like the turn signal, which is integrated into the side scuttle assembly.

Next, gathering all necessary tools and equipment beforehand will streamline the removal process. Essential tools include a screwdriver or a trim removal tool, specifically designed to handle automotive fasteners without causing damage. Consider having a soft cloth or protective covering at hand as well. This precaution will help you prevent any accidental scratches to your vehicle's paint while you maneuver around it.

Lastly, consult your MINI Cooper's manual for any model-specific instructions on removing the side scuttles. Adhering to these guidelines ensures that you don't inadvertently damage the turn signal or other integrated components during the removal process. This preparatory phase is pivotal in setting the stage for a successful removal of the side scuttles.

Opening the Hood

After preparing your workspace and gathering the necessary tools, the next step in accessing the side scuttles on your Mini Cooper is to open the hood. This vital step is foundational for the process, as it provides the necessary access to the side scuttles for either replacement or customization purposes.

Before proceeding, it's essential to make sure the hood is securely propped open. This safety measure prevents the hood from accidentally closing, which could cause injury or damage to the vehicle.

Opening the hood isn't just a preliminary action; it's a prerequisite for the safe and convenient removal of the side scuttles. To properly lift the hood, locate the hood release lever inside your Mini Cooper, typically found near the driver's side footwell. Pull the lever until you hear the hood release click.

Next, move to the front of the vehicle, and gently press the secondary safety latch, usually located under the hood in the center, to fully release it. Then, carefully lift the hood and secure it with the built-in hood prop or support rod, ensuring it's firmly in place before you proceed to the next steps in the removal process.

Locating the Side Scuttles

First, you'll need to identify the side scuttle's position on your Mini Cooper, which is located on the front fenders near the wheel well.

Before proceeding with removal, make sure you've gathered the necessary tools, including a trim removal tool and a screwdriver.

It's important to unplug the turn signal indicator housed within the scuttle to prepare for its removal, preventing any potential damage.

Identifying Side Scuttle Position

To accurately locate the side scuttles on your Mini Cooper, observe the front fenders near the wheel well, where you'll find these small, triangular-shaped panels housing the turn signal indicators.

Positioned just behind the front wheel and in front of the door on each side of the vehicle, the side scuttles are integral to its distinctive design. Their size and the presence of the turn signal indicator within make them easily identifiable.

Identifying the side scuttle position is essential before attempting any removal or replacement tasks. This precise location guarantees you're working on the correct component, avoiding any potential confusion with other parts of the vehicle's exterior.

Understanding their exact placement is vital for a successful modification or maintenance process.

Side Scuttle Removal Tools

Selecting the right tool, such as a plastic pry tool or a flathead screwdriver, is crucial for the safe removal of the side scuttles on your Mini Cooper without causing damage. Located on the front fenders near the wheel well, the side scuttles are designed for straightforward access. They're secured with tabs that, when properly manipulated with the correct tool, release the scuttle without harm to the vehicle or the part itself.

Utilizing a plastic pry tool is particularly recommended to minimize the risk of scratching the paint or cracking the scuttle. Precise, gentle leverage applied at the tab locations ensures a smooth detachment. Remember, the key to successful removal lies in the careful application of force and the right tool.

Preparing for Scuttle Removal

After securing the right tool for the job, your next step is pinpointing the exact location of the side scuttles on your Mini Cooper, which you'll find on the front fenders near the hood. These components house the turn signal indicators and become easily accessible once the hood is lifted.

Remember, the side scuttles are typically color-coordinated with your car's exterior, offering a distinctive appearance that can be customized by replacing them. To prepare for removal, it's important to first unplug the turn signal indicator to avoid any potential damage. This involves a careful approach to make sure the electrical connections are safely disconnected.

Grasping the side scuttles firmly and pushing them to release from the holder is the next step, but make sure the turn signal is unplugged prior to applying force.

Removing the Side Scuttles

Begin by lifting the hood of your Mini Cooper to gain access to the side scuttles you'll need to remove. This initial step is essential for ensuring you have clear visibility and reach to the scuttles.

Once you've secured access, your next move involves a firm, yet careful grip on the side scuttle itself. You'll need to apply a precise amount of pressure to push it in the correct direction to detach it from the vehicle's body. It's important to execute this step with a blend of strength and caution to avoid causing any damage to the scuttle or the car.

As you're handling the side scuttle, be mindful of the need for a secure removal process. This isn't just about preventing accidents; it's also about ensuring the integrity of the scuttle and the area it's attached to remains intact.

Given that the focus here is on the mechanical aspect of removal, remember that preparation for the installation of new side scuttles should also be on your radar. After successfully detaching the old side scuttle, you'll be in a prime position to proceed with fitting a new one, enhancing your Mini Cooper's appearance or functionality as desired.

Disconnecting the Turn Signal

You'll first need to carefully unplug the signal wire from the side scuttle to disconnect the turn signal.

It's important to employ safety measures to avoid short-circuiting or damaging the wire.

Confirm the turn signal is fully removed before proceeding with the side scuttle replacement to prevent any potential damage.

Signal Wire Removal

To remove the side scuttle on a Mini Cooper, start by carefully unplugging the turn signal wire from the old unit, making sure not to damage this important component. This step is essential in the side scuttle replacement process.

The turn signal wire, important for the vehicle's signaling system, requires gentle handling to prevent any impairment. Disconnecting it requires a precise and cautious approach, avoiding any forceful tugs or bends that could compromise its integrity.

Pay close attention to how the wire is positioned and secured, as this will be crucial when connecting it to the new side scuttle. Proper management of the turn signal wire ensures a smooth switch to the new unit, maintaining the functionality and aesthetics of your Mini Cooper's signaling system.

Safety Measures

Make sure you disconnect the turn signal safely, as this step is important to prevent electrical accidents or damage during the side scuttles removal on your Mini Cooper.

Unplugging the turn signal is a key maneuver that necessitates precision and caution. Ensure that you have turned off the vehicle's power supply to mitigate any risk of electrical shock.

Grasp the connector firmly and pull it away from the socket in a steady, controlled motion to ensure a secure disconnection. This practice not only safeguards against potential electrical hazards but also facilitates a smoother reinstallation process.

Adhering to this procedure guarantees that the removal of the side scuttles will be a smooth, accident-free endeavor, maintaining the integrity of your vehicle's electrical system.

Inspecting the Housing Area

Begin by examining the tabs on the side scuttle holder, making sure they're securely attached and free from damage. This initial step is essential for maintaining the integrity of the scuttle's placement against the Mini Cooper's body. Each tab plays a pivotal role in the securement and alignment of the scuttle, acting as a primary anchoring point.

When inspecting the housing area, consider these critical aspects:

  1. Check for Visible Damage: Inspect the housing area for any signs of wear, cracks, or other damage that could compromise the fit or function of the side scuttle. This includes scrutinizing the surface for irregularities that might affect the aesthetics or aerodynamics of the vehicle.
  2. Verify Turn Signal Indicator Placement: Make sure that the turn signal indicator within the scuttle is correctly seated. An improperly positioned indicator can lead to functional issues or even damage over time.
  3. Inspect Alignment with Body Panels: The scuttle should align seamlessly with the surrounding body panels. Misalignment can indicate improper installation or potential damage to the scuttle or vehicle body.
  4. Check Connections: Before proceeding with any reinstallation, confirm all electrical and mechanical connections related to the scuttle are intact and functional. This step prevents future operational issues.

Adhering to these inspection points ensures a thorough evaluation of the housing area, setting a solid foundation for any further actions regarding the side scuttles.

Installing New Side Scuttles

After completing the inspection of the housing area, it's time to install the new side scuttles on your Mini Cooper. Begin by acquiring a two-piece side scuttle kit from the MINI parts department. This kit includes all the necessary components for a vital installation process.

First, take the new side scuttle and insert it into the holder. You'll notice a tab that needs to securely snap in place. This step is essential for ensuring the scuttle stays fixed to the vehicle during operation. Next, it's time to transfer the turn signal from the old scuttle to the new one. Carefully snap it into place, ensuring a tight fit to prevent any potential issues with the signal operation.

Now, you're ready to reinstall the new side scuttle onto your Mini Cooper. Gently plug in the turn signal indicator to its respective connector. Pay close attention to the alignment of the scuttle; it should fit snugly without any gaps. Once you're satisfied with the placement, press down until you hear the scuttle securely snap into place.

Before you close the hood and consider the job done, double-check the alignment and the secure snapping of the scuttle. This final step guarantees your new side scuttles are installed correctly and are ready to complement your Mini Cooper's iconic look.


You've successfully navigated the technical process of removing your Mini Cooper's side scuttles. By meticulously disconnecting the turn signal and ensuring the housing area is free from debris, you've prepared the ground for installing new scuttles.

It's interesting to note that, on average, Mini Cooper enthusiasts customize their vehicles every 18 months, showcasing a vibrant community's dedication to personalization.

With your new side scuttles installed, you're now a part of this dynamic tradition, blending precision engineering with personal expression.