Mini Headlight Bolts, mainly mini models R55, R56, R57, R58, R5,9 R60, R61(Link to part numbers) have a habit of corroding inside their housing. The headlight bolts screw into captive nuts, moulded into the plastic housing. When undoing the headlight bolts, if the bolts are seized (corroded), the captive nuts break free. You then can’t undo the bolts, as they just go round and round, without ever coming loose. They just won’t come undone!
How to Fix the Mini Headlight Bolts Rotating (when they won’t come out!)
First, a brief statement on inherently bad design issues…
When finding an issue, I’m just the same as anyone else. I’ll be scratching my head, going “what the…”. I must admit, in this day and age you would hope design issues like this would have been discovered and ironed out long before it went into production. But unfortunetly, round every corner there’s a fault or issue waiting to happen. We’re only human of course. Now where’s the robot that built this… 😃
I tried to undo the headlight fixing bolts, but the captive nut just kept going round & round..?
Here’s one of the headlight bolts and the different components…
I tried to grab the fixing From behind, but I needed to move the air intake pipe & the water expansion chamber. There wasn’t much of the captive nut to grab hold of, and the bolt was seized tightly in place.
I failed. I just couldn’t undo the bolt!
Don’t undo the headlight adjuster, (unless you’re adjusting the headlights)!
How to Get the Captive Bolt Out.
So, how do I get the bolts undone?
The captive nuts are held in place by a plastic mounting bracket…
Using a bit of heat (from friction). We can remove the rotating captive nut whilst it’s fixed to the bolt! For this we need a drill or a powered driver…
Rotating at speed causes the captive nut to heat up. Gently levering the bolt out speeds things up! But don’t lever off anything that can break.
The Bolt (and the captive nut) has been removed.
What Parts do I Need?
You could repair the mini headlight mounting bracket in the following ways:
Disclosure: The links in this table are “affiliate links” This means we may garner a small commission (at no cost to you), if you choose to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.
Original Part Numbers:
Mini Headlight Mounting Bracket, Captive Nut or Clip
Mini Headlight, Mounting Bracket, Captive Nut, Clip
MINI R56 (10/2005 to 08/2010)
MINI R56 LCI (03/2009 to 11/2013)
MINI Clubman R55 (10/2006 to 07/2010)
MINI Clubman R55 LCI (03/2009 to 06/2014)
MINI Cabrio R57 (10/2007 to 07/2010)
MINI Cabrio R57 LCI (04/2009 to 06/2015)
MINI Coupé R58 (12/2010 to 05/2015)
MINI Roadster R59 (01/2011 to 04/2015)
MINI Countryman R60 (01/2010 to 10/2016)
MINI Paceman R61 (03/2012 to 09/2016)
For information only. Please check you have the correct part for your vehicle.
How to Repair & Replace the Captive Nut (Nut & Bolt Method).
Repairing & replacing the captive nut (with the headlight removed).