Body Construction and Material Repair Guidelines: BMW/Mini

Body Construction and Material Repair Guidelines: BMW/Mini

What is the MPa of the front lower rail? What is the outer uniside made of: steel, aluminum, or composite? Can heat be used to straighten or is it cold straightening only? What are the repair limitations? These are just some of the questions that the RTS team fields on a daily basis.

As we know, today’s vehicles can be constructed from a wide variety of materials. Knowing if the OEM provides information on body construction materials and repair guidelines is a crucial step in providing a complete, safe, and quality repair. Let’s see what BMW/Mini has available to us.

It’s important to note that at this time, BMW/Mini does not specify the MPa or the type of aluminum, steel, and/or plastic that is used in a vehicle’s construction. However, the BMW/Mini body repair manual provides a construction breakdown of the outer uniside.

2017 BMW 430i development codeFigure 1

The first step to determining the outer uniside construction is to obtain the vehicle development code. This code will automatically be produced when the VIN is entered into the BMW/Mini Aftersales Information Research (AIR) system. The code will show up at the top of the initial vehicle information page (see Figure 1).

Once you have the development code, click on Repair Instructions located towards the top of the page. From here, expand the Construction Group menu on the left-hand side of the page and scroll down to 41 – Bodyshell. Expand this section and then click on 41/00 – Bodyshell, which reveals 0 Contents of Body, General. Located within this page are numerous links to aid you in the repair process. Several key areas are:

  • Use of material in outer shell - in this section you find the outer uniside component breakdown, the corresponding vehicle development codes, and construction material.
  • Materials Science section - provides guidelines on what is and what is not permitted in the repair process. This section also has information that describes the properties of aluminum compared with steel and the subsequent effects of the differences.
  • Repair Method - this section has several subcategories pertaining to specific types of repair. For example: Repair Stage 1a addresses the replacement of screwed-on components. Repair Stage 1b focuses on repairs to outer panels. Each of the applicable repair stages is referenced in the vehicle-specific repair procedures.

BMW vehicle-specific body repair manuals can be found at and Mini vehicle-specific body repair manuals can be found at

For additional BMW information, check out the following pages:
BMW OEM Information
Mini OEM Information

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Step-By-Step: Accessing BMW/Mini Repair Information