Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions

11213151718

Comments

  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    Well, I never went to MIT or RPI.That being said.I think many past Mini trannys went because they were abused by their owners motor crossing or dragging.
    I must admit I love german engineering.However, after having 2 MGB's and a TR 6 with their lousy Lucas electrical systems and dual needle carbs. I'd never buy anything the Brits build.
    Well, maybe an Aston Martin,or a Bently and they did have a great engine in the Spitfire, a R.Royce I believe.
    Have a good day :shades:
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    There's a joke told often in Germany.

    It goes... Why do the Brittish drink ther beer at room temperature?

    Because Lucas makes the refrigerators in England.

    Car manufacturing is so widely dispersed nowadays, with parts coming from all points over the globe.

    While I would agree with your opinion of past-English auto manufacturing quality, what BMW produces at it's MINI plant based in England is a totally different product.

    Remember, the English also made the Merlin aircraft engine during WW II, one of the best engines during the conflict.
  • I NEVER abused the tranny in my Mini. I have only owned cars with manual transmissions for 40 years and never replaced a clutch. Mt tranny melted down after I was stuck behind a fatal accident in I75 last year. We were in 96- degree heat for hours. When I got back in the interstate, my Mini started slipping gears at high speeds when I accelerated. As long as I kept a steady speed it was okay. The next morning I did nit get a mile down the road before it completely dropped dead.

    The repair shop staff who fixed my Mini tell me that the tranny is made fro
    cheap alloys that will melt down under exposure to high heat. That sounds right to me and I will get to the bottom of this. I'm going to have the parts analyzed. I am out $6000.00 plus $875.00 to tow it.

    One thing you do not want is to find yourself broken down in a city where there is no Mini dealer as it will be a disaster.

    This is the second BMW we owned that has caused a financial crisis in this family. We are DONE!!!! It is a cute car. I loved it when I got it. It's like a little rocket on wheels. It is just not worth it. I will never, ever buy a car that cannot be fixed in any city in the US.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I certainly understand your feelings about the scarcity of Mini dealers. In fact, I agree totally. I would never buy a daily driver that didn't have local service.

    A few questions, though...

    What model Mini do you own? How many miles? Year model? Bought new or used? Manual or auto trans (I'm guessing auto from your description of the symptoms)?

    Certainly the towing fee seems high, but difficult to judge not knowing how far it was towed.

    In any case, sorry to hear about your misfortune...
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    edited September 2011
    Well, it's sharp looking and really a HB.
    Kinda of scary180HP wowser.What a road trip car. There's room for a cooler and ice.$24600.00 then start adding ops. :shades:
  • I bought a brand new 2007 Mini Cooper S in 2007 with a 6-speed manual transmission. The car has 50000 miles on it. A properly managed car should not have a burned out tranny at 50000. I don't care how many statistics people can quote, you don't want to be the one with a $6000-$7000 bill on a car that young, even if you are the outlier. Were the weather conditions while I sat in the traffic behind that accident severe? Yes, but I believe that car should have handled it like a pro. It did not. I didn't see anybody else stuck on the side of the road who sat in that traffic jam.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I NEVER abused the tranny in my Mini. I have only owned cars with manual transmissions for 40 years and never replaced a clutch. Mt tranny melted down after I was stuck behind a fatal accident in I75 last year. We were in 96- degree heat for hours. When I got back in the interstate, my Mini started slipping gears at high speeds when I accelerated. As long as I kept a steady speed it was okay. The next morning I did nit get a mile down the road before it completely dropped dead.

    The repair shop staff who fixed my Mini tell me that the tranny is made fro
    cheap alloys that will melt down under exposure to high heat. That sounds right to me and I will get to the bottom of this. I'm going to have the parts analyzed. I am out $6000.00 plus $875.00 to tow it.

    One thing you do not want is to find yourself broken down in a city where there is no Mini dealer as it will be a disaster.

    This is the second BMW we owned that has caused a financial crisis in this family. We are DONE!!!! It is a cute car. I loved it when I got it. It's like a little rocket on wheels. It is just not worth it. I will never, ever buy a car that cannot be fixed in any city in the US.


    Unless you were parked over a volcano or blow torch, I highly doubt you acheived a temperature high enough to start melting metal transmission parts...

    I guess my first question is this: did you get the car taken by a certified MINI dealership for an examination of the problem before having an independent shop do the repairs?

    If no, why not?

    Also, $875 seems a bit high for towing, depending of course, how far the tow was.

    I have personally seen BMW shops do "goodwill" repairs on late model cars such as yours, sometimes eating all the expense and sometimes eating the parts only.
    Did you get any offer from the MINI dealer, or were you told to go "pound sand"?
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    The story I got from my local dealer is tha the autromatic gearboxes are in short supply due the upheaval in Japan with the earthquake. Evidently, manuals are not affected, of if so, not as much.
  • Hi guys,

    Have a 2003 R53. Although I certainly can't speak for the more recent models, I am at 97k and have never touched the clutch or transmission.

    Many of the severe problems here simply should not happen. You can be in traffic for hours in 100 degree heat and humidity - if you drive a transmission properly and perform simple preventive maintenance this should not happen at a high rate.

    Problems like these are more likely the result of your driving or improper maintenance. Don't dump your Mini because of a failure like this - get it replaced, learn to drive it more smoothly, and maintain it. You will love your Mini for years to come. I do nothing extra-special to maintain my car and it drives FAR better than any other 8-year old car in a similar class.
  • You would be wrong. My car was very well maintained. As I said, I DO know how to drive a car with a clutch and have been driving cars with them for 40 years. I have never, ever had to replace a clutch. The car was fine before that accident and had problems right after. I will get to the bottom of this when I have an engineering firm look at the parts. Then I will start a class action suite.
  • Yes, I too believe you would be wrong. I have a 2009 JCW Clubman that had a failed clutch at 5,000 miles; it was replaced and now the second failed at 9,700! The first was replaced as a "goodwill" gesture after I posted on this site and threatened the dealership that would bring the printed pages for them to read about all the failed clutches. I have been driving only manuel transmissions for over 40 years without any problems. BMW/MINI are aware of this problem; I saw a service bulletin that went out to shops that exposed all of this. I don't hate my MINI yet, but it's difficult to love someting that doesn't love you back. :lemon: :cry:
  • Thought I would add information on my wife's recent experience. She bought a new 2009 Mini Cooper S Convertible. Her clutch failed at about 9000 miles and again at about 19,000 miles. BMW/MINI fixed the first clutch as a "goodwill" gesture but refused to fix the second failure, claiming it must be "operator abuse". We knew this was not the case, so we filed under our state's Lemon Law. What a hassle, but my wife won her case. What I found particularly interesting was something that came out in the testimony during the Lemon Law hearing - the shop found that the clutch friction material had "welded" itself to the dual mass flywheel. At the end of the hearing, the state's Lemon Law automotive expert explained that the only logical explanation for the facts was that the clutch had been continuously slipping and this had got the clutch friction material very hot. Then when the car engine revolutions were reduced (when my wife slowed down) - the red hot clutch friction material bonded itself to the metal flywheel. The car became undrivable. I suspect this has happened to others and may explain why many other drivers with lots of driving experience have reported very early clutch failure. If you happen to buy a MINI with this particular defect, then you will have very early clutch failure no matter how good a driver you might be. And if you fix the clutch, it will just happen again. If you don't happen to buy a car with this defect, then the clutch will work perfectly. MINI really should have their engineers figure out what causes this defect. But no doubt it is much cheaper and easier to just lose a few unhappy customers than to figure out and fix the root cause. So good luck to all of you with a similar clutch problem. My wife and I decided we will never again buy a MINI having a clutch - we might get a lemon again with this odd clutch defect.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Good luck with your "class action" action.

    You'll get absolutely nowhere with it, but if it makes you happy to think so.... Well....

    As I have stated many times earlier, EVERY manufacturer has defects. Sometimes, you win the defect lottery.

    My suggestion... Sell your Mini and move on. Life is too short...
  • Ah I see you don't like it when somebody disagrees with you.

    This is too big a deal to just "get over it". Think I'll get nowhere? You have NO idea who you're talking to. None. I have the engineering experience and contacts to prove what I am saying and I WILL do it.

    This issue seems to bother you. I suggest that you move on -to another forum and another subject as there is clearly nothing worthwhile for you to say.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    Let's not turn this into a personal beef please.

    And a reminder... the Edmunds forums cannot be used to organize legal actions so please leave the talk of class actions at the door. Any posts along those lines will be removed.

    Thanks for your participation and cooperation!

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? pf_flyer@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    You misunderstand my comments.

    I simply don't see any future in what you're attempting to do.

    Just for reference, have you ever originated a "class action" lawsuit? You better have some deep pockets available to you...

    As I said, if it makes you feel better, then ... by all means, have at it.

    In my experience, life's simply too short to take the route you're proposing.

    Please keep us posted. If nothing else, it should be entertaining.
  • Can you please direct me to the service bulletin you mentioned in your post?
  • I saw it at a shop that specializes in MINI repairs; it's something for the service technicians to be aware of. I know the dealership won't let you see this, so if you can find a private repair shop that specializes in MINI/BMW, you might have some luck. This bulletin was released a few years ago, so whoever assist you may have some research to do. I hope that helps. BTW, may I ask if you are having clutch issues as well? Good luck.
  • tulip3tulip3 Posts: 2
    I have an '03 mini with 60,000 miles. I love it, I am a smooth driver, and my manual transmission failed 2 days ago. I know this is common, but this car is a cream puff. Do I have recourse? It's $4,000, including clutch.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I am a smooth driver, and my manual transmission failed 2 days ago. I know this is common...

    Just curious.... Why do you think this is common?

    What basis, other than the limited comments on this forum do you base that judgement "call" upon?

    MINI manufactured over 240,000 units in the 2010 model year alone, and even if the 460+ comments here were each and every one valid complaints, its still statisctically insignificant over the years of production covered by this thread.

    As for your question, you are long gone out of warranty, both in years as well as mileage, so I really doubt you have any actual justification for MINI/dealer involvement in cost reduction. Never hurts to try the sympathy angle on the dealer, though... especially if you had the dealer do all the service work on your car.

    A piece of advice, for whatever its worth.... Don't try the "its a widespread problem" tactic. It will get you absolutely nowhere.

    Good luck!!!
  • I have an 03 mini S and lately I have been experiencing a rather odd behavior. When switching gears and accelerating the car, you can see the rpm's increasing but the car does not respond so the rpms go high and drop right after the car catches up with the speed.
    I am unsure what this is or of this is common? is as if the car could not respond to the acceleration and therefore it takes it a wile to respond.
    I appreciate any information or help on this issue.
    thanks.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Your clutch is slipping.
  • Dear Customer Relations Manager,

    I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with the recent failure of the original clutch/flywheel in the above referenced vehicle. The vehicle was purchased new from MINI of XXX XXXXXXXXX on February 17, 2007and all scheduled maintenance has been conducted in a timely manner including a recent scheduled maintenance on September 15, 2011 (MINI Inspection I), a mere seven weeks before complete clutch failure. No comments or suggestions were noted by the mechanic during this scheduled maintenance that clutch wear was occurring or should be monitored.

    Vehicle Driving History

    The MINI Cooper was driven under extremely light driving conditions with an experienced manual transmission driver. The vehicle was typically only used for “motoring” trips on weekends. The previous manual transmissions driven were a 1986 Honda Civic DX (original owner 97,000 miles with one clutch replacement at 65,000) and a 1996 Honda Civic DX Hatchback (original owner with no clutch replacement as of 60,000 miles when car was donated). Furthermore, the driver was experienced in using the parking brake while resting on a hill to spare any unnecessary clutch wear. All maintenance has been performed by MINI of XXX XXXXXXXXX and online service history is current per owners’ lounge website.

    Trend in Clutch Failures with MINI Cooper

    The driver had never experienced a complete clutch failure with no prior warning signs. Furthermore, the driver had never seen a clutch fail under such light driving conditions so anticipated that it must be some sort of mechanical failure and immediately drove the vehicle to MINI of XXX XXXXXXXXX. While the service department of MINI XXX XXXXXXXXX provided excellent customer service, the driver conducted his own research into the situation while the mechanical review was being conducted and has noted that many other drivers of this vehicle have cited the same problem.

    Action and Response

    The driver seeks a response from MINI USA on this very disappointing early clutch failure, the occurrence of this situation within the specific model, and the manufacturer’s guidance on extending the life of a clutch.

    Very truly yours
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited December 2011
    Overall, a respectful letter.

    My observations from what you posted...

    Positive notes:

    Car was purchased new and serviced by the selling dealer.

    Letter was repectful and non-abusive.

    Negative notes:

    The car is almost 5 years old. Its somewhat unusual for a component such as a clutch or brake system (both share many similarities) to go so long and then fail from a manufacturing defect. Of course, it can happen, but its unusual.

    Modern cars driven correctly should easily get 100K+ miles out of a clutch, yet you make the comment you have had another vehicle with the clutch replaced much earlier (65K miles).

    Also, you state you are a seasoned manual driver, yet you make the statement that you use the handbrake on hills. While not inherently an issue, most manual transmission drivers don't need to utilize the handbrake while driving.

    Personally, both comments may tend to work against you in your effort to get satisfaction, and I would have omitted them from your letter.

    Questions:

    1-S model or regular non-S Cooper model?
    2-Mileage?
  • My wife's 2003 Mini Cooper clutch and gear box just failed. 7K to fix. Car is 8 yrs old but only 95,000 k's which seems poor to me. Also there was something funny with it from the start. First gear never engaged nicely. You had to rev it more than normal to get a decent engagement. We were told it was normal. I actually avoided driving it as I found it laborious.
    Now, they just put in a new clutch and gear box and it's like a different car. First gear engages much better. I am convinced the first box had a fault from the start and would love to try and recover the costs.
    Anyone had similar problem or know what could cause this issue engaging first gear. I still have the first box in case I can take it further.
    Russell
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    BMW doesn't have a "rich" history of assisting owners with vehicles 8 years old, regardless of mileage.

    In your case, you got double the years AND miles as covered under the warranty, so, in my opinion, anything you attempt is a wasted effort.

    However, if you have a clear service history (with receipts) that clearly shows you made multiple attempts to get the 1st gear shifting engagement issue resolved, you could possibly obtain some adjustment, but again, due to the year model and mileage, I wouldn't think you have much of a shot at it.

    Still, if you bought the car new, and had the same dealer do all the service work, you might obtain a labor discount/credit by asking.

    Odds are BMW won't enetertain any credit or refund.

    Good luck!
  • I have written previously about this problem. My Mini's transmission melted down when I was stuck behind a fatal accident on I75 south in August of 2010. The original mechanic and a transmission shop were unable to fix it. It was transferred to a "Mini Cooper" shop, a shop thatvsupposedly specializes in this car and they could not fix it either. Apparently the clutch is not all that melted down. The engine head", whatever that is, also fried. It has now been at a Mini dealer for a month. They haven't fixed it either. Mini corporate has offered me $1000.00 in compensation. WHAT!!!!! I have been without my car for seventeen months, a car I have still been making payments on and insuring. To date I am out $6000 in repair costs for a new transmission and $875.00 in towing charges and theynoffered me $1000.00. This is BMW "quality" and "customer service". Hah!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • PS the car is a 2007, has 50000 miles. I have driven cars with manual transmissions for 40 years and have NEVER hadcto replace a clutch before this. I have been told by the folks involved that the parts are made from a cheap alloy that melts down when exposed ton heat. Yup!!!! Sure do!!!!!
  • ihatemyminiihatemymini Posts: 13
    edited December 2011
    Yep - happened to me too. My 2007 S melted down on I75 in Lexington. The car has been in three shops over the last seventeen month. That's right - I have not seen my car for 17 months. I am 57 and have never owned a car with an automatic transmission and have NEVER had to replace a clutch. I got stuck behind a bad accident in 96 degree heat for hours and it melted into a puddle of molten junk. The mechanics have told me the parts are made of a cheap alloy that melt om exposure to heat. The car has now been at a dealer for weeks and apparently they don't think it is a priority. I'm not surprised because when I bought it I didn't even get it off the lot. All the coolant had leaked out. Nobody called me for five days then either until I got really, really mad. Well the last shop it was in was a Mini Cooper shop and they could not fix it either. I was told the "engine head" is shot. I think the engine is fried.
  • ihatemyminiihatemymini Posts: 13
    edited December 2011
    Some people just know it all and cannot fathom that they are WRONG! Very clear expert reasons have been given to explain the problems with these cars and it is NOT the drivers. If you wind up with a melted down transmission on the side of the road I'm not stopping to help. I'll wave to you from my Nissan! It might not be as cute but the last one we had never, ever saw the inside of a repair shop except for routine maintenance. We traded it in at 150000 miles for another one.
Sign In or Register to comment.