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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions



  • sconantsconant Posts: 23
  • sconantsconant Posts: 23
    Has anyone experienced a "crunk" going into second gear? Is there a fix? Is it a trans. prob. or shift linkage?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Well, 2nd gear syncros are usually the first to go, so the 1st-2nd gear change is usually the one that starts getting the "crunk" first as the transmission wears. A balky or mis-adjusted linkage is a possibility also, but if shifting slower/deliberately seems to solve the problem, then it's probably the syncros. And you've also found the workaround (and possibly the cause for your syncros wearing out prematurely).

    - Mark
  • sconantsconant Posts: 23
    not sure what you mean by "workaround"? Just got back from the dealer (8th time) and most problems were fixed but their usual response to second gear was "it's normal"?
  • 03 mini S died many miles into a trip recently...roadside assistance was pretty good. towed to mini. dealer. was then told 2600.00 for a clutch. not covered...just over 30K miles!!!!!! so, i called back with tow number and asked to have it sent to my mechanic who was going to do it FOR HALF!!! next thing i know...Mini is covering the WHOLE THING.
    While i'm very pleased, a clutch should not go at 33K...esp driven only 10K per year, much of it highway. vigilant...
  • Did the MINI dealership pull the transmission before
    you asked to have it towed?

    My clutch went up at 28,000 miles. I had AAA tow it
    to the MINI dealership. They pulled the transmission
    and now they tell me that even if I don't get it fixed
    I am in to them for $1,700!

  • rus3rus3 Posts: 3
    I have a Mini 2002 S model with manual transmission one of the first model's that came out(Average 10K per year mileage).

    I had the clutch changed at 45,000 miles for the first time.
    Clutch lifespan can go out sooner depending how you drive the vehicle (Clutch yoke noisy and worn out clutch). Lucky I was covered under a 50K warranty when I purchased the car.
    A normal clutch in other car's can get a lot more mileage than 45K miles. I now have 48,000 miles on the car.

    Some of the most common problems I have experienced is with the Mini Cooper S (manual transmission) not of the routine kind of things of owning a car.

    1) One of the first problems I had overheating problem with engine at 10,000 miles.
    2) Rear latch on rear trunk never locked (needed replace latch).
    3) Idiot lights on dash tire flat (Motor wheel rotation sensor) you hit a pot-hole it stays on very common and sometimes for weeks off and on.
    (Computer software glitches of some kind)Airbag idiot light stays on all the time now.
    The Mini dealer service told me eventually they will come up with a better software upgrade.
    I've learned to live with idiot light on the dash being on or off so don't be alarmed if you see them.

    4) Cooling fan to engine kept turning never shut off then drains battery overnight. Mini dealer had to change both Cooling fans which they were very reluctant when its under warranty.
    5) Brakes last 20,000 miles about on the front and 30,000 miles on the rear.
    6) Clutch problem at 45,000 miles.

    7) All Tires replaced.

    Yeah, we all have problems the Mini Cooper S but I would rather own a Toyota Corolla that I have as a second car with 250,000 miles and never had these kind of problems with only 48,000 miles. If I keep the car for another 50K miles will have the same problems again plus more.

    The tow truck driver who came to load my Mini cooper to the shop say most Mini's he towed are transmission problems and overheating problems.
  • rus3rus3 Posts: 3
    The clutch problem has been an issue on mostly all models since the first one that was sold in the USA.

    I drive my Mini Cooper S 2002 about 10,000 a most of the time its parked and really has not much chance for a hot running engine.

    I happen to get on my Mini Cooper 2002 S 45,000 miles out of the clutch before it broke. I have had many Volkswagens in the past I got at least 95,000 miles out of a clutch. I drive a stickshift like you would think its an automatic transmission ride. The shifting is smooth and you never realize its a sticksift car since I had many clutch car's in the past.

    This car has more problems than a normal running used car you buy off the lot.
    I personally, would stay away from these cars until they make them much better and realiable.
    They just are not working on the problems that the first models had and now they still have the same problems on newer models.

    Buyer beware, its still an experimental car with lots of bugs to be worked out even in the latest models.
  • Hi - New to this site. My mini is 2002, automatic, with 43,000 miles. Warranty was up in August (just 4 months ago) and I noticed a sputtering sound recently. I took it in and the dealership told me the transmission is shot and will cost $7500 to repair! I took it to a non-dealer repair shop and they said they needed to replace the transmission with a brand new one b/c it was hard to say what's wrong with the transmission inside.

    Replacing is will cost me almost 1/3 of what I paid for it...I don't know what to do. Any suggestions/similar experiences? I'm leaning towards getting it fixed and then selling it. I just wonder if it's even worth getting fixed at all.

  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    That's a tough one--that's really a bad break. First thing I'd do is find out how good your dealer is--if you bought it new there, I'd see what they'd do on a trade in on it, as is. The only way I'd drop the 7500 to fix it is if you planned on keeping it (If you trade in after putting the 7500 in it, I doubt you'll get your 7500 back out of it--ask your dealer what they'd give you if it were fixed versus as is to get an idea of how much fixing it would or wouldn't help you.). Dropping 7500 into it and then trying to sell it yourself may be problematic--it's going to be a tough sell to get the price that the car's worth on a car with a tranny replaced.
  • sconantsconant Posts: 23
    I know this is now 01/07/07 but what was your outcome with the clutch and having to pay for "diagnosis"?
  • bbucbbuc Posts: 1
    We've taken our 2003 Mini Cooper S in to the dealer numerous times and reporting a strange loud sound every time we drove off or backed up. Every time they would say they could not duplicate the sound. Finally after being told I needed to come in and have the shop manager ride with me to see if I could point it out, they heard it.

    There is a awful sound everytime you take off or back up. The response from him was "oh that's coming from the clutch, it does that after awhile, we can tighten it but the sound may come back again."

    Every time I call dealer or check online there does not seem to be any recalls or similar problems with other Mini's. Anyone else experiencing this problem?
  • Hello, first time poster here.

    The transmission went out on my MINI too. Mine is a 2003, automatic, with 33,000 miles. I bought it used a few months ago. I was so excited about owning a car that was built this century! I still love the fuel efficiency (31 mpg SF down to LA) and the heated seats and fitting in tight parking spaces. Unfortunately I’m back to thinking of cars as a huge drain on my money and time.

    Short version: the transmission was replaced and covered under the warranty even though the warranty expired about a month earlier. SF MINI Dealership cost estimate was $5,000. They replaced a tail light free of charge and they provided a loaner car.

    I’ll post a longer version of the situation in a minute.

    Reading other posts on the forum makes me concerned that the transmission is just the first of many issues with this MINI. At this point it would not be cost-effective to sell, but the warranty won’t cover problems 3 months/years from now…

    Colleen/ctm3267 - If you’re reading this, I’m interested to know what you ended up doing?

  • In Nov 06, my husband and I bought a 2003 MINI, automatic transmission, with 33K miles. In January we noticed that the car would not go into gear unless we revved the engine about 10 times. Definitely not cool. About a month later it just would not go into gear, no matter what. Non-dealer repair shop first told us it was the transmission. Replacement cost estimate was $3,000, but I’m not sure if that included labor.

    We called up SF Mini dealership (where they had just completed the 30K mile tune-up). They immediately said they would take a look and if it was the transmission they would absolutely cover it under the warranty, since it had literally just expired.

    Short version: it was the transmission and it was replaced under warranty. Dealership cost estimate was $5,000. They replaced a tail light free of charge and they provided a loaner car.

    Longer, venting version: Looking back a few months/years from now I will probably only remember that we didn’t pay for the transmission. But since it’s still fresh…. The customer service was AWFUL:

    We dropped off the car after a 12 mile, $100 tow. After four days of no news and no returned calls, I finally got through. They said they hadn’t even looked at it yet. Service Rep#1 offered us a rental car for $25/day. We got a better deal on our own. I finally got through after about a week of no news and no response to multiple phone calls. Service Rep#2 said “oh no, I would have given you the loaner car at no charge” and “we can’t find the problem.” So we dropped off our rental car and picked up their rental car. After 3 days of no news and no returned phone calls, I got through. They said they found the problem. After four more days of no news and no returned messages, I got through to the receptionist in the late afternoon. The car had been ready for pick up all day.

    Summary: They had the car three weeks. We are out of pocket $260. We have a new transmission.

    I’m now considering 1) keeping the car and hoping nothing else goes wrong, 2) selling it and getting ????, 3) selling it and getting a new MINI with a bumper to bumper warranty and upgrading my road-side assistance plan.

    Any thoughts/comments/suggestions are welcome.
  • bbuc, I had a 2005 Mini Cooper and waited for the new 5 spd transmission. Ever since the first day I drove it I noticed that in slow manuevers,ie pulling into a parking space or backing out of the garage the engine would vibrate violently. I have had many 5spd or stick shift cars in my life, in fact I have a 1987 supra turbo with 170000 miles on it and just changed the clutch on it 6000 miles ago, but this cooper is very touchy on the clutch. I had repeatedly complained to my MINI dealer in Arlington, TX but to no avail. I had to push them to get the factory engineer down here to check the car. all he did was drive it and admitted that there was a problem with the clutch. But blamed it on me. He was a young engineer who didn't seem to know much. He wanted me to rev it to 2000-2500 just to do these low speed manuevers like that isn't dangerous in tight spaces. Well, BMW you lost me as a future customer for any of your other products since I was treated like this for 18 months. Traded the car for 200 less than I paid for it in July 06 on a Toyota FJ Crusier. No problems on the cruiser. By the way I only had 8000 miles on the MINI when I got rid of it. The clutch always chattered in low manuevers and I had to consciously raise the rpms to keep the Mini from chattering and vibrating violently. By the way BMW You also lost out on another sale I completed on a new LEXUS ES350. I will never consider a BMW again because of the way the dealer and BMW corp treated me. I should not have to pester a luxury car group to do its job.
  • I am going through similar situation with my 2005 Cooper (Automatic) w/8000mi right now. Luckly I have the road-side assis. plan and was able to take it to my favorite authorized Mini service dealer and still under warranty.
    But even after the transmission is replaced (w/re-built one), by reading the Forums here makes me worry. I, too hope nothing else goes wrong....

    Any thoughts/comments/suggestions are welcome.
  • bfromholdbfromhold Posts: 38
    zippco ~

    What kind of problems have you had with your transmission? Has it already been replaced with only 8,000 miles on it? I also have a Mini (2006) with an automatic transmission with the same mileage as yours. So far everything seems to work fine, but now I'm a bit worried after reading a couple of complaints from this Forum. :confuse:

    What kind of situations are you having with your Mini? I'll have to be more attentive on my MCS to see if I experience anything unusual. I'm thinking it would be a good idea to buy the extended warranty after what I've read here.

    Is there anyone out there that has higher mileage (50,000 or more) on an automatic transmission with no problems?
  • zippcozippco Posts: 4
    My 2005 Mini Cooper's auto. transmission was replaced with a re-built transmission.
    One day I noticed that when merging on to a highway,(going from 30 to 60mi/hr) it jerked and hesitated for a second. But it drove fine once going. Then few weeks later, I could not drive any faster than 25mi/hr on a slushy road, I first thought it had something to do with the Dynamic Stability Control. (I must admit my knowledge in auto-mechanism is very limited...) But once towed to the dealer/service, they said it's "defect transmission"..... It is running great right now. And I found that the MINI Customer Relations reps are very helpful.
    Since I DO love driving my Mini, most likely will buy the extended warranty when the time comes.
  • bfromholdbfromhold Posts: 38
    zippco ~

    Thanks replying so quickly to my inquiry about the problems you've experienced. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates the fact that you shared your misfortune. At least it'll give me a heads up to look out for anything usual.

    I should buy the extended warranty for peace of mind. However, I may buy a new Mini in 2009, so I'll just have to wait and see how many miles I'll have on my 2006 by then. Thanks again for sharing... May the rest of your driving experience with your Mini be uneventful. :)
  • paw9paw9 Posts: 3
    Hello, I'm a first time poster to this site. I'm thinking about a MINI and just drove a base model on Saturday. It definitely scores high on fun. But I'm really worried about the reliability after reading these posts - although it looks like the problems are limited to older models? I've owned Hondas and Toyotas in the past which were extremely reliable - I never took them in for anything other than routine maintenance. Should I be worried about the 2007 MINI? :confuse:
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