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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions



  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Posts: 25
    You and I and every other MINI owner would agree that "they should just fix it"! However, "they" typically (but not always) have various reasons for placing blame on the driver and not the car! Go figure! Never again, say I!!!!
  • llcrabbiellcrabbie Posts: 3
    They replaced it (parts only) and I paid $1000 for labor. Better than nothing that's for sure.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,442
    The most obvious issue for you (as well as others who purchased used cars) is that you really have no idea how the car was driven and treated before you took possession of it.

    Even Mario Andretti (or whatever professional driver you prefer to name), who, without question can drive a manual, would fall into that category.

    A brief story: Not too long ago, I was picking my wife's MINI up from being serviced at the dealer and there was a woman there (early 40's, I'd say) raising holy hell about her clutch, just as many have here. Of course, she "knew" how to drive a manual and had done so all her life.

    The dealer had just installed a new clutch in her car (no idea if she or the dealer ate the costs), and we both were leaving at the same time.

    When we got to the street to leave the lot, she was turning left and I was turning right, so we were along side each other. The exit from the lot is roughly a 5-7 degree incline.

    So, as we waited for traffic to clear, I watched her ease the clutch in and out, just "riding" it instead of simply putting her foot on the brakes until the lane was clear.

    Two things here:

    1. You may be the best driver ever, but if a previous owner was incompetent, there's nothing you could do to prevent early clutch failure.

    2. Riding the clutch as I mentioned above may have been OK 25 years ago, because so many cars were "over-built" other words, the surface area of the clutch may well have been much larger than necessary, and therefore, very "forgiving". Especially in high-performance vehicles, much of the excess weight has been removed, from bearings to gears to clutches. The margin of "error" has been greatly reduced.

    In the end, IMO, I would say you got a fair deal, as it isn't unheard of for a new clutch replacement to run over $3 grand.

    I know... it still sucks...
  • I was ready to pull out of a driveway and when I engaged the clutch, I couldn't move the shifter into any gear - it was frozen in place. I noticed the clutch pedal would not return to its normal position - even when I tried pulling it up with the top of my shoe. After several attempts, I turned the car off - to reset the electronics - and clutch returned to normal position and I could shift again. I've noticed a subtle whining the last few days when I'm in lower gears. Can anyone tell me if they've had this happen? Am I now one of the ones who's transmission/gears are going out? :confuse:
  • I hope someone gives you a fix soon otherwise you have to save up to buy a new transmission which could cost you close to $7K. The transmission problem is the most common and most expensive of Mini Cooper problems.
    Best of luck to you mate.
  • raj40raj40 Posts: 3
    I have a mini cooper 2003 model automatic and has 87K miles on it. Out of the blue my transmission broke down. Now I need to speed $7000 to either fix it or sell the car as it is.

    Hence I was wondering what is the best option I have. If I fix this what other most common problem I should expect in future...
  • Mine is a manual transmission and it ended up being a Clutch Slave Cylinder which cost me $250 parts and labor.

    In reality, (knock on wood), I really haven't had "issues" with my Mini. I bought it new and I'm basically the only person who has driven it. I treat my cars well since they are typically the second most expensive purchase a person makes - next to their home.
  • raj40raj40 Posts: 3
    i agree.. but transmission is a common problem mini has... what i read about from different forums.. so what do u recommend.. ??
  • I haven't heard of any other common problems, but 7K is a lot of money, so if you are in love with your mini then fix it and keep it. But if you have your heart set on another car, then now is the time to make that change.
  • Check this website out for more information:
  • I had a transmission failure at 60,000 mi. on my 2004 automatic basic MINI. I now have a new transmission and about 75,000 miles total on the car. It has been driviing like a dream but if I should have any further transmission problems I'm calling the Salvation Army and donating the car. Fortunately, I was able to get the dealership to pay for the new transmission.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,442
    Check this website out for more information:


    14 complaints. Not bad for a car with production in excess of a million units (242,000 in 2010 model year alone).
  • vinsa69vinsa69 Posts: 2
    Hello, I have 2002 MINI Cooper with manual transmission and i face serious problem with the gears. I just changed the clutch, upper and lower pump and the gearbox oil after having minor issues with shifting low and reverse gears. Now the car is assembled but cant even put it on first gear. Any suggestion what can be done? Or what's wrong?Thanks in advance
  • My 2005 - out of no where - wouldn't shift. I was pulling out of a parking lot on my way home from work and couldn't get it in ANY gear. I've only ever had manual cars for 40 years and never had that happen. It ended up being the Clutch Slave Cyl.

    Total repair cost me around $250 and it runs like a top again.
  • vinsa69vinsa69 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the advice, but the thing is that i have already replaced the old clutch with a new i assumed the Clutch Slave Cyl is also brand new.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    Burris sometimes I think you work for Mini.That being said Mini is now offers a $500.00 rebate if you order a Manual tranny on a new 2011.
    Now, is this a Geartrag tranny?Also, if it is is it reliable as the 6spd in my 3 seies 328i 2011. Forget the size and I don't red line any of my cars and I don't engine brake or Jake BreaK. :shades:
  • My MCS 2005, 90K Manual starts smelling like rubber burning, then I lost power (the car is moving no more than 3 miles/hour. now after 5 days sitting in the garage, the car is driving normal.
    I just wanna know what's wrong with the car, and is there anything I need to fix, Thanks.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    check the oxygen sensor or the Cat Conv. I had the same thing happen on the turnpike. I was crusin' @ 75mph and the car slowed down to 30mpg and i pulled into a rest stop and waited about 1/2 hour and the car ran perfect again.I took the car to the BMW dealer and they said nothing was wrong untill it did it 5x more.It was like air being let out of a balloon.
    I don't care what you repair save the bill and record the part # they use as BMW is notorious for fixing things twice and their parts warranty is terrible. I don't have a Mini .However, it did it 4 or 5 times again. I traded it for a 2011 328i. I don't know how the Mini service works.I try to sell my Beemers before the warranty goes, as the repairs are exspensive.
    Now, if they charge you to hook it to a dianostic computer try Pep boys or some other auto repair place and they might do it for free like auto zone.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,442
    My educational background is heavy in statistics, and I have a pretty good understanding of numbers and their application.

    Are Mini's perfect?


    Then again, what car company makes the perfect vehicle?

    As far as the rebate is concerned, manufacturers offer rebates on models all the time. Originally, roughly 75% of Mini's came with manuals. From what my local dealer told me yesterday (as I was buying an oil filter), it's now reversed...75% of what his store sells is automatics, and due to the damage from the Japanese earthquake, there are difficulties in getting automatics at Mini ( I haven't verified what he said, but I did look on his lot, and there was only 2-3 automatics...the rest were manuals.

    As I often do, I echo a thought from a former mentor..." a few points on a graph do not make a trend".

    In 2010, Mini manufactured over 240,000 cars. How many posts are in this this forum, and of them, how ma ny are by owners who bought their car new? Now, take those and subtract out the ones that are multiple postings by the same person... Now, how many "unique" manual transmission problems are there (remember, this formun spans ALL the years of BMW Mini production, not just 2010)?

    So, I would ask you, what would you say the "industry average" is for faulty manual transmissions, as a percentage of all manually equipped models (by manufacturer)?

    Frankly, I couldn't tell you. But, from what I see, I'm not alarmed by what I see here. Couple that with my limited actual experience ( my wife still has her 2005 manual Mini that she bought new...60k miles now) and I'm not very concerned.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,442
    That being said Mini is now offers a $500.00 rebate if you order a Manual tranny on a new 2011.

    That's a misleading comment. Mini is indeed offering a $500 discount on manually equipped models, with the following restrictions:

    1-Only available on select 2011 hardtop, convertible or Clubman models. Doesn't apply to Countryman or John Cooper Works models.

    2-Offer expires October 3, 2011. Not much time to order one and take delivery before the offer expires.

    Now, is this a Geartrag tranny?

    I think you meant Getrag transmission, not Geartrag transmission.

    I don't red line any of my cars and I don't engine brake or Jake BreaK.

    I'm sure you don't jake brake. No Mini has one. Just so you understand what you are talking about...

    From Wikipedia:

    A compression release engine brake, frequently called a Jake brake or Jacobs brake, is an engine braking mechanism installed on some diesel engines. When activated, it opens exhaust valves in the cylinders, releasing the compressed air trapped in the cylinders, and slowing the vehicle.

    Although Jake brake properly refers to the Jacobs brand of engine brakes, the term has become a genericized trademark and is often used to refer to engine brakes or compression release engine brakes in general, especially on large vehicles or heavy equipment.
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