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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions

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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: 3,448
    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: 3,448
    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: 3,448
    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: 3,448
    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: 3,448
    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.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    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!

    PFFlyer@Edmunds

    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,448
    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: 3,448
    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!!!
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