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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions

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  • zmaster2zmaster2 Posts: 1
    I have a 02 mini automatic,I have 84,000 miles, I just took the car to a local mechanic,my car would not change gear from a standing stop, I went about 200 yards from the light and finally kicked into next gear this has happened twice, this time the check engine light came on, the mechanic pulled a 1787 gear ratio code, he could not find any troubleshooting for this code,he had to call England the maker of his diag machine to get a 20 page troubleshooting guide, I will find out tomorrow if its wiring or replace transmission at about 4800 bucks. I refuse to take my car to Flow mini in Winston Salem, NC, I have had nothing but problems with this dealer.
  • winniepwinniep Posts: 18
    Hi,

    I wrote about my shot transmission back on May 23rd. I have since had my transmission replaced for $7K at the mechanics (the dealership would have charged me $8K+).

    If anyone out there is having trouble with your CVT and would like BMW / MINI to do something about it, I am considering filing a class action. Anyone interested?
  • motoronmotoron Posts: 6
    I didn't see any listed in service. Is that right? Therefore, everything would be warrenty issue?
  • sburchillsburchill Posts: 1
    I would be interested in looking into this. We bought our son a automatic 2003 mini cooper from a lady driver last Oct. It had 10,000 miles on the clock. Since then, my son has noticed a problem with shifting. We took it into the dealer in June for them to look at the problem after the engine waring light came on. They just reset the waring light and said there was nothing wrong. However, on the invoice they stated that " Faul was P1786 Transmission Ratio Actuator. They reset transmission adaption values and cleared vault memory as a courtesy to customer" They also informed me that it needed its inspection 1 service and informed us that would be around $800.00. We opted to take it to a local car place who works on minis and BMW's because they were charging $450.00 for doing the same thing.We received news form the shop that the transmission was about to go, the car has just 17,000 miles on it. The warrenty ran out in Jan. I had the AAA tow the car to the MBW dealer, who after inspection confirmed that it did need an new transmission. I was asked "how do you want to deal with this" I explained to the service person that this could have been avoided if they had bothered to investigate the issue back in June insted of just resteing the fault memory. I also stated that I did not expect a BMW transmission to go out after 17,000 miles. I am now awaiting news from them ater they speak with the BMW/mini rep. I would be interested to hear what anyone thinks and if I do have a case against them.

    Thanks,

    SB
  • winniepwinniep Posts: 18
    I have had experiences with the mini dealership where they did not do a thorough job in checking everything, resetting the computer, and then returning the car to me. It is extremely frustrating not to mention expensive (taking the car in and out of the dealership, and once the warranty runs out, the parts and labors are BMW prices). I have talked to some lawyers, and some say that we have a case. I am still looking for a GOOD one who would represent us. Anyone interested please email me at no2@numba-tu.com, so I can get a list going. The first step after finding a lawyer is to get a demand letter over to BMW to compensate us for the money and time lost. We could commence litigation if BMW does not respond within a certain amount of time. Those of you who know other Mini drivers, please spread the word. I am tired of being taken advantage of by big companies.

    Just got back from another Mini Blog and here is a suggestion for all to do:

    One immmediate option we have is for everyone to open a case with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). I opened a case with them on 7/13/2007 and at that time only 1 other issue had been opened regarding the MINI CVT transmission. I feel that if enough consumers open issues with NHTSA the MINI Corp. will be forced to respond to this issue in some way, hopefully a recall since the issue seems to be occuring after the car is out of warrenty. The contact information for NHTSA is as follows and it only takes about 15 minuites to open a case. (You will need your VIN number)

    NHTSA 1-888-327-4236 or http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

    Please pass this information on to any other blogs to get the word out. I refuse to pay MINI another 7-8 thousand for a new transmission.
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    I was wondering at 26k how i got checkered intrerior?
    Someone can answer but, no way am I buying a Mini after the horror stories I've been reading on here sounds like my old MBG. The Brits never could build a car. :lemon:
  • winniepwinniep Posts: 18
    Since Mini got bought by BMW, this time it is really the German who could built a car.
  • zmaster2 - what was the final verdict on the source of the problems? wiring or transmission?

    I'm happy to report that I have not had any more mechanical issues since the transmission was replaced. Of course the passenger side front seat is now in a permanently reclined position, but at least it's drivable.
  • I'm a little confused about which automatic transmission I have in my (late July) 2006 MINI Cooper S now. After talking with a MINI dealer here in the Puget Sound area last week, I was informed only the non S MINIs have the CVT transmission. Does anyone know if this is true? So far I have had nothing unusual happen with the transmission.

    My MINI: Late July '06 MCS, Hyper blue with white top & bonnet stripes, chrome exterior & interior, all Packages, rear fog light, park distance control, AT, English leather interior, cockpit chrono pack, Harmon Kardon stereo, Stage 2 MINI Madness kit.
  • The MCS never got a CVT.
  • That's good to hear. Hopefully I won't have any issues with my transmission. :)

    One thing weird & dumb is that there's no dip stick to check the transmission fluid level. I'm not sure why they'd do something like that! :confuse:

    My MINI: Late July '06 MCS, Hyper blue with white top & bonnet stripes, chrome exterior & interior, all Packages, rear fog light, park distance control, AT, English leather interior, cockpit chrono pack, Harmon Kardon stereo, Stage 2 MINI Madness kit.
  • Cause BMW wants to eliminate the possibility of drivers doing any type of maintenance and try to take independent service/repair shops out of the loop too.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Wait a minute, you bought park distance control? For a MINI? :surprise: :P
  • Thanks for this info. I've got 58,000 miles on my 03 and the ENTIRE TRANSMISSION needs to be replaced. The dealership quoted me almost $8,000 to fix it.... about half the price of the car- it's only 4 years old! The manufacturer did offer to replace the transmission and do the 60,000 miles for free, but they still want me to pay the $2,500 in labor. What do you guys think about this?
  • The manufacture did not offer to pay for mine. It was a straight $8000 quote. I ended up going to a mechanic and pay a little less than $7000 to replace it. I am gathering interested participants for a class action law suit. If you are interested, please send me an email at no2@numba-tu.com. Please keep in mind that it might take me a while to get enough people and to find a good lawyer to rep us. Thanks!
  • bodble2: >

    Yes, I did buy the park distance control (PDC). I had one of those instances in the past where I backed into a cable that I couldn't see at night. It was below my bumper, so I didn't see it. I ended up having to repaint my bumper which would have more than covered the cost of the park distance control. :(

    Since I've had my MINI, I've already saved one Chihuahua (a co-worker's dog)... I didn't even know it was laying behind my car when I went to back up, but the park distance control sensed it. The PDC more than paid for itself in that instance. ;)
  • Just curious if these were automatic or manual transmissions?
    Class Action lawsuits are difficult because you need a lot of people with the same problem.
    Still I hope you manage to get it resolved. I would think with their powertrain warranty you would be covered if for no other reason than goodwill by the manufacturer, since the warranty was up for only 8k miles. Maybe getting an extended warranty on a Mini is a good idea if they are prone to these sort of problems?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I can certainly envision some situations where park distance control would be useful for even a small car like the MINI. I was just yanking your chain a bit. ;) Cheers! :shades:
  • No problemo... You're not the only one who's given me any bunk. :blush:
  • These were the CVT - continuously variable transmission. I think my next step is to call news channel and then selling my car.
  • These were the CVT - continuously variable transmission. I think my next step is to call news channel and then selling my car.

    It might just be a lemon? I personally will not buy an automatic transmission again. :lemon: Sure if I want to buy a winter beater car that's a bit different because it will be very cheap to start with. But for an expensive car a manual is generally the way to go although they also can have problems.
    I wonder where Mini sourced their tranny from?
    GM? Chrysler? The manual is a getrag so they are very good quality.
    Try and have a transmission specialist rebuild it for you and maybe get some mods done to it. You'd be amazed at what the aftermarket guys can do if they are good enough. By that I don't mean AAMCO. I'm unfamiliar with CVT internals but the older GM transmissions could be massively improved during a rebuild as long as you didn't grenade it.
    Just a thought....
    I hope your car situation improves :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "....a manual is generally the way to go although they also can have problems."

    That's exactly it. Auto, or manual, sometimes it's just the luck of the draw!

    Personally, I think CVT is not a mature technology. And that's why there are issues with driveability and reliability. The Civic Hybrid CVT has had a bunch of reported cases of failed tranny. Our '05 MINI base drove a lot better after a tranny flush, but now, 2K kms or so later, it's back to its regular herky jerky finicky self. But I've got less than a year left on the lease, so I don't really care, at this point! :P
  • Thanks for your thought and advice, but I already have had the transmission replaced (the reason it was $7000 and not more was because the mechanic is sending the old broken one back to be refurbised). I am done with the car. I am going to get a Subaru WRX instead after I have done all I can to let people know about how bad the Mini CVTs are.
  • Thanks for your thought and advice, but I already have had the transmission replaced (the reason it was $7000 and not more was because the mechanic is sending the old broken one back to be refurbished). I am done with the car. I am going to get a Subaru WRX instead after I have done all I can to let people know about how bad the Mini CVTs are.

    I had a 2002 WRX and it was a good car, but the new 2008 WRX really has been cheapened down from the 2002-2007 models. It's still fast but they didn't actually improve anything on the car, but they did remove the LSD and put on smaller brakes, also now you can't tow with the WRX and before it could tow 2000 lbs.
    You might not tow with the car but it surely can't be stronger.
    I'm still looking at a Mini Cooper S but I'm also looking at a Mazdaspeed 3 and a Civic Si.
    The problem is that the Mini dealer is very very far away about 1.5 hours so if it needs warranty work that's along haul. There aren't that may interesting cars out there any more. But no spare tire in the Mini is a worry as are runflat tires and a long distance to the dealership. :sick:
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "I'm still looking at a Mini Cooper S but I'm also looking at a Mazdaspeed 3 and a Civic Si."

    Have you considered the Volvo C30, and VW GTI?

    "But no spare tire in the Mini is a worry..."

    Our MINI comes with an emergency tire inflation kit. Would that be an acceptable compromise to spare tire?
  • Have you considered the Volvo C30, and VW GTI?

    I looked at the review of the Volvo but just never liked volvos and that one doesn't appeal to me. VW is the last car on earth I'd buy (even with a diesel) because of my experiences with VW dealers!
    VW really needs to overhaul it's dealers attitudes and make it so I drive the car more than I fix it. Kinda hard to get the bad taste out of your mouth from VW. For someone who likes VW or has a great dealership near them (we don't) Maybe it's an option. But that's about it. I am going to drive a Honda civic Si but I'm thinking about low torque.

    Our MINI comes with an emergency tire inflation kit. Would that be an acceptable compromise to spare tire?

    Well I think they also provide you with a Jack in your Cooper S as well don't they?
    I'd probably use that kit until the runflats either blew or ran out of tread but then I'd buy a spare tire and put it in the back seat and buy GFT's on all corners. Question is is it worth doing that for a Mini?
    I will find out in a few months. My other worry about mini is that I'd probably end up with a a very late 2007 model and that would be a bad deal since Mini doesn't deal at all even on end of year stuff and I'd have to order the car and they can't guarantee me a 2008 model so I'd need a car for 2-3 months. That might push the Speed 3 into first place. hard to say until we can drive them. I'm going to Guam for a few days so maybe I can check out a used Mini as they don't sell new ones there. As well as other models and see what is a possible contender for me. I don't like the fact that BMW is going with RFT's the technology really isn't there yet for them to be as good as regular performance tires. Plus I have to run snow tires on steel rims in the winter anyway.
    Good suggestions tho. Thanks :)
  • We purchased our 2002 Mini on 10/10/06, w/55,059 miles on it. 9 days later the clutch went out, not covered by extended warranty that we purchased. We towed it back to Mini San Francisco service dept who insisted that we wore out the clutch and it was our problem, wear and tear, etc. – after 9 days! Unbelievable! They offered to pay half, but we felt this was completely unfair. We then had to battle with the service dept and they eventually called Mini USA who agreed to pay the other half to replace the clutch. A few months later we had to pay for the Inspection 2 ($390) on 2/6/07, with no notable problems. Then on 9/14/07, at 67,829 miles, the clutch went out again! Twice in under one year! I have driven manual transmission vehicles for over 15 years and never had to replace a clutch, let alone twice in one year! Of course it is not covered by warranty and the dealership is insisting that it is our fault that we burnt out the clutch, which is absurd. We would have to grind the gears every time we shift in order to burn out a brand new clutch within one year. Mini USA is taking the word of the service manager and will not help us. We are not sure if this is related to the recall (MANUAL TRANSMISSION:FLOOR SHIFT ASSEMBLY), however, the dealership/service dept denies that such a recall exists. When searching Google we found many others having the same or very similar complaints. Each time the dealership blames the driver and denies that this is a common problem with this vehicle. Our Mini is sitting at the dealership right now as we research and try to figure out how to resolve this situation fairly. At this point, we just want to get it repaired and sell it. Although, I feel bad selling this car to anyone, since it clearly has mechanical defects.

    We only bought this car at SF BMW/Mini b/c we purchased a certified pre-owned 2003 BMW (stick shift) several years ago and we couldn't be happier with the service, the car, the overall experience. This is definitely not the same level of care or car. Frustrated and disappointed that Mini apparently does not care about standing behind their product or customer service.

    I submitted this complaint to NHTSA today and am preparing a letter for BMW/Mini SF in hopes of resolving this matter fairly. Because this is absolutely not fair and feels like we are being bullied.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    We purchased our 2002 Mini on 10/10/06, w/55,059 miles on it. 9 days later the clutch went out, not covered by extended warranty that we purchased. We towed it back to Mini San Francisco service dept who insisted that we wore out the clutch and it was our problem, wear and tear, etc. – after 9 days! Unbelievable!

    Yeah lots of unbelievable but true things happen with cars. I've seen and experienced a few myself.
    It sounds to me like your situation is the dealer doesn't know how to rebuild the transmission! A clutch can fail after a certain time and certainly some are defective out of the box. Usually a transmission rebuild has a warranty on the rebuild that they must honor and that includes the clutch. I'd get a lawyer and write the BBB, the Atty General's office and any and all consumer affairs offices until I got satisfaction.
    But this is one of the main reasons I always buy new and not used, unless I am buying a winter beater for cheap money or something like that.
    I don't suppose you have another Mini dealer within driving distance do you? If you do I'd try that. I'd never buy a Mini because they are just too far from my house and I'd have to take a day off from work to go there.
    You can also check to see if you have any local BMW/MINI specialists in your area, since you are out of warranty anyway. Once I'm out of warranty I never go to the dealer.
    I hope it works out for you.
  • Thanks. I agree. I plan on contacting the BBB, however, trying to avoid racking up legal fees if possible. Last resort will likely be small claims court. Sad that it has to come to this.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Thanks. I agree. I plan on contacting the BBB, however, trying to avoid racking up legal fees if possible. Last resort will likely be small claims court. Sad that it has to come to this.

    I had to threaten a dealer who was in the process of ripping me off and one phone call from him and apparently he quoted the law to them and all of a sudden the Owner of the dealership not the SM, or the GM became very helpful, not friendly but helpful, no court required.
    Lawyers for all we bash them do know the laws. Phone call cost me $50. The problem was solved. If you do have to go to court it's expensive and in my State lawyers are not allowed in small claims court.
    I hope you get some satisfaction, if you were able to get a jury they will be very sympathetic to you since most have had trouble with car dealers at one time or another.
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