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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions

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  • Did you have to replace your Mini transmission? Our transmission went today and the quote to repair it is $7,200. We only have $58,000 miles on the car. The Mini dealer won't cover the cost. Any ideas?
  • I had 57000 when we replaced ours. It cost us $7000, and we went with a local mechanic. I am collecting names for a class action lawsuit. Please send me an email at no2@numba-tu.com if you are interested. Please be reminded that it might take a while since we needs lots of names for a class action.

    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/

    I have also made a complaint to the consumer report people. Search Consumer report on Google to get to their website.

    I hope that helps!
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Did you have to replace your Mini transmission? Our transmission went today and the quote to repair it is $7,200. We only have $58,000 miles on the car. The Mini dealer won't cover the cost. Any ideas?

    Steve Cebu is a friend of mine. We used to work together and he's currently working out of the country. He's coming back in a few months but I can assure you he has never owned a Mini. He was talking about his Miata that he bought down in Danvers Mass.
    They really tried to screw him on a P&S.
    However he's had a lot of dealings with dealers, more than I have but I believe that the dealership has to honor their warranty except where they can prove abuse and that the clutch except for the extended maintainance contract is not covered. The entire transmision is another matter.
    Your best bet is to call up a lawyer as $7K sounds more than small claims court and have the lawyer talk with the dealership after all peaceful options have been exhausted.
    If there is a class action lawsuit then by all means sign up for it but your best bet is to let a lawyer experienced with such things call the dealer.
    Forum advice is a good thing but for something like this, professional legal advice is best.
    if I were going to buy a Mini I would opt for the extended maintanance contract but no idea if that would cover the tranny letting go at only 58K miles.
  • Is your MINI an S? I've heard only the non-super charged MINIs have the CVT automatic transmission.

    So far I have 18,000 miles on my 2006 MCS and all is well.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Is your MINI an S? I've heard only the non-super charged MINIs have the CVT automatic transmission.
    So far I have 18,000 miles on my 2006 MCS and all is well.

    It was bluetks that has the transmission problem not me, thankfully.
  • Hi I have 2003 Mini cooper 2 dautomatic transmission won't shift
    my mini start's but won't shift or move in any geras please help any idea
  • I had the same experience at 57000 miles. Dealer won't cover cost and quoted me $8K to replace the transmission. I went with my own mechanics because through all the work they have done with my car, I really have no reason to trust that they will do a good job fixing my transmission. It cost me $7K in the end. I am gathering names of people who are interested in a Class Action law suit against MINI USA and / or sharing our stories with a news channel. If you are interested, please write me at no2@numba-tu.com. Thanks!

    Winnie
  • Is your MINI an S? I've heard only the non-super charged MINIs have the CVT automatic transmission. Can anyone verify this? :confuse:

    So far I have 19,000 miles on my 2006 MCS and all is well. :D
  • morinamorina Posts: 3
    I got a quote from tansmission expert her in seattle for only $2195 +tax with 3 yeas warranty or 36000 miles i think this is a good deal so how come all you guys got charged 7 to 8 k
  • morinamorina Posts: 3
    No my mini is not S
  • winniepwinniep Posts: 18
    I don't know why it is so expensive in CA. My mechanic tried to find a working one possible from car wrecks, but no luck. I had to get a brand new one. With labor, it added up to $7K.
  • Hi Morina ~

    I live in the Seattle area also. Did you have to get the transmission rebuilt on your Mini or did you just stop in for a quote out of curiosity of how much it would cost? Is your MINI an S or non S? Did you actually get it done for only $2,195? Which transmission business? PM me if it's not allowed to post businesses on this forum as I'm curious.

    So far, I've almost got 20,000 miles on my Mini Cooper S with no problems. From what I understand, it's only the non S Mini that has the problem with the transmission because it's the CVT. The Mini Cooper S apparently has a different automatic transmission.

    Sorry to hear those who have had problems with their transmissions. I believe MINI should have to recall the ones that have had transmission failures. I would hope that a transmission would at least last 100,000 miles. If it fails before then, it should be replaced under warranty considering how much they cost.

    Here's wishing you all a happier year in 2008...
    :D

    BTW, I had a 2001 Honda Civic with an automatic transmission that failed at just 67,000 miles. It was just past the warranty, and the Honda dealer would not fix it. I ended up having to pay $2,500 to replace it. :cry:
  • My transmission went at 55,000 miles and I would be interested in joining you for a class action suit.

    Cordially,

    James F. Scorzellli
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,877
    The forums cannot be used to organize class action suits.

    A better way to get your message out would be to start a blog on your CarSpace page as the search engines will pick up on it that way.

    Setting up your CarSpace page is a snap, but if you haven't done so yet and have any questions, please feel free to click on my username and send me an email and I'll be happy to help you out.

    Your CarSpace page can be reached by clicking the My CarSpace link near the top left of every forums page. To see the kind of things you can do with you CarSpace page feel free to poke around mine at: www.carspace.com/pf_flyer

    Between the blog and being able to post photos and videos to your page, you'll be able to make a much better presentation of the problems you're having.

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

  • curious..... what did it cost you?
  • Mini quoted me $8000 (not sure if that's with labor or not), so I went to my own mechanic and he charged me $7000ish. Still, it was a lot of money for something totally unexpected.
  • Sorry about that. I will look into setting up a CarSPace page this weekend or next week when I have a little more time. Thank you.
  • We are not allowed to do this on the forum. Please write me directly at no2@numba-tu.com and we can converse. I will also try to put up a CarSpace page so we can blog there at a later time. Thanks!
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    What kind of a warranty comes with a mini? After reading all these $7k repair bills,who would buy one?
    Who, builds it VW,or BMW? Sounds like the Brits,or VW, and you people bought them because they're cute. :confuse:
  • Hi..... BMW makes them which is why when researching the car I spent more time looking at the price points rather than product issues assuming it was already the "ultimate driving machine". :lemon:
  • I purchased my Mini in July, 2002. It has been my favorite car... until recent potentially expensive repairs that in my opinion should not be happening.

    -I did experience the fan replacement problem- 58,000 miles. The fan motor would not quit running after turning off the engine. Expensive to replace.
    -The clutch was warranted at 21,000 miles.
    -62,000 miles - expensive wiper motor replacement - $855.00.
    -Transmission started getting hard to shift into reverse around 35,000 miles. I was told this was inherent to this transmission... 5-speed.
    -60,000 miles the transmission started making a growling bearing noise. It has been getting steadily worse with a bump / hitch at the top of the pedal. During service, the mechanic reported internal damage to the transmission. I continue to drive the car. The transmission shifts fine. Bearing noise drops off in 4th and 5th gear.
    The service writer said the repair would be $3000 - the figure in other posts. I did ask if that included labor. Has anyone replaced a 5-speed transmission with success and what were the costs? I am getting information to decide if the car is worth repairing or taking a beating and unloading it. I have located used transmissions... worry that they may have the same problem.

    -Has anyone had any success appealing this type of major repair or other transmission failures to MINI? I intend to try that road but would be interested if anyone has gotten a response from the factory reporting issues that should not be happening to these cars.

    Love my car. Hate that this is happening.

    Tom
  • Hi Tom,

    It's almost like going through a miserable divorce. I loved my mini too.... but now i can hardly stand to look at it. My automatic transmission failed at 77k miles. It is a 2003 cooper. I bought it less than a year ago as a certified car from a dealer.

    BMW in Calabasas, CA was the only semi local dealer that would even look at it. They wanted $8k to replace the tranny and I screamed so eventually they got back to me with an offer of -- I pay 1k and they pick up the $7k. They replaced the transmission with another CVT tranny and would not provide a warranty for it. Not to mention they kept my car for over 3 weeks. I've had to rent a car during the entire time. They may pick up some of the rental costs -- I am still pursuing it.

    Anyway, I am no longer in love. I still owe $16k. I am afraid to drive it and all I hear from forums and blogs is that these cars are a money pit. I tried to trade it in with a dealer but they would only give me $10k for it.

    I've decided to join a class action suit since it's my belief that it's truly a lemon. And guess what ..... it's yellow :lemon: -- good luck.

    Karen
  • After reading these post I am reconsidering ordering a 2008 clubman s.

    I would of course get the manual tranny.

    Does anyone have any good news about reliability?

    A major consideration I am now thiking about is how far away the dealers are from my house.

    Does anyone have a recomendation on the dealers inthe boston area/

    There is the one in boston and one in RI. The north shore one is not an option.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Does anyone have any good news about reliability?
    A major consideration I am now thinking about is how far away the dealers are from my house.
    Does anyone have a reccomendation on the dealers in the boston area/
    There is the one in boston and one in RI. The north shore one is not an option.


    Hi I'm in the opposite direction as you. I'm up North but have to deal with the same dealers. Just wondering why the dealer in Peabody isn't an option? Too far?
    I called up the one in Boston Herb Chambers but driving on Storrow Drive isn't exactly my favorite thing. I'm also very concerned about the MINI and if there is a problem then I have only 2 dealers to go to as driving to RI in a broken car wouldn't be much of an option.
    MINI is a very shortsighted company in not hooking up with *ALL* BMW dealers for servicing at least. I've waffled about the MINI for a long time now but if something does go wrong and I do read about problematic MINI's, you are SOL.
    I'd be interested to know what you finally decide.
  • Yes. It is the distance to peabody. I don't want to go through boston. Getting to herb chambers is bad enough.

    You are right on about the bmw dealers. If they were smart they would have done something like toyota did with scion. They would have had a better service network and more sales outlets with a product that is in a different price range from the least expensive bmw.

    I am pretty sure I am going to end up with a clubman S with the manual transmission.

    I am a manual transmission guy anyway, but have you ever driven anything with a CVT? In a word they s*%#.
  • Hi All,

    I should have joined this forum earlier because in less than 72 hours I will be driving down to Oregon to potentially become a new owner of a use 2002 MINI with 29K miles on it. I thought it was a great price for such low mileage. However, after reading countless horror stories about tranny and mechanical problems with the MINI, I might reconsider. I am trading in my Audi A4 turbo quatro and was glad to get rid of it because of all the money i have spent on the repairs over the years (I am already used to the costly oil changes and premium gas prices). Will this be a recurring nightmare? Is there anyone out there that has had a good experience with the MINI, who only has had to take it in for routine check-ups and oil changes??
    Desperate for advice.....
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    All, I know is that I was going to go from an Acura to a Mini and since I'm in Maine summers,I would buy it in Peabody MA.
    However, I carfaxed my Types S and it showed I only took it to dealer 2x,but they would warranty it.
    Well, thats because Honda said they could service it.I didn't want to drive a hundred miles to NH,as there are no Acura dealers in Maine.
    So, I did alot of research on the Mini ,but BMW here in Maine said that I'd have to go to Boston (Peabody to purchase and for service) I have a BMW that my wife services in Maine, and she loved the idea of a Mini.
    When she was getting the Beamer serviced the mechanic told her he was putting in an air and gas filter and did she mind?
    So, to make a long story short she asked the mechanic, or service advisor about a Mini he told her to stay away from the mini as they have a higher repair rate and the cost are unbelievable. Also, the build and mechanics are worse than a VW. Also, forget about winter driving.
    Well, that's my 2 cents.We got scared and are looking at at different go carts. :lemon:
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    I am pretty sure I am going to end up with a clubman S with the manual transmission.
    I am a manual transmission guy anyway, but have you ever driven anything with a CVT? In a word they s*%#.


    Yeah it's a drive if you are south of Boston to get to Peabody. I've driven a few cars with CVT and IMO the only car I'd get with one is a Prius. The Prius is the opposite of a fun car but it does get great economy. I only own and drive manuals except for rental cars.
    I have no use for automatics, Flappy paddle shifters, or CVT's or any other name they care to use.
    Funny how BMW automatics are made by GM!
    Congrats on the Clubman S. I hope it works out for you. I'm still waffling on the Mini S.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    So, I did alot of research on the Mini ,but BMW here in Maine said that I'd have to go to Boston (Peabody to purchase and for service) I have a BMW that my wife services in Maine, and she loved the idea of a Mini.
    When she was getting the Beamer serviced the mechanic told her he was putting in an air and gas filter and did she mind?
    So, to make a long story short she asked the mechanic, or service advisor about a Mini he told her to stay away from the mini as they have a higher repair rate and the cost are unbelievable. Also, the build and mechanics are worse than a VW. Also, forget about winter driving.
    Well, that's my 2 cents. We got scared and are looking at at different go carts.


    Well BMW in a way competes with MINI but yeah from Maine it's a haul. I'm way up in NH and I see them around here but lack of dealer support isn't good when it's almost 100 miles to the dealership as it is in my case.
    MINI also seems to not want to expand the dealer network due to it's fear of flooding the market which would drive prices down due to competition.
    Me I'd rather get a Porsche but cannot justify a Cayman S. BMW is just as problematic as the dealer is in Nashua and is 2 tolls away from me. :sick:
  • Hi, Tom. I feel your pain. I purchased my Mini in 2002 as well. At 79,000 miles, I experienced what my mechanic calls a "massive internal transmission failure". I had purchased the extended warranty which ended at 50,000 miles. I approached the dealer where I had purchased the car (BMW of San Francisco) regarding my transission failure and got nowhere. I also sent an e-mail to Mini USA and was told there was nothing they could do for me. However, they did offer to talk with me about the fact that they could do nothing for me. Repair estimates have ranged from $7,500 to $14,000.

    My mechanic did some research and found that this is not an isolated problem. I was told that the parts outlet which supplies Mini parts in my area sells up to four transissions per month. It's outrageous to spend this amount of money to repair a car that is only a few years old and cost $20,000 to begin with. I love my Mini but I am very disappointed in BMW's lack of response to what is a quality control problem. So much for the "ultimate driving machine".

    Marianne
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