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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions

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  • 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.
  • 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
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