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MINI Cooper Care & Maintenance

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  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    But when you think about it, in this age of electronic this, and electronic that, when we have cars that can park themselves for crying out loud, poking a stick in a hole to measure the oil level seems ironically primitive. And you have to meet certain conditions in order to get an accurate measurement. ie. the car has to be idle for a certain period, the car has to be sitting on level ground, etc. Just seems primitive. I don't see why all cars cannot have some sort of electronic readout gauge on the dash, similar to the gas gauge, that gives you a real-time readout of your oil level (does the LR3 have this already?). I think the move away from user-serviceable parts may have merits because I think only a small % of the driving public actually knows, or cares, enough to do proper maintenance themselves. So it could be argued that, overall, it may actually be more cost-effective to put the job in the hands of professionals.
  • stevecebustevecebu Posts: 493
    But when you think about it, in this age of electronic this, and electronic that, when we have cars that can park themselves for crying out loud, poking a stick in a hole to measure the oil level seems ironically primitive. And you have to meet certain conditions in order to get an accurate measurement. ie. the car has to be idle for a certain period, the car has to be sitting on level ground, etc. Just seems primitive. I don't see why all

    It's hardly rocket science tho. You park on level ground and shut the car off and wait a few moments and then you pull the dipstick out, wipe it off, reinsert it and then pull it out and look at it. There is a line it will either be at, above or below it.
    Quite simple really.
    Far too many people rely on gadgets which can malfunction and when they do and it's a big repair the factory is going to try and weasel out of fixing it.
    I'm in favor of making all drivers being required to actually learn how to drive before they can get a license including them changing a tire, putting in their own fuel and checking their own oil and water level with no gadgets. Oh and checking tire pressure as well.
    Plus they would have to pass real driving tests in order to pass, not just a 3 point turn and parallel park. I'd also make learning a manual transmission a requirement.
    I know this could never happen but I would do it if it were possible. Too many young drivers have no clue how to drive a car they just use it as though they lived inside a giant speaker box. When they push it they stuff it into a tree.
    But to stay on topic The Mini doesn't do anything but have RFT's at this time so it's good. ;)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "It's hardly rocket science tho. You park on level ground and shut the car off and wait a few moments and then you pull the dipstick out, wipe it off, reinsert it and then pull it out and look at it. There is a line it will either be at, above or below it.
    Quite simple really.
    "

    True enough. But, let's say, hypothetically, you also have to go thru a similar procedure to see how much gas you have left in the tank, would you feel the same way? ;)
  • stevecebustevecebu Posts: 493
    True enough. But, let's say, hypothetically, you also have to go thru a similar procedure to see how much gas you have left in the tank, would you feel the same way?

    Well for starters you use Gas up, Oil in general should not be used up. Yes a little bit burns up sometimes on some cars, but it's not a constantly refillable aspect of your car and If you fill up you car with too much ga$, then you will just pay more. If you put too much oil in your car you will damage the seals and gaskets and have real problems. So hypothetically it's not comparable.
    Oh and in case you want to hypothetically make it the differential fluid or the tranny fluid then. The rear diff has a plug, take it out and insert your finger. No oil, problem! overfill it and it will pour on the ground. The tranny fluid has a dipstick and probably always will, but is less likely to have problems than engine oil.
    So arguing for a completely computerized car it should be one that requires zero lubrication. Maybe sealed electric motors or something. although those would take a beating in the snowbelt.
    BMW has already had problems with oil issues and they are well documented in that forum.
    Mini has other issues but at least it still has all the bits that matter.
    Funny thing tho that no one rallys the new Mini and yet the original Mini was a real champ at Rally's. I wonder why that is?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "Funny thing tho that no one rallys the new Mini and yet the original Mini was a real champ at Rally's. I wonder why that is?"

    Because everyone is still rallying the old MINI? The new MINI doesn't offer a significant power advantage but is less visceral than the old MINI.
  • stevecebustevecebu Posts: 493
    Because everyone is still rallying the old MINI? The new MINI doesn't offer a significant power advantage but is less visceral than the old MINI.

    Could be except parts are a nightmare to get and the old mini's are plagued by electrical gremlins. I even hear the original mini owners making mini jokes about their cars. They sure love them tho.
    I still wonder if the New Mini would be good to Rally tho?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "I still wonder if the New Mini would be good to Rally tho?"

    I would think so, since the New MINI hasn't really strayed too far from the old blueprint.
  • Maybe in a FWD rally class. Eaten alive in an open class.
  • stevecebustevecebu Posts: 493
    Maybe in a FWD rally class. Eaten alive in an open class.

    I spoke with the RallyX people and read up on the results, no one is using a Mini except for AutoX.
    Tons of Subaru's tho.
    They divide it into classes like FWD, RWD etc...
    So you aren't going to put up your FWD anything versus a tricked out EVO Rally car.
    The Mini just isn't rallied any more.
    That's ok tho. I was just curious.
    Thanks
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Well open class monsters have so much power that they have to be AWD to handle it.

    The limiting factor in rally is traction but I think a MINI would do well in the old group 3 SCCA rally class. With the collapse of the SCCA rally though I don't know all the rules and regulations anymore.

    Keep in mind that Dodge dominated the old group 3 class with the FWD only SRT-4 Neons.

    I have thought about campaigning a stripped Cooper S with the quafie in the FWD rally class. Its gotta be a stripped model though to reduce weight a minimum and sealing up that enormous panoramic sunroof would be a PITA.
  • stevecebustevecebu Posts: 493
    I have thought about campaigning a stripped Cooper S with the quafie in the FWD rally class. Its gotta be a stripped model though to reduce weight a minimum and sealing up that enormous panoramic sunroof would be a PITA.

    I asked about the RallyX rules and downloaded them. I think you could campaign a '69 Dodge dart with a straight 6 and do pretty well. ;)
    Rally is now separate from RallyX. For me I'd go with RallyX but no Mini's run in it in that region. I should check nationally and see if any run. But the MazdaSpeed 3 is a real monster so maybe that will dominate the FWD category?
    I'll keep my eyes open to see what's going on.
  • That's absolutely what you get when you use the highest octane gas in a MINI Cooper S. When I took mine to my MINI dealer to have that symptom fixed, they couldn't find anything wrong and told me to never use anything higher than 89 octane. I was skeptical indeed! But I refilled the tank with 89, and the symptom went away. The time my boyfriend borrowed the car and did me the favor of splurging on the "best" gas, the symptom came back. When that tank of gas was used up and I went back to 89 octane, the syptom went away.
  • I use premium gas in a 2003 Cooper and was told to use that or I would sputter and jerk, so I always have....do I really need it ? Its $3.16 here in the OC right now
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I've tried both mid-grade and premium, and I can't say I've noticed any long-term difference --- our Cooper Base with the CVT remains temperamental and herky jerky, albeit only at low speed! What did appear to help was a tranny flush, but the jerkiness does eventually come back, and I can't afford to, nor would I want to, treat it with regular tranny flushes.
  • I wonder if it would ruin anything if I tried the 89, I would hate to have problems after that..the dealer told me to use premium :confuse:
  • Hi,
    Looking for thoughts on the MINI/BMW Maintenance (Service) Extended coverage. Here's the deal: Husband purchased dream 2007 MINI Cooper S less than 48 hours ago. He agreed and signed the program upgrade agreement at cost of $1795. It is listed as "OPTIONAL" in the actual PURCHASE AGREEMENT. After he shows me....I start to wonder, "Is this really a 'good deal'? Is this 'even money' as I'm sure he'll want service at authorized MINI dealership only?" Then I think, let me check it out before we commit....but when we call dealership, they say it's "too late"....contract has been turned into BMW and we agreed to it and it's a done deal. My financing credit union says NO! It's "optional" and they can just NOT pay it. Dealer then says, "Yeah, but you'll owe us $1795". What happened to "buyer's remorse" laws? Don't I have like 72 hours to revoke an agreement like this?

    AND, when all is said and done, are we being ripped off....or is this TRULY an "Even money" good deal? I just wanted a little more time to explore....I don't have long though. I would appreciate thoughts from people that know....thus I appreciate all help you can provide! Car will be driven AT LEAST 20K (probably more like 25K) a year in non-extreme (well, HOT) weather conditions. Many freeway miles as well.

    As for bumper-to-bumper warranty extension, credit union beat BMW/MINI by $1500 and so will go with their coverage. 72/100K with $200 deductible at $831/year. Thoughts on this as well are appreciated!
  • Need a good mechanic in the Boston area........west of Boston is ok too. I love my mini! Thanks!

    P.S. I got a large amount of Stree tar on the side doors and found a great body work person to remove it in an hour for a reasonable fee. Let me know if you need address/name....he is in Needham Mass.
  • The extended maintenance service program agreement is a pretty good deal, and it is sold by BMW Mini. BMW MINI charges the dealerships $1195 for this package and recommends that they sell it at a $1395 retail price - anything above $1195 is dealership profit. Around the country, prices range from $1395 to $2195 depending on the dealership. All dealerships will negotiate the price on this package. That being said, considering that you and your husband will be driving the car pretty consistently, and this maintenance package pays for all "normal " maintenance for 6 years/100,000 mi, including brake pads/rotors, oil changes, service inspections, clutch, etc (all the stuff included in your original 3 year/36000mi maintenance coverage), it is worth the price. Keep in mind that this is separate from a warranty. Currently those are all 3rd-party, and you have to be very careful, as these "warranties " tend to have exclusion lists that are much longer than the lists of what is covered. Read carefully. You should have a 72 hour/ 3 day right to cancel, but it sounds like you have gone past that anyhow - but I think your husband did OK.
  • ticatica Posts: 64
    I'm leasing a 2007 Mini Cooper basic. I've had it 6 1/2 months and I'm just about to hit 5000 miles

    I thought I was supposed to change the oil at 5000 miles, maybe I read that somewhere.

    But I called the dealer and they said I'm not due for service yet. , what am I supposed to do? I can't find anything in the manual or lease form that gives me specifics.

    Is there anything I need to do before lease return date in May?

    thanks
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "...lease return date in May"

    You're on a 12-month lease? :confuse:
  • Many/most serious BMW Club car owners believe that car mfgrs who now offer "free" maintenance miraculously now also believe that delaying oil changes beyond "old-school" 3000-5000 mile intervals is OK (because now THEY have to pay for it). Even with new technology and superior synthetic oils (which can go beyound 5000 miles between changes).

    Car "fanatics" that want to keep their cars for a long time and in peak condition usually change oil more frequently than these new extended recommendations - it's cheap insurance to keep a car running beyond 75,000 miles. That said, the car certainly won't fail during the time you have it on lease, and even so, it's on warranty. Less frequent oil changes are the "next owner's problem".

    Some more "weasle words" - If you drive in hot climates, do more stop-and-go, drive hard, then oil should be changes more often. If it's a freeway cruiser in temperate climates, less frequent. If you use synthetic oil - less frequent. If "normal" oil, more frequent.

    Last "split the baby" - some people change the oil more frequently but change the oil filter every other time to save a little money and/or it is easier to change oil youself without changing the filter.

    More than you wanted to know . . .
  • ticatica Posts: 64
    thank you so much, actually that's exactly what I wanted to know. I"d read about the 5000 mile oil change somewhere and then was confused when the Mini people said no...but this is the thing, I live in NYC, so lots of stop start stuff. I definitely have no idea how to change my own oil. How much does it cost? i'm not sure if I'm buying this car after my lease is up (I will if they lower the price, otherwise I might just buy a 2008 with fewer options--so around the same price as buyingm y current at residual-- and get a new car and new year on the warrantly)

    but on the chance I do buy this one, I certainly would want to have done right by the oil! And so you're saying, I could change the whole oil and/or change the filter (whatever that is), how much can I expect to pay for these things, and, when it's time for my official Mini maintenance check will they hold it against me that I did these things? (you know some of this warrantly stuff says you are not supposed to do things on your own or somesuch)

    thanks for the very helpful information.
  • BMW-MINI dealer told me that the new MINI Cooper based on the 15K miles service or ones per year. Is it right or wrong? It's very hard to believe, but I could not verify this statement in the owners manual yet, because just a week ago placed order for '08 MINI basic model (automatic with a couple optional packages). It should be ready for delivery in the second part of January, 2008. Also, is the MINI comes with the tinted glass? :confuse:
  • You should just call around and get quotes for oil change pricing, and compare with an official Mini Dealer quote. People might look at you funny if you talk about changing the oil without changing the filter. This is definitely more a do-it-yourself, "penny-pinching" approach, but hey, I haven't found the money tree yet. BUT, if BMW/Mini say that oil filters are good for 10K or 15K, why change it at 5K (oil, on the otherhand, does break down, which is why we're discussing more frequent oil changes). As far a warranty, you should ask Mini. I don;t see how they could hold doing MORE frequent oil changes (that you pay for) against you - - as long as the oil changes are done properly.

    Of note, in the "old days" (just 5 years ago), high performance BMWs used to require an early oil change after an engine break-in period (forgot how many miles it was at, might have been as low as 2500), before they recommended high speed/high performance driving of the car. That was "old-school".

    Good luck.
  • See my post #115 regarding my OPINION regarding oil changes.
  • Thanks a lot. I am commuting to work about 65 miles each way and mostly on the highway. Also, I have '08 model on order and it should be available for delivery in the end of January. This is my first experience with MINI going to be. Do you know if the standard MINI Cooper comes with the tinted glass?
  • I ordered my MCS the other day and the dealer said that the oil change was at 10,000 miles or once a year.
  • that is incredible information. thank you
  • Have a 2004 mini 70000 miles burns 1 qt of oil over interval Dealership says its "normal" no white smoke out the exhaust. I asked many certified mechanics not working for BMW. their response the interval seems much too long. I guess we will see if motors start going in these cars before the bodies??? down the road. otherwise fun car to drive and its not driven hard.
  • I have an 05 MINI Cooper Conv CVT with about 15,000 miles that I purchased new in May 2005. I have been having problems getting it to pass PA emission inspection. MINI has blamed the fact that I store it during the winter months. In Spring'06, I had it to 2 different inspection stations that were unable to get it to pass with 7000 miles on the odometer. I finally took it to MINI dealer and they were unable to pass it as well. They told me they applied for an exemption from the state since it was so new. By spring of 07 when I took it out of storage I only put on an additional 2500 miles and was exempt from the state with less than 5000 miles driven. Now I am afraid I am going to have problems again this spring (with 5500 miles driven, I am not exempt).
    Has anyone else had problems with emissions?
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