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Mini Cooper: BEWARE!!!! There aren't parts ..

lilblue32lilblue32 Posts: 7
edited April 10 in MINI
I have a 4 month old Mini Cooper S convertible. It has less than 4K miles. I am the original and only owner ~ I had it made. The interior of the car suffered some water damage in early March. To date I don't have my car and the earliest estimate on delivery is END OF MAY. MINI DOESN'T HAVE/STOCK REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR THESE VEHCILES. At best, I am looking at a 3 MONTH repair ... nearly 3 times longer than it took to BUILD the entire car.
There is NO URGENCY to fix my car on ANY LEVEL. MiniUSA is TOTALLY unhelpful, my local dealership is worse.
The stress/financial burden of renting a car for an unspecified/extended period of time while Mini remanufactures parts for my brand new car is simply not worth any enjoyment I may have derived from driving it.
Without equivocation I would recommend NEVER buying one of these vehicles. It's simply not worth it.
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Comments

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    You need to calm down. I know it is frustrating but this is just something you have to deal with when you drive a relatively low production european car. All the parts are made in europe or other countries and sometimes you get back orders.

    I have run into the same problem with Range Rovers. The car ends up being down for three months because the part was just not avaliable. That particular part never broke so there were no spares in the whole country.
  • Thank you for your suggestion of another automobile on which, I will never spend money.
    This would be a TOTALLY different matter IF MiniUSA had been upfront about the challenge of getting parts for these cars while I was in the purchasing process, MiniUSA/the local dealership was willing to assist in ANY manner with transportation while I wait AND/OR I felt Mini was upfront about this challenge with prospective new buyers. You'll never see "hard to get parts for" in any mini marketing collateral small print because whether or not its TYPICAL of european made cars, its definitely NOT a compelling selling point and MiniUSA knows it. I suspect thats why Mini hasn't been particularly upfront about it when I've inquired. Knowing what I now know, I have specifically asked Mini dealerships and have been repeatedly told "NO WAY, getting parts for these cars is not a problem" That's completely untrue. I would have reconsidered the purchase if I had THOUGHT to ask the question and been told the truth while I was buying. I want people to be AWARE, because I was not. I also want people to be WARNED if they ASKED and were told no.
    Additionally, the general manager of the dealership has told me on no fewer than 4 occasions that if it were HIS Mini, the dealership would have recommended it be totaled. Since the car belongs to me, I can't even get the dealership to recommend replacing the interior parts that were submerged in water. Why would his car be treated better/differently? I'll point out, although its unlikely I have to, that if the dealership HAD recommended my car be totaled, I could have ordered, purchased and would now be driving a NEW MINI in the 8 weeks I've been waiting.
    Other people should be aware of this situation. It seems to be the position of MiniUSA to turn their backs on their cars/customers once you've handed them your money.
  • minimikeminimike Posts: 1
    Lilblue32...you're not alone as I and many others share your frustrations. While the cars are easy on the eyes and fun to drive it's BUYER BEWARE when it comes to SERVICE and PARTS. MINIUSA's CUSTOMER RELATION DEPARTMENT is a JOKE as are the UNCARING CLOWNS in MINIUSA's CORPORATE office. My best advice, NEVER BUY A MINI!
  • I too have been iged by the dealer about parts not forth coming for my repairs on a 2006.
    What's the deal with these Brit cars? They can make them but they can't fix them. Don't they no that mechanical things break and they need to replace parts or don't they care once they sell the vehicle and they have our money.
    DON'T BUY ONE UNLESS YOU HAVE SPARE!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Do we have another Jaguar on our hands from the Brits?
    Richie "C"
  • There should be a law that says "If you don't have parts to fix the ones on the road you can't sell any more".That would shut Mini down quick and stop the sales and maybe then they'll put the parts on the dealers shelves to repair the vehicles they've already sold.
    No Parts Yet!!! Dealer says 3-5 more weeks for parts to fgix my mini!!!
  • We have amigos having that same problems!!!
    What's up with that Mini?
  • carla6carla6 Posts: 8
    You have no idea how many times in the last 3 months (the length of time I have had my BRAND NEW mini S) that I have said "Thank God I kept the 1993 Civic". My mini has been in the shop 3 separate times now..it went back in this morning. They have already replaced 2 major parts. I have never in my life had so many problems with a new car that was not cheap by any means. I'm very dissappointed and concerned that this is a obvious sign of things to come. THANK GOODNESS the thing is still under warranty.
  • lilblue32lilblue32 Posts: 7
    Maintenance on and repair of these cars is a joke, at best. Recently, I've returned my car for rattles and loose & creaking convertible top. They explained the repairs were made using Anti-rattle Tape and oil. PLEASE! The employees in-dealership are condescending and evasive and the quality of the work performed to "fix" maintenance concerns could be performed by a 3 year old with Fischer Price tools.
    Everyday I see more and more Mini's on the road/around town. As long as the money is coming in, BMW will NEVER hear complaints or address them. All things I wish I had known before I had purchased. I'd never make this mistake again. Buyer beware!
  • derbygalderbygal Posts: 1
    I bought my 2002 Minicooper at 17,000 miles in 2004. I knew the Mini had a history of electrical bugs so wasn't too concerned with the 10 trips to the dealer for electrical issues prior to my ownership. However, after 30 trips to the dealer in 3 years, having to fork over the cash for a entirely new transmission and clutch AFTER the dealership warranty wore out, and having the dealership request that they didn't want the car towed there because I am never happy with their service. I am not happy with their service. The dealership continally attempts to imply that I am somehow at fault for these engineering, technical and mechanical faults in my Mini. When, after two years of continual service of my car, I asked Mini to replace it, I received a hysterical phone call from Mini in which the "customer service representative" reacted off the wall when I dared to suggest that the car may be a lemon. I also had the same experience as the previous blogger with the BMW sales director stating that if the car was a BMW instead of a Minicooper they would trade the car. How is this supposed to help me? I am still making payments for two years on a car that I have shelled out over $3,000 in cash to fix in the past two months. I have had to pay out of pocket because the Minicooper dealer is charging more than the suggested retail price to my mechanic for parts. He has also been shipped incorrect parts four times in a row while I have been forced to pay out of pocket for a rental car. Is there no recourse for this kind of incompetence?

    Everyone is washing their hands of this car - Minicooper and the dealership in Minnesota. Is there no recourse when everything falls apart on a car. Everything has been replaced at least once except the engine block - some thing s have had to be replace up to three times. Thanks, Michelle
  • lilblue32lilblue32 Posts: 7
    Knowing the level of service I've received on a brand new car I purchased from the same dealership I am taking it to for repairs, I can only imagine how one would be treated owning a second hand Mini. Its very disappointing. Mini/BMW is doing nothing to build customer loyalty or repeat business.
    Recently when in Europe I was amazed at the number of incredibly old Minis motoring all around town. Sadly, I knew my Mini will NEVER EVER be around that long. Sadder still, after the experiences I've had - I DON'T WANT IT TO BE. I'm seriously considering importing a much older model.
  • carla6carla6 Posts: 8
    I own a 2007 Cooper S that I got in April. I am currently shelling out big bucks every month for it to sit in the service shop....for the THIRD time since I got it. BIG DISSAPPOINTMENT is an understatement. After doing my research and talking with the mechanic at the shop, they are seeing a LOT of 2007s come back in with electrical problems. The kicker is they have no clue how to fix the problem(s) and he outright admitted that to me. I feel helpless in this situation and have no clue when I will get my car back. To date, it's been in the shop for a cumulative month. Has anyone successfully gotten some service out of Mini USA??????? All I have seen so far as unfortunate people in the same boat as myself and I am highly concerned about what I just bought with my money...
  • lilblue32lilblue32 Posts: 7
    Regrettably no, there is absolutely no recourse. MINI USA doesn't care at all. Every time I've called their 800# I've spoken to Mitch. Mitch will not connect you to anyone different (he says he can do whatever anyone else can to help), give you the name of anyone else to whom you can speak (he can do what anyone else can to help) nor do I believe he really even passes on concerns. Mitch is VERY effective at allowing NOTHING up the chain at MINI and doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help you out in any way.
    My AC still continues to be an issue, I have to have the absolute precisely right combination of bass/treble for my speakers to NOT rattle/hiss and my seat warmers have minds of their own. In the winter I'll appreciate this, in July in Florida, I do not.
    I'm developing a marketing campaign to help formally communicate consumer problems on these cars to the car buying public. If you'd like to contact me away from the forum to participate, please contact me at DONTBUYAMINI@aol.com.
  • carla6carla6 Posts: 8
    I will not even waste my time calling MINI USA because of all the feedback I have heard just like yours. Is this something that the Better Business Bureau would be of any help with?
  • lilblue32lilblue32 Posts: 7
    I would try anything to get some help, but it' unlikely you'll find it. I'm not sure with the rate at which they sell these cars in the states, ANYTHING will speak to them more loudly than THAT. It's a fad car that's incredibly popular. Until their sales drop because of the issues, there won't be any changes made, nor will they do anything to assist unhappy customers. It's business.
    I'm waiting delivery of "Don't Buy A Mini" shirts. If you'd like one, let me know.
  • Unfortunately, the MINI is fun to drive (at least the Cooper S) but if you have most of your driving and maintenance experience in good old American steel, these cars are proving to be quite fragile and should be driven as such. I'm a current owner and plan on keeping what I have but I'd probably not purchase another one, especially with a turbo.
    IMHO
    ;)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    My MINI service advisor is of the opinion that the new MINI will not be too problematic, due to the fact that so much of the technology is inherited from the BMW 3-series, or carried over from the old MINI. But I think he may be glossing over things since both engines are new, and the suspension is new, to say the least. Thoughts?
  • carla6carla6 Posts: 8
    I would have been surprised if he didn't gloss over things, just given that he works for the dealership. My 2007 is the first one I've owned and since I've bought it in April, I've had the fuel pump and the 'air sensor' replaced. Most recently I've had it 'reprogrammed' because the engine light wouldn't stop going on. What the mechanic on my case told me is that MINI has seen many cars coming back with electrical issues (in doing further research, MINI has a spotty reputation in the electrical area, depending on the year). It took the mechanic 2 weeks to turn my car back over to me, and that was only after I sent an email to the woman who sold it to me pleaing for help. MY ADVICE -- only by a 2007 if you have a second vehicle to drive when it's in the shop....
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "MY ADVICE -- only by a 2007 if you have a second vehicle to drive when it's in the shop...."

    That's probably very sound advice. But the new MINI (especially the S) is tempting. With the added space, features, and refinement, it is almost like BMW 3-series hatchback at a discounted price! :) But I guess I should/can wait a year or 2 for the bugs to be worked out.
  • carla6carla6 Posts: 8
    Not to play both sides of the fence, but I have the S and when it hasn't been in the shop, I have had an absolute blast with it. It is a VERY enjoyable ride, has huge personality and gets a lot of attention. That said, if I hadn't kept my '93 Civic, I would have been driving a rental for 6 weeks out of the last 4 months.
  • lilblue32lilblue32 Posts: 7
    When I bought my MINI I thought it would be a good thing that the car was made by BMW. I forgot everyone I've ever known that's owned a BMW has had a ton of trouble with them too. They've been making MINI's in the states for enough years to have already worked the bugs out. They aren't trying to. Evidenced by the way they handle the recurring problems about which current owners keep complaining. They are just making more and more MINI's because people keep buying them. The problems aren't going to get better with "refinements and added features." They are merely adding more things that WILL go wrong with these cars.
    My advice is very simply - DON'T BUY A MINI. MINI's ARE fun to drive, but they're a nightmare to own.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    They don't make MINIs in the US they make them all in Oxford, England.

    I never had any problems with my MINI and neither has the person I sold it too. Most of the people I know who have a MINI have not had any problems.

    You got a BAD car which can happen to any person with any vehicle.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I would have to agree with what british_rover said. We do own (lease actually) a '05 Cooper Base CVT. So far, aside from regular maintenance, we've only had to replace 2 burnt bulbs, an O2 sensor, and a leaky engine mount, all under warranty. And the car has not had to be kept overnight once for repairs. So, we haven't had a ton of problems with it. Maybe a bit more than with our other car, an Acura TL, but really, not that much more. But having said that, it is still probably a good idea to heed carla6's advice and avoid the first year model.
  • I am a small independent auto dealer specializing in sport and luxury cars. I have no affiliation with Mini USA or BMW. I do like the Mini Cooper very much and have acquired and sold at least 15 Mini S models in the past year or so. Because I have so many Minis I feel qualified to ad to the conversation.
    I have never had a single problem, electrical or otherwise, besides basic maintenance which for the most part has been covered under the free maintenance program. My Minis have ranged from 800 miles to 30,000 miles.
    I do not doubt that some of the writers have had problems with their Minis which is a shame. But you would think if there were significant electrical or other problems I would have encountered some of these problems with the 15+ Minis that I have driven and sold. I keep in touch with my customers and I have never heard from any of them about problems with their Minis. I currently have 5 beautiful Mini S models for sale but believe me I would not acquire any more if there were significant problems. I have found the Mini S to be a very reliable and fun car that the consumers seem to love.
  • Hi, since I read your reply here, it made me feel much better and more confident to buy MINI cooper S 2007. I just love it since I tested drive. It will be my first car so that I need to make sure it is reliable. I use for commute so that I don't have a second car.

    Since I have been into this forum, mostly I found only the problems occured with this model car. But I've hardly seen any good or support comments of owners.

    If you have any suggestion to me pls light up the way for me. I will be appreciated. If you have your own business website, pls let me know. I 'll check it out. Thank you very much.
  • There are many websites that have started up for people to express their disatisfaction with their cars and local dealerships. I have seen them for just about every car make. It doesn't matter if it is a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Mini, Toyota, Honda or all the domestic makes.
    Most of these people complaining I am sure have legitimate complaints. But I have also seen consumers have complaints that are unjustified and unreasonable. One person even wanted Mini USA to reimburse him because he wanted to take his Mini to his mechanic because he no longer trusted the Mini dealer. That is an unreasonable expectation.
    To find positive comments or reviews from the public you will have to go to websites like Edmund's and look under reviews. They usually will have a long list of positive as well as any negatives. There are other sites as well.
    My local Mini dealer is part of the local BMW dealership. They have given me excellent service. They give me a free loaner if they have to keep the car overnight and they will sometimes do the warranty service while I wait.
    I wouldn't be afraid to purchase a new '07 Mini or even a nice low mile used one. I have had great luck with all of mine and I have many happy customers. Good luck with your new Mini.
  • We have an 06 S Conv for a bit more than a year now with 7k miles. Here are some cons and pros of owning a MINI:

    Cons:

    1. When we took delivery of the car we notice the big gap between the bonnett and the main frame, then we checked out other MINIs on the lot, they are all the same. Contacted our dealership and MINIusa to see if they can adjust it. Told us we have to pay for it. I finally got mine adjusted at a local body shop.

    2. I have notice an increasing noise under the hood recently. Much lounder than our lexus and honda.

    3. The factory maintance is a bit weird, especially if you own the car and plan to keep it in a long run. Other mfg suggest the first oil change in 5k, but our local MINI dealership won't change the oil till the 'oil meter' reachs below 1k, still have 3k+ left, so that brings the first oil change at about 10k+. Not sure if it's a good way to maintain the car.

    4. Paint chips, the shape of the hood made it weak against flying rocks on the freeways. I have 2 big ones and 5 smaller chips already. Although, i tried to keep distance with the cars at the front.

    Pros:

    1. Of course, the cute looks. I bet you get more eye balls than any conv Benz or BMW in a MINI.

    2. Fun to drive, just like a little GO cart.

    3. Easy to park.

    4. Haven't test its resell value yet. But my 71 MINI is worth 2x more than I paid 5 years ago. Can't beat that. :o)
  • As far as the paint chips, did you get a clear bra put on the bonnet?? I did and hope that it makes the difference. So far so good after 5 months...I am curious if others have had good luck with the bras.
  • I bought one on ebay and it does not fit perfectly.
    Asked the local detailers, they charge about 200-300 for the job. Decided not to go for it: 1. it doesn't look too good. 2. it won't last more than a year. probably cost less to repaint the hood after couple times.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Hmm....we have not suffered any paint chip on our '05, but then we almost never drive it on the highway.

    I didn't think you can eliminate the gap between the bonnet (hood) and the fender. That's always a problem with a clamshell style of hood. IMO, the '07 is even a worse problem because the hood edge follows the curve of the wheel well opening, so you see the gap along the whole edge. Almost looks like the hood is ajar! :sick:
  • minisfminisf Posts: 2
    Well, I thought I'd post here since there are some critical comments of the MINI and prospective purchasers might see them and assume the car is not any good.

    I researched the heck out of the MINI before getting my used 2006 cabriolet [non-S] a few weeks ago. Mine has the five speed manual, cold weather package, leather interior, premium sound, silver interior package, lights package, and a host of other options.

    Yes, avoid any model older than 2005, with the CVT [or automatic transmission.]
    Based on all the negatives I saw, I decided to look for a 2005 or later, with a manual transmission.

    As timing would have it, the 2008 Consumer Reports Annual Auto issue came out just before I bought and was conducting research. The MINI did quite well in the ratings. In fact, the MINI got red donuts which means above-average in terms of reliability.

    I do recommend buying as late a model as you can afford and to get one with some manufacturer's warranty remaining [not those bogus extended warranties, but the MINI warranty.] Mine has two years and 27,000 miles left on the warranty so that is a comfort.

    This last weekend I put the car through its paces and gave it a wash and wax. Also scrubbed the interior and conditioned it.

    So far I have not found a thing wrong with it. So after 23,000 miles I can report the car appears problem free. It shifts perfect, all electronics work, the climate control works, the car runs straight, it does not rattle, etc.

    Yes, there are some cars, no matter the brand, that will malfunction or that have their share of problems, but that exists in any car. I have seen sites badmouth Honda Accords, Toyota Camrys, and Mercedes Benz.

    On my BMW 740i that I paid almost $80k for, a fuel leak developed in the engine compartment. Fuel was dripping on a hot exhaust manifold. It took two trips to the dealer to have it fixed under warranty. No, I did not think that BMWs are crap and that my experience meant BMWs should be avoided, even after my 325i needed a new radiator at a cost of $600.

    And before my BMW I had a Mercedes SL. After it ran out of warranty, that car cost me about $2500 in repairs every 8 months or so. And before that I had a Mercedes sedan that blew a turbo and also needed a new transmission.

    After my SL personally I did decide to never buy Mercedes again as I had the most trouble with that brand.

    I mention all of the above to emphasize that some people posting their negative MINI experiences does not mean that the MINI is a lemon or flawed vehicle. Here in San Francisco I see a lot of MINIs on the road and not in the shop.
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