MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions



  • bfromholdbfromhold Member Posts: 38
    ericabliss1017 -

    Only the "non S" MINIs have the CVT transmission. If the 2004 MINI that you're considering buying is a MINI (not an S), it most likely has the CVT. I have an '06 MINI Cooper S and it has a 6-spd automatic transmission, but it is NOT the CVT.

    Also, after I used up my stock runflat tires, I went to non-runflats. I carry a fix-a-flat and a compact portable air compressor in the boot (trunk). So far, I've not had to change any flat tires the past three years. Oh, and MINIs (non S) have a spare so there's no worry about having to buy runflats. The "S" doesn't have room for a spare underneath because of the dual exhaust whereas the "non S" carries it there. Runflats sell for $164 or less at Discount Tire and other comparable tire stores. Here's an example of runflats for sale: Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31 Run Flat, 195/55R-16 87V XL RF and they can be found by this link: d=16&rc=WASINT&cs=195&dVeh=dVeh&tc=KUMHF2&yr=2004&pc=33729&cf=false&vid=007436&s- w=false
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    for all the good information. I had no idea the "S" models didn't have the CVT transmission. Of course, when I bought my non-S model, I had no idea there were transmission issues at all! My non-S 2004 does not have a spare or room for one. Your idea of carrying a compressor and running with regular tires makes sense. I did purchase new run flats at a discount tire place for considerably less than the manufacturer's issue. However, they were still very, very expensive when compared to regular tires. I've dealt with this same tire store before and have had wonderful luck with their tire maintenance, etc. So....I feel safe for the life of my far as the tires go. Wish I felt the same way about my NEW CVT transmission! Grrrrrrr!
  • jeffshaw1jeffshaw1 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 Mini S. with 101,000 miles. The clutch is getting pretty stiff and likely needs to be replaced. The car is in prime condition inside and out. No dings or dents. I love the car in spite of the high costs associated with maintaining this vehicle. Should I replace the clutch ($1700 or so?) given so much discussion about transmission failure? As for the transmission failures, are there early warning signs of impending failure or is it an immediate onset that can't be predicted?

    Thank for the advice.
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    ease your transmission fears. Sounds as though you have a manual transmission. As far as I know, the transmission problems seem to exist soley with the basic Mini models and only with those which have automatic transmissions. Not 100% positive about this. Also heard that the S models do not have the same kind of transmissions the automatic models do. No transmission problems with the "S"s. My transmission problem (2004 automatic/basic MINI) gave me absolutely no warning. One minute everything was normal; the next everything was DEAD.....and this was in midstream.....going down my street. Now that I have a new transmission, I'm hoping things stay calm for awhile. Good luck!~
  • marcusian01marcusian01 Member Posts: 3
    well i have a 2003 mini and i just replace the clucth on it . i only haved 67000 on it.warranty didnt cover it ,cuz it was ware and cust me like 1,200.just to replace. parts and labor.$80 an hour.the clutch didnt give any signs. just stop working ,no gear would go in.and it smell like burned plastic and it squiled like a it was rubbing against sumthing.i like my mini but my wife tell me to trade it in.i dont want to. i like when people do the double take to look at my car..hopefully i helped u on ur mini has 78,000 right now. ;)
  • jeffshaw1jeffshaw1 Member Posts: 3
    I am on my fourth set of tires. My first set, runflats, lasted just 10,000 miles. I replaced these with non-runflats. I now have 101,000 miles on my Mini S (2003) and have never had a flat while on the road or otherwise. Something to consider: runflats can not be repaired. Since this is the case, being towed resulting from, or arriving at a station with a flat, it's likely you will have to wait until the service station or whatever can get you a replacement tire. If you have a non-runflat tire with a flat, it may be able to be plugged and you are on the road in no time. However, if you have runflats, you will have to wait until the correct size tire can be located, sent to the service station, and then put on your car. This could be overnight or longer. The high cost of runflats seem not to be worth the extra price and possible delay with tire repairs. I'm using Firestone tires and have been happy thus far with more than 35,000 - 40,000 miles per set.
  • jeffshaw1jeffshaw1 Member Posts: 3
    I love my Mini as well. I just hate the costly repairs. I hate car payments also, so I am deliberating and agonizing over my decision. Like you, I appreciate all of the looks my car gets when we're on the road. I love getting into it each time I drive it. I haven't ever felt this much satisfaction in a car before. Other than the power steering motor (replaced twice), breaks, both front window motors, oil pan gasket, front end bearings, and four sets of tires, I haven't had any trouble.

    What I don't need is a transmission problem. I need a new clutch, but I may sell the car rather than make this repair.
  • seve83seve83 Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a new 2008 Mini Clubman S about two weeks ago. Great car, took it on a 1500 mile trip and had no problems. Until yesterday....... When driving to work my transmission failed completely and I suddenly lost all power. It's at the dealer now and the tow driver noted that the transmission appeared to be completely gone since the wheels would not stop turning even when the car was in park. It has approximately 1800 miles on it.

    I am awaiting word from the dealer and Mini Corporate about what they are going to do to address this issue.

    Anyone else have a similar problem with an '08?
  • brinataylorbrinataylor Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Mini with over 70000 miles on it and just got the clutch replaced. Now that I got it back it's making this rattling sound when I accelerate it. Does anyone know what the problem could be?
  • marcusian01marcusian01 Member Posts: 3
    i replaced my clucth too. i had i think like 72000 on it when i got it back it made a clunkie noise when i got off on it something was rubbing. took it back and they didnt found anything with went home rotated my tires and drove it and the noise went away.i guess they didnt placed the rack-in-pinion right.and by me tighten the wheel on the air,it snaped it in place.try that it might help....i hope i been alittle help. ;)
  • georgiatgeorgiat Member Posts: 2
    We have a manual 2009 Cooper S with 20,000 miles on it. For about the last 7,000 miles it has been making a brief screeching noise - a bit like metal on metal - when the car starts off in 1st gear. We have taken it to two different Mini dealers in LA area, and both have said that they would have to open up the transmission to find the problem, which would cost $1800 if it was determined that there was abusive wear on the clutch. An 09 with only 20,000 miles having a busted clutch? The bumper to bumper warranty doesn't seem to cover anything - any problem seems to be met with a reply of "oh, that isn't included in the warranty."

    Any ideas on a fix, or anyone have a similar screeching sound with their Cooper S?
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    seems to be the MINI mantra! When I heard that about my dead transmission I stood in the showroom and let "them" have it! The showroom was full of customers, by the way. It didn't take long before I had a free loaner car and, within two days, a brand new transmission PAID FOR BY THE DEALER. Abuse????? We know who the abuser is, don't we? A young man told me yesterday he has seen me with my MINI and as a result has decided that as soon as he finished college he is going to buy one. I hated to kill his dream, but I felt I had no choice. He said he was grateful for all the info and is now going to rethink what his dream car will be.
  • ccs8cccs8c Member Posts: 3
    I just got a call from my mini dealer saying that the clutch was burnt on my 2008 mini Cooper s that I purchased brand new last July. I brought it into the dealer two weeks ago because I thought there was a transmission problem. The dealer is telling me that it's not covered at all--I raised a stink over the phone and got a call back informing me they would pay for parts and I was responsible for labor. After reading theses posts, seems like a scam! I've had an automatic since highschool, always a Honda or toyota, and never had to replace a there something special about a mini clutch? The dealer is making me into a bad driver, even mentioning that an "old lady" had to get hers replaced at 5000 miles. I'm far from a little old lady....
  • leahrocksleahrocks Member Posts: 1
    Could you send me the emails you sent Mini CS as I have a blown transmission at 79,000 and have numerous other isues with the car prior to this HUGE issue. Thank you for you help in advance.
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    I don't have copies of the e-mails. Side note: today, while stopped at a red light, my MINI just died! It gave me no advance warning and the timing seemed fine. Fortunately, it started by up on the first try. However, I am constantly worried about a repeat of my failed transmission.....even with a new one installed! This is no way to own a car.
  • stephwisdomstephwisdom Member Posts: 4
    I'm still trying to figure out how the other poster got his first clutch paid for under warranty. My clutch went out at 20k miles and they told me that it wasn't covered, because it was a wearable part that depended upon the customer's driving. I raised hell. A clutch should NOT go out at 20k, even if I were an inexperienced driver who got great pleasure out of grinding gears. I ended up paying for the thing. Now, 14k miles later, THE CLUTCH IS SLIPPING AGAIN. Can't wait to see what excuse the dealership gives me now. Anyone have any ammo I can use to pad my case? I don't want to pay for another clutch, and i don't think i should have to!

  • stephwisdomstephwisdom Member Posts: 4
    Same thing happened to me at 22k miles. Here I am at 36k and my clutch is slipping again. Just put my call into the dealership and waiting to see what they say. And yes, i had to pay for the first clutch.
  • ccs8cccs8c Member Posts: 3
    This is very disheartening. I find it unbelievable that a clutch would go out at 14,500 miles -- and that's what they are telling me. They won't cover any of it. If a Ford Mustand can make it on two clutches in 230,000 miles, a brand new mini should make one year of use and I don't care if you are the worst driver in the world! My boyfriend successfully sued Mini in 2002 and I think I'm going that route. The posts here is making me think this is a bigger problem than Mini is letting on...
  • jmac1964jmac1964 Member Posts: 1
    my 02 mini just died and it is the transmission. my mechanic is telling it will be $7000 to replace. I am just starting to come accross all the info on the net on this. wow! I had no idea this situation existed. I will call the dealer and MiniUSA Monday but does anyone have any advice? :confuse:
  • ccs8cccs8c Member Posts: 3
    I've called Mini of North America several times about my premature burnt clutch and they aren't doing anything to help out the situation.
  • ramquistramquist Member Posts: 7
    please send me your email address to [email protected] and I will send you a copy of my email chain that was successful in getting Mini to provide part if I paid labor. BTW $7k is high.
  • ramquistramquist Member Posts: 7
    send me your email address at [email protected] and I will send you my email chain.
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    For some reason your e-mail address won't work for me. Is it [email protected]?????
  • stephwisdomstephwisdom Member Posts: 4
    Well, i got a call back from the dealer regarding my clutch. To remind you, so you don't have to scroll back through posts, I have an 05. First clutch blew at 22k miles, second one blew at 34k miles. They made me pay for the first--citing that it wasn't covered by warranty, because it was a "wearable" part, due to driver habits. They tried to pull the same crap this time. I emailed mini international. They asked for my VIN number. Next thing I know, my dealership is calling me, telling me that they're paying for the whole thing. However, the dealership guy's little speech was still laced with "under the table" hints--basically telling me that I blew the clutch because i'm a poor driver. I have had 6 cars in my lifetime, all have been standards, and i have NEVER blown a clutch. I love my Mini, but i can't afford to replace a clutch and flywheel every year. I'll be trading it in.
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    Wish I could find a car as small and responsive as the MINI without the MAJOR transmission/clutch problems. I've decided to hang onto my 2004 basic MINI (automatic) until I have another problem with the transmission! At that point I will dump the car for as much as I can get for it. Never, never again.....and, all those people who come up to me with envy in their eyes, leave with a whole new appreciation (or lack, thereof) for this clunker of a car!
  • malamojamalamoja Member Posts: 1
    DISGUSTED with mini. First anger and then tears. 10k got a new tranny (under warranty). didnt think twice, gave bmw the benefit of the doubt and thought it was just a mistake. one in a million. now at 75k need a new tranny. not to mention ive had 2 dead batteries. and when i mean dead - i mean they couldnt even jump it regularly. the two truck had to use some super jumpers.

    now i dont know what to do. i love the car but it will be just a pit of money. do i get a lawyer involved what. so confused and so lost

    03 mini CVT
  • krosshairskrosshairs Member Posts: 1
    New to site hi all, just bought used mini 02 s with 70000 miles and clutch feels a little weird like kinda catch type grind type of deal with the pedal but seems to shift ok. I started reading on here and now im kinda worried about transmission issues.I carfaxed it and no transmission issues even willing to go w lighter flywheel and a clutch upgrade, or even try the extended warranty thing u see on tv all the time any advice is welcome. thanks p.s its a 6 speed does it hv the problems of a 5 speed or do all the tannys have issues?
  • puffin1puffin1 Member Posts: 276
    Mini never solved their tranny problems untill 06. mini owners formed a class action suit against BMW. You can go to Mini transmission forums of old and read alot of horror stories.
    However, like I said there are not many complaints from 06.
    I dump your car as it is a money pit.I wouldn't own one below an 06.
    The Fiesta is coming to compete with the Mini for alot less. The Titanium Ford mini outsells the Mini in Europe. I ' not a ford person but it's the rage now.
  • boxingdayboxingday Member Posts: 9
    I Bought a 2006 Mini Copper S 4 months ago because it only had 16000 miles on it and the factory warranty still had lots of time left. Now 3000 miles later the clutch goes out. Now keep in mind that I am from Europe where we drive nothing but stick shift.
    The SF Mini people are telling me that the warranty will not cover this as I dig a little deeper i find out that this is the third time that this has happen!!! The previous owner lost their clutch at 8000 miles and then again at 11000mile......what does this tell us. Now I also have a friend that works with BMW as a car mechanic and he tells me that the clutch is a weak component with Mini. I am waiting to see a Mini Rep from Northern Ca ....any ideas out there?
  • boxingdayboxingday Member Posts: 9
    This is most deffinitly a problem with Mini....I wish there was a way that all of us could get together and write a pertition to Mini ....there is power in numbers!
    MY mini is about to be on its third clutch and not even on 20000 miles. This is beyond the word..rediculas.
  • stephwisdomstephwisdom Member Posts: 4
    When my Mini clutch (2005) went out at 24000 miles, I paid for it. When it went out again, 14k miles later, I did not. I emailed Mini International and let them know of my issues. They called the dealership, and my next clutch was paid for. That same week, I traded in my Mini for a Mercedes. I LOVED my Mini. LOVED it. However, I can't fathom dropping $2400 every year to get a new clutch, all the while, having the dealership tell me "it's the way you drive."
  • boxingdayboxingday Member Posts: 9
    Do you still the the link to Mini international? I too will try that route and see if they give me any Joy...You are right about Mini blaming in on the way you drive. We only put 3000 miles on this car since we bought it 4 months ago. I will be pushing this in a big way....thanks for the info
  • boxingdayboxingday Member Posts: 9
    Hi Karen,

    Are you still dealing with your law suit?
    Please let me know whats going email is [email protected]
  • boxingdayboxingday Member Posts: 9
    Just an update to all you Mini people out there in a world of dismay....
    I just met with the Service manager of SF Mini and with the Mini Rep for northern Cal.
    After a not so well presented repertoire from the Rep explaining how the problem with the clutch was not a manufactures issue I proceeded to re-educate this man on the fact that any clutch that can't last past 10,000 miles is ridiculous regardless of how bad a persons driving is. This clutch has been replace at 8000 miles and then again at 11000 and now with a new European driver (for the last 3000 miles) that has driven only stick shift for 26 years. I did a lot of research here on this site and found out about a class action law suit .......(I need more info)...Anyway I told these guys that I was not paying their estimate of $3600 plus tax......They had the car taken apart..without my permission....They had to replace either with the broken parts or new ones???? I offer to pay for the new parts!!!
    We had a DEAL.....$1300 for me ....way less than $4000. I also told them that I am selling the car ASAP. Its lots of fun to drive but this will happen again and again.$$$$$$
    Good Luck People.
  • reminthornreminthorn Member Posts: 6
    We have a 2008 Mini S with 17,000 miles on it. Mini replaced the clutch at 6,490 miles and again at 14,438 miles. They obviously are having clutch problems whether they admit it or not! It's either a bad design or bad manufacturing of the clutch components.
  • puffin1puffin1 Member Posts: 276
    you are the only person on here with brains.
    Coopers have always had problems with their clutches and trannies. Plus the Brits can't build cars.
    People think they are cute or you get alot for your money. You have to have deep pockets . People buy them ,then write glowing reviews after 100 mile up to 5k. Then the clutch goes and they get on here for help. Mini has the worse realiability . VW is now better rated than the Mini,and thats sayin' something.
    Mini buyers not all do not do their homework. :shades:
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    I get that some people are having problems with their cluthces and part of it is probably because their is a bad batch of clutches out there. I think another part of it is people don't know how to drive and/or the MINI is heavily autocrossed.

    My 2004 is still on the original clutch at close to 60,000 miles and neither myself nor the person I sold it to have ever had a problem with it.

    That car saw some hard driving too during some autocrossing and a more then a couple of burnouts.
  • drea111drea111 Member Posts: 5
    My Mini is in need of major repair. I drove the car 15,000.

    The estimated cost of repairs is $6,600 for the following:
    tire arms
    tire bolts
    and more

    I bought the car, a 2004 Mini Copper S at a dealership. The car was Certified Pre-Owned and I paid for an extended warranty as well. I thought that I had covered my bases with warranties, inspections, certifications, & the added assurance of a reputable dealership. For me, buying a Mini meant that I was getting value, quality, and fun.

    Unfortunately, my experience indicates something different...

    Day 1 : I park the car in the garage and find that the bumper is two-toned, almost orange and yellow. It looks like someone used a home air brush kit. The bumper issue was not visible in the bright day light. Awesome.

    Day 256: I hear a squeaking sound in the tire well. The tensioner, crankshaft pulley/ bolt are replaced. They also change the oil. Thanks goodness it's covered.

    But why another issue?

    Day 500 (+/-): Checkout Mini Cooper Soap Box for more details & video.

    I really want resolution to this issue. Does anyone have advice?
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    I also purchased a 2004 Mini (basic,not S) as a certified pre-owned car from a Mini dealer. When I got it home I noticed the windshield was terribly pitted and the driver's seat was really "broken down" in a way which was very uncomfortable for me. The dealership replaced the windshield and the seat without so much as a "squeak". The warranty paid for all of it. It had about 44,000 miles on it. Within months, the transmission "died". The dealership tried to tell me it wasn't covered. In fact, the gal who sold me the car was the one telling me I would have to pay for the replacement of the transmission. I strongly reminded her I has voiced my concern about the high mileage when I purchased the car FROM HER and SHE had told me not to worry because it was covered as a certified pre-owned car by MINI up to 100,000 miles or 6 years. I said this in front of many shoppers in the middle of the showroom. Needless to say, they replaced the transmission at their cost. I didn't have to pay a dime. They even gave me a loaner for three days. Good luck!
  • drea111drea111 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks CeeeeeCeeee!

    I will give your suggestion a try.
  • howerhower Member Posts: 2
    Its a shame my 2003 MINI has 42k miles on it and the transmission has failed. They want 6 grand to fix it, this is low mileage for a transmission failure, am I the only one?
  • ramquistramquist Member Posts: 7
    I need your email to send you my correspondence that succeeded in getting the part paid for by Mini
  • drea111drea111 Member Posts: 5 sounds like my situation.

    have you had your car repaired yet?

    If not, it is probably worth talking with the dealership about the repairs & cost especially if you have had all of your previous work done by the dealership. Check out the comments by Ceee Ceee in the previous thread.

    Unfortunately, sometimes you have to be the super squeaky wheel.
  • howerhower Member Posts: 2
    I called MINI international, let them know of the bad tranny diagnosis from the BMW shop, they had me tow it to the dealership and now the dealership is saying its just the front axles. They also said they wont know for sure until the axles are replaced because the sounds cannot be separated since the tranny is connected to the axles. Wish me luck.
    PS. I had most of my service at MINI but the closest dealer was over 50 miles away, so I had oil changes done at a BMW service shop closer to home.
    Thanks for the response, is your MINI fixed now?
  • wongkidwongkid Member Posts: 23
    2003 "S" - My seat belt airbag idiot light comes on and stays on. Two Mini mechanics told me it's a faulty electrical plug under the seat(s) that jiggles loose and the computer reads it as a airbag fault and lights up the warning light. The mechanics simply reset the computer and the light goes out until the next "jiggle". Good news: it is not an airbag problem. One recommended either replacing the plug(s) or splicing the wires together to prevent reoccurence. Has anyone ever had this same problem and what was your solution?
  • wongkidwongkid Member Posts: 23
    Old news, but pls see today's post on the airbag light. Did you ever find a solution?
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    My late husband had a very expensive Mercedes and the "Service Engine" light would not stay off! He decided that after numerous attempts to have the dealership's mechanics take care of the problem, without success, he would take care of the problem himself. He taped a small, circular bandaid over the light. By the way, he was a physician. Best wishes!
  • drea111drea111 Member Posts: 5
    Wowser- good to hear that things are working out for you.

    Yup, my car has been fixed.

    I took it to a third party and learned mid-repair stream that MINI Corp. was willing to help/assist with the cost. OUCH, it was too late!

    In any event, I am now trying to get a good trade-in. If you have any ideas or tips please let me know as I am encountering some friction from the dealership.

    Well, I am off to work on my "MINI Cooper Happy Endings" trade-in campaign.

    Thanks and special thanks to "ramquist" for the great advice.

  • 00m5800m58 Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 05 Mini Cooper with a 5-speed manual transmission with 37,000 miles from a private party few months ago.
    I have driven only 600 miles so far, but lately I have started to hear a clattering sound from the clutch/flywheel? when the car is at stop with the gear in neutral.
    Can anyone tell me if this is something that may be related to all the clutch problems posted in this forum and should be looked at immediately by a mechanic?
    And would you recommend to take it to a dealer or private repair shop?

  • cgoldsteincgoldstein Member Posts: 1
    Would you mind helping me out too? My manual transmission failed at 65K miles.Neither the dealer NOR the corporate office would do anything for $3K and 6wks later......I had the tranny replaced by my own mechanic, who got a used tranny out of salvaged cooper. I am taking BMW to small claims court in 3 days to ask for compensation. My tranny had a metal bearing that shredded the interior of my transmission, resulting in my car completely locking up on me. Thank God I was not going high speed or could have been seriously hurt.
    I would greatly appreciate your help.

    [email protected]
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