MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions



  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    While I feel your pain, the CarSpace forums cannot be used to organize legal actions and any posts trying to form class action lawsuits will have to be removed.

    Thanks for your cooperation on this!
  • makizzomakizzo Member Posts: 1
    saddened that my 2005 cvt transmission is not working above 80km/hr (in higher gears)..any suggestions?
  • jimeneivjimeneiv Member Posts: 1
    My MINI S just start having exactly the same problem you described, the clattering sound from the clutch/flywheel? when the car is at stop with the gear in neutral.

    It has been a while since you start having that issue, would you please share how did it was fixed?

  • sfbayaprilesfbayaprile Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Cooper S with just 8500 miles on it and began hearing terrible noise and soon after the clutch began slipping. In 21 years of owning manual transmissions have never replaced a clutch and was insulted when the SF Mini service guy said that they aren't responsible for how customers drive their cars (i.e. it's my fault). After reading hundreds of other stories like my own I feel less insulted but no less infuriated at the $3300 bill that awaits me to replace the clutch and flywheel on a car that has over 2yrs/40k miles still left of its warranty. I am very interested in hearing more about the above mentioned service bulletin (#210107 "the clutch and dual mas flywheel have an unfavorable tolerance."). How were you able to get them to admit this and based on this bulletin, did Mini pay for the repairs completely? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • boxingdayboxingday Member Posts: 9
    I sold the car just last week because I read so many articles on clutch problems and I knew i couldn't afford to pay for another replacement.
    Here is what I did about my clutch....I found out about all these clutch problems and printed off each one, had a meeting scheduled with the manager from SF mini and the Northern Ca Mini Rep. There I told them that Hell was going to freeze over before I was going to pay their $4200 with only 19000 miles on the car. I found out that this was going to be the 3rd clutch installed. I bought the car with 16000 miles and the previous driver lived in maybe the hills there was not the greatest place for a stick shift...still something fishy going on here. I ended up paying $1100 for the parts and they did the labor for free!
    This cars have very weak clutches.
  • bda2bda2 Member Posts: 1
    My cooper from 12/06 has had numerous transmission problems with finding a gear around 60 can not decide to up or down shift.... so the RPM just starts rise 3500 > I have had the problem on/off since I got the car in 2006 and how weird it might sound the problem often appears after a service check or a "software upgrade". So the BMW found that because of the cars ability to adapt to the driver a proff. mechanic need to do a "special" drive before handing it over. It usually works and no problem appears for periode - now its back and they are getting really tired of me and they say that everything is fine - but reading all the comments it seems that I´m heading towards a seriose problem. The car has now gone 50.000Miles
    Any suggestions on how to fix the issue that seems to come and go as it please....
  • mskdmnchrmskdmnchr Member Posts: 3
    Where are you people getting number from???? My clutch is at 108k and still going. Last service they quoted $1800, which is STILL high. I have a 2002 MINI S
    Great car, would buy another in a heat beat
  • mskdmnchrmskdmnchr Member Posts: 3
    WOW, I am shocked. I am at OVER 108,000 miles on the original clutch. It must be how one drives!!!!
  • mskdmnchrmskdmnchr Member Posts: 3
    I am at over 108,000 on first clutch
  • buddsterbuddster Member Posts: 1
    My 07s sporadically slips out of gear as it upshifts?????
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    my situation was different as is my MINI. 2004 automatic. Just died in the middle of the street. Transmission was "shot". Car had about 60K miles on it. Bought it from a dealer at 44K. After making a scene, dealer replaced the transmission free of charge. Car runs like new and now has almost 70K miles. My fingers remain crossed. Good luck!
  • jayeshpjayeshp Member Posts: 1
    Hey CeeeeCeeee,

    I have the same problem. The transmission blew away in the middle of the freeway with 80K miles on it. I got it from this dealer with 40Kmi on the car 3 years ago. Don't have any warranty left on it now. Do you think i could go ahead and make a scene and hope that the dealer can fix it? :) If yes, what/how do you tell them? I hope my ignorance doesn't bother you.

  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    My MINI had 60,000 miles on it (est.) when my transmission blew. I purchased it with 44,000 miles on it and was specifically concerned about the high mileage when I purchased it. The gal who sold it to me assured me there wouldn't be an issue because it had this 100,000 mile pre-owned MINI guarantee. She tried to backpeddle when I brought it in with the transmission problem. Guess I was lucky because I was dealing with the same person. If I were you, I'd try anything to get them to pay for the fix. So sorry you are having to go through this!
  • cbriansmith902cbriansmith902 Member Posts: 1
    I am a normal person with normal driving habits.

    I have a 2006 Cooper S, bought new. The warranty just ran out two months ago (have extended factory, but not maintenance). Last year I hired a lemon lawyer to look into filing a claim because the car had been taken to the dealership for repairs over 20 times in 3 years, many of which clutch/transmission noises, chatters, and malfunctions.

    I have driven manual cars my whole life without problem.

    Took the car in yesterday because of a chattering in the trans/clutch problem. I was just informed that they believe the clutch needs to be replaced again -- but it will require spending $1,500 first to rip apart the car to properly diagnose.

    1. Has anyone ever heard of ANY car (driven by a responsible adult) requiring 3 clutches in 30,000 miles?

    2. Has anyone ever heard of a clutch needing to be re-replaced after one year (approx 10K miles)?

    3. Rhetorical question: Has any other Mini owner had premature clutch malfunction?

    It is against my nature to threaten but I have finally reached my breaking point with Mini (it was right after the dealership hinted that this is all my fault -- abuse and hard driving.) I drive like a normal person. If you want to find something abnormal, just google "MINI" and "CLUTCH."

    I am a journalist for several national magazines. This is the first time I've ever considered playing this card, but I can guarantee Mini that if they do not provide me with a reasonable explanation/solution to this problem, I will devote the next three months of my professional career writing about what it's been like to be a Mini owner. Not exactly fascinating reading, but I will do my best, and I can guarantee a prolific output.

    I would welcome anyone else's stories/concerns/advice either here or at [email protected] regarding similar problems.

    Thanks for your time.

    C. Brian Smith
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    Sorry to hear about your problems! I have to say that after my transmission
    replacement (2004 basic MINI at about 55,000 miles)my car is running like a
    dream! It now has almost 70,000 miles total and other than the trim popping
    loose from time to time, I have no complaints at all. Wonder what is involved
    ($$$$$) in replacing those clips that are supposed to hold the trim to the body?
    Hmmmm! I can just imagine!
  • minijcwminijcw Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2010 JCW with 2500 miles. Recently it started making a clunking sound when the clutch is released on 1st gear. The Service Dept opened the clutch and said the clutch is worn with hotpots on the flywheel. They said it is likely due to "driver abuse" and I have to pay for everything.
    I live in a hilly area in the SFBay area. My daughter drives it to school and she is relatively inexperience with a manual car but I have driven with her and she does not ride the clutch or abuses the clutch. We have never been on the track.
    Overall, I have taught others to drive on a Triumph, Acura, Porsche and even a Lotus. No clutch has needed replacement till > 50K miles (Porsche)
    I am not sure what options do I have, do I have replace a clutch every 6 months? Anyone know who makes the Mini clutch?
    Thanks for any help you can give me.
  • stacielawstacielaw Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Mini Cooper S with 40k miles on it. Out of nowhere the clutch started slipping and within 10 miles the car was no longer drivable. I too had to pay nearly $4,000 for a clutch and a flywheel. They tried to blame it on my driving. I have 16 years of experience driving a stick, my last two cars went well over 100k miles before needing a clutch and 90% of the mileage on my Mini was freeway miles. Mini USA told me that NO ONE had reported any problems with clutches or transmissions so it had to be my fault.
  • 31rhodium31rhodium Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Mini Clubman S with < 40k miles. I will now have my 3rd clutch installed. The 1st one was replaced after 12k miles and they said that it was due to my abusive driving - I told them that the parts were defective and replace for free - they did and now I am at the same place again at 39k. I have owned 2 manual transmission cars in my life - one i had for nearly 7 years and everything around the car died except the clutch/transmission - what do you all think?
  • minijcwfanminijcwfan Member Posts: 1
    Hi C. Brian Smith:
    We have a 2006 Mini cooper S JCW and have just replaced second clutch. Car has a total of 20,000 miles on it. My wife drives it so gently the brake pads are virtually new!!!
    We purchased an extended maintenance agreement before the expiration of the initial maintenance agreement. Dealer covered the first clutch job before expiration of the initial agreement. Now Dealer says that the second clutch job is not covered under the extended maintenance agreement, because it had not "worn" enough, even though it failed. The symptoms of both failures were exactly the same.
    Apparently Dealer and Mini are going to reimburse me for a nominal portion of the $1800 it took to repair it. That's not good enough.

  • boxingdayboxingday Member Posts: 9
    As much as I enjoyed driving the mini, I am so glad I sold it when I did. I lost money on the resale but my clutch problems are gone! I must get at least one email a week on this same issue, Mini has a very weak clutch and just won't own up the simple fact that this should be a recall. I have a friend that works as a mechanic for BMW and Mini and he has given me the inside word....."get rid of that car or be prepared to spend money on a regular basis for the replacement of the clutch"
    Good Luck!
  • boxingdayboxingday Member Posts: 9
    This was my last reply to someone else with your similar problem......

    As much as I enjoyed driving the mini, I am so glad I sold it when I did. I lost money on the resale but my clutch problems are gone! I must get at least one email a week on this same issue, Mini has a very weak clutch and just won't own up the simple fact that this should be a recall. I have a friend that works as a mechanic for BMW and Mini and he has given me the inside word....."get rid of that car or be prepared to spend money on a regular basis for the replacement of the clutch"
    Good Luck!
  • mshawkmanmshawkman Member Posts: 10
    Hi Brian:

    I have a 2009 JCWClubman that I bought new last year. It only has 5,000 miles on it and the clutch failed this past weekend :sick: . Like you and others,I was told this happened because of the way the car was driven :mad: . I have been driving for over 40 years and ALL my cars had manual transmissions. I flipped out when I was told this. The dealer wanted to charge me $3,900.00 to replace the clutch and I flipped out double :mad: :mad: . I told him that this was a FLAWED clutch and was prepared to contact everyone I could, including the consumer advocate at my local television station. They are now replacing the clutch and only going to charge me labor (which is bad enough!) After reading all the posts on this site, I am very skeptical :confuse: about keeping this car. I belong to a MINI car club, and so far I have yet to hear of anyone else with this problem.

    It's a shame that BMW/MINI has not seen fit to recall these clutches, and have made it so difficult for us.

    Hope everything turns out okay for everyone,

  • krampuskrampus Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Mini Clubman S. My wife and I don't drive much, so it only has 12,000 miles. The clutch just went. Mini San Francisco said it is because of "clear abuse from high revving." We're middle aged and drive carefully. We've driven manual transmission cars for over 30 years and never had a problem like this.

    I complained to Mini USA. They said they'd get the bill reduced by 10%. Not great given this will be at least a $3,000 repair.

    I wish I looked into this before I bought the car. I'm not looking forward to another $3,000 repair in another 12,000 miles. I may take boxingday's advice and dump the car.
  • mshawkmanmshawkman Member Posts: 10
    I hope you did not agree to the 10% reduction in your bill...IT IS NOT ENOUGH!! I really fought with my dealer and exposed everything I had read abouth the failed clutches.They are aware of the problem, only they are just trying to get away with not having to take care of it; if you don't let them know that you are aware of all the bad exposure, they will get away with it. I did not have to pay for my new should not have to either.
    Good luck!!
  • georgiatgeorgiat Member Posts: 2
    Looks like Mini is trying to pull a fast one on everyone... We bought a brand new 2009 Cooper S and by the 12,000 mile mark, it was making a screeching noise whenever the car started off in 1st gear. We took the car to three different Mini dealers in LA and Orange County, and were met with the same story from all. They had to open up the car to see if it was a MINI faulty part, or if it was "Abusive Driving" on our part. And that we would have to pay for the examination.

    My boyfriend and I have driven manual cars all our lives and have never ever seen this problem in any of our other cars. The service guys basically admitted that this problem occurs in MINI cars but that they were not liable for the repairs. I mean, what's to stop them from claiming "Abusive Driving" every single time so they never have to pay for their problem?

    My advice, go into a MINI dealership on a busy weekend when there are a lot of people around, and kick up a huge stink, stating very loudly all the issues you have, and how poorly MINI has treated you and your clearly faulty car. Then see how fast they turn around and decide to pay for their faulty workmanship.

    We ended up getting rid of our lemon of a MINI. It was a cute car, but was far more trouble than it was worth.
  • docroxdocrox Member Posts: 12
    I have just been told the same thing and am in the midst of the battle.
    I have a 2010 S with 3,600 miles. I have driven stick off and on all my life. It started making a metal on metal noise shifting into first. Two days later, it did it sometimes into 2nd. I called my dealer who said to have it brought in ( dealer is out of state). There is a dealer in Madison Wisconsin who is new to Mini (4 days) and the tow would only pay to them since they were closer, so I couldn't use the dealer that I purchased it from. After he checked it out he said the clutch would need to be replaced and it would be under warranty. Then he called and said the Mini Rep. had examined it and said it was due to improper driving and I had burned the clutch and flywheel down to nothing. I know I have driven the car properly. After battling a bit, they have said they will pay for parts but I have to pay labor at $1750. Doesn't sound right.
  • mshawkmanmshawkman Member Posts: 10
    The clutch burned out at 3,600 miles? I thought mine was bad at 5,000! There definately is a problem with the clutches. I had to pay for my labor as well; $1100. Your labor is high in Madison; I live in Los Angeles and maybe we just have more problem here. I wish you well...hopefully we won't be having any more problems after this. :)
  • docroxdocrox Member Posts: 12
    I continued to fight and won. I asked to speak to the Mini rep who was making the decisions. The service dept. called me back after a few hours and said they had talked to him and he now authorized a one time "courtesy" repair and would pay everything. The tech who fixed the clutch and flywheel called me saying when he test drove it the car mat was catching on the clutch and that may have been the problem. He said it would ride the clutch. That is encrouraging but I will still get out of the car. I now have the car back and the clutch never felt like this. I bought the car new with no miles on it and the clutch always felt tight. Now it is loose and smooth. Not sure what this all means, but am putting it out there in case someone else has the problem.
  • CeeeeCeeeeCeeeeCeeee Member Posts: 25
    Congratulations! I guess too many service departments are used to having their customers simply give up and pay for things they shouldn't be paying for!
  • debe1debe1 Member Posts: 1
    Just drove a 1500 mile road trip, on my return home yesterday, three houses down from my driveway, the clutch went out. There must have been an angel on my shoulder that it didn't happen in the middle of Montana! I felt the clutch 'clicking' under my foot just moments before it died. Calling around today for quotes, 1300.00, labor & parts, includes fly wheel, or 1495.90, no fly wheel. I'm in Portland, OR, are these prices competative & what should I beware of going forward?
  • chris_norcalchris_norcal Member Posts: 5
    edited July 2010
    7800 miles $3400 estimate to repair clutch & fly wheel...
    Will be contacting local TV stations, Consumer Agencies, and forums.
    Do we have a case in Small Claims Court?
  • docroxdocrox Member Posts: 12
    You shouldn't need small claims court as you should win the fight. Print off several of these posts and also some on other boards. Keep pushing until they buckle.
  • jhandeljhandel Member Posts: 1
    Congrats! I just got mine back yesterday.. Wish I had found this thread before.. I had 16k miles on mine.. They did the same "under the table" kind of deal, including a "lesson" from the shop forman on how to drive a stick.. But unfortunetly mine was only 50% covered by the "deal" so I payed 934.00 for what should have been under warranty.

    Did anyone else notice the clutch peddle was WAY WAY lighter after the repair than when I took the car at delivery.. And moving the stick through the tree is at least 2 or 3 times smoother too.. It really is a different car then I bought less than a year ago.

  • docroxdocrox Member Posts: 12
    I did notice that it was much easier to engage the clutch and much smoother also. It had to go back to the dealer as I couldn't shift into 3rd or 5th after a few days of getting it back. I sent it to Minnesota this time and was worried it was the transmission. It was just that the Madison dealership had put a clip on wring that holds the cables together.
    It makes funny noises now and I'm driving it like it is made of china so it has to go. I have lost faith in the brand.
  • minimi1minimi1 Member Posts: 1
    Hello I also have a JCW and just had the same problem as you. I just moved from Los Angeles and live in SF. I took the car in today with clutch problems and found out the clutch is out and needs to be replaced. I wanted to find out what did you end up doing with the dealership. I am waiting for their evaluation but am getting myself ready for a battle as I am very annoyed at the situation.
    Any input will help.
  • docroxdocrox Member Posts: 12
    The longer I battled, the more they gave. They at first said they would pay parts and I would owe labor. $1700 down from $3200.
    I said "no" and asked to speak to the Rep. who was making all of the decisions. They never got around to that. I am assuming the Rep. knew I was going to continue to fight. They called and said they would pay for it all as a one time "courtesy". Meaning that if it goes out again, I am stuck. Therefore, I am getting rid of it as soon as I can. I will take a big hit as it is so new. Oh well. Good luck.
  • faochilifaochili Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2010
    So...its been exactly a year since i've purchased my Mini Cooper S and have had a mixed bag of feelings about it! After a year...mostly i'd say i have really enjoyed the car...i honestly look forward to driving it everytime even if i could also use a 4x4...its bitchin! This is without saying some notable issues i have had with it...! 1st was a front axel and bushing knock which was addressed and tightened by Mini ! 2nd was electrical issues with the power windows...which would work erratically...and was fixed by Mini...! 3rd and most recently I have heard a metal creeking from what sounded like the transmission! As a result Mini found that the clutch had been "abused"...only after less than 14000..! After they told me I would have to assume the cost of repair and labor, I began kicking up a storm, so the service rep...renig'd to pay for 1/2 the again I kicked up a storm and was told he would call back after looking into what else he could do...! I found this forum and strengthened my argument that i shouldn't be held responsible for repair & he told me they would totally pay for it...! Of course I was thankful of this gesture, but I can't help to think how is it possible to destroy a clutch after a year...! And also ...should I be concered that after they replace clutch & flywheel that this is bound to happen again! Service Rep. said next time i'd be stuck with total repair! I like the car but don't want to deal with a lemon...! :surprise:
  • docroxdocrox Member Posts: 12
    That's why I'm getting rid of mine. There are people on this forum who have had more than one or two replaced. I'm not willing to do that. Why can't they just "man up" and face the fact that there are issues with their clutch.
  • faochilifaochili Member Posts: 2
    Thing is I'm financing mine...& still owe 19000 on it...! I've put in about 11000...! What options do I have to get rid of it...? :confuse:
  • drcmcinazdrcmcinaz Member Posts: 2
    FYI: I read and printed. I called BMW headquarters. They reduced from $2000 to $730 but won't honor warranty. Claim 'wear and tear' at 14000 miles. They've got a problem and would rather scam MINI owners than own up to it.
  • drcmcinazdrcmcinaz Member Posts: 2
    You did better than me. BMW headquarters said they would honor warranty, BUT they had to bow to service manager decision. Service manager said he'd lose his job if he didn't follow regional rep decision. (Some reps honor warranty, others void as 'owner wear and tear'). SWest rep reduced from $2000 to $790 after hearing about all the yelping I was doing - in person, on FaceBook, to BMW, but won't go lower, won't allow customers to talk to him. If you love MINI, don't buy them in the SWest states.
    I see posts here saying that owner got BMW to honor OEM and I'm jealous.
    I now hate my car and wince when I shift. 30 years of driving a stick, and I'm wincing.
  • mshawkmanmshawkman Member Posts: 10
    I was told that my clutch failure was due to "driver abuse" which I firmly denied since I have been driving manual vehicles for over thirty years(including trucks, sports cars and 4X4's.) and NEVER had a clutch burn out.I found this site and told the service rep that I had intented to go to our local television station and have a discussion with their consumer reporter about the reports of failed clutches by a pretty large group of MINI owners and how MINI USA would not involve themselves with issues between their customers and their dealerships,and how the area rep also refused to involve himself with the issues.The more I complained and made them all aware that I knew there was a problem with these clutches,the less insistant the dealership was to charge me for the clutch. It was replaced without charge, however I did still have to pay for labor; $1,100.00. That was bad enough!! I suggest that you don't give in to the "driver abuse" story...that it is your fault not the problem with their clutches. I wish you luck!!
  • fluteroflutero Member Posts: 1
    I wish I would have seen this thread before I bought my MINI. At 5500 miles my clutch went out. It appears my story is the same as everyone's story in this thread. MINI blamed me for their faulty clutch. Fortunately for me, the dealership was willing to pay for a lot of the cost. Of course, I shouldn't have to pay for anything, in my opinion. I realize that the clutch is a wear & tear item, but it should last longer than 5500 miles with a driver that doesn't abuse it (I've never had to replace a clutch before). Even if some crazy teenager was driving like a bat out of hell, it should last longer than 5500 miles. I have seen others on this thread that had their clutch go out earlier than what mine did! This is amazing to me. This problem is costing people a lot of money, even though it isn't their fault. I'm surprised there isn't a class action lawsuit out there. I guess it's too hard to prove that it's a faulty clutch versus driver abuse. I wonder how many people have had problems compared with the people that haven't?
  • mshawkmanmshawkman Member Posts: 10
    That is a question that I have been asking as well. I belong to a MINI club that has over a thousand members, around two hundred that are very active, and I am the only one who has had the problem. I do know that there are people in the club who drive their MINIs harder than I ever would, and they are still on their original clutches(some at over 100,000 miles.) All I know is that mine should not have burned out at 5,000 miles, and everyone in the club agrees.Hope all stays well with your vehicle.
  • chris_norcalchris_norcal Member Posts: 5
    I am preparing documentation to sue if my cluch fails again under the 36 month warranty and now may reconsider buying a new BMW 3 series awd sportswagon (but then no one else offers a new turbo awd manual "sportwagon")
  • chris_norcalchris_norcal Member Posts: 5
    RE: till on their original clutches(some at over 100,000 miles.)

    hmmm, is there hope that mine will last with the new replaced clutch?
  • beaton1beaton1 Member Posts: 1
    My wife just had her clutch replaced at 8,000 miles here in boston. They did it under warranty when she brought it in for a light screeching noise from the engine compartment. Once the clutch was replaced, the noise persisted. The clutch is now easier to shift than it was, not nearly as tight. It makes a lot of metallic noise when you move the stick shift around though, even when the car is off. Is this normal for a MINI? Its much louder than when we move the stick shift on the Subaru or the Honda and it didn't seem to make this noise with the old clutch. She brought it back and now they have replaced some component of the air conditioning unit. When I spoke to the service rep and described the problem, I told him the cooling fan was running a lot and I noticed the noise when the fan came on and when the AC was off. They couldn't replicate the sound and on a quick test drive this evening, the fan didn't come on and no sound either. Anyone else had these problems? They said there is a service bulletin on the primary cooling fan as well as the clutch. My wife traded her civic in for the mini a couple months ago with 185,000 miles on the original clutch and I sold my civic with 150,000 on the original clutch. The subbie is going on 100,000 miles without a clutch issue, knock on wood.
  • docroxdocrox Member Posts: 12
    I don't think it should be making any metal noise. Mine still has some resistance feeling like metal on metal going into 3rd. but no noise.
    When you say there is a "service bulletin" what do you mean? Is that something all service techs. should see? Can consumers see it?
  • docroxdocrox Member Posts: 12
    My Rep. wouldn't talk to me either. The service manager said he couldn't give me the Reps. number so I suggested he give the Rep. my number. He never called me. I told service that I wasn't paying until I talked to the Rep. That's when they buckled and did the free "courtesy" fix.
    I also wince when I shift. I am trading it hopefully this weekend and am holding my breath it makes it till then!
  • mshawkmanmshawkman Member Posts: 10
    You and me both!! I am hoping that this one won't fail because I refuse to be put through all the BS that I experienced. Here's to our new clutches!
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