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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions



  • boxingdayboxingday 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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?
  • 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.
  • 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")
  • 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 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 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 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!
  • 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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