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Dealer Maintain or Import Garage?

happeehappee Mt Pleasant, SCPosts: 5
edited March 2014 in MINI

New to forum and to MINI. Buying a 2010 Cooper S manual with 37k miles this weekend (I am giggly!). I have been trying to scan this forum for answers before I duplicate my question. Apologies if I am doing so.

My question is maintaining a MINI. My past two vehicles have been Infiniti and I have always taken them to the dealer to maintain because I did not feel comfortable with a private garage knowing the product. Plus I had a good relationship with my maint. rep. Yes, it cost more to maintain this way. But the peace of mind I got by going to the dealer was worth it to me.

I have no experience with the Mini or BMW dealer in town. I will ask others of their recommendation when I can. Is a Mini such a vehicle that it is best left to the people who specialize in them? There is a private shop that deals in BMW in my town, would that be a viable option to consider? I am a huge advocate of preventive maintenance. Appreciate any and all suggestions as a new Mini owner! Cheers!

Comments

  • happeehappee Mt Pleasant, SCPosts: 5

    Up to this point, the car has been maintained by the dealer. But not in this state.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092

    Congrats on the new MINI! My son recently purchased a 2009 and he is loving it. I'm dying to drive it, but he's not willing to share it. :p I'm sure he will be very interested in any responses you get here. Our [email protected] is very knowledgeable about the MINI. He'll probably stop by to offer some advice.

    One suggestion would be for you to check out dealer service reviews of the local shops. On Edmunds, you can begin here: http://www.edmunds.com/dealer-reviews/

    Stick around and keep us informed of your MINI experience!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    Hi happee,

    An independent shop is fine for your car, as long as they can claim to have some experience with the MINI. If they work on BMWs they are probably pretty good---but it would be best if they've worked on MINIs before, and have the basic special tools and service information. There may be specific problems where the dealer is the best place to go (and a good independent shop will tell you when they can't handle something), but generally a good indie should be able to do just about anything for you--and at a cheaper rate. I take my MINI to independent shops for just about everything--oil service, suspension work, AC, tires, brakes, etc.

    Under NO circumstances should you take your MINI to a quick-lube or a chain store operation, not even for simple oil changes. MINIs are tricky to work on, with limited access, so knowing all the "tricks" really helps.

    Come back to see us anytime you have questions about your MINI! Fabulous car!

    MrShift

  • happeehappee Mt Pleasant, SCPosts: 5

    That sounds like sound advice. Thank you!! For the record, I wouldn't take any car to a Quick Lube joint. I have picked up a few too many people on the side of the road after they had just had their oil changed at those places. I am a female, but I learned to change oil and do basic maintenance when I learned to drive. I know enough to know when someone doesn't belong under the hood!!
    I am super excited about the MINI! I tried to make a practical decision about my next car, thinking I really just need something that gets good mileage since it is just a commuter. In the end, you need to enjoy the ride!!

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092

    @happee said:
    That sounds like sound advice. Thank you!! For the record, I wouldn't take any car to a Quick Lube joint. I have picked up a few too many people on the side of the road after they had just had their oil changed at those places. I am a female, but I learned to change oil and do basic maintenance when I learned to drive. I know enough to know when someone doesn't belong under the hood!!
    I am super excited about the MINI! I tried to make a practical decision about my next car, thinking I really just need something that gets good mileage since it is just a commuter. In the end, you need to enjoy the ride!!

    Good for you doing your own basic maintenance! Wish I had taken the time to learn how to do an oil change, etc. :(

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