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MINI Cooper Care & Maintenance



  • bfromholdbfromhold Posts: 38
    Well, I ordered my 2006 Mini Cooper S today with all the packages offered (Sport, Premium, Cold Weather, and Convenience) not to mention all the chrome upgrades on the interior & exterior, chrono pack, park distance control, rear fog light, 8-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, English panther leather, etc... Yikes! $ $ $

    My question is should I also purchase the extended warranty & maintenance? I've been averaging about 18,000 miles a year on my current Honda Civic EX (& I ended up replacing the transmission at only 74,000 miles!!$$). Do you think it's worth the extra $2169 for a 6 yr./100,000 mile mechanical warranty (and a $100 deductible) and $550 for the 4 yr/50,000 mile extended maintenance? Keep in mind I'll have 36,000 miles on my car in 2 years. How many of you Mini owners bought either one of these? Has it paid off in the long run? What all does it cover?

    Thanks in advanced for any input
  • bfromholdbfromhold Posts: 38

    Wow! First, it's good to know there's some honest people out there like you. I too am a little skeptical to wait 15,000 miles to change the oil/filter. It seems too long for ANY type of oil (synthetic or not). Anybody out there with 80,000+ miles on your Mini without having to add oil?

    I know of someone with a GTI who used synthetic oil the past 5 years, and now it's burning oil (and blue smoke out the exhaust) at only 82,000 miles! Makes me wonder what I should do with the Mini I'll be getting in a few months. A friend of mine has a Mini S and he changes it himself at the halfway mark (7,500 miles).
  • idajidaj Posts: 2
    Hello! I am a new MINI owner as of about 45 days ago. I am not going to be doing any oil changes myself...but I want to make sure the only place I have to take it locally (Goodyear) knows what to use. When I called them today they had never done an oil change on a MINI. I told her I wanted Castrol Synthetic and she wanted to know what type I needed? I was unsure. My car says "MINI recommends Castrol" and, of course, 5w/30. I have an 03 MINI (not S) and I want to treat it like the diamond it is. Any suggestions? :)
  • idajidaj Posts: 2
    Also, I went outside and checked my "Service" light and it says 10000 miles. Does it always say 10000 miles? I checked the oil and it actually looks like it could use a little. Trust my MINI or trust habit and go ahead and get a change, just to be safe?? :confuse:
  • My wife and I test drove the 2007 VW Rabbit and 06 Mini Cooper over the weekend -- each had a very solid and stable feel. Still think the mini is a little bit small for luggage and other stuff (any experiences?) but the gas mileage is better than the Rabbit.

    What has your experience on up keep been like? How expensive are brakes for instance? 15k, 30k, 60k Check ups?

    When have the little guys started needing repairs?

    I realize its going to differ somewhat but I would like to get an idea if the mini is nothing more than an expensive to repair BMW in disguise. :confuse:

    So come'on! Talk me into one. ;)
    Appreciate it. I'm interested, my wife thinks I'll get creamed by an SUV.
  • Hi all,
    I am a new member to the forums. Here is the issue I have with my MC. (2004 MC 43,700 miles) I changed the oil yesterday and I tried to reset the oil service interval timer using the note
    I found on When I started, the display showed
    oil service and 2675 miles. I don't really know what i did and now the display shows inspection and 15,500 miles. I don't know how to get the display back to the oil service interval.
    I also read on another site that there are some 20 or more tests and indicators you can get into when you try to reset the countdown timer.
    I also have a copy of the Bentley Service Manual but it is not very helpful.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Concord, CA Mini/BMW dealer said brakes are around $700 to change. The first pair however, will be changed during the 50,000 mile free maintenance which is good. Your first expense would be the 60,000 check-up. Mini is not that cheap o a car to own -- check out the ownership per mile here on edmunds.

    My wife and I drove all the Mini styles and the VW Rabbit. Mini was simply too small in my eyes -- not too small for me persay, but for the other vehicles driving around me everyday on the highway. For close to $30,000 I want to feel safe which I didn't in the Mini. Heck of a lot of fun though and add-ons galour.

    VW were axxholes at best. (but this is just my experience with this one dealer) Communication was a nightmare -- and I was seriously thinking about buying a Rabbit or GTI but a single conversation took place which I will never forget... I told the sales man I wouldn't purchase from his dealership due to the way I was treated and ignored. He replied with something like, 'Like I care. There isn't any money is those cars anyway. (Meaning comp for him) Oh, and see ya in the repair station. Hehehe.' Yep he laughed after that last comment.

    Must say, it has tarnished my VW outlook a bit and eluded too much to VWs past service issues. Though I must also say I still think the Rabbit and GTI are cool looking cars and handle really well.

    I decided to stick with my G35 Coupe for the time being -- it's been good to me.

    For the record if I was back in Europe I would be all over the Mini for the fun.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Funny you mentioned brake service. I was just going to ask what is the "normal" mileage a set of pads should last for the Mini. I realize it depends on driving habit and the type of driving. Our Mini's worn pad dash warning light just came on, and it's barely got 17,000 miles on the odo. :surprise: Now, mind you, we do almost all urban, stop and go, driving with our Mini, but still, 17,000 miles? :sick: :confuse:

    And yes, our dealer quoted us about $600 CAD to service both front and rear. He said that the front rotors are always replaced with every pad replacement, due to the ulta-thin rotors used in the Mini. Plus, the sensors for the dash warning light also have to be replaced.
  • >>> He said that the front rotors are always replaced with every pad replacement, due to the ulta-thin rotors used in the Mini.

    Wow. Must admit I'm shocked. I knew the Mini is not a cheap car to own but that's insane.

    By the way -- my G35 Coupe also had to have the brakes changed around 17-20k. I don't drive like a racer either.
  • 600 CAD is only what 500 bucks USD?

    So 250 an axle for rotors and pads.

    Sounds about right to me from a dealer.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    The service rep swore that's the going rate. In fact, he said it is not uncommon nowadays to see complete brake jobs going for $1K or more. For me, the painful part to swallow was that the pads only lasted 17,000 miles. If they lasted 35k-45k miles, then it would have been less painful.
  • Brake jobs on a Range Rover are about 700 bucks USD an axle and will most likely only last 20,000 miles.

    The local MINI dealer did my brakes all the way around at 25,000 miles.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "...700 bucks USD an axle..."

    Wow, and Ouch!! :sick:
  • I misplaced a comment about brakes under lighting and electrical glitches, please read.
  • Reminds me of sitting in front of the Mini Rep working out a price on the cooper and options I wanted. Monthly price went out of my preferred zone + they were doing they're best to screw me out of my G35 -- I turned it all down. I was met with a seemingly shocked expression and then told how the average monthly payment for this BMW/Mini dealer was $900 (Bay Area, CA) Though I guess when your car payment is $900 a month, $700 brakes aren't really that bad. :P
  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    If you're paying that much for brakes, you might as well upgrade to either the JCW brakes or aftermarket brakes, especially if the brakes will no longer be under warranty.
  • wongkidwongkid Posts: 23
    Didn't get an owner's manual with my car. Excluding oil changes, what are the other major recommended scheduled service intervals by mileage? Approx dealer cost? Thanks! :confuse:
  • winfredwinfred Posts: 11
    I am a owner of 06 mini base convertible.

    I am wondering anyone one can give me an insight about the extended warranty and maintenance.

    I recently inquiry about the warranty to extend in the bay area in CA.

    Do you think it's worth the extra $2985 for a 6 yr./100,000 mile mechanical warranty (and a $50 deductible) and $1595 for the 6 yr/100,000 mile extended maintenance?

    Should I get both or just the maintenance one?

    This is my first car, I never do any oil change or anything else except went through the inspection I. I know it recommended every 10K, but......I am not a car person and no time.

    My friend told me that a oil change plus transmission fluid change and brake pad change should not cost me more than $400-$500. So for the maintenance package which cover inspection III (60K) and IV (90K), basically over charge me additional $500, so it is not worth it? But did I miss something, or this is just a premium that all the charges did it in dealer?

    I am concerned about the convertible top breakdown after the warranty expire, but it that worth $2985? Or if anything happens, it should be the 3K I didn't pay upfront should be sufficient to cover up the fixing cost?

    Thanks for all you advice. I know there were a similar message posted above. But I am still not sure.

    FYI, I am only planning to keep the car maybe additional 4 years if everything goes well, otherwise, if alot of issues that I will switch to a new car. Is that matter? will that extended warranty give a better resell value?
  • wongkidwongkid Posts: 23
    Three key factors not mentioned: 1) how many miles do you drive per year, 2) are you an aggressive driver, esp with relation to brakes?, 3) since you are not a car person, I assume you rely on the Mini Dealer for service (vs. a trusted independent shop, which is usually lower cost). MAINTENANCE CONTRACT: I think your $400-$500 service cost is low, especially if brake work is needed. Another forum I visited said brakes can cost up to $500 PER WHEEL because pad replacement usually requires work/replacement of the discs too, depending on how anal your dealer is. Again, your driving style will determine when brakes need work/replacement. Any dealer can give you a cost estimate for the scheduled maintenance and then update your calculations based on mileage per year and your planned ownership time. Also, there is considerable debate within the BMW/Mini enthusiasts community with regards to recommended maintenance/service intervals since BMW started offering "maintenance-included". Skeptics (very knowledgeable ones) say the oil change intervals are too long, EVEN WITH synthetic oils. It is CHEAP insurance to change your oil every 5-7000 miles or so - clean oil is one of the most important factors in long engine life and efficiency. EXTENDED WARRANTY - Most people say these are not worth it, BUT, I own a 2003 S and as much as I love it, it has NOT been the most reliable car and my extended warranty has come in handy. Perhaps 2006 are more reliable, but with that convertible roof mechanism . . . perhaps worth the cost. Extended warranty should also help resale as long as it's a year or more out (in time AND mileage). Good luck.
  • minime5minime5 Posts: 41
    What do you guys think? My '03 base Cooper needs new tires, and I currently have the 16" Goodyear Eagle run flats. I need to drive the car the rest of the summer, when I plan on trading it in for a larger car. Obviously, I'm trying to do this as inexpensively as possibly. If I put regular tires on now (and save some $$), what do you think that chances are that a dealership would notice at trade-in time that they're not run flats and that I don't have a spare?
  • winfredwinfred Posts: 11
    Thanks for your info and recommendation.

    I am not an aggressive driver, but I do live in the city SF, with the traffic and hills. I drove around 15k miles per year. Now I have 22K in my car after a year and a half owing my car.

    I have a questions regarding the inspection I & II, which says that Mini dealership will replace the brake pad (not the dics though) if needed, and they did not replace it during my inspection I, so now I am in between the next interval, and my friend think my pad is getting thin now. I am wondering do I need to pay for replacing the pad now? Since it is a safety issue, I will do it no matter what, just want to make sure my dealer did not rid me off.

  • 69p1800s69p1800s Posts: 1
    Dealer sez their brand is Castrol full synthetic, either 5W-30, or 5W-40. If you get the S, you will void the warranty, and just be stoopid if you use anything BUT a full synthetic, as the main heat source will be either the supercharger or turbo, not ambient temp. I'm in Houston (also HOT), and will be using either Castrol, or Mobil 1 as there is no fundamental difference between them. reverse engineering being what it is. 5W-40 is my summertime fave, as its running viscosity is a little higher than the 30. Starting viscosities (the 5) are the same, so the engine will have to crank the same with either when starting.
  • joeminijoemini Posts: 4
    I have a 2004 Cooper that also had the Goodyear run flats.
    The dealer was going to replace them with a different brand(can't remember which), but I declined as I did not want the run flats any longer. The base Cooper has a mini spare mounted underneath the trunk.
    I went to Fuzion tires for my replacements. I put on 205-55-16
    tires as it is hard to find the 195-55-16 size.
    These tires were recommended by an independent mechanic that I TRUST. They are excellent tires and are very inexpensive. I ordered mine thru Tire Rack. Go to and you can find all the info you will need.
  • socalfemsocalfem Posts: 14
    Can my 2003 Mini be taken to a regular brake place, or does it have to go to Mini ? I'm hearing my driver side front brake making noise
  • socalfemsocalfem Posts: 14
    Can anyone answer my question posted on July 22nd ??? :confuse: :confuse:
  • minime5minime5 Posts: 41
    Hey socal -

    I just had my first brake work done on my '03 Mini by a local mechanic - no issues. I know that is was a LOT cheaper than the dealer wanted for it.
  • socalfemsocalfem Posts: 14
    thanks minime5, can you tell me what it cost you ?
    I don't know where u live but I bet so calif is more, but who knows ;)
  • minime5minime5 Posts: 41
    Well, it cost me around $250 for the fronts.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Then I wonder if it wouldn't be better just to go to a MINI dealer. It cost me between $500 - 600 to do all 4 brakes.
  • minime5minime5 Posts: 41
    You need to be careful - there's a lot of potential differences in the work that is done on a brake job. Pads, rotors, both?
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