Used MINI buying advice?

Markovl007Markovl007 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2023 in MINI
I'm in the market for buying my first car and I'm inclined to go for the MINI Cooper 2008 1.6 120bhp because it's the most interesting car in that price branch considering I want something at least a little unusual. I'm wondering is the classic stigma that all MINI's are unreliable true and is it worth it considering all the parts are on the expensive side. I'm especially interested in the engine because there aren't a lot of these engines around so if someone knows anything it would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance, I look forward to your replies. Just honest guys :smile:

Comments

  • MichaellMichaell Moderator Posts: 238,053

    I'm in the market for buying my first car and I'm inclined to go for the MINI Cooper 2008 1.6 120bhp because it's the most interesting car in that price branch considering I want something at least a little unusual. I'm wondering is the classic stigma that all MINI's are unreliable true and is it worth it considering all the parts are on the expensive side. I'm especially interested in the engine because there aren't a lot of these engines around so if someone knows anything it would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance, I look forward to your replies. Just honest guys :smile:

    When buying any used car, not just MINIs, how it has been maintained will be the most important thing. A car with 100K on it, but maintained faithfully, will be a better buy than a car with 60K on it but not cared for.

    How many miles does this car have on it? Do you know anything about the previous owner(s)?

    My daughter has had two MINIs and I wouldn't say that they are any more unreliable than anything else. I will say parts can be a bit expensive.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,243
    edited March 2023
    I have a 2009 Cooper Clubman(N12 engine) that I've owned since 2017. It hasn't been cheap to run, but not horrendous either considering the age and mileage. Several observations:
    Get a pre-purchase inspection by a tech that KNOWS Minis.
    A full service history is a MAJOR plus.
    The N12 will have some issues that need correcting on or around 100k miles; timing chain, VANOS solenoid, vacuum pump, and thermostat are the primary concerns. On a car with over 100k make sure that all of those problems have been addressed.
    Do you have access to a good indie shop with experienced Mini techs?
    Don't cheap out on service; use a BMW LL-01 rated oil and BMW coolant. Change oil every 12 months/10k miles, coolant and brake fluid every 2 years. Don't even think about taking a Mini to a quickie lube franchise.
    It helps to be able to be able to to some work yourself.
    Bentley Publishers sells the best service manual. Haynes is the runner-up.
    Get parts and accessories from FCP Euro and the BMW Mini Part Store.
    North American Motoring is a useful online information source.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2021 Sahara 4xe 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

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