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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions

guspgusp Posts: 1
edited May 2014 in MINI
At 3000 miles I had to have my entire clutch system replaced (under warranty). In stop and go traffic on a slight incline in 1st gear the car wouldn't move. I also had and still have a horrible time getting my car in reverse. The MINI service people tell me that is just normal. Now at 12,000 miles my clutch did the same thing. On a slight incline in bumper to bumper traffic the car wouldn't move... The MINI service people drove the car for 20 miles and found no problems. I know better. Now they want me put down $2000 to open the thing up to see if its a warranty issue or the clutch needs replacing. Is this a rip off or what? I have had clutches for the past 30 years and never once had to replace any for the lifetime of the cars. I don't ride the clutch or abuse it. Is this normal? If it is a MINI isn't suited for bumper to bumper LA traffic. I called the MINI rep and I am waiting for a call back tomorrow. Paying for a new clutch is unacceptable to me. Is this to be expected from a MINI?


  • maura1maura1 Posts: 1
    Did you ever get any resolution to this problem. The EXACT same thing just happened to me and I am feeling a bit bamboozled.
  • You are definitely not the only one. Almost two years ago I purchased a new 2004 Mini Cooper and since day one, getting the car in reverse has been a challenge. It has always hesitated in first gear and I had to have the entire computer system replaced because I was told that some of the 2004 models have "glitches". Just when I think things can't get any worse, I'm told that I have to shell out $3,000.00 for an entire new clutch system at 41,000 miles. They claimed since the pressure plates were worn down so bad and there was damage to the fly wheel, that it was considered beyond "normal wear & tear" (as determined by BMW standards) and that I was liable for the costs...even though I already paid almost $3,000.00 when I bought the darn thing for the extended warranty so that I wouldn't have to worry about paying for a burnt out clutch. I was told that driving in the hills of San Francisco and stop & go traffic were the main cause, not necessarily the driving habits of the owner (because I do not ride my clutch) why in the hell did I end up paying so much? My advice to anyone who has to commute through stop and go traffic or, God forbid, climb any sort of incline whatsoever: DO NOT PURCHASE A MINI! I'm getting rid of mine as soon as possible...the savings on gas goes right back into parts and labor...because NOTHING seems to be covered under warranty.
  • That really stinks that has happened to you but I think thats more of a dealer situation than a warranty situation. Id be more likely to point the finger at the dealer than the vehicle.
  • drkeepdrkeep Posts: 2
    Have a 2004 S that was bought used with about 52,000 miles on it. Bought extented warranty with the car. Now 4 months later have been told that it needs a new clutch ($2,400) Since it this is a "wear item" warranty does not cover it.
    Any suggestions?
  • crunchcrunch Posts: 84
    Yes, I have a suggestion. I would find someone in the area that repairs MINIs other than the dealer. While clutch replacement isn't cheap, you can get better prices. If you have a local MINI club, check with them for possible discount labor at sponsoring shops.
  • drkeepdrkeep Posts: 2
    thanks - do you think dealer from where min was bought should be responsible for new clutc?
  • sconantsconant Posts: 23
    I'll SAVE you $$$$. There is a "service bulleton on the Mini. Believe me -- I've put 3 clutched in my '02! Many-many-many other problems!!! Sell the darned thing. It WILL bankrupt you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The water pump WILL be next , then the power steering(another service bulleton) then the throttle body!!! GLAD to discuss this w/ you.
  • crunchcrunch Posts: 84
    MINI should pay only if the parts are defective. The clutch is a 'wear' item and at the mercy of the drivers habits. I have an 04, spend a lot of time on the track and have had no clutch problems yet. When I do have a problem, I expect to pay for the repairs.
  • Hubby owns 2002 Cooper S - red, with Union flag (I've a 2004 Cooper - blue, with the Union Flag, natch). Blinking fan on it will NOT stop running. I see others have had problems, too.

    What can we do? I was going to pull a fuse, but couldn't figure out how to remove the large, green fuse for the battery. Advice on how to do that?

    ALso, is it the cooling fan or the power steering fan? SOunds like the bigger of the two... Thanks for help. -- G
  • There are SEVERAL "service bullitens" out on the 02-04's. You will have to go to a Mini dealer to find about them but there are many! The clutch is the main one along with the power steering, etc etc etc :mad:
  • We got our Mini in 2004 from the dealership with 7,000 miles on it. It was used as a loaner car before we purchased it. It currently has ~31,000 miles on it, and the clutch pedal "broke" the other night when I was downshifting. Basically, there was no resistance or no pressure in the pedal when I pushed it to the floor. This morning, the service advisor says the clutch is busted, it's not covered under warranty, and it's gonna run $2,000.

    Aside from being thoroughly infuriated, I really need to know if I have any recourse here. The clutch should not be gone after 30,000 miles. I don't know how it was driven during its 7,000-mile life as a loaner, but even then, I can't begin to comprehend that this is our fault.

    Any ideas? I'm continuing to scan these messages about service bulletins and what not, but any direct advice would be appreciated.
  • Your "dealer" is telling you a lie! There is a service bulliten as well as a recall on clutcvhes! I know because I found out when my clutch FIRST went at 12000 mi and again at 29000mi. There are many "service bullitens" on the Mini and the dealer will not tell you about them unless you "call them" on it or your complaint describs the "problem. Get the car fixed and SELL IT. I've had 3 clutches, 2 water pumps, throttle body, 3 computers and complete power steering replaced. All this w/in 38000 mi. So far warrenty has taken "care" of things. I still have issues with the clutch and trans. A factory "rep" has an appt. with me so we'll see!?? :mad:
  • FYI The clutch should be covered under warrenty going by the milage you represent.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Clutches are a judgement call for warranty repairs. The warranty covers defects but does not cover abuse. Without abuse, they should be covered but I'm sure a great many of these 7K loaner miles were at the hands of drivers who couldn't have cared less about what problems subsequent drivers might have. And 31K is not out of bounds for where a clutch can be worn out if the car is driven aggressivly.

    I'd work with the dealer and escalate up and try and get satisfaction, but the 24K miles the car has accumulated in your hands are going to work against you. They may be willing to take it apart and make a judgment call on whether it was a defect, abuse, or simply wear/tear. The first they're likely to pay for, the 2nd you, and the third, they probably will suggest a sharing of the repair cost.

    Good luck!

    - Mark
  • Well, just to update, it wasn't covered under warranty. He said the clutch was absolutely shot and gone. I asked him to save the parts, but I don't know what I'm going to do from here. I asked about any service bulletins on the clutch from two dealers and they said there were none. What a freaking kick in the gut this was.
  • Call Flow Mini in Winston Salem, N.C. Just tell them you are experiencing problems and see what they say.
  • hi....just found this website!! I have 02 mini and its breaking my bank account. Yesterday it caught on fire and the steering went. Love to talk to u Sconant if you have time. email me pls.
  • I’m with MINI USA. I’m sorry to read about your problem with your clutch. If you would like our assistance, please phone us at (866) ASK MINI or email us at MINI.Assistance@askMINIUSA.COM and mention Reference #200626800788 so that we can help you more efficiently.
  • When I am driving my wife's MINI and take my foot off of the gas to slow down I feel like I am in first gear and the transmission is slowing me down more than I care to be slowing down. Is this an inherent feature of the CVT transmission?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think that's a normal characteristic of the CVT, along with the low-speed lurching and bucking. :cry:

    I think the CVT is the achilles heel of the Mini drivetrain. It mimics some of the negative characteristics of a manual transmission without any of the positives. :sick:
  • sconantsconant Posts: 23
  • sconantsconant Posts: 23
    Has anyone experienced a "crunk" going into second gear? Is there a fix? Is it a trans. prob. or shift linkage?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Well, 2nd gear syncros are usually the first to go, so the 1st-2nd gear change is usually the one that starts getting the "crunk" first as the transmission wears. A balky or mis-adjusted linkage is a possibility also, but if shifting slower/deliberately seems to solve the problem, then it's probably the syncros. And you've also found the workaround (and possibly the cause for your syncros wearing out prematurely).

    - Mark
  • sconantsconant Posts: 23
    not sure what you mean by "workaround"? Just got back from the dealer (8th time) and most problems were fixed but their usual response to second gear was "it's normal"?
  • 03 mini S died many miles into a trip recently...roadside assistance was pretty good. towed to mini. dealer. was then told 2600.00 for a clutch. not covered...just over 30K miles!!!!!! so, i called back with tow number and asked to have it sent to my mechanic who was going to do it FOR HALF!!! next thing i know...Mini is covering the WHOLE THING.
    While i'm very pleased, a clutch should not go at 33K...esp driven only 10K per year, much of it highway. vigilant...
  • Did the MINI dealership pull the transmission before
    you asked to have it towed?

    My clutch went up at 28,000 miles. I had AAA tow it
    to the MINI dealership. They pulled the transmission
    and now they tell me that even if I don't get it fixed
    I am in to them for $1,700!

  • rus3rus3 Posts: 3
    I have a Mini 2002 S model with manual transmission one of the first model's that came out(Average 10K per year mileage).

    I had the clutch changed at 45,000 miles for the first time.
    Clutch lifespan can go out sooner depending how you drive the vehicle (Clutch yoke noisy and worn out clutch). Lucky I was covered under a 50K warranty when I purchased the car.
    A normal clutch in other car's can get a lot more mileage than 45K miles. I now have 48,000 miles on the car.

    Some of the most common problems I have experienced is with the Mini Cooper S (manual transmission) not of the routine kind of things of owning a car.

    1) One of the first problems I had overheating problem with engine at 10,000 miles.
    2) Rear latch on rear trunk never locked (needed replace latch).
    3) Idiot lights on dash tire flat (Motor wheel rotation sensor) you hit a pot-hole it stays on very common and sometimes for weeks off and on.
    (Computer software glitches of some kind)Airbag idiot light stays on all the time now.
    The Mini dealer service told me eventually they will come up with a better software upgrade.
    I've learned to live with idiot light on the dash being on or off so don't be alarmed if you see them.

    4) Cooling fan to engine kept turning never shut off then drains battery overnight. Mini dealer had to change both Cooling fans which they were very reluctant when its under warranty.
    5) Brakes last 20,000 miles about on the front and 30,000 miles on the rear.
    6) Clutch problem at 45,000 miles.

    7) All Tires replaced.

    Yeah, we all have problems the Mini Cooper S but I would rather own a Toyota Corolla that I have as a second car with 250,000 miles and never had these kind of problems with only 48,000 miles. If I keep the car for another 50K miles will have the same problems again plus more.

    The tow truck driver who came to load my Mini cooper to the shop say most Mini's he towed are transmission problems and overheating problems.
  • rus3rus3 Posts: 3
    The clutch problem has been an issue on mostly all models since the first one that was sold in the USA.

    I drive my Mini Cooper S 2002 about 10,000 a most of the time its parked and really has not much chance for a hot running engine.

    I happen to get on my Mini Cooper 2002 S 45,000 miles out of the clutch before it broke. I have had many Volkswagens in the past I got at least 95,000 miles out of a clutch. I drive a stickshift like you would think its an automatic transmission ride. The shifting is smooth and you never realize its a sticksift car since I had many clutch car's in the past.

    This car has more problems than a normal running used car you buy off the lot.
    I personally, would stay away from these cars until they make them much better and realiable.
    They just are not working on the problems that the first models had and now they still have the same problems on newer models.

    Buyer beware, its still an experimental car with lots of bugs to be worked out even in the latest models.
  • Hi - New to this site. My mini is 2002, automatic, with 43,000 miles. Warranty was up in August (just 4 months ago) and I noticed a sputtering sound recently. I took it in and the dealership told me the transmission is shot and will cost $7500 to repair! I took it to a non-dealer repair shop and they said they needed to replace the transmission with a brand new one b/c it was hard to say what's wrong with the transmission inside.

    Replacing is will cost me almost 1/3 of what I paid for it...I don't know what to do. Any suggestions/similar experiences? I'm leaning towards getting it fixed and then selling it. I just wonder if it's even worth getting fixed at all.

  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    That's a tough one--that's really a bad break. First thing I'd do is find out how good your dealer is--if you bought it new there, I'd see what they'd do on a trade in on it, as is. The only way I'd drop the 7500 to fix it is if you planned on keeping it (If you trade in after putting the 7500 in it, I doubt you'll get your 7500 back out of it--ask your dealer what they'd give you if it were fixed versus as is to get an idea of how much fixing it would or wouldn't help you.). Dropping 7500 into it and then trying to sell it yourself may be problematic--it's going to be a tough sell to get the price that the car's worth on a car with a tranny replaced.
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