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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions



  • Hello I hope I am not bothering you. I bought a used 2003 MC a few weeks ago, drove it for exactly a week and 1/2 and the transmission quit on me in the middle of the highway. I am 24 and work at Walmart so I can't exactly afford to fix this AND pay my car payment (which I haven't even made the 1st payment on). I was wondering if you could give me some advice. My family doesn't have a lot of money so I am looking to get enough compensation to cover myself without going through a bunch of expensive lawyers. It has 107,000 miles on it, and I've been researching this CVT transmission and it basically is faulty across the board. I paid $8000 for what I thought was a really good deal on my dream car. It would cost me that much or more to replace this transmission AND I can't even drive it anywhere. Do you suggest speaking with a lemon lawyer? I think in NC the lemon laws aren't very consumer friendly. I think it is for new cars that have been to the shop for at least 4 visits. But as I said, I would love to hear any advice that you may be able to give me. Thank you.
  • Sorry to hear about your problems. I would go back to the dealer (?) who sold it to you and demand they fix it since they had to know it was not in good condition. I would also contact Mini USA customer service and tell them you would hope they stand behind their product. I can provide a copy of my communications with them if you send me your email. My dealer did pay for parts but I still had to pay for labor, which, since it was not under any kind of warranty, I felt was a reasonable compromise.
  • winniepwinniep Posts: 18
    I am not allowed to write about what you are talking about on the Edmund's forum because it is forbidden. I replied yesterday and they took my message off because I listed my email address. However, My email address is listed as public, and you can send me a message there. I can update you on what we have been doing. Thanks.
  • What was the basis to which you bought the car as far as the warranty the dealer sold you the car.
    Did you sign an as is contract? and was the as is contract including the drive train? Did the dealer offer you the car with any maintenance agreement for X miles or time?
  • This is never done now the dealer said ,i need a body harnesses it cost $8435,where is the lawsuit.
  • need help , have no money and mi car is not working yet,lawsuit.?????
  • winniepwinniep Posts: 18 forbids me from talking about any lawsuits on line. My email is public (they won't let em list my email in the body of the message either - lame!), please write me at my email address and I can then update you more on what's going on. Thanks.
  • miler1miler1 Posts: 4
    Please email me. My email is not marked private.
  • Looks like I'm not the only one who is fighting with the dealership about my flywheel/clutch.

    Bought her brand new, about 4K miles in, she started to make a noise, I didn't worry about, since it was only sometimes when I was at a stop light.
    Then i brought her into the dealership to look at something else. and i wanted them to look at the rumble that i occasionally heard.
    Now the want over $3000 to replace the flywheel that is warped. Since it is not covered under my extended warenty or my maintenance package that I purchased either.

    They are trying to accuse me of riding the clutch, or racing.
    I have been driving sticks for over 25 years and have NEVER had to replace a clutch in my life.
    So this is not my driving that caused this.

    I WILL NOT BE PAYING TO GET IT FIXED. Looks like it is a manufacturing problem so they can fix it.

    I finally was able to get my dream car, and if this is how it is going to be, then my dreams may be shattered.

  • "One time good faith replacement."
    I stuck to my position, and I won!

    Thanks to my wife for looking up all the problems that MINI's have with the flywheels on the web, I had the information I needed to get a replacement clutch, pressure plate, and flywheel, at no charge to me.

    This is a manufacturing problem, it has been going on for years and the company does know about it. If you experience this problem do your online research and hit them hard for a no charge replacement.
  • New flywheel, pressure plate and clutch. Now my car is smooth.

    When I first got her, the clutch was grabby and tight. I thought it was just the way it was supposed to be. Now with all the new parts, she clutches smooth, like ever other car I have driven.

    So I think the problem was a manufacturing problem from the time she came off the assembly line.

    So I had to FIGHT to get it fixed, and it was aparently a manufacturing issue that should have been taken care of without the scare tactics of a $3K repair bill, and the acusations from the service department as to my inability to drive my car.

    MINI's dirty little secret, and they know it.

    But, I am happy to have my car back, and she feels better
  • My Mini Cooper has been on the road for 3 years & the clutch has gone on it. I have been on the internet & it seems that the clutch & the gear boxes in minis have been a problem.

    Has anyone else had a problem with their clutch & if so what was the outcome?

    Many thanks, Suzane
  • We live in NH and bought a MINI used in March of 2010; the clutch is now gone on it driving less than 10,000 miles. This is obviously a common problem many MINI owners are why hasn't there been a recall?? The car is in the process of getting an estimate and I'm highly anxious about the cost of repair and wondering if I can even afford to fix it....if there is anyone out there with any advice I would appreciate anything.
  • I have a 2007 Mini Cooper S that I bought used with about 8500 miles on it. Clutch and flywheel were shot after I drove for about 8,000 miles. Repair cost was close to $3,000. I was told that it was driver abuse (as it seems that most people on this forum are told). I have been driving cars with manual transmissions for 40 years and never had any unusual problems until this Mini! I posted my story and complaint on every forum I could and let the dealer know it, and finally they agreed to reimburse me for 80% of the repair (minus 20% because there was a previous owner) -- as a one-time good will gesture. That's all fine and good (and was appreciated), BUT now at 40,000 miles (so I got 24,000 miles out of it), the clutch and flywheel were again worn out and had to be replaced, this time all on my dollar, as I was only given a ONE-TIME good will gesture. This is a common problem with the Mini -- I only wish I had known about it before I bought one, even though I do really like the car other than for this problem. According to my service rep, the problem only occurs with the "S" model -- due to the high torque -- and he says he rarely sees the regular Mini have the problem. He says any high torque engine car (not just the Mini) has the same problem. (I wonder if anyone else has been told this?) He suggested that I shift out of first gear by 1300 rpm, a technique that will take some getting used to, but he believes it will give me more life out of the clutch/flywheel. So I'm going to try that out with this clutch and see if it does extend the life, but it does take some time to adjust to shifting this quickly. Good luck with your situation. Honestly, in my opinion, I think that buying a used Mini makes the fight with the dealer harder because you can't attest for the driving practices of the previous owner.
  • Same here. Smoke and smell came out from my brand new MINI Countryman S All4 when I started it in snow. It looked like the clutch was overheated and partially burnt, but dealer told me it was fine...
  • Smoke and smell came out from my brand new MINI Countryman S All4 when I started it in snow where one wheel was stuck. It looked like the clutch was overheated and partially burnt, but dealer told me it was fine...

    Can someone please tell me whether I should trust the dealer? I was told that the dealer might not want to tell me that the clutch had some issues, as long as it is still working....
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,965
    Well a clutch IS a wear item and even if you got a bit of clutch smell and used up more of the clutch than you should have being stuck in the snow, that doesn't necessarily mean the clutch is toast. I have 205,000 miles on the clutch on a 2001 vehicle. I'm SURE that it's well worn (a couple of years ago I was told it was about 85% gone), but it's still functional. Point I'm trying to make is that if you wear half the clutch away, that is what's supposed to happen at some point. Certainly a clutch CAN be ruined, but if the dealer looked at it and pronounced it OK...

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  • I had the same issues on an 2009 S. I told the dealer to stick it, that I would not pay 3200 to replace clutch and flywheeel, and they did. It took some doing but they did it. I went off in the nicest way I could. There are a ton of us out here.
  • I have a 2009 less than 9000 miles and clutch and flywheel went. I told the dealer to stick it, as I own a 2003 as well with no clutch issues. They himmed and hawwed but replaced it. I told them to keep the damn thing if they were not willing to stand by it.
  • Hello fellow Mini owner,

    I am having the same problem and I want to fight it. I emailed Mini and have not gotten a response, and also called 1800-ask-mini. They were not a big help. They told me to talk to the manager at the mini service dept in which my car is in. What should I do? Who should I call. I hope they take care of me and my car the way they took care of you.

    Eric Zamora
  • Awesome! I feel like I need to do the same now. I am having the same problem. Any sudgestions?

  • Hi everybody!

    Same here! My MINI Cooper 2007 has only 30 000miles on it and gearbox started to rattle. Rattle goes away when clutch is pressed. And gearbox starts to be noisy even during driving.

    I can NOT beleive it, premium, expensive small car....BMW actually.

    On Thursday I booked visit at my dealer to request good will from BMW. Hope that they will pay at least 80% of replacement price.

    My MINI is first generation made in 2006, bought brand new i 3/2007 with Getrag gearbox.

    If you guys have the same problem, BMW knows about it. This problem has special code: M230105.

    This is my car on video to show how does it sounds.

    I'm from Czech Republic and BMW dealers are really arrogant and ignorant here. So I guess that I will have to push them a little bit to give me good will.

    This is absolutely unacceptable to change gearbox "every 30k miles"!!!

    Clutch seems to be ok, so far.
  • In my mini cooper when attempting to shift gears while driving or even just in neutral and parked sliding the gear stick from one side to the other horizontally takes literally the entire strength of my whole arm. It's also very difficult to switch into 3rd and 5th gear.

    Has anyone experienced this? Anyone know what the problem might be?
  • march30march30 Posts: 2
    Hi. I have a 2006 and had this exact same problem. It first happened in 2008 and the dealership lubricated the shifter cables which fixed the hard-to-shift problem. In mid-2010 I had the same problem again. First, very difficult to shift and then I couldn't get the car into certain gears (just like your current problem). I was pretty sure it was just the shifter cables. A dealer looked at it (a different one than before because I moved) and they believed it was the transmission since then took the shifter cables off and they seemed to work fine independently. I wasn't convinced it was the transmission but the transmission was replaced. Day after I got car back I went to use car after I had parked it for 20 minutes and went to go in reverse and went forward. Noticed shifter stick was leaning all the way to the left and looked weird. Got help from dealer service and one shifter cable (there are two) had disconnected itself (shifter cables are located under hood). A connector screw or nut had failed so they reattached it. Car shifts ok now but I still have a hard time getting into reverse or first when car hasn't been used for a couple of days. I usually let car warm up and try not to force any shifting. Originally when I had this shifting problem the service center said that the shifter cables just needed lubrication and that this happens often in cold weather. Hope this helps you.
  • Thanks man. I guess we'll try to get the cables lubricated then.
  • innapininnapin Posts: 3
    Seeing discussions on the fly wheel and clutch getting worried about the new mini i am about to pick up ALthough didn't se any complaints from 2010 and 2011 ( albeit new) base model please advise if anyone having trouble with the newer model years thanks
  • docroxdocrox Posts: 12
    Yes I had a new 2010 that the clutch and flywheel burned out at 3,600 miles. Same story as all of the others here. I fought and got it paid for and then traded it off immediately.
  • beritzyberitzy Posts: 1
    I am currently dealing with this issue. I have an '07 Mini S with only 27k miles. My clutch and the flywheel need to be replaced. The dealership says it will cost $3,200, as it is not covered under the warranty. I am doing everything I can to NOT pay as this appears to be a common issue with this car.

    I also had a very bad experience dealing with Mini Roadside assistance.

    Will keep you posted on my progress, please do the same.
  • ccateccate Posts: 1
    You would think after all these years car makers would know how to make a decent clutch system that works. Its not like its not been done before. My problem is I really wanted a Mini. : ( Now I wouldn't touch one with a ten foot pole. Lets me know why I see so many used ones for sale.

    I feel for you guys,

  • innapininnapin Posts: 3
    if you research most of the problems are with the S model the base model not so much and consumer reports recommends the base model
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