Spring is here, time to open up the sun roof!

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Old 04-05-2010, 12:10 PM
caine32
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Spring is here, time to open up the sun roof!

This was my Mini's first winter in Alaska, and I couldn't be more pleased with its performance. I didn't anticipate bringing it up here when I bought it, so I didn't get the winter package. But I keep it garaged at home, and it starts/runs/heats up just fine after being left out in the cold at work...although I might get a remote starter installed as a creature comfort The only time I need to fall back on my truck is after a big snowfall, when the plows haven't caught up enough to clear the side streets where I live. One of the BMW mechanics up here told me to avoid driving in deep snow (a relative term for the Mini), because there's a small fan under the hood, low to the ground that can get clogged and stop running...can't remember what it was for, but it was a weak link in the chain for something fairly critical. Anyway, with Blizzak snow tires and good defensive driving, everything is kosher up here. My only complaint about having a Mini in Alaska is the lack of in-warranty service. BMW can technically do it (they have the know-how and the tools), but they're not allowed to do it for free. I asked MiniUSA if they could give me some sort of service voucher, but they won't budge, and they say I have to go to Vancouver or Seattle for warranty service! Here's a question to get things going: where do you like to get your service up here?
 
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:48 PM
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Hey Caine32,

I run mine all winter as well and have not had any handling issues yet. The fan the BMW guy is referring to is the powersteering fan. They can be trouble if the fan goes out or gets clogged.

I get mine serviced at Accurate Import Center off New Seward, but they don't do warranty work either, but they do have trained Mini mechanics.

Are you going to make it to the rally on the 1st of May? I will be alot of good info we can share with each other.
 
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:38 PM
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I was also very happy with how well the MINI handles in the snow! I've got the studless Michelin XIce-2 tires that grip the snow/ice like nobody's business... I was going to get the Blizzacks, but found a better deal on the non-runflat Michelins at costco.

I've been detailing Laurel for the last two days in the garage (she got clayed and waxed!). I just started her up for the first time this morning, and what do I hear?? VERY loud rattle within 5-10 seconds after starting it. I've got the cold start rattle. Crap. I'm actually debating on sending her down to Seattle to get it repaired, before it does any damage. I'm gonna contact MINI today and see what they can do for me. I just don't wanna part with her for 30+ days...just thinking about it is unbearable

Anyway, it is time to crack open those sunroofs! I'm stoked about summer coming, and our first Road Rally! I put my summer tires on last week. Makes for a harsh ride, but way more fun since i dont have to worry about my winter tires balding prematurely!
 
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for the info, AKJCW. I'll have to check them out. And I'll do my best to come join the rally on Sat, but it's a work-weekend for me, so we'll see. Speaking of tires, MrsDarcy, has anyone found a good deal on the run-flats up here? It sounds like they're going to be $1000-plus for four. But you make it sound like the run-flats are optional, AKJCW. Is that true?
 
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:42 AM
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Hey Caine,

Sorry for the late reply, to answer your question, yes run flats are optional. They give you the ability to keep going at limited speeds for a bit to get your car to a repair shop without any air. The drawback is the performance is not as good, ride is harsher due to the harder sidewalls and the road noise is louder.

You can get some performance tires around $100 each if you plan on summer only for your car. I bought a winter set of snows mounted and use each set 6 months out of the year.
 
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:44 AM
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oh the next rally is on the 12th if you want to join us Caine
 
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