wanting but concerned - North American Motoring

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wanting but concerned

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Old 10-16-2008, 06:45 AM
tomg
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wanting but concerned

I am considering buying a mini but am a little concerned. I currently have a 06 camry with 90K. I have a 100/day comute to my job. It was 120/day; therefore, I would definitely rack up mileage in a hurry. Then I love to take drives on the weekend. Should have been a trucker, do have a CDL. My concern is after a little research I find that replacing a transmission in a cooper costs $8,500 - $9,500. I'm also shocked at the cost of $1,200 to replace power steering pump. I am big on maintenance. Currently oil change every 3,000 miles and flush the transmission every 30K. Sounds like most of the mini owners change out cars before they reach 100K. Anybody concerned with cost of transmission replacement cost??????
 
  #2  
Old 10-16-2008, 07:29 AM
danjmcs
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My 05 has 97k miles on it, and is also my daily driver. The only major post warranty repair I've had was caused by a crank pulley failure, that I did have the dealer diagnose and repair for around $1,200. I was just out of warranty, and had yet to find a good mechanic that was convenient and I trusted to diagnose the problem. It wasn't a complete undriveable failure, so was throwing service codes, and the dealer found/repaired the pulley. It was just easier and more convenient to have them do it once the Mini was already there and I had a rental car, etc. Today, it's something I probably could have had done for probably a bit more than half that price.

I've also read about some nightmare repair costs on out of warranty CVT type auto transmissions, but that cost is definitely not accurate if your talking about a manual transmission. I'm un-sure about the cost on the repair of the current generation automatic. Even with the CVT though, we have a few people in the club with 70k+ miles on the CVT with no issues.

I had a few repairs under warranty... power steering cooling fan, passenger side motor mount leak (its hydraulic/oil filled), sunroof rails replaced, clutch slave cylinder.

The power steering pump on the 05 runs aroud $400 for the part, so yeah, I guess its possible the repair cost could be that high, but maybe only from the dealer. We are finding some good local mechanics that are now working on Minis, so those types of out-of-warranty repairs are more reasonable than having to pay the dealer labor rates. The cooling fan for the power steering pump is a known weakness, and as i mentioned above, i had replaced once too. It's something to keep an eye on on the first generation Mini, as I bet a lot of pump failures are caused by that fan not providing adequate cooling before/when the fan fails. I clean it out with air each time i change the oil.

If you want some extra protection they do have some extended warranty options to 100k miles, but I wanted to track and auto-x my car, thus do some of my own after-market mods, so I didn't think the extended warranty made sense for me.

As for oil, the Mini uses full synthetic oil, so changing it as often as you do now with conventional is really throwing away money. I don't go as often as the computer says to go, and usually change mine around 8k miles, mostly because of our dirty climate and im concerned about the filter, not the oil. I'll also change it a little early before a track event if im getting close to mileage also.

The R56, 2007+ Mini is an all new car mechanically, as compared to my 2005, so its potential problems at high mileage aren't as known, since the model is barely two years old now. But it does seem to be a more refined generation of the Mini.

We started having some "garage days" this year with our Mini club to also help owners learn more about their Minis. How to do oil changes themsevles if they want, known issues to look for and keep an eye on, etc. How to do a brake job, etc. Things that really aren't that hard to do if you have someone show you how to do it properly and safely, since we have a lot of people with Minis past the warranty mileage now.

Bottom line, I love my Mini as much as the first day and I don't plan to get rid of it anytime soon. If I do, it will be for another Mini!
 

Last edited by danjmcs; 10-16-2008 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:38 AM
tomg
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tomg

I wasn't sure at first. This all started when I was surfing the web looking for maintenance schedule and ended up at consumeraffairs.com. That's where I saw all the nightmare stories ref cost. There they were talking about $6,500 - $8,000 for transmission replacement. I am thinking about buying 2008 automatic. I called the dealer and they're the ones that told me $9,500 for replacement. I realize that most of my driving will be highway miles which are not as bad as city;however, having to pay that much if the transmission goes out after warranty scares the hell out of me....
 
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:17 PM
th3118
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Dealer is a long drive from Casa Grande. All service and warranty work must be done there. The Mini is not rated high in reliability. Have you thought about a Toyota? With the miles you drive why not a Prius? Rated # 1 in reliability and mileage. We have one as a 2nd car and love it too.
 
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:27 PM
tomg
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I currently own 2 Toyotas, one 2008 Corolla and one 2006 Camry XLE with 90K miles which I'm trading in. The ideal was to trade in one with high miles and reduce my payments - also getting car with 0 miles. I have no issues with reliability on Toyotas. I don't they can be beat. I thought a Mini (BMW) would be very reliable until I starting hearing about transmission failure and power steering pump failures. Especially the cost to repair - makes me a little nervous....
 
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:03 PM
UKSUV
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I find transmissions all day long for around 1400 bucks. And full motors for 3K....so anything can be done cheaper...
 
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:05 AM
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I have had three MINIs with no major issues at all. I have had some interior light issues and some peoblems with my leather seats and i had the same engine mount leak. Then again I have not kept any of them out of warrenty until my latest one an 06. The only thing I always remember about doing research on a product is almost no one without problems complains. So you always get a unfair set of info about the worst case.
The dealer charges huge on the labor; so like Dan stated, the aftermarket shops can do the jobs for much cheaper and do better work too.
I too used to drive 60 miles one way to work on the interstate in my MINI... Then spent all day driving around to my clients fixing equipment in it too. If you buy a MINI you will not regret spending all that time behind the wheel....
 
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:27 PM
carjoy
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Tomg! Where were you Saturday! I looked for you!
 
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