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Mini Cooper falling apart 118,000 miles

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Mini Cooper falling apart 118,000 miles

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2018, 10:54 PM
noeldesigns
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Mini Cooper falling apart 118,000 miles

We own a 2006 Mini Cooper S which has just over 118,000 miles on it. Never been in an accident.

To date, and to list only a few things, the transmission is gone, engine is going, engine mounts gone, fuel pump replaced, alternator replaced, water pump replaced, cooling reservoir leaking, steering fluid reservoir leaking.

This is in addition to just over $10,000 of work done on the vehicle under warranty.

Has anyone else had these types of issues where a Mini Cooper S is nearly completing falling apart with so few miles.

Your comments are welcome and thanking the forum in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2018, 07:15 AM
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Some questions for your question:

1.) You the original owner?
2.) How many miles on the car since you purchased if not the first owner?
3.) If not the first owner, do you have service records?
4.) Transmission is Auto or Stick?
5.) On the issues other than the engine and trannie, have they been serviced in the past?
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:10 AM
noeldesigns
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Originally Posted by Whine not Walnuts View Post
Some questions for your question:

1.) You the original owner?
2.) How many miles on the car since you purchased if not the first owner?
3.) If not the first owner, do you have service records?
4.) Transmission is Auto or Stick?
5.) On the issues other than the engine and trannie, have they been serviced in the past?
I am the original owner of the car.
118,000 miles
automatic Transmission
The other issue is the replacement of the harmonic balancer.
There was also about $10,000 of work done on the car while under warranty.

Thanks.
 
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2018, 10:25 AM
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OK, my thoughts as you did ask but still more questions.

First, an auto giving out at 118k is not really odd. Did you have the filters and fluids changed per the factory recommendations? Next, you did not say whether the crank pully was replaced but if it is original you got some good use from it with 118k and more than 10 years of age.

You did not mention whether the other issue items had been replaced in the past nor what miles they were replaced at but from somebody that has read more than a few posts here along with owning two Gen1 MINIs, engine mounts gone, fuel pumps, alternators water pumps, cooling reservoirs, and steering fluid reservoirs are all items that most cars with 118,000 miles on them would need to be replaced.

If the 10k was all warranty repairs then it was all paid by MINI so I for one would be quite happy with that along with having no issues with replacing the other items you have noted.

What is the engine doing and why are you saying it is going?
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:34 AM
noeldesigns
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The harmonic balancer went at about 75,000 miles.

Having owned different vehicles in the past, we have never had these types of issues, and certainly not to this extent. We have had Jeeps that lasted 280,000 miles with only regular maintenance, i.e. brakes, oil changes, etc.

On the Mini, all fluids were changed per the manual recommended times.

The vehicle now has a major grinding noise when taking foot off the gas pedal. I am told it could be more transmission issues, or perhaps front bearings. Taking it in today to find out.

Yes, the dealer did perform nearly $10,000 of repairs while under warranty, but the point I was making is that there was that much repair work that had to be done, in addition to what needs to be done now.
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:53 AM
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If somebody looks, they usually will find those that have had problems and those that have not with the cars they own.

Most of us here recognize we do not have a risk free vehicle
 
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2018, 10:59 AM
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Most of the issues are common and often fail well before 118K. My motor mount failed at 17K with a totally stock car which wasn't driven hard. Same with the coolant tank. The second mount was replace with an aftermarket about 20K later, but was still good. The coolant tank is still holding up, but the car, 2005, is fairly low mileage with about 49K on it now.

The auto going out is not surprising, especially if following MINI's lifetime fluid, no service needed advice. If you get the transmission repaired, I would change the fluid every 25-40K miles and maybe the filter every 40-50K.

The leaking PS hoses are common and sometimes can be fixed by just tightening or replacing the hose clamps. Factory MINI coolant tanks leaking are also really common as is the harmonic balancer failing and the motor mounts, especially the passenger side mount which will leak hydraulic fluid all over the frame rail.

Not sure if you had to replace them yet, but by 100K miles the front control arm bushings are probably long gone.

Also, who diagnosed the issues and did the replacements of the alternator and water pump? Not sure how badly your harmonic balancer failed, but when it does it can affect the charging and lead to overheating. If they were obviously failing then fine, but those two items could also have been replaced when they were still good. Any more details on those issues?

Are you still taking the car to the dealer, or have you found a good independent mechanic?
 

Last edited by RB-MINI; 07-10-2018 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:00 AM
noeldesigns
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I realize there is no such thing as a risk-free vehicle.

My concern is what I would consider to be an excessive amount of repairs and costs.

In total, if the vehicle was repaired, in addition to all the warranty work, it would be in excess of $25,000. To me, this seems out of proportion based on the mileage.

If 118,000 is excessive mileage on a Mini, and if it is not inconceivable to have major repairs on the vehicle, the cost of ownership is excessive.

I can certainly understand things going on a vehicle, but not to this extent. We are talking about nearly every major part on the vehicle.
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:08 AM
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I'll add you also have to remember that your car is a 2006, so it is 12 years old. At the 10 year mark you should expect all the rubber parts (bushings, gaskets, seals, engine mounts, etc) will have perished, this is just out of age.

Example: I have to replace the rubber turn signal mounts on my 1996 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic because the rubber has just perished and failed.

Bearings, bearing carriers can also be effected especially if you are in a salty and/or sandy area.

Suspension Bushings, Shock and Strut Mounts again mostly rubber and will perish and fail.

Currently my oldest vehicle is 43 years old and I remember changing out leaf spring shackle bushings, but that was 14 years ago, guess what I need to replace again?

Best of luck with your car.

Motor On!
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:15 AM
noeldesigns
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Thanks for the reply. I agree that certain maintenance items are necessary, as you have listed.

As a 12 year old vehicle, rubber parts and bushings etc will erose due to weather, etc.

However, my bigger concern is not these items. I find it difficult to believe that a vehicle with 118,000 miles has issues with:
transmission
alternator
fuel pump
water pump
harmonic balancer
engine

And this is after the dealer did nearly $10,000 worth of repair work under warranty. The fact that it is under warranty is a payment issue, not a reliability issue.

At nearly $25,000 worth of repairs done or required, at 12 years, is just over $2,000 per year annualized.
 
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2018, 11:43 AM
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I am not be surprised with the alternator, fuel pump, water pump, and harmonic balancer.

With certain reservations I do have a hard dark spot in my heart for the automatic transmission, part of the issue is that in 2006 MINI (BMW) did the "Lifetime" fluid thing, meaning they did not follow a drain and replace schedule. I feel it would have been better had they had a filter and fluid service at 50K miles I think the autotrans would have faired much better.

As for the engine, pretty solid, IF you did your oil and filter services at the standard 6-8K miles vs the on-board computer telling you to service it. And I believe this is in direct correlation with the stupid use of plastic (timing chain guide) inside the engine.

Motor On!
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:39 PM
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OP, we bought our first Mini new (2017 MC S convertible) about two years ago, so I'm not very knowledgeable on the 1st and 2nd gen models. But my pre-purchase due diligence made it clear to me the older cars had a checkered history. They are not a drive and forget vehicle and certainly cost more to own and maintain. I ended up on consumer.org (I think) and it seemed like nearly every PO'd Mini owner in the world had something to derogatory to say. Almost convinced me to go another direction. Glad I didn't. The 3rd gen cars w/ BMW engines, etc are much better from a reliability standpoint.

Speaking from personal experience, I think the Latin phrase "caveat emptor" applies. Let the buyer beware. IMHO, when one steps into anything w/ the BMW name attached, its going to be more costly than maintaining a Honda Civic. I didn't realize that upfront. Still, I love my car and have accepted its going to cost more to maintain. I'm good with my hands and beginning the mechanical learning curve.

You now know what it costs to maintain your car. If your a car guy, love your Mini, good w/ your hands, and looking to put 200k miles or more on it. Go for it and forget the cost issue. It is what it is. If you're an accountant type and getting hung up an analyzing future unknown costs, but still love Minis, trade and get a new F series. If total cost per mile is more important, then the Civic is still out there.

Thanks for the post. It's prompted much good discussion.

Take care. Contented
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:54 PM
noeldesigns
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Thanks, I appreciate your insights. The oil, etc was changed per the on-board computer as that is what the dealer recommended.

Your response was that you were not surprised by a number of the, what I would consider, to be major parts failing. Not starting an argument here.

I am surprised as I have owned a number of vehicles and have never had to replace any major item, mostly just standard wear and tear items, and one clutch on a manual transmission. But, on the Mini, a long list of failed parts all within 118,000 miles.

While it is understandable that one or two parts may fail, I still find it surprising at the list of major parts that have failed.

I did contact Mini and they sent their standard response, which was basically that parts fail. DUH.
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by noeldesigns View Post
Thanks, I appreciate your insights. The oil, etc was changed per the on-board computer as that is what the dealer recommended.

Your response was that you were not surprised by a number of the, what I would consider, to be major parts failing. Not starting an argument here.

I am surprised as I have owned a number of vehicles and have never had to replace any major item, mostly just standard wear and tear items, and one clutch on a manual transmission. But, on the Mini, a long list of failed parts all within 118,000 miles.

While it is understandable that one or two parts may fail, I still find it surprising at the list of major parts that have failed.

I did contact Mini and they sent their standard response, which was basically that parts fail. DUH.
No offense taken. I'll say it another way, after owning three Honda Accords and a Mazda Miata where the worst trouble I had was one flat tire for the lot. One gets used to a low maintenance car. My 2015 Nissan Altima just needed an a/c compressor and condenser to the tune of $1,250. Aside from the a/c work and one flat tire, 60k plus miles have been trouble free. The reliability of what I'll call mainstream cars is quite good these days. I'd be irritated like you if one of these cars became a money pit.

As I said, when I did due diligence before buying my F57 Mini, I came to understand the older minis could be VERY expensive to maintain as your experience shows. Way too expensive for my tastes. That's why your list of expenditures didn't surprise me. It's somewhat common knowledge that's how they are.

Yours is a 1st gen. Some have jokingly posted that the best use for a 1st gen motor is as a boat anchor. It's been my observation that quality and especially reliability varies widely across the early BMW Minis. Some good, some bad, some very bad. Sounds to me you got a bad one. Does it surprise me? Nope.

You apparently have a connection to the car, otherwise you'd have gotten rid of it a long time ago. It is what it is. Doesn't matter who agrees or disagrees with you. The only thing that matters is what you think.

Best wishes, contented
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:40 PM
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Yes, at 100K thats the major service. But like my R52 when the top was replaced under warranty it was like 5K. Rust warranty another 5K. So with a MINI, it does not take much.
If it was kept up on like it was there own child then it might have had more things done. At almost 300K my engine is going strong and I did the clutch at about 190K. But I baby the car. I have heard some MINIs that have a rough life will have major issues at 200K with the engine itself, but not many at 100K unless its just the SC, alt, waterpump. But not so much the internals.

Steering pump should be covered under the recall.
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:24 PM
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I appreciate the feedback. Just annoying that the repairs would actually be more than the original purchase price of the car.

Certainly understand maintenance, but as I said not at 118,000 miles.
 
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:33 PM
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Even though it is BMW, it is still a "British" car (er, vehicle). Try owning a Jaguar XKE in the 80's (British V-12 Camaro). Had to take my mechanic to lunch every weekday (and pay) just to keep it running. Throw in EU and US regs. Unique design and as such, you pay for it. And the smiles and looks it gets. Want something reliable? Try my GMC Sierra 1500. 12 years old, other than tires, oil and battery, $12.50 for a tailgate hatch.
 
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:04 PM
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Mini falling apart

I have a 2007 mcs. I took on the task of replacing a water pump and after finding multiple issues the engine is now at a machine shop, took the trans and upgraded to a wavetrac and replaced bearings and seals. Rebuilt the axles, new injectors, hpfp, vacuum pump, etc. Replacing all engine internals w/forged pistons and rods, arp bolts, new oil pump...

I wish I had known how poorly these engines were made, I would have traded it in for an n18. The last engines made were ok.

Good luck. Replace items that live in the same neighborhood.

DR
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:29 AM
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Falling apart

I rebuilt my Cooper at 90K. Engine, transmission, electrics... And i’ve owned it since new. I know exactly how to care best for the car. Good luck.
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:57 AM
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I did not read all the replies, but your comments on your first post, lead me to believe, you are tired of a car that handles like a go-cart, but needs to be maintained like all European cars, to keep going well.
I doubt there is anything I can say in Mini's defense. Maybe it is time for you to buy a new jeep and bounce around on the back roads! The Mini is a handling monster. Maybe you got too used to that!
You loved the Mini, when you got it, but maintenance wore you down. Dollars are important to all of us, but the way we decide to use them is very different. A Mini needs an owner that will get involved with it's maintenance and repair. It is the one way to afford to keep the fun going.
I hope you find an answer that works for you!
 
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