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Mini maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

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    BMW, Mini Cooper and Toyota
    interior of mini cooper s

    When you ask yourself whether you can afford a car or not, there’s a lot to consider beyond the purchase price. It’s equally important to pick a car that won’t bankrupt you with maintenance fees and repair bills later on.

    If you’re in the market for a Mini, keep reading to learn if they’re expensive to own, what maintaining your Mini might look like and how you can save money on upkeep.

    Key insights

    • Minis cost more to maintain and repair than the average vehicle, according to RepairPal.
    • Based on that site’s data, Minis are slightly more likely to need major repairs than the average vehicle, and they visit the repair shop significantly more often than other subcompact vehicles.
    • The Clubman is reportedly one of Mini’s most affordable and dependable models, with upkeep costs well below some of the brand’s other offerings.
    • Mini offers three years of free maintenance for its new vehicles, and an extended warranty or prepaid maintenance plan can help you keep upkeep costs down as your Mini ages.

    Are Minis expensive to maintain?

    Mini owners can expect above-average ownership expenses across their car’s lifetime. According to RepairPal, a site that helps people estimate the cost of automotive repairs, Minis cost an average of $846 per year to maintain and repair, compared with the average $652 per year for other vehicles.

    You’re in store to pay extra for Mini upkeep.”
    — Nathan Myers, mechanic

    Since Mini technically falls into the category of a luxury brand, increased pricing comes with the territory, though.

    “You’re in store to pay extra for Mini upkeep,” said Nathan Myers, a longtime mechanic familiar with Mini maintenance and repair. “That’s thanks to the fact that a lot of necessary components are BMW parts. That being said — the original, British Minis — from before the reboot — are solid and pretty cool. They were actually mini, too.”

    How Mini compares with other automakers

    In terms of reliability, Mini gets mixed reviews. RepairPal ranked Mini 25th out of 32 brands for reliability, but J.D. Power ranked it ninth out of 32 automakers in its 2023 dependability study.

    While RepairPal reports that the probability of a given Mini repair being “severe” is just slightly above the industry norm, the frequency of repairs is likely where the bill starts to add up. Mini owners take their rides to the mechanic for repairs an average of 0.6 times a year, which is twice as often as for other subcompact car drivers.

    MakeAverage maintenance and repair costs*
    Mini $846 per year
    Honda $428 per year
    Toyota $441 per year
    Ford $775 per year
    BMW $968 per year
    *According to RepairPal

    Just bear in mind that RepairPal’s $846 figure is a rule of thumb for Mini expenses, and there’s a lot of variation within that number due to differences between models.

    Mini maintenance and repair costs by model

    For example, the Clubman is reportedly one of Mini’s more affordable models to repair and maintain, with an average yearly upkeep cost under $500. However, the Countryman and the now-defunct Paceman tend to incur much higher costs thanks to a reported need for more-frequent repairs.

    ModelAverage maintenance and repair costs*
    Mini Cooper Clubman $484 per year
    Mini Cooper Countryman $880 per year
    Mini Cooper Paceman $890 per year
    *According to RepairPal

    One last note about these figures — RepairPal blends estimates for repair and maintenance costs to create these statistics, but these services are really two separate categories. Repairs generally involve larger, unexpected problems with your car, while maintenance refers to routine preventive care.

    We’ll explore how these categories differ in greater depth below to help you understand their different budgetary needs.

    Mini maintenance schedule

    Keeping your Mini in good condition means following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, which lays out when your vehicle needs to be serviced and what must be done during these appointments. Each model follows a different plan, though, so check your car’s manual for the most accurate information.

    General Mini maintenance schedule

    To give you an idea of what your maintenance schedule might look like, we’ve included an overview of Mini’s service schedule below.

    We wouldn’t recommend basing your maintenance practices on this schedule (it’s simply not worth the risk when the official schedule is available in your manual), but this may be a helpful resource if you’re new to car ownership. (Scroll to see the whole chart if you can’t see it on your screen.)

    Every 5,000 miles Oil change
    Every 5,000 miles Oil filter replacement
    Every 5,000 miles Engine air filter check
    Every 5,000 miles Cabin air filter check
    Every 5,000 miles Tire inflation and condition check
    Every 5,000 miles Brake fluid check
    Every 5,000 miles Transmission fluid check
    Every 5,000 miles Power steering fluid check
    Every 5,000 miles Windshield wiper fluid check
    Every 5,000 miles Battery and cable inspection
    Every 5,000 miles Inspection of belts and hoses
    Every 5,000 miles Front and rear light checks
    Every 5,000 miles Exhaust system inspection
    Every 10,000 miles Tire rotation
    Every 10,000 miles Chassis lubrication
    Every 10,000 miles Wiper blade replacement
    Every 10,000 miles Fuel filter replacement
    Every 30,000 miles Brake fluid flush and replacement
    Every 40,000 miles Fuel filter replacement
    Every 40,000 miles Coolant flush and replacement
    Every 50,000 miles Transmission fluid flush and replacement
    Every 60,000 miles Drive belt replacement
    Every 4-5 years Battery replacement
    Every 4-5 years Tire replacement
    Every 100,000 miles Oxygen sensor replacement
    *According to Mini of Warwick

    Mini maintenance costs

    To help curb maintenance costs, Mini offers free maintenance for its new vehicles (as of 2018). The complimentary service lasts for three years or 36,000 miles and covers oil changes and other services.

    However, once that complimentary maintenance runs out, you may need to budget for routine maintenance. Luckily, the math is simple since you know what services you’ll need. If you want to get a precise estimate of what scheduled maintenance will cost you, call up mechanics in your area to see what they charge for various services and plot out those prices over the maintenance plan in your manual.

    General Mini maintenance costs

    Alternatively, if you just want a ballpark figure, we’ve included some estimates below. Prices for maintenance services can vary depending on where you go and how much labor is required, though, so expect some variation on your bill.

    Tire rotation $79 to $100
    Spark plug replacement $154 to $206
    Brake pad replacement $194 to $266
    Oil change $193 to $224
    *According to MotorBiscuit

    Mini repair costs

    Repair costs are hard to predict because you don’t usually know what will go wrong with your vehicle until it happens. Generally, your best bet is to look at other people’s experiences and plan accordingly.

    So, what are some of the common reasons you might bring your Mini in for a fix? Here are the most commonly reported Mini issues on RepairPal at the time of publishing:

    1. Premature clutch wear on vehicles with manual transmissions, which often costs between $1,600 and $2,000 to correct
    2. Electric door lock malfunctions, which average between $100 to $130 to diagnose (and more to fix, depending on the cause)
    3. Failure of the power steering pump, which usually runs between $1,200 and $1,650 to remedy

    General Mini repair costs

    Below are some other estimates for what you can expect when it comes to Mini repair services.

    Radiator fan relay replacement $52 to $60
    Fuel door release actuator replacement $132 to $145
    Ignition coil replacement $153 to $199
    Valve cover gasket replacement $285 to $349
    Seat heater replacement $672 to $732
    Brake master cylinder replacement $687 to $813
    Water pump replacement $848 to $991
    *According to RepairPal

    If your Mini is newer, it’s worth remembering that it should come with a factory warranty. Mini’s New Passenger Car Limited Warranty lasts up to four years or 50,000 miles, which can keep you from paying out of pocket should something go wrong with your vehicle during that time.

    The bad news is that once your factory warranty period is over, you may be stuck with a major repair bill unless you find another source of warranty coverage.

    » LEARN: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

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      How can an extended warranty or maintenance plan help?

      Buying an extended warranty can give you extra protection against manufacturing defects on your Mini and save you from potentially catastrophic repair bills. Mini even offers its own line of extended warranties, called Mini Extended Service Contracts, but we found that top-rated third-party warranty companies could offer much better deals in several cases.

      » MORE: Pros and cons of extended auto warranties

      Mini also offers several prepaid maintenance programs to help you save on additional maintenance services or stave off the cost of preventive care after your complimentary maintenance period is over:

      • Scheduled Maintenance can extend the coverage from your complimentary maintenance period for another two years or 39,000 miles.
      • Mini Maintenance+ can improve and extend your complimentary maintenance, adding coverage for your brakes, windshield wipers and (notably for stick-shift users) your clutch while prolonging the term for up to four years or 89,000 miles.
      • Mini Maintenance Oil Services only costs $225 as of publishing, and it can provide three years of oil changes for vehicles that have already reached 60 months or 60,000 miles.

      » MORE: Car warranty vs. car insurance

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. RepairPal, “Mini Cooper Reliability.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      2. RepairPal, “Mini Cooper Clubman Repair & Maintenance Costs.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      3. RepairPal, “Mini Cooper Countryman Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      4. RepairPal, “Mini Cooper Paceman Repair & Maintenance Costs.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      5. Mini of Warwick, “What are the MINI Cooper Service Intervals?” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      6. Edmunds, “Used 2019 MINI Clubman Cost to Own.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      7. MotorBiscuit, “Are Mini Coopers Expensive to Maintain, and What Are the Maintenance Costs?” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      8. RepairPal, “Clutch May Wear Prematurely on Mini Cooper.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      9. RepairPal, “Electric Door Locks May Malfunction on Mini Cooper.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      10. RepairPal, “Mini Cooper Repair & Maintenance Costs.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
      11. Mini, “COMPLIMENTARY SCHEDULED MINI MAINTENANCE.” Accessed April 19, 2023.
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