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I am writing because I am shocked at the terrible reviews I just read. I have owned my 2005 Mini Cooper Convertible since November 2005 and have never had a single problem. Of course some of that may be due to the amount of miles I have on it (about 38,000). We drive it from N.C. to Fl and return once yearly. Although there are only a few miles, the main thought I have is, why haven't I had any problems in the 12 years I have owned it? Anyway just want to share my good news after reading the previous ones.
Can't give them "0" stars, so they get a lucky star...just one. Super friendly sales and service people for sure, MINI, good job, you've trained them well. The complimentary Starbucks coffee and Chex Party Mix are also a nice touch, but NONE OF THESE CAN SUBSTITUTE FOR ENGINEERING AND DELIVERING A QUALITY AUTOMOBILE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS! I'd rather buy a car from a jerk that was a quality product, designed for performance, reliability, and longevity. The automatic transmission on my 2007 Mini Cooper failed at 108,000 miles. A regularly serviced automatic transmission such as the one in the 2007 Mini Cooper, by comparable industry standards, should be good for at least 150,000 miles.
This was not an inexpensive car (over 30K new, with over $15,000 in labor and parts in the meantime). The transmission was serviced when the car was still under warranty, and well after the BMW corporation was aware of the design flaws that ultimately led to the transmission failure. Rather than service the defective transmission while the warranty was in effect, they sent me home with a car that they knew had a poorly designed/engineered transmission from the factory. Although the transmission was serviced 18 months prior to this failure, and I believed the work carried a 2-year warranty, MINI's position is that the work performed was not mechanical, but electronic in nature, and was not covered under the 2-year warranty. The MINI was fun while it lasted, and as a professional that works with young adults as a career, I always felt comfortable recommending the MINI as a first car.
My position on the MINI (not Bill Jacobs, you've been consummately professional) has shifted, and I will ultimately share my story of dissatisfaction and disappointment with the BMW corporation. Of notable irony is the fact that I originally purchased a MINI because of their resale value. $45,000 later and I have a MINI that is worth $150. The final tow to and from Bill Jacobs MINI will cost more than that. I believe that any of the owners of Bill Jacobs MINI or its representatives would feel exactly as I do in regards to this situation. To MINI and BMW...you missed the most important thing that car buyers want, that is, a quality product. Everything else has been tasty, perfectly-brewed, and pleasant.
Ferman Mini in Clearwater Florida has had to redo most repairs they have done. So unreliable and they asked ME not to come back... HA! ALSO my 2005 lift back was elevated one day and randomly came down and cracked me in the head. Terrible that the engineers never thought to put a safety catch on the elevated door but instead they all say I should expect it from an end left vehicle. Now tell me that is a dependable manufacturer/dealer when your customer got cracked in the skull by your inappropriate design. Shame on them for trying to humiliate me telling me to never come back. What losers.
PURCHASED A USED 2010 MINI COOPER 2 DOOR COUPE. Mini dealer showed me that Carfax was clean and the car only had one owner. PUT 10000 MILES ON IT the 15 months I OWNED IT AND NOW MY TIMING CHAIN BROKE! $3000 to repair PLUS two tows. Car stopped suddenly on the freeway, glad no one hit me. My family has owned lots of BMW's, NEVER ever has a timing chain/belt snapped!! I thought these cars were reliable. Wrong.
Very enjoyable to drive - it is an adult go-cart. We particularly enjoy the convertible here in Florida. It is nice to have the wind blowing through your hair.
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I like the Mini Cooper a lot. It stood up to a wreck but it's pretty worn down now and it's very expensive to fix. The drain for the oil pan somehow has become stripped and it's a custom ordered part. So it's not an easy fix. No money is tight and I haven't been able to fix it. So I'm worried for it.
Minis are great as long as they are under warranty. I was having mechanical problems within the first 3 month. The car was repeatedly at the dealership for various problems. That was all ok for the first 4 years. Just don’t keep it past the 4th year cause Mini won’t recall any of the many known problems and it’ll gets costly. The repairs don’t end.
I am sitting here waiting for a tow truck now going on 4 hours. My car - Mini Countryman 18 with 8800 miles just died. It won’t start and keeps shaking. No one was available from the diagnostic area so the roadside called a tow for us. I had to get the roadside info from the closest dealer - 45 min away. My dealer - Mini Annapolis didn’t help at all since their service dept. closes early. The roadside employees seemed calm and wanted to help but 4 hours for a tow when AAA takes 30 min - this is unacceptable!!!
I am very disappointed at the sales practice in Morristown Mini. I would advise DO NOT buy car there, I had to bear a loss of $17,000 because this dealer didn't disclose the tire information at purchase. As a loyal customer, we have purchased a Mini Cooper two years ago and were satisfied with the car. However, when we decided to replace another car and got a Clubman last Sept. in the same dealership, nightmare started not long after the joy of having a fully loaded clubman. First snow, which as a resident of NY and NJ for 20 years, was really nothing, my husband though couldn't even drive the car up to a small hill for my daughter's music lesson, it was a dangerous zigzag.
We couldn't figure out why. Until we sent car to dealer, they told us it's performance tire and cannot be driven under 40 degrees. Since we bought it at 6k miles, no one bothered to disclose this information to us. And I tried to call dealership, the manager never called me back. We are caught off guard. We purchased a car not suitable for weather here. After that, the car is mostly stalled on the driveway, upon recent snow storm, when we had to go out during and after snow to get gas for generator. So, after 5 months of suffering, we terminated car with $17K loss... Bought a SUV with all season tire.
Hi, I purchased a used 2010 Mini Cooper less than a year ago which I am still financing, Yesterday my wife was on her way home. The car started smoking from the vents and soon after the car locked down while I was driving and could not breathe. While driving on the left lane she was able to come to a stop and turn off the vehicle then the door open for me. With the door open she then turn back the car as other vehicles saw that the car was smoking. They let me merge to the right lane. A police officer in his car noticed that something was wrong and came to my aid. As he was asking her what is wrong, she tells police officer that the car is smoking and that's when the car lit up in flames as the horn was going off. The car and all of hers and my personal belongings got destroyed in a blazing fire that almost killed her. What should my next step be? I am out of car, my laptop, cell phone, sneakers, etc. A response is needed. Thanks.
I got my 2009 Mini Cooper convertible back in 2013. It was below 18,000miles so I thought I was getting a good vehicle. By far the worst decision I ever made, and am at this point willing to lose money on what remains to be paid for the vehicle just to see it behind me. In the past 4.5 years, I have easily spent around $6000 in repairs, and I have another $2400 to repair on the engine and brakes just to pass this year's inspection. Not little things, mind you - HUGE issues. Things that kept it in the shop for days.
And it seems like every day there is something else that needs to be done. Will be trading it in, and I tell everyone I know that unless they have a bottomless pocketbook, and don't plan on really using the car very often - i.e. if it's your "fun/weekend" vehicle, not your primary - then don't go there. It isn't worth the stress or the expense. Like a mechanic recently told me when I hit another expensive brick wall with this car: it's a toy, not a car for people who actually need to drive somewhere.
2007 Mini Cooper S - I fell in love with this car the first time I test drove it! So much fun, so cute. Then I took it off the lot and it all went downhill and I wished I'd never seen that car. The Carfax the dealer showed me had 8 previous owners! I bought it in 2014 so that's quite a turnover! I just couldn't resist it even with that huge red flag! What a huge waste of money, so many repairs in the year I had it! I had an hour commute to work and this car was constantly needing repairs. Not dependable at all and the repairs are so expensive. Just to have your oil changed is 100 dollars! I finally gave up and traded it in on a used Scion. I love the Scion, not one repair, not one mechanical problem! Nice looking car and exactly what I needed in the first place. I learned my lesson the hard way, cute car but costly and not a car you can depend on at all. One year cost me about 4000 in repairs out of pocket. Mini won't cover anything if you've taken it to another dealer.
I loved my car (2009 Mini Clubman, purchased new) until it hit 52K miles. I always had my car serviced by Mini Service, at the required intervals. At 52K miles, it needs multiple repairs ($6K) that are more than the blue book value. Repairs include drive belt, water pump, front crank seal, transmission fluid leak, and thermostat. I reached out to Mini USA and they covered $780 cost of replacing the thermostat, but refused to cover any of the other costs. (My understanding is the life of these parts is short because the engine runs hot, is in a small space, and the heat from the engine is drying out and cracking the small parts.) Mini doesn't seem to be concerned that the car only lasted 52K miles.
If you are going to buy a Mini, be aware that it has reliability issues, has a very short life, poor resale value and that Mini USA will not stand behind their product. And sell your Mini as soon as the 3-years of included maintenance (or extended maintenance, if purchased) ends so you don't end up stuck with a car that is worthless.
I love Mini Cooper Countryman 2011 but the car I was driving and the steel wheel lock by self when I was exit on the freeway. Scare me. So now I don’t trust the car anymore. Pls let me know if that happen to anybody. Thanks.
2nd Post here - venting out frustration of owning 15 Cooper S. Late 2015, was looking for a sporty car for office commute. GTI, WRX and Mini were my shortlist in that order. Test drove MINI. It spoke to me and with all excitement I bought it. This was the only time when I had excitement buying a car. I was very much skeptical about MINI’s reliability – but learned that with 3rd generation it’s all good. Even the dealer assured me.
Day of the purchase drove home and parked with a huge grin. Only to find white smoke from the hood. Called the dealer, they said it might be water evaporating after the wash. Since I knew better, I took it to the dealer next day and they diagnosed that it was oil leak. Brand new car with oil leak!! Dealer was intending to repair. Being frustrated, contacted MINI (corporate). They were awesome. Felt me valued. Gave me free extended warranty or return the car back. Seeing how I was treated, I didn’t return it. It was absolutely awesome customer experience. Things like these can only be found in marketing text books. Already started planning for next MINI then – Clubman or JCW or perhaps a BMW? Who doesn’t like a M3?
All well. Until one day check engine light came ON. Panicked, stopped the car. Called the dealer. Luckily there was no power loss. They insisted me to send a photo of the light – to make I am talking about the same. Took to the dealer, they didn’t find any issues. Returned the car back. After a week again the light came ON. Took back again, they said they have to replace environmental sensor (along with radiator). This was a moment where I was very glad that my car had problem on the first day of purchase – extended warranty!! Dealer fixed it. On a routine service, dealer found problem with rotors and replaced all 4 around 25k miles. I was shocked about it. Replacing rotors? And that too at 25k miles? Anyway I am not paying for it, so went with it.
Coming to present. Thursday evening from office - cold north east weather. Again the dreaded check engine light. Feels like it is the same old sensor. Going to the dealer on Saturday. Getting very much tired of this. All of this in 2 years and 32K miles!! Does not give me much confidence of keeping this car for long. Not a single car I owned had this many problems. No way could I keep this car beyond extended warranty. And because of the history of all repairs, I am not going to get much either when I try to sell it. MINI is build like a race car. It is awesome when it works. But we use MINI as a daily driver, we need it to last. It needs to be reliable. Owning MINI is like being in an unhappy marriage. You had some wonderful moments, but you know you can’t let this go for long… You will ruin your life… Talks a lot about BMW family as well… so called German engineering perhaps!!!
- When the high beams are activated, the regular headlights go off. I use the high beams when I need MORE light, not the same amount but in a different direction.
- The middle headrest in the backseat obstructs the view of the back and I had to remove it.
- The kick-to-open trunk feature NEVER works, EVER. Even during the instructional demonstration when I was picking up the car, the salesman had trouble opening the trunk this way.
- The defogger has a long pause before the blower starts working.- The center console is not very user friendly, and I am a tech savvy person. Using your phone’s Bluetooth for GPS is a nightmare.
- The trunk door has opened on me, while I was driving, on multiple occasions. The key fob was either in my pocket or clipped to my belt when the button was accidentally pressed. There should be a lock that prevents the trunk from opening while the car is moving. The Clubman I have, has two swing-out doors, so it’s very easy for things to fall out of the open trunk when the car is moving.
- The low-profile run-flat tires suck. In eight months, I have gotten four flat tires. More information below.
The tires make this car unusable. As previously stated, I got four flat tires in eight months, I stopped driving the Mini in April, that's why it's only eight months even though we have had the Mini for a year. This is from normal driving, going up driveway curbs, and rolling over little potholes. I think paper mache tires would last longer. Each replacement tire from Mini costs $335. That's $1340 gone, not to mention the time to bring the car to Mini and waiting for the tire change, waking up super early to wait for the tow truck, frustration and stress, and safety issues as I have a baby in the car most of the time. It's all a scam to buy the tire insurance. The tires at BJ's Wholesale Club are $150 each and come with a lifetime guarantee. They are not run-flat but who cares, I know how to change a tire. It is ridiculous that Mini's tires are such garbage and not backed by any warranties, and are double the price of tires found elsewhere.
I bought a 1999 Honda Accord (for $1500) in April because I did not want to drive the Mini anymore, I simply did not want any more flat tires. For the price of 4 tires from Mini, I bought an older (19 year old) Honda which has run perfectly and has fewer inconveniences and disappointments than the 2017 Mini. I have driven the Accord for four months and we now call it the "good" car, and the "reliable" car. Every time we go over a pothole in the Accord, we say, "That would have been another flat tire on the Mini." I wrote this review in August 2017, and it is now December 2017. In four months the BJ’s tires have performed well with no flats. The tire tech at BJ’s said the Mini factory tires are garbage. If anyone else had problems with Mini’s tires please write about it. I think it is a big problem.
Although my 2012 (hardtop) Mini is a blast to drive I will NEVER buy another one. Just turned 55k miles and I've already had to replace tires/rotors, ignition coils, and the water pump. It is currently in the shop with head gasket/engine repairs to the tune of $2,500.00. Thank goodness for the mechanical breakdown coverage we opted to buy when we bought the new Mini! It's absurd to have this many expensive repairs on a car with only 55k miles!!
I have a 2013 Mini Cooper Convertible (47k miles) which already had following problems: busted Spark plugs, Ignition coil replacement, Engine Leak, Blower motor and blower motor resistor, trunk latch sensors, etc. and Customer Service. My biggest problem is one of the most pathetic customer service of Mini USA. I will make sure that none of my family members or friends ever buy mini. #**Mini They sell you car and then don't give a ** about it. All they ever do is "we will document your complaint and we will handle it internally". WTF does that mean? If you don't have warranty on this dud, be ready to spend your hard earned $$.
In the end, I was contacted by an Executive Customer Care rep about my BBB complaint. She was professional and courteous and did everything she said she would do when she said she would do it. This was especially impressive given that her responses relied on many people around Thanksgiving vacation time. She said she did not know why the Regional Management Team would have turned down my request for a tow, and a week later, their decision was overturned. A day later, the new dealership contacted me to arrange EVERYTHING for just two days later. They said my MINI would be finished by Friday, but on Thursday morning, they contacted me to say I was moved to the front of the line and would have my MINI towed back to me, fixed up as good as new, a day early. MINI USA paid for EVERYTHING, and the new dealership took care of arranging the tow and the repair. When you find the right people in the company, I think they really DO care about their customers! One star off for having to work so hard to find the right people, but they have re-earned my business!
My 2006 MINI Cooper has been recalled for issues with the front airbag sensor. I have been instructed in writing to take my MINI to my dealership to have it repaired as it is not safe to drive, however, my dealership is Princeton MINI, which is now permanently closed. I am pregnant with our third child and do not have the ability to drive this unsafe vehicle to the next nearest dealership, which is located in Philadelphia. I called MINI customer relations to ask if I could be reimbursed if I took my MINI to my nearest BMW dealership that has been servicing my vehicle. The customer service escalation supervisor, Samuel, declined. I then asked if MINI would pay to have the vehicle towed to that MINI dealership in Philadelphia and towed back to me.
I was instructed by Samuel to call that dealership myself and obtain a cost: $422. MINI has now declined that option, too. I asked what other recourse I had in this matter since my dealership no longer exists and I am unable to drive an unsafe vehicle such a long distance, and I was told that I had none. MINI's decision is final. I asked if that meant that MINI didn't care about their customers, and I was told that "that's a rather harsh way of putting it, but yes". MINI will throw away a customer over $422!
I paid close to 30K for a loaded Mini 2007 Cooper S and spent the next 9 years regretting my decision. From the beginning, the car was back and forth to the dealership, 48 times over a 9 year period. This included both scheduled maintenance, mechanical problems, and (14) run-flat tire replacements. In addition to what was covered by the warranty, my out of pocket costs approached 20K. In retrospect, could have purchased a way nicer car for the money. I grew up in England loving the MINI, but my first experience with ownership was brutally disappointing. The transmission failed at 95K miles (it was an automatic, NO excuse for the trans to go with less than 100K miles) and another MINI bit the dust.
The Mini Corp. tried to make it right by pressuring the dealership to work with me, but the car was a losing proposition. I was optimistic for the first 3 years of owning the case, but the harsh reality is that is was a lemon... a bitter, sour lemon that has spoiled my fond memories of the Mini. The car was poorly designed and engineered, and no amount of customer support, no warranty, no amount of Chex Mix or free Starbucks coffee can substitute for a quality product.
My 2012 Mini Cooper S Coupe with 40k miles has had so many things wrong with it, I’m not sure where to start. Here’s a current list of error messages: Coolant temperature sensor, signal is permanently stuck at low. Fuel tank ventilation system and purge air system, micro leak, leak greater than .5mm. Signal, coolant temperature from engine management. Tail lamp 1 faulty. Break light right faulty. Directional indicator, rear light faulty. Trunk door does not unlatch. I’m sure by the time these are fixed there’ll be a new list. This car has been in the shop from day one.
Wife had been looking for a new car - one that "fit" her personality - and chose to order a top of the line Mini - specifically a fully loaded 2018 John Copper Works Countryman All4. After waiting for almost 3 months to have the car delivered from Belgium (BMW) factory, we took the train down to Mini of Portland to pick up her car. Upon inspection we noticed white slime coming from outside the interior of the car and staining the black trim. "Don't worry we will get it cleaned up for you" was the manager's response. After driving it 2 hrs home we noticed the next day that the black trim molding was stained as the Clear Coat (extra by necessary living in the west mountain regions) was bubbling in the front bumper.
After taking a day off from work it was brought to the dealership where I was told there was a notice out from BMW but since the model of the car they hadn't received it from corporate so they wouldn't fix it because they would have to pay for it!!! Doesn't matter that it is a 4 hour round trip plus my cost away from work. When it was finally down they had to take the hood off and clean the "slime" off - which is what they stated was used to prevent rust from the transatlantic trip. OK, if that is what a takes, even if it was inconvenient and expensive for us. She wanted her dream car and said it was worth it.
A week later the white slime was back and a passenger side window molding fell off. Called the dealer and they said to take another day off from work and make a four hour trip down - of course at my convenience. While trying to figure when to take it down we noticed that some of the Mini medallions that are throughout the interior were starting to peel off. I finally got so angry I called the Mothership; BMW of North America to file a complaint. After nearly 2 weeks I was called today and told I had to deal with the dealership only and that BMW of North America had "nothing to do with."
I said the dealership didn't build it and that BMW of North America does indeed have everything to do with it as they represent the brand and factory and that whether a car cost $5,000 or $5,000,000 there should be no reason for shabby workmanship. He continued to deflect responsibility until I just disconnected the call. So, save your money and buy a used Yugo - at least you know the quality to expect.
The Clubman is a good entry model for first Mini. I've owned mine for over a year with no issues to date other than regular maintenance. I use my hatch like a compact truck. It has power enough to carry 10 40-pound bags of wood pellets. I would only consider the 6 speed manual as it makes the car a hoot to drive.
I purchased my Mini from a Mini dealership four years ago. It was a used "certified" car. In the time that I have had it, I have replaced every major part, including clutch, alternator, water pump, thermostat housing, all coils, timing chain, cooling fan motor, blower motor, both rear electronic locks, headlights, brakes, and even the passenger seat (the airbag detection sensor went out). Even though I did most of the work myself, I've spent over 6500.00 on it. If I had a shop do it, it would have been well over 10,000.00. I DO NOT recommend anyone buy a Mini. I am paying it off and selling it. I'm done.
Last Friday when I was driving home and my 2015 Mini hit a telephone pole. The car hit the pole at about 35 MPH on the driver's side at about the level of the headlight. The car was totaled. For whatever reason, no airbag was deployed. I hit the steering wheel with my chest and have bruised ribs but fortunately I am going to be OK (I was wearing a seatbelt). Up until now I was a loyal Mini owner (this was my second) but I am concerned how this car could hit and damage a telephone pole so severely it had to be replaced, without airbag deployment. More of a concern was what if the accident was even more severe. Has this happened to others? Obviously, my replacement vehicle will not be a Mini but others may want to use this as a cautionary tale.
OK, my last review gave the 2014 Cooper S manual trans a 4 star rating. I'll retract that now. My 3 yr lease was coming to an end and I did 6 months of research on sub compacts w/6spd man trans, turbo, power seat on driver's side, at a minimum, & good repair ratings, dealership close by. I could not wait to get rid of the MINI, the driver's seat was killing me. I didn't realize how irritating the dash functionality was until I leased a 2017 Chevy Sonic Premier, that's right a CHEVY! First domestic model car since 1976. 15 K less than a high end MINI. Fully loaded, great radio, intuitive controls all the way around, comfortable seat, easy shifting, 32 mpg on mostly suburban, inner city driving, not as noisy as the MINI. No complaints. The standard features on this model would have been pricey extras on a comparable MINI.
My last hours as MINI owner had me wondering if it was going to make it through the 20 mile trip to the dealers. It had been sitting for 3 days and would not go into 1st or 2nd for a few minutes. Okay, my Sonic is not cute as a Volcanic Orange button, its turbo is not a rocket like the MINI's was. And, it looks like a Chevy. I had my own personal paradigm shift on what was important to me in a car. After owning 3 Euro cars for the past 25 years, Volvo, Volvo, MINI, I decided I was done, done, done. If you have the need for a cute car, the MINI certainly is that, but you'll find the irritation factors outweigh the cutes in about 17 months or less. BTW, I'm not seeing 2014 Volcanic Orange MINIs on the roads/highways lately. I assume they all went to the bone yard (auction) like mine did.
I am a super fans of MINI COOPER since I was a teenage girl. I always wanna have Mini as my first dream car. With decades of hard work in my career, my saving money got enough to lease it. When I got the car and sent it to insurance company, the inspection report showed me that it is a used car with over 9 thousand miles on it! On 7/11/17, a dealer name Enrique ** from Mini of Morristown, NJ said found a car to me, but he never ever mention it is an used car. This is such a trick because the sales just wanted to make money out of me and push me to sign without explaining and showing me everything. What a “great” service! A sales push customer to sign? NO ONE WANTS TO LEASE A LOANER OR USED CAR!
The dealer Enrique ** told me the car is $32,000, but it is only $26,997. I have paid $3,000 down, $270.5 per monthly of 35 months by leasing. And a maintenance service fee $600 package (I called MINI Service it is only $399). Again, I want to lease a new car, not a second hand or loaner car. The main point is NO ONE mention it is a 9,662 miles loaner car or a pre-own car until I found out, this is such a fraudulent conduct.
On 7/14/2017, I called the manager Omar **, he is not helping to get this case done, he yelled at me, speak so loudly, and didn't even say sorry to me. Just say: "bring the car back, I give your money back." I took 2 days off, driving 2 hours from New York City to NJ, spend my time to deal with the dealer, and I am a client and big fan of MINI, I should not deserve they have this kind of attitude to me!
All in all, I cannot believe that MINI Morristown Dealership is so rude and deceitful! I have my friend accompany with me, so that I have all the text messages can be used as evidences. It destroyed my dream of the first mini car I have. I need to have my right back! I need an apology and solution on this as soon as possible. If your company just try to let it go and fool me, then I will file complaint to NJ Consumer Affairs, BBB. Furthermore, I will report it on all the medias since I am working in the media and PR field for 5 years, I will use all of my connections to get my fight back! Even seriously, sue Mini of Morristown. I am NEVER THAN EVER DISAPPOINTED!!! Shame on Mini of Morristown!!!
First, I am not a fan of BMW products. We owned a 2006 X3 which was purchased CPO from a BMW dealer here in NH in 2008. Had the car 6 years and it was at the dealer 11 times during the first 3 years of ownership for warranty repairs. Torn engine mount, failed sunroof controller, failed ECM, failed radio, failed drivers seat memory module, failed rear door latch, failed brake light, failed airbag wiring harness, broken rear coil spring, phantom check gas cap lights, multiple instances of gross engine misfiring when started which the dealer was never able to diagnose. And then after it went out of warranty, the troubles continued: broken other rear coil spring, failed CV joint, leaking oil filter mount.
In 2014, I convinced my wife to get rid of it at 105K miles because it was evident it was going to be a money pit. She then saw and fell in love with a used 2012 Mini Clubman S. Low miles, well taken care of, fun to drive. Seemed to be a good car and I stupidly thought that, perhaps, BMW had addressed their quality problems so we decided to buy it. The Mini had 23,000 miles and was still under warranty so I thought, "OK. The car is a daily driver that is not abused in any way and only driven on paved roads."
Car went in for a service at ~28,000 miles; nothing wrong. Went in again just after the warranty expired for a bad ABS sensor in the right front wheel and the dealer was nice enough to fix it at no charge. Run flat tires were replaced with non-run flats at around 40,000 miles. Always hated the run flats because of the very harsh ride. You could feel every imperfection in the road. New tires were great and gave a much improved ride quality.
Right around 50K started hearing a droning sound from the front end and the tires started wearing oddly. I am an excellent mechanic and have been doing all my own car repairs for 40+ years. Oil changes, brakes, shocks, engine repairs, transmissions, torque converters; you name it, I've done it. So I quickly found that both front wheel bearing assemblies were bad. I mean wobbly, sloppy loose bad. Car was out of warranty and I knew Mini would charge an arm and a leg for the repairs so I did them myself and saved $$. Not happy about wheel bearings going bad at 50K but, oh well, it wasn't an expensive fix because I did the work myself. Probably caused by the crappy run flats transferring shock and vibration to the suspension.
No further problems... until now. Car has 60K on it. The other day all three of our cars were in the driveway and my sons and I were standing there when we heard a loud "ping" sound. Couldn't localize where it came from but I know the sound of metal snapping. So we quickly checked over all three cars but didn't find anything. A few minutes later I asked my son to move the Mini so we could play basketball. He starts the car, puts it in reverse and the moment he started moving backwards, the left front dropped 4 inches with a bang.
Got the car up on the jack, pulled the tire off and saw that the coil spring had snapped about 1 full coil up from the bottom. I was dumbfounded!! I couldn't believe that a car with 60K would have a spring break let alone break while sitting still in the driveway. Other than the BMW, I've never had a car or know anyone who's seen a coil spring break like that. Thank God it happened in the driveway and not on the highway as I'm sure that the sudden change in the steering geometry would have caused a potentially fatal accident.
Called the Mini dealer 35 miles away in Bedford, NH and explained the situation and that I wasn't happy about the coil spring breaking at 60,000 miles and potentially putting my wife's life in danger. I asked them to send a wrecker and get the car and replace the spring for free because a close inspection of the break clearly shows it had cracked at some point, rust had invaded the crack and weakened it. This is clearly a defective spring. And, while they were at it, they should also replace the right spring too because now it couldn't be trusted either.
They refused to do anything. Said it was normal for springs to break. Told me it was my problem to get the car to them if I wanted them to repair it but they would be happy to sell me a new strut assembly (which they didn't have in stock anyways) if I wanted to do it myself. We went round and round about the defective spring being Mini's problem, not mine, but they wouldn't budge. Suggested I contact Mini USA which I did.
After waiting 3 days I was told that I had to get the entire car to Mini of Bedford, at my expense, for them to "diagnose" the problem but that there was no guarantee Mini USA would pay for the repairs. I told the nice woman that the diagnosis was very simple: The defective spring broke! I explained that it made no sense for me to pay $250+ to have the car towed to the dealer, have them "diagnose" the broken spring at $120/hr, then tell me I would have to pay for repairs (another $300+ for the part(s)/labor) when I can get new strut assy for $125? So I would potentially be out $500+ for their defective spring. And, if I chose to repair it myself, then I'm on the hook for another $250 tow back to my house?
She said Mini USA would not consider doing anything until the car was brought to the dealer. I offered to take pictures of everything and send them to the dealer and anyone else inside Mini/BMW. I offered to remove the strut assembly and bring it to the dealer for them to look at. I offered to do all the repair work myself if they would pay for the parts, since, after all, the spring is defective. She refused it all. I asked if we could escalate this issue higher inside Mini USA. She said no, she was the highest person who would deal with this.
Mini/BMW does not stand behind their products at all and does not give a crap if their defective parts could cause fatal accidents. I am through with BMW forever. I've learned the hard way that they build cheap cars with cheap parts and that they could care less about driver safety. A coil spring is a vital part in any suspension and for one to break with so little miles is totally unacceptable to me. There's no way you can convince me that it's normal for a coil spring to break under normal use.
When the X3 had the broken rear spring I did a little research and found that BMW used to use a German company for their springs but had switched to a Romanian company in the early 2000s. Since then, hundreds of reports cases of broken suspension springs across all their models. I don't know why there hasn't been a NTSB investigation/recall yet.
Horrible Mini Service Experience: On Wednesday, May 24, I called a Mini Cooper dealership in Burlington, VT. A mechanic I use down here in Southern Vermont told me I need new rotors and brake pads. Before I drive two+ hours to Burlington, I want to be SURE these items are covered in the extended warranty I purchased. After a pause, I was told "Yes they are - we'll change your oil and get you new rotors and pads." I wanted to be 100% sure. So after hearing this, I cancelled work on Thursday and left on the TWO HOUR drive to Burlington. This is the result:
I waited in the waiting room for an hour and a half while my car was being serviced, at which point someone from the Service Dept came out - and handed me an estimate for over $1,100.00. "Your calipers are seeping." I said I didn't want the new calipers - I planned on trading the car in soon. I didn't hear anything else: "Okay" was the reply from the Service Dept Rep. He came back 30 minutes later and said "You're all set." But the funny thing was the lack of any indication of rotors and pads on the bill. I went out to my car, and saw there was no brake work done, at all. I was not informed of this - I could have driven off thinking I had new brakes. Instead I still had the dangerous situation I drove the two hours to Burlington to have fixed.
I went back into to Service dept and wanted to know why they had not replaced the rotors and pads. The reply was: "This is tricky" - just what you want to hear from an auto dealership. "Your calipers were seeping, and this voided the warranty." Before I could go any further he then dropped another bomb: "And your warranty doesn't cover the rotors and pads anyway."
So that was three hundred miles and five hours of driving - for absolutely nothing. I'm getting out of Mini Coopers as a result of this experience, and I would strongly advise anyone to STEER CLEAR of any and all Extended Warranty offers made by any car dealership - it is a complete con job. And you might want to consider this as well: after 70,000 miles, these cars become incredibly unreliable and expensive to own: AT 70,000 miles, things started to go expensively wrong: another dealership, a Mini dealer in Albany, NY, told me I needed a new thermostat - and wanted $1000.00 ($975.00) for the repair.
I said no thank you - and took it to a certified independent BMW mechanic, and got the exact same job done for under $500.00. I needn't tell you - if you have the deep pockets and don't mind being ripped off on a continuing basis - by all means keep using the Mini Cooper dealerships. They are more than happy to have your business. They will never get mine again.
The problems with the Mini Cooper are two-fold: 1) the design of the car is atrocious. 2) the maker & the service are designed to financially abuse the purchaser. First, the design flaws: OK, this car was designed as a toy, not as a practical piece of transportation. But why did they make the dipstick impossible to read? Why did they go out of their way to make the clock a brain twister to reset the hours (which we do twice a year in America)? Why did they make it so that putting the windows up and down while driving is actually a painful distraction from driving?
Other than that, the car is small but has terrible fuel efficiency. It is too small for road trips (unless you really, really like this car), too small for carrying much more than a few groceries, and too small for anyone with children. Yet it is not a luxury sports car, and it sure isn't an economy model. The ride is nauseating. There is such turbo-lag that it is dangerous to try to pull into fast-moving traffic because your car will wait a beat or two before lurching forward.NOW, the use of this car as an instrument of financial abuse: this car is designed to take your money away from you. My wife bought it to drive to the train station and yoga on weekends (not good for anything else, really). She bought it as a "Certified" used car from the Mini dealer. In a year and a half, she put on 900 miles. I took it in for an oil change - and they told me I had to replace the brake fluid ($150) as well as the "micro-filter" ($110). Another 18 months, another 1700 miles -
and THIS TIME the dealer wants us to spend more than $3,700 to fix all the little things they say are rotting off the car everywhere they look. To review, with oil changes, that is more than $4,000 in maintenance to drive a "Certified" car 2600 miles over 3 years. Good thing / bad thing? BAD THING! Bad bad bad car!
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