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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.
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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!
Bought my Mini new in 2010 and absolutely loved it. Always had the dealer service done to schedule. Had very few small issues for the first several years. I had approximately 36,000 miles after 4 years then took a couple of cross country trips and added a quick 20,000 miles. I love good road trips and my Mini is plenty fast and fun. With the over 50k on the odo my engine had an oil leak. Got it fixed pronto for $300, shop never did tell me which cover blew out. Just that it was a cover on the side of the engine??! No problem they fixed it. At about 64,000 miles I noticed my coolant pressure tank needed coolant. Not much but enough to know I had a coolant leak somewhere.
I did a search online and found my water pump was still covered under a 7 year 80,000 mile special warranty so I took it to the dealer for the work. Well the water pump is bad but so is the thermostat and hose. Pump covered, thermostat not!!! The dealer wants $800 and change. I can't afford the 800 so I'll have to keep a close eye on coolant levels. I think Mini Coopers have an ongoing issue with water pumps and thermostats, wouldn't you think the thermostat would also be covered. Crazy! So if you buy a used Mini with 50k or more miles make plans to cough up big bucks for repairs that should be considered defective and covered under warranty.
The Mini is fun to drive, has been reliable and almost trouble free. It is also comfortable and spacious for its size. Annoying things are a poorly designed heater, it only produces heat or demisting the glass when set to the highest and noisiest setting, the AC is very poor. The windshield wiper just has two speeds fast and very fast, great if raining hard but a pain in drizzle or lighter rain as one has to constantly turn the wipers on and off. Hate the no flat tires, the car has no spare or jack, so effectively cannot drive further than 50 miles from the dealer as the low flat tires can only be fixed by them or more likely replaced at $500 a pop. If Mini had the common sense to fix these 3 basic issues, they would have a terrific car.
2 years ago I found my beautiful Mini Cooper Convertible, a beefy convertible I've wanted since I was a kid! Fun to drive, but not nearly enough power. I feel like it was at the Dealer getting services a LOT but it has 19800 when I bought it and MINI covered the maintenance/service up to 36k which was a dream. Tires had to be replaced due to them not being rotated before I bought it. I did start driving 25mi each way to work in LA traffic, but this has gotten ridiculous.
In May of 2016, I noticed my oil light coming on. I didn't think much of it until my bf took it to the dealer and they stated it was just really low on oil and since I was close to getting an oil change, went ahead with the service. 5 months later, I noticed my car sounding weird/grinding. Checked the oil level and you can barely read the stupid dipstick in this car. Looked fine. Checked an hour later and it was EMPTY! There was NO OIL. I filled it with 5 quarts! I called MINI and other shops and this is "normal"?! How is burning 5 quarts of oil and having little to no notification normal?
FFW to Feb 2017, My car has always lacked a lot of Gusto, but I noticed it sputtering then accelerating, esp on the freeway around 2000 rpm. I thought it may be a fuel line issue and needed a flush. Called a mechanic who specializes in MINIs, and he said it sounded like it may be a trans issue. Took it to AAMCO and sure enough my transmission has to be rebuilt/replaced. MINIs powertrain warranty ends at 4 years 50k, My car is 4 years, 3mo and has 51k. BS! Luckily I purchased an extended warranty from the dealer I bought it from (not MINI) and after fighting with them for a MONTH I got a used transmission put in. I'm getting it today but I'm seriously considering getting rid of it even though I am upside-down on my loan. This is ridic! Not to mention the stupid brakes/rotors have to be done at the same time. I knew MINIs needed some love, but this is too damn much.
My daughter and step-daughter both bought new Mini Coopers in 2003. They drove them and loved them until 2013 when they both bought new ones - then my daughter gave me her 2003 because my Kia SUV was a repair nightmare. I have had nothing but good luck with the auto... And I do maintain it as I'm supposed to. Last year my power steering pump went out - cost $808 to replace. Then I found out Mini had a recall on it so I sent them my bill and a letter. Now, remember, the car at this point was 13 years old, and they refunded every penny of my repair. Now how can you beat that? I get great mileage, everything works great. Yes, I've had normal repairs done, but the only complaint I have is there is a lot of road noise which has been corrected with the newer Mini's. PLUS... No one realizes this car is now 14 years old - looks like the new ones.
I wish I read the reviews before purchasing a 2010 Mini Cooper Clubman S. Mechanically, this has to be the absolute worst car ever. Let start with the timing chain. Didn't snap once BUT twice, even after the recall fix. Then, within the same month, the thermohousing unit cracked and cause coolant to run out of the car. That was a lovely $500 fix. Then the AC compressor went a month later, that was. $1200 fix. The S model also burns oil, I have to carry a few quarts of 5W-30 on me at all times (that's no joke, if you open my trunk there's two bottles in there). My most recent problem is the latch that locks the truck doesn't shut. I have to fiddle with the latch every time I try to close it. Lastly, where the spare tires goes in the trunk, there was about a gallon of water sloshing around back there.
Anyone reading this and thinking about purchasing a Mini; don't. Believe the reviews here. I wish I did and now I'm paying for it. That leads me to my last complaint: Mini doesn't care. I made the mistake of going there twice for my timing chain and it was the biggest mistake. They'll also find several other problems that do not exist. My Mini has enough problems. I don't need fake ones. Go buy a Toyota or Honda. Seriously, stay away.
2009 Mini Cooper S owner - In 2014 It was love at first sight, so much so that I flew to Colorado to Ralph Schomp Mini to pick up my car and make the drive back to Texas. A real beauty - pepper white with blue racing stripes, a blue jean style convertible top, gorgeous black rims, paddle shifters, heated leather seats, and only 30k miles!! I should have done my research. This year is a "lemon". There is a huge class action lawsuit where Mini admits the Timing Chain is defective. Shortly after buying my car (in 2014) I received a notice in the mail regarding the lawsuit. Of course, I panicked and went to the nearest Mini Dealership, Momentum Mini, who calmed all my insecurities stating the timing chain was replaced and handled by Ralph Schomp Mini.
Funny thing is in February of 2017 my car started the famous "Death Rattle" (go ahead and google it). The class action lawsuit was good for 7 years of 100,000 miles for the noted years with the defective timing chain. Here I am with my Mini in the dealership, around 2.5 years after purchasing (and after the timing chain was "replaced") and I'm told the entire part was not in fact replaced, only looked at, and Mini decided the entire timing chain kit did not need replaced. Mini has DENIED any liability in this defective part of in the improper replacement. My bill is now running well over $2,000. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER MINI... and I was the owner of two. My mistake. Mini has soured me. Do your due diligence and read the reviews online. Many people this year are experiencing multiple timing chain replacements among many other repairs. It's not worth it... and they're not a company that stands behind their product or their customers. Awful.
One star for the Mini dealership, four stars for the car. I own a 2007 Mini Cooper S that I have owned for three years with just over 100,000 miles. I absolutely love it. The car did have a major oil leak, but my boyfriend (who is a trained mechanic but doesn't work for a garage) and I bought a kit from Detroit Tuned and rebuilt the turbo ourselves based. Using Mini forums for people who had a similar leak was a huge help. We repaired it for a tiny fraction of the cost it would have been at the mini dealership. It's not perfect, but the leak is fixed. Oil leak aside, this car does consume a lot of oil and you need to keep an eye on it. There have been a couple of other minor issues, but paying close attention to the car made it easy to nip those in the bud.
I don't trust the dealership at all since I went in for a quote on the oil leak and they quoted me five grand for that repair and a bunch of other repairs I didn't need. For example, I had a faulty brake sensor and they quoted me all new brakes despite the fact that they were brand new and I'd just replaced them. If you get a Mini, I highly recommend NOT getting your repairs done at the dealership unless it's totally under warranty. You're paying for the brand with them, not the repairs. Despite all of this, I love the car. Not a day goes by that I regret buying this car. It fits me, it's fun to drive, I enjoy how compact it is but I can still haul tons of stuff. I'm looking right now to trade mine in for a newer one, simply because it's getting older and I might as well upgrade to some newer features while there is still a strong trade-in value.
Moral of the story, this isn't a car you can just drive and ignore between oil changes, but a car that you need to pay close attention to otherwise it can become high maintenance. And find an independent shop or friend who knows auto mechanics, and know what the common issues are with these cars before you buy so you can anticipate them. That may sound like a lot of unnecessary work, but this is more of a little novelty sports car than your run of the mill family car. It needs a little extra love.
Summary: My Mini had bad quality, and almost killed me twice in 3 days; horrible service; completely unacceptable. Car situation: 6 months old, around 4,000miles, purchased Aug. 2016 from mini of St. Louis. Details about car quality: 2/26 Sun.: When I drove on highway, my car lost power immediately. Luckily I could make it to road shoulder. Car was towed to Mini at the same night. I got my car back on 2/27 and was told that this issue was caused by bad gas. But I only went to Sam's Club to get premiums gas. After I got my car, I drove home directly.
This morning 2/28, I drove my car to work. My car was broke down again when I was driving on highway around 7am which was rush hour. This time, I couldn't make it to road side, because there was too much traffic and I was using most left lane. Due to drivetrain malfunction which was shown on the panel of the car, the car stopped on most left lane. I almost got killed by this situation. I had to call 911 to get help. Policemen came over to shut down the highway and pushed my car from the left lane to the road shoulder.
How could my car broke down when it's just 6 months old and only has 4,000 miles? How could Mini of St. Louis gave me the car without fixing it and put me in life threaten situation??? What's really wrong with my car??? What's Mini quality??? My Mini almost killed me twice in 1 week!!! Details about service: Mini road service: 2/26 Sun. When I called Mini road side service, they used 1 hour to locate my car, when I was stuck on highway. Your road service finally located me and told me the tow car would show up in 50 mins. After 50 mins, your customer service called me and told me the driver cancelled it. And she told me they couldn't find any tow car and asked me to leave my car and would tow my car next morning on the highway. I refused it. I told her I was on the highway, nowhere to go and worried about my car would be hit by other cars. Finally she agreed to help me to find another tow car which showed up around 1 hour later.
Totally, I sat in my car around 3 hours on highway to get your help. That's unacceptable!!! This morning, when my car broke down again on highway, I called Mini of St. Louis to get help. But they answered my call and refused to help me and asked me to call Mini road side service. When I called Mini road side, your customer service asked me to call local service and told me that I could get service quicker. How could both sides just kick me around when I was forced to park on the high speed lane. Finally, road side service agreed to help me and the tow car shown up around 9 am. Total 2 hours. Police station has this record, since they came over to shut down the highway and moved my car.
Mini of St. Louis dealer shop service: gave me back the unfixed car and put me in danger. This afternoon, I went to Mini of St. Louis and told the sales manager what happened again and requested to changed to another new car. Because what has happened to me, I couldn't continue to trust this Mini. The sales manager refused to replace my trouble vehicle with new Mini. And he told me I was unreasonable!!! This car and service threatened my life twice, and the response they gave me was totally unacceptable.
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