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Aug 21, 2012 (3:37 pm)
My experiance with Mini El Paso on my 2011 Mini Cooper S convertible is as follows in my letter to the General Sales Manager
Very Disappointed is actually an understatement. I have a 2011 Mini Cooper S that I paid a pretty penny for thinking I was paying for a quality vehicle with a company that stands behind their product & warranty however, I am beginning to wonder. Your dealership states : "Our commitment to customer service is second to none. We offer one of the most comprehensive parts and service departments in the automotive industry.” Correct? Well on August 11th, 2012 I was driving to work ( about 35 miles south of Ft. Stockton Texas on hwy 285 in the middle of NO Where when suddenly my car will not shift into gears … I turned the vehicle off & went to restart the vehicle & nothing. Its 108 degrees outside & I am stranded in the middle of NO where. I am just lucky my cell phone worked I called roadside assistance & they were very apologetic & nice & said they would send someone to come get me & water if I needed. The only problem was they were coming from EL Paso… I assured the nice lady I would be dead if I waited with the vehicle that long. Lucky a nice old rancher just happened to be driving by & stopped to help & gave me a lift to town. All this on Saturday August 11, 2012. The nice people from roadside assistance let me know they had picked up my vehicle & they would be towing it to Mini of El Paso. I called Monday August 13th, 2012 morning & spoke with Micheal & let him know what happened ect. & that I needed to resolve this problem quickly since I am stuck in Ft. Stockton with no vehicle. I called on Weds August 15th & he assured me he would call & let me know what the problem was. Well He never called back on Thursday August 16th I called back & left message… no return call on Friday August 17th I called again & the service clerk let me know they thought it was the clutch & flywheel but she didn’t think it would be covered .. I would have to wait & talk with Micheal. Well after sever more phone calls I finally spoke with Micheal & of course first thing out of his mouth was due to the low mile on the vehicle it was apparent the damages were due to in experience driving a standard or abuse or negligence to the vehicle. I have driven standards all my life the last 24 years of it anyway & I have never had a clutch issue with any of my vehicles until 75,000 mile range. I work VERY hard for my money & I am a 40 year old female I can assure you I don’t drag race in my car or abuse it in anyway. Thanks to the many hours patiently waiting on Micheal to return my calls I did some research on this problem & to my amazement there seems to be a large number of poorly qualified standard drivers who are mini owners. When I finally did talk to Micheal again I questioned him on this & he claims he has never heard of their being such a problem. I asked him if he had access to the internet & if so to google Mini Clutch problem because if he truly wasn’t aware ( which is doubtful) he needed to be. This was all on Friday the 17th He said that they would have to open up the clutch to determine what caused the damage but if they deemed it neglect & abuse I would be responsible for the damages I told him to go ahead & diagnose it & let me know ASAP I am going on a week without a vehicle out of town working ( which reminds me I only have 1 stop sign on my daily commute to work so not in town hotroding as he suggested) He assured me he would let me know something Sat. 18th. Saturday came & went as well as Monday. Here it Tuesday the 21st & not only do I not have an answer he also tells me they just realized the Starter is out as well. I explained to Micheal last Friday that I NEED my vehicle no later then Tuesday TODAY. I am stuck out here in Ft. Stockton bumming rides to work & My Son is scheduled to have surgery for a broken jaw & eye socket in Houston at Ben Taubs Hospital on Thursday Morning Houston is an 8 hour drive & I have NO Vehicle or any real answers. I have TRIED to be patient but this has been a horrible experience all the way around. Here are a few of the links to share with Micheal on the previous clutch issues other unlucky Mini owners have experienced.
these are just a few I guess I should have researched before buying a $35,000.00 vehicle but I felt like I was paying for quality & that BMW would stand behind their product & honor their warranty. Not to mention a better communication policy with the service dept. to the customer.
I hope there is someway we can get this resolved quickly as far as HOW I am going to get to Houston by Thursday at 8 am when it’s a 8 hour drive I have no idea I guess I will try to find some shuttle system to Odessa 80 miles away to the closet car-rental place & then turn around & drive to Houston. I guess I would have been better off having my car towed to Mini of Houston? I am just so very upset with the service dept right now I am in tears.
Thank You ,
#521 of 548 Clutch Problems
Sep 11, 2012 (5:16 pm)
I just bought a 2009 Mini Cooper S from CarMax last week with 21k miles on it. I drove it less than 400 miles before the clutch become an issue. I took the car to CarMax for warranty work and was told that the dealer would have to do the service. Sure enough, the dealer stated it was not covered under warranty due to normal “wear & tear”. Based on all the comments I’ve read on this forum, I am returning the car to CarMax for a full refund since I am not the only one with this same issue. I understand that buying a used car is a “buyer beware” situation but Mini Cooper should be more responsive to a problem that exists for many owners. Mini Cooper is not building a quality product & I will NEVER buy another Mini Cooper.
#522 of 548 Re: THREE CLUTCHES IN 30,000mi?! [stacielaw]
Oct 05, 2012 (2:12 pm)
Just wanted to let you know this happened to me today. I bought a used 2008 Mini Cooper S in 2011, it had about 17K miles on it. The car now has 28000 miles on it. I am a veteran stick driver, learned in a stick and every car I have ever owned has been a stick except one. I have NEVER ruined a clutch. They told me today that it was likely the previous owner had, "had some fun" in the car before they turned it in. I am so happy to have to pay for someone else's fun.
#523 of 548 Re: Clutch eating Mini [minicarbigprob]
Nov 09, 2012 (1:34 am)
My wife and i bought a used 2011 mini cooper jcw in july and we loved this car till the clutch gave out i was amazed that the clutch would give out so fast. My wife used the car to go to work and back and she swears that she never rode the clutch, i thought id do some research on this matter and i found that theres lots of people having this same issue so, I too know what you are going through. I was told the same thing
About my clutch and flywheel and yes i too have had a conversation
With micheal from mini of el paso about this issue and just like you
I feel pretty burned when it comes to my mini cooper jcw. They quoted
Me a price of 3000 dollars to fix my issue (clutch$380,flywheel around$840
And the bolts that hold this together $100 dollars, and labor was going
To cost$1680 dollars) i told them to tow it to my house and i was just going to
Buy the parts myself online i found a site that will sell me the parts for
$800 and a shop that specializes in bmw and mini cooper will install the parts
For me, I dealt with these guys before with my 335i and there great. Bmw and mini of el paso's service shop is a big ripoff, its sad because I bought 4 cars from this place.
#524 of 548 Re: Clutch eating Mini [ren1234]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Nov 09, 2012 (8:10 am)
It's the labor cost for the clutch that's hard to avoid...something like 12 or 13 hours to dig that clutch out of there and put it back in...you pretty much have to take the entire front of the car off...if you watch it being done, you'll be shocked to see it.
So you can save on parts but skilled labor is skilled labor, so you can't get this job done for 'cheap' no matter what you do.
I've calculated this every which way and the best I can do in California is about $1800 parts and labor.
The important thing to remember is that since it's 12/13 hours labor, you dont' want to be in there 2X---so replace every damn thing associated with that clutch--don't skimp on the type or quality of the parts.
#526 of 548 transmission
Dec 22, 2012 (8:30 pm)
I have a 2003 Mini, bought new, std shift, my transmission died on the highway at 45,000 miles. I've driven standards all my life, this is the first time this has ever happened. It cost $4,500, out of warranty, 2 year guarantee up next year. But still hard to get into reverse. They will not admit to there being any transmission issues with these cars, which is clearly untrue. Trunk latch didn't work from the beginning, but fixed right away. I love this car, but always nervous about the transmission.
#527 of 548 2012 Mini Cooper Countryman
Dec 23, 2012 (7:35 pm)
I own a 2012 Countryman that is less than TWO MONTHS old with 4000 miles on it. yes, you read right, 4000 miles on it. I have been driving manual transmissions for 40 years and this is not my first rodeo driving a stick. I recently was in very heavy stop and go, mostly stopped traffic when I noticed a burning smell coming from the car and my mini was seriously lagging and revving up, without wanting to go anywhere. Long and short of it is I went to Niello Mini Cooper dealership in Sacramento and was told that the clutch was burned out and that it would not be covered under warranty due to customer abuse!!! WTF? ABUSE??? I do NOT drive the car abusively. I have owned Porches for years, toyotas, VW's, never EVER had to replace a clutch EVER, even after 100,000 miles. Now I see on the internet that this clutch burning out is an issue that many, many Mini Cooper owners are experiencing and lack of Mini/BMW wanting to address it. Dealer wants $3500 to tear out transmission and replace clutch. What a crock of $hit. Everyone who drives cars knows that a clutch doesn't just burn out after less than two month ownership and 4000 miles.......give me a break! HELP!!!!! I haven't even owned my car long enough for its first oil change yet somehow I am now an abusive driver and they want $3500 out of me for an issue that they KNOW is THEIR issue and not abuse from owners......I have now read that the most serious issue with the Countryman (especially the all wheel drive models) like mine, is that for the manual transmission BMW used the same clutch as in the smaller Mini S models, and it’s just not heavy duty enough for a car that’s 600-700 lbs, heavier. Lots of owners are complaining of smelling burning clutches and clutches that do not engage smoothly and need replacement within the first year. I have experienced a lag in the clutch taking off in 1st gear on hills since day 1, it is actually very concerning whenever I get stopped on a hill to get my car to engage, pretty scary to be giving it that much gas and get no response except to roll backwards where I have to set emergency break and REALLY gas it to finally get car up the hill. I actually now start sweating when I see a hill that I may get stuck on, not wanting to be in such a situation with my Mini. I had a friend drive it as well and he said that is the WORSE clutch he has ever driven and had the EXACT experience when on a hill where he was slipping back due to the lag of the clutch and had to set emergency break to finally get up the hill. This is LUDICROUS!!!!
MINI COOPER/BMW WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE......BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR POORLY DESIGNED PRODUCTS AND FIX THE PROBLEM!!! THE ONLY ABUSE IS COMING FROM YOUR LACK OF INTEGRITY!!!!!
#528 of 548 My Mini Cooper S Clutch Story in full
Dec 26, 2012 (11:03 am)
A cautionary tale about making a Mini purchase from Stevens Creek Mini:
SUMMARY: For those who don’t want to read a book, here is a summary with the full account of my dealings with Stevens Creek Mini following.
I am the currently embittered, disaffected, cynical second owner of a 2008 Mini Cooper S purchased from Stevens Creek Mini in San Jose, California. I wanted to love this car for years to come. I no longer have confidence in Mini as a brand or Stevens Creek Mini as a dealership.
Within the first 19 months of ownership I have had to spend $4394.71 to maintain this car. I thought I had all the protection I needed having purchased an extended warranty, maintenance and tire protection packages. In the end I feel I have just wasted my money.
The car was sold to me with 2 practically bald front tires one of which had a bulge (they didn’t look bald or defective to an untrained eye) $729.70 to replace. The tires were not covered under the tire protection package as tread was found to be too worn to qualify.
The Clutch burned out at 28,003 Miles. This was not covered under my extended warranty, and I was told it was “user abuse”. I have been driving a manual transmission for 20 years and NEVER burned out a clutch. The Service writer told me “one bad hill in San Francisco” could burn out a Mini clutch. Other employees at the dealership mentioned that clutches are notorious for problems. If they are notorious for problems then why aren’t they covered under warranty on a 4 year old car with less than 30K miles on it?
Aside from all that I would like to point the tires out again, in order to connect the clutch to the tires for you as they suddenly connected for me. Isn’t it strange that 3 months after I purchased the car I was told I needed new tires? Would this not suggest that whoever traded the car in had decided to have some “fun” with it before getting rid of it? What kind of tires wear out after 16, 617 miles? Again what kind of clutch wears out after 28k?
My Mini Horror Story:
I purchased a 2008 Mini Cooper S from Stevens Creek Mini in San Jose, CA on March 26, 2011. I chose a used Mini cooper because I didn’t want the new car price tag; I loved the sportiness, ease of parking, and had hopes of saving on gas and insurance.
The car had 16,617 miles on it and was equipped with all the comforts a person could ask for. I am aware of the fact that this is a “luxury” sports car and with that I could at some point expect some rather costly maintenance bills, none of which I expected to occur within the first year and a half of ownership. Along with the purchase of the car I procured extended warranty, maintenance, and tire protection packages.
I am so sad to report that my Mini experience has been far less than stellar. Within the first 6 months of ownership I think at about 19000 miles I was told I needed to purchase 2 new tires as the car was sold to me with unacceptably worn front tires one of which had a bulge in the sidewall. I was aware of the fact that the tread was a little low when I bought the car, but they are low profile tires so I could not tell just how low. Upon test drive it was suggested to me by my friend’s dad (a mechanic) that I rotate hose tires to the back of the car. When I went in for my first service I was told that you don’t rotate the tires on a Mini, you just replace them as they become worn. This was not explained during the purchase of the car. In fact no one really walked me through the car at all. Once the sale was complete they took the car, washed it, handed me the keys, showed me a few bells and whistles on the interior and that was it.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I probably should have demanded new tires be put on the car before taking delivery. Unfortunately I assumed (naively) that Mini of Stevens Creek would not sell me a car with what pretty much qualified in the Mini world as bald tires, I was obviously wrong in that assumption. As mentioned I purchased a tire protection package, I had hoped this might cover at the very least the tire with the bulge in it, nope. I was informed that the tread was too low on the tire for it to qualify for coverage under that package. Due to my own financial difficulties it took me 9 months to replace the tires, two Continental run flat tires (no room or a spare in a mini) out the door runs $729.00.
2 Weeks ago I noticed the clutch started slipping and that the engine was rattling on start. I took the car in to Stevens Creek Mini to find out what was wrong. One of the service department employees drove me around in my car unable to replicate the noises I was hearing or the slip in the clutch. I have to point out that he drove my car ever so gently; I don’t know anyone who drives like he did, that is unless one of your passengers is holding a very hot cup of coffee. He did point out that my clutch felt stiff so I mentioned again that it seemed to be slipping sometimes in 2nd and 3rd gears. He casually stated that I would probably have to have it replaced but not right now. They took the car into the shop and checked my fluid levels which were low, they topped me off and asked me when the last time I checked my fluids had been. I told them I never checked them. I was horrified to learn that I needed to be checking them once a month. This was the first time in the 19 months I have had the car that anyone had told me I needed to be checking my fluids. Right after I got the car I called Mini of Stevens Creek’s service department to ask when I was supposed to come in for service and I was told that there was an indicator that would light up for 2 seconds that would show the approximate date and mileage I would need to bring the car in, and that there was NOTHING I needed to do until then. I was NEVER told that I needed to check my fluids monthly. This was distressing because I could have blown my engine. I left the dealership on 9/21 believing that my car was fine only to be back with a burned out clutch, fly wheel and broken timing chain guide on 10/05.
On October 5, 2012 my four year old Mini had 28,000 miles on it. My husband was driving my mini to take our son to school; he tried to enter the freeway shifting into second gear going about 15 miles per hour when the car would not shift into gear. The engine just revved and nothing happened, he switched to 3rd gear and after a little more revving the engine slammed into gear. He managed to get the car home at which point I decided to take it to the dealership. I got in the car and immediately knew the clutch was almost gone, there was a horrible smell and I had to let the clutch almost all the way out before the car would move.
As stated in the summary I have driven a manual transmission for my entire driving career, 20 years at this point. I have NEVER burned out a clutch. My last car was a 2003 VW Jetta GLI, my husband cut his teeth on that clutch and we didn’t have to replace anything but a slave cylinder at over 80 thousand miles.