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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions - Car Forums - Edmunds
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MINI Cooper Clutch & Transmission Questions
Last post on Oct 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM
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MINI Cooper, Transmission, Convertible, Hatchback
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#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 itís just not heavy duty enough for a car thatís 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 donít 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 didnít 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 ďuser abuseĒ. I have been driving a manual transmission for 20 years and NEVER burned out a clutch. The Service writer told me ďone bad hill in San FranciscoĒ 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 arenít 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. Isnít 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 ďfunĒ 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 didnít 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 ďluxuryĒ 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 friendís 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 donít 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 donít 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 Creekís 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 didnít have to replace anything but a slave cylinder at over 80 thousand miles.
#529 of 548 My Mini Clutch Continued
Dec 26, 2012 (11:05 am)
When I got to the dealership I was told clutches only burn out at 28000 miles due to ďuser abuseĒ and that it would not be covered under warranty. I was also told that If the car had had 50,000 miles on it the repair would have been covered because that is considered normal wear and tear. I donít believe any clutch should burn out at 28,000 miles; I honestly donít even know what you have to do to punish a clutch so hard that it burns out at 28000 miles. I am not an abusive driver and I do not believe I am at fault for the burn out especially after having a service writer tell me that Mini clutches are so sensitive that ďone bad hill in San Francisco can take your clutch out.Ē In fact I would at this point like to state that I am positive that I, being a very proficient manual transmission driver managed to squeeze the last of the life out of a clutch that was probably already on its way out at the time I purchased the car, given the condition of the tires. Had Stevens Creek Mini really wanted to cover its tracks they would have changed those tires before putting the car on the lot. As stated previously it has become painfully obvious that whoever owned the car before I took possession raced the hell out of it.
After leaving my car at the dealership I went home and did some internet research. It seems Miniís are notorious for clutch problems, but Mini USA probably doesnít want to acknowledge this, as it is a VERY costly repair. Many other drivers having the same experience as I have, got the same line from the dealership, ďthe clutch burned out due to user abuse.Ē While this might be true in some cases I have a hard time believing that so many veteran manual transmission owners would experience clutch failure after so few miles.
On October 12, 2012 I got the call from the dealership letting me know that my car was ready. I will say that I was pleased that the repair only took one week. I went to pick it up and asked to speak with the General Manager; I wanted to tell him about my experience at his dealership. I felt he needed to know about my buying experience, my disappointment in the product that was sold to me, and the fact that I was not given very important details regarding care and maintenance of my car. I was pretty much told that he was out to lunch and that if I wanted to I could speak with the service manager, (it was also implied that the GM couldnít really be bothered to speak with me because he was a very busy man). I conceded and waited for the service manager for 10 minutes before I was told he was out to lunch too but that he would give me a call. The service manager did call me about 2 hours later (I had gone home by then) at which time I gave him a detailed verbal account. He apologized for my experience and said that he understood that Stevens Creek Mini had failed me in some ways. He also told me that he was on his way up to meet with the GM and would talk to him about my experience, though he wasnít sure if anything could be done. He also stated again stated that he inspected the parts himself and chalked my clutch failure up to user abuse. I thanked him for his time and we hung up.
I now have ZERO confidence of Mini of Stevens Creek; I donít believe they really care about customer service, user experience, or even customer safety for that matter. If they really cared, I would not have been sold a car with bald tires. I am not sure about Mini as a brand but I donít think I will be purchasing another Mini because I donít want a car that is so fragile it canít take a hill or forgive any kind of manual driver error, which I still deny.
I have walked away from this experience feeling like the biggest sucker; my once beloved car is tainted and I wish I didnít have to drive it anymore. Unfortunately I still owe on the car, so much to my chagrin I will be driving it for many years to come. I might not feel so bad if Iíd not had to hand over approximately one yearís worth of car payments all in one day, or if Mini of SC had offered to take some responsibility and cover half the cost of repairs as a good faith gesture. I do however live in the real world, and I have more than once been made to realize that if people (especially people at car dealerships) can screw you for money, they will.
#530 of 548 Any connection between brake work and tranny?
Jan 09, 2013 (12:16 pm)
I recently took my 2006 MCSC 6-speed automatic to a shop for brake work. Brakes were fixed (including new sensors) and when I picked up my car, the transmission was a mess as soon as I left the parking lot!! They tried to diagnose it but couldn't so they had it shipped over to the local Mini dealer. They tell me that 1-3 gears are fine but 4-6 are gone and I need a whole new tranny. However, when I asked for the specific codes they got, they say there were none. Hmmm...
1.) how can they know for sure what needs to be done if they didn't get any codes??
2.) is there any way something could have happened during the brake replacement that could cause some sort of electrical-type problems with the tranny??
I am not going to spend $9k for a new tranny so I am looking for options. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
#531 of 548 Re: Any connection between brake work and tranny? [txmini]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jan 09, 2013 (5:55 pm)
So the transmission was absolutely fine when you drove in? If so, I think you need to pursue this with the garage that did the brakes. I mean, there are speed sensors involved in CVT transmission operation, and maybe some re-learning to do if the battery was disconnected or discharged. It just seems implausible that the transmission would go from good to bad the minute you drove out of the repair shop.
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I could send you to a place that actually knows how to repair a MINI.
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