The Truth About Buying a Mini Cooper

The Truth About Buying a Mini Cooper


rev up your engines,
EJ says, Scotty I’m in Tanzania and I’m thinking about buying a mini car
either Mini Cooper country on the Clubman and are they good cars, not really, you know they’re made in England
but BMW makes them, my neighbor is from England and she had an original Mini
when she lived there, and she’s had a couple of minis here, and they just
seemed to fall apart the wirings are really cheap and they
start to degrade over time, the first one she had the engine blew up on it, I
mean they’re really weak vehicles, they look cute and people buy them because they
look cute, but really they’re not that well made vehicles they just aren’t, I
personally I wouldn’t buy one, if you do buy one, get a used one,
you’ll get it cheap enough if it’s low mileage, it might last a while but let’s
say you buy a brand new one try to sell it when it’s six years old you’ll
lose about 70-80 percent of your investment, because they really don’t
have very good resale value, because they aren’t that good cars really, Gary B
says, I got a 2010 Hyundai Elantra, the headlights seemed to dim in and out, do we
have an alternator problem, well you might, here’s the easy thing if you go to
any place that checks alternators batteries free like autozone, they will
load test your battery and they will load test your alternator, and they do it
absolutely free, start there, could be the alternator is going weak, now if it isn’t
generally it means you have a ground wire problem into the headlights, if the
ground wire doesn’t ground right, they’ll get dim and they’ll go in and out,
that’ll often happen but do check the battery and alternator first, Joseph
Joseph says, I have a 2012 Acura TL base, during cold start up, I hear a
gurgling sound like a water drain, it goes away happens in a second it doesn’t
affect driving, what could it be okay there’s only really two things can
do that, if your cooling system is a little bit low of coolant, that means the
heater core will have some air in the top of it, and as the water surges
through as your car starts and the water pump starts pumping, you’ll hear a
gurgling, so check maybe you’re low on coolant check that, now it’s not that
it’s your air conditioning system, the AC system pumps refrigerant and if the
refrigerant is either low or if your systems just old and that thing is seven
years old sometimes if the valve opens the
refrigerant gurgles a little and if it blows cold air, you can just ignore it a
lot of cars do that as they age, that’s just something that happens to them, blade
Brown says, I got a 2009 chevy equinox I’ve had it for five and a half years
and ever since I got and it shudders when I get up to about 45, any clue could
be causing this, well on those it’s often the automatic transmission is starting to
go out, now of course you want to check the obvious things like, see if your
front end is aligned correctly and your tires aren’t out of balance, out of balanced
tires will do that, lots of things can do that, but a lot of times on those it’s
the transmission, when it shifts there they’re notorious for having a weak
transmission and if that’s the case, you’ve had it for a while, just
live with it, because to rebuild one of those transmission costs an awful lot of
money, so if you never want to miss another one
of my new car repair videos, remember to ring that Bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

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    This was an excerpt from one of my Live Car Talk shows where I answer your car questions Live. If you enjoyed it, every Thursday at 1 pm CST and Saturday 10 am CST I live stream and answer your questions!

  2. I have a situation were I turned my car on and I have transmission fluid pouring out by I think be hind my torque converter what caused that. Do anyone know please help

  3. Scotty what can you advise me for buying a Toyota Celica from 2004? It has 90,000 miles and it cost 2,400$ or better offer.

  4. I don’t remember when but I think after 2012 bmw finally started putting better motors in. Check when they updated but don’t buy any used ones before that. Motors didn’t make it 80,000 miles

  5. My car was shuttering at 65 mph. The main cause was the rim being bent. Also the rear shocks were bad and needed replaced. I replaced the rear shocks and the shuttering went away.

  6. I call my '06 Mini Cooper S a 'MINI-PIT'! That's right. Just like BMWs, I've given it it's last big repair and I want out. Auto-Aisin. Supposedly Toyota transmission but it's giving me trouble. Hard shifts, so I went around shops and only ONE of a few offered a tranny oil change others wanted $1400 and up for a valve body job. It's a magnet for the more shall we put it lightly, alternative approach mechanics and shops. Strange BMW/MINI dealer service guys refer you to the wolves. Boy they love these Coops. Lift that sonava-b up and find that the bushings are worn, tire wear. Then that the water pump was all gone. So we did the tranny oil change, improved things a bit, sometimes it acts up but not as bad as before. That's it. Out. I'm looking at going back to a Celica, seriously, 5th, or 6 th gen. And yes, I'm always watching Scotty for recommendations. Not only do MINI R53s and R56ers fall in value, but they're getting harder to sell, tons of them on Craigs, drives prices down.

    I told the last questionable MINI shop that I wasn't going to put anymore into this MF-Mini-PIT, I'll drive it til it breaks down, then I'm going to crush that emeffer into a box of junk so THEY don't make anymore off of my pit in parts! But, I will say, that MCS is a trickster, because it drives great when it wants to, solid gripper on the highway, freeways, the supercharger is amazing, engine is still strong-purrs at 125K, and to some extent, it's a tough little sucker with heavy doors, safety, great visibility, can fit through anything, get around anything … am I angry at the brand or the shop $ystem? Hmmmm🤔 —GARY

  7. The wife bought a used 2010 Clubman 3 door a few years ago, worst car ever. Spent more money keeping this thing on the road than I thought possible. The cowl had to be replaced, the rubber just fell off. The amplifier quite, it'll cost about $1500.00 to replace. The back door power lock quite, cost over $300.00. Found another problem with the back doors yesterday, the panel is coming off and the door opener quite. Found water in the spare tire compartment and it took months to figure out where it was coming from. The dealer found that it was coming in around the antenna, cost over $500.00 to replace that. About a year ago had problems with the cooling system, cost hundreds, Just replaced the water pump and some other related stuff a few weeks ago cost over a $1000.00. There have been so many other things replaced or fixed I could write a book on them. If we could afford to junk it she would.

  8. Hi Scotty i have a CRV 2008 sometimes while am on parking the engine sound lowers then you hear a click like a magnetic click then the sound go normal and it repeats every 40 to 60 seconds , is that normal ?

  9. hey scotty, what is the water fuel separator in a 2006 jetta tdi?…I can't seem to find anything on youtube other than fuel filter replacement

  10. Having had a fair amount of British vehicles. I would have to concur about the Mini. Almost every British vehicle I’ve owned has been junk. They looked nice. However I used to buy them rebuild/fix them and sell them for a pretty good profit because folks just love driving them and how they look in them.
    If you got more money than sense, then by all means buy a mini or some other British made vehicle.

  11. What was your opinion of the chevy sprint i had one i ran for 12 years never had any trouble it had 300k on it when i got rid of it

  12. These students at my college literally spend weeks repairing a mid 2000's Mini Cooper, it had so many problems with it.

  13. Here is a great way to get a reliable long-lasting BMW Mini: Buy a used one, then rip out the engine, transmission, and engine/transmission control electronics. Then get a Toyota Corolla that was totalled in an accident, and take out the engine, transmission, and engine/transmission control electronics and transplant all that into the Mini. There you go, for about $30,000 you've transformed your Mini into a Corolla. Better idea: Just buy a NEW Corolla for $20,000.

  14. ITS A BMW THE BLINKER STALK WILL BREAK AND COST YOU 100000 DOLLARS REV UP YOUR ENGINES MY TOYOTA CELICA IS A GOOD CAR. ITS BETTER THEN A MINI COOPER AND WONT LIGHT ON FIRE. THE HEADLIGHTS MIGHT BREAK AND THE CAR WILL BE TOTALED.

  15. If you buy your battery from Walmart they will load test it also free at least here in Canada. Not sure if they do it in Trumpland

  16. Depends on the MINI and how it's cared for (like any car). My 2005 has 248,000 miles and is going strong. Wouldn't part with it.

  17. My mini r53 2003 supercharged is on 89k and stock clutch with power mods no problem….. There good If you maintain them regularly change oil and filters way more often than the manual says I do like 6k miles.

  18. I have a 2004 Cooper S (r53), supposedly the most reliable variant made. I’ve never owned a worse car. It has left me stranded on the roadside several times with various issues ranging from a bad fuel pump to broken harmonic balancer. I just passed 180K miles and had it serviced/inspected at MINI where they found $4,300 in repairs that need to be done. That doesn’t include the $1600 quote I got for the AC compressor, which has a slow leak. Carmax offered me $700 for the car last week. It’s a super fun car to drive, but stay far away. None of the Japanese cars I’ve owned have ever had issues even close to what my MINI has had. If you buy one, do so knowing it is a BMW (not known for long-term reliability) made in England (who are also not known for making reliable cars).

  19. Hang on Scotty i agree on most things you say but the mini i am afraid not ten years ago i purchased a 2004 mini one Diesel which had a Toyota Yaris engine fitted 100k later still running strong with over 150k on the clock my Daughters also own mini but petrol versions fitted with a derivative of the Chrysler neon engine both covered over 100k no major engine issues also there not falling apart ,maybe your thinking of post 2011 models fitted with bmw engines with timing chain failures and high oil consumption

  20. I loved my Mini Cooper and cooper s more then any car I ever owned but unless I’m buying a new one with a hell of a warranty I’m not interested.

  21. Basically only buy a older manual petrol Toyota celiac or coroler and never modify it😂 joking mate😂😂🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

  22. Also noticed your the only American person I’ve seen who doesn’t acknowledge the uk as just England thank god some from overseas knows what WALES is!!😂

  23. And I’ve got a Renault Megane cc 2.0 mk2 2006 petrol manual 6 speed when I start it up most of the time it just drips the revs and cuts out what could be the problem?

  24. The easiest minis where a right load of rubbish however the new ones seem a hell of a lot better I guess it's because there bloody massive now unlike the first ones

  25. I don’t like the look of them but I have to say in the UK there are lots of them on the roads and lots of 12+ year old ones that keep on going. Today I saw 2 cars broken down on the side of the road, one was a Toyota and the other a Peugeot, can’t remember the last time I saw a mini

  26. Why don't you try one of the newer Mini's from 2014 onwards, f55, f56 etc. Instead of making anecdotal references that don't still apply?

  27. Never buy a Mini Cooper. I bought one for my wife as a pleasure car and I still regret it. Its value goes down the hill like crazy. Problem after problem even we drive approx 2-3K annually.

  28. I got a daihatsu avy l250 is it nine years old clocked at 200k km should I sell it get a better car or just keep with it since they don't have any issues,by the way is a standard tranny

  29. I drive a 2012 mini cooper and iv already had to fix a few things and im only at 69k now. Its been a great car, but i agree man, you srsly gotta be willing to spend money on it if you plan on keeping it, even at a young age. I love it to death, but my next car is definitely gonna be a Toyota all the way. I just like having money a bit more haha

  30. Hi scotty I know you love engineering and stuff …… check out project binky on you tube , these guys are mental about attention to detail … once you watch the first episode I’m sure even a veteran like yourself will get hooked on it ….. happy viewing , my friend 👍

  31. As an owner of a MINI (of 13 years), I feel I can offer a few neuances to what Mr Kilmer said in his video (also, some of the comments here are plain incorrect). The Classic MINIs can be OK cars, if they don't have rust (they usually have). But these cars are not all that safe compared to modern standards. Maybe as a weekend car/toy, but I would not use it as a daily driver. But I guess the question in the video was about the New MINI, usually now just referred to as "MINI".

    The first generation from 2002-2006 were the best ones in my opinion. These were nicely built cars, very stiff, good handling. Some of the safest cars made in that period, and with a good safetl-rating. Stay away from all models wth automatic transmission, as these fail. Also stay away from the five-speed MIDLAND manual gearboxes, and get one with the 6-speed GETRAG. Avoid the first two years, 2002-2003 if possible. The very best ones are from 2005 and 2006, when BMW fixed many of the problems. Before releasing the second generation from 2006. If you also get the R53 model, the Cooper S, you are really in for a good time. The W11 TRITEC engine is very solid (Chrysler and Rover while it was BMW-owned). It is supercharged, as opposed to the later R56 in the second generation – which had a Peugeot turbo engine. I would not buy any of the models made after 2006.

    But even with an R53 from 2005 or 2006, even one with a good service record, be prepared to learn how to be a mechanic (or have the money to pay someone to do it). These cars are getting old, and it will not be as easily maintaned as a Toyota.

  32. The supercharged R53 Minis are hella fun to drive on the track. But I wouldn't buy one as a daily driver. My BMW 325i with the M54B25 is more reliable than those Minis. I think the engine on the Mini uses the same engine parts as the BMW one series. I would get a Mini R53 as a track car with the John Cooper Works pack for the track.

  33. Eh, I had an '09 Mini Cooper and it was awesome, I bought it brand new! I put about 80 miles per day during the week going to work. I had it until 2 years ago 100k miles and then gave it to my Mom because she only drives around town and I wanted…a new Mini! The only issue I had was when I took it to a private mechanic who misdiagnosed an engine coil issue, once I got that figured out it was all good. Usual issues like water pump at 90k etc…never left me stranded. My new 2017 Mini chews through the run flat tires though…25k miles, need new tires.

  34. Cutesy Minis are expensive to work on, don't fit on a standard lift for oil changes etc. Reminds one of Chrysler's poorly made P T LOSERS!!

  35. I don't understand why you title videos a certain way and then only talk about that title for about 10% of the video!?!

  36. The newer mini coopers really don't have too many issues the last gen cars did though but if you get an n14 your gonna have issues

  37. Actually, you're half right. The newer Mini Coopers 2014+ are good vehicles. The previous ones had Peugeot engines. They were crap. Now all Minis 2016+ are completely BMW.

  38. Never again. I had a 2007 Mini Cooper R56. A cylinder blew @ 60k miles while I was on the freeway which lead to catastrophic engine failure. It would’ve cost $8,500 to replace in the US. Switched to Honda and the difference is night and day. I’ll never go back to BMW/Mini Cooper.

  39. Mini is good old man i dont care what you say my mom has a 246,000 miles on her mini people just dont take care of a little car they care about there truck or suv old man.

  40. Wtf my friend got one and it has 197,569 miles on it… and he said the only problem was the air conditioner went out at 100,000 miles but other then that your Trippin

  41. I can attest to this. Mini's are cute and fun to drive. However the are hot garbage in terms of quality and reliability. Parts are expensive and hard to find. They are fine if you are an enthusiast and have the time and/or money to spend.

  42. LOL I have a cute Mini Cooper Help Help Help…..will sell on ebay. Great car going up hill slow…..and hope the breaks work going down hill. But it is still running..

  43. The newer generations are much better than the first couple generations as they have bmw engines now. The first and second generation minis were terrible as far as reliability. A ton of people are happy with the 3rd as bmw has put in a lot more effort into the brand.

  44. My dad drove his 09 clubman s Jcw edition for 10 years all throughout NYC and Long Island all seasons n he took good care off the car it had 108k when he gave it to me and we’ve had to just now this year replace a few things on the car such as a timing belt and new turbo. My mini runs great not a single interior or exterior piece missing. The car has never broke down on my dad either

  45. 😂😂😂 Mini Cooper are weak car? But all the msg you get seems like all the cars are weak then 😂😂😂😂😂

  46. Hey scotty over here in Europe mini or bmw bought the Toyota D4d 1.4 litre 90hp engine off toyota same engine used in corolla e12 between 2002 and 2006 was probably the best engine in those minis

  47. i imagine he doesnt get many mini coopers, especially in texas. unless hes judging it based solely on the one his neighbor had?

  48. See the reason people buy fun cars like BMWs, Mercedes, Minis etc. isn’t because of its practicality, fuel economy or reliability. The market for those type of cars are the ones who have disposable income and want something that interesting, cool and fun. No economy car in the world will put a smile on your face better than one of those cars and that has intangible value. On the topic of expensive maintenance, the costs are for the owners that buy new. If you can afford a new luxury/sports car, you can afford the service and 98 grade petrol. If you can’t afford a new sports car and buy one used of course the maintenance costs will seem expensive. The people who buy those cars don’t plan on keeping it for 5 to 10 years, the plan on having it for 3 years then upgrade to the newest car, they’re not gonna care about if the seat warmer still works in a decades time. So saying you shouldn’t buy Luxury/sports cars and only buy Toyota’s, Honda’s and lexuses is wrong. You’re just not the market the manufacturers are targeting. If you live on welfare, buy a Rolex and when it breaks you complain about the repair costs YOU shouldn’t of bought a Rolex, doesn’t mean no one in the world shouldn’t buy a Rolex.

  49. My wife and I have 2 Minis: a 2010 Clubman R55 JCW and a 2012 R56 Cooper S, the Inspired by Goodwood special edition.

    Got the Clubman with 43,000 miles and now have 90,000. Repairs have been as follows:
    New clutch and flywheel at about 53,000 for a cost of $3500, previous owner may have been hard on the clutch we don't know.
    New barn door solenoids, DIY for only the cost of parts about $80 at around 75,000 miles
    New thermostat housing, coolant pipe and fllush and fill at 80,000 for about $800
    New water pump and friction wheel at 88,000 costing $1000
    New valve cover gasket, DIY also changed the spark plugs so nearly $100
    And of course oil changes, brakes and tires along the way.

    The 2012 Cooper S: got it with 14K miles and now has 39,000
    Oil changes, brakes and tires that's it.

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