: 2nd gear crunching - Nightmare!! 2007 Mini Cooper
Dec 8th, 2011, 01:46 PM
I was after some advice if possible. One month ago I purchased a 2007 mini cooper convertible from Ridgeway VW and have been having a nightmare ever since!
The car makes a horrible crunching noise when changing from first to second gear - I have mainly noticed this is when the car is cold/just started. I returned the car within a week of collecting it realising there was clearly a fault, I have since read on various articles that there seems to be a fairly common problem with the syncro which by the sounds of it means the car needs a new gearbox.
Fast forward 3 weeks of bad customer service from VW I have finally received my car back, apparently now fixed following an oil/filter change and following this a new clutch/flywheel (the car was sent to an apparent gearbox specialist for this work). I was happy to finally have my car back, however the crunching has re-appeared within 24 hours - 3 times today already!! I am very angry/upset with the situation and not sure what to do next? We have already told VW we were unsure what the purpose of changing the clutch was (a mechanic friend of a friend was surprised at this also)....
The car has a warranty, only 3 months mind you and I am already a month in. I am a bit concerned that instead of fixing it they will just take the car back -I was already at the top of my budget and Mini don't have any similar spec cars for the same price. I just want it fixed!
Does anyone else know any more about this problem - would you agree a new gearbox is the route to go down? Any feedback/suggestions on what I can do would be appreciated...
Dec 8th, 2011, 03:11 PM
Assuming this happens when your foot is fully depressing the clutch and no other gear has an issue then I would discount the clutch. If the clutch is gone then changing any gear / getting the car out of gear or in to a gear would be virtually impossible. If the issue is isolated to getting the stick through the gate and into second gear and the rest of the box is fine I would probably discount gear box lubrication oil leak which would make the box dry. The evidence points to a problem with the gearbox itself and more specifically the second gear syncro.
Normally have 2 options,
1) Rebuild box fixing anything broken
2) new gear box
Why don't you ask VW to send the car to Mini and get them to diagnose the issue during your warranty period, get it in writing from Mini what needs to be done. While doing this Mini will automatically health check the car also. VW will have to rectify the problem or give you a full refund.
Dec 8th, 2011, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Very useful to have some clarification. I have since got my partner to call VW (thinking they would take him a bit more seriously!) and they have now agreed to change the gearbox after arguing with them telling them that everyone believes it is the syncro etc, which is what we said from the start.
They have also offered to refund the car and take it back, however I think it makes sense to keep it if they are going to change the gearbox. That on top of the fact its also just had the new clutch/flywheel. So fingers crossed this finally sorts it and I can start enjoying the drive!!
Thanks again :-)
Dec 8th, 2011, 08:34 PM
To be honest when you buy a second hand car the one worry is clutch and gearbox as these wear depending on how the car is driven so if its had new clutch and flywheel and then a new gearbox, happy days! Plus you will still have a few weeks of warranty left just in case. I would make it clear to them that if it faults again related to this or not then they take the car back but hopefully it should be ok with a new box. I thought they might offer the refund as it would be cheaper for them to offer this and then trade the car off as the gearbox will be expensive but as you have warranty its your choice.
Hope it works out for you and you enjoy the Mini.
Dec 15th, 2011, 09:44 AM
Further update, no good news I am afraid -
After having my car back for the gearbox change for nearly a week we have been chasing this up after not hearing anything and have finally been told the car has gone back to the same "gearbox specialists" who have looked again and said there is no problem with the syncro! I am so frustrated - we were told it WAS going to have a gearbox change, not that it was going to go through all of the testing again. Especially as these "specialists" already gave the car back once believing they had fixed the problem.
They have advised as a gesture of goodwill (pffft!) they will send it to Mini for them to look at, something they said they would do a month ago but didn't. I'm now worried they are going to deny all knowledge of there being any problem - after all the crunching only seems to happen when the engine is cold.
We have sent a long email complaint to the manager of Ridgeway and will see what they respond with. Very frustrating as over a month later I have paid £2500 towards the car and had it in my possession for only 5 days so far, all of which I have had problems! I really don't know what to do, I suppose if they deny there is a problem I will have to go down the route of rejecting it :-(... Just a shame they couldn't provide a working car to start with...
Dec 16th, 2011, 08:48 AM
As rubbish as it sounds it may be better to take up their offer of a refund as you reported the problem straight away and they have had time and in dealership lingo "Ample Opportunity" to fix the problem. Not to mention the inconvenience this may be causing you.
I think you have been very unlucky but I wouldn't give up with mini, go to a Main dealership and get a Cherished one with the 12 months warranty etc....
No car is perfect and the Mini has its issues but I can say coming from a 2007 BMW 3 series Coupe that the Mini is awesome and as much as mine has had its querks, I love it!
Good Luck and Keep us posted with your progress!
Dec 16th, 2011, 10:05 AM
Thanks for the info. I've just been to mini and been out with an engineer who said they took it out yesterday and didn't see a problem. However they did note the crunch when I drove it but said we could 'drive around' it by going from first gear, hesitate in neutral and then into 2nd and then it doesn't seem to happen... Is this normal? I've never had to drive like this before-does every mini do this? Is it expected to be acceptable to drive around a problem?
Mini said its basically our call, had it been through them they would probably change the gearbox to be safe. The big question if VW don't change the gearbox is do we take the risk?!!
Dec 19th, 2011, 07:05 AM
This is effectively double clutching, its a technique used to make gear changes smother, press clutch, move to neutral, come off clutch, press clutch, move into new gear. By hanging around in neutral you are letting the engine speed come down a bit and helps the gear go in. You should not have to drive like this!!!!! It is not normal to have to double clutch or hang around in neutral which is virtually doing the same job to an extent as double clutching. The gearbox should be easy to use without any techniques being applied. All I can say is with the price of a new gearbox I personally would want it sorted or change the car. Simple questions I ask myself, 1) Did I pay the price for a 100% car and 2) Is the car 100% if the answers are Yes then No respectively then its not acceptable. Take it from someone who paid full price for a 100% working BMW 320i Coupe this year and bought a lemon and 4 months later traded it and lost thousands!!! I wouldn't wish what happened to me on anyone. Push the delearship for a resolve and don't give up!!!!