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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 03:07 AM
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Unhappy CVT Transmission Failure

I've driven (and loved) my Baby (Mini Cooper, CVT) for 3 years and 1 month... but Monday, she gave me a surprise that has caused me no end of heartbreak.

I was driving to the dealer to get some under warranty body work done, and right after I pulled off the highway, not 500 yards from the dealer, she groans and stops dead. No warning signs that she's about to die, no grinding, no flashing lights... she just stopped moving forward, or backward, or heck, in any direction.

I got towed the rest of the way to the dealer and they looked at it, but all they can tell me is that there's metal shavings in the transmission fluid "which probably means there was a mechanical failure somewhere". To add to the heartbreak, I got a clean service checkup not one month ago!

Sadly, Baby's been around the block a bit more than most, I guess... She's got 74000 miles and is no longer under warranty. The dealer wants to charge me 7000 dollars to replace the tranny.

Here's my problem... I had no warning this was going to happen, no reason to expect it to die suddenly, a clean bill of health very recently, and no information on what caused the problem...

The only conclusion I can draw is that transmissions on minis spontaneously implode every 3 years. I simply can't afford to keep a car with that kind of maintenance record. It looks like I may just have to put her down and spend that 7000 on a down payment for a car with a little more stamina.

Please, I'm trying very hard to find a reason, any reason , why I should repair my car rather than replace it. Are there people around that have racked up more miles than me? What other maintenance surprises would Baby have for me if I gave her a transplant?

Please? Somebody? I love my Baby....I feel terrible for even considering to abandon her. I nearly burst into tears when I walked into another car dealership to discuss trading her in for something from a company that's willing to back up their engineering. I've spoken to two dealerships, mini customer service, and several independent auto mechanics, and noone has even been able to give me enough comfort to consider replacing her with another mini. I guess Minis just weren't made for someone who intends to keep a car for more than 4 years/50000 miles.

I'm Heartbroken
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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 03:54 AM
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As a CVT owner at 52,000 miles you have my deepest condolences. Personally I think I'd fix the transmission. I mean where else are you going to get a car as fun as your MINI for $7,000?

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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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Yeah, I know. I don't think I could love another car as much as I love my Mini..... but to be perfectly frank, I simply don't make enough money to keep up a car that's going to cost so much so soon. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to keep a car more than 5 years, and with a little luck, some TLC, and a little more cash set aside, I would hope to keep her for 10 years.

7000 dollars is a third of what I paid for her new. And it may sound cheaper now, but if I can spend 20,000 on a car that won't need to be replaced every three years, I save money in the long run.
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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Stuff happens. You had some bad luck but that doesn't mean it will be repeated in three years. You are upset right now, but when you think about it you will probably decide to get your baby fixed.

Or trade your baby and the $7k for a new MINI?
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 12:17 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by slaybalj
Yeah, I know. I don't think I could love another car as much as I love my Mini..... but to be perfectly frank, I simply don't make enough money to keep up a car that's going to cost so much so soon. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to keep a car more than 5 years, and with a little luck, some TLC, and a little more cash set aside, I would hope to keep her for 10 years.

7000 dollars is a third of what I paid for her new. And it may sound cheaper now, but if I can spend 20,000 on a car that won't need to be replaced every three years, I save money in the long run.

I understand, but odds are you were just unlucky. Unfortunately, it's too early in these cars lives to know for sure. We are the guinea pigs. Maybe you should get an MSCa, tried and true technology.

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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 02:46 AM
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Unhappy

I know how you feel....

I guess we have BAD LUCK too.... ??

2006 Mini Cooper with 325 Miles...

10/30/05 *** CVT Transmission Failure -> Cause Unknown......

A few days later *** Power Stering Pump Failure -> Cause Unknown..

Thank GOD we have another 3 years 11 months and /or 49,550 miles left on our warranty!!

Full Story here: http://www.mini2.com/forum/first-generation-faults-fixes/103107-2006-cooper-cvt-auto-transmission-failure-2-power-steering-pump-failure-why-post2038773.html

Honestly $7,000 is a bit high..... Don't they do any "Good Will" warranty at your dealership?

Joe Z
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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Joe's right $7,000 seems bizarre. Dealers often grossly overcharge. You might want to shop around to independent mechanics. Obviously it's going to be an unusual repair job for them, but if they offer a substantially lower price I'd take a chance on their learning curve.

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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 01:18 AM
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Unhappy

Unfortunately, the independent mechanic I spoke to told me that he didn't think he could give me a better price, just due to the cost of the transmission itself. Although after some extended conversations with the dealer and mini customer service, they were able to offer me a 2500 dollar discount, so it's not quite as horrifying as it was initially.

Anyhow, after a lot of thought, I have decided to have my car repaired and keep with it for a while longer. This is my first serious problem, so I'll take a chance that Baby just needs a transplant. But I have learned a very important lesson from this: When I buy my next car, maintenance cost will have to be a consideration. I can't afford to drain my bank account to zero to fix it. I'm simply not rich enough to own a mini, I guess. I'll always love the cars though.

Barring any other unforeseen difficulties, I'll probably just be posting again once I hit 100,000 miles.
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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 06:11 AM
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Wow, that's quite a drop in price there. I'm glad you got some relief anyway! Good luck, and please do let us know how it goes.

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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 05:16 PM
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wow, sorry to hear about your troubles!

$7000, even $4500 sounds like a lot of money for a tranny.

now I know for sure I am trading my car in as soon as the warranty is about to expire.
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Old Nov 18th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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Thumbs up

Hey, just wanted to give another update:

I got my car back from the dealer yesterday, and it's running quite well now.

The dealer actually floored me when he gave me the final price; apparently he got Mini Corp to kick in more than the 2500 discount they were offering so the final cost ended up being around 2600.

Got me how he pulled it off, but I gotta say, I'm happy with the dealer at least (Tate Mini of Annapolis, if you're curious).

As for whether I'll buy another mini when Baby does wear out: we'll see what the the future brings.... aside from this, she's been going strong.
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Old Nov 19th, 2005, 11:08 AM
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Glad it worked out and that MINI stepped up for you. This makes us all feel good about the MINI corporate office.

"Bluebird" 2004 IB/W MC CVT SS+, MINI Madness CAI & Exhaust, HK & XM Satellite
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Old Nov 19th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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i had the same thing happen...well not completely
my MINI didn't just die but it did have to have the transmission replaced - thank God it was still under warranty....but they showed me the bill for it anyway....and yes it was for $7000
i told them thank u, and asked what happened if i was out of warranty? and my regular service guy said to me that bmw would have still paid for most of it as they are such new cars and it's ridiculous to think that anything major like tranmission will fail in first few years...
so it does seem that bmw stand behind their products...i guess......

wils

i got an exhaust because i wanted to make my car sound fast, but its not fast at all, so therefore i am a ricer....
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Old Nov 20th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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How many miles did your MINI have on it when the CVT went out?

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Old Nov 20th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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umm well i'm just over 60,000KM now and it was earlier this year
so at a guess around 50ish? note it's kilometres and not miles....
my transmission didn't go but um something attached to it was faulty so they had to replace the whole thing....the service guy was explaining to me something below it? haha sorry i'm not that technically proficient

wils

i got an exhaust because i wanted to make my car sound fast, but its not fast at all, so therefore i am a ricer....
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