What major work should have been done to a 12 year old Cooper? - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2014, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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What major work should have been done to a 12 year old Cooper?

Hello all!

I'm currently searching for my first Cooper. It will be a 2002 - 2004 vintage and I was wondering if there are some Mini-specific items which should have been replaced in a car of that age?

For example I keep reading that the power steering pump is a common fault so ideally would go for a car where that has been replaced. Are there other gotcha's I should be looking out for?

I read some horror stories on here about the cost of repairing a non-working panoramic sunroof - £1000 - £3000? Ouch!

Thanks in advance,

Steve
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2014, 04:09 PM
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Basically depends on how its been used and mileage.
If its been in the garage unused for 12 years, nothing will be worn out, but if its been used every day doing the average 20000 a year probably everything will be well worn.
A car thats used around town might be more worn than one thats done motorway miles all its life, and one thats done wheel spin starts from the word go might be a disaster, you cant really say, its a how longs a bit of string question.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2014, 05:07 PM
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Don't replace any major mechanical parts until they break or wear, check it recently had a service make sure these items have been done within spec if unsure or services where not done at MINI, change the serpentine belt (if cooper S), brake fluid, coolant change, air and cabin filter, PCV valve,
(change the gearbox oil this is not part of a service but will be filthy! some people say it is for life but it isn't, I personally would steer clear of a car with the Panoramic roof unless you are very keen on one, be prapaired to work on the car yourself to save bundles, ie swap out a rear parking sensor BMW price £300, did it myself with a new sensor from ebay and 30 min work a few clips cost total £35

Last edited by drozd; May 7th, 2014 at 06:54 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2014, 08:28 PM
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My 2004 Cooper S is coming up to 10 years old, Ive had it from new & never had any trouble with either the Power steering pump or the Panoramic sunroof.
Its used 6 days a week, & has done just under 60K on mostlly non-motorway driving.
Ive recently replaced the radio, which was causing a constant drain on the battery, & had the oil pressure sensor replaced a couple of months ago - which caused the oil light to flicker.
Just replaced the rear hatch gas struts earlier this evening which were causing the hatch to droop down.
Other than that, it still drives brilliantly.

{If you can wait till October then you can buy mine}

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2014, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Brilliant! Thanks for all the really useful feedback.

Whilst there are a couple of "S" owners here, would you be able to comment on the reliability and running costs of this model over the standard Cooper please?

Obviously I'd prefer an "S" ;-) but not knowing anything about supercharged cars I'm a bit fearful that they may cost a silly amount more to keep running (more frequent repairs and higher cost when anything goes wrong etc.). Maybe I'm worrying over nothing - I'm coming from a position of total ignorance?

Thanks again all.

Steve
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2014, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveharman View Post
...Whilst there are a couple of "S" owners here, would you be able to comment on the reliability and running costs of this model over the standard Cooper please?
I think the only extra cost in MCS ownership over a Cooper, would be the slightly worse fuel economy, as the supercharger has proved itself to be virtually bulletproof over the years.
Reliability would also be about the same - with the gearbox being a bit tougher in the S than the Cooper.
After around 50K, the engines tend to use a burn a bit of oil - not enough to cause smoke, but enough to warrant checking the levels maybe every month.

...and Insurance is naturally higher with an MCS

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2014, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
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I think the only extra cost in MCS ownership over a Cooper, would be the slightly worse fuel economy, as the supercharger has proved itself to be virtually bulletproof over the years.
Reliability would also be about the same - with the gearbox being a bit tougher in the S than the Cooper.
After around 50K, the engines tend to use a burn a bit of oil - not enough to cause smoke, but enough to warrant checking the levels maybe every month.

...and Insurance is naturally higher with an MCS
Hi ya

+1 ish the super chargers can be good of duff luck of the draw normally the oil is never checked/ replaced in them causing problems.

It's all down to history and how it's been looked after by the previous owner or owners.
The road tax is different between the S and cooper and insurance groups
If your going to buy a cooper buy one after July 2004 the gearboxes were weak
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2014, 11:45 AM
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hi just bougtht a 2002 cooper s, I want to change all nessary belts, oils, fluids, filters etc.. any advice on what to change?? totally new to minis and supercharged cars and want to try and make this car last! the car has just under 90,000 miles and any advice would be most welcome!!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2014, 05:12 PM
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Take heart from the fact that there is one member on here with over 500,000 miles on his R50 Cooper and it's still going strong.

Your biggest concern by far will be the gearbox. This was manufactured by a BMW subsidiary, Midland Gears, which BMW wound up just before they started sourcing Getrag units in 2004. In many ways the Midland Gears' 'box was actually nicer to use and better suited the car, but it was vulnerable to premature failure and new replacement gearboxes haven't been available for many years. Any replacement units will be refurbs. Make sure that the gearbox is working perfectly, as any repairs could easily involve fitting a refurb gearbox and it could be the reason why someone is selling it.

5/04-Feb '07 R50, 2/07-5/10 R53. Outgrown! Then, a white Focus RS Mk2.
Now: Land Rover Freelander 2 (No. 3 of 3!), with Disco 4 being built in July 15 & Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2014, 05:22 PM
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Oh yes, look out for noisy wheel bearings too, these can be expensive to replace.

5/04-Feb '07 R50, 2/07-5/10 R53. Outgrown! Then, a white Focus RS Mk2.
Now: Land Rover Freelander 2 (No. 3 of 3!), with Disco 4 being built in July 15 & Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200
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