The other day I was driving and I went to go push the stalk to wash my windshield when nothing came out. I found it odd that the car didn't warn me that I was running low. I realize that the headlights tank is monitored by a dipstick. I was quite confused as to why Mini didn't put a warning for the windshield washing fluid tank. Anyone know why?
It may be a regional thing, as in some parts of the world cars get much higher specifications than others. It just depends what you're used to. I must admit that I like the idea, as mine ran out of fluid a couple of days ago. I'm not really sure whether it was me using lots of fluid or the dealer/MINI being stingy with the fluid when they filled it up.
In Canada, in winter, we use a lot of fluid and the system contains about 2 liters, not much. Most normal cars will accept 4 liters or more. So, a dash indicator would be more than a benefit.
An indicator would cost the factory about 2 $ ( canadian, not much in Euro ;-)) ) They could steal you an extra 50 $ for it. And I would have paid for it.
All my other cars for the past 10 years had such an indicator ( Toyota, Mazda, Honda, even Pontiac and Ford )
2 items to show that BMW does not know the market:
In Canada, their navigation. system does not know the roads outside the main cities ( In Quebec, only Montreal is OK, Quebec City does not have all the streets ). Impossible to plan a route in the rural areas. The same system is used for Mini and real BMWs and it is not usable.
On a Mini, you cannot get a block heater. At -30 ( which did happen already a few times this January ) it would be easier to start the car. This is common option with all other cars sold here.
P.S. Did you try to get Run-Flat winter tires ??
I have new wheels, real winter tires, and... no spare.
That said, I love my Mini. I bought it, BMW did not sell it to me. I got one of the first in Montreal, Launch Edition 58/500, Silver / Black.
Is THAT all? Geez, I keep a gallon jug of the stuff in the boot 'cuz I'm always running out. Use a gallon a week at least. Road salt and grime all over the car. I've never had a car that attracted so much crud. I think the front wipers would have been much better if the washer fluid was integrated into the wiper arm/blade. This is also the first car or truck I've had in ages that didn't have a low washer fluid warning light. Surprised it isn't part of the on-board computer. Come on, if the damned thing can do something as dopey as blink at you when it's 37 degrees they certainly could have put a useful feature like the low washer fluid warning.
Missing my buddies Dan, Ed, and Diane but glad I have three angel buddies, And on a quest to Right Secco's Wrongs
This is my biggest petpeeve of my MINI. Both the headlights and the windshield go through waserfluid like a fat kid on smarties. You would think with so much washerfluid in the MINI that a light would have been a no brainer. My last car, a Nissan Maxima, had this, my wife's RAV4 has this.
Not having this is a big omission. I would buy an aftermarket sensor in a heartbeat if someone made one available. If MINI wants to call this a "Premium" brand I can't see how they can omitt this, it's virtually standard now on any car costing more than $25,000cdn.
As for the comment on the nav system their is a simple explanation. Canada doesn't compile computer based maps that can easily be transposed into a NAV system, at least this was the case around 1-2 years ago, don't know if it has changed. The NAV system vendors therefor have to take the regular maps and convert them, a long and time consuming process.
I know several people that were able to get Dunlop runflat Winters, HarryIndyBlue being one of them. The only problem is that they are only available in 16" so if you have the 17" wheels it means you must buy some new 16" alloys. It's expensive but they are readily available.
Block heater omission is dumb, it should at least be an option.
Like you said, BMW didn't sell me the car, the car sold me the car.
I use Microsoft MapPoint 2002 to prepare cycling trips and it is very accurate on back roads. DeLorme and others suppliers provide other electronic maps. In GM cars, they have good navigation software ( probably the only right thing in these cars ;-(( )
So, products are available. BMW does not know and/or wish to care for the canadian market.
In October, when I was looking for winter tires, I was not able to find any. Then, 2 weeks after I got my rims and tires, I heard about a very expensive Run-Flat solution.
I am glad to have done what I did.
They will probably think about it in a few years !!
Like I said, I love the car. Not because of BMW but because of the car itself.
Yeah, the resevoir is too small and a warning would be nice. Like everyone else I keep a jug in the boot for when it is needed and feel nervous when it runs out (gotta get my fix, gotta get my fix).
Our other car, a Saturn LW200 wagon, has a sensor but it is of somewhat dubious value. When it gets low it flashes when you corner and go over bumps which is annoying. And, it goes off fairly early -- you can drive the car for a week or two before you'll run out. Things which go off early are bad as they train you to think "I should do that sometime" rather than "I should do that today!" A poor sensor is better than nothing but still not great.
With the MINI I've learned to top it off every time I get gas. That way there is usually some in there. The MINI is a real DIY car, which should really have you opening the hood to check all the fluids at every fill just like they tell you.
I got the winter runflats but got them cheaper on take-off X-lite MCS wheels. I like 'em and the wheels too.
MINI Cooper Cabrio: now the car with go cart handling really feels like an open go cart! "... the only man that can come home at 3 am in the morning without getting into trouble with his spouse is the owner of a British sports car!" -- Phil Bailey
The reason they left it off is likely to be very simple: cost.
However I agree that it would be useful. In most cars I would ridicule anyone who demanded a washer fluid light HOWEVER in the MINI where you cannot see the washer fluid tank to know how full it is, and only one of the tanks has a dipstick (weird, huh?) then you kind of need a light to avoid running the tank dry.
My Passat had a low wash fluid warning light that also sounded a tone. It was fairly useless on that car because when you pop the hood to check the oil you can very easily see the wash fluid level and fill if necessary.
That said the Passat was the only car I've ever owned with a low washer fluid warning and somehow I've managed to survive all these years without it
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