I thought I would post on the forum concerning a question I had about the shift surges on my recently purchased 2014 countryman. For some apparent reason, I feel two downshift surges when I brake hard from roughly 45 mph or faster. I'm not able to always consistently feel it and it gives me the impression that I'm not able to keep adequate pressure on the brake pedal. I did compare it to another countryman, which was an S model, and it didn't have the same issue when I drove it. My question is whether or not this is somewhat normal, or if I have a bigger problem on my hands. When I originally test drove it before purchasing it, it felt about the same (slight shift surges when braking), but I thought it was more me than the car or possibly just the break in period. I now have 800 miles on the car, and the shift surges continue, which is starting to worry me a little.
I have a manual Countryman Cooper D. I dont have the problem you describe, but I do find the brakes require a lot more force than my MCS to have the same effect. I have tried a quick stop & the Brake Assist appears to work.
Although not a Mini, my BMW X6 has a similar result on braking heavily as it shifts down from 8th to whichever gear it feels it needs. It's simply because the newer auto boxes have engine braking capability and I can feel the system operating, though it is by no means harsh. If operating in 'Sport' mode the shifts are slightly more noticeable, possibly due to the different shift profile.
In an emergency it will step direct from 8th to 2nd in one shift - that is noticeable I'm told!
Current: 2011 X6 40d & 2012 Countryman SD All4
Project: 2005 E46 330Cd M Sport convertible
I recently purchased a '13 Hardtop with automatic. The engine braking as I was applying the brakes to slow or stop caught me off guard in the beginning. I had never driven an automatic that did this. It has taken me a while to get accustomed to this feature.
I'm kind of relieved that this is somewhat known or normal. When you slow down to a stop sign, it does catch you off guard, and you wonder what's going on. I have an appointment scheduled with my dealer so that they can make sure everything is ok. When I described it to them, they said that no one has ever complained about the issue, which I find hard to believe. This is very specific to Mini/BMW, and if you've never owned one before, this would be considered abnormal. One thing they did offer to do was reset the shift timing.
After visiting the dealer, they confirmed that the "shock down shifting" is not normal. Unfortunately they were unable to duplicate the issue (I don't see how), but they took my word for it and reset the shift timing. They told me to test it for 3 days, and if the issue continues, they will replace the valve body on the transmission. Supposedly, they have been notified of such an issue, but it is not a tech bulletin.
On the way out of the parking lot, and after they reset the shift timing, the "shock down shifting" pattern of two shocks before stopping turned into one shock. I probably should have taken it back to the dealer to show them the issue, but I was already late to work. However, on the way the work, it feels like the "shock down shifting" may have cleared up.
After testing the car for about 4 days, and taking it on a lengthy road trip, I can confirm that resetting the shift points has done a world of a good. Although there still is a slight shift feeling during slowing down, it's far more normal than what was happening before with the two sudden shift shocks.
I have convinced myself that the car is now back on par with what it should have been from the start. If there was truly a problem with the valve body, the reset wouldn't have made any difference, and the shift points wouldn't have become smoother.
Sad to say, but the shift surges are back. I'm scheduled for yet another dealer visit so they can determine what to do. One thing I learned about Mini in the month that I've owned it is that the dealers do things very differently. They try simple things first, then they want to look at it a little more thoroughly, and finally they decide on an action plan for repair (and that requires corporate approval). While this certainly makes sense for smaller repairs, it's a little inconvenient when it comes to larger problems like the transmission. It wouldn't be that bad if they did repairs on weekends, but that just isn't the case, and other arrangements have to be made for vehicle exchanges and/or loaners.
When an average person works the standard 8 to 5, and so does the dealer, there tends to be a snag or two trying to explain to your work why you have to take time off for vehicle repairs. It's even harder to explain when the vehicle is brand new, and the only reason you bought it was to replace a previous vehicle that also had problems.
I still remain hopeful, as I don't really think there's anything wrong with the transmission mechanically. After doing quite a bit of research, and even diving into other car manufacturers problems, I noticed similarities. Some people were able to have the shift points reset, others were able to update the ECU, and a few went through transmission replacement. If I had a take a stab at it, I would say that the ECU needs an update, but there is no update to be had on a 2014. More than likely, they will probably replace the whole transmission rather than toy with the valve body or other simple fixes.
After the dealer consulted with Mini corporate, they have determined that the solution to my problem is replacing the main valve body harness. I suppose I was wrong when I originally thought that they wouldn't try the simply things. Perhaps the issue will get resolved by replacing the harness, but I've never seen a harness work partially. Harnesses usually work or don't work (but I'm not an auto mechanic). I remain hopeful.
Waiting for the repair to complete by the end of this week.
The dealer contacted me today and said that the repair was unsuccessful. After installing the main valve body harness, trouble codes started popping up. I suppose this is why Mini has a history of replacing transmissions instead of trying to repair them. A new transmission has been ordered, and I have to wait another week for it to come in and be installed.
I suppose replacing the transmission is for the best, but $7,000 for a new one is a steep price to pay for a failed repair. However, this means that I'll be free of shift surges once and for all.
Engine braking now is a big thing for cars not just big rigs anymore, it really helps on hills & if you're in sport mode don't forget your shift points are changed and accelerator response is a little sharper. So you may be feeling that. If your really concerned go to Mini I'm sure they can diagnose better.........
The car continues to be in the shop as the dealer managed to receive the wrong transmission despite ordering the correct one. After this week, the car will have officially been in the shop for a month straight. Nobody at the dealer can provide me with an ETA for the next transmission, or when the repair might finally be complete, but they have re-assured me that it has been escalated. I suppose if the repair fails this time around, I will be pursuing the lemon law. It's just a little disheartening to experience this type of problem, and there's nothing else wrong with the car.
The car continues to be in the shop, and the latest update that the dealer provided was that a transmission could not be located in my country (lucky me). However, they were able to locate one in Germany. I keep telling myself I need to be optimistic and patient, but everyone knows that international items get stuck in customs for at least two to three weeks.
If the dealer finally does fix this car, the loaner I've been driving will have at least 3,000 miles more than it had when I originally dropped the car off. Fortunately for the dealer, I don't live far from work, and I keep weekend excursions to a minimum.
The questions I ask myself at the end of the day:
1. Was purchasing a Mini a good idea?
2. Is the length of time for this repair a sign of what to expect in the future?
3. Will the resale value of this vehicle be affected?
My overall feelings at the end of the day:
1. If they fix this car, it's going to be a miracle.
2. Can't I just have the loaner?..... It's also new and it works.
3. Filing for Lemon Law is time consuming.....Please don't put me through that Mini.
4. Why didn't I just buy something else?.....
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