Got a 2009 Clubman Diesel. The clutch & flywheel were replaced last year under warranty as a result of a faulty flywheel (or so I was told). The brake cylinder was found to be leaking in May and it was replaced (I had big puddles of brake/clutch fluid under the car one morning). In any event, the new clutch and flywheel had a different feel to the factory install and after the brake cylinder change I found the clutch to be kind of "mushy" in a sense. It's hard to describe, but it's kind of difficult to find the friction point although the clutch absolutely does not slip.
I was poking about in the engine compartment last night and discovered a possible issue. On the following link: RealOEM.com BMW R55 Cooper d Gearbox shifting parts
the part that may be the problem is either number 11 or number 10 (I think it's more likely to be number 10). It's the bowden cable for the gear selection. The problem relates to the section between the circular compenent labelled number 10 and the section to the left of part number 14 - on the diagram it's the black cylindrical section between numbers 10 and 14 (not the section between parts number 14 and 6). It's like a little rubber boot, but in my Mini this boot seems to be disintegrating.
I'm wondering if this isn't causing some issues with gear selection? My shifter seems a little "loose" maybe, but nothing dramatic. Should I have this part replaced?
Interestingly, the bowden cable on my riding lawn mower also went over the weekend...