2004 Mini Cooper Owner + repair questions
I've owned my lovely 2004 British Racing Green Mini Cooper since 2010. I bought him with 62k and have just passed 98k. His name is Oliver and I have learned that the Auto climate control is amazing and heated seats are the greatest invention ever. Working in emergency services, I have to get to work regardless of the weather and living in the Northeast, that includes: wind, flooding, dirt roads, ice, snow, rain and, well, anything. He's fabulous in all of them (So boo to all the naysayers who say Minis are awful in the snow!) Plus, he makes me smile. I'm never angry when I walk out into the parking lot and see his cheery little face looking back at me. The growly little exhaust just makes it so happy.
What I'm not a huge fan of: the repair costs. So far, I've replaced: the front axle, the power steering pump (Mini finally acknowledged a failure and issued a refund) the exhaust hanger strap (coming up on the 2nd time) and the turn signal stem. Even with all these thousands: I still LOVE my little car.
So I have 3 issues going on right now that I'm looking for assistance with:
Exhaust Strap: It had a new exhaust (whether it was done correctly is debatable -side grumble-) yet I have already replaced the exhuast strap (2011). It now has the same clunking sound in the right rear. The garage (independent BMW dealership that handles lots of Minis) has told me the exhaust strap is fatigued. This is a 200$+ part. Does anyone have any suggestions as to a fix for this? I don't want to be replacing this every two years.
Wheel Shudder: After about an hour of travel (typically high speed, not stopping) it feels like the brake is grabbing and the steering wheel gives huge shudders. As in it will jerk to the side. It's an entertaining experience but one I would like to stop. Anyone else had this experience? What did it take to fix?
Sunroof: My sunroof track cracked 2 years ago so the roof will open but not close. I just had the garage unplug the motor because, short of replacing the entire assembly, the garage told me there is no fix. Has anyone else had this happen? Any fixes?
Thanks in advance for all the answers!