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Old Mar 12th, 2014, 01:57 AM
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Should I buy a 2003 mini that sat for 5 yrs?

Hey, all! My sister in law has her mom's 2003 Mini (non-S) with 40,000 miles on it, and it has been sitting in the driveway for 5 years in Pittsburgh. Was running when she shut it off 5 years ago, but hasn't been touched since. What is the car worth (I am thinking about buying it) and what should I do before I try to start it? Gas is 5 years old, so I assume I need to drain the fuel tank. What else should I do to the Mini before I get a new battery and try to start it? Many thanks, Rick
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Old Mar 12th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by megatars (original)
Hey, all! My sister in law has her mom's 2003 Mini (non-S) with 40,000 miles on it, and it has been sitting in the driveway for 5 years in Pittsburgh. Was running when she shut it off 5 years ago, but hasn't been touched since. What is the car worth (I am thinking about buying it) and what should I do before I try to start it? Gas is 5 years old, so I assume I need to drain the fuel tank. What else should I do to the Mini before I get a new battery and try to start it? Many thanks, Rick

The main thing would be to see the engine hasnt seized by turning it by hand before trying a start up, you could do this by putting it in gear jacking up a front wheel and turning it by hand to see if the engine will revolve.
The clutch, if its manual, will probably be stuck to the flywheel too which means you wouldnt be able to engage gears with the engine running, if it has stuck it can be unstuck once the engines runs by letting it warm up fully.
Switch off, brakes on, select a high gear, press down the clutch pedal then try to start it, it will try to jump forwards but it doing so the flywheel/clutch should free itself.
Theres the fuel to renew, oils, brakes to check, and general go over everything and recommission it, but the main point is getting the engine turning and running.
Also if its been standing untouched for 5 years the cooling system and water pump will need a good going over as no doubt there could be leaks?
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Old Mar 12th, 2014, 12:24 PM
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DIY Bad Fuel

Won't injectors, fuel rail ETC be gummy to the point of no flow?
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Old Mar 12th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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Thank you very much. I think that I can get it for around $5,000. It is an automatic, but I am on the fence on whether or not I should take the risk, if there is a possibility of spending a few more thousand on getting it road worthy. To drain the fuel tank, how hard is it? That is the main concern. If I siphon it out, I am not sure I will be getting all of the old fuel out.
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Old Mar 12th, 2014, 03:44 PM
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Personally I wouldn't bother with any precautionary stuff, just bang in ample new fuel make sure the battery is juiced up, check the oil level and see what happens. Test the brakes a little and take it a gentle drive. It's an auto so it'll probably get the gears mixed up a little until everything is flowing nicely.

The tyres will most likely have gone square so that bare that in mind when listening for strange noise.
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Old Mar 12th, 2014, 09:02 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by megatars (original)
2003 Mini (non-S) with 40,000 miles on it ... It is an automatic ...

You may not want to buy a 1st Gen Cooper with an automatic (CVT) transmission when you read what it costs to repair ...

MotoringFile MINI Settling CVT Class Action Suit
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