We recently purchased a 2005 R52 Mini Cooper S convertible for an upcoming 4,000 mile road trip around Europe. The idea was to use it for the trip and then sell it, but our other car (a white Fiat 500 1.4) is already in the process of being prepared for sale due to how much we love this mini!
For those that like spec we have: lightning blue, black roof, 5 spoke alloys, full leather interior (grey with blue tint), heated seats, xenons, harman kardon audio, factory sat nav, MFSW, auto air con, interior chrome line pack.
We've already encountered one or two challenges but I'm really enjoying learning about the car through the process.
So far in preparation for the trip we've installed a Denison iPhone adapter, updated the nav firmware and bought new maps for Europe, diagnosed a faulty compressor and had the air conditioning repaired. We're in the market for a few cans of tyre sealant, since there's no spare and this one's no longer on runflats.
We've also been doing a bit of research into other essential checks to make before taking a 9 year old car on a 4,000 mile trip. I've started another thread to try and see if others have tips for this, titled "Pre-road-trip-tips-please!". Mainly, I want to try and safeguard against mechanical breakdown which might spell the end of our trip. I'm really keen to do things myself as much as possible, but with no garage or driveway I fear I will be constrained somewhat. We also depart in about 3 weeks, so not a huge amount of time for a 'trial and error' approach.
Niggles outstanding are:
- Rusting on the driver side back box (no blowing yet)
- Potentially losing coolant. I've mentioned this in my other thread as not sure whether the 1L of coolant we added at the weekend has been lost or simply filtered through, since I understand the system takes around 6L. Hoping to get some insight into this from some of you before taking it to a specialist to have any repairs done.
- General wear and tear inside the car. The driver's seat is pretty badly worn, so I've purchased some self-repair cleaning and dyeing products, following advice on this forum, and will try and do a before and after to show progress.
- There was previously persistent algae on the soft top. While 8-10 hours of cleaning over two sessions finally got rid, I'm conscious this may return. Fingers crossed, and I'll advise in time.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions or tips. Very grateful to be part of this community, and hope I can also offer some help to others along the way from my experiences.