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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 12:07 AM
kimmie9090's Avatar
Kimmie9090
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New (to me) MINI - Like buying a Puppy

Hello All,

In April I bought a pre-owned 2010 MCS from a MINI dealer. Not a CPO car, but one that appeared in fantastic shape with 49,230 miles.

I now equate my MINI experience thusfar with buying a puppy. So darn cute when you get it, lots of fun, but then it pees and poops in your house and doesn't let you sleep at night.

The MINI was awesome for a little less than 10 days. Driving home from work, a warning light came on - the thermometer symbol that indicates it's overheating. I stopped immediately and let it cool down. Drove home with no recurring light and looked underneath it. What looked like oil, bluish clear, was leaking - a spot maybe the size of a baseball after a couple hours.

Called the dealer and they said they would take care of it but I had to get the car back to them. I bought the car 100 miles away - they were the only ones with a nice MCS Convertible in inventory. They weren't willing to send someone to my house for it. So I bought the MINI Roadside contract for 1 year. A completely horrible experience - got passed around 3 times before I got to the right person. I was even transferred to AARP - which was amusing for maybe 2 seconds.

Anyway - I got the subscription and called MINI Roadside. They arranged for the tow and the truck came. They were professional and prompt. But, after loading the MINI on the truck, they wanted cash for tolls. I asked them how much for tolls and they said they didn't know. They called their dispatch and the disptacher didn't know. So - we stared each other down until I relented and gave them $25 for tolls and tip.

Anyway - the dealer got the car and diagnosed a water pump failure. Not oil after all, though the MINI antifreeze is very oily. I had no idea it's not green or red anymore.

I do work for a car manufacturer and I mentioned to one of our technical specialists what happened with the water pump. After they laughed at me for not staying with the brand, I was told that while the dealer was replacing the pump, I should have the thermostat replaced. OK - sounded like a good idea. I called the Dlr and spoke with the Service Mgr. I told her that I wanted the thermostat replaced during the service and since it wasn't a component that failed, I would be happy to pay for that part of the repair. The water pump was covered as part of the dealer's 6month warranty with the purchase.

The next day I got a call from a service advisor saying that the car was done. OK, I asked what was done and they said the water pump. I asked about the thermostat and they said, no, they checked it and it was fine. I was disappointed but OK, whatever. I sent my guy and a friend to go pick up the car. The next day, I drove it to work and when I got out of the car I stepped in a puddle of coolant. Yes, the thermostat failed and everything leaked out.

Had to call Roadside again, the same guy came, and the same routine with the hand out for toll money. $25 later the car was on the flatbed and going back to the dealer. Now - it is very embarrassing to work for a car company and have a competing brand car, towed out of the lot. My co-workers now celebrate each week as a MINI non-breakdown anniversary. So they fixed the thermostadt and so far so good on that.

I am trying to get a refund on the out of pocket toll expense. No word yet on that - I had to mail MINI a letter with my story as the tow service company, which promised to email me a recept for the tolls, never sent it after multiple calls to them.

But wait - there's more. So, before I took delivery of the car, during the walk-around, I noticed that the rubber trim piece that goes around the convertible top was all dry-rotted and cracked. Pieces of it were missing. They reluctantly replaced it - I was told it was only a cosmetic piece and I shouldn't worry about it... Anyway - they replaced it and of course, it is now flapping around in the wind when I'm driving. I included pictures for you to see. I'm looking for anyone who knows how to properly install this. I read online that the reason all of these rubber trim pieces are rotting is because they were originally glued in place and the glue is drying out the rubber. Is there any way to secure it without using glue? Thanks to anyone who can provide guidance!
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