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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 2015, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Help -> Mini Owners Opinions Please!

Hey everyone,

This is (unfortunately) my first post here, even though I have been reading the forum pretty liberty for the past few weeks. I recently parted ways with a 2010 Volkswagen CC that was problem ridden, costing me about $6k in repairs in the two years I owned it. I was in the market for a new car, and was leaning towards a Lexus IS250...until this little Mini caught my eye.

I thought it would be a perfect car, I drive rarely since I live in Chicago and use public transit to get to work, only driving to the store, run errands, and it would be easy to park. So boom I was sold and bought a 2008 Mini Cooper S and think I got a great deal. It has only 50,000 miles and every option I could ever want (Sunroof, Nav, heated seats, xenons, auto fold mirrors, comfort package (keyless entry), and an alarm system, plus whatever else was an option in 2008 - the thing is loaded). To boot it came with summer and winter tires (silver and black Mini rims to go with) and was meticulously cared for with a perfect Carfax record - I got it for only $12.5K from a Chevy dealer with a 3 month warranty.

So all is good until day 5, I get in the car and it won't start - not even trying to turn over. A neighbor informed me while I was getting a jump that the alarm system had been going off for hours the previous night, I assumed the battery had just died and continued to try to jump it - still no start.

After towing it to the local mini dealership and letting them look at the car for 6 days. I now have two issues:

-The key fob reader is faulty ($1,300)
-Tranmission issues/leaking fluids ($3,500)
Total Cost: $4800 plus one large headache

Luckily this little guy is covered by a warranty from the Chevy dealer I bought it from for 3 months so I'm not on the hook for the bill (they will let the mini dealer do all the work). But now I'm faced with this dilemma, do I let the dealer fix the car and hope for now more issues? Or do I run for the hills and ask them to take this car back?

Its a fun to drive car, but I'm not looking for a money pit. Has anyone had any similar experience with a used Mini?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2015, 09:13 AM
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Let them fix it all under warranty, the cars not done a great mileage, so fingers crossed once it been done by your MINI garage it will be fine?
If you know who the previous was it might be a good idea to ask them about the car, like did they trade it in because they were having lots of problems? they might confirm all was well and this now is just a one off flook?

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 19th, 2015, 12:23 PM
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You should have asked some questions before you bought the car and not after you bought it. As much as I enjoy the experience of driving a Mini it enjoys a terrible reputation for reliability/dependability. Personally I won't own a Mini that doesn't have a factory new car warranty.

I would let the dealership make the necessary repairs, put the car up for sale, consider it a lesson learned and buy my Lexus.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 2015, 10:54 PM
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Let them fix it under w/tee and enjoy the drive after that. Don't forget to wave to bored Lexus drivers as you go by. I'd also ask the Mini dealer to do an inspection a couple of weeks before the w/tee is due to expire. May catch other problems or just give you confidence.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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45 days later, my car is finally working. There was an issue with the engine ground, which caused the transmission control module to short out. The ground was fixed and the control module replaced (Mini covered 70% of the cost - dealer covered the rest).

They also discovered a leaking trans-fluid line along the way that was replaced (also at cost to the dealer - woo)

Not what I was hoping for the first 2 months of owning the car. Still debating on keeping it or not...at least I haven't had to pay for any of the services done so far.

Mark
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 08:44 PM
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There's an old saying that came to my mind as I was reading your post. When you sold the VW and bought a Mini "You jumped from the frying pan into the fire." We all have different opinions but one of mine is I wouldn't drive a Mini that didn't have a factory warranty. I've read that JD Power ranks the Mini in last place when it comes to reliability. It can't get too much worse than that.
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