Clutch slipping at 21,000 miles - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2013, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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DIY Clutch slipping at 21,000 miles

Hi all,

I have a Mini Cooper SD, Built Nov 2011. At about 21,000 (start of this month) the clutch started to slip. I'm now nearly at 23,000 and it's getting worse. It happens in 3rd,4th,5th and 6th. When I get to about 2,000 RPM, the rev's slips. It was first very intermittent, but its now progressively getting worse. Once it hits 2,000 RPM, it may slip to 2,800 then back down to 2,200 and catch on. Past couple of days, it's been getting to 2,000, going to 2,800/3,000, back down to 2,200, slipping again to 2,800 and back to 2,500.

I've rang my local Mini dealer, It's booked in Tuesday 29th. They have quoted me 127 per hour to just investigate the issue, and to see if it'll be covered under warranty. Very shocked about this.

I'm very doubtful it's anything to do with my driving. I've had 2 previous cars (Racked up 70k miles in one, 50k in the other) and never once had clutch issues. I drive on the motorway every day. I am concerned that I am the second owner (purchased it at 9,700 miles) and it was owned with lease company before (as I'm aware) so I'm wondering if that has something to do with it? (Previous drivers etc)

What can anyone recommend? What's the chances of this being covered under warranty?

I've phoned up some local garages, with quotes in the region of about 600 for just the clutch repair. I just don't want to spend a couple of hours at mini (so lets say 254 for 2 hours) then not get mini to fix (I don't fancy the expensive repair bill) and end up spending another 600 else where.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2013, 06:23 PM
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Hmmm, tricky. The clutch is a wear-and-tear item so it's never clear-cut.

I've read that Mini have had duff clutches in the past so a goodwill contribution from them may not be out of the question.

But equally, you don't know who had the car for half its life, so it's not like you can even guarantee that it wasn't operator abuse.

In your position, I would be pressing the dealer to get a substantial goodwill contribution from Mini, but I wouldn't think 100% was achievable unless a manufacturing defect could be proved - and I wouldn't bet on that if the clutch has survived for 20,000 miles so far.

If I got a Mini dealer to look at it, I would certainly want them to show me the clutch once apart, just to encourage them to believe they couldn't pull the wool over my eyes.

Might not 50% from Mini (not guaranteed) or 600 from a local independent come to the same thing?

Sorry not to be more positive, but I don't think you're in a strong position.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2013, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, so I take it when they investigate, they will be actually taking the clutch out? Or am I wrong. They told me on the phone they expect it to take no longer than an hour to look at.

Also speaking with a mechanic earlier, he suggested the symptoms I'm showing is pointing more towards the DMF. How could the DMF of gone so soon? Surely that's not driver error? Blehhh I'm unsure what to do. I'm not sure who to take it too.

I'm based in Nottingham if anybody can recommend anybody local etc

Thanks
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Lots of posts about this issue on here and there have been various degrees of success in getting this covered/partly covered under warranty.

I went through a similar experience as you and after all was said and done Mini goodwilled the cost of the dual mass flywheel (approx. 550). The total cost of the clutch replacement including parts and labour at an authorized dealer will be roughly 1500-1700. I ended up paying over 1000 out of my own pocket and was informed clutches are strictly wear items. Cost will be a good deal less at a decent independent shop.

The fact that it is already slipping as badly as you indicate means the entire clutch kit and flywheel will have to be replaced. You can safely assume the entire assembly is fit for scrap as the DMF will have heat spots on it by now and the friction disk is obviously gone. The cause (oil contamination, diver abuse) will only be determined with certainty after they drop the transmission and get to the bell-housing. Be aware that just getting to the clutch on these cars is minimum 4 hour job as the front of the car and subframe have to come out before any mechanic can get near the clutch. There are no inspection plates on these cars. Their estimate of "1 hour" is laughable - I was billed for 7-8 hours labour (3.5 to 4 hours disassembly and the same for reassably and they had the car for 2 full days). If I were you, I would ask them EXACTLY how they intend to investigate.

In my opinion, I suspect that the previous owner of the car abused the clutch and you've now been saddled with the result, probably the reason the car ended up for sale once they found out a clutch job was on the horizon. I suspect this will be your only point of argument that the clutch was in a poor state when you bought the car. Pretty near impossible for an experienced (or even inexperienced!) driver to ruin a clutch in such a short period of time. I would emphasize this point repeatedly with the shop.

I suggest you proceed first by arguing this should be under warranty (if you've had the car for less than 2 years) and then second by getting a very good idea of how they intend to assess the problem. If you are satisfied with their proposal, insist on having a signed work order from them showing exactly what you will be liable for in terms of diagnostic fees.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeW View Post
Hey, so I take it when they investigate, they will be actually taking the clutch out? Or am I wrong. They told me on the phone they expect it to take no longer than an hour to look at.

Also speaking with a mechanic earlier, he suggested the symptoms I'm showing is pointing more towards the DMF. How could the DMF of gone so soon? Surely that's not driver error? Blehhh I'm unsure what to do. I'm not sure who to take it too.

I'm based in Nottingham if anybody can recommend anybody local etc

Thanks
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2017, 01:01 PM
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Apologies for resurrecting an old thread but just wanted to say I have a Mini Cooper SD built November 2011 as well and the clutch on that started slipping from 28,000 miles. My previous Mini did 120k miles on it's original clutch before I sold it and no issues with it then!

Did you find out if it was the DMF that was the issue in the end?

I've been quoted 570 to get the clutch repaired or 970 to get clutch and DMF repaired from an independent mini specialist garage.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2017, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeW View Post
Hey, so I take it when they investigate, they will be actually taking the clutch out? Or am I wrong. They told me on the phone they expect it to take no longer than an hour to look at.

Also speaking with a mechanic earlier, he suggested the symptoms I'm showing is pointing more towards the DMF. How could the DMF of gone so soon? Surely that's not driver error? Blehhh I'm unsure what to do. I'm not sure who to take it too.

I'm based in Nottingham if anybody can recommend anybody local etc

Thanks
guess they are going to charge you a fee for diagnosing fault thats common with main stealers, they will sit a mechanic inside it and send it up the road just to confirm yes there is a clutch slip issue,, as for telling its a dual mass flywheel fault without removing it and check the float they must be on another level,, dual mass would be banging and knocking the pedal would have a pumping feeling to it the clutch would be jerky when releasing it holding car on pedal would make car shake,,
we have a old guy he knocks out a clutch every couple of years so it is doable to kill wear out a clutch in those miles,, not saying you have just saying it has been known so dealers keep this in mind as a tool to be awkward if needs be, i would try and give the self adjuster on the back plate, i find a steep hill facing down wards and reverse up hill as hard as can just at point of wheel spin this can make the self adjuster on clutch plate work
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2017, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingflea View Post
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread but just wanted to say I have a Mini Cooper SD built November 2011 as well and the clutch on that started slipping from 28,000 miles. My previous Mini did 120k miles on it's original clutch before I sold it and no issues with it then!

Did you find out if it was the DMF that was the issue in the end?

I've been quoted 570 to get the clutch repaired or 970 to get clutch and DMF repaired from an independent mini specialist garage.
please read my other post replied to wrong one
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2017, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1967 View Post
guess they are going to charge you a fee for diagnosing fault thats common with main stealers, they will sit a mechanic inside it and send it up the road just to confirm yes there is a clutch slip issue,, as for telling its a dual mass flywheel fault without removing it and check the float they must be on another level,, dual mass would be banging and knocking the pedal would have a pumping feeling to it the clutch would be jerky when releasing it holding car on pedal would make car shake,,
we have a old guy he knocks out a clutch every couple of years so it is doable to kill wear out a clutch in those miles,, not saying you have just saying it has been known so dealers keep this in mind as a tool to be awkward if needs be, i would try and give the self adjuster on the back plate, i find a steep hill facing down wards and reverse up hill as hard as can just at point of wheel spin this can make the self adjuster on clutch plate work
Yes, local dealer wanted several thousand to replace the clutch (not including flywheel) and 100 just to diagnose it. I will submit a Freedom of Information Request and see how many others have been affected by the clutch failing early.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2017, 03:58 PM
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Yes, local dealer wanted several thousand to replace the clutch (not including flywheel) and 100 just to diagnose it. I will submit a Freedom of Information Request and see how many others have been affected by the clutch failing early.
i can tell you its a lot, they also use same back plates on the honda civic cdti diesel cars they also have the same know issues, the self adjustment on them jams up from rust normally so dont take out the wear on middle plate. the flywheels are also rubbish on all cars i spend a lot of my life replacing the clutch and flywheels as a complete job as would be foolish not to in the long run.. i have in past undone gearbox lever it away from engine block and used a long length of sharp bar and hammer and forced the adjuster rings around before but still its a fair old job.
i have seen cars tuned cars with big power do a flywheel within 6 months then i have seen a tow car do 100k on them just so random,, what really does kill them is low revs driving 1000-1800 revs everywhere high torque high load but the better mpg so cant win either way. LUK and valeo flywheels are fair so are sachs a lot cheap than genuine might even be better made as very rarely get one back for years
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2017, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1967 View Post
i can tell you its a lot, they also use same back plates on the honda civic cdti diesel cars they also have the same know issues, the self adjustment on them jams up from rust normally so dont take out the wear on middle plate. the flywheels are also rubbish on all cars i spend a lot of my life replacing the clutch and flywheels as a complete job as would be foolish not to in the long run.. i have in past undone gearbox lever it away from engine block and used a long length of sharp bar and hammer and forced the adjuster rings around before but still its a fair old job.
i have seen cars tuned cars with big power do a flywheel within 6 months then i have seen a tow car do 100k on them just so random,, what really does kill them is low revs driving 1000-1800 revs everywhere high torque high load but the better mpg so cant win either way. LUK and valeo flywheels are fair so are sachs a lot cheap than genuine might even be better made as very rarely get one back for years
Interesting. So do you think I should try the reversing up a steep hill trick you mentioned to see if it's just a case of the self adjuster not adjusting?

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2017, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingflea View Post
Interesting. So do you think I should try the reversing up a steep hill trick you mentioned to see if it's just a case of the self adjuster not adjusting?
i'm a 50 year old mechanic and have seen a lot of these self adjusting clutch's and with more than half of them some dam right abuse of clutch pedal has sorted them out as long as its the self adjuster part at fault
,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08aYbyejOm4
.
click on this link it shows how they work, trouble is most people drive smooth and wanting good mpg but i think these clutches are designed to be treated at the harder end of use and also if car not used much sat around in the damp or by the seaside is the worst for it things rust up, every clutch i have ever done that has been in for more that 3 years has been rusty,, the si=elf adjust relies on two metal rings the diameter of the clutch to slip past each other as the center plate wears down so it keeps the bite point of clutch pedal at same point, before spending a lot of money i would try it what have you to lose,, it might work first time or might take longer of just heavy clutch in and out at wheelspin or very near it.. i normally gets results with in half hour of doing on cars a noticed change.
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