2007-14 avoid like the plague! Too many faults to list!
2001-2006 r50-53 the best by far.
Being a first time driver I assume you'll be looking at a ONE OR COOPER.
The gearboxes are the weak point of the r50.
Up until July 2004 when it was replaced by a five speed gertag box
Labouring Midlands box and abusing it is the main cause of failure.
Also lack of gearbox oil changes causes both gearboxes to wear rapidly
Change the oil every 30k mtf94.
The tritec engine is bombproof but it does leak.
The crankshaft position sensor o rings fail, it's often misdiagnosed as a leaking sump.
5 min job to replace it if the cars put into front end service mode.
rear main seals can leak , check around the bell housing where it joins the engine.
Front main seals and timing cover gaskets weep check them aswell.
Check around the Oil filter housing for seepage! This is a common fault again a relatively easy job.
If the car has over 100k make sure it doesn't rattle when started this indicates a worn timing chain tensioner not a nightmare if caught early.
Very easy to replace, 1) 19mm bolt below the oil filter housing.
£30 easy peasy
Look for Modmini he is the mini god
Everything I have listed above he does a guide on.
Look for rust under the car especially where the rear suspension cross member mounts
Look under seals especially front door and boot Seals they hold water and cause rust.
If it's a sunroof model make sure the roof seal is intact and crack free.
Check the front carpets for moisture the Bcm "body control module" is mounted close to the floor behind the bonnet pull, its allergic to water
and ain't cheap to fix.
TO SUM UP..
TRY TO FIND A FACE LIFT R50
BUILT FROM LATE JULY 2004 to 2006
R50 PRODUCTION CEASED SEPTEMBER 2006 I BELIEVE.
NEVER EVER BUY AN R56.
will add on some more info
any fink to add?
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