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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I have just bought a Mini Cooper 2005 Park Lane model and within a week the clutch has started to slip. The car shudders when you pull away in 1st gear and intermittent shudder when your going60mph. The car is booked in for Monday for a clutch repair.

Two days ago I noticed the coolant overflow tank was empty. I filled it up and it kept falling with no sign of a leak. Then today after a 30 minute drive and parked by the side of the road it overheated. I lifted the bonnet and appeared to have mild steam coming up from the right side of engine near the thermostat. I checked and couldn’t see any leaks or the heat was drying it. The fans kicked in to cool the car. Later on I went out to check the car and the coolant in overflow has gone down dramatically and I can see fast drips coming from the front under the centre of the bumper. I have tried to feel for a any leaks, but I’m not a mechanic and being a women google is my friend.

I am not going to drive it in case I do more damage, I’m praying it’s not the head gasket. There is no sign of any milky consistency within the oil. I have checked both the dipper and the engine refill cap. It appears to be brown oil and no sign of water that I can tell. No white smoke that I can see either. No loss of heat in the car. I can hear a whirring sound when the bonnet is open this seems to come from the left side of the engine. Very slight sound. When you put the car into assembly you hear a slight clunk and whirrsound as though it is starting something up and sounds a little blocked.

I feel so stupid, none of these were picked up last Sunday and the car is going horribly wrong and feel as though I have a bought a banger. The owner said there were no faults on the car. It has done 111k.

is this car beyond repair due to no point paying out because of the car worth or investing the money to get fixed. Sell it for spares and repair, swallow the loss🤷‍♀️

So sorry for long message. 🙈
 

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The problem with 1st gen cars in my opinion is the lack of a radiator service support position. You have to pretty much get four long socket extensions and hang the front end on them. Otherwise you have to remove all the stuff in the front end like AC condenser and a number of other things.
There is plenty of detail in the problem. It would have been good to get a quick video of the actual car and what it is doing.
Selling it I would still attach a good price on it. Unless you can take the loss. I kind of wish I had the dollars to buy used broke mini coopers if that tells you how severe the problem is that you have. I could buy them for 1500 U.S. and put about 500 U.S. in them and have a good car.
Your problem is not that bad is what I am saying. And I throw it out there in the general sense.
Any Mini Cooper from 2001 to 2013 I am confident I can have running for pennys in contrast to what a full size car or truck would cost.
Now The idea the car broke down is a disappointment. If you can get past that quick you'll see it is in a sense(with good maintenance) a good reliable car.
You said you have a clutch issue. This was something I was saying here on the forum not too long ago. Don't Jump the gun!!!!!!! When it comes to evaluating the problem of your Mini; and that really applies to the transmission.
Now sounds like the work is gonna get done anyway. Maybe it needs it. BUT. Keep in mind these cars have computers.Computers don't get old when they work; they either work or they don't.
On a MINI Cooper That computer needs certain things satisfied for it to operate. It is not a computer car from the early mid 90's so much. Where if something is worn out or wearing out or another problem of some sort that it goes RIGHT into a open loop program. Meaning That it has a set game plan of values it will run either way. EXAMPLE: The oxygen sensor on the exhaust went out; it's broken. So now the computer does not know what the carbon content amount is coming out of the engine. Well in a 90's car it would say(the computer) make the fuel to air ratio 14 to 1 parts fuel.
In these modern adaptive learning to the environment(Is it high altitude or low altitude?) They will go into a open loop; but really it is more of a death before dishonor; based on how much programming is already in there.
So what I am saying is there can be multiple things going wrong and it will still act like normal pushing the guild lines of the environment clause to where things that are not even broke or wrong are acting up. Thus when you take your mini in the first time to a mini dealer most people have; it turns out to be something completely different then what they thought.
You Transmission is probably fine. Now I am going out on a limb saying that. I might not be right. But the proof and the track record as to the symptoms and how they occur in a modern MINI Cooper have proven it to be true.
I would ask myself at this point how long has the trans been acting up. It may not be too late!
The first problem is the coolant leak. Get that fixed and the engine power will be given back to it by the computer(it will see the correct temperature to allow the engine to advance enough to create the power needed to go into the next gear like it always did).
That's Just my opinion.
And Selling the car. Just remember I have a R56. It's getting old. But in early 2020 it was voted fastest front wheel drive production car. That was early 2020. They were reffering to the GP version Cooper. Although mine is not there is value. And because of a complete and entire aftermarket support. Mine will never be like the older mini first gens as far as making high amounts of power on a budget.
Meaning in a sense yours is more desirable then mine.
Just some food for thought on that. Create a good price not necessarily a fair one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The problem with 1st gen cars in my opinion is the lack of a radiator service support position. You have to pretty much get four long socket extensions and hang the front end on them. Otherwise you have to remove all the stuff in the front end like AC condenser and a number of other things.
There is plenty of detail in the problem. It would have been good to get a quick video of the actual car and what it is doing.
Selling it I would still attach a good price on it. Unless you can take the loss. I kind of wish I had the dollars to buy used broke mini coopers if that tells you how severe the problem is that you have. I could buy them for 1500 U.S. and put about 500 U.S. in them and have a good car.
Your problem is not that bad is what I am saying. And I throw it out there in the general sense.
Any Mini Cooper from 2001 to 2013 I am confident I can have running for pennys in contrast to what a full size car or truck would cost.
Now The idea the car broke down is a disappointment. If you can get past that quick you'll see it is in a sense(with good maintenance) a good reliable car.
You said you have a clutch issue. This was something I was saying here on the forum not too long ago. Don't Jump the gun!!!!!!! When it comes to evaluating the problem of your Mini; and that really applies to the transmission.
Now sounds like the work is gonna get done anyway. Maybe it needs it. BUT. Keep in mind these cars have computers.Computers don't get old when they work; they either work or they don't.
On a MINI Cooper That computer needs certain things satisfied for it to operate. It is not a computer car from the early mid 90's so much. Where if something is worn out or wearing out or another problem of some sort that it goes RIGHT into a open loop program. Meaning That it has a set game plan of values it will run either way. EXAMPLE: The oxygen sensor on the exhaust went out; it's broken. So now the computer does not know what the carbon content amount is coming out of the engine. Well in a 90's car it would say(the computer) make the fuel to air ratio 14 to 1 parts fuel.
In these modern adaptive learning to the environment(Is it high altitude or low altitude?) They will go into a open loop; but really it is more of a death before dishonor; based on how much programming is already in there.
So what I am saying is there can be multiple things going wrong and it will still act like normal pushing the guild lines of the environment clause to where things that are not even broke or wrong are acting up. Thus when you take your mini in the first time to a mini dealer most people have; it turns out to be something completely different then what they thought.
You Transmission is probably fine. Now I am going out on a limb saying that. I might not be right. But the proof and the track record as to the symptoms and how they occur in a modern MINI Cooper have proven it to be true.
I would ask myself at this point how long has the trans been acting up. It may not be too late!
The first problem is the coolant leak. Get that fixed and the engine power will be given back to it by the computer(it will see the correct temperature to allow the engine to advance enough to create the power needed to go into the next gear like it always did).
That's Just my opinion.
And Selling the car. Just remember I have a R56. It's getting old. But in early 2020 it was voted fastest front wheel drive production car. That was early 2020. They were reffering to the GP version Cooper. Although mine is not there is value. And because of a complete and entire aftermarket support. Mine will never be like the older mini first gens as far as making high amounts of power on a budget.
Meaning in a sense yours is more desirable then mine.
Just some food for thought on that. Create a good price not necessarily a fair one.
Hi

Thank you so much! That has been helpful. I will try to attach a video tomorrow.

I noticed the clutch before I noticed the water overflow was bone dry was not working. When I pull away it shudders and is worse first thing, but does continue to shudder intermittently, have to be slow on the release of the clutch which is quite high too now. No clunking or grinding when changing gears.

I wanted to double check the oil level and attempted to see the spark plugs in case they were causing any transmission issues, I then noticed the overflow tank was bone dry.

the car is eating fuel, I would imagine that would be the case if it has to work harder. I have been so worried that I bought a bad car. I know it’s old and it’s not new, things will go wrong. If I knew that I had a decent car then I would not worry so much.

I took it to my local garage who test drove it and thought it was the clutch, but they would know more once the front of the car is off and they can take a look.

I love the car! I have always wanted a mini and this is the first one I have had.
 

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Both your symptoms are ‘common’ faults .. I have an 06 cooper and have done lots of searches for faults .. if your cars on 111k on original clutch it’s done well but needs to change and your tritec engine is tricky to top up if you don’t know how ...
I would recommend you find a specialist Mini garage or mechanic not a dealer .. e.g .Minitopia near Southampton charge £575 for a clutch ..£50 coolant replace
My two pence
Good luck
 

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Yea I bought one of these and works like a charm. I have never had it so easy when it comes to addressing problems that has to will draining the coolant to get to it. It power fills it if you have a pancake type air compressor. It has adapters for most cars, but most important for the Mini Cooper. And I thought it would be real hard to operate. It is just turn one valve open build the pressure in the coolant system(pressure numbers are not required just that it levels out on the air guage) level the pressure close the valve. Wait for 30 seconds to see if it holds pressure. If it does you don't have a leak. Did not even have to look for a leak to know if you have one or not.
Then you open the other valve that dumps all the coolant in the system through another part of the tool(a small sump)using vacuum. Takes about 1 minute to completely refill your coolant system with no air bubbles at all inside the system. Which is good on a car with small hoses and plastic passages.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update:

the clutch was very worn and was replaced. However, the car is overheating in minutes and the coolant is leaking from the radiator. It’s booked in for a radiator on Friday. Fingers x no more issues. Feel I have bought a donkey of a car! Hoping once I have paid for these repairs then it will be all good to go.
 

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All cars break 🙄 keep the faith.. you have the best gearbox , engine and spec for ‘ minimal problems .. just don’t drive it till it holds coolant
 
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