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Discussion Starter #1
Parked outside my in-laws (who live on a hill) last week just the same as I have 100 times before. After being there about 10 mins I was startled to hear the alarm on my Cooper Convertible going off. Dashed outside to find my beloved little motor embedded in the front of a car reversing into his driveway 5 yards down the road. After 1000 apologise to the poor guy my car hit I tried to drive the Mini away assuming the handbrake had failed only to discover it wouldn't budge because the handbrake WAS on. The guy admitted he'd just driven past my stationary Mini to reverse into his driveway. He'd not finished his reverse because he was distracted by the sound of a car alarm, my car alarm, as the Mini rolled down the hill into him! (luckily for me it did hit him - had it not, it was a clear roll down the hill into a main road and god knows who could have been hurt).

Angrily visited my MINI dealer the next day to complain about the failed handbrake and the now scratched rear bumper and two scuffed alloys (seems the Mini scraped along the kerb before hitting the other car). They agreed to book the car in to look at the handbrake but would make no comment about who would be paying for the damage to the Mini (the other guys car was unharmed).

Suprise, suprise. I return to collect the car today to be told they've found no fault with the handbrake and basically to get lost and leave it in gear next time. When I explained I wanted to take the matter further all I was given a contact number for BMW customer service.

Anyone got any experiance of this kind of thing?

Am I waisting my time contacting BMW?

Should I just pay for the repairs myself?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :mad:
 

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Handbrake !

Hello there, i had the same handbrake problem with my 2002 Cooper. My wife parked it on the drive, got out. When i got home it was sitting in the road !! Lucky enough no car was parked behind it. When i spoke to my dealer they booked it in, changed the handbrake lever, no problems since, fingers crossed. I was told that there was a fault with the ratchet mechanism on the lever, not any problem with the caliper. Hope this helps, Damian. :)
 

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If there is a problem with the handbrake then MINI should fix it and pay for the damage.

But, check out the Highway Code http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/index.shtml

226 Parking on hills.
If you park on a hill you should
park close to the kerb and apply the handbrake firmly
select a forward gear and turn your steering wheel away from the kerb when facing uphill
select reverse gear and turn your steering wheel towards the kerb when facing downhill
use 'park' if your car has an automatic gearbox.

From the main page
Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words MUST / MUST NOT. In addition the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence.

Although failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, it itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under Traffic Acts to establish liability.
 

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Max said:
There's loads of threads on this subject [including my own :eek: ]

Take it to the dealer and quote the handbook:

"The purpose of the handbrake is to stop the car from rolling away"

Yeah Right!

Problem is that a handbrake on rear discs does not work when the discs are hot....>

handbrake on - hot discs

discs cool and contract

handbrake comes off :rolleyes: :mad:

Take them to the cleaners :D :D :D

Gogettem :D :D

Max :red:
To back up what Max is saying above, I've heard before that handbrakes operating on rear discs can be unreliable due to the expansion of the disc thickness when hot. This is why some cars with rear disc brakes (certain Jaguars and BMWs for instance) also have a small drum brake mechanism purely to act as a handbarke rather than applying a handbrake facility on to the rear discs.

My missus always parks the car in gear when she borrows it which is a real pain as it leaps forward when I try and start it. However as my driveway is on a slope I guess she is actually being sensible after all so perhaps I won't complain next time she does it. ;)
 

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cook1e said:
My missus always parks the car in gear when she borrows it which is a real pain as it leaps forward when I try and start it.
My 2002 MINI Cooper 5-speed won't let me try and start the car without first pushing in the clutch just to prevent this type of thing.

Is your car different somehow? Is your clutch-pedal switch malfunctioning?
 

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I never trust a handbrake, don't even bother on automatics.... always always leave car in gear with steering pointing into kerb, paranoid? who's paranoid :D
 

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alankilian said:
My 2002 MINI Cooper 5-speed won't let me try and start the car without first pushing in the clutch just to prevent this type of thing.

Is your car different somehow? Is your clutch-pedal switch malfunctioning?
I'm not aware of a clutch swicth on the MINI or any other UK car that we own or have recently owned, maybe this is something that is just fitted in the US market ?
 

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US Requirement methinks!


I always park the car in gear, always have no matter what car it is, couldn't trust handbrakes on hills:eek:
 

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Indeed, a US requirement. Like the marker lights by the wheel wells.
 

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the same thing happened to my 05 mcs took it to bmw they did tests said there was no problem with the handbrake leave it in gear
i then had to pay to get the dent out of the bonnet at a cosy of £150 nmw just insisted that there was no problem with handbrakes failing on 05 cars obviously there is!!!!!!!!!!
but what can be done about it
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info guys.

I'm just waiting for the estimate from my dealer to repair the damage before I contact BMW directly.

I'll keep you posted...
 

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me to!

My car rolled down hill in the dealers car park, hit their BMW, they accused my of driving in to their car and not telling them!

Several months of investigations including independant engineers and BMW coughed up for all damage!

Even now on my new S i leave the car in gear if on an incline, it's better to be safe than sorry but it STILL should NOT happen!

Do a search on my username for info, was back in September 2002!

GOOD LUCK!
 

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Clutch Cargo said:
Indeed, a US requirement. Like the marker lights by the wheel wells.
It is a real bonus if the car won't start and is in the middle of a junction, to just leave it in gear, take foot off clutch and turn the starter to get the car somewhere safe.

The recent car vs train at level crossing incident springs to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A quick update for anyone who's interested.

As expalined earlier dealer wanted nothing to do with with my complaint and recommened I ring MINI customers services if I wanted to take things further.

Care susequently repaired at dealer via insurance claim.

I was busy with work so my wife offered to contact them. She rang MINI and gave all the details to the customer services person who said they probably wouldn't accept any liability but would ring her back with an answer within 48 hours.

48hrs pass, 1 week passes, 2 weeks pass. She calls them again - "Sorry, the person dealing with your complaint isn't here, he'll call you tomorrow".

24hrs pass, 1 weeks passes. She calls again - "We're waiting for info from your dealer, we'll be in touch".

Another 2 weeks pass. She calls again - "Sorry, someone was meant to call you". Very irrate she insists on speaking to a supervisor regarding the numerous calls, lack of response and shoddy customer service. Supervisor agrees to refund half of costs to us (half of my insurance excess not half the repair costs!). He did say that the 50% refund was based on the rubbish service we'd recieved and not to do with our original complaint regarding the handbrake failue!

Asked for a copy of our insurance invoice (posted the same day) and promised a cheque in the post.

4 weeks later we're still waiting for it...
 

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Handbrake

certain 2002 spec MINIS had handbrake problems. Nothing to do with hot discs, just a poorly designed ratchet system. The handbrake would disengage simply by knocking or pushing it sideways withoout even pressing the button. Try it yourself.

If it was engaged in a certain way - no fault of any owner - it could slip it's ratchet and disengage just because it decided to - A bit like the picture that falls off of your wall even though it's been hung there perfectly ok for the last 5 years.

I know first hand of one MINI that has rolled backwards downhill at the factory for no apparent reason, after being parked for maybe a day or so. It got up quite a speed, hit the factory wall and was a write off. Luckily there were no children or dogs in the back and nobody in it's path!!

The handbrake design WAS reviewed, and it was decided that it was the way it was being fitted that was to blame, and not the actual design.
I'm not sure of the monkey being paid 100,000 a year who came to this conclusion but I'm sure his descision brought smiles to the right faces.
From observation, I noticed that they stopped greasing the ratchets.
 

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i did but it took a lot of time and an engineers report but they paid for the damage to the other car (which happened to be the dealers BMW!) and mine (which was rejected and on it's way back anyway)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I wouldn't hope for much if I were you.

As mentioned in my previous messages, my dealers response was pretty much "get lost, and park it in gear in future".

Calls to BMW yielded little else, "we aren't aware of handbrake failures, this is a single case, your dealer says the car is fine, blah, blah, blah".

BMW did cough up 50% of my insurance excess (claimed on my insurance to repair the damage to my wheels and bumper after my handbrake failure) but admitted this was more beacuse of the poor service I'd recieved from their Customer Service Team than because of the handbrake failure itself.

Good Luck! :(
 

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My wifes MOC has done the same thing this week ending up hitting the garage damaging bumper and smashing the front indicator. Our Mini dealer checked the brakes yesterday and found nothing wrong. :rolleyes:

I will contact customer services on monday to report it (at least they can't say it is a one off incident if Faz has already been in touch!!!) and see what happens. You never know they might not return my calls either and I might get half the insurance excess paid!!!

Any further info or help with this would be much appreciated..
 
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