MINI Cooper Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Looking to buy my first mini. After extensive research I've seen various sources recommend buying a used mini with approx. 100k miles on them - under the assumption that any big issues/repairs will have been dealt with already by this point. However I've also seen the conflicting advice of getting the newest, lowest mileage for your budget, whatever your budget. Which would you suggest?

I've narrowed down my choices to:
2004 mini cooper convertable, 90k miles
2007 mini cooper convertable 45k miles
2006 mini cooper s hatchback (several ranging from 55k-75k miles).


I am most drawn to the 2004, but am aware the 2006 hatchback is probably the most reliable of the three. With the 2007, I've heard this is not a great year for minis, but the mileage is very low.

Any advice on which you'd pick/direction I should go? I have factored in that no matter what I get I will need to keep on top of its maintainance, which I'm prepared to do, I just want to avoid any hefty expected repairs shortly after buying.


I only plan on using the car for around 5k miles max, each year. If I get on well with this mini, I may upgrade to a new model in a few years time.


Thank you! :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
The 2006 cooper s will be an R53 with the supercharged engine and the best performer of the bunch.

Both convertibles will be R52s with much less performance than the Cooper S, but of course the roof comes off.

All the cars have the earlier Tritec engine, not the Prince (2007 convertibles are the older cars, only the hatchback changed to the newer type then).

Thing is two cars are comparable to each other, the other isn’t, so what exactly do you want? Performance or top down?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I want reliability/least expensive repairs and roof off - so I guess it's out of the R52s really.

Mileage wise should I go for the lower mileage/newer model or higher mileage/slightly older model?
It's a 56 reg for the 2007 model (45k miles), and 04 reg for the 2004 model (90k).
Not sure if that helps identify which models they are.

Thanks
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
On a car that age mileage is no indication of the car’s condition, look at them and consider buying the best one. Make sure the roof operates correctly and consistently as well as all the other parts of the car.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE:

I got the 2007 45k mileage after seeing both cars. Put a signed deposit down.

Paid £3340, didn't negotiate price as didn't realise I could (but now realise I might have been able to).

Comes with new MOT and service (although dubious of service quality as through their own garage), 12 months AA breakdown cover and 3 months warranty.
It didn't come with FSH, only two service stamps, but one of the owners had had the car for ten years and it appears to only be a hobby car, well kept in a garage and only taken up to 2k miles max a year. Previous MOT advisories were all for common mini minor things, such as break pads and wipers. The only thing that does concern me is the last MOT before this years' had 'Rear Exhaust has a minor leak of exhaust gases box (7.1.2)' as an advisory - is this a sign of the exhuast needing replacing soon?

When I took it for a test drive it appeared fine, although it was only a short drive. I checked a few things but forgot to check the thermostat or horn, and didn't check the engine because honestly I wouldn't even know what I'd be looking for when checking that. Roof worked fine and was in excellent condition. I also didn't check for rust - which I wanted to do but again didn't know what it was I would be looking for. It didn't seem to have any rust on it but I didn't go underneath.

Is there anything you can advise me to do for when I go back to collect it?
So what I'm asking is;
1) is there room to negotiate the price even though I've signed and paid a deposit? After doing a HPI check, the forecourt valuation was at £2350-£2580 - so I apparently paid a grand over the minimum.
2) is the last advisory of minor leak in exhaust anything to worry about?
3) Any last minute checks you'd advise when I collect?

Thanks so much for all the help, massively appreciated!! Feel very anxious about this purchase as am a bit out of my depth.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
So a leak on the exhaust isnt generally a huge deal. I would check for oil leaks though as mine was riddled in them. Mainly from the front of the engine. With the S they can leak from the turbo feed. Generally a big job as the front of the car will need taking off. The timing chain is something id look to change soon after driving it also. That car does have low miles so might be good for a while but if it was me i would change it now ive dealt with it before.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So a leak on the exhaust isnt generally a huge deal. I would check for oil leaks though as mine was riddled in them. Mainly from the front of the engine. With the S they can leak from the turbo feed. Generally a big job as the front of the car will need taking off. The timing chain is something id look to change soon after driving it also. That car does have low miles so might be good for a while but if it was me i would change it now ive dealt with it before.
Thanks Dan. I've just googled cost of replacing timing chain:crying:

Is the cost to change lower if I do it sooner rather than once it definitely needs it? Could this potentially be changed under the 3 month warranty?


Perhaps I should book in a service at a dealer approved garage once I pick it up..
 

· Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
The cost of NOT doing the timing chain will be far. far higher, if the thing stretches, or breaks under strain: If you allow the valves to kiss the pistons, you're in a world of pain.
Definitely budget for a timing chain change at 50k latest. Don't wait for the Death Rattle!

I've just put my 2010 100k miles, drop-head MCS PRINCE engine in for a cracked inlet manifold (which was causing a serious misfire), a head skim and de-coke, a timing chain, and a new clutch (which didn't immediately need doing but while the front is off it saves around 7h of labour).
I'm waiting on the final bill which I was assured would be a 'worse-case' scenario of £3k. So essentially, I'm going to part with 3k. Let's face it, garages - even the really good ones - will find 'things'... ;)

But, I've had the car 2 years, it had no service history whatsoever which made it a proper gamble, and this is the first serious repair I have needed, so I'm being philosophical and treating this as reasonable. I only paid 4.8k for it as well, so looking at similar cars for sale at dealers, I'm still on par, or even up on the game.
Looking forward to it driving like a mini should after all the repairs and especially the de-coking (not even copious seafoam appears to have cleared it, probably the stretched chain and the failing inlet has meant poor fuel burn)...

Good luck !
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,582 Posts
Thanks Dan. I've just googled cost of replacing timing chain:crying:

Is the cost to change lower if I do it sooner rather than once it definitely needs it? Could this potentially be changed under the 3 month warranty?


Perhaps I should book in a service at a dealer approved garage once I pick it up..
the mini convertible r52 is tritec engine untill 2008 so timing chain on the first gen tritec engines dont fail much ie will see well over 100k no issues, except for tensioner can go weak and make a noise, its the later r56 car after 2006 with the psa prince engine that suffer with chains,
 
  • Like
Reactions: LRLR
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top