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My girlfriend is looking into buying a used 2002 Cooper and I am helping her gather information to make the best decision. Is there anything that goes bad on a 2002 Cooper that I should pay attention to? We're going to test drive some this weekend. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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I have a 2002 (Aug. build) Cooper and have had a few things repaired: boot latch (actuator); steering column (knock); steering angle sensor (flat tire monitor/DSC light would come on); both window motors and regulators; brown coolant. Despite the repairs, the car has been very reliable for me and I still love it.
 

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Fireballracer - I have an '02 MCS and I've only had a few problems ... sunroof rattle, radiator reservoir leak (on my 4th now) and last, but not least, at 62,650 miles my right rear brake caliper stuck and would not retract (had to replace the caliper - lucky it didn't score the rotor). All in all the car has been very reliable as a daily, 100 mile commute, car.
 

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We have a :yellow: '02 Cooper. First registration April 9th. There has been an issue with Coopers produced <March '02 for which MINI production lines have been updated in March '02; there is a possible left pull but this is a known issue. Please note that not everyone experiences this. We bought the car July this year and the previous owners never experienced the left pull :confused: Whereas we found it rather annoying.

We do not have any further type related issues with our MINI. :) The thing you have to be aware off, is options. Throughout the years MINI has changed the option packages. Items that are now included in a package, have not always been in the past. This could result in you expecting certain options (e.g. sport seats) but not getting them as they were not part of the '02 package. :(

Additionally you will have to check the "features". :rolleyes: Changes have been made here as well and personalized features are possible as well. Example? OK; central door locking. Standard setting is a lock of the doors when you drive off. In the current models the doors unlock when you turn off the engine and remove the key. In the '02 models this does not have to be the case. For example for our doors to open, we have to pull the door handle twice; 1) to unlock, 2) to open. Dealer will check whether this can be changed next time we are there.
 

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May 02 build. Doors stay locked when ignition is turned off and you have to pull the door handle twice to open the door, or flip the central lock toggle switch (but for this you have to do this within several seconds, it won't work after one minute). Once you're used to this feature you might even prefer it to the newer feature described in an above post.

The 02 MC comes with the 5 speed Midland transmission. Much has been written about this. I have nearly 27k miles on mine and it drives like a charm.
 

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zgokart said:
May 02 build. Doors stay locked when ignition is turned off and you have to pull the door handle twice to open the door, or flip the central lock toggle switch (but for this you have to do this within several seconds, it won't work after one minute). Once you're used to this feature you might even prefer it to the newer feature described in an above post.

The 02 MC comes with the 5 speed Midland transmission. Much has been written about this. I have nearly 27k miles on mine and it drives like a charm.
Hi There, Mind explaining what is a midland tranny???
 

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texas said:
Hi There, Mind explaining what is a midland tranny???
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The earlier models of the 5-speed MC were fitted with transmission manufactured by Midland Gear or Midland Transmission, a transmission made in England. Newer models of the MC (05) are fitted with the 5-speed Getrag transmission. Getrag also supplies the MCS with the 6-speed transmission.

The Getrag is said to be a more robust transmission than the Midland, but, so, far, I have no problem with any leak through the seals. My opinion is that the majority of the Midland transmission problems were on cars located in colder climates.
 

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Just be aware that there were some rouge Midland gearboxes installed on '02 model Coopers. I had one. :(

Lost 1st and reverse gears after 4,000 miles. Had to have a new gearbox fitted under warranty.

20,000 miles now and no problems with the new box though.
 

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Feb. '02 built Cooper. I love it to bits but it has seen the shop a few times, IIRC:

Recalls:
Gear linkage clip added (never came loose on mine but some did)
Underhood insulation replaced (fire hazard, noise damping)
ECU upgraded various times (attempts to smooth out throttle responses, idle, etc.)

Warranty repairs:
Back of driver's seat trim loose (replaced)
Coolant burps (just added coolant, pressure test showed no real issue)
Driver's side window up/down by itself and not dropping/lifting properly when opening door, locking problems (replaced speedometer since diagnostic computer wasn't working and it is part of the speedo apparently, resealed corroded body computer, changed lock and window actuators).
Tranny died, was clanking like hell in 1st and hard to get into 1st and rev (replaced, no problems with the rebuild)
Driver's seat vinyl cracking (still waiting for replacements)
Noisy steering column (still waiting for replacement)

Maintenance:
New front brakes (pads and rotors)
New summer tires all around

So I'd watch for a tranny that is very hard to get into 1st and reverse, or that clanks under load or that grinds during shifts. Also check the coolant level. Make sure all the windows and locks work. See if the steering column knocks or creaks. Check brakes and tires for wear.

After all that I still love it to bits and can't imagine giving it up. It's just so much fun and I still to this day can just stare at it, it looks so good (kind of pathetic, I know).

Harry
 
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