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

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)

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).

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