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Potentially rare mini died on me

796 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Dan_in_WA
I think I have a rare mini but I'm not too sure and I just want to make sure I'm not getting screwed over. I have a 2014 MINI cooper S paceman with the John Cooper Works package. Has been a great car, we've owned it for about 8 years and it only has 69k miles on it. Yesterday, the turbo had what the mechanic described as a catastrophic oil return failure and started jetting oil all over the road for about 100 yards before the engine threw a rod into the oil pan. I've gotten several estimates to replace the engine coming in at around the $9-12k range which means its no longer worth it for me to keep this car. At first I was just concerned with making sure I was at least going to get something out of it, but now I'm concerned its gonna sit in a junkyard and rot. So I guess I have a couple of questions:
1. Is this car as rare as I think it might be? (less than 100 in the states is the last estimate I was able to get from the MINI dealer)
2. If it is, is it worth going the extra mile to make sure it goes to someone that is going to take care of it instead of scrapping it?
3. What would you do if you were in my situation?
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If you don't go the replacement engine route then the car is nothing more than what is referred to as a roller. As a roller it is no longer rare. There are many rollers.

Barring an engine transplant the car will be good for nothing more (or less) than being a parts donor to help keep other similar cars on the road.

You can search out a car salvage business that specializes in MINIs and see what it will offer you for the car.
I didn't see any mini specific salvage places anywhere near me (I live in Iowa, nothing is near me haha) but it did let me stumble across salvage auctions in general. I found a place where there are tons of salvage minis for auction that have the same engine and such going for much cheaper than just the engine by itself and seem to be running just fine. I may have to do some more research on how hard it would be to do something like that.
I'm a bit familiar with Adesa which has a number of auto (vehicle, equipment, boats, trailers, etc.) auction facilities. (I wrote automotive test software and had access to the cars at the Adesa site for testing my software.) Some years ago the general manager at the Tracy CA Adesa site told me his facility processed 130,000 vehicles per year and auctioned around 90,000 of them.

Believe there is an Adesa in Des Moines. Adesa is for auto dealers, brokers, not for use by private individuals. One can work with an auto broker I believe to buy or sell in this case a car. Even one declared a salvage vehicle.

Back in 2009 I sold a 2008 Cayman S that I owned but which was hit and declared a total loss after just 4 weeks of ownership. It is a long story how I ended up with the car but it was part of the at fault driver's insurance company's settlement with me. The Adesa facility held a weekly auction of salvage vehicles. The GM put my Porsche Cayman S in the auction and it was sold.

If you think you want to use the Adesa facility to buy a car that you might obtain a suitable donor engine from, or sell your car, you will have to contact the Adesa facility and see how that can be arranged. Or search for auto brokers in the area. A local dealer might be able to direct you to one. Dealers use auto brokers to buy cars at auction or sell cars at auction all the time.
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