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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Our 53 Mini Cooper (44k miles, I think) developed a scraping sound when braking (and after releasing the brake), so I took it in to Peter Vardy, Edinburgh, thinking that I might be looking at new brake pads, possibly a stuck piston. I knew the tyres were close, so I also expected a quote for 4 new tyres.

What came back was over £2000! Apparently all 4 disks and pads need replacing, plus there's a leak in the radiator, and the bushings on the front wishbone are shot. The breakdown is (roughly, and including labour):
Rear disks and pads replacement: £245
Front disks and pads replacement: £265
Radiator replacement: £365
Tyres: 4 x £130;
Front wishbone bushing replacement: £450
4 wheels aligned (heel & toe): £200

I'm a bit gobsmacked to face a bill this big on a 5 year old car. Does it all sound reasonable? Are there any Edinburgh (or nearby) residents that could recommend somewhere a bit more reasonable?

I think the most annoying thing is that we asked them to look the car over fairly thoroughly at the last service, but there was no indication of anything wrong. Their description of the current problem makes it sound like there should have been some indication.

Cheers - Adam...
 

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Get a second quote.... That seems a bit excessive. Also, you might have them prioritize the list as you really don't need to do it all at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, I will get other quotes. Eastern in Edinburgh said it sounded reasonable, so I won't check with them. Can anyone suggest anyone within a short(ish) drive of Leith - even if it's not specifically a Mini dealer - who they'd recommend?

More specifically, can anyone point me to sources for some of these spares, so I can challenge Vardy?

Cheers - Adam...
 

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Brake parts

I recently bought 4 discs, plus two sets of pads for my `01 Cooper from the local car spares, Autosupplies, near Chesterfield.
They are all Mintex brand and cost £153.46 including VAT.
Obviously, I intend to fit these myself, but it shouldn`t cost a fortune to get them fitted at a local garage?

Ray.
 

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As nettshubby says go to your local auto supplier and get the brake parts - you'll pobably find that that is where BMW get them - and everything will be alot cheaper. I think a small garage should charge around £125 for the front brakes and about the same for the rear. Get a set of non run flat tyres - I got some Verdestines (excuse spelling) for £70 each fitted and they are miles better than the Runflats and a can of Holts Tyre Weld for £10. Put some Radweld in the radiator and start saving for a new one.
It should never cost that much.
Like has already been said get them to tell you what needs to be done 1st.
Nothing that needs to be done could not be done by a decent local garage for a fraction of the cost.

Let us know what you do.
 

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N.O.T.R.A.M.O.O
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You ARE being ripped off... just one example, the wishbone bushes are less than £70 for the pair and take around 2-3 hrs to do at worst.
There is a MINI specialist accross the water in Fife... and I know it will be less than half that figure, depending on your tyre sizes.

PM me if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks C.Noble - actually, before I saw your posting I'd already contacted Phoenix in Kirkcaldy. In fact, I've contacted 3 BMW dealerships and some non dealers; I've been a little surprised at the variablility in cost across the BMW dealers:
Vardy, Edinburgh: £2040
Derek Woodman, Blackpool: £1526
Peonix, Kirkcaldy: £1465
Menzies, Stirling: £1821
Thistle (non-BMW), Edinburgh: £1581

Other quotes I've had have been partial.

Aren't BMW dealers supposed to all work from the same timings and rates?

Stop Press: having been told about the other quotes, Vardy are willing to drop £200. Still the most expensive we've seen, but for the sake of convenience we're probably going to go with them (we need the car by the weekend, so any other choice has to include the cost of car hire).

I don't think we'll ever be returning our business to Vardy.
 

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Sounds alot of money...
Ask for a bigger discount... Tell them you were thinking about buying another Mini shortly and would love to buy from they but don't want to be put off by the high servicing costs... Push them to match the lowest franchised quote.

Also look at this site for new tyres, you could save a bundle.
Cheap Tyre Prices | Dunlop Goodyear Pirelli | Discount Car Tyres | Tyre Shopper

The good thing is you will get a two year warranty with all works carried out so if there are any problems you will be covered...

And take full advantage of tea, coffee & any other items they may be offering.... Thats what you pay for!!
 

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you could also order the parts you need from Derek Woodman, they offer next day delivery and a discount. It may work out cheaper. Or get the parts discs/pads and ask kwik fit to fit them, they got to be much cheaper??
 

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IJ 2009 - Team 81
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Don't want to sound all pompous here but. Why on earht are you considering having things like pads, discs, and tyres done at a main dealer. These should be done somewhere much cheaper. By all means let MINI do the bushes, and the radiator i.e. the specialist mini stuff. But the rest can be done at any branch of Kwik Fit or similar. If you have a reputable MINI specialist near by then your 5 year old car should be there :)

Also question the work you've been told needs doing. Three months ago I was told that I needed new discs and pads all round by a MINI dealer. When I asked them to talk me through the measurements they'd taken it turned out I didn't legally require anything. But MINI QA procedures stated that they should be changed way before the legal limit. On Monday I took it in for it's next service and the measurements are pretty much the same as they were when I was first told about them. Good job I didn't rush into changing them. They will be done shortly, but not by the dealer.

Hourly labour charges vary greatly from dealer to dealer.
 

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As an example, BMW quoted £250 for all 4 pads and disks (not fitted). I went for the GTT Spiroslots for £300. However, I fitted them myself, but a local garage quoted £150 to replaced all 4 corners with the parts I'd purchased. BMW wanted to charge me about £350 for fitting!

ThinkMINI fitted my front bushes (which BMW picked up on,on my 2nd Oil Service) for £175 (parts and fitting), and was completed in a couple of hours! They weren't OEM bushes, but the Powerflex / Superflex ones (can't rem which)...about £75 to buy on their own. BMW wanted to charge me £450 for parts and labour.

In summary, BMW wanted to charge me £1050 for brake and bushes fitting - I had them done for £475, and uprated instead of OEM!

DON'T GO TO BMW FOR 'SIMPLE' INSTALLS!
 

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The case for DIY here is overwhelming, save yourself about £1000.( you may need to spend some of this on tools if you haven't got them already)

All the items except one are easy stuff.

The only item worth paying someone to do is changing tyres, however if you are realy keen it is perfect possible to change tyres yourself but it is not feasible to balance them yourself.



I also think it is worth checking how worn the brake actually are, they may well have plenty of life left in them
 

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MINI2 Addick
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£2000 is ridiculous baring in mind you can get a 53mini for about 6k now anyway. Dont pay it!

On my last car (not a mini) i took it in at a local garage for mot. he came back with a £550 bill to get it through. so i took it to a friend of a friend (and didnt tell him about the orginal quote). he called me next day and said its all done. when i asked how much he said £110 including mot - 60 for a new exhaust.
some people are thieves!
 

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The case for DIY here is overwhelming, save yourself about £1000.( you may need to spend some of this on tools if you haven't got them already)

All the items except one are easy stuff.

The only item worth paying someone to do is changing tyres, however if you are realy keen it is perfect possible to change tyres yourself but it is not feasible to balance them yourself.

I also think it is worth checking how worn the brake actually are, they may well have plenty of life left in them
I AGREE!

You can buy all the brake parts at your local autoparts dealer for a fraction of that cost, and either learn to fit them yourself, really it is not hard ( and I am a woman) or get your local good garage or mot garage to do it, you dont need special mini/bmw experience for this.

Use good local or aftermarket Mini specialist for Rad & alignment and other jobs.

You will save a fortune by getting your tyres bought and fitted at an independant TYRE supplier, tyres is tyres, mini is not special just any old car with runflats.

"Front wishbone bushing replacement: £450" at 44k miles???? That is surely wrong?

I have'nt used a dealer since my first service, after I bought my car brand new with TLC, but I went slightly over mileage, and so they made me pay, and voided my tlc thereafter, even though car was still almost new and we also had a brand new bmw5 bought at the same time. Hows that for crap customer service from Snows of Portsmouth. Never used them since. And wont buy another BMW again.
But we do service ours more than regularly ourselves.
 
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