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Discussion Starter #1
I've put a poll in "Faults & Fixes" (maybe I should have put it here?).

It is a response to comments from "Mr Bill" who thinks that all MINI's have "shoddy build quality" and I wanted to find out the truth from OWNERS.

Please vote so we can see what you all think.

Thanks.
 

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Not intending to start any flame wars here, perhaps I should clarify what I meant by "shoddy build quality." Numerous owners have reported squeaks and rattles, due in many cases by loose parts. There have been complaints of loose rubber around the windshields, windshields cracking, boot hatches not closing properly, loose interior trim, etc. One owner found his rear seat was not bolted in place. The dealers have been able to fix most of these niggles by tightening bolts, adjusting latches, etc. The left pulling may be partly due to improper assembly of the suspension parts, since some owners were told "a spring was mounted upside down."

If these "niggles" don't indicate "shoddy workmanship," then I don't know what does. The term applies to a lot of cars besides the MINI, but the MINI has a reputation for "BMW build quality" to uphold. More than one poster has mentioned that some English workers were taken to the BMW plant in Germany to see how it is done there, and were shocked. The MINI is not cheap and "niggles" should not occur. Hopefully many of these problems were due to the temporary workforce and will improve, but even the recent build cars seem to have may of the same faults.
 

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I think the problem with your posts, mr bill, is that you are giving in-depth advice and reports on niggles and problems on a car you haven't seen, never mind driven.
I own one, have had niggles and don't rant! ;)
 

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Shoddy build quality

I have spoken to a number of mini owners who all seem to share similar build quality 'perceptions'. I agree whole heartedly with Mr Bill. Mini is very expensive for what you get, and you have a right to expect BMW quality build and engineering. After much heartache I have rejected my car and got my money back. I wonder if minis produced in this period will get a reputation for unreliability and shoody quality? If that happens, I wonder what will happen to residual values (i.e. the cash each owner has invested in his new mini)?

Have you heard the story about all the bus drivers in Oxfordshire being lured into the mini plant to build them by higher wages?

Sounds believeable to me ( but hey, i only spent £15k on a cooper , only to drive it for 100 miles, have it break down 3 times in 7 days, and experience all the build quality 'features' listed on this site).

Good on yer, Mr Bill!
 

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R1, I don't have to see or drive a car to know there are problems when there are many people complaining about the same thing. It's not hard to tell if a car is pulling strongly to one side. My aunt had a Buick that pulled right and the dealer was unable to fix it, so she rejected the car and bought a similar Cadillac, which tracked straight as an arrow.

I've always had the ability to look at something and see how it works. I can fix just about anything. When I started doing some research on the MINI, I was put off by the electrical system because I am well aware how easily things can fail. You are seeing more and more reports of people being either locked in or locked out of their MINI.

If the MINI is to be truly trouble free, then they should redesign some elements of the car. Add frames to the windows to eliminate the window having to drop for clearance when the door is opened. Use a *real* mechanical lock on the boot and both doors so they will open if the electric locking fails. Better yet, do away with the power windows and offer a crank as a base model. I read a test on a Toyota Echo (a Yaris in the UK I am told) and the electric windows were an option. Know how many people went for it? 8%. The car is going to be more reliable and less costly to maintain in the long run if all these foo-foo features are eliminated.
 

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mr.bill said:
...some English workers were taken to the BMW plant in Germany to see how it is done there, and were shocked.
I suspect I posted this comment originally, but it seems to have been misi-nterpreted. The reason the UK workers were shocked were many and varied but centered on the German 'work ethic' compared to that enjoyed in the UK. My overall impression of the UK workers who visited the German site wasn't that they were shocked at the quality of work that they would have to produce when they got home, but rather the shift patterns and 'live to work' mentality of the BMW staff. It seems laughable to me that a company with so much at stake would even contemplate attempting to hire bus drivers as another Post suggests, but then again, no-one is born a car manufacturer so providing they're given adequate training, why not?

mr.bill said:
..."niggles" should not occur.
Is it just me or does this sound remarkably high-handed?..This is a CAR..if anyone can tell me of one that hasn't had some kind of mechanical problem in it's life then I'll eat my hat..:rolleyes:

I agree that the more gizmos the car has, the more that could go wrong, but everyone I know has electric windows on their cars and they've never had problems with them. The last car I owned with 'crank' windows, contantly needed attention to make them work properly - I was glad to ditch it for ones that worked!

..and as for being able to fix almost anything - if that's the case then surely you're in a better position than most of us mere mortals?..Why don't you just buy a MINI, fix it quietly when it goes wrong and leave the negative jibes at the door? (at least until you've had chance to take one apart physically rather than metaphorically)..
 

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The fact that the MINI has power windows is not the problem. The fact that the windows are frameless is what will doom the system to premature failure. The windows have to go down and up a half inch or so every time the door is opened. If the window motor fails, the window will jam in the moulding and opening and closing the door is very difficult. Nothing lasts forever, and if you take any car with power windows and roll them down and up every time you open the door, the mechanism is not going to last very long. People have reported problems after a few days or weeks of ownership. What is going to happen in a few years? I asked BMW how long they would guarantee this system and they won't give me an answer. They could add a frame around the window and solve the problem. (The window frame on my Z just bolts in, so one could be added to the MINI. Then there are the locks. I do not know of ANY other car that will refuse to unlock the door, even when the lock buttons are up. This needs to be changed, or else they should give all MINI owners a free hammer with a MINI logo on it in case they get trapped in the car. :p
 

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Mr Bill, dont buy one then!

By the way, I noticed on your profile that you class yourself as an Inventor and technician. I hope the person you take your inventions to isn't as cynical as you!!;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
mr. bill - you've said a few times about the frameless doors being a potential problem and that they should have put frames around them.

Do you think they just made them frameless to be clever and introduce complication?

NO! They introduced them because they HAD to to give it that AMAZING look of having glass all round right up to the roof which looks like its stuck on like the old Mini. The car look AWESOME and just wouldn't look as good with door frames!
 

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lightbody said:
mr. bill - you've said a few times about the frameless doors being a potential problem and that they should have put frames around them.

Do you think they just made them frameless to be clever and introduce complication?

NO! They introduced them because they HAD to to give it that AMAZING look of having glass all round right up to the roof which looks like its stuck on like the old Mini. The car look AWESOME and just wouldn't look as good with door frames!
Excellent point Rob! It has been at least 10 years since BMW started fitting some (all?) of its cars with the frameless glass that drops slightly when the door is opened or closed. If it had proved troublesome then I'm sure they would have dropped it years ago and it never would have appeared on the MINI.
 

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I haven't owned any BMWs, but a friend of mine has. He said they have used frameless windows, but they simply closed into the rubber moulding, they didn't drop and go back up automatically. He said that feature is fairly recent. I haven't looked into it so don't know if that is correct or not, but he said raising the window into the moulding was to deter theft and reduce rattling if the glass doesn't fit tightly enough against the rubber. It may look nice, but given the choice between something that looks nice vs. something that will last, I will go for longevity.
 

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mr.bill said:
I haven't owned any BMWs,
and you haven't seen a MINI.....


is it just me or is there a lot wild speculation about things that **might** go wrong going on here.....? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

oh, and since I own an October build Cooper, I'll state that the build quality is certainly NOT shoddy and compares well with the six BMWs that my parents have owned over the years (two 3 series, two 5 series, two 7 series)

kjs
 

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mr.bill said:
I haven't owned any BMWs, but a friend of mine has. He said they have used frameless windows, but they simply closed into the rubber moulding, they didn't drop and go back up automatically. He said that feature is fairly recent.....
Well, "recent" is a relative term. I am certain that ten years ago a friend of mine had a then-new BMW 3 series (a 2 door with frameless windows) that had the window drop upon door opening feature.
 

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In response to lightbody,

I am so pleased that your car is fault free, as our was for a month or so, but we have since had the following,

Pulling Left
Loose windsceen trim (3 times)
Various rattles from interior
damaged interior trim on delivery
drivers door will not open
drivers seat lumbar support has failed


In your eyes this may not be 'Shoddy' but I guess it all depends on how high you set your standards. Skoda, Lada Proton = OK , BMW = definitely not.

I can only hope your car continues to be fault free........
 

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blade929 said:

Loose windsceen trim (3 times)
Various rattles from interior
damaged interior trim on delivery
drivers door will not open
drivers seat lumbar support has failed

In your eyes this may not be 'Shoddy' but I guess it all depends on how high you set your standards. Skoda, Lada Proton = OK , BMW = definitely not.

I can only hope your car continues to be fault free........
I've had:
a cracked windscreen,
painful drivers seat,
battery drain due to a dodgy wave boost stereo
and the pulling left saga (despite it being 'fixed').

I consider my standards to be high, but I also know that no-one else has complained about the seats (or rather the same problem that I've had with them) so I suspect this is a one-off. The stereo problem happened in my last car too and is a common glitch depending on the units fitted, so that doesn't worry me (and the stero is fab anyway). When the window cracked, sure it was inconvenient, but it's been replaced (by hand this time and not by robots..;)) and it seems fine. The pulling left issue is still under discussion from all sides, but is only apparent if I take my hands off the wheel - which I don't find the urge to do very often (being such fun to drive and all!)

This isn't the catalogue of errors I was expecting when I took delivery of something with the BMW reputation, but since then everyone I've spoken to who has bought a new model of car has had a similar string of problems (most, far more serious than mine)..the only difference being they didn't have the backing of a BMW dealership who are determined to get to the bottom of the problems.

I've been chaufered back and forth to the dealers a few times in the last few weeks, in various models of BMW and each time I'm suprised that my MINI feels more luxurious, safer and has a better spec than the 'luxury' car I'm in.

Someone on a previous post implied that because people like myself still maintain a positive 'Pollyana' attitude in spite of these problems, that we were somehow mentally impaired - personally, I like to keep a positive outlook in all aspects of my life, of which car ownership is a very irrelevant part. Hopefully this way I won't end up with a coronary before my time, or ruin anyone elses day in the process..;)

I've said it before and I'll say it again...it's just a car..;)
 

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Dogger said:
I've said it before and I'll say it again...it's just a car..;)
Dogger...How can you say such a thing:eek:

The Mini is just a car:rolleyes:...next you be saying Football is just a game :eek:

LMB;):D
 

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LMB said:

...next you be saying Football is just a game :eek:

LMB;):D
Don't start me off about football!! Grown men chasing a bag of wind around a field a sport???? :rolleyes: :D
Your right about the MINI though. :D
 

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R1 said:


Don't start me off about football!! Grown men chasing a bag of wind around a field a sport???? :rolleyes: :D
Your right about the MINI though. :D
Heck I'm from Leeds, so I wouldn't dare suggest football is just a game or their players would come round and do me over..;)

As for the MINI, it's obviously more than 'just a car' in real life...just not for the purposes of that post!..;)
 
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