I want to buy a Mini Cooper S Clubman. But a mechanic said I should never buy a Mini in general. Any thoughts?
By - aDazzlingDove
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Listen to that mechanic.
Minis are maintenance nightmares. If you’re going to get rid of one before the warranty is up, that’s fine.
Lease and release (aka let go of it hah) and you'll be fine too if that's the direction you want to go in
Your mechanic is right.
If you Must have one, but it new, and sell it before the warranty runs out.
Don't buy one used, it will cost more to keep running than it would to lease one.
Your mechanic must be your friend. Mechanics make money when a car company builds a steaming pile of shit like a mini. He respects you.
I used to work at a mini dealership, wasn't a tech but was around them. Their experience and advice was the same as everyone else here. There were people who leased them and it spent more time in the shop than it did in their garage. That said, the first gen mini coopers (with the smaller black side badge) seemed be much more reliable - is how I remember it anyway.
Mini is made by BMW. If you can afford a BMW go for it. Or get that bumper to bumper warranty with maintenance included.
Only buy a Mini if you plan to win the lottery or you have a rich uncle who is terminally ill and has no other heirs but you. It will bleed you to death on repairs.
Buy the mini if you can afford dropping $2500 at any point to repair it. If not, then consider something with lower maintenance costs. The mini is fun, but you gotta have disposable income.
The last engine I put in one priced out at $10k, and the rig only had 56,000 miles on it...
Sounds about right. Definitely have to have disposable income, and plenty of it. Meanwhile.... My Toyota go brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr x 10 trillion
I agree with your mechanic
It's all fun and games until it needs to get repaired which is frequent and costly.
Your mechanic is a smart man
Had a 2008 Cooper S. Biggest piece of unreliable poorly made BMW reject bin rubbish ever. Owned 10 months and was at the mechanic for repair on 8 occasions. Avoid like the plague.
As a bmw tech, mini is basically a more expensive lower quality bmw. Id stay away it isn't worth it
Wow! What other cars are endorsed as a economic drain besides the Cooper ?
Everything euro. Chrysler jeep dodge ram. Lots of the ecoboost fords. Nissans are shitboxes but not as expensive as the others. Probably some more.
Nissans can be more expensive if you get one with a jatco cvt that has to be replaced every other day for $6k
BMW for sure, and screw anyone that says otherwise. Land Rover, Jaguar, Ford EcoBoost engines and the older Power stroke 6.0 engines all make that list to varying degrees, but BMW is the high maintenance queen in this realm.
>BMW for sure, and screw anyone that says otherwise.
Have you...ever met anyone that says otherwise?
It's fucking Reddit. There's always some asshole coming in with "to be fair..." Or "Actually..." and a bunch of bullshit afterward.
Actually, to be fair, I agree with you 100%.
Oh yes, just talk shit about the new Supra and they'll come running.
With proper preventative maintenance the older e46 and e39 can run forever. People might say well with proper preventative maintenance anything can run forever...that's NOT true. Revamping cooling systems is proper preventative maintenance. Later Bimmers and their rod bearings, though, that shit is fucking stupid and rod bearings should not be considered disposable.
Keep an e46 cool and they'll probably treat you very well.
But past the e46...they just got worse and worse.
edit: let me clarify, just because e46/e39 are leagues better than late model Bimmers does not mean they're "good". They're still economic drains albeit not the worst of them.
I'll agree the older ones are pretty good. I've done a fair amount of headgaskets on them though, but really that's about every engine at some point in time.
Redditors in other threads still talk up German reliability. They don't know crap but you don't need to know crap to talk.
My Subaru was a nightmare. Not even turbo or raced.
Head gasket, trans main bearings went out, throw out bearing left me stranded 4 hours away, water pump premature failure which led to warped heads, extremely high oil consumption which led to a full engine rebuild, EGR problems. Think that's it besides the normal brakes, ball joints, axles, axle seals, wheel bearings, struts, and rust.
Keeping an eye on water temp and oil pressure could have avoided two of those issues.
If it were that easy, sure
I mean, it kind of is. You don't look at the gauges and idiot lights?
It kinda is. I fucked up before too, missed the temp gauge going up on my Subaru until I started losing power, pulled over with the gauge pegged at a park & ride. Resurfaced the heads on a bench, Slapped some new head gaskets on it without \*really\* checking the heads and the engine is in another clapped out Subaru right now and running fine, just eating oil like nobody's business. I was lucky in that the engine is still usable but I expect it's on borrowed time.
The owner of that car is keeping a REALLY close eye on fluids and I'm proud of her for that. Disclaimer: it was a favor, by no means did I sell her that engine. Just something to keep a rusty Legacy with 230k on it running.
Anyway, some cars need a sharp eye, I check gauges constantly now, just got back from a ride in a BMW, I think I checked the temp every 20 seconds, and that's not unusual. BMWs need it even more than Subis lol
40 degrees out, pump should've been good for another 60k miles, and no temp gauge. No reason it should overheat, but here we are. Those lights come on too late and aren't bright enough when the sun's in your eyes.
Oil consumption was collapsed oil control rings. Pressure was never a problem and bearings looked good enough to reuse, but I put all new stuff in anyway.
Oh I forgot. The trans broke and stuck itself in fourth gear while I was giving someone a jump. That was exciting.
Been gone for over a year but I still hate it.
All that sucks massively and the biggest problem I have with it is this:
>and no temp gauge
That is so damn stupid man I hate the dumbing down of gauge clusters these days. And as more cars move to rapidly engineered small turbo engines those gauges are even more important than ever, yet they're eliminating them. That's one thing I'm sour about and it has nothing to do with nostalgia or some false idea of "they don't make 'em like they used to".
That's straight up bullshit.
My Nissan Frontier has what LOOKS like a temp gauge. It has a needle and looks like a range from cold to hot. BUT... it should just be an idiot light. Apparently if my engine overheats the needle just shifts to hot.
Your mechanic is a smart man. Listen to him lol.
The little turbo'd engines are good for maybe 90,000 miles if you follow the factory maintenance schedule and drive reasonably. Less if you don't do those two things.
Transmissions are supposed to be a problem as well, though I haven't run across that much myself. Just ordinary maintenance is a pain, which is more than enough reason to dislike them. In spite of how cute my daughters and ex-wife think they are.
Parts availability is a nightmare on all British cars..
If you want to drive something truly ugly, and pretty much useless (not as much room as an estate, not as much ground clearance as even a small suv, not as much handling or sportiness as a sedan), AND pay BMW prices for service and repair, I highly recommend a clubman.
Now, if you wanna talk about a mini S....well, at least they're god damn fun to drive.