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ho-dad Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:19 am

Due to my 15 mpg pick-up, I'm thinking of buying a fuel efficient Mini (I was looking for an old 240D until diesel went over $4). Anybody have any experience with them? Things to look out for? I'm looking at used ones (@2002) though I'd like to get the new Clubman.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Ecoh72 Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:49 am

I hear its something to the tune of 3k to replace a toasted clutch, since they have to remove part of the frame on the front end to get the engine out of that tiny car....

That and its a BMW, so any repairs will get you good, BMW likes to grab your wallet and pluck bills/cards from it as they please.... They use a certain kind of coolant, power steering fluid and you have to use synthetic oil, all of which cost more...

But, they are fun cars, quick, nimble and yes, decent gas mileage.

mynameismud Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:50 am

if you can afford to drive it.

drscope Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:21 am

Ecoh72 wrote: I hear its something to the tune of 3k to replace a toasted clutch, since they have to remove part of the frame on the front end to get the engine out of that tiny car....

That and its a BMW, so any repairs will get you good, BMW likes to grab your wallet and pluck bills/cards from it as they please.... They use a certain kind of coolant, power steering fluid and you have to use synthetic oil, all of which cost more...

But, they are fun cars, quick, nimble and yes, decent gas mileage.

If these kinds of repair bills are a suprize to you, I guess you havn't had to have a Honda, Toyota, Chevy, Subaru, Ford, Chrysler, VW, Saturn, or Yugo serviced at the dealer in a long time.

mynameismud Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:26 am

who in theri right-mind would have a Yugo serviced...I thought when something went wrong - you just tossed it into the trash?

///Mink Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:27 am

My wife has had her Cooper S since 2003. She loves it and it's a lot of fun to drive, but don't expect Honda or Toyota-like reliability. During warranty, it had enough things go wrong with it that she decided to buy an extended warranty when the factory warranty expired.

It's at 50K miles now and it's needed numerous power window motors, lock actuators, a new dual-mass flywheel, new front subframe bushings, and a few other minor things.

But it's still a neat little car.

Ecoh72 Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:27 am

Nope... I dont deal with stealerships... I do most of my repairs for my VW and Toyota, unless its clutch replacement, or transmission work, then it goes to either my local VW mech, or a family friend mech, and both charge very reasonable amounts...

anyways, a BMW will shaft you pretty hard for a similar repair on most cars of other makes.... I hear it all day from people in my neighborhood...

mynameismud Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:36 am

///Mink wrote: It's at 50K miles now and it's needed numerous power window motors, lock actuators, a new dual-mass flywheel, new front subframe bushings, and a few other minor things.

But it's still a neat little car.

Thats crazy at 50K - my 98 Jeep Wrangler is triple that milage, and it's needed only a water pump, swaybar bushings, new muffler..then again i'm lucky if i get 20mpg.

JiI Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:42 am

mynameismud wrote: who in theri right-mind would have a Yugo serviced...I thought when something went wrong - you just tossed it into the trash?

The best thing about Yugos was their rear window defroster.. they kept your hands warm while you were pushing it....
JiI

thebucket Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:42 am

My Dad has an M5, Wanna talk gouging?

Ecoh72 Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:44 am

oh i wouldnt be surprised... but M5's are pretty nice cars...

///Mink Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:47 am

thebucket wrote: My Dad has an M5, Wanna talk gouging?

Best thing your dad could do would be to find a decent independent, since pretty much all E39 M5s are out of warranty now. My daily sled is an E39 540i (M5's baby brother) and I have a good local BMW specialist to do major stuff I don't want to deal with. I've had 4 BMWs over the last 7 years and the dealership was alway the last course of action.

Gomer_Pyle Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:51 am

Minis there great little cars. Easy to work on, very similar to a old VW just a tad more modern. Though there not known for being the fastest cars with either a 850 up to a 1.3. But they will get you where you need to go. If you can work on your VW you can work on a mini.


Wait your talking about a BMW, those arnt minis!!

Ecoh72 Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:54 am

uh, new Minis are BMW's, old minis are BMC's (british motor corp)

ho-dad Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:12 pm

I had a '93 BMW 525 and the engine ran like a champ. I didn't have to use synth oil and had no problems with the motor, but you're right - everything else was going on me and it started costing me and arm and a leg - which is why I traded it in for my pick-up in the first place.

Turned out, it was a Lucas electrical system! Egads...

So, I should expect all the problems associated with Bimmers?

Ecoh72 Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm

Expect some of the problems, but expect the costs to be up there...

I was going to get one to drive to college, so I wouldnt put 3,000 miles a semester on my bug... I got a 92 toyota for 2k, put the rest of the savings into my bug and photography equip

TeamSpatula Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:23 pm

ho-dad wrote: Due to my 15 mpg pick-up, I'm thinking of buying a fuel efficient Mini (I was looking for an old 240D until diesel went over $4).
Depending on how much you drive, you may still come out ahead with the diesel...even at 1.3x the cost of gas (which is still climbing also) if you get more than 1.3x the miles per gallon, you're still ahead...
it sucks filling up my diesel rabbit, especially with the extra gas tank (holds 20 gallons total) but then I literally fill up once a month - every 850 or so miles...so overall it's not so bad...(usually get about 44-47 mpg average)

i_am_cool_fred Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:44 pm

mynameismud wrote: ///Mink wrote: It's at 50K miles now and it's needed numerous power window motors, lock actuators, a new dual-mass flywheel, new front subframe bushings, and a few other minor things.

But it's still a neat little car.

Thats crazy at 50K - my 98 Jeep Wrangler is triple that milage, and it's needed only a water pump, swaybar bushings, new muffler..then again i'm lucky if i get 20mpg.

i can one up you my 97 ford ranger has 150k on it and all it's needed is a blendor motor. the catalytic has a hole in it though and i am fixing to fix that.

other than regular maitenance that truck has been cheap and reliable. if your cooper has had that much work at 50k then it's time to switch brands

oh and the best part about it is i get 24-27mpg in it

piemat Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:05 pm

I've got a lot of use out of my 99 Ford F-150... 170,000 miles so far.

I wonder if the problem with the window motors is due to the fact that the windows move up and down at little when you open and close the door? Lots of new cars do this now... Seems like even in a years time the window should have rolled up and down enough to wear out something.

I've always wondered what happens when you open and close the door with a dead battery or when the window motor goes out. Does it break the glass?

GeorgeL Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:26 pm

If you are looking at used you might consider a first-generation Scion xB. Lots of gen-Y folks bought them because they thought that they were kewl and are now moving on.

Toyota reliability, huge interior space front and rear, and 29MPG in mixed driving. Downside is mild performance, but it's a rocketship when your other ride is a '71 bus.



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