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The Mini Cooper Forum

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  #1  
Old 09-24-2009, 05:16 PM
smudgeman smudgeman is offline
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1974 BMW 2002
Red face Alright Cooper people...

Hello there. So I drive an e36 BMW and its a GREAT CAR. I love it! Couldn't be better.

Never the less, she definately consumes some gas (part of this is the car, the other part is the drive ). I have forever been in aw of the Mini Cooper S. Specifically the "Pre Turbo" era. I am looking at maybe investing in a 2002 Mini Cooper S as a commuter car. The e36 would be a weekend car if you will. I LOVE sporty driving and the Mini Cooper S is by far one of the most fun, fuel efficient cars I have ever driven.

Now is where you come in. Of course most of you are going to say do it. But what I do want to know is how much will it cost to run every year. I mean I LOVE bimmers with a passion, but lets face it. They're not the cheapest cars to keep running. What are the major problems of the car and are they common? Are they good for the long run? How often do you fill up (and what is your commute?) Right now I'm running a 40 mile commute round trip, and I just need to know these sorts of things in order to make a good descision. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2009, 05:43 PM
mbcoops mbcoops is offline
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Mein Auto: '05 MCS : '05 ZHP
I commuted in my '05 (R53 - supercharged, not turbo) from 0 to about 65,000 miles with no huge issues besides a bad bypass valve. The '05-'06 R53s are improved over the '02-'04 as many bugs were fixed, fit and finish is improved, and the gearing is changed (which is a subjective "better" on my part). '02s are going to have pretty high mileage by now, I'd imagine, and if you're looking for an S, that means replacing or rebuilding the supercharger, which will probably last over 100k, but it WILL wear out. The post '05 MCS has the pre-'05 coated supercharger off of the JCW cars.

When commuting (and before mods), I was regularly seeing 30-32 mpg, and I didn't baby it. On long trips that'd go up, and in the city it'd go down to 26-28ish. At my last track day I got 8.something mpg. haha.

I would really suggest trying to find a reasonable '05-'06. Sport suspension is also softer on the '05s (it's NOT soft!) compared to the early cars.

Cost to rebuild a supercharger is $500-1,000 plus labor. New charger from MINI is $1,700 or so. Mine just went at 70,000 miles, but I have a 15% reduction pulley and do lots of track days with it.

Have a shop check out whatever car you're looking at and have them tell you if the supercharger is leaking oil (this is the first sign it's going). Make sure the clutch is good, too, since the MINI clutches are pretty crappy. For a MINI to be solid commuting for high miles, it needs to be babied just as a BMW does. It obviously costs less to own/maintain, but it's not a "set it and forget it" type ride like a Civic. But oh jeez does it make commuting a joy!

That's all I can think of right now, but there's more I'm sure. Check out www.motoringalliance.com and tell them "Bimmer Lite" sent you. For a site to search and do lots of reading, check out www.northamericanmotoring.com

mb
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2009, 12:39 AM
Andrew*Debbie's Avatar
Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbcoops View Post
The '05-'06 R53s are improved over the '02-'04 as many bugs were fixed, fit and finish is improved, and the gearing is changed (which is a subjective "better" on my part).
+1

If you get a non-S R53 stay away from the early ones with the Rover "midlands" gearbox.


If fuel economy is a big concern consider an R56.

From fueleconomy.gov:

2004MCS 22/31.

2008MCS 26/34

2008MC (not an S) 28/37.


We are getting an honest 43mpg-Imp. with our 2008 Cooper. That is about 36.8mpg-US.


I do understand there are reasons to get an R53 over an R56.
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The models and equipment (standard and optional) illustrated in this post reflect my misunderstanding of vehicles supplied by BMW AG to the German market. In other EU member states, the truthyness of my posts may vary. Please ignore this post. Subject to change.
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2009, 06:06 PM
smudgeman smudgeman is offline
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Mein Auto: 1974 BMW 2002
I most definately want an S because that extra power is something that I crave
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2009, 04:53 PM
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javelina1 javelina1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 330i, 2006 MCS
S, S, S, baby...
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2009, 12:56 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 335d
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbcoops View Post
I commuted in my '05 (R53 - supercharged, not turbo) from 0 to about 65,000 miles with no huge issues besides a bad bypass valve. The '05-'06 R53s are improved over the '02-'04 as many bugs were fixed, fit and finish is improved, and the gearing is changed (which is a subjective "better" on my part). '02s are going to have pretty high mileage by now, I'd imagine, and if you're looking for an S, that means replacing or rebuilding the supercharger, which will probably last over 100k, but it WILL wear out. The post '05 MCS has the pre-'05 coated supercharger off of the JCW cars.

When commuting (and before mods), I was regularly seeing 30-32 mpg, and I didn't baby it. On long trips that'd go up, and in the city it'd go down to 26-28ish. At my last track day I got 8.something mpg. haha.

I would really suggest trying to find a reasonable '05-'06. Sport suspension is also softer on the '05s (it's NOT soft!) compared to the early cars.

Cost to rebuild a supercharger is $500-1,000 plus labor. New charger from MINI is $1,700 or so. Mine just went at 70,000 miles, but I have a 15% reduction pulley and do lots of track days with it.

Have a shop check out whatever car you're looking at and have them tell you if the supercharger is leaking oil (this is the first sign it's going). Make sure the clutch is good, too, since the MINI clutches are pretty crappy. For a MINI to be solid commuting for high miles, it needs to be babied just as a BMW does. It obviously costs less to own/maintain, but it's not a "set it and forget it" type ride like a Civic. But oh jeez does it make commuting a joy!

That's all I can think of right now, but there's more I'm sure. Check out www.motoringalliance.com and tell them "Bimmer Lite" sent you. For a site to search and do lots of reading, check out www.northamericanmotoring.com

mb
This is a really good summary post. The only thing I would add is to check the shock towers for mushrooming. If the car has 17 inch wheels and the RFTs, you can almost expect some degree of mushrooming/torn guide support (item #1 at http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...41&hg=31&fg=10 ).
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2010, 06:33 AM
karimMsalama karimMsalama is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW M5 VW MK2
take S
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2010, 08:38 AM
Tintinet Tintinet is online now
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Mein Auto: 2008 e92 335xi 6MT
JCW FTW!

I've got a 2005 JCW Mini S I bought from a Mini fanatic on Ebay. Had it almost 3 years. Until a couple of weeks ago, when I bought a 2008 335xi, the Mini was my only vehicle. Terrific fun. No problems. Routine service. I kept it shod in high performance tires (non-RF), so that part was pricey, relatively. Otherwise, decent mileage (~30 mpg), depending upon driving habits. One of the best cars I've ever owned, and, so far, one of the least expensive to maintain.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2010, 09:41 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tintinet View Post
JCW FTW!

I've got a 2005 JCW Mini S I bought from a Mini fanatic on Ebay. Had it almost 3 years. Until a couple of weeks ago, when I bought a 2008 335xi, the Mini was my only vehicle. Terrific fun. No problems. Routine service. I kept it shod in high performance tires (non-RF), so that part was pricey, relatively. Otherwise, decent mileage (~30 mpg), depending upon driving habits. One of the best cars I've ever owned, and, so far, one of the least expensive to maintain.
Hopefully, you won't get bitten by the HPFP and/or injector failure issue with your 335xi. Otherwise, you will be wondering why you traded your R53 for an E92.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2010, 05:33 AM
Tintinet Tintinet is online now
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Mein Auto: 2008 e92 335xi 6MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
Hopefully, you won't get bitten by the HPFP and/or injector failure issue with your 335xi. Otherwise, you will be wondering why you traded your R53 for an E92.
I certainly didn't know the extent of the BMW HPFP issue until after I'd committed to buy the 335. Had I known about it, I likely would still have done the same thing. It's tough to find a fun MT AWD vehicle. I've done the Subaru thing, and I'm not all that fond of Audi, despite apparent recent improvements in quality and reliability. The EVO would be fun, but looks dated, ricey, and cheap, ISTM. I love the Mini, but deep snow can be a challenge for it.
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