Why I Will (Sadly) Not Buy Another Mini - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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Old 12-10-2013, 04:29 PM
NoMinorChords NoMinorChords is offline
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Location: LA, CA, USA
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: '06 Cooper S
Why I Will (Sadly) Not Buy Another Mini

I have a 2006 Mini S convertible. I have loved this car but unless there are changes in corporate policy, I will not buy another.

I live in S. Cal and my dealer is Bob Smith Mini in Calabasas. The sales staff was friendly and helpful. The problems began when, as the car got older, it needed fairly frequent repairs. I would take it to the dealer who would always have a shockingly high price to do what seemed like minor adjustments. This was because, they told me, that the corporate policy was to replace rather than repair. I generally would spend the money, figuring that they knew more than I did.

But then my roof would not close properly. The estimate I was given was $4,000 because they felt that they needed to replace the roof. (Later, after much wrangling, it was reduced somewhat.) Out of curiosity, I tried realigning the roof by hand - with no tools or training - and, in a matter of seconds, it was fixed! And has continued to work, without incident, for the past year. Surely, any mechanic with any skill at all could have done what I did the first time I brought it in. But that wouldn't have earned them $4,000.

So, recently, I began to wonder if the rapacious attitude the dealer had toward its customers was their own, or, as they claimed, company policy. So, I wrote to customer service online. Two weeks later, I got a call from a nice young woman from customer service who told me how sorry they were and concerned that I was unhappy. So, I asked, is it company policy or not? "I'll have to check," she said, "And I'll call you back." That was about a month ago. A couple of weeks later, thinking it might have been an inexperienced service rep, I called again and got another person. Same result. Clearly, the US customer service can't even answer the most basic questions about the parent company.

Based on this experience, my guess is that the folks at Bob Smith were telling the truth - it is company policy to replace rather than fix no matter how trivial the problem. This means as a customer, I cannot trust the dealer or the company if the car has a problem and must rely on third parties. That invites all sorts of additional problems - I would prefer to have a reliable dealer. When I owned a Lexus I found the dealer trustworthy, consequently, and will probably return to that make on my next car.

I would suggest to BMW that they change this policy, but there seems to be no way to actually contact the people who make decisions, only the US office which, it appears, is simply there for show.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:54 AM
claud 3 claud 3 is offline
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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Mein Auto: 2014 EBII 335i M-Sport
Well, I won't either. I ordered my 2011 new and it is not really a reliable car. Weird stuff goes wrong all the time. Latest is front running light that stopped working. Drove for two weeks with "burnt out light bulb" indicator coming on each time I cranked up. One morning it did not come on. Checked light and it was working. Did the Mini fixit fairy come overnight and replace it? Check engine light on big speedometer comes on for a week or two and goes off before appointment to fix--happened twice lately. Glad my warranty is good and still in effect at 34,000 miles. I am returning to BMW for next car.

2017 EBII M-Sport 340i Sedan & 2015 Black X5 X35i
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:14 AM
chisa13 chisa13 is offline
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Location: southern california
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 10' Mini cooper/14' 328i
Don't worry about corporate policy always get your car maintenance done by someone other than the dealership. Honestly you purchased your vehicle from a terrible dealership that i wish to never make reference to or even hear of again. i bought my mini at alexander imports in LA i also live in your area and when my MINI needs service i make the drive to santa clarita and visit Gio's automotive, Gio's is run by a guy obvoiusly named Gio and his sister Lucia. Gio was born in italy and was an official mechanic for BMW, MINI and many other car manufacturer's when he came to the states he got his BMW/MINI certification proving that he is more than able to work on our vehicles. My cooper is a dual Vanos system and both were showing faulty at 70k miles. Another shop near calabasas named Monaco motors wanted $420 so i paid it (this was before i knew of Gio's). One week later turns out the Vanos is showing faults again. I take it back and it turns out all they had done for me was reset the codes and did an oil change . I get in a huge argument with a dickhole named Wade. Turns out this old bastard is the owner of the establishment and he continues to tell me that for the money I got an oil change and my codes cleared when i was told the Vanos was changed. All of that and they had my car for two days. Moments after getting my money back from these thieves I do a quick google search and find Gio's automotive. I take it to Gio that same day and he has everything done for me both VANOS replaced and timing adjusted for $220. Mini hasn't had any other problems since (knock on wood) and just took it back to Gio for an oil change that costs me only $40. Moral of the story is buy another Mini and take it to the right people.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:02 PM
gacutler gacutler is offline
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: Countryman 2011
Cost of recall parts / repairs passed to customers

I recently was banned from North American motoring forums for posting the facts about my mini cooper countryman 2011 car, here is the post. Clearly mini do not want people to know about all the issues with the countryman that should be recalled but they don't recall them they just make the customers pay.

I purchased a mini cooper 2011 countryman with 47,000miles. I had the dealer in north Scottsdale look the car over and was advised that mechanically the car is perfect. As the warranty ran out at 50K why would they want to find anything.

At 56,000 miles the fuel pump in the fuel tank failed. I was told this is not unreasonable. The solenoid valve also failed and leaked out into the electrical harness and almost onto the electronic board (I was advised) The cost of this repair was about $4,600.

I also had to replace all four break pads (not unreasonable but it was just another cost ($800).

At 60,000 miles the clutch went bad most likely due to the fuel pump causing the car to buck like a horse for awhile. I was told that this is to be expected from a mini. Cost $3,200.

Total cost of the two repairs is $7,800.

Considering I have had the car for 12,000 miles and the dealer told me that the car was in perfect working order when I purchased it I am to say the least very annoyed and angry. To quote the dealer this 2011 car is old. We bought this car to be a low cost effective vehicle. It has been nothing but a money sink. And to quote the dealer these issues are reasonable. So at minimum I can expect these costs to be incurred every 60,000 miles. Possibly more if other things go wrong.

Don't buy a mini if you have the choice they are defective, unreliable and expensive to own. Buy a V8 truck it will be more cost effective as you wont be paying for repairs due to a poorly designed car that has known recall issues but mini wants the customers to pay for these design flaws.


Greg C.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:05 AM
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Gluhwein Gluhwein is offline
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Mein Auto: 2015 BMW X1 128i Xdrive
And I have now owned 5 MINIs and have never ever had even the slightest problem.
Home in the Poconos, heart in the Alps. Money in Washington.
2012 BMW 128i Convertible (red) RETIRED
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:21 PM
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PolkNole PolkNole is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 535i
I bought a '13 Cooper S for my wife recently. It is a blast to drive! I've added a JB+ to add about 15 hp.

My wife and I fight over who gets to drive it now. Every chance I get, the 535i (which I also love dearly) sits.

JB4 Tuner; RPi Exhaust; Sport, Prem & CW Pkgs; Nav; HUD; L7; hardwired V1; M Trunk Lip; Chrome Rims; 17% Tint; Michelin PS PS2s
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:26 AM
lrattner lrattner is offline
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Mein Auto: 991 C2S Porsche
I have owned two Mini's. I bought one of the first in the US in 2002. Kept it for 9 years and had no issues with it at all. In 2011, bought another Mini Cooper S. It has 27,000 miles and I will be selling it in the next few months when I get my X-1 back from ED. I've had no issues with it as well. So for a total of 12 years of Minis, over 75,000 miles total, all I've had to do was routine maintenance.

BTW-If anyone is looking for an all black Mini Cooper S with every option (except Nav) with 27,000 miles, im me. I am looking to sell it in June.
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:20 AM
Lepricon Lepricon is offline
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Location: Cupertino, CA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2006 Mini Cooper S
I hate MINI and WE love them, actually, we have 2 in the family and considering the 3rd one. My wife has 2003 Cooper (less then 60K) and mine is 2006 Cooper S (over 120K). She think there are no other cars in the world except Mini Cooper, and me... I cannot even imagine what would be the cost of all of the repairs I quietly did myself if I would go for the fix to the dealership. I'm shaking already, or maybe I need to buy the garage scissor lift first.

Right now I have two projects to work on:

- Door locks stopped working on 2003 mini;

- Extremely stupid CAN-bus communication issue on 2006 S. I did not have time to look into this yet, that's why I am driving my car w/o P/S for over 6 month already, BTW pretty good physical exercise, well, technically speaking, once in a week or two I'm still getting something like an hour when P/S unexpectedly comes back and works like nothing bad had ever happened. Plus, need to replace CV boots on the left side... plus, just replaced second wheel hub. Plus, need to replace the upper engine "joke", oh sorry, so-called hydraulic mount for the 4th time... etc.

I know, I was abusing this little beauty with many days of autocross but it is not the hardware issues which pisses me off, I am quite OK with what I can fix by hands, including, if necessary engine rebuilt (had done it couple of times in my teenager's years ) but the car's f00king ELECTRONICS !!!

Power steering issue - fine, but instrument cluster, gauges jumping who knows where one second and reporting overheat of the perfectly cold engine, then stop working AT ALL, then coming back, then resetting instrument cluster on the run by itself, then A/C stops working and will not re-engage unless you turn the key off and start the car again... and many-many other symptoms of pretty much (I'm sure) the same core issue.

But overall, MINI IS the perfect car and definitely - fun to drive
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:51 AM
WannaM WannaM is offline
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Location: Austin TX
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 16
Mein Auto: 02 Maxima & 99 M Coupe
I think there is a huge difference between the first year model and subsequent year model in terms of quality. So stay away from the first year models if you can or make sure it's still under warranty while you owning it. My 2 cents.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:23 PM
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bredi bredi is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 335D MSport
Wow. Just tonight, I was trying to convince and encourage my wife to get a mini. She spoke with all her friends and clients that had one and they many said they would not buy another one.

One client texted back, "they are great to lease, but they break down after 4-5 years, and are too expensive to fix. Don't buy one." Another said they are on their second, and won't buy another.

So, perception is a bitch. Regardless of how I tried to explain that they are BMW quality, they have improved etc, etc, once this kind of perception hits a buyer, its almost impossible to rebrand.

Additionally, I came to the same conclusion. But also because there are no hybrid, electric or diesel options.

And I certainly didn't want to be in a "I told you so" situation.

Bummer. They are fun to drive.

2015 Tesla 85d
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