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Bought a used 09 Mini Cooper S convert for the wife - anything I should be aware of?

Discussion in 'R57 Cooper, Cooper S convertible (2009-present)' started by jrpisha, Aug 19, 2010.

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    jrpisha

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    I just bought a cherry 2009 Cooper Mini S Convertible as a birthday present for my wife. She's gonna love it. Anything I should look out for with this car? My first car with a turbo....

    Any input would be appreciated.

    John
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    bcweir

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    Tell us more about the car itself

    What's the mileage on it? What kind of warranty do you have? transmission type?

    What do you plan to do to keep the car maintained after the warranty runs out? Dealer service is expensive post-warranty. Independent service is somewhat cheaper but still costly after a while.

    How handy are you with tools? You should consider buying a Bentley manual and eventually learning to do your own service on the car. It will save you a LOT of money.
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    Pyewacket1

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    Ditto on BCWEIR's comments, but I would add an oil/filter change every 5000 miles. Even if you have the dealer do an oil/filter change, its only about $80... Cheap insurance.

    Of course, maintenance on a vehicle is usually directly related to how the car is driven. My wife has a 2005 Mini convertible manual , with over 50K miles, and so far, the only issues/repairs/replacements have been new front brake pads (50K) and battery (5 months ago), run-flat tires (50K) front passenger seat airbag seat mat and a new water temp sensor (sensor under warranty and the mat highly $$$ discounted by the dealer).

    Overall, she has been extremely happy with the car.
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    jrpisha

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    Thanks for the input. The car has 3,614 miles on it - a great find. It's coming to us with the standard Mini warranty only; no CPO. It has the steptronic trans w/ the paddles. I wanted the manual transmission, but you can't always get what you want when you're shopping for a used vehicle.

    This is going to be my wife's summer car. Her X5 will get the warm months off. After Thanksgiving, we'll pull the X5 out of storage, and put the Mini away till the snow disappears next spring.

    I have a few options on Mini dealers in SE Michigan for warranty work. After the warranty, I have a great independent shop in Commerce Twp that has worked on my 528i, my X5, and will work on both my 550i and the Mini once those service plans & warranties expire.

    These days, I don't do much mechanical work on my cars anymore - no time.

    Best,

    John
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    jrpisha

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    I agree on the more frequent oil changes. Will the turbo require us to change more often than every 5,000 miles?

    My wife drives pretty conversatively for the most part, but every now and then likes to drive hard. You should see her carve up corners / nail apex's in the 550i. She's starting to get good at it, although she struggles with balancing breaking & acceleration with the weight of the 550i. The Mini is so much lighter - she's gonna love tossing that thing around the corners ! 50k miles on brake pads is pretty darn good. Surprised the battery went already. Do you drive your car everyday?

    Anyway, thanks for the input & I appreciate any other thoughts you might have on the car.

    Best,

    John
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    granthr

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    Drive it as much as possible before you give it to her. Once she gets it you will never get to drive it again!!! :D In fact you may never see it or her again. She will be out having too much fun. On second thought, you might just want to keep it for yourself. :D
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    Pyewacket1

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    Yes, my wife uses it for her daily driver. She's fortunate, in that the car is garaged while she is home AND at work, so the top still looks new.

    If I owned a turbo anything, I would feel comfortable with 5K oil (synthetic) changes.

    The battery had a dead/shorted cell... luck of the draw, I guess. I replaced it with an aftermarket brand, for approx. $100 total.

    As you might imagine, getting 50K miles out of the original run-flats defines my wife as a conservative driver. Most get nowhere near that mileage from the stock runflats. Her car actually has a spare as well, but she wasn't interested in non-run-flats for replacements. She just wanted the convenience of not being stranded by a flat tire... Her money, her choice. And, since the MINI is such a stiff ride anyway, it was hard to sell her on a "softer" ride with non-run-flats.

    Good luck, and enjoy the car!
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    jrpisha

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    ha ha ha - I hear ya. It is my greatest hope that she enjoys this Mini as much as I enjoy my 550i. You're right, I'll spend much more time washing/waxing this car then I will driving it. But, my wife has wanted this car for sometime, and for all that she puts up with... and all that she does for me.... getting her this car is the least I could do.

    Best,

    John
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    jrpisha

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    Ok, - thanks for the vote of confidence on 5,000 mile oil changes for the turbo motor. That's the only thing I'm concerned with - primarily because I've never owned a turbo motor before.

    You bring up a great point - do you put anything on the top to treat it? My wife works out of the house, so the car will be in the garage 90% of the time.

    Best,

    John
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    bcweir

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    This may be a good time to start pricing DCT's.

    The ballpark figure for BMW DCT's is around 11K to 14K replacement cost if out of warranty. Most dealers are finding it easier and cheaper to simply replace DCT's rather than service them due to their mechanical complexity. Realoem doesn't even list the DCT transmissions!

    Might be worthwhile to check your warranty to see if it covers transmission wear and tear (probably not but you never know).

    If not, this could be a potentially expensive maintenance issue waiting for you thousands of miles from now.
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    Zeichen311

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    :confused: Hrm? It's a conventional automatic, not a DCT:
    No DCT in Minis. BMW/Mini repair bills can be scary enough without dragging somebody else's parts into it. :)
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    bcweir

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    Thanks for the Correction, Notthestig.

    Still might be worthwhile to look into maintenance costs for the automatic-MINI's.

    I hope the reliability record for the MINI automatics are better than what I have seen and heard for GM-sourced automatics in the E46 3-series.
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    Pyewacket1

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    Use the BMW/MINI convertible top protectorant (comes in a solution that you add water to, then apply to the car's top). Do it twice a year, but try to keep the solution off the paint as much as possible, as prolonged contact can create a "hazy" condition on the paint.

    Its really not difficult to apply the solution at all. You should be able to get 2 applications from a bottle, which cost around $35 if I remember correctly.
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    bcweir

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    Even better, it might be a good idea not to apply it directly onto the top itself.

    Use an appropriate cloth, using only as much as directed, then wipe it on. Might not run and get on the paint that way if used in moderation like that.
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    Pyewacket1

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    Application directions indicate that the solution should be applied using a sponge or something similar and then letting the solution dry normally on the top. Getting the solution on the paint isn't immediately detrimental, but you don't want to leave in on the paint for more than a couple of minutes before wiping it off.

    My solution to the problem.... I use 4 ft wide ployethelyene plastic and attach it to the car using blue painter's tape (the type one uses to mask off trim when painting a wall - available at Home Depot). Then, apply the solution. After it dries, remove the masking material. Works great.

    I'm sure others have found ways just as effective.
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    jrpisha

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    Please see attached, first pic of the Mini. I took this at the dealership yesterday afternoon - just before we started our 5 hour drive home from Chicago. After a thorough cleaning this morning, I discovered I have a few semi-deep (not through the clear coat, though) scratches on the passenger side rear quarter that will need to be rubbed out, but other than that - the car is cherry.

    I need to upgrade the wheels / tires to 17" wheels and summer performance tires, but that will be next spring. Anybody know a good source for Mini wheels - outside of the dealer network?

    My wife LOVES the car.

    John
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    jrpisha

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    We bought the Mini from a dealer in Chicago. The dealer's business manager spent significant time trying to upsell us on extended warranties & maintenance packages. The packages were just too expensive.

    I had one of the GM-sourced steptronics in my 2000 528i. The transmission was fine, but I had a lot of problems with the tourque converter.....

    John
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    Pyewacket1

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    Just curious....Why? I understand changing the tires, but why do you feel the need for new wheels?

    By the way...Nice looking ride. You're going to really like it, but a suggestion...Get a wind-screen if the car doesn't have one. Makes all the difference in the world with the lid down at highway speeds.
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    tiFreak

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    probably for looks

    nice looking Mini, don't be too concerned about the little scratches, the harder you work on getting them out, the more it's going to suck when it gets another scratch ;)
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    jrpisha

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    Thanks. The car didn't come with the wind-screen - I'm going to pick one of those up this week.

    Why change the wheels? Honesty, I simply like the look of a lower profile tire on a Mini. Our car has 16" wheels and all season tires. I like the look of the 17" wheels (as in the attached pictures) and the sportier rubber.

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