2002-2006 Mini Cooper S (R53)
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Transmission Reliability

Old 10-19-2010, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default Transmission Reliability


This is my first post to this forum. I am currently looking at a second hand 2004 Mini Cooper S with the 6-speed manual gear box. The car has 67k miles and looks new. I am very interested in buying this car but the more I read online the more I feel as though I might be exposing myself to a world of trouble.

Minor problems I can handle, however, it seems as though all of these cars suffer from transmission issues and clutch issues almost guaranteed. I simply cant afford to buy this car and then have to pay $7,000 or more for a new transmission.

Can anyone advise me? How likely am I to suffer from these problems with this car with its current mileage of 67k?

I feel as though there is so much contradicting information out there. Many people love the Mini and think it's a solid car while many others think it's a money pit.

Any feedback would be most helpful!


Old 10-19-2010, 06:17 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 12

I own an 04 S with 43000 miles. It has not been without problems but the manual transmission is not one of them.
It has had the power steering pump and fan replaced, a very chronic issue with the early models.
The expansion tank replaced, also very common.
A number of minor oil leaks requiring gasket replacements.
The front shock towers mushroom and that can be a real problem. I installed aluminum tower reinforcers as mine were starting to mushroom and I caught it before there was a real problem.
I still enjoy the car but would be hard pressed to recommend one with real miles on it.
The newer models, I understand, have overcome some of these problems.

Good luck.
Old 11-06-2010, 04:16 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 13

I recently bought a 2005 mini s. 93,000 miles 6 speed transmission, Excellent condition of the only problem I am having Is that I believe the power steering unit is starting to go. I'm getting a very loud humming sound from the center of the engine below And from reading the forums all the symptoms point to the power steering unit. The other issue as they require run flat tires but you don't necessarily have to use them. I have heard a lot of pros and cons on these tires but personally I'm happy with the ones on my mini. They don't get the greatest mileage but for the money I guess it's worth it Because there is no place for a spare tire on the car.
Old 11-06-2010, 06:16 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,309

The Manuals are pretty solid and the clutches are wear items and depends on drivers use
I've seen mini's with 120k+ on stock clutches while others with 60K worn out.
The Automatics are pricey when they fail
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