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New and Just bought my first Mini

Old 12-28-2018, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
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Default New and Just bought my first Mini

Hi all,

I'm in the Northeast US and just dropped in because I just bought a 2006 Mini Cooper base 2-door, 6-speed manual hatchback, and I take delivery in the morning. The car is a bit rough, but overall is not bad. I was honestly in the market for a more expensive daily driver and ran across the ad for this and had to check it out, because it was one of those 'looks too good to be true' ads. The owner described the car as great handling and daily driver until it developed a rough idle and won't stay running. He seemed like a very knowledgeable person, but was not that interested in getting the car fixed. I think he figured it was a money pit, plus he looked like he had plenty of other toys. I guess it may well be a money pit, but I took that bet that it was not... And... Here we are... The car came in $1700 - $2200 under what I was actually shopping, so I have some money to spend getting this one running, tuned, and whatever I can after that. If I go a bit over the original budget, I can swallow that ok. I'm pretty excited.

Here is the plan right now...

I'm gonna start by Getting it towed here in the AM, then I spend some of the day detailing the interior it so I get a good look at what stays and what goes. Also, I'm a germ freak and I will not spend time in the car until it is basic clean at least. :-D

Then I'm going to spend a little time figuring out what makes it (not) tick.

What I mean is, the car runs, and can actually be rolled slowly around if you are careful with the accelerator, he called it 'feathering' the accelerator, and it is as good a term as any. If you feather the accelerator, it can be slowly convinced to roll forward. Too much accelerator and it stalls, or no accelerator and it stalls. The right kiss of your foot on the pedal, in a slow rhythm as needed, can keep it barely running for minute or so to move the car.

If I can't make it run after some basic checks over a couple days, including an OBDII scan to see if any sensors popped, off to the mechanic it goes for a more in-depth assessment. My regular mechanic said he is comfortable with Minis, but hasn't worked on them extensively, so I'm gonna give him a short leash because there is a good privately owned Mini specialty shop next town over that has lots of good reviews...

If I do happen to get it running and there are no other issues to prevent driving it, it is still going into the shop for a full tune-up, fluid change, and assessment of brakes, suspension, etc., just probably after I register it and maybe take it for a few spins around town to get a feel for what it needs most. :-)

Getting the car running all the way right, roadworthy, and inspected is priority one, Once I get it there, I'll have an idea about the spend for interior and other cosmetic repairs or upgrades. :-)

I'll be sure to post more pics once I have it home and start, but for now, here is the pic from the original ad I responded to:

Last edited by saint0192; 12-28-2018 at 10:52 PM.
Old 12-29-2018, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 2

Update 1:

I plugged in my bluetooth OBD II reader and it popped a bunch of drivetrain codes, the first of which was the downstream Oxygen sensor. $150 later (and two trips, one to get the O2 sensor, and one to get another O2 sensor socket when I broke the first one). It finally took a strategically placed jack under the ratchet handle to apply enough force to the socket to loosen the O2 sensor. The rest of the replace was easy. The undercarriage on this car is cherry, completely undercoated and very clean everywhere. The whole chassis looks well cared for as does the exhaust and drivetrain. The engine has some grease pencil marks on the valve covers and back of the engine that make me think the engine has been replaced at some point. Good news! Because the car has 187,000 miles on it.

After the oxygen sensor was replaced, 1 bottle of Techron and 1/2 tank of premium gas, and this thing is running. It was real rough to warm up the first two times. I'm running it in stages, a little longer each time with full couple hours cooldown in between just to see what to expect with no surprises. So far, so good. It is up to 15 minutes and once it warms up it sounds great. As of the third start it has no issues starting or idling. There were still a couple of check engine codes, but they have since cleared and it is starting up easy and running fine now with no check engine light now. The ABS light is on and the airbag light is on. I understand there may be a recall on this car for the airbags...

Well, it is still going in to the mechanic on Monday night for a full checkup and inspection, but it is going under it's own power, because it is getting registered and insured on Monday. :-)

Including the oxygen sensor, the tow, and the purchase of the car, I'm into this little car for $1600. Not too shabby... Was gonna post a quick vid from my phone but it is not an accepted file type? mp4?
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