The mini released in Australia between 2001 and 2014 is in fact produced by BMW and is no longer “mini” Now a full sized motor vehicle. Mechanically these cars are a complete disaster. We only advise buying one if you absolutely love the cult classic vehicle and have spare change in the vicinity of two to four thousand dollars a year for maintenance.
Like all European vehicles the age old problem of expensive parts and plastic components is magnified with a tight engine bay and very little space for activities. If you need an update on why European vehicles in general are expansive to maintain visit either or both of the links below.
The Problem with European Vehicles
Why are European Vehicles so Expensive to maintain?
The Mini does present a list of common faults that deem the vehicle “a garden ornament” Here is the list .
1. Cooling fan. the resistor in the cooling fan offering two different speeds tends to pack up and go on holidays. The result is the car can over heat. Unfortunately you can’t buy a new resistor you have to by a whole new fan. Not cheap and replacing it is not much fun either.
2. Drivers engine mount fails. Not a huge disaster but the drivers side engine mount is common for letting go. This one is actually not a bad job to replace.
3. Power steering: Lines and pump. The power steering lines and the pump are mounted on the sub frame at the back of the engine. A small cooling fan is mounted off the sump to cool this motor. After driving over any item more then four milimiters high, chances are you have smashed that little fan off. Then the pump over heats and needs replacing. This is a massive job, requires the complete subframe out and the pump is expensive too. If you manage to keep the fan on the car, the pump and the lines up to the oil canister leak any way. All of the power steering oil leaks out all over your crossmember/subframe.
4. Clutch. The clutch replacement in the Mini is an enormous job. it requires the nose of the car to come off, the radiator removed, the previously mentioned crossmember to be removed and then when its done, all put back in. Clutch replacement on the mini is a very expensive job. The photo shows a DIY clutch replacement job.
5. Sump gasket leaks. The sump is known for hosing oil out. The air conditioning compressor has to be removed for this repair and the whole sump removed.
On top of this list of common items there is also the cost of general serving on a European vehicle. Brakes that are the same as a BMW need rotors replacing every time the pads are replaced. This makes for expensive brakes. Run flat tyres are not cheap, synthetic oils all add to the serving cost.
Our advise is only own a Mini if you can afford it. They are very expensive to maintain.
Lots of fun to drive, a cult vehicle that will turn heads but at what cost. Most consumers simply can not afford to own one of these.