Burned Out Clutch on 2008 Mini Cooper

My 2008 Mini was just diagnosed with a burned out clutch. Considering that a new clutch costs nearly as much as the value of the car, I’d like to get rid of the Mini (it’s been incredibly costly to maintain) and set my sights on something newer. Here’s my question: what can I do with this car that isn’t drivable? Can I sell it for parts? Is donating it better? I’d love your advice.

Post it on Craigslist as a repairable.



That is a large undertaking and will tick off your neighbors. Painful!

Donating it is a great idea - to your local NPR station, PBS station, Salvation Army (some will come pick it up). Painless, warm fuzzy feeling!

Selling it on Craigslist with compete honesty - needs clutch, must be towed, mechanics special all those. Have them sign a receipt LISTING all those things - As-Is, Needs clutch, not driveable, cash only, clean title, that stuff, and that the buyer understands and accepts those conditions. A bit of a pain in the neck but you will get some cash for it. Also painful and a bit risky.

Or sell it to a auto salvage (junk yard) and they will tow it and part it out. Painless!


There’s probably a car-repair-savvy teenager nearby who would love to buy it from you for dirt cheap, and fix it up in their dad’s driveway w/a new clutch, use it for their go-to-college car. I’d lean in that direction myself. Good karma to give a college bound teenager who’d like a cool car a break. If you have junior colleges in your area that have auto-repair training courses, stop by and talk to the instructors. They may know of one of their students who would love to take this car off your hands.

The question isn’t really whether the cost of the repair is nearly what you think the car is worth if you sold it running, the question is whether the cost of the repair is the best way for you to spend that money. If you are secretly relieved that this is the opportunity for you to get rid of it, fine, sell is as you’ve been told. If you think you would get some real use out of the car once it had a new clutch, then is the cost of the clutch justified? Could be.

A donation will only be of benefit you if you can itemize deductions. You can no longer use an appraised value for a car unless the charity keeps and drives the car. If the charity sells the car, you can only deduct what they get for it. Then even if you can itemize, it is only a deduction not a credit. If they get $250 for it and you are in the 10% bracket, you will lower your tax bill by $25.

If you want to make a charitable contribution for altruistic reasons do it, but don’t think it will benefit you financially.

Just because a shop would charge you $2000 or whatever to replace the clutch does not mean that someone else could not do it themselves for a fraction of that price (i.e. whatever the parts alone cost online). Therefore, the car might only be worth scrap to you, but to someone willing and able to do the job themselves, it’s worth more. Sell it on Craigslist as a “mechanic’s special” for parts or repair.

Was the Mini fun to drive? You may be disappointed with your next car. I have been sentenced for life to driving minivans. I would rather drive a Mini with a burned out clutch even if I had to open the driver side door, put my foot out and power it like a scooter.

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The standard deduction is so high that almost no one can itemize deductions anymore. That’s another reason why donations are for the heart and not the wallet.

my vw rabbit and dodge colt both did not have subframes. the trans dropped out the bottom. both had quite small engine bays. i bet you pick up the mini and peel it like a banana to pull the trans

Get some new quotes on getting the clutch fixed. You might find someone who will do it for a reasonable price.

I almost never recommend putting money into a car you’re about to sell, but you’re not going to get much for a car that can’t be test-driven. If you’re comfortable selling it for much less than it is worth, I’d sell it on eBay as an auction, starting the bidding at salvage value and hoping for the best.

Maybe the mechanic who gave you the outrageous quote on fixing the clutch might be interested in buying it, fixing it, and selling it.

The new “tax cut” plan negated my medical expenses and my charitable donations, and I wound-up with a tax liability for 2018 that was $2009 higher than it was in 2017, with essentially the same level of income. Instead of the $1,200-$1,500 that I used to donate annually to charity, I will now have to strictly limit my charitable donations to just a meager amount.


What you say isn’t always true if you live in a high tax State like California or New York, New Jersey, etc. However, my tax bill was substantially higher this year than past years. I guess the new law is working, hitting hard the States where the other party got too many votes.

I thought that I had made a mistake when I did my taxes–as I have for the past 20 years or so–via TurboTax, so I spent some extra money to have a CPA review my return. He confirmed that I had not made any errors, and he added that most retired people whose returns he had calculated owed anywhere between $1k to $2k extra this year, due to the “tax cut” legislation.

I’ve had two Minis. The first one was so fun to drive. This second one? It’s been terrible since I got it. I should have never bought it. It must have been treated pretty badly in its first life, and I bought a real lemon. While I can’t guarantee it, I’m pretty sure that I will never buy a Mini again.

This is one of those don’t buy used type of vehicle .

@Beth_Knapp. Back in 1960 when I was a college student, my dad did business with a DeSoto/Plymouth dealer that also handled Foreign made cars. The dealer had the Morris 850 models which were the forerunner of today’s Mini. I was looking at the Morris 850 while our car was being serviced. The owner of the agency handed me the keys and said “Let’s go for a ride”. I drove the car and that Morris 850 was really a fun car to drive–more fun than anything I had ever driven up to that time. As a poor college student, I didn’t have the money to own any car. The present Minis bring back memories

If your tax liability went up under the new standard deduction it is because they overestimated the withholding drop. You took more money home each week for the same income. If you do the math, you actually paid less tax this year even though your refund is smaller or you might have to pay instead of get a refund.

Welcome to Tax Talk, everyone.


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I can’t speak for anyone else, but your statement does not apply to me. Because of lower withholding from my monthly pension, I am getting $12 more per month, and that equals $144 more annually. I may not be the greatest mathematician, but when I substract $144 from my additional tax liability of $2,009, it seems like I lost $1,865 in the process.