Clutch Eating Minis

I have a 2003 Mini with 46,000 miles and no clutch trouble so far, although I’ve heard about clutch and other transmission complaints as well. The only trouble I’ve had has been with the dealership. When I bought this car, I was told the first three services were free as long as I brought it in on time. Trouble is, their notion of “on time” seemed to be, how shall I say this, flexible. I was told 10,000, 30,000, and 45,000 miles when I bought the car. When I came in for the first service, it was actually supposed to be within 400 miles of the odometer ‘service countdown’ display reaching zero. Luckily, it was.

For my second service, they got me. This time they told me the countdown timer had to be zero +/- 400 miles AND a certain number of miles had to be on the car. Somehow or other, I was not in compliance with this THIRD rule, and I had to pay. And as we know, Mini ain’t cheap. I wrote a furious letter to the dealership manager, and a few months later I got my money back (except for about $50.00, I guess that was for their trouble).

I know this post isn’t exactly on topic, but that was two years ago, and I’m STILL steamed.

My clutch slave cylinder just went out on my 2005 Mini Cooper S at 29K miles. My boyfriend dissected it and the problem appears to be a seal failure. I have only driven manual transmissions since age 16 (I’m 37), and I find it difficult to believe that I caused this problem given my previous vehicles went 89K and 60K miles with no clutch issues. Fortunately, it took me 15 min to install a new cylinder (3 weeks to get the part online), not counting hydraulic line bleeding which I’m about to do. I would be interested to hear if the root cause of the failure is similar for others.

I have an 07 Cooper S and I’m on my second clutch and still have issues. First clutch was replaced with less than 2K miles and the second clutch was replaced with less than 8K miles. Both these replacements occurred in Germany. Between clutch replacements the car was serviced by a Mini dealer in Towson Maryland. The service rep there said there is a problem with the clutch/transmission and that BMW is aware but could not fix the problem.
I brought the car to the dealer last week because in idle there was a noise from the clutch/transmission. Depress the clutch and the noise went away. The dealer replaced the flywheel and at first the noise was gone but within 5 miles the noise returned. I took the car back to the dealer yesterday, they put it up on the lift heard the noise and said they’d get back to me. Just received a call from the dealer that the noise is normal. I don’t buy it, what do I do?

exactly, 2nd clutch at 59K,
mini cooper 2005

I live in south florida. No hills here. I have driven manual mostly for the last almost 40 years. I only replaced a clutch once and it was on a an Opel I had when I was hard on autos being about 18 years old. Even that replacement lasted. My 2002 Mini Cooper S has just hit the 70K mark and I just lost my clutch for the second time this morning. The first one at about 32K miles. Rattling and jumpy feel at idle and coming out of first. It is also squealing a bit. I love the car but there is something wrong with the clutch situation. I had planned on owning this car for quite some time as I love it with especially with the JCW engine upgrade package it has been fun to drive everyday. Clutch and new fly wheel is about $2400.00 and then Im trading it in or selling for an almost new used vehicle but havent decided on what yet.