Mini Cooper Transmission Problems

* UPDATE 8/22/13:

Seems as though we have had a recent rush on questions and problems related to the various transmissions that have been used in the MINI Cooper since it’s introduction in 2001 (we have a solution, see below).  Most people had heard about the update of the internal gears in the popular 6 speed manual transmission as used in the MCS.  And we are finally hearing from some people actually trying to take advantage of the improved ratio by simply swapping a late tranny for the early one. From all reports the mechanical swap is not a difficult one and the results reported from more than one person can be quoted as ‘stunning’!  But there is a drawback!

In return for all that greatly improved old fashion acceleration you will have to give up a modern sought after feature: cruise control.  While not specific to the transmission upgrade, the ECU for the MCS for ’05/’06 models and the only feature lost in this trans swap is the cruise control.  Those that we spoke to said it was the only issue and was a small price to pay for the improved performance.

mini cooper transmission

On  a negative front , we have also now heard from several people who are having problems with their automatic transmission as found in the very early MC & MCS.  These CVT were innovative when introduced and engineered to use the best torque and HP from the MINI engine to provide smooth and effortless movement.  But reliability was is biggest issue and while the tranny was replaced a few years later with a more convention automatic with their heavy torque converter, etc, the upgrade was proof that even the factory was convinced that the CVT could be used for the long-term.  The real bad news that as the factory forecasts come true with CVT failures (most of them “out of warranty”- the current owner is faced with the reality that the ONLY solution is a newly rebuilt CVT transmission.  I would thus advise anyone considering a MINI Cooper automatic to stay away from the CVT version!

However, if you have already taken the plunge and have found yourself in need of a new transmission for your Mini Cooper you are in luck.  Mini Mania is now offering a Re-manufactured CVT Automatic Transmission for 2002-2008 Mini Coopers at less than half the cost of replacing with a brand new CVT transmission.  In addition, the transmissions come with a 12 month/12,000 mile limited warranty.  There are specific steps taken to ensure the quality of these transmissions.

* Transmissions are completely disassembled

* Cases are inspected & cleaned

* Gears, bearings, pulleys & valve body are thoroughly inspected & replaced as needed

* Belts, seals & gaskets are replaced on all transmissions regardless of mileage

* Transmissions are then carefully re-assembled in a consistent manner

Check out the Rebuilt Mini Cooper Automatic Transmission.

379 thoughts on “Mini Cooper Transmission Problems

  1. I just have to say I’m glad I waited till the better automatic transmission became available for my MCS. Otherwise I believe I would be if not already, have traded in. $5K, geez, for a “new” piece of junk no less!

  2. Repair/replacement of the CVT actually runs closer to $7400 (I speak from experience). If I had that kind of a repair bill as a result of a collison, the car would be considered totaled.
    The fact that MINI no longer uses the CVT system is an admission that they don’t believe it is reliable yet they refuse to help those of use who tested it for them. The customer ends up paying the price for MINI’s experiment with CVT.
    If MINI has such disregard for their customers with CVT problems, it makes you wonder if they care about their customers at all. I’ll never buy another and I hope anyone who reads this will think twice (at least) before they do. It will be the most expensive $20K car you ever bought.

    • I can not agree more I do not own one do to there sale-person as well as test drive was very poor.I seen the the problem before they do Chevy did the same in 74 with abs brakes seen 1000 out with out know if and when they fail.

    • definately a $20,000 paperweight. dealership just tried chging the bearings?? they said the other mini dealer locally had had sucdess……
      no luck tranny blown on a 05 with 68,000 km. just over 4 yr warranty….
      any helpful suggestions?

      • My 2003 Mini Trany shot completely. I had it rebuilt in local Transmission shop for $6500 plus tax with 2 year warranty. After shopping around for better deal, this is the best deal I could get.

      • I have a 2005 MCS that is having tranny issues. It makes banging noises and it slips. I have been shifting from 3 to 5 as quickly as I can as the problem centers around the 4th gear. I just received a letter in the mail from a law firm that is following up exactly on this matter. They are ooking top do a class action suit. Call them to get on their list. Contact Harold Park at 877-606-6138.

    • I won’t go into all the problems with the 2002 Mini I bought in March of this year but I will say this if it is a choice between buying a nice house with interests rates low (fixed morguage) and a fast expensive Mini Cooper I would say, drive a $1,200 car and buy the house, and NOT the car just some seat of the pants advice.

      • Hi, I recently bought a used 03 Mini eight months and the transmission is failing already with 60,000 miles. I live in CA would I be able to add my name to the list?

      • Goid to know that a class action is a possibility. Unfortunately the law firm does not answer phone calls not respond to email messages!

      • Please send me your phone number and I will email it to my contact at the law firm. A complaint has been filed – you must qualiy with miles year of car, etc. they are VERY busy and we did not give them any money up front so pelase be patient. If you qualify they will add you. And they are currently looking for additional class reps.

    • MINI Cooper Dealership lied to me. They know that there are problems, yet tell their customer’s that “It is very unusual for the transmission to go out on an automatic”
      Mine is a very pretty car in the driveway. I walk in LA now. Transportation: feet.
      I make products as well. Guess what? If there is any problem with the product I make, I make a new one for the person. Yes, I am poor now. But at least I am an honest businessperson and stand behind the work I do!!!

      • Janice, don’t give up. Please call the attorney’s office at 877-606-6138. I spoke to Cody, but if you get a voice mssg, leave your name, phone number, year of your vehicle and the problem. So sorry to hear about your mini.

    • We have just had two Mini Cooper base cars trade to us 1. 2003 Mini with a auto and 73K bad trans BMW told customer that the repair would be about $8000.00 2. 2004 Mini base with 83K bad auto trans repair would be about $7000.00 Cost more to fix then the car is worth. As a dealer I am shocked with BMW to build a car like this .

      • Have a 2005 Mini Convertible and the mechanic just told my husband that it has both an auto and standard transmission. Is that possible? The dealership never mentioned that to us. (Bought it new.)

      • On a whim I decided to Google the issues with the Mini although we traded our 2005 S in about 3 years ago for many of the apparently common issues: the brakes, the strut towers, struts, the water pump, an alloy wheel that split in half, tie rods, front wheel bearings 3 times, replacing run-flats 3 times a year 2 at a time and ultimately the transmision which Mini said could not be repaired but would have tube replaced with a new unit. We religiously took our car in for service as my wife commuted to work with it. Mini of Southampton (there’s ony1 other Mini on LI and it’s quite a distance away.) has always treated their Mini cust omer’s as if we should have known how expensive a high performance car would cost to own before we bought one. (I”ve owned an Austin Healy, MG’s, Camaros, Chevelle, Miata. What do I know?) And then the BMW service manager that ran the service department said “What do you expect? The car is 6 years old.” “But it’s a BMW!” I said. We absolutely loved and enjoyed the car and I had intended to keep it as it was paid off but the $14, 000 that we would have to put into it to make it right was way over the top. Traded it in for a Prius. My 1990 Miata is running fine. Shame…

  3. I just had the CVT replaced in my 2006 MC under warranty. There was absolutely no problem – the service rep. knew what the problem was as soon as I described the sound to him. It took just over a day to replace and the dealer gave us a loaner before we even asked.

    At least for those of us still under warranty, the dealers know what’s up and at least here they treat you right.

    • What was the sound? I just bought a 2002 and believe the transmission needs to be replaced at 74300 miles. There is also a whining noise upon. excelleration and darts to the right upon excellaration and to the left upon decelleration.

  4. I am now experiencing this problem on my 2003 Cooper with 113,000. A very loud constant whirring noise has developed and has been confirmed that it indeed a bad CVT transmission! I cannot believe MINI is doing nothing for their original US customers! It appears I am, as they say, Sh*t out of luck…

    • I have a 2003 MINI w/ a CVT that went out at 78,000, out of warranty. I contacted MINI directly and the rep said he had not heard of anyone with this problem! I informed him that many people have experienced the same problem and he basically said there is nothing they could/would do about it since it was out of warranty. Not only does a new tranny cost $5300 from the factory, they don’t even make the parts to rebuild it!!! Although you can buy a rebuilt from the factory… how is this possible or fair??? It took my mechanic 12hrs to remove it (factor in those labor costs plus labor to reinstall!) and attempted to find exactly what parts were needed, which is when he discovered that they don’t even sell the parts needed to fix it! How RIDICULOUS is that?! He also said that the parts are made in Germany but is a federal offense to ship over!? Not believing him, I called my stepfather (mechanic) who contacted his transmission specialist… who came back with the same answer. This car has put me in financial ruin! It was my only transportation option so I was forced to take cabs to work, costing me around $1500/mo. After months of being late on all my bills and nearly avoiding an eviction, I was able to save up for a cheap car to get me around until I could save up enough to get it fixed, still saving up. I don’t understand why BMW/MINI is not even acknowledging this and is doing absolutely nothing to remedy a problem of this magnitude since is affecting so many people. And they are supposed to be a luxury car company? Why haven’t they recalled this transmission yet? And why haven’t they been forced to fix this major factory-issued f**up?

      • That is a good question! I have contacted an attorney and the local news paper and am hoping for a response to that very question. I believe that a class action law suit is in need here!! Are you in?

      • I think Bob’s ridiculous putdown was unwarranted please don’t be rude or unkind! People buy THE MINI COOPER because mini’s are given high marks and when you see so MANY people with the exact transmission problems and the cost is more then my principle and interest on my home in a year something is wrong very wrong with this car. According to Car Talk on PBS they really like the HONDA and Toyotas why because it drives by their car shop without needing thousands of $$$$$’s in repair and when they do it doesn’t break the bank. I have not been able to drive the 2002 mini Cooper I bought because it has been in the car repair shop 4 x’s and Now it is at here in Orlando ,Florida getting a NEW transmission,5speed manual trans. will they do an excellent job so I can drive my car God only knows.

      • A car rental or even purchasing a used car for 159. a month would have been better. I have a mini cooper that I parked. The differential is making that noise and I’m quoted 7K to fix it. Nearest dealer is 4 hours away. I’m going to trade it in and hope they take it.

      • sounds like gm knew parts were bad and defective before installing as long as they get money don’t care if you don’t buy again or die

  5. Anyone tried an automatic to manual swap for these cars? Should be possible, as the auto shifter is in the same place….new clutch/brake levers….hmmm. A friend has a CVT model…it literally exploded and is trashed internally. Not even worth a rebuild according to the dealer. Any chance that someone has tried such a swap? Better than dropping almost $8K for another CVT trans….!

    • Don’t bother the clutch systems are awful in these cars also. They burn out very quickly. You will probably have to replace the whole clutch as well, speaking from experience.

  6. im a 23 yr old – and purchased my mini 2 yrs ago – 2004 mini cooper, im having the same transmission problem and am so dissapointed with the service received from BMW – it really is not fair that so many people with the same problems have no way to resolve it ??? except for putting our hands in our pocket, shame on you BMW!!! customer service “where has it gone?” im out of warranty 😦 im so upset and can hardly afford to fix my problem… i love my car but so upset thats its been such a dissapointment….


    • OMG ! i feel your pain. i bought a 2003 mini cooper in late september with 26,500 miles. just this past weekend (14nov09) the transmission croaked !!! i was coasting switching into 2nd and i got no grip! i tried the other gears and i was still coasting :0(

      my mini currently has 29,400 miles and it has no warranty. i want to know what momentum can do about this. what did you ever do with your mini ?

      • Hi,
        I have MC 04 w low mileage and CVT problem “discovered”
        right after my warranty expired although I went to the dealership,
        was only told all is fine.
        While hearing the same noises, I went to another dealership (not
        MC) w knowledge of foreign cars, they put it through testing and
        wouldn’t you know it, transmission !
        When I took it back to MC dealership, they agreed, but could not
        do anything since I waited over 6 months to have it checked again.
        I have a car and need advice what to do with transmission, does anyone know of a place where I could ship it to have it refurbished,
        or what is any alternative that wouldn’t hit my pocketbook – finances
        are a huge problem and need to have dependable transport.

        Also, where to report these issues? BBB, National Highway ?
        Any BMW corporate office? How to locate those emails or addresses?

        Please help, anyone….. Thank you.

    • My 2004 Cooper transmission died on me 2 years ago, with absolutely no warning! I had 80k miles on it.

      I was heartbroken when i found out that it would cost me almost $7,000 to replace. I had to take a $5,000 loan from a family member to get a new one installed. When I spoke to the powers that be at Mini USA, they said they would contact my dealer and look into it. I was given no resolution… only that I could defer a few payments due to my expense, but still had to come up with a monthy car payment anyway. I am outraged and in the process of getting a lawyer. I love BMW and loved my Mini, but I will never buy another Mini again. I do feel like the CVT should have been recalled and I will stop at nothing to get reimbursed for my expenses.
      I still owe a fortune on this car. If anyone else has an 04 mini with this problem, I’d love to hear your story. I understand the CVTs are no longer being used. It would be nice if BMW would just own up to their mistakes.

      • I bought mine used, out of warranty. I have only 62,000 miles, and the transmission is going belly-up. Can we band together and sue for a recall? I can’t pay that price for a new or rebuilt transmission. As someone previously pointed out, if it were damaged similarly in an accident, it would be considered totaled. If anyone thinks a class action suit is possible, I’d be interested.

      • I am in….I just found this site and the consumer affairs site a couple weeks back and there are so many of us that have had the same problem. There is a long line of problems with the Mini from the trasmission going out to the automatic steering just catching fire! I have contacted an attorney and am in need of getting together a band of people to move this thing forward! Is anyone else interested?

      • I just started having problems with my 04 mini base. Recently, I believe because of the cold, It has been a hassle to start in the morning. Not starting the first couple times or stalling on me. Once I get it started, no problems. Recently it has been feeling sluggish in the mornings. Usually just the first time I drive it during the day it doesn’t shift in 2nd gear ( this is while its set in auto ). I haven’t drove much in manual, but I tried switching over anyway. I just don’t understand how to shift in the mini-cooper. Could someone, anyone, give me advice on how to fix this problem or at least tell me what the problem is? Also I need to know how to shift because it always seems like I’m in the wrong gear. I really don’t want to kill my tranny by being ignorant.
        Thank you

      • I’m very disappointed with my 2003 automatic mini cooper. I just have a problem yesterday when my husband turn the engine on and put to reverse gear the stall. I never dream that mini cooper do this to us. I thought is reliable car but I’m wrong. I’m so upset..

      • just to let you know, CVT is one transmission but also they use another transmission from 2004-maxima also fits 2003- new beatle volks.

        automatic transmission sop in Tijuana Mexico
        the costo to repair CVT on mini coopers are around $2000.00 dlls. with 1 year wuarranty. (in mexico)

    • I am from Belfast N.I. I only got100yds out of the dealership when it, an 04 cooper auto, would not go up the gears. An “X” was next to the D on the display, this is not listed in the manual. The dealer took the car back to BMW Belfast, they are baffled. Has anyone else had the “X”

  7. 2003 mini shut down on me going up a hill !!!! what a problem that coud have been. I bought my mini new and have had the engine light on forever even after i leave the dealership it flashes back on….but, the popping noise and just not moving blew me doors off!!!!! today i did some research and to my disappointment have seen that not only did my trans blow but everyone else will face this problem real soon… usa your company needs to be the bigger guy and help out your customers and stop feeding bmw’s fat pocket book!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I AGREE!!! this is the same thing that happened to me! uphill and all same year and everything! i have the 6speed manual @58k miles

    • Wise man. A poor decision on my part. And I researched! Will never buy another, and will offload this one. A pity, because when it ran well, it ran very, very well.

  8. I too have a 2003 Mini whose transmission failed out of warrantee (it’s actually my son’s). The transmission started to whine/grind, especially in low gears, at around 34000 miles, around January of this year. At that point, it was out of warrantee (my son doesn’t drive that much or that hard) and so I took it to a local mechanic that I trust. He confirmed that the transmission was shot, and not knowing that this seemed to be a common issue, I had him replace it.

    Now that I found out how common this seems to be, I called the local dealership (Motorwerks Mini in Minneapolis, the only dealer in town, and where I bought the car), and 866-ASK-MINI, and they both basically told me there was nothing they could do, and claimed that they had not heard about this problem.

    I filed a complaint with the NTHSA over the phone (they’re sending it to me via regular mail to sign), will probably end up making a complaint to the BBB, and join class action suit if one gets started.

    The money I’m out hurts, but what I’m more concerned about is if this replaced transmission is likely to fail in another 35000 miles. I can’t afford to do this again, and I’m wondering if I should sell the car while it’s still running OK.

    • DEAR PETE,


    • Ok Lets get a class action suit moving who knows the Best Lawyer in this country or where the cArs are built m”’!,,$&$$$&&$&$&&&$88$8@$$)7@78(&7’hbv,jinn,ngngfcgmhbjjnvc;!;)??&$these are curse words and more to come if I find out more problems with the 2002 mini I bought from an e bay shady dealer/broker who molested this car. sad day when I first drove toward Miami fuse box melted let me stranded in 100 degree weather—– next drove one mile the power steering busted like driving a few ton rock disgusting. You got it—- more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ then after that took me over a week to get back in that car be brave I said I am being serious the car breaks down again this is shit( only drove another mile to town and then lost power and tried with all I had to get home ! NO REVERSE MANUAL ,it is a stupid car and exxxx pensive Foolish engineering car has 88,000 only under 300 have I put on the odometer.

      • Well you did buy a car on eBay, did you have a mechanic look over it before you bought it? Did it come with any warranty? If the slightest thing looks dodgy about a seller chances are they’re dodgy. Just saying.

  9. I purchased my Mini Cooper in 2004 and have had nothing but problems. Not only have I gone through three clutches, but I have also had the same transmission problems that everyone else has talked about. My transmission went out at 55,000 (right after warranty) and they informed me that this was completely normal. Overall, I have put over TEN THOUSAND dollars of repair into this car and I am just about fed up. Sure it gets great gas millage, but when I have to spend almost double what the car is worth in repairs I hardly think it is worth it. My MINI is actually in the shop right now because the AC went out. In Houston at the beginning of summer is the perfect time for that to happen, but don’t worry… I have the $1,800 it costs to have it fixed just lying around. Ugh.

    • I also owned a 2004 Mini with a standard 5 speed transmission that failed at 39,000 miles. The car was over 5 years old so it was out of warranty. It cost me almost $5000 for a new transmission. The dealership in Freeport NY gave me $1,000 off the price. I understand the automatic transmission was a problem on these cars but why would a standard transmission fail at under 40,000 miles? It just doesn’t make any sense. I would love to hear from other people that had problems with the 5 speed transmission.


  10. So disappointing to have heard and read about so many people having problems. BMW took good care of us in the past on our BMW, but not on this issue. Just bought my wife an Acura TL as a “thank you” to BMW for leaving us stranded on my car (MCS with the CVT). Our 5-series served us well, but that doesn’t make up for the bad step-child feeling we received with the Mini.

  11. I have a 2006 mini cooper.
    Auto- 6 speed.
    When using the paddle shifter…..the gear seems to grab twice before actually engaging.
    When in regular “drive” mode….the tranny seems confused on which gear it should be in.
    Leaving the stop light requires a 2 second throttle mash….before it all engages. Lightning fast off the light……i don’t think so.
    Any suggestions..comments??
    Of…and speaking of the mini……..anyone elses car gets tremendous rock chips??
    I run into a bee on the highway….and i get a chip.
    Anyone else??

  12. I just bought a 2008 Cooper convertible with a CVT new from the Mini dealer in Scottsdale, AZ. Is this the same CVT that all of you are having problems with or is it a different version? I heard that Mini made some transmission changes around 2006-07, but can’t find any info on it. Wish I would have found this website earlier.

    • I’m also just finding this site an got a 2008 last wk? Did you get any responses about the changes? mine had 47000 miles on it. No problems yet except an Oder from the vents which I’m trying to find out about.

  13. I’ve just purchased an ’03 Mini with a CVT,it threw the chain,our local Mini dealer is on strike,gonna see if dealer in SF can help,chains etc not available,pretty weird-

  14. I have a 2002 MINI Cooper with 68,000 miles on it. The CVT transmission went out on it last week. (I was almost killed in traffic when the car died in 5 o’clock traffic!!) Sandia MINI here in Albuquerque wants almost $7000. to put a new one in. So, I brought it to a local transmission shop and they can’t get the transmission from MINI any cheaper than the dealership will charge me for it ($5200. plus). So, I’m *&^$^&^%ed. I used to be one of the biggest MINIs fans around, but this is just wrong. I’m done with them forever — back to reliable Toyotas for me!!

    • My daughter’s 2002 Mini Cooper with the Tiptronic automatic transmission just grenaded itself at barely 65,000 miles. The car has been serviced since new by the selling dealership at the proper intervals, etc. They gave her a price of $8000 to replace the transmission. My research so far has found no one appears to be rebuilding these yet, and all five of the third party repair shops told the same story – they buy the tranny from Mini for $5572, and it is 15 hours labor to dismantle most of the front end of the car to get the old one out and the new one in. Some owners reported getting significant discounts from BMW covering part of the cost, so we are now waiting for a reply to our request for support from the dealer…

      Having been a HUGE BMW supporter, and owner, for most of the past 28 years, I am hoping they will step up to the plate and honor the reputation and integrity of the BMW name. If they do not, I have already decided I am quickly going to become an EX-BMW supporter, sell or burn my remaining BMW products, and focus my considerable marketing skills on educating the public about the death of the BMW legend!

      Wishing you success with yours!

      • Update to my post of 8/31/09 about daughter’s 2002 Mini CVT failure…within 3 hours of receiving the letter to the GM of Long Beach Mini, they contacted her and agreed to cover all parts costs and she will pay labor only. I wish all of you success and hope you will work with your dealers and cite the precedent being set by a number of dealers covering this!

      • Hello, I can relate 100%. I was driving on a 4 lane freeway when my tranny gave out on me and thought I was about to get in the worst accident potentially costing my life. I had to cross 4 lanes to get to the right shoulder and came close to being hit after crossing each lane.

        I am going to Mini tomorrow to see what will happen. I”m pissed off bc I have complained about this very issue twice already and have proof on my receipts from the visits.

        What exactly did you do? any chance I can reach you if they are not responsive.

        I had the worst panic attack of my life and cannot drive a car that I’m scared of. I’m still until 50K and covered by warranty for another 1500 miles.

        this is bS…they are messing w/ peoples lives!

      • Cappy, would you please let us know what BMW dealerhip or
        office did you contact?
        Having 04MINI with barely 40k on it, timely maintenance, AVT,
        yet cannot get past the only local MINI/BMW who claim they have never heard of any problems. Their price was similar in your original
        email, total about 8,000 dol.
        Maybe we are barking at a wrong tree. Cannot afford this price tag,
        looking for any help we could get.
        Please let us know.

    • you say you almost died in traffic when your MINI trans stopped working so you want to go to a toyota?

      When your MINI messed up it stopped. When toyotas mess up they run full open throttle into the cars in front of you.

  15. I had the same problem with the CVT on my former 2002 MC at 32,000. I also had the power steering clutch fail and a bad battery caused the entire electrical system to die. Look, the cars look really cute, they are fun to drive, I’ve never truly enjoyed a vehicle when it works so much in my entire life, HOWEVER, I’ve never had a car breakdown so much, take so long to get repaired, cost so much to repair (they told me $8,100 for the tranny alone), or get such bad customer service as you do from virtually any Mini dealership (I’ve dealt with a few). A word of warning to anyone thinking about buying one, you WILL have problems, it WILL cost a pretty penny and you WILL get LOUSY service. It’s just a fact, doesn’t matter where you live, CA, AZ, PA, FL anywhere in the country. I’ve done a ton of research on this. Just be ready to invest in that car and keep a Dodge Neon or something reliable as a spare so you have something to drive during all that time your Mini is in the shop!

  16. Just tagging along with all of the other commenters and am in agreement with the transmission problems… I have a 2002 Mini Automatic, as of 2008 it has about 46,000 miles. Prior to 2008 I have had no major problems except for a dead battery.

    So my story begins when I went to a local repair shop (not a dealership) to get my window regulator fixed (not a big deal), and then they told me I had fluid leaking from my transmission. Got the cap fixed that was leading to the leak, thinking I was really lucky and had not blown out my transmission.

    After the leak was fixed, my car was suddenly ‘hard shifting’ meaning that the gears weren’t engaging properly and the car would lurch forward when you pressed on the gas due to a delay in timing. So, the local shop fixed that issue by replacing the inhibitor switch (which they deemed had been burned out from the fluid leak).

    I get my car back still thinking I was lucky that I was only $1500 into the problem and everything seemed to be resolved. Well, a week after having my car back the EP gear status comes on which won’t let you drive over 3000 rpms because you’re probably about to do damage to the transmission.

    So, this time I go to the dealership thinking the local shop didn’t reset the computer system correctly. I spend $500 at the dealership to have them reprogram the CVT and put in new transmission fluids (again, just in case the local guys did it wrong), and the outcome I get from the dealership “CAR SEEMS TO BE FINE NOW, BUT NOT SURE HOW LONG TRANSMISSION WILL LAST.”

  17. If you have an aftermarket shop change your CVT fluids bring allong the owners manual and insist on them using the right fluids if they tell you there all the same move on to another shop simple as that.

    • Hi there, if you are collecting names for this class action suit, I want to join. My mini’s 03′ transmission just blew at approx. 68,000. I CAN’T believe this. This is unbelievable and should never happen at this mileage. I want in. Please contact.

      • Same here with 03 cvt tranmission; failed at 41,000. I have had past dealings with the Universal City MINI dealership – all bad news/poor service/major bs. I had an independent shop fix the transmission. If there is any attorney considering/filing a class action, I want to become a member of the class. Please contact me.

    • add me to the list .2003 mini tranny is just about to bite the dust ep code showing up on gear indicator and suddenly downshifts on it’s own .

    • Bill,
      we live in Missouri and own MC 2004 w low mileage and CVT transmission that’s failing.

      How many interested parties in Missouri would join class-action against
      the car maker?
      We already complained to the corporate offices and other parties a d were to,d that they haven’t heard of anyone having a problem.

      Thank you.

  18. I have a 2002 Mini Cooper, I had problems since I bought it, first its the airbag light, then its the aircon fan, then its the shocks & spring, then its the electronic fuel regulator, then the EP keeps appearing, and finally its the transmission, it keeps on high rev, but no power, then the garage people told me the car’s transmission will have a week life, so before having to dump another $7K on the car, I would get rid of it…. fun car to own, but too much trouble….

  19. I am interested in a mini automatic, can anyone tell me what year and model I should go with. I think it’s 06 and later Cooper S, is this the one.

  20. Hard to believe I loved my 2002 mini too!! Just got the bad-CVT tranny news last week and same as others here; out of warranty, 50,000 mi. I’ve kept up with maintenance at required intervals, etc. Not sure what I could have done to prevent.
    Dealership (P&W) of Shadyside in Pgh. gave me the $7K+ figure for labor & transmission to replace, without a wince— as if it were another another maintenance issue, but said they hadn’t had the problem with others. Took to a local experienced transmission mechanic who can’t get the part to repair it internally because BMW doesn’t support those replacement parts— only rebuilt transmissions for 5K+ Disappointed in German engineering in Harmony, PA.

    If there’s a lawsuit in the works, count me in.
    Jonnie Ferrainola
    P.O. Box 27, Harmony, PA 16037
    Phone (724)-452-0869

    • Jonnie-

      Was yours a Silk Green ’02? If so, we almost bought your car at a salvage dealership in Springtown PA- until we ran a Carchex inspection, which found the vehicle to be “inoperative”. It also had 50,000 on it so I thought it might be yours.


  21. Same issue here, they fail at about 36,000. I am on my second unit (5 speed manual, 2004 Mini Cooper). The first one was cover under warranty but the second one which had a 2 yr with unlimited miles warranty just failed at 76,000. They don’t want to hear it, I guess they don’t care about customer loyalty like people with Toyotas. They keep buying them for a reason, quality and service.

  22. Having some issues now with my 2004 Mini Auto (non-S).. Pulled codes P1698 and P1787. The engine slips under heavy acceleration and shifts hard….
    Out of warranty of course.. 45k miles. Went from 30+mpg to about 21mpg now… somethings definitely wrong.

    SOOOO… My guess is I’m pretty much hosed as well.

  23. Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY A MINI!!! I have a 2003 mini cooper with 50,000 miles, and the transmission is being replaced for a SECOND time! These cars are a piece of crap, and the dealership told me it was my fault for driving too rough. My ass! I am spreading the word as much as possible and am also looking into a lawsuit. This is absolutely ridiculous.

    • same here, i could write a book…..
      please let me know of any class action law suit. there was never even any attempt to right this wrong. there has never been a re-call issued. so here it is, mini lovers put their hard earn dollars into a great looking and fun car. with an unknown, but absolute certainty, the cvt transmission (ours is an automatic) mfg by zf industries will fail. there is no other interchangeable
      transmission. and since the cvt tranny is no longer being made. the only available tranny is, of course, a re-built (re-manufactured) cvt. by zf industries. this comes with a warranty of two (2) years and a price tag ranging from approx $4,600 to $8,00. so that’s the option i’ve been given.
      does this sound like extortion?? p.s. so far, no rep. is returning my calls.
      i just want this to be handled with some intigrity.
      my daughter stills loves mini cooper. we thought this was the best car ever…..until this happened. she is still holding out hope.

    • I am an attorney from Florida with the same story with my 05 piece of crap. Tranny went out early and dealer says too bad so sad. Infuriates me! Definitely think there is enough to for a class against mini. If truly interested contact me to discuss.


      • My email dear
        Lawyers—- —–3strikes and the 2002mini has too many exxxpensive problems. I have driven it less the 300 miles and I may need a new manual trans. I drove 1 mile after new power steering pump and the car broke again. who is going to sue MINI COOPER? ALL these customers please help!

      • Chris pleas add me to your lawsuit. I just bought and 03 mini and transmission went out after driving it for 2 weeks! I loved it and but when I started looking for the trans I found all these complaints about the exact same thing! 951-906-8385

      • I have a 2007 mini that almost from day 1 has had a clunking noise under the car when I hit very small divits in the road, sunroof stuck (took five visits to the dealer to fix), catalytic converter was recalled (had it replace within first 500 miles), and the worst burning smell coming from under the car (not an interior smell because it only smells when the windows are down or when you get out of the car–and not a smell from the engine). We think the smell is a clutch problem, but it does not appear to slip or act like it is a problem–it’s just the burning smell is so strong–in and out of the dealer 5 times for all and they say they cannot replicate the problem. I’m waiting for a call right now from Corporate who I have already spoken with 4 times. Tim Brown at Corporate offered me one of two options: new car or they will fix at no cost. Well, it just went into SF after talking with him, and they say they cannot find the problem still. So, not sure what will happen after this, but after reading all the horrible things other people have to say, I do not have my hopes very high. I also think I don’t want another mini. Will be interested to know if you get a class action suit. I’d rather just sue them myself directly, but don’t have the money. Gail

  24. I am the owner of a 2004 mini-cooper automatic; 73k miles. Car has not been touched by any other mechanic other than BMW. I did not purchased the extended warranty and now find myself paying 5,000.00 USD to have transmission fixed. IF there is a class action suit count me in .

    add me to the list.

    E-mail is

  25. I also have problem with my mini … If there is a class action suit count me also in . … ADD me to the list !! My mail is : , mail me and I will give you all details . I am living in Greece , but I have also BIG Problem with the BMW company !!!

  26. 2005 Mini One, only serviced at official BMW garages, regular maintenence, 32,ooo miles, transnission shifting hard, delayed acceleration, same issues as others have described – garage told me today i need a new transmission. I am in Switzerland, but add me to the lawsuit list, i am pissed, I cant afforf this insanley high, unfair bill. Companies that do not supprot their customers with problems like this cause life to SUCK. Let’s get them!

  27. waaaaaaa
    what a bunch of crybabies
    I have 140,000 miles on my 03 cooper and yes I am replacing my second transmission at my own expense and yes it does suck but Im not going to trash talk the mini overall because of this. Im replacing it because it is worth it. and Im replacing it with a cooper s six speed because it is worth it. and it is costing me alot of money and it is worth it.
    so get real, if you dont like your car then sell it and go buy a better car if you can find one.
    I LOVE MY MINI and I look forward to driving it another 140,000 miles and putting another $10,000 into it in that time Im sure. or I could go buy another car and try to drive it that far and pray, cross my fingers, knock on wood, rub a rabbits foot, hire a witch doctor, etc, that nothing breaks on it.

    • Dear bobby,

      You can’t seriously be calling these people cry babies can you? A car’s transmission should last longer than 3 or 4 years, and definitely should not fall apart after 50,000 miles. I am glad that you got so many miles out of yours. I’m sure everyone one of these people wishes they were you. We all love(d) our Minis, but at what cost? Poor customer service and $5,000 every 3 years? Be reasonable.


    • good for you, but did you notice (?) some people can’t even get a dealership to do repairs–I’ve been offically ignored by both dealerships within 50 miles of my home. Wouldn’t you be upset if you could NOT get service even out of warranty at your own full expense?

    • Bobby, count yourself very fortunate and do not
      accuse others of having a bad luck of buing those
      many MINIs that could be extremely costly

  28. Buying an ’06 Mini with the CVT and 34k+ miles from our local dealer. Comes with the balance of the 50K/4yr new car warranty and another ‘certified’ 100K warranty. These should be good for 5-6 years worth of driving for us. What do you think?

  29. So, my 2002 mini with 40,000 kilometres just died in September. No problem, I thought. All cars need repairs. So, i plunked down 1,500. And got it repaired. Then yesterday, it stops in the middle of the road. The repair will be 3,900. I have always had the car regularly and properly maintained. I don’t drive the car hard. I am talking my friends out of buying the Mini. As others have said, it is the most expensive car you will ever own. Too bad. Because I was the Mini’s biggest fan. And the sad part, is Mini doesn’t care that they are losing customers.

  30. Pingback: Anything positive? - MINI2 - MINI Forum

  31. my first mini 2005 automactic did not even go 10 miles when i started having problems with it , finally they replaced the car with a new 2006 cooper. about 10000 miles my car would jump into cvt. have brought it back 3 times , never have corrected the problem. no one has ever mentioned the transmission. the m/l is always on in the dashboard. the shift is starting to jump over again. my car is at 40,000 and my warranty is till 50000 . anyone have suggestions.

  32. I have a 2004 mini cooper with 44,000 miles on it. I just heard about all the problems and i read all the comments. I’m not sure what steps to take, how will i not be next? The only thing i can think of would be extending my warranty if they will let me. I’ve had zero problems only the dealership has touched my car. I love my car and i too considered myself for the last almost 5 years mini’s biggest fan. I’m so sad for all of you. I feel like mini people should ban together and get this problem re-called so no one else including myself will have to have broken hearts. and broken mini’s.
    yours, not f’d yet

  33. I bought a new 2003 Mini Cooper with a 50K warranty in June 2003. While under warranty and receiving recommended maintenance through the dealer, the car required repair of the driver’s seat which was frozen in the reclined position. As soon as the warranty expired, the brake light indicator began flashing and I took it immediately to the dealer. I was told the entire brake system needed replacement for $1600 (not sure why indicator only tells when brakes are totally shot, or why most recent service check had not shown worn pads). Later, the driver’s side window failed and that cost $600 to replace. Then, I was told the struts needed replacement to the tune of $1600. My male friends who are mechanically inclined and/or engineers said that one would need to be doing stunts in a car to need that kind of repair at 58K miles. Later, the air conditioning system died which cost $1400 to replace (at 60 K miles). The automatic door lock on the driver’s side does not work and Lord knows how much that repair will cost. Now at 69K, the transmission is going bad. My present mechanic (cheaper and more reliable than dealership) says replacement of transmission and clutch with remanufactured system will be >$4000. This is an outlandish amount of repair and repair cost for a $19,000 car with <70K mileage. I have had 2 previous Hondas that were cheaper than the MINI and never needed a clutch or transmission. My son drove my ’95 Honda CVCC until last month and it had 200K miles. I will never buy another MINI, or BMW for that matter, based on this experience. I will be sure to discourage others from buying one. I hope a class action suit is formed.

    • The exact same thing happened to me. The passanger seat is stuck either to the front or back…the passanger door window doesnt come down….and i also bought my car on july 2003 new! and have taken care of it greatly.

      I at 52k am starting to see the SERVICE ENGINE SOON ligth come up! After reading all these comments I think my MINI is coming to an end. I took it to the mechanic and the same thing they told me…that the electrical problems were in the transmition and that they needed to check it.

      I am not sure what I should do now…Sell it?

    • The exact same thing happened to me. The passanger seat is stuck either to the front or back…the passanger door window doesnt come down….and i also bought my car on july 2003 new! and have taken care of it greatly.

      I at 52k am starting to see the SERVICE ENGINE SOON ligth come up! After reading all these comments I think my MINI is coming to an end. I took it to the mechanic and the same thing they told me…that the electrical problems were in the transmition and that they needed to check it.

      I am not sure what I should do now…Sell it?


  34. I am currently having issues with my MINI. I bought it used 2.5 years ago and just the other day I found out my transmission is failing. It’s so disappointing because I LOVE my car! However, I was smart enough to have purchased an extended warranty! All I can say, is thank GOD! Otherwise I would have been out $7000.00+. I still love that thing and hopefully they’ll get me back to motoring in no time!

  35. I have a 2002 Mini Cooper with 112K kms on it. As soon as my warranty ran out – one month after the warranty ran out – my radiator went – $900 CAD. Almost one year to that date, my power steering pump went – $1,400 CAD. Now, one year after that, I need a new transmission – $5,000 CAD plus labour.

    I love my car. It is a fun car to drive, but it’s too bad because I will never get a Mini again and I certainly will not encourage others to do so.

    I realize that repairs and maintenance are part of the package when you decide to own a car, but when you take the amount of problems that I have had with this vehicle and add it to the extremely terrible customer service that I have received from the Mini Dealership and the fact that trying to get someone else to do work on the car and find the necessary parts is next to impossible…it is definitely a tough pill to swallow. I will certainly be going back to driving a trusty Honda!

  36. I’ve always been a big Mini fan…..until yesterday. I too have just had my transmission fail (with just over 60K miles on the car). I have a 2002 Mini with a CVT automatic transmission. I am praying that my extended warranty plan will cover the repair — but if it does not, the Mini dealer here in LA has quoted me $9,000 to have a new transmission installed! As others have mentioned, the replacement trans comes with a 2 year warranty. Two years? Is that really the length of time they are willing to back their product? I think that is absurd and clearly an admission by the company that they have a problem with these transmissions. I’m not trying to be a “cry baby” here but I do believe that ANY car should have a transmission that lasts longer than this. And some of us just don’t have unlimited funds for these very costly repairs — despite how much we enjoy the car. I have done the proper maintenance at an authorized dealer, do not drive like a wild man, and still the transmission failed without any warning. I do hope that a class action lawsuit is in the works. I think it is quite appropriate.

  37. I have been collecting names for more than a year for a class action suit after my MINI’s transmission died a couple of years ago. I now have more than 90 names. If you are interested in joining me, please write me at, and I will fill you in on what’s up. Thanks!


  38. We own a 2002 Mini Cooper and about 40k CVT Transmission started to fail, we brought it to EAST BAY MINI here in Pleasanton CA. and they did a warranty repair, temporarily just resetting the computer. The dealership had advise us to just come back anytime to get a computer reset because they are aware that there is no permanent fix to CVT Transmission design. Now that the car is out of warranty we were advise not to come back anymore, instead of resetting it we were givin a number to the Consumer Affairs, if we have any compliants. So it seems like they know its a bad transmission, rather than recalling it spend thousands of dollars they will just run you out of your warranty and wait for a lawsuit. We love our mini but BMW doesnt love there customers, I think ill pass buying an 2009 M5 or any other BMW cars.

  39. I have a 2004 Mini Cooper, manual transmission. At 57,000 miles/March of 08′ the transmission blew. The dealership covered the $9500 repair, thankfully (it was 7000 miles over warranty.) Jan 31 of 09′ this “new” transmission blew again (11 months and 10000 miles later). It has a 2 yr warranty on it and is at the dealer as we speak. I was told sometimes the oil cooler will leak and blow the transmission. Hmmmm, ever heard of warning lights? This better not be the case, no warning, no oil spots on the ground. $9500 will destroy me financially and the stupid car is only worth $10,600, right now it is considered totaled! I am already on the list for the lawsuit, but will be writing to the newspapers and media in Minneapolis. I hope BMW in Minnesota does the right thing again, I will know tomorrow. Either way, I am done with this crazy making and selling it.

    • Hi Jenny,

      I have a ’04 automatic and only 35k on my mini. and my trans just went out too. can you give me more info. on the lawsuit, i called mini of hawaii and they just pretty much said too bad, its out of warranty.


  40. Jenny,

    I’m curious how this turned out for you. The transmission (manual) on my son’s 2003 Mini failed at 34,000 miles. Not knowing (at the time) that these cars have had such transmission troubles, and as it was out of warrantee, I had my local mechanic replace it. Having since learned how widespread these problems are, I talked with Motorwerks Mini, but they have told me tough luck.

    I’m currently gathering all the info I can to try to get a class-action attorney here in town interested. Winnie from the Bay area passed on the names she had collected after she was unsuccessful in getting a lawyer interested out there. I don’t know if I’ll have any better luck, but if people want to send me their details (model year, manual/automatic, mileage at failure, and some kind of contact info) my email is

  41. I was going to but a Mini this weekend after reading about the CVT problems no way in hell will I get one. Thanks for the heads up. I had a 635CSI BMW years ago with no problems but for what it cost it should be very good quality.

  42. My 2002 MINI Cooper base 5-speed sure put a smile on my face. Exquisite style, laser-like agility, 34.5 mpg average in mixed city-highway driving…It was the perfect mix of fun and economy commuter. Then, with 66K miles an apparent clutch failure required a tow to the MINI doctor. Diagnosis: Complete replacement of clutch assembly, throw-out, flywheel…$2,650. Wow. But wait there’s more. Wheels still not turning. Diagnosis: Transmission needs replacement…another $4,650. You gotta be kidding me. Listen, I’m 47. I’ve never even spun the tires in this car. I put a total of 258K miles on two Integras without having a clutch adjusted, alone replaced. Come on…A clutch and transmission failure at 66,000 miles requiring a $7,300 fix? Count me in on the class action.

  43. 04 Cooper automatic. Love the car. No problems but after hearing about some frightening transmission stories, I’m glad I invested in the extedended warranty contract.

  44. Well…here we go again. My 02 MINI just blew up it’s 5 speed transmission yesterday with 75000 km on the clock. My car has been very well maintained and never been abused at all. I’m a automotive master technician with over 20 years of international working experience and I definitely do know my way around cars, especially my own cars.
    It is also safe to say, that when is comes to cars, I have seen it all. So I wasn’t very surprised about the fact that something broke on the car (it happens).
    However, once I got over the initial shock and the feeling that “I will never buy a $#@*^% German car again”, I started doing some research to see what my options are.
    What I have discovered made me a bit mad… actually furious.
    I found this article about the development of the MINI and some of the decisions that were made, prior the car went in to production.

    “BMW had wanted the car to have a Getrag gearbox, but we (the original UK engineers) put in the R65 gearbox instead, because it was $170/car cheaper”

    “Because the design of the front-wheel drive Rover 75 had already been finalized around a new-generation Getrag gearbox – BMW had been patronizing this German specialist for more than three decades – the proposed link-up was logical, but the British didn’t see it that way. The Getrag box, which would be all-new, would necessarily be costly and take time to develop.

    The R65, on the other hand, was an existing major component, which was already being manufactured on the Longbridge site, and was in large scale use in other Rover Group front-wheel-drive cars. Originally a PSA (Peugoet-Citroen) design, it was well-proven, and well thought of.

    Unhappily, it took Rover Group ages to convince BMW that this should be done, as there seemed to be a growing culture in Germany which (to alter George Orwell) stated: ‘German engineering Good, British engineering Bad.’ To many over-worked British engineers, it seemed, they saw an attitude which suggested that the only acceptable method was the BMW method.

    On this occasion, though, Chris Lee (MINI Product Leader ’96-’99) and his team stuck to it’s convictions, produced rafts of evidence regarding costs, performance and service experience. Back-to-back tests, evaluations on the road and comparisons of torque capacities were all made. In addition, major improvements to the R65’s change quality, a reduction of free play and healthy attention to warranty claim records were all needed before Rover won the argument.”

    Now you have it. BMW wanted a quality Getrag transmission to be installed in the car but it seams that ” (the original UK engineers)” decided otherwise.

    GREAT and THANKS A LOT! anyone who knows anything about cars will testify, that not very many good things had come out of England when it comes to public transportation and design.
    Their cars and motorcycles are a disaster and littered with mechanical and electrical problems. But wait it gets better, this transmission is “Originally a PSA (Peugoet-Citroen) design”, OH YEAH! now even the French are involved.

    If I wanted to have a BLOODY British or French car, I would’ve bought one. The reason I didn’t, because I like to drive my vehicles, and not to sit on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck to arrive or spend my early retirement savings on car repairs.

    Maybe we should ask MR Chris Lee (MINI Product Leader ’96-’99) to help us with the cost of the replacement transmissions, since apparently he worked very hard so that we can have this “engineering marvel” installed in our cars.

    Now we are also screwed, because the replacement transmissions are rebuilt units, the same brand and probably/most likely will brake again.
    So while others will need to spend a $1000 for clutch replacement we
    R65 gearbox owners will spend $5000 for the clutch/transmission combo #2
    at every 40000-75000 km.
    I’m so happy…I could cry!

    I think the British should stick to making fish&chips and tea and the French to make revolutions or je nais se quoi because they are good at that,but
    PLEASE leave the decisions and Automobile design to others with better engineering skills and judgment.


  45. Count me in on the class action.
    my 2003 automatic mini cooper tranny went out .No warning lights or service engine soon light came on so i had no clue to what this problem under my hood was until i had it towed to a shop where the guy specializes on mini’s and he told me it was my transmission and total cost w/parts and labor would cost me $7,400.00.Ouch!! so now i’m gonna look into a loan to get the money to fix it.

  46. I’m just amazed that so many MC owners are experiencing the same problems with the transmission as I am. I have an 04 mini and recently found that my transmission needs replacement due to problems with the clutch. I only have 58000 miles on the car! I’m frustrated like most people on this site with the fact that Mini Cooper does not take responsibility for its defective product. Once loyal MC owners are are now forced to spend thousands of dollars ranging from $4000 to $7000 in repairs. This fact is ridiculous and sadly disappointing.

  47. Thank God for this website!! I was on the verge of buying a new Mini, but am now amazed at the level of torture that all of you are going through. The Mini dealer here in Atlanta had a terribly arrogant attitude, and new ‘nothing’ about any service/quality issues with the Mini. I am stunned by the dollar figures y’all are paying to keep these cars on the road. Long live my WRX.

  48. 2002 MINI Cooper 5 speed. 83, 000 miles. heard a ticking sound from the engine…brought it in for the 15K maint and had them look at the “sound”. So they did the $400 maint and then they have the balls to tell me the gearbox is shot…and I need a new transmission for anywhere between 8 and 9 thousand US dollars.

    Sure i know I purchased a “first year model” but I figured, BMW is backing these cars…BMW…a major name in automotive design and performance. However, after reading this posting board and countless others, BMW/MINI is nothing more then a high priced Yugo with extra airbags.

    I loved that car, I was proud to drive it, but hated the fact that for nearly everything that went wrong, and there were countless items that did…(I mean who the hell needs to get the passender seat replaced when it comes of the friggen track?) I seriously will not partake in their scam(s) any longer. They can keep the car in their garage. I don’t want it back. Maybe they can melt it down and call the scrap metal dealer. Its all that car is worth.

  49. SAGA OF THE 06′
    I have a 06′ mini with a 5speed… 64,000 mi. the 2nd gear sincro has taken a dump so it grinds into gear unless you double clutch it at 10mph. i called the dealer $4700 for replacement including a clutch kit. Not having received my portion of the Obummers bail out money yet, i called MINI ASSIST to see if i could get a break on the cost,they told me to take the car in to the dealer, have them inspect it and call ASSIST while their and MINI said they would review it and make a decision on what THEY would do to ASSIST me in paying for the repairs.. The mini is out of warranty. So in discussion with both Mini financial and mini assist I gave them 3 options 1.assist in paying for the trans 2. turn the mini over for a new one 3. I give the car back to mini and tell them to shove it!!!! Its a lease there’s little they can do to collect the balance owed …in my case $18,000. So we’ll see when i take it to the dealer on the 31st. I will report the results ASAP here on this site. ALSO if there any law suits include me in…email me ,,,

  50. 2003 Mini Cooper Transmission 4/8/09

    Sadly; The Tranny on my Mini died last night on the way home. Mileage on car is 74,000 miles. I left the Restaurant around 10:30 PM last night to follow Wife home. I went past our vacant Rental house and started up the hill, when all of a sudden it was like a bunch of log chains being dragged thru a 55 gallon drum, followed by a complete loss of power.

    With no traffic; I was able to let the car back up in a tight turn, with the idea of getting it headed back down the hill. Half way thru the turn; The car locked up and would not move! Stuck in the middle of the road; I opened the door, got out and started pushing the car, and was able to get it rolling & jump back in (I know; Risky), and timed it with brakes to go thru the green light and coast up to the driveway of our Rental house. It was clunking all the way, and it stopped short of getting fully on the driveway.

    I was supposed to take the car in for service last week, but cancelled out due to something else. Guess that was a mistake. Grrrrrrrrr! This is going to be expensive. All we need right now!

    The dealer called to say it would run around $8,000.00 just for the Transmission! They might be able to submit a claim to Mini and have part of it covered. Geeze!


  51. 2004 Mini. Catastrohic clutch failure at 10K miles which required replacement of a number of components. At 50K miles a seal failed which meant replacement of the clutch again. I felt that seal failure was caused by bad work during first repair, but Mini did not agree. At 65K miles clutch failed. While checking it out after replacement, it was realized that the transmission was also failing. There are too many things which go wrong with Minis to believe that they are well-built. Leather seats came apart at $35K miles. Passenger seat doesn’t work correctly. Sun roof won’t open anymore. Locks and doors freeze shut. Automatic opener no longer works on driver side. Speaker on driver’s side went bad and had to be replaced. Drive in GPS system went bad and had to be replace. I have to admit that the brakes lasted longer than expected, but then the dealer wanted $2,100 to replace them. This is $500-$700 repair anywhere and, sure enough, a local mechanic did the work in that price range. My wife and I love the thought of a Mini, but the reality is that I wouldn’t think of buying another. Superb handling. Nice dealer. Too many problems which cost too much to fix.

  52. Gerry,
    We own a 2005 Mini Cooper w/ automatic transmission–I’m assuming is a CVT. I would like the info pertaining to parts and how to do the transmission changeout now, so I can plan for the inevitable. Meanwhile, we will stick ridgidly to the service schedule.

  53. My CVT just failed after 60,000 miles to the tune of $8100 in repairs plsu $1500 to fix the power steering. That’s nearly a totaled car. And I am not under warranty anymore. I am calling MINI corporate today to seek assistance and will be chronicalling this on my blog It’s my understanding that they do not acknowledge the lack of reliabilty in these transmissions and rarely help with the cost of repairs. I am hoping a few extra readers might stop by my blog – the more people I can get to avoid MINI for not acknowledging this problem, the better! I really hope they step up to the plate and help me out with this.

  54. i really wish i had read this 3 months ago…before i bought a 2003 mini…i now have a car that wont shift out of first gear…

  55. Add my name to the list of unhappy Mini Cooper owners. As someone said earlier, it is inexpensive to purchase a Mini, but expensive to maintain it.

    I have a 2003 Mini and within the first 2 years, the clutch had to be replaced. 3 years later, a new transmission had to be installed.

    Oh and the “check engine” light has stayed on for 2 years, despite repeated visits to the dealer to diagnose the problem.

    The Mini is a cute car to look at and fun to drive, but unreliable and expensive to maintain. We thought the BMW/Mini connection meant we were getting German engineering and reliability – instead we got an attractive Yugo! I would not recommend a Mini to anyone

  56. Guys, has anyone seen these problems on the 2008 Mini Cooper S

    I’m a 2008 Mini Cooper S owner.

    I’m nervous! The 2008 Mini Cooper S is the 1st year of a new model type and I’m really praying that this problem has been fixed.

    Any insights would be appreciated.

    • I have a 2008 S with 23,000 mi. on it. 2 months ago I had a transmission problem and am now wondering if it is leading to the failure. On starting, I put the gear in reverse and heard a loud clunk. Then the clunk happened when I put it in 1st each time. The car wouldn’t go faster than 25mph with the engine racing like it’s going to blow up. I think the car wouldn’t shift out of 1st and the engine just raced. The engine and transmission lights went on. The dealer just reset the warning lights and gave me the car back. One month later it did it again although after about 10 minutes it came out of it and started to shift again. Today my engine light came on and wouldn’t go off so my car is in the dealership.

      Does this transmission problem sound like the problems with the older cars?
      THanks for any feedback here.

  57. Guys, One more thing to check out. CTV is a national news channel in Canada. They picked up on the Mini Issues. Follow the link to the “consumer Reports” news clip.

    Note: Looks like BMW is now offering to pay a % of the repair cost…well atleast for those who filled a complaint with CTV news.

  58. I purchased an 04 (in 09) with 38,000 miles (should have known with such low mileage there must have been a problem) mini with a CVT trans. After the first week I had it, it seamed to not shift out of 1st gear. (or what ever the CVT is) I would have to drive it around the parking lot, at 5mph until it would kick into gear, or get going again. I was so scared after reading up (which was done after the purchase, then after the problem 1 day later) that I sold the car immediately. Someone must have known this car had this problem before selling it to me. I think all owners of the CVT should be reimbursed, and then the car taken off the market! I loved the feel of the car, and it fit me like a glove. The worse thing is, now I can’t find a car that makes me happy. I just wanted my MINI, but one that would work!! 😦
    I am terrified to get another, even with a manual transmission.

  59. I have a mini ,”cvt sickness” wont shiftinto 3rd. gearat 50 tranny cries at 50mph. roar like a lion.Is there a fluid check dipstick.please can you help?…

  60. I am wanting to put a post up as I have had good luck in having an apparent \”transmission problem\” fixed just recently with my 2003 mini cooper. It\’s a tip tronic one and it was bunny hopping when driving below 65km/hr and/or taking a very long time to build up speed even when i was full steeping down on the accelerator and would make a loud revving noise when a light touch was made on the accelerator. The frustrating thing was that it was only happening sometimes and it had only done 40,000 km.

    I took it to a european car specialist mechanic who seemed to have experience with mini and was told the \’valve in the transmission box was damaged\’ and the whole box needed to be replaced. A 2nd hand one would be $2000 AUD which isn\’t much but I didn\’t have the money. I consequently took it to a transmission specialist who had a look and said (in lamen terms) there was a bad connection between the transmission and car computer, it had \’lost the plot\’. He did some maintenance and took it to a BMW mechanic to get the connection fixed. It\’s been running perfectly ever since and am told there\’s now no reason why the problem should ever occur.

    I don\’t know if anyone has ever had a similar problem but I just wanted to share my story as it would be terrible to have to go through buying a new or used transmission box when it\’s not the solution.

  61. Hey I have a MINI friend that has an 05 Cooper w/ CVT that is making noises. Do you repair them? If I pull it out can I get parts? Let me know.

    • No parts, usually sealed unit. I am working on a classaction law suit and if you would like to be added email me your contact info at I too own a MINI 2005 witha failed transmission at 60k miles. I will forward you info to my attorney if you would like.

  62. Information regarding possible class action suit

    I’m a 2003 Mini owner that had failure of my 5 speed manual transmission at ~35,000 miles. After the local dealer refused to even acknowledge the high failure rate of the ZF-built manual transmissions in the 2002-2004 Minis (and of the CVT automatic transmissions in 2002-2005 Minis) I decided to do what I could to try to initiate a class action suit against BMW/Mini.

    Between my efforts and those of Winnie Poon, a Mini owner who had collected names of Mini owners with transmission failures previously, we have 75+ Mini owners (or former owners) who have had expensive transmission failures and who have expressed interest in being class members. My sense is that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Although I’m not a lawyer, I put together a legal brief of sorts and recently sent it on to a law firm here in Minneapolis that specializes in class action suits and was recommended to me. I have no idea if I will be able to get them to take up such a suit, but if you would be interested in being a potential class member and have not contacted me or Winnie before, please email me at (That’s ZERO-three-three in the address). If you do, would you include:

    The model year
    Manual or automatic
    Mileage at failure
    …and any other details (circumstances of failure, dealer response, etc) that you would like to add.

    Finally, if you are (or if you know) a mechanic with knowledge of these problems, we would certainly appreciate your input as well.


  63. I just bought a 2004 Cooper at an auto auction. Had no idea transmission was bad. Can you tell me what parts are available for my local transmission shop to do the repair…and instructions?

  64. can anyone direct me to a site where i can find out how to swap my 04 cooper 5speed tranny to a 6speed?

    or where i can purchase a cheap 5 speed tranny? thanks much,

  65. My 2002 Mini Cooper with 47,000 miles just bit the big one today. It was the CVT automatic transmission, just like EVERY other person posting on here. Very, very disappointed in the car and the way the dealership treated me. A salesman actually tried to put the blame on me by asking “Do you drive up hills?” Why, are Minis not supposed to be driven up hills? That’s a first. But I’ve had a lot of ‘firsts’ with this car, none of them good.

    Please add me to any class-action lawsuit against Mini Cooper. I can be reached at

    Thank you.

  66. I have a 2004 and the dealer tells me I should junk the car how do i find someone to repair or replace this zf transmission

  67. I have a 2006 MCS with 32k miles. The transmission is manual. I have to have a total replacement of the transmission! I’m stunned. Is this typical? I read the comments above and find that they are all referring to automatic transmissions. The dealer didn’t say exactly what failed, but the clutch felt creaky and it made a sound like metal on metal when I depressed it.

  68. My 2002 5 speed Mini has 349,000 on it and i never did anything except an oil change and that was @ every 25,000 miles because i wanted to save some money. Whats up with you people. I love my MINI. I guess i am just a lucky guy. Just like the t-shirt sais LIFE IS GOOD.

  69. I am so glad for the web-site information. The Mini is my dream car I was just getting ready this week to purchase one. I don’t need a nightmare. I thank all of you for getting this information out it really helped me. I wanted one but like someone said previous I can’t afford to keep or maintain one.

  70. Gerry,
    What year did MINI change from CVT to the new GEAR type format of transmission?

    Also, what are the most common broken parts and how complicated is it to repair them??

  71. My 2003 Mini has roughly 75k miles (all highway miles). About 9 months ago my CVT transmission just stopped working. Towed the car to a Mini dealership. Had the modular unit replaced; however that wasn’t the problem. The problem is that the transmission needs to be replaced. The cost to replace it is too much. Almost the true value of the car…over $7,000 to replace it.

    If BMW/Mini Cooper acknowledges the problem then fix it ! I’m stuck with a car that doesn’t drive. A car that costs way too much to fix. A car that no other dealership would want as a trade in.

    If a civil lawsuit is close by, please forward me the info to my email address:

  72. I have a 2008 Mini Conv. with the CVT transmission that just failed with 36,400 miles on it. I did not use the dealer for the scheduled service plan and because of this they are not honoring the warrantee..For all the BS emails Mini sends to customers you would think they would send service reminders if they know their transmissions suck and will fail without a tranny fluid change at 18,000 miles. Obviously this is a company with no integrity at all!

  73. My daughter’s 2002 Mini Cooper with the Tiptronic automatic transmission just grenaded itself about a week ago at barely 65,000 miles. She said it suddenly sounded and felt like driving through gravel, and completely quit within two blocks. The car has been serviced since new by the selling dealership at the proper intervals, etc. They gave her a price of $8000 to replace the transmission. My research so far has found no one appears to be rebuilding these yet, and all five of the third party repair shops told the same story – they buy the tranny from Mini for $5572, and it is 15 hours labor to dismantle most of the front end of the car to get the old one out and the new one in. Some owners reported getting significant discounts from BMW covering part of the cost, so my daughter wrote a very positive letter to the GM of Long Beach Mini, and we are now waiting for a reply to our request for support from the dealer…

    Update to my post of 8/31/09 about daughter’s 2002 Mini CVT failure…within 3 hours of the dealer receiving the letter to the GM of Long Beach Mini, they contacted her and agreed to cover all parts costs and she will pay labor only. I wish all of you success and hope you will work with your dealers and cite the precedent being set by a number of dealers covering this! I would think those who have already paid for similar repairs might return to the dealer and discuss them refunding a portion of your costs versus you joining in any possible suit that might arise.

    Good luck all!

    • Hi Cappy,

      I am in the same position. Can you tell me what kind of letter helped you do this?

      I replaced by first tranny at 10k (under warranty) and now at 75k need another one 😦 This is just completely outrageous. I cant afford to pay for it and I want to cause hell.

      • It was a “feel good” letter explaining how I put my daughter in an old 1981 BMW when she was 16 and she didn’t like it at first because it wasn’t “new and cool”, but over time learned the value of the BMW name in engineering and quality and standing by their customers…then she grows up, can’t afford a true BMW yet but chooses the next best thing – a BMW Mini Cooper, now to be stuck with this transmission failure at such a low mileage with such an unaffordable repair bill. We also referenced a man in NC we found a posting from who had been offered the same deal.That was about it. Wish you luck in your efforts. I suspect the strength may lie in pointing out that with a number of people having been offered these deals, BMW is in effect acknowledging there is a problem and making good on assisting their customers. By getting the labor charges paid by the owners, they are protecting the dealer’s shop from losses, and I suspect BMW is then going after ZF Industries on the transmissions, thus minimizing their own exposure beyond having to deal with the issue in the first place and the resultant bad press it earns them.

    • Hi Cappy
      Had the same issue as yours and awaiting to hear from BMW whether they would cover for the parts or not… Hope so for a transmission failing before 30,000 miles! Could you please let me know how expensive the labor costs were, and how many hours of labor were necessary?

  74. Mini owners in southern california

    it is time for us to unite and get our voices heard…get the news involved…how many of you are in southern california? i would love to go with picket signs infront of mini dealerships with printouts for prospective buyers to understand what kind of company they are truly buying from

    my email is

  75. Please add me to a lawsuit. My power steering does not work

    1) Imagine driving on the highway and the steering hardens all of a sudden and the car is hard to control. You have to marathon onto the side of the road and turn of the car for a few minutes and turn it back on before it works. I had my first close call yesterday and almost had an accident with a pedestrian!!!

    2)Recently, the steering pump/fan don’t shut off, even when the power is off! They drain the battery and ive to jump start it all the time.

    These cars are dangerous on the road. I am sure they are definitely hiding accidents that have already happened prior to this to prevent a lawsuit….

    Who knows how to start one? Has anyone already started it?

  76. My 2003 automatic cooper was gently driven. It has only 55,000 miles on it and the dealer doesn’t know what is wrong with it (it goes into sleep mode and won’t go over 5 mph). His head mechanic says he knows it’s not really the transmission, but that’s all we can do now, since nothing else worked, is to replace the transmission for $8,400. We can’t sell it. They claim they can’t override sleep mode, so we either put out $8,400 or drive 5 mph all the time. That would be a great ad for Cooper, seeing my car crawling down the road.

  77. Hello everybody!!! I just wanted to let everyone know that problems would be solved at a very reasonable price for those people who had had problems with their cvt transmissions. I live in the Moneterey Bay area and my 2003 MINI Cooper tranny blew up, I didn’t know what it was at first, until I took my car to my mechanic ( Juan) @ PADILLA AUTO REPAIR (831) 372-7514. He told me he would check what could be wrong, and of course the tranny. I thought at first that it would cost me and arm and a leg to fix it, because I checked the price with the dealer and other shops in the San Jose area, but he told me calmly,
    “Alex, I will break it apart and we’ll see what we need in order to fix it” … Because he knew of a store in GA, where they import parts so experienced mechanichs can rebuild the transmissions. And thanks God he did. It was a patient process because of the shipping of the parts but he told me exactly what I needed it so I bought the parts. He only charge me extra for the labor which was nothing crazy like others shops or even the dealer. Now my car is running better than new. So, I highly recommend his expertees as an skillful mechanic who not rip you off and would do a professional job in a timely manner, especially if you want to pay for overnight shipping when you order your parts from the shop he knows. He is a great mechanic, So thank you Juan for your service and hopefully you can help all this folks and their MINI problems @ a really fair price… Best of luck to everyone and keep enjoying the roads with your MINIS…

    • We’re having transmission problems with our ‘ 04. We were told it would cost just under $11, 000 to replace. We know a transmission mechanic but we’re in Canada. What was the name of the shop in GA for the parts? Our transmission mechanic is willing to do the work but no one here sells parts for the transmissions and there are no licensed sellers of rebuilds, only the dealers.

    • Hi
      My tranny is going out on a 2004 Mini and I work in Monterey so I am so hoping that Juan is still with Padilla Auto Repair. If you do not mind me asking what did he charge you to get the parts, labor etc? I am so glad I read your posts.

      Thank you.


      • Hi there Jackie!!! I just want to let you know that Juan would do a great job in repairing your car, he is very honest and trusthworty. I got to tell you that my reapairs were around 4400.00 including parts and labor. He has a flat rate for tearing apart the tranny as well as getting it off the car to inspect it. Then my parts were on the high side because my tranny had severe internal damage, probaly yours could be a lot less , I heard that he fixed onefor very cheap because that tranny needed it only a bearing or an O-ring somthing very minor. So honest I think that you are in good hand if you decide to fix your car with him, and he would do the impossible in order for you to have your car back in a timely manner, because I’m sure you cherise our car!!!

  78. Hello to everyone who has a transmission problem,
    I live in Germany, exactly in Cologne and have got 3 weeks ago a damage of my CVT transmission of my MINI Cooper convertible. The damage comes from zero to 100. No failure light, no sounds before the damage. We like the car most, but the damage cost uns nerves and will cost us a lot of money.
    The car is at the moment in the garage of BMW Bonn. They will give us a goodwill of 50 % of the part. This means, we have to pay round about 4000 Euros.
    Some information to my car: MINI Cooper convertible 2005/04. 98.000 Km. Every service and repair was made in a BMW garage. I also have a BMW Z3 (170.000 km) and a BMW C1 (34.000 km). Also every service and repairs at BMW garages. This doesn´t help to get more from BMW: The official of BMW Bonn is not interested to speak with me about the gear box damage or anything else.
    My luck, I work for a automotive supplier and I have a lot of contacts to the automotive business. And I have made a lot of telephone calls. Now I have found out that you can buy the gear box directly at the ZF centers (in my case Dortmund / Germany). The transmission cost only the half of what BMW wants. Thanks god.
    But what happens in 100.000 kms. The same damage. Is it neccessary to put the money on the side ?
    Please put me in the list of MINI transmisssion claimants.
    Cologne / Germany
    If german drivers have problems here´s my contact adress for questions:

    PS. No one in Germany repairs the CVT (that´s what I have found out), because no one is possible to get parts for the transmission. Ford and the VW group have similar gear boxes, and they all change the transmissions when they are defect. No one repairs.
    If I had know this before, I had never bought this CVT transmission for my MINI !!! We like the car, but we now hate the transmission of it.

  79. I own a 2003 auto mini cooper 120,000km. This car has almost everything replaced!
    Approx. 5 Software upgrades.
    I would get to a stop, pause then go and the car would die on me. would have to turn it off and on again to go!
    Power steering motor. I shut the car off and the motor kept running till the battery died…
    motor for the windows ( windows went up and down on there own, locked and unlocked while the car was turned off. interior light would turn on by itself.)
    wiper motor replaced.
    battery replaced ( due to the power steering motor killing it).
    orginal transmission serviced because OPPS they said they forgot to do it!
    transmission replaced 2 times in a week , while in BUDDS BMW hands..( under warranty with only 90km of warranty left, The first tranny blew and the second is being serviced NOW…)
    and a few other things that I have forgotten im sure, don’t have my papers with me right now!
    Now as I type , my car is back again in BUDDS BMW custody! Since friday!
    They told me I should replace the transmission again ( of course at my cost of just over $8000, when I asked if this transmission would be new, BUDDS BMW responded no, rebuilt.. When I asked the previous 2 transmissions were rebuilts, BUDDS BMW responded , “more they likely! Its rare we replace trannys with brand new ones!” When I asked, So dont you think maybe theres a problem with the Transmissions, Budds BMW responded ” umm” no answer they looked at me like a deer in headlights!!!
    They said they dont know whats wrong, but they think the tranny is gone! now they ever so kindly suggested maybe they flush my tranny! Now hmmm servicing the transmisson sounds like a great idea, does it not!
    See what happens is, when I start the car in the morning its fine, after parking and attempting to drive off, I need to gas it for it to jump into drive or reverse.. However, if the car it parked for about 8 hrs or so , its fine!
    I have nicked named my car herbie!
    Now for my sad story, I just got back to work after having a baby, my husband just lost his job and is US military reserve whom is about to be deployed. I am supporting booth of us and our daughter & no he cant find a job cause we had to move into my mothers basement in canada and hes a us citizen whocant work here!
    Do you think BUDDS BMW cares, or for that matter any dealership! Their money is not with the mini its with the BMW, and when someones BMW is not running any more they just buy another one cause its a BMW., Mean while , back at the ranch!, we have to accept this problem with a car thats not even 7 yrs old!!!
    They seem to think I have $8000 like in my wallet or something!
    MINI/BMW fess up to this problem!!!

  80. Oh wow– I had no idea!! Im just poking around because my transmission went out today and I was looking for alternatives to replacing the whole bloody thing at 7500.00! I have a 2003 MC automatic with, you guessed it, a CVT transmission. I guess on a better note I have 95000 miles on it, but who knows if the tranny was replaced sometime before I bought it (was @45000 then).

    My mechanic held my hand while I cried with the news today…

    Apparently there are no alternantives? Please if anyone knows anything, please please share– my e mail is

    Like most folks I have seen on here I really dont have 7500.00 just hanging around and I rely on my car to make money!!

  81. I have a 2007 Mini Cooper with an automatic transmission. I ended up getting problems with it on Tuesday of this week (10/27/09) and had it driven up to the dealership (Classic MINI in Willoughby Hills, OH) to get it repaired. I thought I was under warranty. So I wasn’t too worried about having to pay for any repairs. I even paid to have the warranty extended to 100,000 miles about a year ago, currently I have just over 50,000 miles, but I just found out that the warranty that I purchased only covers oil changes. WTF!

    Classic MINI reduced the cost of the repair by 50%, and they are only charging me $650. Now, I’m just worried about what else could possibly go wrong. . . especially after reading everyone’s comments. They were even trying to get me to buy new tires for the ones I just bought from them not even 6 months ago for $600. I absolutely cannot afford to keep paying for these little repairs here and there.

    I loved the car when I first got it. I even thought that the service I received was top notch. That is until I had the car for over a year. Then it was like everyone’s attitude toward me had changed, and they knew the potential problems I was going to have. I thought that maybe the dealership was just having an off day. Now I believe that all of that is just a ploy that they use to get you sucked into buying one of their cars.

    I’m definitely looking for another car in the very near future, and I would only recommend buying a mini if you can afford paying an additional $600 or so every 6 months.

  82. Can you tell me who or how to rebuild the CVT? My daughter has a 2003 MINI with a bad transmission. Her college car…thanx

  83. Hello.
    I am in FRANCE
    I own a 2003 mini cooper, 45 000km and the transmission CVT failed 2 weeks ago.
    The car is at the moment in the garage BMW close to my house. They want to charge me 6 500€ for the repair!!!
    I don’t intend to pay, and I’m ready to go to Court.
    Please let me know if anyone had success dealing with a BMW dealer with such a problem.

  84. To all:
    You need to orchestrate a global campaign against Mini:
    – please send a letter to BMW’s CEO, maybe when he understands the amount of frustration amongst his Mini customers, he might finally fire the Bozzos running MiniUSA and treat more correctly his customers. Maybe one day BMW will be as great as Toyota who just recalled Tundra trucks for safety reasons (Mini should have done years ago the same on CVT transmissions)…..
    BMW AG
    Attention to: Dr Norbert REITHOFER, Chairman of the Board of Management
    Petuelring 130
    D-80788 Munich, Germany

    – please send emails/letters to national and local TV and radio stations; hopefully one will decide to have a real investigation into these matters.

    • My answer to you is go to and type in mini Cooper at the top see the discussion page and write about your car there. you will find out others can read and learn.

  85. For a small ray of hope for everyone, I had the same problems many of you are describing. I have a 2005 Mini with CVT. It was over-revving, not upshifting, and bunny-hopping. Momentum Mini in Houston diagnosed low battery, installed a new one, reprogrammed computer, and everything is great for the cost of a new battery!

  86. I have a 2005 Cooper with 113K in highway miles and the transmission just fell a part on Rt 95 in MA. I have had nothing go wrong until now but I can’t believe how many people have had this problem. Put me on the list!

  87. I recently bought a 2003 Mini and loved driving, went downtown this morning and on way home I stopped for a red light, made my turn and heard a flapping noise like a flat tire, pulled over, looked at tires, NO flat tire, put the car back in gear and pulled onto the road, it bucked a few times, and went blank. I was able to pull over to the side of the road and call a tow. It is now in the shop. I won’t have it fixed if it cost thousands. HELP me with info.

  88. i have a 2004 mini cooper s MC40 edition with 49000 miles and my rear drive just randomly gave out, i took it to a mechanic and he somehow fixed it and as i was driving home my sixth gear got stuck and wouldnt come out.. i guess this is the same transmission crap everyone is going through.. sucks.

  89. NOTE: if someone has the time as Yannick stated above, collate all the complaints that can be found on the net regarding mini problems and email them to the CEO of BMW (address, 5 replies above mine) Better yet take them to a greedy law firm and start a class action suit… I too have xmission problems (2nd gear sincro is out so it grinds when shifting to 2nd) they want $5000 US to fix it. my lease is up in 8 months got 87,000 miles on it. I called mini when the problem first occurred 67k mi. and didn’t bother to deal with them ($5000…..WTF!!!!) when the lease is up they get the car with NO additional $$ and i get a new toyota F em!!!!

  90. NOTE: if someone has the time as Yannick stated above, collate all the complaints that can be found on the net regarding mini problems and email them to the CEO of BMW (address, 5 replies above mine) Better yet take them to a greedy law firm and start a class action suit… I too have xmission problems (2nd gear sincro is out so it grinds when shifting to 2nd) they want $5000 US to fix it. my lease is up in 8 months got 87,000 miles on it. I called mini when the problem first occurred 67k mi. and didn’t bother to deal with them ($5000…..WTF!!!!) when the lease is up they get the car with NO additional $$ and i get a new toyota F em!!!!

  91. Mini Cooper 2005 60000 mls bad cvt transmission no help from mini
    they want 8000.00 to replace
    I will never buy another BMW product again.
    Count me in on the ca suit.

    • Same thing happened to me…I’m pissed and as luck would have it I’m an attorney who doesn’t like to be told “sorry fork over another $8,000” for a car I already paid too much for and maintained meticulously. If enough people are interested we should 7form a class action against Mini.

      • I am 19yo from Australia I just recently got my licence and took out an $18000 car loan to by my first car which is an $20000 2002 mini copper(my parents wanted me to get a safe and reliable car and man were the wrong about that). In the past 6 month i spent $2000 on it and now just like every other God dam mini, the auto CVT transmission screwed up on me and the mechanic is telling me it will cost me $8000 to fix. So i don’t have $8000 lying around so i will have to sell it but i will only get about $8000 at the most for it so What cost me $20000 to buy a few months ago, I am only gonna get $8000 for it now….I am gonna ring MINI Australia tomorrow and see if they are gonna fix it for me cause I am not gonna give them a cent. Why should I have to pay money to BMW when it is there problem and stuff up. If they still refuse Im selling my MINI and with the money from it I am going to take them to court. If their are any Lawyers reading this, Do you believe I will be able to win the case.. I would love to get some feed back hears my E-mail

      • Chris, go to type at top of page ,find the mini site there- is a discussion tab and write about your mini others can read your story and make an honest dicision when they learn more about the cars that are making the news and not in a good way.

  92. My auto tranny was acting up on my 2006 with 50K miles. I saw this blog and was worried. It was not shifting correctly and running at high rpm’s. I was certain it was going to go out on me at any time. I was prepared to throw down several thousand for a replacement transmission.
    I took it in today and they reset the adaptations. It had zero faults and it now works like new. The tech was very honest with me from the start. He has worked exclusively with Mini’s for six years and only had to replace two transmissions. He has several customers with over 200K miles on these transmissions. He said it is expensive to replace, but rare to fail.

  93. Just turned 77,000. Loud winning wound while accelerating. Needs a new
    Transmission (2003–cvt).
    Please add my name to the class action vs. the classless manufacturer.

    I’m a retired lawyer

  94. i have an 03 mini that just is now having problems with my tranny i hope i can get more info on my car it only turned over 53000 on it and it is havinig minor tranny problems and dreyer and reinbold bmw says its warranty is not going to cover any repairs thaysay atranny is around 9k to repair or replace this is a drop dead stunning car but now i am totally disgusted with owning any other bmw

  95. My 2003 Mini just turned over 107,000 kms (65,000 miles) and now it’s making the ‘whirring’ sound that signals the certain death of my auto CVT transmission. Contacted my local Mini Dealership where the car was bought and was informed that it would cost $8500 to fix! My personal mechanic, whom I fully trust, gave me a quote of $7000. I love me Mini but this is ridiculous! How can a tranny be shot after so few miles and the dealerships not willing to assume any responsibility when they know very well that these trannys are s**t! The cars been in the shop 3 times in a year and already cost me a small fortune.

    The biggest mistake I made was buying this car a year ago. I am the second owner and wished I had never even considered buying a Mini. Should have bought a Toyota Yaris or Honda Civic instead!

    As soon as the car is fixed it’s being sold and hopefully I can recover some of my cost.

    Add me to any and all lawsuits regarding this matter.
    BMW/MINI seriously need to wake up and realize they blew it big time with the issues of the Minis.

    My email is

  96. Being a mini owner (2005 S) with a tranny that went out way to early and the company’s positions “Too bad…so sad” I think its time to form a class action against Mini Cooper. Too many people have been screwed in the same fashion. If there is sufficient interest posted I will provide contact information so we can make it “Too bad…so sad” for Mini Cooper.

  97. How can you tell if your mini has one of the CTV trannys? Is there a website that you can cross reference your vin# and tell if yours is a CTV?

  98. My 2002 mini transmission started reving high before it would get in gear. INTERIOR LIGHTS AND CLOCK FLASHED. what does this mean? I thought it was computer related. It died on intersection, won’t start now…

    I’m sick of taking this car to the shop.

  99. For anybody thinking a swap to a standard transmission is going to solve your problems- forget about it. They are just as big a piece of crap! New to the Mini world and regret it. 58,000 miles on the car on a 2003 base model. There are only a couple of bearings left in it to keep the input shaft from gutting the transmission. I got 8,000 miles out of it since bought. Kids love it. I was thinking of putting it in my backyard for them to play in as I suspect it is not worth fixing. Only 5 more years payments- burn in hell.

  100. My rpms are reving too high, especially when I reach 50 mph to 70 mph. The needle jumps when I take my foot off the gas. I have to avoid highways cause Im scared for my life. LAWSUIT AGAINST MINI! Count me in!
    Plus many many many other problems with this crap car as well.
    ….and I just paid it off in october. Figures.
    I own: 2005 mini cooper.
    Lets get them!!!!
    email me at:

  101. days away from getting rid of my ’03 mini cooper. Transmission needs replacement @ 95k miles but that is the last in a long history of expensive repairs and lousy treamtment from BMW. No chance of me ever buying a car from them again.

  102. Tranny went on my 2006 S manual at 20K, 3 weeks out of warranty. I brought it in 5 weeks earlier while still under warranty and told them that it was slipping out of gear. They said “they could not replicate the problem”. I realize now that they chose these words carefully. 5 weeks and 1000 miles later, just our or warranty it blew. Said the Tranny Fluid was dark and full of shards. Did they not check this last month????? They told me 6K to fix it. I blew a gasket. He called me back a few hours later and said Mini would provide the parts for Free if I paid $1300 labor. It sounded to good to be true and now I know why. If there is a lawsuit I am in 100%.

  103. I have had a very similar problem.

    Over a year ago, my 2002 Mini Cooper (then less than one year in my care) experienced the same sorts of issues. My engine/transmission made a grinding or whirring noise in first gear, but it seamed to dissipate once I was in third. The dealer that I purchased it from (who I will not name, nor would I suggest) told me most basically that it was all in my mind and that it sounded “normal” to them.

    On my way to work, while shifting from second to third gears, my transmission seized up entirely. I had it towed to the dealership of origin and that is where it remains to this day over a year later. The owner of the dealership and false friend estimated the cost of replacement at $5,500 and up. He informed me at the time that Mini transmissions could NOT be rebuilt (a fact that I have since found refuted) and that I might as well pony up to replace the clutch and front wheel axle because they were most likely damaged in the process.

    I wish that my Mini was in my mom’s garage and not at the dealership, because he has since changed his story. While he told me that he was willing to hold onto it in his storage facilities until I figured out funding options, he has since changed his tune. As soon as I sought another mechanic to offer a secondary estimate, he created outlandish “storage fees” that had not been discussed or agreed upon. Now it may become a legal battle as well as a battle of wills.

    Any advice or suggestions are more than welcomed.
    I miss my Mini; we have a love/hate relationship.

    Reposted from:

    Count me in on any class action lawsuit!

  104. 2004 – 100,000 miles mini automatic. Something happened to the transmission and just called the dealership as well as other local mechanics. was quoted at least $5000 from local mechanics and $9000 from the dealership. The service guy couldnt do anything for me and was saying i cant even repair it. He even mentioned they dont use that type of tranny anymore. Heard the worh “unfortunately” too many times in our conversation. This isnt “unfortunate” this is a “travesty”. Anyways, notify me about any lawsuit:

  105. I am a VERY disappointed MINI owner in Mexico. I have a 2006 MC S with automatic transmission and now I have to pay the equivalent of 8,000 USD to repair it! no way! If there are other infuriated MINI owners in Mexico that want to take action, please contact me!

    • hola Francisco !como estas yo tengo mi mini 2002 estrofeado de la transmision CTV y sale muy caro arreglarla aki en mexicali mexico,de hecho crreo ke ni la agencia bmw hace este tipo de trabajo o lo cobra como si fuera a comprar otro mini!!!!!!es desolucionado con estos autos!!!!!

  106. I have a 2003 Mini automatic and i just found out that they wanna charge me over 6,000$ to replace my tranny ..
    Is this a common problem with these cars , I Mean my car does have 145k miles on it but its had its regular routine maitnance checks..

    Any ideas

  107. i bought a crashed 04 to find some one stole the trans and put an empty shell back i was shocked to find out there were no parts available i am working on a way to repair them if i had parts i can fix them

  108. Brian wrote the following on Oct 30, 2008: “Having some issues now with my 2004 Mini Auto (non-S).. Pulled codes P1698 and P1787. The engine slips under heavy acceleration and shifts hard….
    Out of warranty of course.. 45k miles. Went from 30+mpg to about 21mpg now… somethings definitely wrong.
    SOOOO… My guess is I’m pretty much hosed as well.”

    I am now having the same problem, with same fault codes, on my 2002 MINI. Only 46K miles. I’ve driven less than 6K miles per year.

    Dealer can’t tell me what’s wrong with it, only that a new transmission will cost approx $9K. Are you kidding me?! Aren’t they supposed to be the experts? Why are they taking guesses on how to repair? Extremely frustrated!

  109. UGH i bought a 2003 Mini Cooper Used in ’07 with 44k miles it now has 58k miles and starting to have transmission problems IS THIS A JOKE! I’ve put my life into this Car spending the best on good oil and the right parts for this car. I am a member of the Colorado National guard and have gotten he run around from dealership about this problem. someone please email me if you have similar miles, and problem

  110. I have a 2002 MC. I’m the third owner but the car has been maintained routinely and the mileage is only at 53k. Last night my power steering went out. I parked it, drove somewhere else and it seemed to have return. Upon parking it again I noticed smoke coming out from under the hood and the car was making a humming sound even though it was off (not the fan). I let it cool for about an hour and went to check it again. The power steering coolant was empty (it was 3/4 before) and the car began to quickly overheat.

    I had to have it towed this morning as the battery was drained from who knows what (the humming?). The shop where is at is still running diagnostics on it.

    I was just told that they managed to stop it from overheating but suspect there are more issues. The mechanic just told me that the transmission sounds as though it’s grinding. So in searching for how much a new transmission might cost me I came across this blog.

    I see there are MANY of us who have experienced this issue and many more who probably have not written about it.

    WHY is there no class action suit as of yet? I feel as though we need to galvanize and make BMW/MINI responsible for their defective product.

    CAN WE DO A CLASS ACTION SUIT? Does anyone have law expertise/knowledge as to how one can get started? Is anyone interested in one?

  111. my 2003 mini cooper is still sitting at home and going on three years with no transmission.Prices are too much to fix !! i’m not rich and sad to know that many of you are going through the same problem .
    Totally count me in when a class action suit ensues.Did i add i’m still paying for the car!

    • hi my name is Alex, my mini have same problem with you, did you mix the car yet. So did u ask dealer to do anything for you. I just call mini of Canada, they said my car is out of warranty. can not covered. but so expensive to fix the car almost $7500. so almost the value of the car, will you fix it?

  112. Wow! I was planning on picking up a 2002 Mini Cooper. The guy was selling it for $6,500 with 102 K miles on it. The guy claims a tranny issue (it’s an automatic) and he is selling it as-is. Now I know why. The Mini Cooper is the Ford Pinto for the new milennium.

    May the Mini Cooper franchise go bankrupt!!!

  113. Please e-mail me at to be including in a civil lawsuit in Canada towards BMW Canada. I will also be collecting complainants internationally to pursue further civil litigation.

    Civil action lawsuits are very different then pursuing federal indictments and the balance of probability is in our favor when it comes to leading any level of court to believe there has been faulty business practices.

    Please e-mail me at with your story and contact info regardless of where you are located.


    • hi I cannot e-mail to you, my mini 2004 with 130k have a transmission problem, it suddenly shut down on highway. it alway kill me. The coming car almost hit me at 100km/hr. I think mini need to recall and mix it, it is not safety for driving. my email.

    • My 2002 mini cooper (manual tranny) just blew. My wife was in the middle of a busy intersection when she said it felt like the engine just “fell” out from under the car. Had to have the car towed. She was stuck for over an hour in the 95 degree heat with my 3yr old daughter in the car waiting in the middle of the intersection.

      A guy stopped and tried to push the car but it would not budge even when the clutch was pushed in and she tried to put in neutral. I hope this class action thing works cuz I cannot afford to fix it and cannot afford another car. We are stuck with only one car.

  114. I added my name to several of the lists for a class action suit. The transmission on my 2003 Mini with just under 80k miles is dead and it will cost about $6500 to repair it. I cannot justify spending money on this car – it has been one expensive thing after another and now I am looking at scrapping it and buying something more reliable. I am really irritable about this as we paid 23k for this car in 2005, did all warranty service at the dealer, drove it gently and cared for it lovingly. It is criminal that I should now be forced to scrap this car and lose all of my value due to poor design and workmanship. Pls add me to any lists for a class action suit:


    Melissa Raulston
    Tallahassee, Florida

    • well, i have a 2005 manual transmission and that just blew at $75,000 miles. I kept up on all the service and maintenance suggestions. Very frustrated with Mini.

  115. I have a standard 2005 MC Conv and sure enough at $75,000 the transmission blew. I had Mini do all my services, oil changes on time, topped off my fluids, flushed them, and even with keeping up with all my required maintenance, it did not prevent the transmission from going. ARGH!!!! thankfully it doesn’t cost as much as the automatics to fix but still i’m looking at a $3,200 bill.

  116. well i was looking into buying a 2003 mini with a blown tranny for an incredible price, but it seems to me after reading this that im not getting a bargain after all..

  117. Hello,

    We have purchased a Mini Cooper 2004, performed a regular maintenance, and used the car
    with son who was a true MINI Enthusiast. All fluids were always checked and this has been done even when he is no longer with us.
    We had only a minor issue with a battery, but when last week the car the car lost its “power”,
    all that could be done was to tow the car to have it checked for the problem. The local foreign car repairman told me that it’s the type of transmission tat requires having it done by BMW dealership, he would not work on it.
    The car has relatively low mileage, it was always taken care off, until this happened. We do not know what to do at this time because wife who shared the car with son would not hear about replacing it or donating it. Son died only a couple of years ago and she is cornered.
    She has been disabled for over a decade, and I am on limited pension income.
    When called about the price, we both could not believe the $$ expected.
    We always thought that BMW builds lasting cars, and hoped to keep this MINI for many years to come. Now, we are shocked with the price tag above our limits.
    I would get a car a slightly more expensive than the transmission!
    It is automatic transmission, first ownership, and reading the comments about class-action suit due to so many failures with regular maintenance, I would certainly add my name.
    Most cars are older than 2004, and we are unable to keep the car garaged without transportation.
    Please reply with any idea…

    Thank you.

    • Jerry – I am talking with an attorney as we speak about a class action case. My email address is Please send me at least your email address so that we may add you to the list of people in on this. We must get together several people to move this forward and I know that there are many of us out there!! I am reaching out because I too CAN NOT afford a total loss like this. Forward this on to any other Mini owners you know too. Please and Thank you!

      • thank you Gerry. Also I suggest going to and writing on story on the Mini Cooper discussion page. you will see very easy to do. worth your time. From Brooke Drevers

  118. My 2004 min copper transimisson is die, It always kill me in highway. The transimisson suddenly turn down. I lucky I driving on right lane, otherwise some car will hit me. And it will fix around $7500 ,Wow it is impossible, it almost the value of the car, any one can give me the suggestion. to mix or not, Also my sweet heart baby was birth on the same day, it cause me so much problem and ssure. don’t have a extra money spend on the car.

  119. Hi,

    I’m sure my words will be very redundant to what you’re accustomed to reading!

    I have a 2003 Mini Cooper with CVT and it failed a few weeks ago. I have been doing tireless research as any once-excited loyal Mini owner would do…and we all know how that goes.

    I have 100k on the car but it has always been a quirky drive. My only option is selling the car wholesale for a disturbingly low price. It’s devastating to lose this car I loved driving every single day! The dealer offered to “appraise” the car for possible purchase (Mini/BMW of San Francisco). They had me tow it to them (and subsequently tow it home) so they could do so…and then offered me $1000! They couldn’t have low-balled me over the phone!! They just wanted to sell me a new one, and I told them I’d NEVER again buy from MINI/BMW. The used car manager in fact told me that he owned a Cooper on which he had the transmission replaced 4 times!! 3 times under warranty once paid.

    I’ve also been told that the power-steering pump is going out. Another chronic problem with these cars. So it’s a $10,000 repair bill or sell for a tenth of it’s value. UGH.

    Please include me in any class-action suit! I can provide VIN and all information required on request. This is outrageously wrong and MINI/BMW needs to do the right thing or make reparations.

    • My Power Steering went out about two months ago. I found a local mechanic to do the labor for somewhat cheap and bought the part online to save some dough. Still cost me over $1k to fix though 😦

    • dear Mini car owner, please go to facebook type in mini Cooper and go there and write on the discussion page, if everyone did that Mini Cooper and those who are going to spend a fortune will at least get an education., my email is My power steering went my fuse box melted 200 miles from home my transmission is at the shop being rep aced and the shifter cables were replaced 3 yes 3 miles ago. all this happened in four months and didn’t drive it any where but to the shop to get repair, no it was towed . I have not put anywhere close to 300 driving miles since I bought it,………

  120. My 2003 Mini’s transmission died on me two days ago. It only had 68 thousand miles on it, but I bought it used. I’ve owned it for a little less than a year and have rarely driven it. There were no previous signs of my transmission about to break, no service alert lights or anything. The day the trany broke was the only day it had a strange bumpy kind of ride when I would press the gas after being at a stop light or sign. I was only on the road for 7 minutes before my transmission died. Im really sad that this happened. I absolutely love my car and I am getting it fixed because I refuse to just throw it away, but this just sucks.

    I have a distant relative who is a mechanic so I took my mini to him. My uncle visited him today and was there when he started taking apart the transmission part and apparently it just fell apart and was bust. Its going to cost a lot of money to repair. I bought it from a BMW dealership and the warranty was only 30 days so that’s far past.

  121. I have been bitten by the BMW/mini’s horrible customer service practices. When taking my car in to the Bob Smith BMW/Mini dealership in Calabasas, CA for scheduled service, they have repeatedly come back with a Chinese menu of overpriced and unnecessary maintenance. One example, they claimed a power steering fluid leak requiring replacing a $400 metal host, the whole job would be $1200 with labor to fix. I passed and 30,000 miles later never there has been no trace of a leak of PS problem.

    Another time the cooling fan on the power steering system was making noise because it was brushing against its housing, Bob Smith’s customer service said the entire power steering system was posied to fail from overheating because of the fan. They would repair the problem for $1200. I got a local independent mini mechanic to replace the fan unit for $100 and there has not been a PS problem for 10,000 miles. I could go on about brakes and other nonsense. But after experiencing these piranha on too many occasions I have not been back to Bob Smith BMW/mini since.

    Now at 72,000 I am having CVT problems and not encouraged by all the problem I have read about. I am done with mini and there preditory customer service pracitces. I am going back to Japanese cars that are reliable and do not nickle and dime you with parts failures or unethical dealerships.

    If anyone has contact information on a law firm pursuing a class action law suit please forward it to me.

    • I bought a 2002 Mini last year with 36,000 miles on it. A year later and only 44,000 on it and I’m told by Mini of Manhatten I need a new transmission at a cost of $9400.00. I’m sick about this. Any info on a lawsuit? I’m in!

  122. HI again everyone!!! How are youre MINI Coopers running??!!! I ‘ve been reading all this complaints and I know it is very frustrating when you have such an amazing car like MINI and all of a sudden it dies!!! Especially when the it has to do with the transmission. Same story happened to me last year on my 2003 CVT MINI Cooper; just at 70,000 miles died and the dealer wanted close to 8000.00 for replacing it!!! That is a lot of cash, anyways after a lot of searching and calling with frustrations along due to pricing of cost repairs and buying a used transmissions with other other shops rather than the dealer or transmission specialist that they did not even want to work on my mini, I talked to Juan (my mechanic) @ Padilla Auto Repair in the Monterey Peninsula in CA. He said to me Alex do not worry lets see what needs to be done in order for you to have your MINI back on the road… And sure he did he rebuilt my transmission and now my car is runnuing stronger than ever. I have put about another 13,000 miles driving and enjoying the beautiful coast line of California. So I just want to tell everybody that Juan has proven to be a very skillfull, yet honest mechanic; who has served all my vehicles and now (last year) fixed my MINI at a very reasonable price. So give him a call (831)372-7514, I ‘m sure that he’ll be very happy to talk to you and even better yet, to fix your MINI up so you can continue to enjoy this amazing vehicle!!!! Good luck everybody…

    • Alex. I really want to get excited about your posting, but it reads like an advertisement. Are you affiliated with Padilla Auto Repair?

      Please prove me wrong. 🙂

      • I don’t know Padilla Auto. Sorry if it sounds like an advertisement. I have posted my personal email, being my name so idk how to prove you wrong….? You can email me at and send me a little bit of info if you would like me to add you to the list of Mini owners that are in for a recall. The last straw was when my trani died at 62k miles. For an expensive car made by BMW that is just crazy. My stand comes in the knowledge that Mini was aware of this issue and so changed later models to not have this defective transmission in them any longer. You let me know if you are interested. I need to get together a long list of people with similar issues for the attorney to have a stand in a classaction suit.

      • HI Eric! I’m not affiliated to Padilla Auto Repair, although Juan (owner) is a great mechanic and he fixed my tranny on my 03 mini and I did not had to pay any outrageous prices on fixing the car like the dealer wanted to charge me. Juan is a very professional and experience mechanic and hes always worked on my cars for years in the past. When I told him about my problem with my transmission in the mini, he said that he would fix it and thanks God he did, Now this is the reason why I talk so high of him because of his honesty and professionalism. My total repairs including labor and parts were around 4400.00, now my car is running great no problems whatsoever, and I have put already another 13000 miles to the car without any problems. Thus I’m refering my mechanic to people that owned mini coopers that do not want to pay the dealer prices that are sky high, even for just a scan to try to identify any problem with your car. So I highly recommend his service not only for mini coopers but for any european and domestic, car or suv, etc, Juans experties would go beyond your believes, here is his # 831 372-7514, giving a call and see it for yourself that he would fix any problems with any of your cars. Have a great day and good luck


  124. whats your email address I have been collecting names & emails from everyone interested in a class action suit….I am currently working with an attorney and would like to add you the list that I am collecting for their firm currently. If you would rather email me direct my email address is

  125. So is the 6 speed mini cooper S trans just as much of a peice of shit as the rest of them? I just returned from a stealership who offered me a 2004 cooper s for 8300 with a bad 4th gear syncrho. Im a mechanic and can do the work to the car but if a rebuilt 6 speed is gonna suck too then I dont wanna think about buying one. Im sick of tranmission issues (I own a dodge) and dont want another headache car. Sucks cause I want a car good on gas, and fun to drive (superchargers are the sex)

    • While CVT is the worst, my independent Porsche/BMW garage has been busy for over a year now replacing MANUAL transmissions on 02-06 coopers that are out of warranty.

      If you are asking, then I say “Pass”.

  126. The sex? Not sure where you are going with this Mason. Maybe that was a typo but all I can say is DO NOT BUY A MINI!!! Read on and see for yourself.

  127. Just found out today that the transmission is dying in my 2003 Mini Cooper with 59,000 miles on it. I am very upset, like all of you are about your mini coopers. I would think that the company wouldnt want this many angry customers or bad publicity. I am a law student who is still paying off her mini cooper; I cant afford a new transmission. I cant believe this has happened and I cant believe that the company continues to let it happen without any reply or redress.

    • Also, my mini only had 59,000 miles on it. My new transmission is costing me $6,500. I am a law student and dont have the money to pay for it so I am having to take out another loan. Seriously, let’s get this class action suit started!!!

      • Have you sent me your info? I am in the process of filing a class action suit with an attorney as we speak. You may have already; my email is feel free to pass it along to all that are having transmission failures with their CVT Mini Cooper.

  128. Gerry are you telling everyone with problems, for instance the people who just drove off the lot with their brand new Mini and the trans goes out? I am not trying to be arrogant but is there a flaw in the mini engineering please tells me what is right or wrong and what to look for and how to avoid problems in the future, Please. From Brooke Ps I had the oil changed at the Mini Shop here in Orlando full service department and if they checked the oil and replaced it two weeks ago wouldn’t they see the transmission fluid was in desperate need of changing that too while it was there?

    • Dan, I am sorry about the reverse problem. I have not heard of it before now.
      In the meantime, why not join our class action lawsuit against MiniCooper NA?

      If interested in joining, please send your contact info and year/mileage of your car to :

    • Stephenie-

      It seems that there is no particular model or year of Mini that is immune to large and expensive problems. Some are filled with flaws, some not.

      Common problems are the transmissions, auto and manual as well we steering boxes.

      Some people defend the more recent years (07 to present) but I think its just because those are newer years that haven’t had enough road time to fail (and still under warranty).

      My unsolicited advice is this: avoid mini coopers. try to fall in love with another car…. maybe a GTI?

      If you must have a mini, buy it brand new and sell it the day before the warranty expires. These are horrible cars. Absolutely horrible. I wish we never bought one (original owners).

  129. I just bought a mini with 72,000 miles, and the tranny is slipping, the window gets stuck some times, and its just the biggest peace of crap I have ever owned…. I think im in this class action law suit. also cause thre is just no way for a car to
    have so manny problems and the dealer just not do anything about it.

  130. I am the owner of a 2005 mini Cooper S convertible with a CVT transmission. I have been told that my car, which has been regularly serviced and has under 69k miles, will cost me $11,500.00 to get back to a driveable state. $7,500.00 of which is just the replacement if the transmission. Though it is out of warranty, I was told that I would never need to replace the transmission fluid as it comes with a lifetime supply.

    I took the car in for a regular check up, diagnostics and everythin was fine. No more then some weeks later, the transmission was worthless. it seems to me, for a transmission to cost a third of the total price of the car new, is more than excessive. Not only that but, I don’t even have the option to repair the transmission third party as companies like AAMCO cannot rebuild CVT transmissions.

    My wife and I are completely floored, we have a beautiful car that we were once the proud owners of, and two years later it is worth nothing except the price of scrap metal.

    Even if we were to go third party to get a used transmission installed, we have been told that there is no gaurantee and that it will cost no less than $4k. What are we supposed to do? This is pure anguish…. And seems entirely to cruel of a reality. We have made a case with Mini, and were bluntly told that, because it is out of warranty, they have no obligations.

    So the car was built with a manufacturer error, and 5 years later, with regular maintenance and upkeep, is worth nothing. And mini takes no responsiblity and is not legally obligated to do a damn thing. Now my wife and I are screwed out of 12-15 thousand dollars…


    • I am forwarding this on the attorney looking at a class action against Mini for this same reason. There are so many of us and it is so sad. have you emailed me your sontact info yet? I wish that I could reach everyone that has come on this site because I have only had 20 or so people actually contact me after leaving their posts. I will do as much as I can to not give up on this matter and hope that some justice is served here. All we can do is hope & pray!

    • Daniel I would not pay that much for transmission, but talk to older more repitable repair trans shops and get an estimate ask people who own minis and get better estimates there has to be a better deal. My newer transmission cost me3,600 and I thought that was awful, it. Has a two yearwarrenty and that’s it. Someone else told me it would cost $10,000 to get it all better I am glad I didn’t believe him. Mimi. Though people hate the mini shop I felt they would do it right. yes you do have to have the fluid changed every so often so whoever told youthat is an idiot. I always ask to look at my parts they replace always, don’t leave the shop without seeing the old transmission and good luck. I think you wi
      L get a good transmission back in your mini but find the right mechsnic and don’t be patient and don ‘t let anyone rip you off. From Brooke

  131. The transmission blew on my 2004 Mini with 20K miles! I bought it new in Nov 2003 and seldom drove it. I was at a red light on Christmas Eve and when the light turned green I couldn’t get it into 1st gear. I pulled over and saw a trail of trasmission oil. I had a tune up just a month before and had all the fluids changed.

    I’m waiting for the mechanic’s estimate. Hopefully it won’t be more than $3K. I see people saying they paid $8K. That’s scary!

  132. i have a 2003 with the cvt problem like others,,need help a lawsuit,,,expend 6000 dollars in .but now dealers wants me to replaced the body harnesses for 8435 dollars,,,,jajajajaj son of a gun…..

  133. OMG! I was on the verge of buying a Mini, of actually trading down from my Volvo C30 because I drove a Mini through ZipCar while in another city and loved the way it drove, very fun! But now that I see that ACTUAL OWNERSHIP is far from fun, and how BMW treats it’s customer’s, and won’t recall something as major, costly, and rampant as a faulty transmission…there is NO WAY IN HELL I’m EVER buying one of these cars! I don’t care how cute it is! NEVER! Plus I will pass the info on to others who might be seduced by superficial things like styling.
    I’m sorry for all of your misfortunes and hope you find some resolution. Thank you for sharing and warning those like myself who ALMOST got sucked in! I will stick with my Volvo!!

    • I’d rather not dive into the other costly negligence Auto Mfg’s (Foreign and Domestic) have gotten away with
      AND NEVER CORRECTED! (Including the Swede’s) regardless of how “CUTE” it is.

      If people spent more time on researching their product instead of perpetuating gossip; clearer conclusions can be made.
      BMW/MINI has multiple Service Bulletins out there regarding the “problems” with Mini’s.

      If anyone is having problems with their MINI, I strongly suggest developing a relationship with their local dealer.
      Perhaps, trade in your first and second generation MINI’s (with issues) for a NEW MINI? or a Classic Mini Cooper?

      Or find and support a Local Mechanic who isnt after your paycheck!

      • Never had a problem with the “Swedes” buddy and don’t appreciate your condescending tone or taking my comments out of context. Obviously, if someone is looking at this site, they are “researching their product.”
        I strongly suggest you read most of these posts. Then perhaps maybe YOU would see that most dealers aren’t interested in developing any relationship that doesn’t benefit the dealer! And BMW service bulletins aren’t very timely and obviously are worthless to those who’ve already had to shell out thousands.

      • tone?
        You’re reading.

        In context, your statements are pretty generalized.

        If you bought your car new, from a MINI dealer, try developing a relationship with them.
        A calm, forward thinking customer/client, who consistently kills with kindness (w/o being a pushover) is likely to have his/her problem satisfied.
        (squeaky wheel gets the grease)
        Pulling your hair out and yelling wastes your time, and elicits a negative response from anyone especially a dealer.
        Remember, you bought the car, and as a customer deserve to be heard, and a solution be presented.

        Since, you dont own a MINI this correspondence is nongermane.
        I personally love the “Swedes”.

  134. I know why this site is here.
    I created it.
    I wanted to be able to pool resources, and efforts of anyone effected.
    I would say it was a success considering how fast it has grown, and the traffic generated.

    Look who is insulting who..”I’m glad I don’t, especially if they’re favored by know-it-alls”, and twisting my words around ..seesh.

    For someone who doesn’t own a MINI you’re taking this very personally.

    I merely made a suggestion at your reaction to a problem that has no impact on you whatsoever.
    You could say it isn’t “constructive” use of your time to argue with me because you will have no result.

    Im sure there is a Volvo support group. Go rant about the “ups” of owning Swede suede.
    It would be a better use of your time, and energy.

    And For anyone who is able to turn a wrench: REBUILT transmissions are available.. AT HALF THE COST YOU MENTIONED.
    Its the install that *COSTS* you. (HIGH hourly labor rates)

    I know you read my earlier post, So, GO FIND A LOCAL MECHANIC, who is NOT after YOUR PAYCHECK.
    Or check out your local High School Auto Program, you might be able to get it done for free as a learning exercise.

    You might be able to hire the star of the class for cookies and milk on the weekend.

    You dont have to pay $10k. There are options.

    If you have to replace your transmission, you might as well make your MINI FASTER,
    and HANDLE BETTER, while your in there and get yourself a Limited Slip Quaife Unit and put power to the ground equally.
    (- – and search for “TRANSMISSION”)

    They are a comprehensive source for transmission problems on MINI’s. (as well as any other “issues”)

    Replacement Transmissions HERE

    • Thank you I wish I had thought of these things you mentioned before I spent $3,600 for a newer trans. But mini mechanics repaired the car And so far it’s running nice.

  135. I have 2005 Mini with a broken CVT transmission at 78,000 miles. After 3 months of the car sitting in a Lee Miles tranny shop, they gave up on the rebulid & want me to pick up the car (at no charge), or they would put in a “new/rebuilt” CVT transmissions for $5,800 +tax… I’m not going to invest in this highly questionable technology. If anyone can suggest a better solution such as selling “as-is” for parts or finding someone who can switch to a different transmission e-mail me at
    Mini dealers are no help & I won’t give Mini USA a dime again.

  136. I have a 2005 Mini Cooper S Automatic with about 98,000 miles on it. I took it to the dealer about a month ago and they want $8000 to replace the transmission. They said that a transmission should last the life of the car and I said “so you’re saying this car’s life is only 5 years?”. They wouldn’t do anything about it since it’s out of warranty.

    At this point, it’s getting harder and harder to shift and the car leaps forward when accelerating, I guess it’s skipping gears.

    Is there a class action lawsuit pending or starting?

    Any info or help would be greatly appreciated. At this point, I do not have the money or credit to get this transmission replaced or fixed and it’s my only source of transportation. I will have to rely on a rental car if it dies. After reading these posts, it’s scary to think that it may just die suddenly in traffic.

    • REBUILT transmissions are available.. AT HALF THE COST YOU MENTIONED.
      Its the install that *COSTS* you. (HIGH hourly labor rates)

      You could find a LOCAL mechanic, Or, check out your local High School Auto Program, you might be able to get it done for free as a learning exercise.

      You might be able to hire the star of the class for cookies and milk on the weekend.

      You dont have to pay $10k. There are options.

      If you have to replace your transmission, you might as well make your MINI FASTER,
      and HANDLE BETTER, while your in there and get yourself a Limited Slip Quaife Unit and put power to the ground equally.
      (- – and search for “TRANSMISSION”)

      They are a comprehensive source for transmission problems on MINI’s. (as well as any other “issues”)

      Replacement Transmissions HERE

  137. I am really upset and would like to be notified if there is going to be a class action lawsuit (and will probably be contacting attorneys on Monday myself). I purchased a 2006 Mini used (4000 miles on it) in May 2009. By December, I was having transmission problems. I took it in, had to fight for a loaner, and they did a temporary fix on it. It was under warranty.
    A couple months after the car went out of warranty (and I didn’t purchase an extended warranty for the $2000+ they offered), with 35,000 miles on it, the transmission started doing the same thing.
    I put over $400 into the car for them to do preliminary work on it — basically charging the customer to do a process of elimination — only to hear that the car needs a new transmission at a cost of $7000. They indicated that I was lucky in a way, because the original cost was $8,000.
    We have been “in negotiation” for a couple weeks now, with everyone being very nice, but I’m hearing I need to pay half.
    Guess what? I don’t have half. I definitely do not have $3500 for a car I owe $19,000 on and that isn’t worth the loan. Nor do I have $3500 for a car that came with a faulty transmission.
    I spoke with my bank today. I’m thinking of taking a second personal loan (gotta love it) which I honestly doubt I can pay, then suing Mini to get the money back.
    In the meantime, they say they need their loaner car back (while we are “in negotiation”) so that I can drive a car that is honestly dangerous. Really?
    I’m using this time with my faulty car to videotape the lurching forward and backward it does.
    Talk about the consumer getting screwed. This is unreal.

    • I just received an email that explained what you explained here. my only advice is this – go to facebook mini Cooper and state your complaint there. It never helped but it sure got rid of some of my anger and frustration. best wishes to you. get it fixed and don’t worry about a law suit. besides you have been enjoying it at least a few thousand miles and now it broke again. you will be broke for awhile. my transmission went and my this and that . Now I drive my old subaru and drive the mini once in awhile.

  138. Bonjour,
    J’envissage de me procurer un mini cooper D d’occasion, j’aimerai que celle-ci posséde moins de 90 000km et j’ai un budget de 10 000€.
    Lors de mes recherche je me suis apperçu qu’avec un tel budget, je trouverais seulement une mini de 2002 à 2004 environ.
    Mes proches me disent qu’il faut que je fasse trés attention car sur les premiers modéles, il y a forcément beaucoup de problémes.
    Ceci me ralenti beaucoup, j’ai peur d’investir dans une voiture à probléme. Pourriez-vous me donner quelques conseils? Merci d’avance!!!!

    • Bonjour!
      Je m’excuse pour mon français.
      Transmission manuelle, car les pièces sont disponibles.
      Considérons un mini classique.
      Les pièces sont toujours disponibles. Ils sont faciles à réparer.
      Un problème avec le mini classique a été documentée et est bien connue.
      J’espère que cela aide! n’hésitez pas à m’envoyer toute question.

  139. I wish to thank each of you for sharing your Mini Cooper stories. Wish I had been aware that the Mini Cooper CVTs were ticking time bombs. But hey, I was out enjoying the ride. Ignorance is bliss.

    My 2002 Mini died Oct. 2010 on a blind curve during the morning rush hour. Without warning the CVT tranie just up and quit, leaving me in a very dangerous situation. I was blessed that my Mini rolled to a stop on a hill making it possible for me to roll the car backwards, in neutral, far enough to get mostly off of the highway. Quite a feat as there was no shoulder and a steep drop off on my side of the road.

    I had enjoyed being part of the Mini family while it lasted. Now I tell friends and family that I am planning to fill my Cooper up with dirt and planting flowers through the sunroof and windows. Then we can sit back and enjoy my new $10,000 flower pot.

    Now when I see one of those sweet little cars, I feel sad. Not only for my lost love but also for the pain that driver will go through when that Mini quits. And quit it most likely will…without an ounce of warning. Drivers…BEWARE

    Oh, by the way. I took very good care of my Mini. I had it serviced regularly at Mini of St. Louis and spent lots of money doing exactly what I was told needed to be done each visit. My 10/2010 phone call to M of SL gave me the same cost to repair the transmission as the above posts stated which was more than the trade-in value of the vehicle. My service people have always been very polite and helpful. I have no complaint with them.


  140. Hi,
    just wondering whether there is any chance to get these transmissions problems together, it seems there are too many vs. a once-while lemon.
    Given the statistics, the MINI – and one would have to inquire from mechanics – is and has not certainly been so usual car driven as most others. Just look at Japanese cars outcry although I am not a specialist and believe there were tragedies involved.

    Addendum: has anyone considered a problem with battery in these MINIs (2004 here) under 40,000 miles, MINI/BMW does not believe we have any problem despite having the car towed too many times to count. However, I noticed that if left several hours or overnight (often not manageable) – the car starts again a drives – but we have not taken the car for more than a couple miles given its poor dependability.
    #1 Has anyone spoken or written to MINI folks in the US? (I did, they deny any transmission problems and have NEVER heard about this)
    #2 After so much financial leakeage for different issues suggested by those who seem to know about MINI, we are out of money to put into this car over and over. Have not replaced transmission though.
    The last suggestion: battery. Does anyone know the cost and/or would an older and most likely less expensive battery be available? If someone knows about batteries in MINI, where to inquire?
    please reply to

  141. I was going to trade in my 06 xa scion for a 09 mini, but decided to do some research on them. Nobody was talking but you guys. I like the style but a car these days should last longer than 100k miles before any major work like the ones discussed is done. I drove a 95 geo metro 170k miles before the rubber band(timing belt) broke. After read all of these postings I think I’ll keep my xa scion. Getting from Point A to Point B is better than the trouble. I thank you all for giving us a better understanding of the problems with the mini cooper. If maybe someone could contact 20/20 or dateline and pass the info over to someone in the media, maybe this could speed up the process. Thanks again for the warning. 

  142. Wow, I am SO glad I found this forum. Otherwise, I would be seriously looking at a 2002 Mini I found on Craigslist. THANK YOU!!!!

  143. I had mine stop with no notice and it needed remapped. That was at 11,000 miles. I’m one of the more fortunate ones that got to enjoy my 2006 convertable for 159,000 miles. I commute to work and I took it to Las Vegas, the lake, etc etc. So piled the miles. Now the transmission is making a loud bad noise and I’m told 7K to replace it. I am heartbroken looking outside at my fun ride knowing it will just be traded in for a different car – probably a Toyota. Right now I’m driving my Nissan and hate it. My dealers have been nice and honest so far. They are so far away though. No more mini coopers. 😦

    • I feel for you because the same ordeal happen to me, and chose to replace it with a Yaris, I am really happy about it! But I remain really pissed off at MINI for making those transmissions almost impossible to replace without having to be a millionnaire! I bought my mini 10500$ 8 months ago, the transmission broke after 8 months after, and the garage gave me only 5000$ in exchange! Oh well, you live you learn… A Toyota is really a safe choice… it’s not as flashy, but will suit nicely with your wallet.

      • i have rebuilt 3 of the mini cvt transmissions within the last year and they all are trouble free unitil now, they’re not easy to do but it can be done if you know the source for parts and have the level of skil and tools needed, i in GA if anyone id interested in a rebuild, believe me it is way cheaper than a transmission shop or the dealer! good luck!

  144. Wow! thanks for this forum, the wife and I fall in love with MC…and we were just a hair from buying this cutie…but no thanks!

  145. My CVT transmission just went out too, no one will touch it, talked to a licensed BMW/MINI mechanic and he has said he has people come in with this issue all the time. he told me he has actually bought 4 of his customers mini’s because they have thrown in the towel on the whole fiasco. I would like to join any and all lawsuits out there concerning the CVT transmission. my mechanic told me it was a very unfair thing that BMW/MINI was doing in not making a recall on an obviously faulty part, considering on the newer mini’s(2008^) its a fraction to replace the transmission(2k vs 7k). Very disenchanted with BMW/MINI and I will be warning others not to purchase or lease these cars.

    Any information in resolving these CVT issues with BMW/MINI would be greatly appreciated.
    my e-mail:

    • purchased a 2006 mini s a couple months ago. Had 10k miles on it and now have 13k. Transmission shifts very hard and will not shift into over drive. Scheduled and appointment for Friday at roadshow mini in Memphis which is several hours away. After reading these post im worried about what they are going to tell me as this low low milage 06 which is now out of warranty. Aug 16 2011

  146. Back at the end of 2003, I bought four, 2004 automatic Mini Cooper’s and the transmission on all of them have “whined” for years and now finally one of them has failed completely and the dealer wants $7900.00 to replace the transmission. Needless to say I won’t pay this because the car is not worth $7900.00. If there is really a class-action lawsuit going, I want in. BMW should be ashamed of themselves for knowingly selling cars with their experimental, worthless and discontinued CVT transmission.

  147. Add me to the list of disgusted Mini owners. Mine’s a 2007 convertible with CVT transmission, 71k miles. The car started making a whining noise Monday and today I was told by an independent mechanic that it needs a new $5300 tranny. Tonight I had decided to take it to the Mini dealer and pitch a fit to get them to cover the repair. However it sounds like from all the previous posts, that will not help. I guess I will have it repaired and trade it. I have loved the car, but this has “taken the shine” off of it. FYI – 2007 and 2008 convertibles are 1st generation Minis, 2009 to now are 2nd generation.

  148. We have been contemplating the purchase of a Mini for my wife as a ”buzz around town car” Man ! Am I glad I happened on to this site !!!! A person has enough situations in life without adding another….I would not buy a ”mini” with a personal warrenty signed by the Pres of MINI and BMW and all the board members of the two companies and the amount of purchase in escrow for possible problems….I don’t want a vehicle or any other product that has to be frequently visited by a Factory trained Tech….Our house appliances are 3 years old and are High End Maytag….We have already replaced the Dryer and have had Heavy repairs on the rest….The Dishwasher has Never been able to be used….Maybe we as consummers need to ”NOT BUY ANYTHING that we don’t need…Cj.

  149. Just bought a 2003 Mini Cooper, used, from Robinson Pontiac in Guelph, Ontario. I was told I had a 3 month 3000km warranty on major components. Also three days from pickup total coverage if there were any issues. Picked it up on a Saturday, was back to dealer on Monday. Had a bad vibration inside when I opened the windows. Turned out to be both front speaker cones were separated. They said it wasn’t covered under warranty. Engine light comes on. Then hard shifting through gears in this automatic transmission. Dealer sent car to Cooper dealer. Cooper checked and verified transmission needed to be a cost of $6000.00 plus labor. Warranty company denied claim. If you are looking to buy a Mini Cooper Used, and the VIN ends in 13840, beware! It needs a transmission!

  150. JUst bought an 06 Mini and was wondering how you can tell if you have one with the bad CVT. My Mini seems to shift fine but does not have a smooth teke off. Seems the transmission takes a little long to engage when you put it id DR. Some give me some advice please. thanks
    worried in TN>

  151. Indeed a very nice post,and I would like to tell that both Auto Repair and Auto services are the essential constituent for transmission repair,air conditioning, and much more.I have just subscribed to your blog and will be awaiting for more good postings like this. Thanks

  152. Well I’m surprised at reading these comments, I work for a grand am race team in the US and we have to race against these mini coopers. From 2010 and up, they have proven to be worthwhile competitors and have won there class recently at New Jersey Motorsports park, against stiff competition. They do run the 6 speed manual box though, not the automatic, which seems to be the problem child.

  153. 2005 Mini Cooper. Bought it w/45K miles. It now has 58K. Transmission went. $5,300 to replace. And it appears I’m lucky to be paying that amount. I know they fixed the issue with the newer Minis but I won’t be buying another one.

  154. I bought four, 2004 Mini Coopers with automatic transmission for use at work. They have been maintained and serviced always but a few months ago the transmission failed on one of them. I reached out to Mini but they don’t give a damn and told me that they would replace the transmission for $7500.00 or would give me $500 for the car if I traded it for a new Mini! Talk about adding insult to in jury. In addition to these four Coopers, my brother and I had also each bought a 2005 Mini Cooper S convertible and between us have owned or leased 7 BMW’s over the last ten years. Believe me we will never touch another BMW product, ever! The CVT tran is obviously a huge problem on this car and it’s a pity that Mini fail to take responsibility for the garbage they sell to the public. I am very nervous about the remaining three Cooper’s I still own as they do have a constant whine and I am afraid that they may fail as well. potential buyers BEWARE!

  155. I bought a 2005 Mini Cooper Standard transmission of 5 velocities. It lasted almost 6 years and finally, it began to produced that kind of noisy sound in the transmission when running. Now I’ve realized the huge amount of money it would cost to replace it. So, as many of you have said I love my car but, if I cannot afford a repair, then I will be saying bye-bye to my little yellow car, though I really don’t want it. It appears either manual or automatic transmissions for this model, both are very fragile.

    • I had a 2004 Mini with a standard 5 speed transmission that failed at 39,00 miles. It was not covered by the warranty because it was over 4 years old.

  156. 2003 Cooper Mini with 150,000 KMs. Transmission is done. Dealer wants $8,000 and Mini Canada offered no help. Car is sitting in front of my house now because it’s probably not even worth $8,000.

  157. I am in shock and can’t stop crying. Bought the car of my dreams last year. Could not afford a new one, so i was pleased and excited to purchase a used 2006 red mini convertible. As a single mom of 3 kids, I always had a mini – van to accommodate the kids…so to have a “mini” cooper was a dream come true for me.
    Now I am living a nightmare! After only 15 months and 64,000 miles…the CVT transmission is one step from the grave and it will cost $7,900 to fix…I am devastated, since this is my only form of transportation and I live in a small town in Florida ….no subways in sight.
    I have to do something right away because I cannot get to work. It happened today and I just found this sight…if I said if wish I had done more research before buying the mini…that certainly would be an understatement.
    I am so hurt and want to take some form of action.
    Thank you for starting this …perhaps we can help each other and also prevent this from happening to those who are fortunate to come across our information.
    Please let me know if there is a class action do we keep in touch/communicate ?

    • Ida, I hadn’t even hit close to 30k miles when I began to have the transmission problems — and the car was under warranty. The b&&&$%xS at my local Mini/BMW dealer of course knew about this problem but instead told me they had fixed it (adjusted something) and that it was due to the cold weather. That was a great way to hold me over, so when the car began acting up again, I would sit there and let it warm up for a while, as I had believed them. Very shortly after the car went out of warranty, the problem got much worse and the transmission wouldn’t go out of gear half the time.
      Greedy BMW wouldn’t budge — They said they were being generous by offering me $3500 of the $7000 to replace the transmission. I didn’t have $3500, especially not to pour into an undependable car (by then, I had been reading about the steering problems, too).
      I saw an attorney (I sat in her office crying), who advised me to trade the car in, and fast. I never would have done that without legal advice, and I discussed it with a friend in the auto business.
      It still cost me an arm and a leg because I had the car less than 2 years and was totally upside down in it financially. But I traded it (and not for a Mini or BMW), and I’m now driving a DECENT car with big monthly car payments, but at least I got rid of that POS — I’m sure the car got sent back to Mini, and they would have had to replace the transmission in order to re-sell it, as I could barely get it out of gear anymore when I traded it in. (I sure was glad then that my puppy had pooped on the carpet in there.)
      I also got a local consumer news reporter on them, but by the time he did anything, I had already gotten a new car (the reporter was very interested).
      By the way, my auto-business friend told me that Nissan had the same problem with those transmissions — and guess what? They were replacing them for FREE even when the cars were out of warranty. That’s what a decent company does.

  158. I drive a 2004 Mini Cooper and the cvt has been starting to give me problems. When releasing the gas from 70 or 60, the tachometer goes up and the car is working hard right now I’m in the shop and the specialized Mini mechanic (independent) is trying to adjust the computer inside. It’s up in the air now.

  159. my daughter just purchased a 2004 mini cooper less than 2 months ago and the warranty company will not cover the cost of replacement since they say” its a pre existing issue”….and the dealership which is not mini cooper buy the way will not pay for it either he says it was fine when i sold it to you!!…..the tranny place says its the cvt tranny and cant be rebuilt just needs a new tranny …but i dont have 6300 to foot the bill….bad eneough i havent even made the first payment yet….and i live in sc so their are no lemon laws… has under 5000 miles and my daughter only put 1300 miles on the car!!!

  160. to michelle,
    can you past me the information regardng the 03 mini you said you had it fixed for 429.00 bec there was a solution instead of getting a new tranny we could just replaced or repair the box. please email me thank you.

    • Call the atty’s office and add your name to the list of the class action law suit. Contact 877-606-6138. I called today and added my information. I also own a mini cooper that has a bad transmission but we can’t let these people get away with it. Please call.

  161. I have 2010 Mini Cooper S and love it. It has 7000 miles on it. Yesterday I was at a stop light for about 30 seconds and it started making such a loud noise and suddenly started lurching forward. I put my foot on the brake as hard as I could and people starting running in front of the car. It was awful and lasted about one minute. I took it directly to the dealership and the car smelled awful from the outside once I got there. They called me last night and told me they could not find anything that caused the lurching problem or the smell. I don’t know what to do. Could you let me know if you have ever encountered this problem….

    • Hi,

      I had similar problem when I first got my Mini…It’s ’05. The deal told me the same thing. They said there is no problem and I’m imagining the whole thing. Today I’m at 86K miles and my transmission is messed up; I can’t hardly drive the car. I have no idea what I’m going to do.

      My recommendation for you is that; anytime you notice this problem take it to the dealer and let them log it & tell you that there is no problem. However you will have a log of the issue everytime you took it in. Save all your paperwork and note the miles.

      If anything happens in the future; you have a paper trail showing the problem & the dealer refused to do anything about it. You can take this paper trail to Mini & ask them to pay for fixing the issue. If they don’t get a lawyer and sue them.

      I wish I went to the dealer everytime I noticed the transmission issue but instead I just took their word and considered it to be a random problem that I thought would go away.

      Anyway your car is still new & has low miles. So like I said start a paper trail on the issue, enjoy your work and when things go wrong use the history reports to your advantage.

      Nothing is going to happen to your car since it’s still young and low miles. If this is too much to deal with then when the car reaches 40,000, dump it.

  162. 05 mini w/ only 40K plus KM, had a tranny oil leak, took to get fixed, now realized what the actual issue is after hearing from the mechanic and googling this problem. Has this issue been elevated towards an actual formal lawsuit? It’s ridiculous that they know they built a sh*t tranny that wouldn’t last and changed it in the following years w/o having a recall. Any up to date info regarding this would be very helpful thank you.

  163. My 2003 Mini w 96K miles on it clutch just went today and it is at the shop. I am so afraid to learn of the fate of my car tomorrow after reading all these posts. It has had a whirring sound in the engine for a few years now and I thought it was normal. I take it in for service regularly at a reputable certified shop so it is is good shape overall and most people can’t believe it is 9 years old! Crossing my fingers for a positive outcome because I really can’t buy a new car at this point in time…

    • ps: I have only had one other mechanical problem with my car and that was the fan in the power steering column. Otherwise the car has been awesome and I have had the best of times with my Mini Badger!! Sorry to hear others have had such problems. Julie

    • Hello Julie C,
      Consider yourself lucky as this issue is not related to manual transmissions, i.e. with a clutch, but it is about the ‘special’ automatic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). This is a bad transmission and MINI is not admitting that it is faulty. Your other statement about the fan in the steering column is another item that hits many MINI owners. It is not as high dollar ticket item as a transmission, but MINI is also faulty on that. – When I had that looked into the dealer knew exactly what is was and quoted me the repair price in less the 3 seconds. Sam

    • My 2003 Mini just crapped out on me yesterday on the way home and in the middle of the highway. That whirring sound is the transmission. I also had the clutch replaced about 6 months ago and need a new transmission today. I will have more details after the shop checks into it.

  164. Tara Allen & Marek Panasewicz: My email address is There is a California class action case that has been filed. If you qualify your name can be added. Please send me your phone number and I will forward to the firm working on the case. There are guid lines as all cases (years, miles, etc.) This has been filed for California, USA only. It may expand at a later time to other states. They are very busy and do not have any money up front to pursure this so your patience is appreciated. The complaint has been filed! and they are looking for possible other class reps to be added.

      • Harold Park was the name of one of the atty’s handling the class action intent. There are other atty’s involved. I called today 5-8-12 at this number 877-606-6138 and obtained information. If there is no answer, please try at another time. I called at 3pm and spoke to one of the atty’s involved. I hope this information helps.

  165. I have (had) a 2004 Mini that was rearended two weeks ago–the transmission died at the scene (as well as the power steering pump). But I got 181,502 miles out of it. The insurance company will only give me 25% of the cost of the replacement (according to the betterment scale). So I’m looking at a ’99 Saab now…

  166. June, What the heck are you talking about? Too bad about the accident but who cares? This site is for and about people who invested a good amount of money and are being screwed by a major manufacturer that will not admit that they screwed the buying public. I am the only one allowed to drive my MCS because it is dangerous and unfortunately, I cannot replace it or eat the cost. MINI should be pressured to replace their crappy trannies with a standard non-crappy one. BTW Saab’s are very over rated.

  167. Gerry, we have 04 MINI aith CVT transmission, 40K, and it was always
    maintained, incl. change of transmission fluid, as suggested by the local
    dealership that sold us the car., this was done even ahead of schedule, just to see whether this would improve ? transmission frequent malfunction.
    Would you please let us know where can we purchase a reasonably priced transmission, and/or to see whether our transmission could be taken apart and replace only the belt or any other part that might have
    failed? I hear that often belt is the culprit.
    Could you tell us if you could tell us what website or what phone to call
    to fix our transmission at a reasonable cost?

  168. Update to my 3/7/12 post.

    After all the run around with 2 different dealers, independent transmission shops, and mini mechanics; I finally got a straight answer from the Head Tech at the local Mini Dealership. His recommendation; trash the car as soon as possible to try to get as much money out of it.

    I also had few phone calls with Mini Corporation of USA. Though there is nothing they can do, I was able to at least file my complaints in hope that others don’t face the same problem as I have been dealing with & they come out with some procedures to help their customers.

    BMW/Mini has lost me as a customer & I will do everything I can to educate the people I know on the poor build quality by the manufacture.

  169. I own a 2005 Cooper S (automatic) and now at 85K miles, I need to get a new transmission. I bought the car new and am very sad to see all of these posts. I am in if there are any class action lawsuits! The dealer told me it will be $10K to replace it. The car is worth 9K. I was thinking about getting the roadster, but after reading all the posts, I am thinking it is time for something else.

    • I had enough w/ my ’05 Cooper S with 85K miles…I sold my POS Mini and would never buy another Mini or a BMW product ever again in my life…

      I lost so much money on this damn car. I fill like I got robbed by Mini/BMW…they should change their name from “The Ultimate Driving Machine” to “The Ultimate Robbing Machine”.

      Just sell your car and let someone else deal w/ the problem. It’s not worth the headache the stress of the transmission problem that’s not going to fix itself.

  170. When I was in college two years ago I first saw a mini speed off… I absolutely loved it… I told myself that’s the car I want. Now two years have passed and I purchased 2004 mini with 68 ,000 miles not even a year has passed and I’m having problems with the transmission. At first it seemed to be a loose hose spilling out the transmissionfluid …. So plugging it back in and putting in more transmission fluid seem to work. And it did for 4 days now my tranny is completely giving out at 77,000 miles…. I been stranded 3 times two in a freeway and one in an intersection… This car has been a huge disappointment and here I thought I was purchasing a great product because BMW was behind it… Here I am stuck having to pay about 7,000 for a new tranny and I haven’t even finished my car payments I.still have 9000 to go! This is not fair I will never buy from BMW again! Mini is a piece of junk! Count me in for the lawsuit

    • I feel your pain…there is not much you can do about it. Did you buy the Mini from a private owner or from BMW dealership? If from BMW dealership then I would recommend talking to a lawyer and file a law suite against the dealership for selling you a lemon since you still have $9K in payments left and it hasn’t been a year.

      I’ve been dealing with my Mini for a long time…I’ve made multiple calls to Mini USA & BMW USA including writing letters. It leads to nowhere.

      The only thing I got was an apology from BMW USA rep stating that there is nothing she can do about it and that she feels bad for the problems I’ve dealt with.

      At the end, I got tired of the stress of dealing with the car and fear of being constantly stranded on road. I sold the car and I’ve never been happier.

      Hope you find a solution to your Mini problem.

      • I just submitted a complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( for my fauly transmission after my 2005 MCS CVT transsmission completely died and left me stranded in the middle of a highyway. ***** Put in a complaint at the site and let them know how BMW /Mini is endangering all of our lives.*******. Do it right away!

  171. I fell in love with the MINI Cooper and was within days of purchasing one. I thank all of you for your insight on how this car has betrayed you. I love no longer. MINI is off my list.

  172. How is the class action suit in California going? I am an attorney in Oklahoma and thinking about starting one here. I also am a 2003 mini owner who had to replace the transmission. Please contact me at Thank you!

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    I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading
    and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  175. Where are you located? I’m in the SF Bay area and have a 2003 that needs a CVT trans repaired (hopefully before it goes out), now it just has that whirring/whiney noise that wasnt’ there a few months ago.

  176. Hello all, Just came back from the mini dealer with my wife’s 2006 cooper S and auto transmission ( type with the paddles ) , they could not find the problem of it dropping out of gear on a 10 mile drive, 10 minutes of us picking it up , it dropped out of gear on the highway, lucky she pulled over fast or might have been run into. Now they did find something at the dealer, 1- leaking waterpump,2 – powersteering hose leaking,3- oil pan gasket leaking ( they still did an oil and filter change ). result – they wanted $3000 for all of this to be done. Who has that money at the drop of a hat .
    Taking the car to a local VW mechanic to sort, maybe they ca find the real fault, LIfetime Oil – the handbook tells you ” all oils breakdown over time ”
    Sign me up if they take a law suit out for the newer transmission, also has 92000 miles on it – MINI USA – sorry it is out of warranty, cannot help.

  177. You can definitely see your expertise in the article you
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  178. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get
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  179. Hi i got a 2002 mini cooper automatic transmission that is bad does anyone know if I can put a automatic transmission from a 2007 mini cooper in it (would it fit) thank you

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