The BMW Mini is regarded by its owners and the general public as a fun and durable car. BMW's legendary German engineering helps to ensure that the Mini maintains its composure over thousands of miles and years of abuse, but even the best cars aren't free of fault. As Mini's meet miles, some of these car's basic flaws begin to surface, though most can be prevented with some basic preventive maintenance.
Mini's are fairly sensitive to fuel quality, and some owners have discovered that using low-quality or low-octane fuel can lead to shoddy performance. If your engine begins to stutter, run the fuel tank dry, and refill it with a higher octane fuel and fuel system cleaner, like 104+ Octane Booster and Fuel System Cleaner.
One of the few things that BMW seems to struggle with through its entire model line is cooling system failure. Many BMW's use water pumps with plastic impellers, that are known to soften, chip and fail, and radiators that can become easily damaged or clogged by cooling system debris. Mechanics recommend flushing the cooling system on every other oil change and replacing the Mini's water pump every 60,000 miles, and radiator every 100,000 miles.
The scenario: The proud owner of a CVT equipped Mini is accelerating from a dead stop when the transmission lets out a heart-wrenching groan and refuses to move the car. If this has happened to you, then congratulations; you're now part of the Mini Exploding Transmission Club. For reasons as-yet undisclosed, a great number of Mini CVTs (Continuously Variable Transmissions) have spontaneously imploded with no notice. Unfortunately, BMW doesn't make repair parts for these transmissions, so the only option is to have a new one installed for the not-insubstantial sum of £4,550. Though most owners who have experienced this did have the transmission replaced, more than a few have decided to simply use their broken Mini plus the £4,550 repair money to purchase a new, manual-transmission Mini.
Upper Strut Mounts
Early Minis are known to experience cracked strut tower mounts after excessive driving on uneven or potholed roads. Though BMW's technical service bulletin recommends a far more complicated approach, this potentially dangerous condition can be remedied or prevented by a mechanic who's handy with a welder. The simplest and cheapest approach is to weld a 1/8-inch steel reinforcement plate to the top of the strut tower mounts and connect them to each other and the chassis with an aftermarket tower brace.