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Mini Problems

Are you having problems with your Mini? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Mini issues & faults. We have gathered all of the most frequently asked questions and problems relating to the Mini in one spot to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

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What do I need to know when buying a new car?

The R55 Mini five-door hatch was given a facelift in July 2020, so `F55 Update’ should indicate the fact that the car in question is a post-update model. The facelift wasn’t a huge one and didn’t affect the basic vehicle, but depending on what version of the car was involved, there were a few minor changes to help keep the car current and competitive with its peers. ‘New available to order,’ meanwhile, suggests that a car is a brand-new one and not a second-hand car or – and it’s quite common – a demonstrator model.

As far as extra costs go when buying a new car, it’s all a bit of a minefield. Dealers love charging delivery fees (often simply a wash and vacuum) and you should make sure that any extras – like floor mats or slimline number-plates – are either requested specifically by you or are thrown in by the dealer to sweeten the deal. And don’t be sucked into the other extras like paint protection, upholstery protection and rust-proofing. If a car maker can’t sell you a car in 2021 that won’t fade, rot or rust, then they don’t deserve your money.

Then there are the inevitable government charges. These vary from state to state but can include stamp duty, registration and more. Make sure the dealer spells out all these extras and budget for them. The best advice is to insist that the car dealer is absolutely upfront with the final figure you’ll be asked to hand over before driving off in the car. Regardless of what 'discounts’ and deals the dealer offers, the only number you need to worry about is the drive-away, no more to pay figure.

What is the towing capacity of a 2018 Mini Countryman?

Towing capacities for hybrid vehicles has been a bit of an issue for Australian car buyers for a while now and remains one of the biggest hurdles to ownership of this type of technology. There’s also a fair bit of misinformation around, too, including the fact that hybrids can’t tow at all. That’s simply not true for some manufacturers, but in this case, it’s a fact.

While Mini specifies a 1500kg towing limited (with a braked trailer) for its Countryman range, there are exceptions. In fact, Mini does not specify a towing limit for two variants of the Countryman; the sporty John Cooper Works version and, sadly, the plug-in hybrid variant. In fact, there’s not even a factory-option tow-bar listed for those variants, which is another way of saying they’re not designed for towing at all. You may need to look elsewhere.

Is it hard to get the charger off a Mini Cooper?

Hi Jeanie, assuming you mean the turbo-charger, it is located at the front of the engine, behind the heat shield. It isn't too difficult for an experienced BMW/Mini mechanic to do the job, but the turbo itself may be expensive to replace if it is seized, and you may also be faced with high hourly labour rates going to a BMW/Mini specialist, so do shop around. Please do ensure that you speak to a specialist who has worked on Minis before.

Here's a top tip: assuming also that your Mini is from 2007 to 2014 (R55 through to R60 series), call up Peugeot specialists too, as the 'Prince' engine in Mini turbos is exactly the same as the ones used in some Peugeot 207, 308, 508 and RCZ models from about 2007 to 2015. Later Minis (from 2014 to date with an 'F' designation like F56) use an entirely different engine, so if that's yours, disregard the Peugeot specialist.

Is a new Kia Cerato a good 2015 Mini Cooper replacement?

You can get a good feel for a car’s quality simply by looking at things like the paint finish, the panel fit, the feel of the doors as they open and shut, the touch of the trim and plastics in the cabin. Kia’s quality is generally good; I can’t see any reason why you should be disappointed with the Cerato.

What electric car should I buy?

We can understand your feelings about the centrally-mounted screen in the Tesla, though you do get used to it surprisingly quickly.

As for the other models you’ve mentioned, we’ve had to get the crystal ball out to attempt to answer you!

The Polestar 2 will be on sale by the end of 2020, if all goes to plan. The company will be pushing hard to make that happen. 

The VW ID3 is likely not going to be here until 2021, likely the mid or latter part of that year. It certainly has a lot of potential, and with pricing set to start below $50,000, it could well be The People’s (Electric) Car. 

There are other options coming, though it depends on your diary and your budget.

You could consider the Tesla Model S, which may have been around for a while, but that also means it has a more traceable reliability history. It has a digital instrument cluster in the regular spot as well.

Have you looked at the Jaguar i-Pace? It has a claimed range of 470 kilometres, though it is on the pricey side of the equation, starting from about $125,000.

Indeed, a high price tag is a common theme among those EVs with big battery capacity and expansive driving range, because you’re basically covering the cost of the batteries with your money.

For instance, there’s the Audi e-tron quattro, which is due here in early 2020. That model will have a range of “more than 400 kilometres”, and - we suspect - a price tag above $120,000. 

The Mercedes EQC is about to go on sale, too. Range for that mid-size SUV is pegged at about 450 kilometres, but again, you can expect a high price tag.

If 2021 isn’t too long to wait, there’s the Volvo XC40 Recharge coming then. Based on our previous experience with Volvo XC40s, it’ll be a great small SUV, with predicted range of 400km - though we think that’s understating it, because it has a 78kWh battery pack, and it has AWD too.

At the more affordable end - though admittedly still not quite meeting your expectations for range - there’s the very impressive Hyundai Kona Electric, which has a WLTP range of 449km, and a price tag of around $65k. It isn’t all-wheel drive though.

And MG is about to launch a real upstart in the segment, with the ZS EV hitting showrooms soon for $46,990 drive-away, albeit with a range of 262km. It’s also FWD only. 

The Mini Cooper SE will also arrive in mid-2020, with pricing set to be less than $60k. But again, a range of 270km will likely rule it out for your needs, and its 2WD as well.

Another new small EV due next year is the Mazda MX-30. Pricing is still to be confirmed, and range isn’t great at about 300km. It’s FWD too. 

In short, at this point in time - and out towards the end of 2020 - it looks like you’ll either need to spend a big amount of money on a premium EV to get the best range possible, or you’ll have to get used to the Model 3’s screen. You could always get an aftermarket head-up display fitted…

Nissan Juke 2019 or Mini Cooper 2018: Which should I buy?

A: You’re right; every car has its positives and negatives, so try before you buy. Sit in them, drive them, and assess them for your particular needs. There are no hidden nasties in the Juke or Cooper A to worry about. You can negotiate on anything, everything is up for grabs, so have a go and see what you can win.


Are Minis good and reliable cars?

If there are any common problems and complaints about Mini's reliability or faults, they'll likely show up on our Mini problems page. You can also calculate a car's projected resale value via our price and specs page.

Mini Cooper: Key fob replacement
Mini Cooper 2018: Automatic shuddering

You should use the park brake when leaving the car parked, and always engage the gear before releasing the brake to drive away. If it continues to shudder after doing this, have the gearbox checked, it could a problem with the clutches, or the hill-hold might need adjusting, or it might be fixed by a transmission oil change.

Mini Cooper 2018: How to lower it?

The Mini uses coil springs to set its ride height, and there are several aftermarket options for lower coil springs. However,they should be installed by a professional suspension workshop. You should also check the laws and regulations in your state to ensure the legality of any modifications you're planning on doing.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.
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