kevinSC1
kevinSC1 New Reader
8/20/09 10:27 p.m.

And she's found one she really likes - it has a Union Jack on the roof.

Its an '02 5-speed base model with 102k miles.

Is there anything particular to these cars that I need to be sure to check out if she decides to go back and see it again?

Also, both this car, and an '03 S model seem to have very poor paint under the hood, and a weird "wrinkle" in the sheetmetal on the strut towers. Since it is the same on both cars, I'm guessing that is normal - is that correct?

TJ
TJ HalfDork
8/20/09 10:57 p.m.

I always get excited when I see a thread about Min's...then they are usually about MINI's. I like them, have driven them, but cannot answer your questions other than to say get the S and stick a union jack on the roof of it.

Help will be here shortly.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
8/21/09 5:29 a.m.

^^^What he said. I wish everyone would learn to type MINI instead of Mini so I wouldn't waste time clicking on these threads.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Reader
8/21/09 5:51 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: ^^^What he said. I wish everyone would learn to type MINI instead of Mini so I wouldn't waste time clicking on these threads.

Interesting. I never knew that. So do Mini owners not care for the MINI? I can see where the older Beetle owners wouldn't appreciate the new Beetle as it is a completely different car but I thought the new MINI was pretty well done. Just curious.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim New Reader
8/21/09 6:09 a.m.

Having driven both MINIs and Minis but only owned a couple of the latter I would say that they're very very different cars and I can see why Mini owners wouldn't care that much for the newer one.

Not that the newer one isn't a good car or anything...

Ian F
Ian F HalfDork
8/21/09 9:24 a.m.

I guess being a "new MINI" owner, I assumed the thread was about the new car...

'02 was not the best year for the MINI... plenty of little teething issues that go along with early production cars. Some general points:

The early Coopers (02-04) had a Midlands transmission that is prone to self destruct. Some have been ok, others... not so much. Check/ask if it has been replaced under warranty. The later cars had a Getrag 5 spd which seems to be more reliable. Avoid the CVT automatic at all costs.

The strut tower "mushrooming" is a common problem for all '02-06' coupes and '05-'08 'verts. Unless it's so bad there's actually metal tearing, it's usually fixed by pulling the strut, pounding the metal flat again, straightening (or replacing) the strut mount and reassembling with an aftermarket tower reinforcement plate on (adding camber plates also helps). Mushrooming can be visually checked by looking at the orientation of the three strut mount bolts/nuts. They should be all parallel and not "splayed" out at all.

Like other BMW's the MINI does not tolerate non-spec coolant. Can turn the insides into a goopy mess. Check the coolant reservoir - if you see "green" either run away or talk the price down a lot.

The car will probably need LCA bushings...

Earlier cars are prone to interior rattles, later cars less so, but they're still not "tight" cars. If a quiet interior is important to you, don't buy a MINI.

Tons more info here: www.motoringfile.com www.northamericanmotoring.com

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
8/21/09 9:24 a.m.

Mini = new.

MINI = Old?

Just want to be sure....

Ian F
Ian F HalfDork
8/21/09 9:35 a.m.
914Driver wrote: Mini = new. MINI = Old? Just want to be sure....

Ya got that backwards.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
8/21/09 9:38 a.m.

Nope. Mini = old, MINI = new.

To be more precise, the old Minis were USUALLY either Austin Minis or Morris Minis. I think the earliest ones were actually called the Mini-Minor, but that didn't stick around too long. And then there were all the variants (Austin Mini Moke, Mini Clubman, Traveller, etc).

With the new ones, of course MINI is the brand name now. And for whatever baffling reason, Clubman now means wagon instead of Traveller.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
8/21/09 9:38 a.m.

Mini = old

MINI = cool lightweight Neon(ish) powered car

JFX001
JFX001 Dork
8/21/09 9:46 a.m.

My Lovely Wife saw a new Clubman last Sunday and asked for one for my Daughter.

I politely declined the request.

Volksroddin
Volksroddin Dork
8/21/09 11:22 a.m.

I am am not to keen on MINI's. If I was given one I would rock it hard, like your mama

ultraclyde
ultraclyde New Reader
8/21/09 11:29 a.m.

We love our 05 S, it's my wife's daily driver. in addition to the above, look (sniff?) for coolant smell when hot. The thermostat housings have a tendancy to leak, and the thermostat and gasket assembly is $45. Takes a little work to get to, so you might use it as a bargaining chip. Check out northamericanmotoring.com for scads of info

I didn't know that about BMW coolant....hmmm...may have screwed the pooch on that thermostat change....

jikelly
jikelly Reader
8/21/09 1:52 p.m.

My wife had her heart set on buying a Mini Clubman S until our friends with kids scared the bejeasus out of us with baby stroller, carseat talk and ruined everything. I really liked the car. Sure the interior's weird but the car was fun to drive. The cost is a bit much for our budget though.

nderwater
nderwater Reader
8/21/09 1:53 p.m.
JFX001 wrote: My Lovely Wife saw a new Clubman last Sunday and asked for one for my Daughter. I politely declined the request.

If your daughter is a student, lives in the city or likes to autocross, a MINI would be a pretty suitable choice.

JFX001
JFX001 Dork
8/21/09 1:58 p.m.
nderwater wrote:
JFX001 wrote: My Lovely Wife saw a new Clubman last Sunday and asked for one for my Daughter. I politely declined the request.
If your daughter is a student, lives in the city or likes to autocross, a MINI would be a pretty suitable choice.

She's 16....just taking Driver's Ed now...so I refuse to spend that much coin on a teenagers car right now...maybe after she graduates from College....

nderwater
nderwater Reader
8/22/09 4:33 p.m.

lol, point taken. My parents made me buy my own cars, so my first rides cost me less than $1,000 - combined! Which made sense in retrospect, as they seemed to somehow collect scrapes and dents about once a month.

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