Clutch May Wear Prematurely on Mini Cooper

There are reports of premature clutch wear on cars equipped with manual transmissions.  Clutch replacement on these vehicles can be quite costly.

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Average mileage: 67,602 (3,800–160,000)
Drive Trains affected: Automatic Transmission, Manual Transmission
11 model years affected: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, more2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
67 people reported this problem
51 people shared problem details
2010 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission20,200
Intermittent metal on metal sound when releasing the clutch only in first gear. Took it to Mini Dealer within days of the first noise and advised the clutch and Flywheel needed to be replaced. "Chief" technician said it was due to "aggressive" driving and said it was not covered by warranty. I am 61 yo and the only driver from home to work mostly on regular city streets, lots of stop and start. Have had a Honda S2000 and a standard truck that had over 40,000 miles without a clutch problem. I have 6 year 100,000 mile warranty and have had the car 2 1/2 years with only 20,200 miles on the car. If this is a conspiracy by Mini and BMW not to repair faulty clutch and flywheel under warranty,and if this is a common issue, maybe we have some sort of legal action. They still have my car because I believe it should be covered by warranty.
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2004 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission102,500
Clutch pedal sank to floor accompanied by burning brake fluid smell. Assumed slave cylinder failure (it's a cheap piece of plastic so it was shot.) 30-dollar part, I thought 'no worries, I can set this to rights.' Wrong. The clutch fork was jammed too. Garaged the car and dropped the trans out myself (if you're a DIY-er, this car is *not* worth the effort unless you're a masochist and want to strip everything forward of the firewall out.) the cheap plastic-framed throwout bearing had melted and disintegrated; the pressure plate had severe scoring, two bent fingers, and a blue ring indicating that the plate had annealed from the heat. The lock tabs that hold the bearing to the fork are brittle plastic. The new OE bearing's tabs don't hold to the fork; I doubt that the bearing would survive the first ten miles after I start this thing up again. Don't let the dealer service section snow you and claim it's indicative of aggressive driving. This is a cheaply-built, cheaply-engineered car that should never have left the factory. Its positive attributes do not come close to compensating for the maintenance hassles stemming from poor material quality.
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2002 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission98,000
Was just about to take off from a stop and when I put it in first gear it just locked up. Would go in to any gear but wouldn't initiate when you let off the clutch. Just informed my 2002 Mini has a likely clutch failure due to wear. I drive it carefully but no idea how it was handled prior. I just got it a few months ago. They are quoting $1400-$1800 depending on if the flywheel is gone too.
2010 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission15,000
Clutch worn out. As per the mechanics the wear/tear is consistent with aggressive driving and "no way BMW will replace it under warranty". Location is Melbourne Australia (had to put a random zip code, to masquerade on this website).
2008 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission57,000
This is my second clutch, flywheel replacement on my 2008 Mini Clubman S. Does not seem right!
2010 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission23,800
Bought a 2010 JCW with 23K miles and 1 month later the clutch started groaning when taking off in 1st gear. Took it in and thankfully the dealer replaced the clutch and flywheel under warranty, no fighting with them.
2005 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission65,000
Shifting in my Mini Cooper 2005 was extremely rough from day 1, especially gear 1 to 2, and 2 to 3. I complained to the dealer a few times and was told that's a characteristic of Mini Cooper!! Before owning a Mini, I had a Mazda Miata for 14 years...smooth and transparent shifting...first and only clutch replacement was at 125,000 miles in my Miata! Finally, one day the clutch in my Mini got stuck in gear 1 and wouldn't shift anymore. I took it to my mechanic and it turned out it was the clutch and I had to replace it at 65,000 miles! The clutch disk was broken in half! The mechanic wanted to make sure I take it home with me, because, he said, in 20 years at my job, I have never seen anything like this!! He added, hadn't I done repairs on your Miata in the past 10 years, I would have concluded you are a reckless driver, but I know for fact you are a very good driver so this must be a defected clutch.
2005 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission64,000
I too had my clutch replaced at about 64k miles and I just got it used last year with 59k miles on it. Some people do have problems and some don't. If you guys do some research, you can get most of these problems fixed for a lot less. An oil change from my local dealer would've been about $150 but I found a local mechanic that did it for less than half. And since I heard good things from this mechanic, he's the only guy I take my 05 convertible to. I had him replace my clutch along with a new serpentine belt and air filter for about $1700. I also believe that it's true these cars can't take a lot of abuse. I'm not sure if it was the miles I had on my car or what, but I did a few burnouts with my mini and that's what probably caused it to fail prematurely and it began to slip pretty badly. My advise is always make sure you take good care of your cars and they should last a while. I wouldn't have anything done on my car unless I knew 100% that it needed it. Before you have something done on your mini, I would do some research and see if it's showing signs of any problem. I've learned A LOT and know how to tell if there's a problem. I know back in September my mini needed to get checked out and so I had the dealership do it since it was just built and I wanted to check it out. They had discovered another "problem" with the power steering and I said go ahead and fix the issues you found. The day after it was done, it kept sputtering and stalling. My dad pulled over and discovered power steering fluid pouring out. They took it back and gave us a loaner and gave us a call a few hours later. They said it must've been a problem before it came in but I knew it had not leaked a single drop of fluid since I picked it up. Not only that, the moron who refilled the power steering fluid put the wrong fluid in! They charged us another $300 for parts but no labor and I already had to pay $600 for a new front passenger strut replacement. I needed to replace my spark plugs yesterday. The dealership wanted $21 for each plug! I found the exact same plugs and got all 4 for less than the cost of one plug from the dealership. I gotta say for how fun these little cars are, they're expensive to maintain.
2008 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission150,032
I knew the clutch was going because I got that weird metal on metal sound in 1st gear. I was able to drive for a few hundred miles before the clutch completely went. It's in the shop awaiting repair. Sigh.
2003 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission75,000
Pulled in driveway and clutch felt sluggish. Tried to put in reverse, hard time . Texted my mechanic and told him what happened . Clutch needs replaced. New clutch installed .
2013 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission13,300
Clutch made a low groaning noise when taking off in 1st and reverse right before I took it in to the dealership for it's first ever maintenance. Tech said it needed a new clutch. Also said they would not balance my tires because both front tires need to be replaced. When I questioned these problems with such low miles, they said "I am sure you are driving the car the way it is meant to be driven,... but you have to pop the clutch, its not like other clutches". No explanation for tires. They replaced the clutch under warranty, I had to buy the tires at $250 each. 2013 Countryman S
2010 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission35,000
Went to pull off and the clutch went to the floor. Eventually managed to pull off, but then the clutch was not right. Pulled over and turned engine off for while. When I tried to start the car again it stalled without being in gear. Suspect that the release bearing has failed.
2003 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission66,000
Clutch is starting to slip.
2010 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission56,000
The problem started last week. When putting my car into 1st gear, the rpm would go from 0 to 4 in a matter of seconds before the car even gets to 5 mph . . . Now, it will not move past 5 mph when I press the gasoline then when I move to 2nd gear, it is moving like a turtle until I get to 3rd gear and will only start driving at a fairly normal speed when I finally get to 5th gear and above. Each day it gets worse, I have stopped driving it and it's in my garage. Not sure what to do now. Will call BMW tomorrow morning to see about the warrenty.
2005 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission
Started revving faster than it was taking off, like an automatic transmission would slip. Still looking for a place to fix it, not an easy job.
2004 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission34,000
Rattling noise when clutch pedal not pressed, no noise when clutch pedal pressed. It has been this way since new, dealer said its nothing to worry about, but I don't like the noise. It has also started to whine in R, 1, 2 gear.
2003 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission155,000
Burning smell clutch spongy-to the floor.
2009 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission63,000
Clutch slips under load; especially high gears. Will replace with aftermarket items.
2007 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission61,000
Clutch began to fail during hot summer; temps around 98-101. Lack of acceleration. It is currently in the shop. I've tried to see if a current class action law suit applied; Mini is saying it does not apply to my car.
2011 Mini Cooper- Manual Transmission64,115
Clutch shivering, vibrating on all gears.
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