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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Repairpal verified 2002 Mini Cooper problems
Failure of the automatic transmission is common. Even though the automatic transmission is advertised as "sealed for life," our technicians recommend the automatic transmission fluid be replaced every 30,000 miles with only the approved Mini/BMW fluid. Our technicians recommend thorough troubleshooting before replacing the transmission because programming procedures can affect how the transmission shifts and there is a special procedure to refill the transmission.
Minis have an electric power steering pump that is prone to failure. When replacing the pump, our technicians advise inspecting the cooling fan because it is often the cause of the failure of the pump.
There are reports of the electric door locks malfunctioning.