Service Recommend for "Sealed For Life" Transmissions on Mini Cooper

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.

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 98,353 (50,000–137,000)
Drive Train affected: Automatic Transmission
5 model years affected: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, more2008
15 people reported this problem
11 people shared problem details
2003 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission99,000
it doesn't go two second its stuck on first gear please help me
2002 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission100,000
car seems to remain in a lower gear at speeds over 50mph causing a dragging effect
2003 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission50,000
My wife had a near death experience when the transmission failed in the middle of an intersection. She pressed the accelerator only to have it go all the way to the floor and nothing happened, but the honking horns and near misses as she frantically called for help. When i arrived she had been able to traverse the intersection by continually turning the car on and off and eventually shifting to manual. i took the 2003 mini cooper to a certified repair shop and they did a diagnostic on it. The diagnostic code was P1661 and the technician relayed that there were faults in the transmission and that a rebuilt transmission was recommended at a cost of $5000 for the transmission from the dealership and $2000 labor to replace it. i researched the web and found that others had similar problems and a law firm had filed a class action law suit against BMW for defective transmissions. When i called the two dealerships in Atlanta, one would do the repair of the transmission on the "sealed for a lifetime" transmission and the other would not service any transmission on a mini cooper that they did not sell. Based on that comment it is clear that the dealership denying to do service work on factory product is aware of significant issues realated to transmission problems. BMW should step up and take care of the customers who bought mini coopers. By the way, the consumer cannot do any maintenance on a "sealed for life" transmission system thereby negating the standard manufacturing contention/deflection that the consumer failed to service and maintain the failedd part.
2005 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission137,000
Failure to shift went from bad to worse. Now reverse is very slow reacting. Seems as if it has no Auto. Trans. Fluid but I don't have any leaks.
2008 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission73,000
Car jerks when accelerating
2005 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission65,000
Just bought the car used. Low miles and the previous purchase inspection was perfect. Started jumping and lagging a bit when accelerating or decelerating. Just signed myself into paying monthly payments on a lemon.
2006 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission101,238
Car hesitates during acceleration, it's slips into gear with a extremely hard jerk. I am afraid to drive it in case it may not go during the time of pulling out onto the freeway or etc.
2006 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission72,000
I have a 2006 Cooper S with automatic with the paddle shifters. My car transmission started having shifting issue like it was slipping when shifting in the 3rd gear. I was told by the dealer it couldn't be fixed and that the trans would have to be replaced for $10k But they called me back and said they would fix it for $2088 I think they are helping me out. They said it will be a new part. I love my Mini and my sister and mom both have them but this scares me. Last time it was a $3k sensor under the passenger seat. But I screamed bloody murder and found that the part had been recalled on BMWs just not on Minis. Same part number. They replaced for free finally.
2005 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission125,000
Transmission Problem; car will not run while in drive. The advice from the mechanic is to replace the transmission. The cost of replacing the transmission is in the range of $5500 to $7500.
2003 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission130,000
Hello everyone, I have just discovered this transmission problem - my mini wont change gear. It has just had the power steering pump replaced (another common problem apparently) at a cost of $2000 australian dollars. Not happy. Hopefully it is just the programming as mentioned.
2002 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission98,000
We had the gearbox replaced under an extended warranty when it failed. A pushbelt link fractured or in some other way failed, initially causing noise that quickly escalated into complete failure of the entire belt. This is a unique drivetrain. Stone cold reliable until this failure just shy of 100,000 miles. The car continues to deliver on the initial promises of a fun drive, excellent fuel economy, superb brakes, and much more room than most people realize.
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