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.

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Average mileage: 94,051 (4,956–143,000)
Drive Trains affected: Automatic Transmission, Manual Transmission
6 model years affected: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, more2006, 2008
28 people reported this problem
23 people shared problem details
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.
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 Transmission
not yet fixed but the problem is harsh shifting when engine is warm and had traveled about 5 miles
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 Transmission99,000
it doesn't go two second its stuck on first gear please help me
2006 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission76,000
The transmission would shift hard and fell like my car was being kicked.
2005 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission90,000
Car doesn't seem to want to.shift out of gear. When you take you foot off acceleration the car slows down quickly
2005 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission100,000
Even when new, the transmission would sometimes slam a shift. It did this rarely so we didn't think much of it. Now we have over 100K miles on the car. It's been dropping a gear suddenly. Usually between 3rd and 4th. We would be driving normally. Just slowly gaining speed. Suddenly, the revs will flare. Our solution is to either just let up on the accelerator until the revs drop. Or my solution is to use the tranny in manual mode. Even then, when I ask for a shift from 3rd to 4th, sometimes it takes a long time and the revs will flare and slam home.
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.
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.
2005 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission60,000
It started at around 60,000 miles jumping into gear when shifted from park to drive. Now it is slipping in and out of gear at around 60 miles per hour. The car now has around 120k on it and I need the transmission replaced to drive it.
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 Transmission60,000
I requested Mini check the transmission after experiencing occasional very hard down shifting during slow deceleration. Mini said they could not reproduce the problem. During a second service visit I again informed them the transmission was down shifting hard on slow deceleration and would slip and engage very hard, they again could not reproduce the problem. On a third service visit I strongly requested a transmission flush. I have now taken the car to a non-dealer, Mini/BMW/Mercedes service shop who informed me the transmission fluid was somewhat burned and had a small amount of material in it. When I called Mini to inquire about their lack of action regarding my requests about the transmission, especially considering that type of transmissions were known to have valve body problems, they said I'd never asked them to check the transmission and on the last service visit they had recommended a transmission flush which I declined. This was the service visit at which I strongly requested they flush the transmission.
2006 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission142,000
The transmission works well in sport mode. But when in regular mode, it will buck and shift hard from first to second.
2004 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission4,956
It just stops running,didn't got fix yeat
2005 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission70,000
It started by downshifting just when driving then it was stuck in sport drive now it will not shift and I can't drive it. It has been parked for several months now.
2008 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission134,000
While driving on highway the car would not stay in gear,decelerated, then would not accelerate over 25 MPH...had to pull off road and had it towed to repair shop. Diagnosis is transmission failure. Repair quotes from two different auto repair businesses (including MINI dealership) is around $8,000. The car is effectively "totaled", as we will not be paying an amount for a car repair that is equal to the entire value of the car. Thank you MINI for the expensive paperweight!!!
2002 Mini Cooper- Automatic Transmission
Hard Jerking into gear when taking off and sometimes while excelerating.I now can't drive it as it is now unreiable
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