Clutch May Wear Prematurely on Mini Cooper

Problem Description and Possible Solution

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

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 70,368 (3,800–230,000)
Drive Trains affected: Automatic Transmission, Manual Transmission
14 model years affected: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, more2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
113 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 75 comments
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.
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.
This is my second clutch, flywheel replacement on my 2008 Mini Clubman S. Does not seem right!
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.
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).
Gearshift lever is hard to move, it goes into gear without a problem. If I push the shifter to the right or left without putting it into gear, it just stays where I let it go.
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.
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.
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 .
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
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.
RPM revs high with no acceleration on changing gears. Worst when going from stop into 1st but happens with all shifts. Mechanic said it needs new clutch (and is not safe to drive). At 5 years and 40,000 miles, this seems premature.
Just bought my 2010 Mini Cooper S from a guy who said it had "no problems at all". After driving it 500 miles, two in a half weeks later it starts to make that metal on metal grinding noise when it's leaving first gear. Sure enough it's the clutch. The car currently is under 50,000 miles. It should be fixed under warranty. I'm going to push for legal action. I'm warning anyone ever to be buying a mini to be looking into the clutch and anticipating a costly repair.
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.
The clutch burnt out at 25K miles and again at 58K miles! Dealer died any knowledge of the problem.
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.
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.