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Mini, anyone ?

Posted by jaffar 
November 20, 2013 07:37AM
Hi

Does anybody have a Mini, or knows someone (close) that has one ? Are they any good ?
I'm looking at my Z4 and I don't feel like driving it over snow and salt and whatever other crap will be on the streets during winter.
So I need a small car just to get from home to work and back (city driving), mostly during winter.
I'm currently looking at Smart and Mini, years 2000-2002, to be cheap enough.
I understand Smarts have bad engines that must be rebuilt often and it's quite expensive.
What about Minis ?

Thanks,
Dan

--
A physics truck just turned over outside. There's physics everywhere!
November 20, 2013 10:59AM
Never drove one of the new ones.
They look solid, if you like the looks...

I Like the older ones, though.
But most of them are badly rot by now.
:whistle:
rkj
November 20, 2013 03:43PM
Quote
jaffar
Hi

Does anybody have a Mini, or knows someone (close) that has one ? Are they any good ?
I'm looking at my Z4 and I don't feel like driving it over snow and salt and whatever other crap will be on the streets during winter.
So I need a small car just to get from home to work and back (city driving), mostly during winter.
I'm currently looking at Smart and Mini, years 2000-2002, to be cheap enough.
I understand Smarts have bad engines that must be rebuilt often and it's quite expensive.
What about Minis ?

Thanks,
Dan

Be careful Dan, some of the older ones are loaded with problems. The one I drove was fun but she traded it in because she was very unhappy with it mechanicaly. Do your homework, forums and such. My parts man at Bmw keeps telling me "Rick It's not a Bmw!"

Rick
November 21, 2013 12:28PM
The BMW i3 would be perfect for commuting, if not outrageously expensive.
:boohoo:
November 26, 2013 08:23AM
Well, to be honest, my friend at the local BMW dealer is telling me - Dan, don't buy ANY recent BMWs, they are all crap. Which is true.
Ok, Smarts are bad, Minis are bad, but outside it just started snowing. I need a small car.

--
A physics truck just turned over outside. There's physics everywhere!
November 27, 2013 04:56AM
Quote
jaffar
Well, to be honest, my friend at the local BMW dealer is telling me - Dan, don't buy ANY recent BMWs, they are all crap. Which is true.
Ok, Smarts are bad, Minis are bad, but outside it just started snowing. I need a small car.

I don't think new cars are crap, new cars are more complex than ever before.
Complexity brings more potencial problems and higher maintenance costs.
Older cars are simple, but perform poorly compared to the newest models.
New cars are oriented to the person who orders the car new with warranty and maintenance contract, and not so much to last for a lifetime as before.
November 27, 2013 06:31AM
Of course, complexity is one factor.

My problem is that quality is really, really bad. Parts that should last forever, now break very often. From not-so-expensive parts, to ridiculous ones.
For example wheel bearings, fuel pumps, injectors, differentials, small parts inside an engine or - hell - complete engines.
My local BMW dealer replaces at least 2 engines / week, most of them under warranty.

I cannot buy an older car because it has two gazillion miles and/or it's completely rusted and/or has been in 200 accidents. Plus, it comes with crazy taxes.
I cannot but a newer car because it's still quite expensive for me and the quality is not there.

I've visited several BMW factories during the last 6 years. Every time, you can see details that clearly show the quality is going down.

--
A physics truck just turned over outside. There's physics everywhere!
November 27, 2013 10:59PM
A friend of mine has an independent mini repair shop. You can not even begin to imagine the idiotic decisions that were made in the manufacture of this car. How about having to completely take off the nose of the car in order to replace a water pump that is guaranteed to fail again in 30-40K miles? I could regale you with stories but that is one of the better ones.
November 28, 2013 07:43AM
Please share more stories, they will help make a decision smiling smiley

Thanks

--
A physics truck just turned over outside. There's physics everywhere!
November 29, 2013 05:30PM
When cars had parts that would "last forever", those were stronger (and more expensive to build) than needed.
Believe me, there will be somebody somewhere calculating all that.

Example, before brake rotors would last for several hundreds of thousand km, and now thei are built lighter and last sometimes less than 100000km.

The "engine swap under warranty" story is not much impressive to me, I would prefer to have the engine exchanged under warranty than have it repaired (and the car stopped waiting the rebuild) and have it break something stupid after the warranty expires.

I see the Renault engine 1.5dci (used by Renault, Nissan, Dacia, etc...) is good to open and rebuild after 100000km, while older engines would last much longer with minor service made to them.

The Mercedes Benz w124 would last decades and run over a million km, but it costed new 5 times more than the average family car of it's time.
New BMW 5 series back then would be about the same price and performance. Would MB or BMW stand a chance today selling cars 5 times more expensive than the competition? I doubt that, and something had to be sacrificed.

The industry trend I perceive is: they sell cars very sophisticated and complex, yet not as durable, expecting the maintenance will be much higher than ever before.
The higher maintenance and complexity of the required services (or the problems by the lack of it) are perceived as "lower quality" by most people.
The car to be serviced by the owner with a simple set of tools is old history.
November 29, 2013 06:59PM
Quote
Jose Pinto
The car to be serviced by the owner with a simple set of tools is old history.
This is EXACTLY the complaint that my dear old Dad used to make 40 years ago. He also complained about planned obsolescence, cars not lasting as long as they used to, etc. etc. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The thing is, my Dad was wrong. Like him, I love old cars as much as anyone. I own three cars, aged 10, 23,and 24 years.I just bought a 25-year-old car for my son. But what I remember from 40 years ago is that it was a rare event when a car reached 100,000 miles, and you were lucky to have a car reach 15 years. Most were ready for the scrap heap by 10. Sure, cars are way more complicated than they used to be, but for every car you show me where the front of the car needs to come off to reach the water pump, I'll show you a car of old where the engine needs to be removed to change the spark plugs, or a car where you needed to adjust the carburetor when you went over the mountains, like my old Mitsubishi.

The "good old days" are always better in our memories than they were in real life.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
November 30, 2013 05:44PM
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
Jose Pinto
The car to be serviced by the owner with a simple set of tools is old history.
This is EXACTLY the complaint that my dear old Dad used to make 40 years ago. He also complained about planned obsolescence, cars not lasting as long as they used to, etc. etc. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The thing is, my Dad was wrong. Like him, I love old cars as much as anyone. I own three cars, aged 10, 23,and 24 years.I just bought a 25-year-old car for my son. But what I remember from 40 years ago is that it was a rare event when a car reached 100,000 miles, and you were lucky to have a car reach 15 years. Most were ready for the scrap heap by 10. Sure, cars are way more complicated than they used to be, but for every car you show me where the front of the car needs to come off to reach the water pump, I'll show you a car of old where the engine needs to be removed to change the spark plugs, or a car where you needed to adjust the carburetor when you went over the mountains, like my old Mitsubishi.

The "good old days" are always better in our memories than they were in real life.

I agree with almost everything you say Dave but lately I'm wondering if a 2002 (where I started my love for Bmw) would'nt be an easier car to drive and care for. Now, if I can only find a solid body to start with. I have a new drive line sitting in my shop just waiting for a body!
November 30, 2013 08:49PM
Dave,
You are correct in your observations but the type of things that could go wrong were much limited by the simplicity of the machine. No mystery computer codes. I remember having to adjust the brakes on the drums every month or so and changing the oil every two months. Plugs needed cleaning periodically due to lead deposits. The thing about it was that almost everyone understood how to maintain them and we all learned by doing it. We were all car guys then.

Bob in Everett
rkj
November 30, 2013 09:58PM
Quote
Bob in Everett
Dave,
You are correct in your observations but the type of things that could go wrong were much limited by the simplicity of the machine. No mystery computer codes. I remember having to adjust the brakes on the drums every month or so and changing the oil every two months. Plugs needed cleaning periodically due to lead deposits. The thing about it was that almost everyone understood how to maintain them and we all learned by doing it. We were all car guys then.

I remember my first 323 in 1983. That was a jump of (or should I say a leap) faith for me. I was just starting with computers and had to learn about this new world (thanks Peter and folks from the other fourm) of cars. Then came my 325es, that car really got me on line :bow: fast, it was my daily driver. In any event it was a time for all kinds of new stuff to learn about. Not so hard once I got in to it! Even for a knothead like me.

Now, the E46 holds a few new secrets for me (actualy more than a few) but it's always fun learning new stuff. I just hope I can afford it! I'll keep looking for that 2002 body though smileys with beer
December 02, 2013 03:29PM
I find the really hard part is locating the proper documentation that shows you how to use the onboard technology.
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