1st Gen R50 Cooper CVT Transmission trouble

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by Mini Rita, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Mini Rita

    Mini Rita New Member

    Aug 21, 2013
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    Hello,

    I have been having trouble with my CVT transmission after hitting 50,000 miles.

    I was advised to have the tranny flushed to the tune of $$$. After they were done, it didn't seem to improve anything.:mad2: It was a certified Mini Technician that worked on it. I was then told that there is a class action suit for the Mini CVT transmission.:mad5: I put my name in, and was shocked at how many others were having the same problem.

    I was thinking about replacing it, but that is around $6,000 w/o labor!
    Is there any way to rebuild a tranny? I cant trade it in or sell until I get this issue fixed.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks so much!!
    Berni aka Mini Rita
     
  2. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Welcome, thanks for joining Motoring Alliance, the FUN and Friendly MINI Community.

    There are some shops out there that know how to rebuild these. Where are you located?
     
  3. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    From what I have read no one rebuilds the CVT. No parts availability. Either replace with another CVT or have a manual transmission installed in its place. Either option is quite painful cost-wise. The trouble is your MINI is virtually worthless in non-running form. I'm very sorry for your troubles.

    Welcome to M/A
     
  4. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Welcome to M/A the FUN Mini site. :Thumbsup:
     
  5. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Welcome to MA. I hate to hear your having trouble with your CVT. I have a feeling MINI will have to take care of the problem,Its to wide spread.
     
  6. rum4

    rum4 Club Coordinator
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    welcome to m/a
     
  7. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    These folks seem to be having some good reports about rebuilding CVT's Europeantransmissions

    They also have a video showing you how to DIY it.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmcT7Huay9A]Mini CVT transmission teardown Part 1 - YouTube[/ame]
     
  8. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Pretty cool.... They even use real europeans to do the work....:D
     
  9. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    Great find Nathan. Sure would have liked to see the metal belt come out. Maybe there is a version 2 of the video. So maybe there is hope for the poor CVT owner.
     
  10. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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  11. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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  12. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    There's nothing magical about fixing one of these, to me the issue has always been the non-availability of parts.......but they claim that "all parts are available".

    Of course, like anything else on a MINI, there is a LOT of labor involved in getting one of these out of the car.

    I'd like to see Part 2 of the video as well......my understanding is the part that fails most often is the belt - there's not much else in there to go wrong. That's why changing the fluid regularly is so important on these. We have a club member with over 200K on his CVT Cooper, and he tracks his car at least 3 or 4 times a year! But, he has the dealer change the fluid every 30K like clockwork.

    I also need to find a nice, compact little 1/4" drive battery powered electric impact wrench like he's using. That's handy dandy, and beats the heck out of using a ratchet!

    I have a 3/8" drive air powered impact, but sometimes it's a little too powerful.

    Many years ago the transmission failed in my '83 Audi, I'd never overhauled an auto trans before, but I was game. I took it all apart, bought all the soft parts and rebuilt it and guess what - it worked! They are complex, and you do have to pay attention, but if you have good mechanical skills and a good deep toolset, it's doable.

    It's also interesting that MINI is going to warrant these for 150K, I assume that's what they consider the normal life of a transmission? Wonder if they'll be able to not pay if the owner has no proof that they changed the fluid regularly?
     
  13. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Well sure they will.... Why???

    Cause it's filled with..... Wait for it..... Lifetime fluid....:D
     
  14. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    I looked for part 2, it's not out there.

    They do have another video on the CVT Adaptations, however, it requires the INPA and ICOM/ISIS BMW diagnostic tool.


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qooB7VMbj2s]Mini Cooper cvt adaptation - YouTube[/ame]
     
  15. r34king

    r34king Member

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    ISIS is only needed for idle adaptations. shift point adaptations are done in the car like they showed at the beginning of the video and can be done any time you would like to. just remember once you hit the gas to 55mph done press the brake at all(ask me how i know).
     
  16. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Just another reason to drive a stick and not an autotragic.
     
  17. 05r50

    05r50 Well-Known Member

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    The settlement proposal is interesting. There is even a provision of $2k compensation for owners that took a loss in selling their cvt MINI.

    Back when I had my CVT I read a ton on the internet about them and we all know that they cannot put anything on the internet that is not true. I seem to recall that the MINI CVT was made by ZF and that the same tranny was used in several Nissans at the time. Nissan owned up to the problem a while back and extended the tranny coverage to 120,000 miles. So 150,000 is decent coverage.

    If you are curious bout CVTs you can read this paper on their history. Continuously variable transmission report
     
  18. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    Nothing wrong with a decent automagic box. Trouble is the CVT is a terrible excuse for a transmission. Had one as loaner from the dealer. Man what a way to ruin a nice MINI. :frown2:
     
  19. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

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    My Cooper has a CVT. I wanted a stick, but they were all out when I wanted one, so I got this one. It has been a great car, has been tracked, gone to MOTD and has taken long-distance trips. I have driven sticks all over Europe and here at home, too, but now that I also have an MCSa, I won't be going back to a stick anytime soon. The MCSa is track and MOTD proven, as well as being a daily driver.
     
  20. reynalhamilton

    reynalhamilton New Member

    Aug 23, 2013
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    My 05 Mini's transmission just gave out as well!! It was fine...and then gone!

    Grrrr!!!! Im getting it fixed and selling it! NO more MINI for me...and it was such a fun car.
     

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