Hi All! First, let me say "Thank you!", the motoring alliance and other mini forums have gotten me a great start on my new project. Not sure why it took me so long to join; but I'm glad to finally be on here..officially. I found myself scouring Craigslist for a Mini one day, and came across a 2005 R52 convertible/Hyper Blue Metallic/Blk&Gray Leatherette with 84k miles on it. Initially listed at 5k and advertised with a bad transmission and struts...I thought it looked like a good project (not knowing in depth of the CVT issues)... When I went to look at it, the top wouldn't go down, so I ended up picking up my Mini for $2,750. Aside from the mechanical items, the car is in really great shape for the age and mileage. It hadn't been driven in almost a year due to the fact the transmission was "broken". Known problems when I purchased the car: -Transmission wouldn't shift out of first gear, had the "xP" "xR" "xD" notations when putting it into gear. I didn't know what this meant at the time of purchase and assumed the CVT was busted. -Check engine light was on -Two tires were bald and gouged -The convertible top wouldn't retract passed the sunroof position -The battery was on the fritz -Rear brake and reverse light were out -One or more of the struts were bad (or so they were told) -Possible oil/coolant leaks; albeit the seller stated they had spent as much time/money on it as they cared for and didn't know the extent. With that, I embarked on bringing this Mini back to life. After signing the title, I headed straight for a new battery, Chevron (BMW) Engine Cleaner, and two new tires (gouged/bald) to match the recently replaced rears. A new battery and securing the convertible trunk latch got the top back in working order. Pulling the codes, I got P0070, ambient temperature sensor. The gauge showed the external temp. as -40 degrees. This was my first goal, get rid of the "Check Engine" light. Looking for the sensor, or harness, it was nowhere to be found. I finally was able to find the wire in the headlight assembly, albeit the pigtail and sensor were missing. $50 in parts later, and clearing the codes, the temperature now shows properly and the "Check Engine" light is no longer illuminated. With some diligent research and expertise on the forums, I was able to find another case of the CVT in the R52 experiencing similar issues. The seller had told me they took the Mini to "European Auto" repair shop, whom took out CVT and put it back in and said it had a leak...I believe this is what triggered the car to go into "learning mode". In short, I followed the reprogramming instructions of shifting the gears back and forth and letting the car decelerate from ~55MPH on it's own. BAM! The x's went away when the car was in gear, and it smoothly started shifting in/out of all the gears (especially the low ones). I was baffled. I couldn't believe I went from a definite 3-6k repair to the car being operational. I next focused on the struts, the ride was rough, they've never been replaced, and later learned the strut mount on the drivers side had cracked. Luckily, I didn't have any mushrooming yet. I had driven the car about 300 miles at this point to run out the old gas, refuel with the highest octane available in my area, and ensure that the transmission reset wasn't temporary. I searched all over for what kind of struts to put this guy, and I almost went with the only ones available locally, Monroe (yuck) because I'm normally impatient. I ended up purchasing a set of Koni FSD's for the Mini. I don't really have a place to do this kind of work (apartment garage), so I called around for labor prices. Oddly, Mini Denver was the cheapest quote on labor for installing the struts ($510). Once I realized the mounts would also need replaced, I opted to try the install myself..and was successful! Mini of Denver also had the cheapest price for the strut mounts I could find (OEM), and gave me an additional 10% off...and had them in stock. Tab so far: -Mini: $2,750 -Battery: $180 -Two new tires: $260 -Koni FSD's: $540 -Front and Rear Strut Mounts: $429 -Pillar mount Cup Holder replacement: $65 (orig was broken and pillars marred underneath) -Ambient Temp. Sensor and Pigtail: $60 (over paid on this one) -Aux Input Cable: $30 -Second Key: $68 -Blue Caliper High Heat Paint: $10 -Peel Coat Matte Black Paint for Rims: $20 I obviously got a little excited with "finishing touch" items before ironing out all the mechanical issues. After the strut installation, I took it in to Mini for an alignment and an proactive oil change. I thought all would go smooth, but I was in for a real slap in the face. The ended up giving an estimate of $6290 to repair the things they found on the car; and didn't even do the alignment or oil change because there was no value whilst broken. HERE'S WHERE I NEED ADVICE!!! I'm conflicted on how to proceed, do I ditch the Mini and cut my losses, or do I take a stab at fixing the problems...I don't mind putting additional money in it as it's in good shape and when the work is done I'll have a sweet weekend car! Here's the tally of repairs from Mini: Replace Right Front CV Axle $950.40 Engine Coolant Flush $157.00 Replace Transmission Fluid $255.78 Replace crank sensor o-ring $31.09 Replace dip stick o-ring $30.70 Replace oil pan gasket $728.15 Replace valve cover gasket $201.31 Replace transmission left axle seal $557.20 Replace/Add Power Steering Fluid $0.00 Replace front left wheel speed sensor $214.42 Replace Left Brake Light $31.05 Replace right reverse light $31.98 Replace power steering supply, suction, and return lines $976.65 Replace lower radiator hose $234.44 Replace bypasss hose above lower radiator hose $117.39 Replace bleeder/coupler assembly $102.53 Replace Engine thermostat $286.20 Replace start inhibit switch $332.55 Replace passenger occupancy airbag sensor $1,051.22 So Mini of Denver seemed like a great deal for a few parts and strut swap, but this bill is a little outrageous! I definitely wont spend 6k plus on this Mini on top of the almost 6k I've already put in. So I priced out just the parts... Replace Right Front CV Axle $75.00 Engine Coolant Flush $30.00 Replace Transmission Fluid $100.00 Replace crank sensor o-ring $4.00 Replace dip stick o-ring $4.00 Replace oil pan gasket $20.00 Replace valve cover gasket $35.00 Replace transmission left axle seal $60.00 Replace/Add Power Steering Fluid Replace front left wheel speed sensor $20.00 Replace Left Brake Light $4.00 Replace right reverse light $4.00 Replace power steering supply, suction, and return lines Replace lower radiator hose $35.00 Replace bypasss hose above lower radiator hose $18.89 Replace bleeder/coupler assembly $17.50 Replace Engine thermostat $40.00 Replace start inhibit switch $205.00 Replace passenger occupancy airbag sensor Recalled Labor is a huge chunk of it, as I believe some of these repairs require extensive disassembling. After the struts, I feel confident I can probably take care of most of it myself..just not sure I have a place to do it. I believe my R52 qualifies for the Power Steering extended coverage and it definitely qualifies for the Airbag Passenger Recall (my light is on). Just wondering what the communities opinions are on how I should proceed? Ditch the Mini now, do repairs myself (or as many as I can and have recalls repaired at Mini)...or, do some of the repairs and have Mini do some of the repairs that are more complex.... I love this Mini and it has a lot of potential, but I'm just not sure where to go from here! Attached some pics, all cleaned up, and the rims and calipers painted, haven't done the hubs yet.. I know this is verbose, but any Mini experts are greatly appreciated!!