Hello and a question.

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by EpicDad, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. EpicDad

    EpicDad New Member

    Feb 7, 2019
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    Hey, guys.
    I've been browsing the forum for awhile and doing a lot of studying. Here's my first post. Just wanted to first share how I stumbled upon Mini and then if you don't care about that (Although from the feel of this place, most of you will) I've got a question at the end.

    So, I love Smart Cars. Since they came out I've always wanted one, but they were too new and I couldn't afford one. I've since got married and had kids. Because I pick up said kids from school 1+ days a week, a Smart Car was out of the question. So I started looking for smallish cars. I went to a used dealer to check out the Chevy HHR and Scion xA. I didn't like either one. I happened to see a couple of Cooper on the lot and just out of curiosity, opened one up and sat inside. As soon as I sat down, I was in love. I called my wife and told her I found the car. The one I sat in was too much for me, but I'm planning on making a purchase this weekend. I'm very excited to get one of my own.

    Anyway, when I make my purchase, I'd like to be able to do some research on the VIN. I haven't been able to get myminivin to work. Is it down? No other site I've found gives specific information. Just generic info on all it's options. Are there any other quality Vin checkers?

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  2. colinmini

    colinmini Active Member

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  3. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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  4. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    what makes you think we care????:D Ok we do, we are a bunch of mini nuts! Welcome to MA
    If there is a dealer near you you can give them the vin and they should be able to print out the options. Also they may be able to give you some of the maintenance records.

    What year and model is it?

    You may want to have a pre-buy done on the car. Minis are great but you don't want one that has been abused.
     
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  5. EpicDad

    EpicDad New Member

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    I'd love to get a Clubman, but I can't find any in my price range. (Only looking to spend around 3K) So I've been looking at the 06-07 Cooper S. From research I've done, it seems this will be the most reliable that I can afford.

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  6. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    You don’t want a 2006 R56 with the N14 motor or any N14 motor for that matter. Know engine issues among other things.

    Post up a link to the car you are looking at but 3k is not going to get you much in really good shape.
     
  7. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    I have a Clubman with the N14 engine, it has been trouble free.
     
  8. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    In that case I would stay with an R53 2002-2006. The later models, 05-06 would be best. 2007 convertibles were still first gen cars so that would be ok. @Dave.0 is mostly corect about the N14 engine in the 2007. The only way I would touch one with a n14 was if it was low mileage and I knew the history.
    My R58 has a N14 motor but but it’s a JCW and the first owner Mark took very good care of it.
     
  9. beken

    beken Well-Known Member
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    The 2006 R53's were pretty good. I would avoid a 2007 R56 unless all the recalls and service work has been done.
     
  10. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    The N14 has a problem with carbon build up on the intake valves. It has to be blasted clean, if this is not taken care of it can cause problems. They just take more care.

    Will you be doing your own work?
     
  11. EpicDad

    EpicDad New Member

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    Oh wow. I had the dates wrong. I thought 06-07 were the last years of first gen. I'm sure some seconds are fine, but I have no way to know if there maintanance was kept up (although Carfax helps with this a lot).

    I'll be doing at least prevevntative maintinence myself. If I can get to the parts without a lift, I'm willing to do it myself. Never worked on a euro before, but I'm eager to learn.

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  12. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Welcome to MA. I would suggest posting a link to the car if available. As with all used cars, its key to understand the history. That said, good group of folks here who know and can help. :D
     
  13. EpicDad

    EpicDad New Member

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    These are two that I was planning on going to see this weekend. This was also when I was looking for 07s, but now I'm unsure. I don't mind putting a little bit of work into them, but I'd rather not have another immediate expense after purchasing the car.

    https://www.barclaymotorcompany.net/2007_MINI_Cooper_Arlington_TX_25090669.veh
    WMWMF73517TL83890

    https://www.733cars.com/2007_MINI_Cooper_Oklahoma%20City_OK_26727422.veh
    WMWMF73587TL85362

    [Edit to include VIN)

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  14. EpicDad

    EpicDad New Member

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    One thing I was looking forward to was heated seats and push-start. Not that these are deal breakers, but were they even available on 1st Gen? I've only noticed heated seats on 07+, but the console setup is slightly different so I may have just not known where the switches were.

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  15. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Push start was not available on the Gen1 cars. But heated seats were.
     
  16. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    1st Generation cars can have heated seats and welcome to Motoring Alliance.
     
  17. Goldsmithy

    Goldsmithy MINI Alliance Ambassador
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    Welcome to MA...a great site and greater people. I would stick to a 2005/06 MINI S in your search. When you find the car of your dreams make sure to get a pre-purchase inspection, including a compression test and a leak-down test if needed. Having the service history is a big plus. And post up any potential cars here as we love to help people spend their money and to do it wisely...
     
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  18. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to M/A! :Thumbsup:

    It has been bandied around that the 2006 MINI Cooper S is the best one that was ever built. I don't know that for a fact, but, since I own two of them and, other than normal maintenance issues, I'd have to agree.
    I bought one new, off the lot. The other, I bought used [off a Honda reseller lot], but it only had 26k in 2012 and now is pushing 90k pretty much carefree miles.

    If you find a used '05 or '06 MCS that you like, take it to a MINI specialist and have it checked out before buying so they can tell you what is or is not wrong with it. That's what I did with the second MCS and since it is now my wife's car, I am even happier that I did.
     
  19. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    #19 MCS02, Feb 20, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
    @EpicDad Maybe a long explanation is in order. As you can see there a lot of first Gen fans here, for good reason. I have a soft spot for the Gen one cars too. I have owned my 2002 for almost 15 years. It has been a great car and lots of fun. I have 4 kids the youngest is 20, so as you can see they were young when I got the car. My wife always had the SUV people hauler. Now she has a 2014 R57 convertible. I also have a 2011 JCW Coupe R58. I told my wife I would sale the R53 but just can't seem to do it.

    The Gen 1 cars are more visceral, the Gen 2 more refined. Both are great fun. Way more than a Smart car. As with any used car there will be some preventive maintenance you will need to do. On a MINI of any year this is a must, you cant let things go or you will regret it. It is not a Ford. But if you take care of it it will be trouble free for years.


    Gen1: If the lower control arm bushings have not been replaced you will have to do it, stock ones go bad around
    30k. Powerflex will last the life of the car. You may need to change the belt and tensioner. The crank
    pulley will have to be checked for cracks. The electric power steering pump has a recall on some years.
    Gen 1 cars have a supercharger before you buy make sure it is not making any noise or leaking.

    Gen2: 2007-2010 S These have an N14 engine. They are not glass but it is imperative that you keep the intake
    valves clean. If not the motor will grenade. This is why people say stay away from them. If the previous
    owner did not keep up with the car the damage to the internals may already be done even if you have
    the old oil blasted off the valves. To have a shop do this it will cost around $800. @DneprDave feel free
    to chime in here you have owned yours longer than me. If you get a JCW the N14 motor was used from
    2007-2011. But there is some difference. Bigger turbo and the block has some extra welds. I encourage
    to go to this link and read it. it is a good explanation of the N14.

    https://jmtcperformance.com/tech-info-and-help/mini-cooper-engine-n14-weak-piston-issue-myth/

    Gen2: 2010-2013 all these cars have the N18 motor. these seem to be more trouble free.

    Both My wife's MINI N18 and my Gen2 R58 N14 have between 50k & 60k on them. I am an old fart and some here will tell you I am full of it. If you get a Gen 2 car with a turbo don't run it hard and shut it off. That is bad for them. Yes the MINI has a pimp that runs oil around the turbo to prevent it from cooking the oil after shutdown. but it only runs 5min. Let the car idle for a minute or two or drive it easy before shutdown. KEEP THE OIL CHANGED. I do it every 3k. I know this is too often but it is cheep insurance.

    OK I hope we haven't scared you off we just want you to find a good MINI. Dont be in a hurry take your time. If you get an abused MINI you will be sorry. I know more about Gen1 cars then Gen2 people like @DneprDave @Tigger2011 @Metalman know more and may want to add what they think will help.

    One last thing...............this is important............Mods! we can help with that too. You will start modding, it cant be helped. It's a disease transmitted by contact with mini owners that have the moving addiction. Your here, on MA, you've probably already caught it. MA is a petri dish of this disorder :D
     
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  20. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    #20 Dave.0, Feb 20, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019

    Have you owned it from new ? If yes, it because you know how to take care of a MINI. Many others do not and I would not touch a used unknown high milage N14 with a million mile pole.
     

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