I may have found it!

Discussion in 'Starting Line - New Member Introductions' started by newmar, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. newmar

    newmar New Member

    Jun 20, 2016
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    Retired aircraft mechanic
    Houston, TX
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    Just looked at and test drove an '06 MCS from a private owner not too far from my home. It is a beautiful Space Blue (all over) color with black interior. I will make the owner an offer today that I believe he will probably accept, but I have a steering question of you. I have never driven a Mini before today so I have no basis for comparison....I noticed as I turned the wheel sharply pulling away from the curb that the steering wheel required a bit of effort to make the large amount of turn. When driving ahead and making small left/right movements the steering felt fine, not light, but not heavy either. There were no unusual noises when I turned the wheel, just felt "heavy" compared to my Subaru or Cadillac SRX. I kind of think this steering is probably normal for this car, but thought I'd ask some of you who drive MCS's all the time. Thanks for your thoughts. Going to hold the offer until I hear from some of you!
     

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  2. Savvy

    Savvy Well-Known Member
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    Apr 16, 2010
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    Most likely, it's fine. The steering is going to feel tons heavier than any God-awful GM vehicle. Always hated the feel of every GM I've ever driven.
     
  3. whaap

    whaap New Member

    Jan 10, 2014
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    I don't know what kind of answers you expect as I or probably most people haven't compared the steering of the Mini to Subaru's or Cadillac's. Your description of a heavy feel leaves it up to each individual reading your post to decide what they think the word heavy means.

    The only unusual thought I've ever had about the steering on my Mini is that sometimes I think that turning my steering wheel is like turning the barrel of a micrometer. The steering is so fine and precise.
     
  4. newmar

    newmar New Member

    Jun 20, 2016
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    Thanks folks, I understand that the feeling will be subjective and I shouldn't have asked that type of question, what feels heavy to me might feel light to someone else. What I will do tomorrow is go to a nearby dealer that has an '06 non-S and see what that feels like to drive around the block. I assume the steering pump and parts are the same between an R50 and R53.... Actually, just sitting still with the engine running and turning the wheel lock to lock will probably answer my question. Thanks for your help!
     
  5. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2013
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    That's a beautiful R53 !! Hope everything goes well.
     
  6. Dennis Bratland

    Dennis Bratland New Member

    Aug 28, 2016
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    Keep in mind that the steering assist is speed-sensistive. The computer decides how much hydraulic assist to give you, based on your speed and who knows what else. These cars have algorithms that make them do all kinds of non-linear things. Recent Subarus or whatever also have speed sensistive steering, but the level of assist and how steep the curve is varies depending both on the mechanics of the car and the way it's programmed. Mechanically, there aren't that many cars with an electrical power steering pump, rather than a pump driven off an engine belt. That makes it feel different too.

    The other thing is steering ratio. Minis have a quicker ratio than most other cars, which gives it that go-kart feel. AND first generation Minis had many ongoing problems with failures of the electric power steering pump. If for some reason this car hasn't had the recall work for this, you could be noticing a weak or failing power steering pump. Plug the VIN into Mini's website to see if it's been done or not.
     
  7. newmar

    newmar New Member

    Jun 20, 2016
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    You are all a great help! I'm probably too old to drive a Mini (68) but I just recall that when I pulled away from the curb and turned to wheel I was surprised at how stiff it felt. But, I know what a loss of power assist would feel like and that was definitely not it.....just unfamiliar with the Mini steering right now. I will crosscheck with a different car though, just for grins! Thanks again!
     
  8. rkw

    rkw Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2009
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    The 1st gen MINI has the heaviest (and most direct) feel of any power steering I've known. However, I can't claim to have driven a large variety of cars.

    Not as good as the very direct feeling of my Honda CRX which had NO power steering, but the tradeoff was having to deal with it while parallel parking.
     
  9. whaap

    whaap New Member

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    Being old doesn't mean you can't enjoy nice things. You really make me smile: I'm 82.
     
  10. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    With a MINI.... You will feel more connected to the road...
    Hope it works out for you...

    Space Blue is a very special color....:Thumbsup:
     
  11. newmar

    newmar New Member

    Jun 20, 2016
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    Oh CRAP!!! They accepted my offer, I'm committed now!
     
  12. Mini_Dirk

    Mini_Dirk New Member

    Oct 3, 2016
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    Shorewood, MN
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    HA! Good luck and enjoy!
     
  13. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    Sep 18, 2010
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    Just buy it. The only other choice would be to buy mine. The red would be faster than the blue and it gets more chicks!
     
  14. whaap

    whaap New Member

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    LOL. In his case it would be 'hens' and not chicks!
     
  15. mrntd

    mrntd Well-Known Member
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    Sep 30, 2011
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    Welcome.

    My MINI's steering is heavier then my WRX's was. But it also has a more direct feel. Now that you have the car check to see if the recall on the steering has been done and the PS fluid level is good.

    After that let the fun begin.
     
  16. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2009
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    Great R53. Your never to old for a mini or to have fun! Welcome to MA!
     

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