I want to buy this 2008 Mini Cooper S but...


Asked by Mar 21, 2015 at 11:05 AM about the 2008 MINI Cooper S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'm hearing nightmare stories on the web about the Timing Chain Tensioner and other maintenance problems. I had the car, which is super-clean and with 42k miles checked by a Mini mechanic (not a dealer) and they say it's clean. But in the back of my mind I wonder if I should take the 3 year 36k Extended warranty from Preferred for $1800, or if I should just do preemptive things and stay on top of maintenance.

17 Answers


PS, I am also considering gwc warranty and carchex, but honestly it's anyone's guess if these companies are reliable.


Edmund, I would definitely recommend that you take the extended warranty for this car. These cars, while fun to drive, and have enthusiasts, don't have a very good repair record from Consumers Reports. The timing chain is supposed to last the life of the engine or so a lot of people thought years ago. Everyone knows that timing belts have to be changed at regular intervals, but timing chains are internal and the tensioner adjustment, why would that come loose? Anyway, get the insurance for the next 58,000 miles. There's a lot of stuff that can go wrong with these cars. By the way, $1800/58,000, that's only .031 per mile. Check into Mercury Insurance for mechanical breakdown insurance. And if you are financing the car through a credit union, you'll get a better price. Look into it. Good luck.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

One more thing, Mini Coopers from 2007-2012 are on the list of cars to avoid from Consumers Reports, but, again, it all depends on how badly you want this car. Have you considered looking for a Honda S2000. They're great cars.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I've never heard of the S2000, I'll look into that. I think it might work for my midlife crisis. :) Yes, I had my heart set on the Mini, but I think these mechanical propensities are a bit much. A red flag goes up because there is no way to quantify how many of these cars fail, or if preventative maintenance will prevent major damage. Frustrationg, MINI and BMW should be worried about this, not me.


Here's some info for you, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_S2000 and http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/honda-revive-s2000-350- horsepower-awd/ , this is one hot car! The original car was discontinued a few years ago, but, it was very well respected. It would eat Mini Coopers alive, it has 237 horsepower. See this link below. http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2009/honda/s2000/specifications/

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

The S2000 only comes in convertible in my area, and Mercury only covers in warranty vehicles which makes no sense to me. Hmm. Looks like I'll be carless for a while longer. If I were a manager at Mini, I would be beating the marketing team with a bull whip. There are so many people who want these cars, yet there seems no way to mitigate these design flaws. Back to a reliable and boring Toyota or Honda unless someone can convince me otherwise.


Honda makes cars that are built to last, my Honda Accord from 1995 served me for 19, and I sold it for $3,000, still in great condition. Cars are meant to perform and not be in the shop all the time. Unfortunately, Mini Coopers have been known to be very temperamental. NOT GOOD.


I think that warranty is 3 year 36k, actually.


This is exactly what you need to read on the Honda S2000. http://www.autoevolution.com/cars/honda-s2000- 1999.html#aeng_honda-s2000-1999-20-240-hp

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Not so sure the S2000 is for me, but it is a lovely car. I need something slightly more practical. Sad thing is the Honda Fit might work, but truth be told no cars look as dapper as the Mini. IMHO Burnt out. Mini, get it together.


Since Mini is made by BMW, have you considered a used 1 or 3 series?


Tom/Edmund - Yes, the Mini Coopers are dapper, but, would you rather look good or feel good? As for the BMW ' S, yes, the 3 series is better than most of their other cars offered, however, take a look at the April 2015 Annual Auto Issue and look at the used cars to avoid. There's many BMW ' S and Mini Coopers on that list. As a point of information, there's not even one entry for any Honda cars. Go ahead, tell me that's not significant, you won't be able to. Edmund, hmm, I thought you were having a "midlife crisis " as you put it earlier. We're you really serious about considering a Honda Fit because it had more versatility? Really? If you want a sports car, get a sports car and use another vehicle to tote bags around. And, if you're interested in a car that's going to give you performance, durability, service and hold its value through the years, reconsider the S2000. It's a real sports car that won't drive you to the poor house. BMW makes a fine car, but, the one they made for the Mini Coopers is not one of them. In 2017, Honda is expected to bring back the S2000 with a hybrid mode. You can probably find a nice 2009 model for around $10 to $12 k. Remember, in the world of cars, service and performance is the name of the game. The S2000 fits the bill in these categories.


Tom, with all due respect, I think Asian cars are superior to German cars, including Mercedes Benz.


Edmund, OK, I was giving your comment about balancing the practicality of a four door sedan and a performance car, so, I've got one more car for your consideration. The Subaru WRX STI. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing, it's a four door coupe, with a specially tuned 2.5 or 2.0 boxer Four that provides 305 horsepower. It's one of those cars that you might never expect or think had this much power. It's got a stiff ride and suspension and it handles like a true sports car, go and see some you tube videos on that. Not as reliable as the Honda, but, it's a going to be more exciting than any Fit. Just a thought.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

Mama Mia, now that's a car. A get what you pay for proposition. I like the non-sti hatch, it has some styling. and it's not as expensive. Interesting. Thank you for all your help Mark!


@Tom. Not really, I want something that looks like me, artistic. Bimmers get too stodgy.


Edmund, you're welcome, here's a direct quote from Edmunds, a reviewer online of cars. "Ever since its debut back for 2002, the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX has been a cult favorite with drivers drawn to its considerable performance and affordable price. Despite its flaws, the WRX remains nearly peerless. Its only true current performance rival is the aging Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf R will change that however, with 290 hp, standard all-wheel drive and hatchback versatility that the WRX no longer offers. More affordable alternatives include the Ford Focus ST and 2015 Volkswagen GTI. Both offer nicer interiors with easier-to-use touchscreens, but they're also slower than the Subaru, and their front-wheel-drive layout will appeal less to hard-core drivers.". SUBARU uses the "boxer engine" and it has a special sound of it's own. And, because the motor is "flat" its center of gravity is lower offering better cornering than other cars. I think once you go for a test drive in one, you'll see what I mean, Good luck.

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