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First Time Mini Owner

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Hello All, 

I became a first time MINI owner yesterday, purchasing a 2008 MINI Cooper S (Blue)!  I was lucky enough to find a relatively clean MINI in Pennsylvani and had the joy of driving 3 hours back to northern VA yesterday with the car...probaby the most fun drive I have had.  I am not new to European cars, also owning a BMW E30 and E90 and did get a PPI on the MINI.  During the PPI, done at a MINI dealership, the following were identified as needing replacing/ fixed.  If you were in my shoes, how woud your prioritize the repairs and level of severity of the issue?  As the Dealership explained, they did not feel there were any show stopper or abnormal issues, as most of the issues amounted to oil leaks.  In general, how concerned should I be about hunting after oil leaks and getting them addressed?  Dealership recommended just keeping an eye on the oil and maitaining the levels when needed.  What do you think? 

- Serpentine Belt Cracked/ Worn 

- Oil Leaks (Replace Valve Cover Gasket, Oil Pan Gasket, Crankshaft Sensor Seal, Engine Oil Filter Housing Gasket, Vaccum Pump O-Ring)

- Replace Transmission Right Axle Seal

- Replace Front Brake Pad Wear Sensor

Happy to be part of the MINI community and looking forward to taking part in future DC Metro MINI events!


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5 hours ago, CarlB said:

The one that will leave you on the side of the road is the belt. I would do that first.


Thanks for the input. I agree, that is at the top of the list.

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First welcome and congrats on your MINI. 

I agree with Carl, belt first. It is pretty easy to do yourself. The belt is $10 and it took me like 45 minutes to do. It’s between $200 and $250 for the dealer to do. 

Brake wear sensor is another easy one, take of wheel unplug and plug in new one.  I am always looking at the brakes so I don’t need a sensor, so when the brake I just cut off the sensor and twist the wires to complete the circuit. 

All the oil leak demend on severity. The valve cover maybe more that the gasket, the plastic weld on the vacuum line fails often. This can be an issue because it tends to leak on the friction wheel causing the belt to slip. Whether gasket or cover it is a very easy DIY job  

the worst in effort and cost is the the oil housing gasket. It is a pain to access so it is between $800 and $900 to get replace with all the cost being in the labor. Good new is it does really effect anything other than getting some oil on the front of the engine.

friendly advice the N14 in your mini is a thirsty little engine regularly check and top off you oil. This will prevent costly repairs like the timing chain.

please reach out if you need any help



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Thanks for the info. Does anyone have recommendations on solid independent mechanics that specialize in work on Mini's at a good price in the northern VA area?

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