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Well, I've gone and done it. Yesterday I got the delivery of my (new to me) 2011 Mini Cooper S Clubman (station wagon) to replace the 9-5 wagon. It came with a 30-day warranty so it's off to the Mini dealer Monday to get a complete look-over. But I've decided it's time to move on. Right now my son is driving the Saab since his Audi A3 is in my garage with a yet to be solved "won't start" problem, appears to be entirely electrical. But when the Audi is back on the road he's either going to keep the Saab and I'll sell the Audi or I'm going to sell the Saab.

I'll probably linger here for a while but, now I have to go make a new set of "friends" in the Mini forum. I can say this though, I've been hanging out on the Audi forums trying to figure out the Audi and those people are nowhere near as active and helpful as the Saab forum. I can only hope that team Mini is as good as you guys. I've learned a lot here and enjoyed my time here.
 

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I am devastated! AND SHOCKED. A MINI???

My wife wanted one so badly. She tried a bunch of them and found them wanting no electric seats was the last straw.

She bought an A3 and loves it......and I love the warranty!!! I love being out of the service loop!!

I have been driving a Saab since I was 16.....60 years. I will always have a Saab in my fleet. My current 9-5 Aero stick wagon is the best.

Please check in here and help us out once in a while.....we don't want to lose you wealth of Saab knowledge.
 

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Bummer! It will be a loss to see you go. Please drop in occasionally because your knowledge and willingness to pass it on was a real asset. Good luck with your MINI, I hope it serves you well!
S
 

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Jeepers Bill, I hope you can find it in heart to visit back every now and then with your help, knowledge and sage advice.
.
 

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Good luck with the Mini. In our area we're some of the only people brave enough to work on Mini, and the closest dealer is 1+ hour away. Things to keep an eye out for:
High Pressure Fuel Pump Issues
Timing Chain Issues (Oil changes ever 5K!)
Carbon Buildup on Intake Valves
If it's a 6 speed, the clutches don't last very long
EVAP codes (usually the leak detection pump)
Plastic Thermostats that fail every 40K or so
Oil consumption of 1 qt every 800 miles is normal
Valve cover has integrated PCV valve that fails, requires full valve cover replacement
Don't change the battery without adding a battery pack to the terminals before removing, voltage spike kills the FRM (footwell module) and then your lights / windows don't work. Requires coding to replace.
Flex pipe / downpipe has integrated flex pipe that fails often. Find a good exhaust shop to weld in the flex section or else you need factory pipe with is big $.
If it has the 2 piece wheels the 30+ bolts that hold the two pieces together break and cause a strange popping noise when driving.
Rear swaybar links + bushings commonly make noises especially on the Clubmans.

Wow that went longer than I thought, sorry if it sounds daunting I actually really like the Mini S. It's a hoot to drive, check for open recalls / campaigns especially on the HPFP issues and timing chain tensioner campaign; 09 was the worst year for that. Feel free to reach out if you have any issues, we do A LOT of Mini.
Also, you don't HAVE to have a Saab to come to the boards! ;)

Oh! And regarding the Audi, investing in VAG COM even if you are offloading the car is not a big expense. The ROSS-TECH forums are incredible!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good luck with the Mini. In our area we're some of the only people brave enough to work on Mini, and the closest dealer is 1+ hour away. Things to keep an eye out for:
High Pressure Fuel Pump Issues
Timing Chain Issues (Oil changes ever 5K!)
Carbon Buildup on Intake Valves
If it's a 6 speed, the clutches don't last very long
EVAP codes (usually the leak detection pump)
Plastic Thermostats that fail every 40K or so
Oil consumption of 1 qt every 800 miles is normal
Valve cover has integrated PCV valve that fails, requires full valve cover replacement
Don't change the battery without adding a battery pack to the terminals before removing, voltage spike kills the FRM (footwell module) and then your lights / windows don't work. Requires coding to replace.
Flex pipe / downpipe has integrated flex pipe that fails often. Find a good exhaust shop to weld in the flex section or else you need factory pipe with is big $.
If it has the 2 piece wheels the 30+ bolts that hold the two pieces together break and cause a strange popping noise when driving.
Rear swaybar links + bushings commonly make noises especially on the Clubmans.

Wow that went longer than I thought, sorry if it sounds daunting I actually really like the Mini S. It's a hoot to drive, check for open recalls / campaigns especially on the HPFP issues and timing chain tensioner campaign; 09 was the worst year for that. Feel free to reach out if you have any issues, we do A LOT of Mini.
Also, you don't HAVE to have a Saab to come to the boards! ;)

Oh! And regarding the Audi, investing in VAG COM even if you are offloading the car is not a big expense. The ROSS-TECH forums are incredible!
Wow, tahnks

how much is a VAG Com? The biggest challenge that I'm finding is that the car is a 2006 but the wiring seems to match (almost) the 2005 wiring diagram and doesn't look at all like the 2006 wiring diagram. (e.g. the fuse for the ECM is a different number and that one is NOT EVEN in the car from the 2006 but is right on for the 2005.. Is that unusual?

The other thing that I'm seeing is that the "hot" side of the fuel injectors is about 3 volts and it appears that it should be 12V. (at the connector just under the throttle body) I'm also seeing 3 Volts on the O2 sensors and a couple of other things on the "hot" side of those fuses. I'm thinking all of this stuff should be 12V but again I'm having trouble with the wiring diagrams.

The Mini is going into the dealer on Monday for a check over, I'll have them check for the HPFP recall as well as other recalls. It does have a hesitation around 3000 RPM if you step on it so I want them to figure that out. Again this thing came with a 30 day warranty so I should get anything fixed that they can find. Other than that it is fun to drive.

Do you know of any AV system upgrades? Specifically I had put an AVIC in my Saab to get Bluetooth audio but the Mini only has bluetooth phones. I'm told that later years of the R55 had bluetooth audio so if I could find one of those system will they fit? I know I'm really going to miss it.
 

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As one of the genuine wise ones here at Saab Central, your help and your knowledge will be sorely missed. Please do check in now and then. I share your appreciation of the Saab crowd's near-unique sense of community. Having recently sold my 9-5 and moved to an Audi A3 myself (fun fun car!), it's disappointing to find the various Audi forums so different from what has been created here. (So much so, that I can't bring myself to leave Saab Central!)

Well, I've gone and done it. Yesterday I got the delivery of my (new to me) 2011 Mini Cooper S Clubman (station wagon) to replace the 9-5 wagon. It came with a 30-day warranty so it's off to the Mini dealer Monday to get a complete look-over. But I've decided it's time to move on. Right now my son is driving the Saab since his Audi A3 is in my garage with a yet to be solved "won't start" problem, appears to be entirely electrical. But when the Audi is back on the road he's either going to keep the Saab and I'll sell the Audi or I'm going to sell the Saab.

I'll probably linger here for a while but, now I have to go make a new set of "friends" in the Mini forum. I can say this though, I've been hanging out on the Audi forums trying to figure out the Audi and those people are nowhere near as active and helpful as the Saab forum. I can only hope that team Mini is as good as you guys. I've learned a lot here and enjoyed my time here.
 

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You are always a gentleman and a helpful kind person always ready to offer insightful assistance. Bon Voyage!
 

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I have an '07 A4 Avant after my Aero got totaled in an accident recently. The insurance payout basically bought the Avant soit was a win. So I'm down to the 01 SE and an 03 9-3SS Linear in the family. Who could pass up a pristine 9-3SS for $1k? Just needed a front axle and driveshaft/trans seal.

I've found the audizine.com forum to be the most active and helpful, FYI. The newer VAG model lines seem to attract more boi-racer types so I can understand your observation.

Getting a VAG-COM cable is a good idea if you're going to DIY at anything like the SAAB Tech-2 level. There's also OBDEleven but that's newer and doesn't seem to have the body of experience that Ross-Tech's VAG-COM has.
 

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Will definitely miss your posts. I've always considered them required reading.

Got a tech2 you're looking to unload?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Will definitely miss your posts. I've always considered them required reading.

Got a tech2 you're looking to unload?
yea, I'll probably get rid of it if my son doesn't keep the Saab. Although the CANDI seems to have bit the dust, but I didn't need it. The last person I lent the Tech 2 couldn't make it work.
 

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Sorry to see you go, Uncle! Always appreciated your guru-level Saab wisdom, ESPECIALLY as it pertained to the automatic transmissions. I don't think even Saab knew as much about Saab transmissions as you did. Will definitely miss your wisdom, but happy for your new adventure. My wife's car will be paid off in a year, and it's likely at that point I will look for something newer...not really sure what though. I found a "unicorn" 2005, white manual Aero wagon in Nashville TN that I was going to fly down and buy, but the next time I checked it had already sold. My 2006 has really been darn reliable, so part of me just wants to see if I can get to 200K miles before any major work has to happen. Anyway, I'm rambling. Good luck with the Mini.
 

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Oh maaaaan!!! Well, I guess all good things must come to an end, even if we don't actually want them to. Uncle, You've been an invaluable source of info in these forums over the years and have saved people tens of thousands of dollars, kept peoples sanity in check and ensured they got the most out of their SAAB. It's a sad day hearing that you're leaving, but we all have to do what we need to. I'll have a drink in your honor! And thank you again for all your contributions!
 
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