What to look for specifically when buying a used MINI Cooper:
Generally MINI engines are good, strong units. You should however listen carefully for unusual noises. If a Cooper or Cooper S has a slight rattle in the top end, it could either mean the hydraulic tappets are on their way out or that the timing chain needs tensioning. Slowly bring the revs up and listen out for a bottom-end rattle. Should you hear one it is most likely that the engine will have run out of oil at some stage. A thorough visual check for indicators of the leak from either the oil filter housing or the sump will confirm this. Either way, with such a wide selection of cars obtainable, you ought to walk away if the engine sounds anything other than ideal.
The exhaust is stainless steel and ought to last forever – but you need to check for signs of grounding which could give an indication of how it has been driven.
If you’re searching for a Cooper, listen out for gearbox whine in the transmission. The noise is most likely to become evident in all gears and, should you experience this, the most likely trigger is really a lack of oil – should you examine the driveshaft oil seals you’ll most likely discover that they have been leaking. The exact same could occur on a Cooper S, but with this vehicle it is also worth turning to full lock to verify for much more unwanted noises, which this time might indicate that the differential bearings are worn. The gearshift is operated by cables and also the action ought to be smooth in all forward gears; reverse is usually much more hard to engage simply because of its lack of the synchromesh.
A clonking noise in the rear is really a great indication that the best mounting bushes are shot. It can occur in the front too, even though this really is less typical, but a similar noise in the front could also be caused by the front anti-roll bar links. Neither concern is complicated or costly to fix, although. When parked, turn the steering from lock to lock and listen out for a banging noise coming in the steering column. This indicates a issue with the universal joint and there’s a fix obtainable under warranty. If you are out of warranty, most owners select to live with it since it isn’t dangerous and won’t get worse.
Examine the wheels for indicators of kerbing and peeling lacquer. They could be repaired economically, but it does show evidence of the lack of care by the previous owner. Kerbing can also upset the wheel alignment, which is critical to a Mini’s handling and will also result in premature and uneven tyre put on. Run-flat tyres ought to be examined closely for put on and harm as they’re costly to replace. Make sure there’s a tyre repair kit and a locking-wheel-nut key within the boot.
Have a good look through the wheels at the brakes to verify condition. They rust rapidly if left unused outside for long periods. If this really is evident it is most likely that they will squeal horribly about the test drive, but normal heavy braking to scrub off the rust ought to solve the issue. Pads and discs tend to wear at close to 20,000 to 25,000 miles.
Most areas about the bodywork are simple to verify and difficulties are generally obvious. Nevertheless, you ought to check closely for indicators of accident damage. Grab hold from the front bumper and give it a firm shake to make sure it’s nevertheless securely attached as they get damaged easily from kerbs and sleeping policemen.
If you are buying from a reputable dealer – then they will have checked most of these issues for you, so you should have some comfort. Enjoy this fantastic Car.
Article courtesy Secondhand MINI – http://www.secondhandmini.org.uk/mini-cooper-buying-tips/
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