MINI Convertible (2004–2008)

What's good

User group:

New hoods from £610 + VAT from

What to watch out for

Extensive strengthening makes it much heavier than MINI at around 1250kg, so slower than tin tops.

Steering column stalks are now starting to look very cheap and nasty.

17-inch wheels with runflat tyres prone to punctures which require expensive new tyres.

Seems to be a problem of wear on parts of the hood, and many have been replaced under warranty.

Deletion of centre speedo in favour of pod speedo on steering column a retrograde step.

Roll bars covered in cheap, nasty chromed plastic.

Spate of exploding back windows reported in forum at

Avoid 17-inch wheels.

Seems to be a problem of wear on parts of the hood. Many have been replaced under warranty.

See MINI One, MINI Cooper, Cooper S.

Check manual transmission for noises and change quality. Failures after 3-5 years are common.

By 2007 transmission failure of 2001/2002 MINIs had become increasingly common.

Rear exhaust silencer boxes rot inside out and also deposit rust particles on the rear of the cars. particularly noticeable on white and yellow.

Reports of PAS problems. The electric motor which runs the pump packs up and sometimes takes the wiring loom with it (through overheating). BMW dealers quote £750 to repair, but BMW will sometimes approve 'goodwill' of half the cost of parts and labour.

Reports of glass rear windows shattering for no apparent reason requiring a new hood at £1700. Mini UK Technical Bulletin has been circulated to main dealers in 2005 - The bulletin is UK-54-001-05 but do not have access to it.

Water ingress into BCM possibly due to a blocked water drain in the front offside window pillar can lead to a flat battery fault".

Heated seat elements have been known to burn through the seat and burn the driver's clothing.

ABS/ASC modules starting to fail after 3 - 4 years. Unlike VAG, BMW dealers will separate the two parts and effect a reasonably priced repair: about £600 - £700.

18-2-2011: Report of shortage of thermostat housings - a common failure on R50/R52/R53 engines.

Early cars pulling to nearside: caused by early type front struts identified by domed ca on centre nut. Replace struts complete with top mounts and anti-roll bar links. All MINIS pulling to n/s: front suspension turrets pushed up. Replace top mounty and repair turret on jig. Early MINI Ones, Coopers and Cooper S extra noisy power assisted steering with low oil level. PAS seals have failed. Replace track rod ends. INI Ones, Coopers and Cooper S PAS failure due to failed pump or corroded wiring to pump. Replace pump and/or wiring. All MINIs noise from steering column means steering column upper bearing has failed. Replace upper and lower steering column depending on age.

All MINIs excessive footbrake and parking brake travel indicates rear calliper(s) have failed. Replace calliper(s).

Early MINI One, Cooper and Cooper S: ASC, ABS, RDW+ handbrake warning lights on with possible intermittent loss of speedo and rev counter and sometimes gradual loss of electrics amd fire/smoke from engine bay. ABS pump wiring shorted out on pump bracket. If minor wiring damage, repair loom. If major, replace main vehicle wiring loom. Always fit a protective edge cover to pump bracket.

November 2006 alerted to a spate of valve spring failures on 2002 model year Cooper S models. At the tome, BMW was picking up the tab.

Aircon may gurgle due to airlock in refrigerant. Difficult to purge.

Rear exhaust silencer boxes rot inside out and also deposit rust particles on the rear of the cars. particularly noticeable on white and yellow.

14-12-2013: Another Electric Power Pump Steering failure reported, this on a 44k mile 2004/54 R52 MINI Convertible.

16-11-2019: Damp problem reported with MINI Cooper R52 Convertible. Footwell on passenger side gets very wet after raine. Owner doesn't think it's getting in through the window seal or that it's a cabin pollen filter seal problem. The under door drains don't seem to be blocked. Might be a faulty door seal. More lilkely to be a faulty window seal against the hood

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