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A Mini Adventure, part 4


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First week of ownership update. 

Took it for a 15-20 mile economy run along the M25 the other evening and was pleasantly surprised it showed a bit over 40mpgs at a steady 70. Not sure how accurate the read out is though. On the way back it showed 35mpgs on A roads sticking to speed limits of 30/40/50 as I went through villages/towns. On the odd occasions I hoofed it I couldn’t believe how quickly the av. mpg readout dropped. I’d imagine an excitable driver could get down to low 20s mpgs fairly easily.  It's such a laugh when you wind it up though!
After the few times I’ve driven it this week the av mpg is showing about 31-32 which is fine I reckon. I also like that it does almost 70 in 2nd gear. Having driven the 924 at the weekend this couldn’t be more different: short stubby and upright feeling with the screen miles from you, with an urgency to have some fun, and easy peasy to manoeuvre and park in tight spaces, whereas the 924 is low and long and pointy and feels smooth and relaxed on the road but needs a fair bit of effort at parking speeds. They may be the perfect combo of fun cars!

I love that the Mini’s heater heats up quickly and is nice and hot, so I’m enjoying driving with heat on feet & just the the first bit of the roof open. Like this:


Picked up a microwave for a friend, and it had to go on the back seat so it’s not going to be a load lugger by any means, although I am surprised how much room there is for an adult on the back seat, at least behind the passenger. From poking, prodding and pulling things at the back I’ve found out that oddly the rear seat backs fold (well one does the other one doesn’t, I think it needs convincing) and also that you can lift the bottom of the hood very slightly to make the boot hole slightly bigger. It's bizarre: either I’m missing the point or it should open much wider but doesn’t. There's also a hinged parcel shelf you can see level with half way up the seat back  that doesn't seem to bring much to the party.





Found the locking wheel nut and found where it lives in the tiny tool kit down the side of the battery. 
The little No9 shaped wire pull thing looks like it's for removing wheel nut covers so they might be missing?
Jack comes in a handy bag with hooks but I can’t figure out where it hooks onto.



Time to have a read of the owners manual to find out what everything does. Especially that handle on the inside of the boot. I’m sure if I pull it will release a parachute or something. 
TL:DR… OMG I absolutely love this car! I hope it behaves itself as I’d love it to be a keeper!


Edit to add, found the links so popping them here:

Parts numbers & assembly drawings:


Mini 2002-2006 service manual:



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Looking good!  The jack bag (on the tin tops, at least) can clip onto the boot floor on the offside, next to the CD changer, if fitted.  There are small metal loops coming through the carpet.

However, I don't put mine there, as it fits in one of the cubby boxes either side of the boot compartment which are accessed via a clip-on cover.  I've never owned a convertibubble one, so you may not have these storage places, or, indeed the metal hoops in the boot floor!

The super slim tool kit that goes beside the battery is really neat though, don't you think?!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Time for a mini Mini update. Haven't used it much, mainly due to OMGfakepetrolcrisis and only having 15miles range and no petrol locally.  Took it in to a local friend of friend's garage who fitted a full exhaust system from the cat back for a very good price. Standard exhausts for the R52/R53 Cooper S seem to be about £330 so even a very good price is still really expensive. Also he couldn't get the tailpipes off the old exhaust so had to order a new pair at £40. At least they look amazing now! Also got the split driveshaft boot replaced while he had it, so that's both MOT advisories sorted.


He had it for over a week as we were in no rush for it back, but I was really missing it and got quite excited when I got a call to collect it. Filled the tank (230miles range from £65 of petrol according to the dash) and had a mild hoon home. 22mpg. Oops.

I've ordered a spare wheel, at the moment it will live at home rather than in the car, as there's no where to put it. I think it will fit in the boot with the parcel shelf in the higher position, but then the roof won't go down, so what's the point? Except winter is approaching so maybe it could go in the boot. OMG never had a convertible, and never had a car with no room for a spare before. So many unique owner challenges, how exciting!



From reading the owners manual I found out a few exciting things:

1. You need the key to unlock the rear seats from inside before you can fold the seat backs down. I tried this on both seats and that was why only one would fold the other day. I don't understand the logic of this, as you need access to the boot to release the (fake Marina door) handles to fold them so it doesn't make sense as a security measure to stop access to the boot if you parked up with the roof down.


2. There's a 12v outlet in the boot, but it's hidden from view so you'd never find it by accident.


3. I worked out where the tool kit hooks on. Well, I checked out what RR said above. Kind of obvious really but it took me a while to realise.



4. Finally, and most excitingly, I also discovered you can fold the roof from outside the car using the buttons on the key. After unlocking the car,  another press and hold opens the sunroof bit, and a further hold puts the whole roof down. Only the first sunroof bit worked when I tried it, I'm guessing (+hoping) because the battery is low on charge (showing 12.2v but still starts first time) there must be a clever sensor stopping it.  So next job is to order a new battery. Halfords want £112 for a this high power Yuasa battery but this place have them for £75 delivered, which is a decent price I reckon and should avoid any non starts on cold mornings over winter.


And finally, I succumbed and gave it a quick wash. It looks lovely. The black is growing on me. 




Unfortunately it now highlights how bad the wheels look.  


A bloke locally did the V70 Dark Beast wheels when we got it and they looked amazing, (and still would if it wasn't for all the kerbing since). He was very reasonable too so will get them done asap. Question is, same silver colour or a bit darker? I like how the Dark Beast looks with grey wheels but I wouldn't want people thinking we cared enough to have colour coordinated our cars. On the other hand, the V70 could be up for sale soon, so can't decide. More unique owner challenges!


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The spare wheel kit was an optional extra, you just got runflats and a can of foam as standard. It mounts in a cradle under the boot floor a la PSA, but it was never offered on Cooper S models because they put the exhaust there instead. 


I wouldn't paint those wheels a darker colour IMO, they lose some detail and don't look great. Silver's fine IMO and a good contrast against the car. 

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22 hours ago, Ghosty said:

I wouldn't paint those wheels a darker colour IMO, they lose some detail and don't look great. Silver's fine IMO and a good contrast against the car. 

Thanks, I think you're right.

Coincidentally someone posted this yesterday on one of the FB R52 groups, which is pretty much the colour I was thinking. I think I like them more the colour they are, so they shall stay silver.


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