Tax and Insurance at 48,000 miles

30 January 2014 - Filed under: Servicing

I was expecting an increase this year after my windscreen claim. The renewal came through at £259, almost £100 less than last year! 

Increased my mileage from 7 to 10k a year, still couldn’t get close to the price anywhere else.

Tax was £125 this time.

Share or discuss »

Puncture and New Tyre at 44,500 miles

18 October 2013 - Filed under: Servicing

Wood screw in tyre, well done to Newbury Tyre and Exhaust Centre for sourcing a replacement Dunlop SP Sport 01 Runflat the same day for the reasonable price of £104.

Share or discuss »

New rear bumper at 44,400 miles

5 October 2013 - Filed under: Repairs

Back in 2009 someone decided to use the rear bumper of the MINI to feel their way into a parking space. I had the damage repaired by a ‘smart repair’ company. Initially the repair was flawless, however over the years the paint on the repaired area started to pit. I’d also picked up a couple of scuffs around the load area of the boot from careless passengers. None of the damage was bad enough to justify the cost of having the whole bumper resprayed, but it was a bit annoying.

I’d set up an alert on eBay for rear bumpers in the correct colour, generally most of the bumpers for sale were in worse condition than mine. Eventually my luck was in, an immaculate chilli red rear bumper not far from home, removed from a 2008 Cooper when the owned purchased the aero kit. The auction was won for the princely sum of £30, bargain!

Bumper replacement

Bumper replacement

Fitting the new bumper was relatively straight forward, the instructions are located in the TIS Documents section, prefixed with ‘RA BUMPER’. The replacement bumper came complete with the lower black trim, however the donor vehicle wasn’t fitted with parking sensors, so I had to swap the trims around. This was probably the fiddliest bit of the whole process.

New bumper fitted

New bumper fitted

I’m very happy with the end result, the new bumper seems to be a great colour match to the rest of the car, the donor vehicle was a similar age which might have helped.

I listed my old bumper with an honest description of the condition on eBay and it sold for a similar price, so time aside the whole exercise cost very little.

Share or discuss »

New Windscreen at 41,800 miles

4 June 2013 - Filed under: Repairs

A large crack appeared in my windscreen whilst the car was parked, I couldn’t see any chips or other obvious reasons for it to go.

As is always the way with these things I was hundreds of miles from home, it was a bank holiday and I was due to go abroad the following day. The claims department of my insurer only work weekdays and Autoglass were doing ‘essential maintenance’ and couldn’t take bookings.



A week later things went much smoother, Equity were quite happy to cover the cost of a MINI branded OE screen rather than the cheaper OEM replacements usually supplied and Autoglass found me a next day appointment at their Oxford branch.

I was a little apprehensive about using Autoglass, a different branch made a terrible job of refitting the doorcards of another car I owned after it was broken into. However I really can’t fault the job done by the fitter today, everything is perfectly fitted and he also replaced the black plastic A pillar trims and all of the rubber moulding.

Hopefully Equity won’t increase my premium next year for a glass claim, although given the sums involved for modern windscreens I suspect they’ll have to cover the cost somewhere.

Share or discuss »

TLC XL at 40,600 miles

13 May 2013 - Filed under: Servicing

Oil, filters and brake fluid service. The last time I was in my local MINI garage I enquired about extending the TLC service pack and was told I couldn’t because it was over a year since the first service pack expired. However I was offered it instead of the £220ish they wanted for the service when I took the car in today, makes sense as it covers the next big service as well.

So, quite a big bill for an oil service (£275), but I don’t begrudge it too much as it’s the first service I’ve paid for since buying the car 4.5 years ago.

Had a new Cooper D for the day:

Cooper D

Cooper D

Can’t make my mind up about the diesel, a revvy petrol seems more suited to a small hatchback and accelerating up to 70 takes a bit too long and too many gear changes. However around town the diesel is quite fun, possibly better than the petrol.

Other costs since the previous update:

Tax – £120
Aux Socket – £15 (developed a short)
Insurance – £358
MOT – £55 (passed, no advisories)

Tags » » » »

Share or discuss »

Puncture at 36,000 miles

12 August 2012 - Filed under: Repairs + Servicing

Half a small staple in a nearly new runflat, pressure monitor caught it a few meters from home and it had only deflated from 32 to 25psi.

Managed to find a slightly dodgy looking garage in Blackbird Leys who were willing to repair a runflat. Although I noticed when I got home that they’ve managed to chip my wheel, a new tyre from a decent garage might have worked out cheaper…

Share or discuss »

Third MOT at 35,600 miles

4 May 2012 - Filed under: Servicing

Third MOT at the Oxford council depot. Passed with no advisories – almost exactly 5,000 miles since last year, shameful!

Share or discuss »

DIY Rear Discs at 35,500 miles

28 April 2012 - Filed under: Repairs + Servicing

The rear discs on the MINI pitted excessively whilst the car was standing for a while recently. Despite my best efforts the pitting wasn’t going away under braking. Given that the annual MOT was just around the corner and I’d skimped and not replaced the discs when I replaced the pads recently I decided the best solution was to swap the discs. Given that the pads only had a few thousand miles on them I chose not to swap them again, they seem to have bedded in to the new discs just fine.

Sytner Oldbury gave a good price of £73 for a pair of discs (normal BMW price is £95ish from memory). I set to work one morning and managed to complete the job in just over an hour. The process is the same as changing the rear pads with the addition of removing a large Torx bolt on the old disc and applying a bit of brute force with a rubber mallet to remove it.

Here are the additional disc removal instructions. Tighten the new discs up to 27Nm.


Rear disc removed

Rear disc removed



Share or discuss »

Miscellaneous at 35,000 miles

7 April 2012 - Filed under: Repairs + Servicing

A few recent costs:

Insurance – £346
Tax – £115
Tyre – £109

Cheapest year yet for insurance, despite adding my girlfriend who has only just been driving for two years, protected my no claims bonus and reinstating commuting use.

The tyre was to replace a slow puncture I spotted in one of the rear tyres just before Christmas, at the time there seemed to be a shortage of 16″ Dunlop runflats, only my local BMW dealer had any stock and were demanding £190ish per tyre. I held off for a bit, knowing that it only deflated over a period of weeks and I wasn’t going to be doing many miles.

More recently I spotted that F1 Auto Centres in Aylesbury held stock of Dunlop SP Sport 01’s at decent prices. Perfect service, the tyre was swapped as soon as I arrived, alloy was undamaged and they provided a BMW star-marked tyre as claimed. The manager double checked that the locking wheel nut had been replaced in the boot, spotted that the nut cover removal tool was missing and found it in the service bay. Possibly the most attentive service I’ve had from a tyre shop, and the cheapest price I’ve paid for a Dunlop runflat.

Share or discuss »

R56 Water Pump Recall Information

17 January 2012 - Filed under: Other MINI

Yesterday the BBC reported a worldwide recall for the R56:

BMW is recalling 235,000 Mini vehicles worldwide – 29,868 in the UK – because of a fault with an electric water pump.

The fault, which could be a fire risk in some cases, is known to affect vehicles, including the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models, built between March 2006 and January 2011.

BBC Article

The following models are affected:

2007-11 / Cooper S (Dec 2006 – Oct 2010)

2008-11 / Cooper S Clubman (Dec 2007 – Oct 2010)

2009-11 / Cooper S Convertible (Dec 2008 – Oct 2010)

2009-11 / John Cooper Works (JCW) (Jun 2008 – Oct 2010)

2009-11 / John Cooper Works (JCW) Clubman (Jun 2008 – Oct 2010)

2009-11 / John Cooper Works (JCW) Convertible (Apr 2009 – Oct 2010)

2011 / Cooper S Countryman (Nov 2010 – Jan 2011)

– MotoringFile

Tags » » »

1 comment  -  Share or discuss »