Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MINI Cooper S - Three Years of Ownership


Today is the three year anniversary for ownership of my MINI Cooper S.  I've updated the list below that I posted on the THMMC forum last year when I hit the 50,000 mile mark and my warranty ended.  There are a few new items added to the list.

  • 74,900 miles (will hit 75k tomorrow)

  • been to 15 states plus Washington, DC

  • two out and back runs on The Dragon

  • one Blimey Tour of Terror

  • three End-to-End drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway

  • three days spent on VIR as part of Holiday Laps events

  • one day spent on VIR in the rain where I managed to spin into the Armco and effectively destroy the front bumper cover (repairs still pending)

  • one The Great Ice Cream Run 2

  • one not a Bar Harbor Invasion invasion

  • one MINIS ON TOP event

  • three Bullfrog Runs

  • two Turkey Strut Rallies

  • two Covered Bridge Runs

  • forever connected to one legendary U-turn

  • one set of Goodyear runflat tires, one set of Yokohama S.drives, now running Continental ExtremeContact DW

  • one set of brakes and rotors all around, now running Hawk HPS pads with Centric rotors

  • one manual transmission fluid drain and refill

  • several oil changes done in my garage

  • replaced hood, headlamp, trim courtesy Bambi

  • replaced malfunctioning boot latch under warranty

  • replaced thermostat under warranty

  • replaced heat exchanger under warranty

  • replaced chain tensioner under warranty

  • fixed squeaking clutch pedal under warranty

  • installed stripes on my own (bonnet and boot)

  • installed and hardwired Garmin Nuvi

  • installed automatic Sport Button On mod

  • average speed of about 45 mph

  • about 12 MINI related t-shirts

  • 6 MINI related ballcaps

  • about 3,500 pictures

  • visited the two highest peaks east of the Mississippi

  • several meals at Brown's Restaurant in Sparta, NC

  • picture next to a giant roller skate

  • picture next to a giant Indian statute

  • like thousands of twisties

  • lots of THMMC events

  • many, many new MINI friends

Overall, the MINI has been a reliable car.  Even the couple times I've had to take it in for repairs at the dealership, the folks at both Flow MINI in Winston-Salem and Flow MINI of Raleigh have excelled in their customer service and made sure I had a loaner to use if needed and really helped keep me motoring.


Besides the very light mods I've done, this year I undertook to replace my brake pads and rotors on my own.  That is a job that I normally would have just had a brake shop do in the past.  But the MINI has awakened the inner shade tree mechanic in me.  Which I find a bit ironic given all the electrical/computer wizardry that is used in modern autos compared to the cars of my youth.

And of note have been the folks with the THMMC along with MINI enthusiasts I've met from all across the country and from many other clubs.  The friendships I have formed have been a nice bonus.

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