MINI Cooper’s Limited Warranty Excels in Many Areas
The pros and cons of MINI Cooper’s New Passenger Car Limited Warranty
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MINI is a British car manufacturer that's been around since 1969, and it's known for its small, retro cars, including the Cooper, Cooper Countryman, and Cooper Clubman. Over 22,000 MINI Coopers were sold in the United States in 2019, and the automaker recently debuted its first completely electric MINI Cooper.
MINI owners, aka MINIacs, are part of a tight-knit community that is obsessed with its cars and who commonly drive far distances to attend rallies. If you're thinking about buying a new MINI Cooper, it's a good idea to check out the factory warranty, so you know in advance what's covered and what's not if it experiences any defects during the first few years of ownership.
While many automakers split warranty coverage into two separate parts, bumper-to-bumper and powertrain protection, MINI bundles both into one. The MINI New Passenger Car Limited Warranty covers everything inside and out of your vehicle for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. It includes nearly all components that exhibit defects related to materials or workmanship.
Bumper-to-Bumper and Powertrain Coverage
Warranty coverage starts on the day that the vehicle is sold. The coverage is exclusionary, which means the automaker lists items or scenarios that aren't covered instead of what isn’t. That's because the warranty covers so many components, including interior items, the electrical system, the engine, the transmission/transaxle, and the drivetrain.
The warranty does not cover damage due to vehicle misuse, improper operation, improper repair, or environmental conditions, such as floods or acid rain. It doesn’t cover accidents, fire damage, damage caused by improper or contaminated fuel, or stone chips, nicks, and dents on the paint finish.
It doesn't cover aftermarket parts or accessories that damage original components or cause electrical shorts or interference. MINI will not pay for repairs or damage related to the use of non-genuine parts.
The warranty does not cover normal wear and tear on items such as brake pads and windshield wiper blades. Tires are covered by the tire manufacturer. If the odometer is altered so the true vehicle mileage is unclear, the warranty will be voided. The warranty also excludes vehicles that are used for competitive events or that have been declared a total loss.
All warranty repairs must be carried out at a MINI dealership, and there is no deductible. The new car warranty is transferable to a new owner.
MINI offers a 12-year rust and corrosion warranty, and there's no mileage limit. While surface body rust is not covered, if holes rust through the body panels of the vehicle, then the automaker will make repairs free of charge.
MINI accessories that are installed before the owner buys the vehicle are also covered under the warranty. MINI accessories installed following the purchase are covered for two years or the remainder of the warranty, whichever is longer.
When you buy a new MINI Cooper, you also receive complimentary scheduled maintenance for three years/36,000 miles. The following items are covered by the maintenance program: engine oil and filter, brake fluid, cabin microfilter, engine air filter, spark plugs, and the remote control key battery. Maintenance services must be performed at an authorized MINI dealership, and only genuine MINI parts are used.
The warranty also covers wheel alignment, balancing, and wiper blade inserts up to the first 2,000 miles on the vehicle.
MINI provides 24-hour roadside assistance for four years with unlimited miles. It's available in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico and provides fuel delivery, flat tire assistance, lock-out services, and vehicle jump starts if the battery is dead. The automaker will also cover a tow to the nearest MINI dealership.
The automaker also provides federal and California emissions warranties and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery limited warranty of eight years/80,000 miles for the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.
What We Like
The best thing about the MINI Cooper warranty is that it covers nearly everything on the vehicle, except for the tires. If something fails due to a factory-related defect during the first few years of ownership, the automaker will provide replacement parts or repairs free of charge. Its rust perforation warranty is also very robust, at 12 years with no limit on the mileage.
MINI includes complimentary scheduled maintenance for three years/36,000 miles, which sets it apart from many other automakers. The rare automaker that does provide free maintenance usually only allows one or two free service visits. MINI covers routine maintenance components such as the engine oil, brake fluid, engine air filter, and the cabin air microfilter.
Access to 24-hour roadside assistance is also advantageous. If you are stranded or break down due to a dead battery, flat tire, or other issue, MINI will send a technician to fix your vehicle or tow it to the nearest authorized dealership for repairs.
Finally, we like that you can transfer the warranty to a new owner should you decide to sell your vehicle while it still falls within the four year/50,000-mile scope of protection. This can increase the MINI Cooper’s resale value.
What We Don’t Like
The length of the MINI Cooper warranty could be a little better. While the industry standard is three years/36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper coverage, it's five years/60,0000 miles for powertrain coverage. This is one year and 10,000 miles more than what MINI provides to its customers.
Should something go wrong with a MINI Cooper powertrain-related component after the warranty expires, you will potentially be stuck with a costly repair bill.
The MINI Cooper warranty also has a lot of exclusions. It doesn't cover damage caused by environmental conditions, vehicle misuse or improper operation, or problems due to improper or contaminated fuel. If you improperly shift the transmission, the warranty will not cover engine or transmission damage.
The warranty also excludes damage to the paint caused by the environment, stone chips, improper care, etc. Normal wear and tear is also excluded. However, the aforementioned restrictions are common among most automakers, so MINI does not stand apart in that regard.
Also, the free scheduled maintenance program is not transferable to a new owner, and the warranty does not cover tires. Instead, you have to check with the tire manufacturer if you experience any issues.
Common Repair Costs
Some of the most common issues and repair costs with MINI vehicles:
- Mini Cooper: Brake line replacement ($80-$88)
- Mini Cooper: Head gasket replacement ($1,765-$2,114)
- Mini Cooper: Brake master cylinder reservoir replacement ($188-$204)
No matter what make or model of new vehicle you purchase, it comes with a warranty to protect you against potentially hefty repair bills. The MINI Cooper warranty is designed to do the same. If you still have some questions about the automaker's factory warranty, we answer a few in the FAQs below.
Q. What is covered under the MINI Cooper warranty?
A. The MINI Cooper new passenger car limited warranty covers nearly everything inside and out of the vehicle for four years/50,000 miles, except for the tires. It also comes with a 12-year rust-perforation warranty, 24-hour roadside assistance, and complimentary maintenance.
Q. Does a MINI Cooper warranty transfer?
A. Yes. If you choose to sell your MINI Cooper before the warranty expires, it transfers to the new owner.
Q. Are MINI Coopers expensive to maintain?
A. If you purchase a new MINI Cooper and maintain it as advised by the automaker, it should provide a good amount of reliability. Its maintenance costs are comparable to its industry rivals.
Is the MINI Cooper Warranty Worth It?
MINI Cooper's warranty provides a good amount of protection against factory-related defects. Since these types of problems typically surface early on in a vehicle's service life, it's highly unlikely you will be responsible for costly repairs during the first few years of ownership.
In addition, the automaker distinguishes itself by providing a complimentary maintenance program to those who purchase new vehicles.
If you want a fun-loving MINI Cooper, don't let the warranty exclusions dissuade you from buying one. It's a cute and responsive little car that comes with enough coverage so you don't have to worry if something unexpected happens when you hit the road.
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