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Ivan, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4871
Experience:  ASE Master Tech w/ 20+ years in the field. Self employed for 9 years. Member of AUTOLAB radio show.
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Mini Cooper Cinvertible: Hello. My name isXXXXX I

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My name isXXXXX
I would really appreciate your help regarding some mechanical problems I am having right now. I am trying to get a "root cause” of my car issues in order to resolve the problem(s). In advance, I thank you for your time, expertise and advise! Grateful!

For more info see below...

VECHILE: 2007 Mini Cooper convertible. Purchased six months ago. Current miles: 67k miles.

ORIG PROBLEMS (driving/idle):

1. Felt: Slight viberation in steering wheel
2. Felt: Slight viberation in dashboard
3. Felt: Slight viberation in brake pad
4. Sound: Slight humming sound coming from front end of car, under hood (esp when accelerating gas petal w/increased speed)


1. Front and back brakes
2. Engine and transmission mounts


1. Felt: INCREASED viberation in steering wheel
2. Felt: INCREASED viberation in dashboard
3. Felt: INCREASED viberation in brake pad
4. Sound: INCREASED humming sound coming from front end of car, under hood (esp when accelerating gas petal w/increased speed)
5. Felt: since viberation has increased in my car... my driver seat, front door on driver side and my drink in my cup holder (attached front and center of dashboard) viberate now too
6. Sound: Rough grinding sound coming from the front lower part of car - both sides of car possibly front brakes
7. Felt: Rough grinding coming from front lower part of car - both sides of car possibly front brakes
4. Sound: Rattling sound coming from inside dashboard, front center


As I mentioned above, the root cause of my car issues has not been found and problem(s) resolved as to date. I feel in my gut I may have not "necessarily” needed new engine and transmission mounts replaced in my car (esp at 67k miles. Someone I know questioned this. They felt miles were to low) BUT its a good possibly I need work done in the brake (bearings?) and exhaust systems areas instead.

Also, a couple of last things, in your expertise...

1. Do you feel its best for me to go back to the dealer again with these same problem(s) "been there 6 times already” or take it to another mechanic for a second opinion?

2. What is the best way for me to set up a maintenance/miles schedule for my 2007 Mini? Mini does not list one in driver/maintenance manuals. Nor does the mini dealer whom I purchased and take my car to for mechanical repairs "seem” to want to give me one either. Several service reps who work at this dealer have informed me the maintenance schedule is built in their computer system. But when I tell them I would like a "hard written copy” for my own knowledge (be pro-active) and files they "seem” very reluctant to print out and give me a copy and very uncomfortable as well - as if they are try to avoid or distract me from that subject altogether. What happen to transparency? As a citizen and consumer of the USA it is my right to have this info at hand esp since I purchased my car from the dealer in May, 2012. As to date, I have not been successful in them providing me with a maintenance/miles schedule for my mini - after making several attempts/requests. Will call back again on Monday and ask again.

Thats it! Alot I know! :-)

Thanks again for everything! Its "very very difficult” to find a good, honest, knowledgeable, organized and reputable auto mechanic business to take your car to these days! IT'S THE TRUTH! Your time, expertise and help is appreciated - esp your ear, understanding and patience!

Best regards, Deborah ([email protected])

Hello and good afternoon Deborah. I am a Mini owner too, and a former owner of an honest repair facility. I read through everything, and the first thing I would have done, if you brought the car to me, would have been to remove the tires and place them on a wheel balancer to determine if they were out of balance or out of round. This is where I would recommend you go now. I would not have the dealership perform this service, since they appranently did not start in the least expensive area. Don't let a facility balance the tires staight away. Ask them to spin your wheels and determine if they are indeed out of round or out of balance. Start here and let me know what the results are. I know the frustration of vibrations, especially when you want to enjoy driving that car.

Your JA Expert,


Ivan and 7 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How to I get a second reply from you without having to keep paying money every time? I paid $39. and got one simple answer to the mult questions I asked. Please assist.

You never have to pay again to work with me on this question :) Just reply to me when you want to talk, and as soon as I see it I'll reply back. We can work together for as long as we need to. Just reply each time to the link for this question and you will come right back to me and our discussion.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My question was. What if that is not the problem. Should I asked mechanic to check the brake, tires and exhaust system or just tires as you suggested? How do I find a honest and reputable mechanic and auto mechanic shop?

Just the tires for now. I am suspicious of the wheel bearings, but I would not do anything before the tires. Have them look a the bearings for play at the same time, but have them spin the tires without removing the weights to confirm there is a problem. Let me know after they check them. It is important that they check to see that the tires are indeed round and no shifted belts or issues.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok. I will do that today. But how will I get back in touch with you? Am I signed up for a week trial? Not sure what me paying $39. entails? Please assist.

Just reply to the link, regardless of time. You will have access to me indefinitely. We can continue as long as you need to. If I am away, I will respond as soon as I can. Keep me posted as you proceed and we'll work together.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Indefinitely = a day, one week, a month? Please specify.

I am working with some of my customers for 5 and 6 months. I never close a question, so we can continue as long as necessary.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What is the extra cost for this service? I just paid a trial for $39. Is there any added cost to talk to you for 5-6 months?

None. You only pay if you open another question. No extra charge to work with me on this question.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok. I understand! I will be back in touch after I go to mechanic. Thank you.

Fantastic. Let me know what is found and we'll continue. Have a great rest of the day.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Don't worry about a thing.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you! God go before me and bless you!

Thank you and you're welcome!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Got 2nd opinion. Car needs.... Tune up. Ignition coil. Induction srv. Sensa track strut (2 for front of car). Power steering and brake flush.

Hello again! Which of those items did they say was causing the vibration you are feeling?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Struts. And car should be quieter after tune up.

Ok, that makes me feel better. I just wanted to make sure they had a reason to recommend those services. Let me know how things worked out after the repairs have been made. If the struts are worn, the car will feel dramatically different after.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Will do! The reason for all other work is because the dealer i just purchased car from last May seems to be avoiding be pro active when it comes to maintenance. Neglect. The shop I took it to for second opinion is was very professional and proactive in caring for my car and my safety as well - in every way! Amazing, much better than dealer I just purchased the car from.

I have found that to be the case too. I believe in pro-active maintenance. These cars are investments. Why neglect them and shorten their lifespans.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you! I will be in touch!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Evan! Just wrote a response to u! Tried to copy and paste it into here. Was not able to do so! Computer not let me. Do u have a direct email I can send my response to this one time? In future I give my response directly from here. Please assist. Note: I will rate you after my session with u is complete. Thanks!

Hi Deborah. We are not permitted to converse in any other setting than this one. Try this, Control-S for saving, Control-V for pasting. See if that plants the text into the box.

I'll be right here to see it :)


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Won't let me! I'm on my smartphone! Not sure why not working. I will try again later. Don't have time to rewrite now. Thanks. deborah

No problem Deborah, When you send it I will look at it immediately

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I TRIED AGAIN. Here it is...Follow up! Went to another mechanic! He done the following...flushed the steering wheel and brake fluids, alignment and rotate tires. He said I did not need struts on left/right front of car (other mech said I did need struts for 2k). As for my two original problems they remain! All four brakes still have grinding sound whether hitting brakes going forward or backwards (the grinding is louder then b4 car dealer mechanic replaced them one month ago). As for the shaking in steering wheel that still exists too (viberation increased after the motor and transmission mounts were replaced a few weeks ago also done by dealer mechanic plus my engine is louder too). Also my car still goes little to right when driving after getting alignment done on last friday and ride is a little bumpy after getting tires rotated. Questions: 1. Should brakes be grinding a month after being replaced? 2. Why would my steering wheel be viberating more and engine louder after getting motor and transmission mounts replaced? 3. Why is my tires riding a little bumpy after getting tires rotated is this normal? Please answer my questions 1-3 specifically! Thank u!

Ok, first, it is frustrating when you have facilities that recommend work that will not fix the problem. 1. Brakes could make noise all depending on the break in time. Before I finish this though, were the brake rotors replaced too?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Ok, so let me go back to the beginning. 1. The brake noise could be due to the brake pad composition. The original brake pads that your car came with was very dusty, but no real noise and great stopping capability. If the pads were not from Mini that were installed, you may hear the noise more than you did. There is a break in period but after about 500 miles, it should be quiet. I know my Mini, transfers noise from the road and I can hear the brakes especially the first few stops of the day after sitting over night. 2. The shaking of the steering wheel, is this at various speeds, on acceleration only, or only during bumps? Is it engine vibration when the car is idling? My thoughts on this are about the quality of the engine mounts themselves. If the mounts were Mini, original parts, they should be quality items. If they were aftermarket replacements, the parts may not have the cushioning that the factory original parts could give. and 3. The pulling right of the vehicle. Look closely at the road crown of the road. That is where the road curves to allow water to flow to the gutter. Position the car in a middle lane were there is no crown, and see if the car still pulls right. If it does not, it is the crown causing the feeling, and it is ok. Let me know your thoughts on this and we can continue
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I believe pads and bearings were replaced not rotors. All work was done at Mini dealer - all 4 brakes and both mounts. Please note this Mini dealer has a great reputation with sales BUT a horrible reputation with car maintenance and repairs. Still love to take my car to Mini dealer but next closest one is two hours away. As for the viberation in steering wheel it is when my car is in idle and driving. I feel the viberation in my driver seat too. Note: before Mini dealer put on new mounts and brakes my car was pretty quiet with minimal brakes grinding and viberation was milder and only on steering wheel not driver seat. Also please a:nswer question. Is it normal for my car to ride little bumpy after getting tires rotated? I believe answer may be yes.

The new pads against the old rotors may be the source of the brake noise. Many times, both components need to be new to allow for the brakes and rotors to "bed" in. The only reasons why a car should be bumpier after rotating tires is for 1. the back tires that are not on the front to not be balanced, or perfectly round and 2. the tire pressure to have been adjusted higher than what they were before the service. This would make the car ride harder and feel more of the bumps. If the tires were underinflated, it would be cushier and more forgiving to bumps. For the vibration in the seat, if you are feeling that at idle, something on the engine is either touching the body structure, transmitting engine vibrations into the car, or the engine mounts are too stiff, and not absorbing the engine vibrations, passing them into the car. Let me know you thoughts to those comments.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was just listening to my car more when in idle and driving. Been driving 1/2 hr. What I noticed was ... there is quiet rattle when in idle/park with little viberation but engine loud. When put gears in ...idle/automatic drive or idle/automatic reverse viberation increase. When driving both engine and lower front brake area is loud. Brake area feels like its resistant via a sound and a feel in gas petal. I hear a humming sound when driving my car coming from front. In all honesty I feel strongly problem is with the brakes and how they put the mounts on. Please note also after driving half hr my brakes still grand when braking forward and reverse.

Here are 2 thoughts with your data. There must be an issue with the mounts, their construction, or what was moved during their installation. For the noise, I recommend rotating them back to their original position and seeing if there is any change in sound or vibration. That will be an easy way to see if the noise is related to the tires or not. If it changes, the tires are the cause. If it doesn't we are staying with brakes/bearings, etc.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Noise started after brakes were replaced. Do not think it is tires. Noises came and/increased after mounts and brakes were put on my car. So what your suggestions reg mounts - readjust them and for brakes get rotors replaced?

Have them recheck the mounts, replace the brake pads and rotors with factory original parts, warranty the pads and the labor, and see if at least the brakes are fixed. Since the issue started then, there has to be a correction. Have them show you the components, so you know they actually replaced them. Let's see if we can fix one thing at a time, 2 if the mount issue is cured.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok. Will do. But you forgot to answer should I get the rotors replaced too? And please note my brakes grind also when turning my steering wheel a sharp left but not so much when turning steering wheel sharp right. Your thoughts? I appreciate your time and assistance.

If the brakes grind when you turn the wheels, I wonder if either the bearing is faulty allowing for movement that shouldn't be there, or there are splashshields in the wheel well that are making contact with the tire on full turn. That is more likely. I would recommend replacing the rotors too. It is good practice, and there would be no reason for noise after.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

One last thing what specificly should I ask when rechecking the mounts? Because my friend looked at engine mount and he said they did not put on correctly. The new engine mount was set back further then the orig mount via it should be unscrewed and pulled up closer to engine. Your expertise please.

That could very well be the issue. They may have an adjustable aspect to them that was not set up properly. Bring your friend with you to show the dealer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would like that but he a friend from a Auto Zone store who helps me out at times when I stop at store as he does with all customers. Don't think he go with me though to Mini. I will call Mini dealer tomorrow and make another appt, my 8th appt same problem.I be in touch. Thanks again for all your professional knowledge and expertise. I will rate you on this since I got to know you at a higher level of u sharing your auto knowledge and expertise. Thanks again!

See if with him, you can snap a couple of close up pictures. That will give you leverage. You are always welcome.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Take pictures with friend at auto zone of mounts?

Yes exactly. That will show you know what you are talking about when you approach them.
Ivan and 7 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok. I understand! Will do! Talk to u abt a week. I will rate u now. Thanks again! Have a good evening! :-)

You are very welcome and thank you. Let me know when you need me and I'll be here to help you!