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Old 01-27-2015, 03:57 PM   #1
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Flat Towing a Mini Cooper Manual Transmission - has anyone had problems?

I know there have been a number of threads previously on this question ... but hopefully my approach here is slightly different and adds value...

With my 2011 Mini coming off of its warranty this spring, I am planning on moving from a tow dolly to towing the Mini four down. I know that Mini does NOT recommended towing flat, and states that doing so will void the warranty (hence my waiting until now to make the conversion). It has been something of a mystery as to why Mini does not "allow" this. I had a recent conversation with a service tech that I think sheds some light on this. The conversation went something along the lines of ...

"we had a person come in here with a Mini manual transmission where the person had towed it flat and the (either engine or transmission - cant remember) was destroyed. We (the tech) think that what happened was the person neglected to put the transmission in neutral, BUT we can not prove it....."

Sooooo .... my take on this is that the "prohibition" against towing flat comes more from the issue of IF the transmission/engine is damaged, there is really no way for Mini to demonstrate/prove whether the person is at fault (forgetting to put the transmission in neutral) or there is a mechanical problem with the car (i.e. transmission was in neutral, BUT engine/transmission were damaged anyway). So this position would appear to be more of a CYA position for Mini than a statement of the mechanical capability of the engine/transmission to withstand flat towing without damage.

So I want to turn this question around - I am NOT going to ask if it is "ok" to tow a mini manual four down.

Instead, my QUESTION is a specific: "can anyone who has towed a mini manual transmission four down report that you have had problems or caused damage to your car/engine/transmission"

(I would like to hear if anyone says "yes" before I convert my car )

Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:28 AM   #2
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Have a 2009 JCW Cooper that I plan on towing all four down but haven't got that far yet.. After doing some research, I've found that as long as it's manual and put into neutral, should be fine. I looked at Roadmaster and Blue Ox and found that only Blue ox has brackets specific for my Mini. Go on each web site and look at the installation instructions before you order. Most likely you'll have to get a lower hitch for the tow bar.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:56 AM   #3
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http://www.google.com/search?q=Mini+...earch=irv2.com

Here's a link to some previous threads on Mini Coopers which may assist.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Mini cooper - Google Search

Here's a link to some previous threads on Mini Coopers which may assist.
Clifftall - thanks ... I have been through those threads (been part of some of them..) - mostly they say "should be ok with the Mini manual transmission". I am asking a slightly different question - specifically, is there anyone on the forum who can relate that they DID have a problem towing the Mini ... and if so, what was the problem?
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:23 AM   #5
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I'vve towed a 2006 several thousand miles without problem. I don't remember reading of anyone having a problem with the standard shift. I do remember reading the newer one with 4 wheel (all wheel) are not towable.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:07 PM   #6
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I also have towed my 2006 with no ill effects.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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Ok folks ... thank you for humoring me with this thread. With several hundred views, and not a single person reporting actually having a problem, I am going to run with the conclusion that Mini's "prohibition" on flat towing comes from a fear of someone doing so and forgetting to put the thing in neutral....

I look forward to converting to flat towing this spring
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:19 PM   #8
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We tow a 2010 JCW Clubman manual trans four down, about 10,000 miles now.
No problems, we use a Roadmaster base plate that was a direct bolt on with just a little trimming of the lower grill for the attachment points.

Good luck in your travels.

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Old 02-07-2015, 05:55 PM   #9
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we tow 2008 clubman three seasons over 10,000 miles ,have towed over 500 miles in one day no problems.Use roadmaster base plate very detailed instructions my son & I installed in 1.5 hrs.

good luck
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:04 PM   #10
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we tow 2008 clubman three seasons over 10,000 miles ,have towed over 500 miles in one day no problems.Use roadmaster base plate very detailed instructions my son & I installed in 1.5 hrs.

good luck
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Do the miles rack up?
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Old 02-08-2015, 01:34 AM   #11
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Do the miles rack up?
Not on our 2010.

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Old 02-08-2015, 08:46 AM   #12
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No they do not.Speedomiter is digital,I believe 2008 is the first year the steering doesn't lock no need to have the key on just put it in neutral and go.
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:31 PM   #13
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I note this thread is a few days old, but I wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. I flat tow a 2009 Mini S. It was a used car and have no idea of options. I am suspicious it may have competition suspension, but no way to prove what it has. In any case, I have towed it about 6000 miles and not a bit of problem. Only thing that I did not see mentioned is you probably need a dropped hitch. I use Roadmaster products and bought a 4" drop from them. Works great and I am "barely" in the 4" low zone. I am towing with a 38' Fleetwood Providence.
Watch out for the hitch differences and no problems. Oh yea, I installed the adaptor myself. If you don't access to a lift or have some good jack stands, it is tough.
Great car and when I get to my destination I can still have fun.

Turbinebob 38' Fleetwood Providence, Cat 330, 2009 Mini Cooper S and Pepe the cat!
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:12 PM   #14
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We towed an '05 for several years back and forth between NW Wasington State and Arizona. Switched to a CRV for the last years for more room and ride sharing (no one likes to sit in back with my entusiastic driving). No problems and I still have the MCS (Mini Cooper S) and plan to tow it again. The only down side I found was the low clearance of the MCS requiring a drop in the hitch and having be a bit careful about avoided high and/or steep curbs and entrances.
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