MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

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DaveP189
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MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by DaveP189 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:28 pm

KEELER MINI (Latham, NY): AVOID!!!!!
I've ordered several OEM parts through them, mostly due to time issues (things that needed fixing along the way) - they charge "msrp", but arrives UPS next day if ordered by 3pm for just $7 - or that's their story:
Broke a shifter cable removing it during trans removal - ordered from a place in the NorthWest (discounted, but FedEx 3 day), but I ordered the wrong one; liked the 'upgrades' and operation of the part so kept it and ordered the 'other' one through Keeler (time) - and they sent me the one I already had in an opened bag w/ the p/n of the one I wanted. Was told when I phoned that (1) I got the right part (not), then (2) doesn't matter, they're the same length (Brian: "I'm looking at the two and they're the same length" Me: "I'm looking at the ones that came out of the car and there's a 3" difference, plus both ends are different - should I email you a picture?" Brian: "No") - ended up getting the right one 3 days after I should have.
Slave cylinder bad: searched p/n, called Keeler and ordered, but was told shipping was $10 - "Um, why did it cost $7 for the cable but $10 for a smaller part?" "He must have given you a break - haha" "A break would be good, after what I went through w/ you guys and the shifter cable" "Oh, that was you? I'll waive the shipping" - at least the right part arrived at the time promised...
Master cylinder bad (still no clutch "action" after repeated power-bleeds): ordered yesterday, called w/out part number; was given p/n ("Would you like to check and call me back?" "Sure") - a little www, confirmed # (and checked msrp) and called back to order - and was given a price w/ a 20% mark-up (!) - when I, um, "inquired" about this, price got "reduced" to msrp, and was told I'd see it tomorrow (today). UPS truck goes by at 3pm, wait/wait/wait, call Keeler (John) at 4:30 to get tracking #, then was told "When did you order it? Because it didn't go out until this morning" :mad: <= doesn't come close. (I'll leave out the "emotional" phone dialog because there may be children present) - was told he would get it out FedEx overnight, Saturday Delivery, so I'd have it tomorrow - yeah, at 4:45pm on a Friday? Sure you will ...

Anyway, the next time I need OEM parts I'll be trying MINIPARTSMASS.com (Peabody MINI) - advertise 15% off msrp, and can't take that much longer - at least it may save some aggravation ("MAY")

Yup, 5 weeks today the MINI's been 'disabled', most of it waiting on the freakin' correct parts :cloud:

[/rant]
Dave P. #189 '02 MINI CooperS+ "Elphie"
"People who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." -unknown

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Re: MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by 8valvegrowl » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:04 pm

Yeah, I avoid most dealer dis-service counters like the plague (PJ's is ludicrously awful). Luckily, there are plenty of online OEM suppliers who are competent and willing to do actual business with you.

I have used eEuroparts.com almost exclusively for the past 10 years. They now do BMW/Mini. They are based in CT and offer free shipping for orders over $59; even though it is ground shipping, I usually get it within a day or two if they have it in stock. In the ten years of doing business with them, I've had two occasions where things were less than perfect, and they always did right by me in the end (And I've done a lot of business with them, owning various SAABs.) Their pricing on OEM parts is impressive, basically wholesale pricing on many items.

Sorry to hear about all the SNAFUs, been there done that, it's very frustrating.
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Re: MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by DaveP189 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:58 am

I should add that there's plenty of "snafu"s to go around on this project, from secondary OEM suppliers (6 weeks to get order that was listed as "in stock" - DDM Tuning) to major aftermarket suppliers (Advanced Clutch Technology / ACT - wrong release bearing, defective clutch disc - burrs) to local chain auto parts (2 tries to get correct thermostat; no one carries something as simple as the correct gear lube, so that needed ordered).

ACT did step-up after a little 'discussion' and did the right thing (an apology and a discount) - it's not that a mistake gets made, it's how a business reacts to correct and prevent it (IMHO)...

The only parts that come correct on time as promised were the B&M short shifter (eBay!) and a CV Joint boot.
Last edited by DaveP189 on Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"People who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." -unknown

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Re: MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by Rabbit Farmer » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:41 am

Good reason to have a VW... I have had nothing but good service and advice at Lewis (um, Shearers); mainly because Pete in parts is a VW enthusiasts. We speak the same language and passion.
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Re: MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by DaveP189 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:14 am

Just got off the phone w/ Keeler, told them I didn't get the part Saturday and I no longer wanted it (being as the MINI's finally back on the road :woot: ) - "John" asked me, "You didn't get the Saturday one?" "Nope." Guess I'm getting 2 today (he really did try to get another out FedEx) but, too little, too late. Lesson learned...

Wonder if either one is the right part? :mrgreen:
Dave P. #189 '02 MINI CooperS+ "Elphie"
"People who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." -unknown

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MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by vtgti » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:47 am

Have you bought any parts through Bavarian Auto? ( www.bavauto.com ) they offer next day UPS on all parts. I order by 3 pm and they are at my door by 10 am. I've had great luck getting all my BMW parts from them, and they advertise as being a Mini parts place too.
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Re: MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by Dave_G » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:46 pm

vtgti wrote:Have you bought any parts through Bavarian Auto? ( http://www.bavauto.com ) they offer next day UPS on all parts. I order by 3 pm and they are at my door by 10 am. I've had great luck getting all my BMW parts from them, and they advertise as being a Mini parts place too.
I also get a lot of BMW parts from them and have been a very happy customer. Because they're located so close (Portsmouth, NH), you can order regular ground UPS, and they STILL get to Vermont the next day. I've saved a lot of $$ on shipping over the years just on that alone.
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Re: MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by DaveP189 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:24 am

I've ordered from Bav Auto once, I think; I usually try Atlantic British ( http://www.minicarparts.net/ ) in Clifton Park, NY, for most of the OEM parts that I needed relatively quickly. (Heck, I drove down there from Colchester when my wiper motor failed, was there and back in ~5 hours iirc.) In fact, usually try them first, but they don't carry the shifter cables and clutch cylinders (neither did Bav Auto) - they are mostly a Land Rover/Range Rover supplier. I've recommended them to a couple of other MINI owners and they've been pleased as well. Bav Auto seems to be a little more into the BMW's than MINI's in my experience, though I know the guy that rebuilt the Brown MINI for Jason has used them (had a fairly technical forum discussion on North American Motoring about LCA bushings, and most agree Bav Auto's are the worst - well, stiffest).

Peabody MINI ( http://www.minipartsmass.com/partlocato ... eid=215989 ) that I mentioned in the OP has set up good internet store and sells OEM parts at 15% off MSRP, so if time is less of an issue (i.e.: I ripped a motor mount during the clutch change) I'm gonna try them next. And if time is a factor, the discount evens out faster shipping charges.

One bright side to all this crap dealing with Keeler: when I call and somebody in MINI parts picks up the phone, I ask for John ("Who's calling, please?") and I'm not on hold longer than about 15 seconds :lol:
Dave P. #189 '02 MINI CooperS+ "Elphie"
"People who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." -unknown

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Re: MINI Cooper parts: Good, Bad & Ugly

Post by DaveP189 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:31 am

Oh, and Summit Racing - suprised the heck out of me the number of high performance/aftermarket parts they offer for MINI's (good prices & quick shipping, too). Though not "brand-specific", I ordered mufflers and some other misc parts when I did my custom cat-back...
Dave P. #189 '02 MINI CooperS+ "Elphie"
"People who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." -unknown

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