FAQs—Mini Cooper Countryman
I'm thinking about getting a new Mini Cooper Countryman, but I'm a bit hesitant considering that it's a rather small car and might not be as safe to drive on the road compared to other vehicles. What safety features can be found in the Countryman?
Although a small vehicle, the Mini Cooper Countryman is equipped with a wide range of safety features to keep its passengers safe in highways littered with bigger automobiles and trucks. For instance, it comes with several airbags in front, mounted on the front seats, and the side-curtain airbags. These provide a level of passenger protection during possible collisions. The Countryman also comes with an All-Wheel Drive system, which makes it safe to drive even in harsh weather conditions. Add in its anti-lock brakes, its stability control, and its traction control, and you have one reliable small drive on the road. In fact, the Countryman has been an IIHS Top Safety Pick for five consecutive years.
I have just bought a new Mini Cooper Countryman vehicle with an automatic transmission that is said to be sealed for life. However, I've read recently that the transmission is one of the weak points in Mini Coopers. Is this true? What maintenance does the transmission need given that it is supposed to have a lifetime service? Any advice?
Despite the automatic transmission being advertised as capable of providing a lifetime service without needing maintenance, it is actually advised that the transmission fluid must still be replaced on a regular basis. The recommended interval for topping off the transmission and replacing the transmission fluid is after every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. This is needed because the tranny fluid deteriorates and loses its ability to perform its function well. Another thing to consider is to ensure that the fluid to be used must be carefully chosen to ensure that it is formulated specifically for Mini or BMW vehicles.
I have read that variable valve timing (VVT) failure is one of the common problems encountered by owners of a Mini Cooper Countryman vehicle. I have not encountered this problem yet, but I want to know what I can do to ensure that I won't ever have to deal with the said problem. Any advice?
Like all types of valves, the variable valve timing is made up of tiny openings through which oil flows. The valve can be expected to function well as long as the oil is of good quality and does not contain any type of damaging contaminants. Problems occur when the oil is not changed regularly at the correct interval, which often leads to any particles in the oil getting stuck on the opening of the valves and causing problems or damage. Failure to replace the oil can also cause sludge to form in the system, and this will often clog the valve and prevent the oil from flowing properly. That said, it is not difficult to keep the valve properly working for a long time—just ensure that you follow the proper oil change interval.