What The Hell Do I Do With This

Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys! Holy shit, I bought a car with an automatic transmission! Can you believe it? WTF brand of artisanal crack was I smoking when that happened. Like, seriously, what the actual (delete expletive)?!?

Dear dbmini.us reader & whiteroofradio.com listener,

You weren’t dreaming. One of the loudest members of Team Manual Transmission (TMT) has actually gone the other way and purchased a car with an automatic transmission. A MINI no less. With an automatic.

(Sorry, I am still slightly coming to grips with this myself)

Since 1995, I have only owned 3 cars with an automatic, and the new R59 is one of them. And, if I’m honest, I am having some struggles with it. Which I will list for you now, and in no particular order.

I think I’m going to stall

When coming to a stop, I’m still amazed that the car doesn’t stall because I did not depress the clutch. Of course, this MINI doesn’t have a clutch, but my brain doesn’t know that. Yet.

Power in the corners

Or, rather, a lack of power in the corners. Halfway through a corner I get on the gas and acceleration doesn’t start until I have fully exited said corner. I have yet to test this with the sport button on and the shifter in the left hand position, but in full auto this is how it works. Not going to lie, this is taking some getting used to.

Hard acceleration is awesome.

Please allow me to remember the feeling of having more than 120HP. Even with the A/C on, this MINI can boogie. Really getting on it, in a straight line, is a hoot! Nice that I don’t have to worry about shifts and can keep both hands on the wheel.

Keeping both hands on the wheel in a corner

Speaking of, I’m still not used to taking corners without having to deal with a shift before or after said corner. I’m hoping I don’t pull a cars and coffee style spin out in front of a Dunkin Donuts or anything.

(P)ark

Right. When I stop, need to put the transmission into the spot marked P.

Brake

Right, if the car is in park, I don’t have to sit in the parking lot with my foot on the brake while I put on my sunglasses or turn on my music. See above.

Traffic

Again, if I’m honest, an automatic is better for my daily crawl. I’m less frustrated because you drive like an idiot and make me have to continually row the gears.

I’m still a better driver than you

Let’s face it, the automatic transmission has made the American driver a lazy pile of crap that likes to tail gate, drive with both feet (accelerate with the brake lights on is still my favorite) and stop 4 car lengths back so they can creep up, 4 inches at a time. These are all problems that I thought were due to the automatic transmission. But, you know what, they aren’t. I drive an automatic and don’t do any of those things. Oddly enough, I drive pretty much the same as I did with the manual, just without having to shift. It’s not the transmission, it is the driver.

The last thing to do with the automatic is get it out for a track day. I’m not sure I can get one in before the season is over, but I’m going to give it a shot. And you know I’ll get back to you as soon as I do.

First Wash

Took longer than I wanted to get this done, but did my first drive way wash with the new Roadster this weekend. Nothing fancy, just a bucket and a hose. And I have some notes.

  • The top is in desperate need of some 303. It acted like a sponge when the water hit it.
  • Overall, the paint is in pretty good shape. I did find a couple of small dents but nothing to get in a snit over.
  • Unlike the last MINI, this one has been taken care of on the outside. It might have been awhile, but it has seen the business end of claybar.
  • So. Much. Chrome. Seriously, this car has more chrome than my ’65 El Camino. Most of it is ok, but some bits need polishing*.
  • Black Conical Spoke wheels are super easy to clean.

With AMVIV coming up next month, I still have plenty of time to get him a full detail. Clay bar, a little polish (boot and bonnet need the machine) and a coat or 2 of NXT.

*Yes, polishing of the chrome. Even the bits that will be black after Todd get done. If it’s going to be there, you’re damned right you’ll need sunglasses to look at it. #becausechrome

Changes

When last we met, you already knew that I was trying to get out of Bruce and into something different. If you play the DonBurnside™ home game, you already know what happened. But, because I’m a giant nerd and am feeling the need to write, you get the words.

I did a bit more research on this guy before I rolled in. Our man Brian Dallas hooked me up with a full VIN history (this MINI is very well taken care of). With that, and other research that shows this MINI started life as a MINIUSA mule (possible press car), and that it was CPOd when acquired by a local dealer, I was in good shape.

For the financing, let’s just say I got a proper APR this time around. Not as good as it can be, but really close. Close enough that you would be impressed.

Oh yea, the car. It’s a 2013 MINI Cooper Roadster S. The original sticker price on this MINI was right at $40K when it was new, which means it is loaded. And, when I say loaded, it really has all the things.

  • Heated leather seats
  • MINI Connected, Nav, HK
  • MINI Yours steering wheel
  • Sport pack
  • Automatic transmission
  • Everything else

The color is called Kite Blue and it is quite striking no matter how you look at it.

And yes, it has an automatic. I know, I know! I can already hear you screaming…

“But db, an AUTOMATIC? I thought you hated the automatic!?!?”

So, here’s the thing there. Since 2003 I have driven MINIs with Manual transmissions. In rain, in sleet, in snow, across the US and on F1 circuits in Europe. Awesome times. Until it comes time to use this car for actual transportation back and forth to work. My current commute is a 20 mile crawl that usually takes me about an hour each direction. And I’m over the whole shifting thing in traffic. Seriously. Over. It. That plus some medical things make the automatic a good choice for me at this time.

I’ve only spent a few hours with it so far but can tell you it is a joy to drive. The last roadster I drove was the MotoringFile company car, which was a JCW. While that car was a blast to drive, I am finding the standard S to be slightly more forgiving and joyous for normal driving.

A quick shout-out to my squad for the sounding board and advice when it came time to start dropping offers. The slack channel was very busy for a few days!

Before you ask…

  • No mechanical mods planned at this time
  • This car does not yet have a sex designation
  • Or a name

While no mechanical mods are planned, I am in agreement with the boys about this. So. Much. Chrome.

AMVIV is coming up which means Todd will be performing some black-out magic and, very possibly, some stripes.

The Next Mod

**This is a repost from earlier this week. The post has also been updated.**

After spending a bit more than 30K miles in Bruce since I bought him about 2 years ago, it was time to do the next modification. It’s the same mod that I did to Roxy at about 27K miles and that was a full brake job, adding EBC Green Stuff brakes and replacement rotors.

Also, for something different, I went ahead and had the brakes installed. All 4 wheels were needed and I really hate doing the rears. Besides that, he was also due for an oil change and alignment as well as trip on the lift just to take a peek and make sure everything was ok.

The old brakes were OEM and I _might_ have waited about 10K miles too long to get them done. The fronts were **almost** metal to metal and one of the rotors, from what I could tell, was slightly warped. In case you are wondering, but I don’t recommend this, OEM brakes are good for about 60K miles if you really need to push it.

The alignment was also something I was way overdue in getting taking care of. Since I have no idea about the history of this MINI, it’s nice to get this work done. It’s almost like a bit of a factory reset. The only thing left is the check engine light fix and to replace the front chin spoiler, both of which will be happening, hopefully, by the end of February or early March.

With [AMVIV](http://www.amviv.com) coming up, there are still 2 more things I need to do. Replace the chin spoiler (parts are waiting for me to order at [OutMotoring](http://www.outmotoring.com) and get the CEL fixed. Jerry knows the fix, just a matter of getting it done.

Finally, a full detail to **way** overdue. Now that the weather in Arizona is finally nicer than yours, time for that will be soon. Full claybar, polish and wax, plus complete wheel cleaning that will include removing them. #becausewhitewheels

Hacked, but Fixed

**Short Version**

There was an issue with dbmini.us that was causing pop-up ads and redirects. I have corrected this. Apologies for the trouble!

**Nerd Version**

From what I can tell, this was done via FTP. Just in case, I went ahead and did the following:

* Updated the main FTP password for the site. There is only 1 FTP user, so no other user accounts were comprimised
* Updated the WordPress password.
* Changed themes. Now the same as [DonBurnside.com](http://www.donburnside.com).
* Reinstalled WordPress.
* Did a double, triple check of all files to make sure the offending code was removed and all files that were left by the attack also removed.

Again, I apologize for any issues that might have caused and hope this will not be a problem in the future here or at any of my other sites (which have also been checked).

Regular service shall resume shortly.