MCS with AT

The more I read about the auto transmission for the MCS, the more I can’t help but think ’02/early ’03 build MC CVT. This transmission seems to be very problematic to me so far. I know it’s not as bad as the early CVT’s, but the one component that I expect not to have problems on a new automobile is the part that actually makes it go.

I know Ian has been having pretty good luck with his though, so maybe it’s just a few with the problems?

I ask because I’m still not 100% sure if I want to shift my next MINI or not. I am 100% sure I will be getting an MCS though. Anyone else have positive or negative experience with this transmission? When there was a problem, did the software update (to v42 I believe) fix it the first time, or did you have to take it back?

12 replies on “MCS with AT”

  1. No problems here. I had one of the first I guess. I had no problems until a week or so ago, when the SES light came on. O2 sensor problem was the diagnosis (well documented). Had the software updated about a week ago and it hasn’t resurfaced.

    Personally I love the transmission. Much more flexible than a “regular” auto. This is the first auto I have owned and I am not really disapointed in the least. Yeah, I find myself in steptronic mode alot in order to get the performance out of the car that I want, but I expected that. The SD mode is not bad at all. D is boring and a little sluggish, but again, I expected that. The paddle shifters are great, but I do find myself reaching for the shifter out of sheer habit.

    Feel free to send me an email if you want to know anything specific. I have not heard of the problems that you metion. Anything very bad?

  2. I tend to think that if you want an auto MCS, without having some sort of debilitating injury, then you’re completely missing the point. You’re going to buy a sports car, which the MCS really is, and not make it a manual? Forget it. What’s the point?

    That being said, there’s a review of the MCS auto somewhere (I think motoringfile maybe, or at least I’m sure they have a link to it), and it’s actually a very good review. But still, having an auto sports car is just poor form, POOR form. Plus, manuals get better milage.

  3. This argument has been hashed over and over and over. You buy the cooper in an auto for the same reasons that you buy any car in an auto.

    What he is asking is if the auto sucks. It doesn’t. Is it a trade off ? Yes. You do actually GAIN some things with an automatic tranny. (shock!). Convenience, comfort, and in my case a whole lot less knee joint pain.

    There are a few people out there that are even autoX in the auto MCS, and they are posting good runs. At our last meeting, someone was talking about a guy who placed 2nd in class.

    Let’s face it, most of us are not going to autoX our cars. Those that do are not going to be at a level of the professionals. At our level (and yeah, I’m talking about 99% out there, I’m sure there is an exception) it’s the driver that will make the car go fast, not the transmission.

    If you are not happy with the speed of the auto, add a few mods. A JCW airbox and the MTH software should keep your warranty intact (I have yet to hear of someone getting their warranty revoked due to the MTH, or of it even being discovered). As if you weren’t going to mod your car anyway.

    Your question said “What’s the point?” The point is that the MCSa is still a better car than anything else out there at the price point.

  4. I bought my MCSa a few weeks ago and I had the “stalling” problem when I was driving it off the lot. They did a software update (don’t know which version) that was supposed to fix it, but I had the problem again later that day.

    Took it back in the morning, was told that the fix they applied was only an interim fix, and that the “real” fix required sending the computer back to MINI.

    I had to spend a week in a loaner, but since I got my car back I haven’t had any problems. Been about two weeks now…

  5. I’m not really asking if it sucks, just trying to get a feel for what kinds of problems everyone is having.

    I don’t have a debilitating injury, but I do drive over 100 miles a day, usually in traffic and occasionally have problems with my knees because of it. My Doc has already suggested that I switch to an auto transmission.

    My preference is the standard transmission really. I’ve already had one and liked it fine. I guess I’m just getting lazy in my old age. :)

    Thanks for the input everyone!

  6. i’ve had my mcsa since march 3 and had NOT ONE problem at all. i have turned down the software update, but will probably take it anyway just to be up to date next week when i bring the car infor a jcw related issue ; ) i absolutely love it nad live on the paddles – that’s where the car really comes alive. i’ve installed every available jcw bit currently available and really drive my car hard and it hasn’t let me down at all – absolutely amazing!

    feel free to email me if you’d like to talk shop – cheers – drew

  7. Traffic can be a problem, I feel your pain, I drive about 60 miles a day in my MCS. I must admit there’s been times I’ve wished I had an auto when sitting in traffic. I guess getting the MCS auto with paddle shifters is better than all the damn new mustangs I see with autos (my roommate just ordered one and his dealer was commenting on how they’re barely selling any in standard.) Not to mention all the corvettes I see out there in auto also.

    To me it’s just a purity issue. There’s something so nice about shifting that I just don’t think would be there with paddle shifters.

  8. I totally agree! Something about not *really* shifting in that car does seem a little weird.

    Still, if push comes to shove, I’d rather have an MCSa ‘vette or Mustang.

  9. As you said, I have been issue free – even when GBMINI threw its SES, it was not an issue because driving was unaffected.
    And without particularly wanting to maintain this nonsense about “real cars have a clutch” … Marine, get out and actually motor in an MCSa for at least a week before spouting. You will discover that the true pleasure of a MINI is not in the left foot, but in the hands, under the butt, and in that wide split across the bottom half of your face!

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