Update: 272,233

The latest piece is keeping Roxy going to 300K miles is to fix the small oil leaks. This week, it was replacing the valve cover gasket and the spark plug gaskets. It’s another on the long list of things that I should have done a year or more ago. Since I started smelling burning oil, I figured sooner or later was best.

I was going to do this myself, but again, small clips and other things that can potentially break and drive my frustration level through the roof kept me from doing it. I was able to watch the process and snap the photo you see here, once the valve cover was removed. Still nice and clean, no staining on the metal, no gunk build-up, nothing. Probably looked pretty close to this when it was new.

The old gasket was beyond done. It had gone from being a flexible piece of rubber to a hard piece of rubber that had zero flexibility and zero ability to actually do what it was designed to do. The new piece (and accompanying spark plug gaskets) is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Still have one more leak to tackle, but it’s a bit more of a procedure. That would be the oil pan gasket. I’m going to try to double that up with the power steering hoses (both of which need to be replaced) as soon as the budget allows. Those hoses are ridiculously expensive, as is the oil pan gasket. Not to mention the labor involved for both of those repairs. Probably close to $600 to have it all done, if not slightly more.

Also new to the list is a front brake job. Turns out, the $35 Centric rotors can be good and can be bad. The set I have now are bad and have already warped. Not an issue most of the time, but I can definitely tell when trying to stop at speeds above 50mph. I’m going to try to spring for something nicer this time, possibly even going back to the Power Slots that I **loved**. I’m also hearing that the OEM rotors have greatly improved since I last used them (2004) and am thinking about giving them another shot.

Open to suggestions unless you are suggesting a big brake kit, which is both out of my budget and out of my budget (big brakes require big wheels, I can’t afford either). I’m a fan of EBC Green Stuff pads with the Power Slot rotors, but always up for suggestions. Comments are open, let me know what you like!

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  1. 2+ years ago (I think) you recommended the Power Slot rotors to me when I was tired of replacing my 2007 Honda Fit’s warped disks every 30K miles. I’ve been totally pleased with the their performance and now have 40K miles on them, along with Hawk HPS pads. Yeah, the Power Slots were expensive but wear is negligible, noise is minimal and aggressive stopping is superb. Thanks DB!

    1. Welcome! Yes? The PowerSlots are amazing, but I still need to save a few bucks. Jerry at Eurotechs is rexmmending ATE to me. Pricing is the same as centric, but they have a cool slot pattern an seem to be a little higher quality than the centrics.

  2. I can vouch for ATE PremiumOne rotors. I haven’t used them on a MINI yet, but I’ve got several years and many miles with the set on my 2000 Jetta. I don’t see them at Detroit Tuned or Outmotoring, though.

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