I ended up taking my MINI to Baron’s for the inspection. They quoted a decent (by some standard) price and they were not far from where I work. Turns out that a couple of MINI owners here in the desert take their cars to him and I think they have a genuinely good reputation.
The quote for the Inspection and the brake fluid flush was $595 (and I never did hear back from Brecht). I noticed a call from Baron’s about 90 minutes into the service – never a good sign, and sure enough the rear brakes were worn right through and I needed new pads and rotors. This pretty much doubled the cost, and I walked out of the garage later that day $1139 poorer (or rather deeper in debt to American Express).
I need to go back through my paperwork and see when the brakes were last changed. I think I had them done under warranty but I suppose that was 30k miles ago or so. They advised me that my front brakes have maybe 3-5k miles on them depending on my driving style so I’d better start saving for that.
In case you are interested, the costs broke down as:
- Inspection II Service, labour $262.46
- Brake Fluid Flush, labour $157.79
- Read Brake Pads and Rotors, labour $327.68
- Parts and Fluids $386.53
I’m close to 73,000 miles and the inspection interval is somewhere near 300 so I think I am pretty close to my ‘Inspection II’. After the $300 oil change I can’t even begin to imagine what Brecht would want for this. So I called them but they couldn’t tell me as all MINI Motoring advisors were busy, but one will call me back (presumably when the supercomputer has worked it out).
Anyway, really is no way I am taking it there, instead I will piecemeal it out a bit at a time. I’ve been trying to find out what is actually in the inspection and I think it’s the following:
- oil change
- spark plug change
- pulley belt
- brake flush
- coolant flush
- air filter change
- micro filter change
- a bunch of inspections
My Dad is visiting right now and said he’d help give the oil change a go if I get the tools. I’d need the special wrench and some stands, oh and the oil pan (and a place to ‘dump’ the oil). Air filter I can do myself (I think!), and I presume I could get the brake and coolant flushes done at any regular garage or lube place.
Alternatively, I called a local Land Rover garage that also offers MINI servicing (with techs they stole from Brecht) and they said “around $630” which is ouch but maybe not as ouch as I was expecting.
Also called a MINI place recommended on the SCMM forums, they quoted me $400 or so for the Inspection II but said that the brake fluid and coolant flushes are separate (about $400 more) with a 10% discount for first time and AAA customers.