Smaller but seems not

Earlier this week my Clubman showed up a very strange warning when I applied the parking brake while waiting (a long time) at roadworks:

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The warning suggested that the parking brake was still released (the indicator light was off too) but in fact it was locked on and I could not release it – stuck in the middle of the road!

Luckily, after the computer tradition off/on sequence, while the parking brake was still initially locked and would not release, it seemed to clear the fault and release after a too long wait …

So today, I dropped my car off at Orlando MINI, and got a “small” two door MINI loaner – and I really didn’t notice any size difference, at least for the driver position!

Hopefully, whatever is wrong with my Clubman is easy to identify and solve.

UPDATE: Orlando MINI were unable to find any problem or fault code with the parking brake, even with the error message captured above – I have to hope this problem doesn’t recur …

UPDATE 2: Today (September 21st, 2017) this fault has recurred twice; very frustrating and rather dangerous to have a car that can’t be safely parked!

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Another Clubman recall

There was a recall last year on my Clubman, that didn’t sound particularly serious, but was resolved during my service visit a few months ago. Today, I received notification of another recall – and this one seems a bit more serious and also very surprising that it’s taken such a long time for a software light control issue to be noticed!

Clubman Recall, Brake Lights
Clubman Recall, Brake Lights

I guess I’ll be needing to call Orlando MINI some time …

Clubman’s first service

It’s been more than a year now since I bought my Clubman, and it’s been wanting an oil change for a while – much less than 5,000 miles, but due to time:

There’s also a not very urgent recall; so this afternoon I took it to Orlando MINI; Anthony had arranged a loaner for me – another Clubman, though rather different colors (and an automatic transmission):

It’s a creamy white color, which is ok – but it appears to have purple leather seats! Surely a mistaken order (no idea what the color is officially called, don’t really care because I’d never order it).

The center display is smaller than I’m used to, without navigation, and the head up display is missing, but with an iPhone cable I had no problem playing my music on the way home …

 

I was convinced, driving home, that it must be a Cooper because it seemed to be way down on performance compared to my car – but it is an S, so maybe the automatic transmission has a big effect (perhaps it would be better in sport mode, which I didn’t use).

I took pictures of a few showroom MINIs while I was at the dealership, including this strangely wrapped-with-matte (old model) Countryman, and a nice looking (new model) Convertible:

 

It’s nice to have a loaner available, not something I ever had at MINI Peabody!

First drive with MINIs of Kissimmee

We learned today of a MINI drive nearby, so I washed my car and we headed down to Championsgate to meet everyone – and there was a good turnout of 15+ MINIs there!

 

I took a photo of each MINI individually, just like the old days!

 

Once everyone had arrived, we set off on a maybe 20 minute drive, over to food trucks in Kissimmee – complete with reserved parking for our group!

 

Good fun to join some MINIs again! Thanks to Joey for organizing 🙂

 

Countryman / Clubman

I have no interest in going back to a Countryman – my Clubman is a very fine MINI; but it’s interesting to compare the newest vehicle. I’ve not seen the new Countryman, but comparing dimensions on the MINIUSA website indicates that it’s built on the same chassis / wheelbase, and that it’s almost 5″ taller – but even with that extra height, front head and shoulder space is basically identical; and the Countryman has taken away an inch of front legroom, to provide more rear space!

(new Countryman on the left, 2016 Clubman on the right)

So the Countryman is a better choice if you need the rear space – but the Clubman is a better choice for no more than one passenger. Interesting too to note that the Countryman S now includes automatic transmission (only the ALL4 S can have manual transmission).

UPDATE: MotoringFile can written about this too; it’s interesting how they favor the Countryman, only writing what’s “more” …