1 is THere rUsT?
Sills and floors are the most common structural areas to go, so checking under the carpets is an absolute must. Some Minis have also been subjected to ‘oversills’, where the rotten metal is essentially covered with a new panel; they don’t really solve the problem and are structurally marginal at best. Familiarise yourself with what a Mini sill should look like so you can avoid these cars.
2 GiVe iT a sHake
While it is a more common fault on 1275cc cars, all Minis have a weakness at the upper engine steady mount. It can be difficult to visually inspect this steel bracket, because it’s buried among the clutch ancillaries, but a forceful push and pull on the engine should soon reveal any problems. If it rocks more than the tiniest amount then something is clearly not right.
3 is iT all THere?
One of the best points of any Mini Thirty should be its interior, with the half-leather black and red upholstery one of the highlights of the car. This does mean that bits are sometimes taken for other cars however, so make sure that you have a complete set. You can buy everything but the steering wheel from new fortunately, due to the crossover with the Cooper, but it won’t be cheap.
4 sTayiNG syNcHrONiseD
Regular oil changes are essential to the health of the A-series, due to its gearbox-in-sump design that means any wear in the engine will lead to debris in the gearbox and vice versa. Check the paper history of the car – every 6000 miles is ideal. Crunching on the way in to second gear (and jumping out of it) are classic first signs of a gearbox requiring work.