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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good day, everyone!


Shortly before Easter in 2015, I took ownership of a deep blue, 5 door MINI Cooper. Wrapped up like a gift with its white bonnet stripes, roof and mirror caps, it was, and still is, the greatest toy to ever grace the driveway.


Since then, it's traveled over 15,300km, going in for its first service this morning. I thoroughly enjoy each and every ride...I look forward to driving to work every morning, and then look forward to driving home each evening, never mind the job itself.


Unknown to most people, I do feel somewhat anxious about driving. This fear has been present since the first day I sat in front of a steering wheel. It could be the fear of getting into an accident. But such is the joy of driving a MINI, that I will go for any drive, and the longer the trip, the better.


That 1.5L 3-cylinder petrol engine is an absolute gem, and I love everything about it: the sound, the easy-driving performance, and the fuel economy. The car itself is so well put together, it just exudes a distinguished feel of quality, while being noticeably more cheeky and young at heart compared to other prestige vehicles.


I've wanted a MINI Cooper/Hatch for the longest time. For most of that time I couldn't afford to buy one. And then when I could, it was difficult to sign on the dotted line because my "want" for a 5 door hatch was almost as much as a "need". The F55 changed all that. It stole my heart through a billboard ad. :x One hot Saturday afternoon, I took one for a spin, uselessly deliberated about it for a week, and then bought it without reading a single review.


After 100 days and 5,000km with the MINI, I wrote a user review, which is the first review I've written in a very long while.


As a regular driver, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to cars and just drive by feel. The one thing that has been of some concern is the wheel spin that happens quite often, even in dry conditions. On some warmer days I can hear the front wheels burning rubber as I pull off from a standing stop. The DSC must be kicking in at these times because the car lacks the same forward momentum on other occasions when there is no wheel spin.


On one occasion during wet weather, I was trying to move off again from a standing stop at the traffic lights when the wheel spin was even more severe. The car seemed to shudder as I tried to accelerate and it pretty much didn't move. This was on a level road, and quite unexpected unless I was sitting right over a man hole cover. I'm a gentle driver compared to most, and use the accelerator carefully.


And these drives are on Australian roads that are generally well maintained. I never touch the DSC/Traction controls and presume they are switched ON by default every time I drive.


I advised the service center of this only concern this morning. They did a road test and reported no wheel spin. And the service person probably drove it like he/she stole it because it was 14.0L/100km on the trip computer when I picked it up, when I usually drive it like a slow horse, getting anywhere between 5.0-7.0L/100km. 0:) Admittedly, while I don't accelerate hard, I have the habit of taking corners a tad fast...I just tone it down a lot when there's passengers in my car.


An issue they noted at servicing was the condition of my tyres. According to the report, both the front tyres are down to 2mm on the outer edges. They have recommended a tyre change within the next 3000km. This is very alarming for me, coming from a Mazda 2 that I drove since brand new, for over 6 years and 75,000km and only then did it need its tyres to be changed.


For replacement tyres, I have a choice of the Hankook Kinergy ECO 175.66r15 84H (which is what I current have installed) at AU$183 each or Continentals at AU$223 each.


I'm hoping to get advise on what should be done from here. What tyres would you recommend for the standard 15-inch rims? Are there any particular ones I should look for which will have better grip and traction than the current Hankooks? Ride quality is quite important so I presume the run-flat tyres are out. Bigger tyres are actually preferred since they do such a good job of protecting the rims. So far I've grazed a few curbs but not a single scuff to the rims yet, touch wood.


How can I minimise wheel spin when I drive, assuming the environmental conditions are already favourable and I accelerate gently? Or are we pushing the laws of physics here with a very light car that simply has quite a lot of low-down torque?


Is this degree of tyre wear normal for this level of mileage and the age of the car and tyres? Or do I simply need to take things down a notch and go slow around the corners?


Hope to hear any advise from this forum. I would have posted up a photo of the car and a link to my user review to spice up this post if I could, but I'll wait for the post count to hit 5. :D
 

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I think 15 k km is quite poor for tyre wear. Maybe get the tracking checked. Tyres branded eco tend to be less grippy to reduce rolling resistance so read some tyre reviews .I'd say the continental will be better eg sport contact 5 are supposed to be really good but shop and read around before you buy! Don't just go with your mini dealer!
 

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My car has covered 23 000 miles (more than double what you have covered) and is now needing new front tyres. I currently have Michelin Energy tyres on my 15 inch wheels. Plan on replacing them with the same tyres.
Pull away more sensibly and you will not spin the wheels!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Jeremy and Ken, thanks for your advise. I've been trying to take it gently around the corners in the last few days. Interestingly petrol consumption has gone up a bit and things are a little less fun as well. When I next get the chance I will contact a member of the local Mini interest club to get his opinion as well on the condition of my tyres and the brands I should consider.
 

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The problem will be that the better the grip generally the softer the tyre the faster it will wear! uk tyre websites give the eu grading about grip and noise; you could have a look to give you some idea!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The problem will be that the better the grip generally the softer the tyre the faster it will wear! uk tyre websites give the eu grading about grip and noise; you could have a look to give you some idea!
Thanks, sounds like tradeoff that I'd definitely need to think about. Looking forward to changing the tyres soon so I can get back to fun driving! >:D
 
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