My Year with an All-Electric MINI


Towed! After only 87.8 miles… Sheesh!

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on October 16, 2009

So, today I again noticed the % charge going down more quickly, and when I got to work it was at 33% and not 39%, though today’s trip to work was 1.8 miles longer (after a few blocks, I realized I had forgotten my cell phone and had to go back home and get it, in case I ran out of juice today).  And on the way home, the 0% / 0 mls point was reached with about 22 miles left (more helpfully, I had gone 65.1 miles since leaving this morning with a 100% charge).   This seemed crazy, and consistent with yesterday.

So, I get into the right lane of the Garden State Parkway and reduce my speed to 60 and figure it will be closer tonight.  Indeed, at about 83 miles, when I was about 4 miles from home, a new warning light came  on and the car wouldn’t go more than about 30 mph.  When I was about 2 miles from home it started getting slower still, and it wouldn’t move when I was about 1 mile from my house.  So I pulled onto a side street and called the 800 number.

It took 20 minutes for the 800 agent to find a contract tower who knew how to handle the MINI E, and then about an hour for the tow truck to arrive.  He loaded it up on his flat bed, and I warned him about the narrowness and curviness of my street and he joked that he would carry the car into the garage for me.  Well, he was able to deposit it about 20 feet from the garage door, but he and I and a neighbor could not push the car over the 3-inch hump into the garage.  He said What the heck is that thing made out of? It was amazing to me as well that we couldn’t push it easily.  Luckily the cable was long so I charged it for 10 minutes sitting out in the driveway and then just as the rain picked up, backed it up into the garage spot.

I have not kept up with reading others’ blogs the last few months (same reason I had not updated mine) , so I don’t know if other participants have been towed for running out of gas juice.   I wanted to have it happen, and am glad I experienced it, but what’s going on with the car?  If I can’t  do a round-trip to work, it’s useless.

I do have my 3,000 maintenance scheduled for next Friday now, so maybe I will learn something.

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5 Responses to 'Towed! After only 87.8 miles… Sheesh!'

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  1. Tom M said,

    Tim,

    Unfortunately, I don’t think there is anything wrong with your car. The colder weather the past two weeks had really shortened the range. all of the East Coasters have reported this the past ten days. My range has shrunk from 100-110 miles to 80-90 miles. Check out the blogs and the Mini E Facebook group and you will see everyone in NY & NJ has been reporting this lately. I thought there was something wrong with my car too. We are having a meet up of the NJ & NY Mini E drivers on November 8th in Montclair, NJ, to discuss all the issues and experiences we are having executives from mini will be there also. Let me know if you can come and I’ll send you all the details. I’ll also have them posted on my blog: http://minie250.blogspot.com/
    Tom

    • Timothy Gill said,

      Thanks, Tom. I will try to read some blogs this weekend. I should be able to come to the Nov 8 meetup. It is interesting that you are having some MINI executives there; I figure there must be increasing dissatisfaction among participants…

      • Tom M said,

        Hi Tim,
        I hope you can make it. We had one back in August and we had 10 Mini E’s show up. Mini Volunteered to have representation there so they can get feedback and answer questions we have so it’s not like they felt they “had” to because there were problems. The range issue that we on the East are experiencing now was expected, but I don’t think they really knew how much. What threw me was how quickly it came up on me. I went from being able to go 100-120 miles to 80-95 miles in 10 days! I really didn’t have time to realize what was going on. Now, after reading about you, Chris, Gordon, Michael & Robert I know it’s not my car, it’s the colder weather. I remember talking to Rich Steinberg of Mini at the dinner in New York in May and he told me flat out that the range will be significantly less in the colder weather. They were relying on us to give them the data of how much less. That being said, I think an email from Mini to “remind” all of us on the East about the reduced range would have been appropriate. Maybe you wouldn’t have to have been towed if you were more aware of this.
        Tom

  2. Robert said,

    I came really close to being towed myself, its scary to see your range drop so much so quickly.

    http://mini-e.blogspot.com/2009/10/cold-weather-range-anxiety_19.html

  3. Michael S. said,

    Speaking of problems with the Mini E, I don’t have one myself (I have a 2004 Cooper S), but I have noticed one of the cars, #442, parked at a plaza on Route 206 in Hillsborough. It looks perfectly fine from the outside, but it has not moved in several weeks. I have pictures. If I recall, it is from Morristown Mini. Let me know if you or anyone knows the story behind this car and why it isn’t moving.

    Regards,

    Michael S.


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