So you`re are looking to buy a Mini Cooper? Top tip, you need listen for a gearbox whine heard from the gearbox / transmission. Now the noise isn`t always heard in every gear. Sometimes its starts building the noise as you drive up through the gearbox. Again obvious oil leaks are likely evident and could very well have contributed to the gearbox problem, likely cause here is a lack of gearbox oil – Check the drive shaft oil seals and end casings, you`ll probably find they`ve been leaking for some time.
Exactly the same can happen with the Mini Cooper S, now with this Mini it’s worth another check, turn the steering to full lock and check for any more noises, now this time it may well indicate the gearbox differential bearings have worn.
Now to the gearshift, it is operated by cables to the gearbox. The action ought to still be silky smooth in all the forward gears; but reverse gear is always slightly more difficult to get or engage, as it lacks synchromesh which means there`s no means of slowing the gears down inside the gearbox to get them to “mesh” nicely.