MINI Update (pun inevitable)

My wife gets her (now 9,000 mile) 2015 Mini back from the dealer today, hopefully with not one, but TWO water leaks fixed - the A/C drain and the rear hatch seal. This is the newest car we’ve owned, and the shortest time we’ve owned a vehicle before it went to a shop for something not minor. I am hopeful it doesn’t foretell a pattern. It’s pouring rain today, and she’ll also for sure be running A/C, so I think we’ll know right away if it’s fixed.

Meanwhile, it’s August so it’s time to think about winter. With both of us driving AWD cars, we only put snows on one car because 99% of the time we’re not on snow-covered roads. I am on snow far more, so my car got full snow tire treatment, and if my wife had to drive to work in a blizzard, she’d take mine. Now, she’s rocking FWD in a little hot-hatch type thing, so she needs snows, too.

TireRack has an $80 mail in rebate right now for tons of snow tires, AND they offer compatible TMPS sensors for just $33/ea. They are typically $70 and up just about anywhere I can find (that I trust), and they claimed over the phone that these are 100% compatible with the MINI.


I asked my wife about wheels, and she said “I don’t care,” which, translated, means, “something simple and no weird colors.”

Sadly, I think that rules out these:

I think those look awesome, but she would say “It looks like I’m trying to be a boy racer/wannabe rally driver.” Now, if it were mine........

So 5-spokes are my go-to for winter wheels because it’s easier to clean out the snow when it gets packed in the inner part of the wheel. I also prefer gray to bright silver, especially for winter, because they don’t look as dirty as quickly as silver ones. I went with 16's to get a little more sidewall vs the 17" summer tires, because potholes and frostheaves.


I picked an Alutec straight 5-spoke gray wheel but it said, ‘TPMS sensors not available for your vehicle’ - yet I was able to choose them when I picked the Rial fork-style 5-spoke you see below. I guess the sensors they have aren’t compatible with that particular wheel? I can’t think of anything else. Nice side note: the Rials have a 5-year warranty on the finish, which is always a concern with cheap winter wheels. If all goes well, we’ll have this car for a lot more than 5 years.

So here we are, what do you think? 5-spoke, kinda gray, not weird, not rally wheels.


(hers is a 4-door, but same otherwise)

All-in cost: $1,130.24 - $80 = $1,050.24.

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