MINI Cooper Engine Questions

kerwin12kerwin12 Member Posts: 1
i have just had a valve seal go in my engine, (metro turbo engine) i took the engine to bits and had the valve seals done and put the engine back together with all correct torque settings but now it wont start. i am getting a spark and the fuel is going into the carb. any ideas? where do i look next??


  • 12bomb12bomb Member Posts: 1
    my parked car got rear ended by someone who fell asleep and im not worried about the bumper because thats a simple fix, but my car wont start now. its a manual trans. and when i parked it, i left it in 1st gear. when the person hit my car it went forward about 10 feet. its turning over but wont start. does any one know what to do before i sent it in and see the bill for those repairs?
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    Sounds like something in the engine got screwed up by the 10 foot jump, especially if it ran fine when parked. However, damages would be covered by the other guy's insurance...All you need is a statement from the Mini shop detailing the damages.
  • kasperghostkasperghost Member Posts: 72
    Probably too late... Does it have an automatic fuel cut-off switch? Usually under the dash.
  • badminibadmini Member Posts: 8
    The Mini repair saga continues. First repair after first 20 miles. Numerous defects along the way. Now at less than 34k, guides for timing belt broken and engine in danger of serious damage. 1 year out of 3 yr warranty and dealer wants $2000 to repair. Is this normal for mini? Bad Mini. Bad Mini. :sick:
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    edited August 2012
    The Mini repair saga continues. First repair after first 20 miles. Numerous defects along the way. Now at less than 34k, guides for timing belt broken and engine in danger of serious damage. 1 year out of 3 yr warranty and dealer wants $2000 to repair. Is this normal for mini? Bad Mini. Bad Mini

    I don't believe Minis have timing belts. Also, Minis have a 3 year/36K bumper to bumper warranty and a 4 year 50K drivetrain warranty...
  • badminibadmini Member Posts: 8
    True, Mini's have timing chains. But according to the Mini service at the dealership "things break." I'm out of the 4 year warranty :( but have asked Mini to make the repair. Four days later and no response. No Mini.

    Word to all current and future Mini owners: "Things [like the drivetrain] break after 5 years and less than 36k miles." Clearly, reliability is questionable. Cost of ownership and repairs are expensive. Issue now is whether Mini/BMW stand behind the vehicles or not?
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    edited August 2012
    Yes, things do break... Even on cars with relatively low mileage.

    It happens on all makes... All models. Sometimes it feels like you bought a "early Monday morning unit".

    My "special" experience was on a mid-1980's Chevy S-10 Blazer that I special ordered. I had far more out-of-pocket expenses on that POS that I have had on the 07 Z4 coupe, 2010 328 convertible and 2005 Mini convertible combined (all purchased new and still owned).

    Sometimes, you just get a bad car. These forum threads are full of unhappy owners of every make and model.

    Check out the Camry and Altima threads... The top selling sedans in the US. Yes, they have unhappy owners, too...
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,118
    My daughter's 2007 MINI will hit 100K
    in a month or 2.
    No issues.
    A single data point - that really proves nothing...
    - Ray
    Unlikely to see that mileage on any car I drive, ever again...
    2020 BMW M340i
  • badminibadmini Member Posts: 8
    Is your point that Mini/BMWs are like 1980s vehicles? Comparing a '07 MINI/BMW to a mid-1980s Chevy S-10 is instructive though. I'd like to think that the mid 70s was the low point for build quality in American automobiles which gave rise to Japanese manufacturers. But the mid 80s was close. Over than last 27 years, cars have become better made and we see repairs for all makes dropping significantly, especially in low mileage drive train issues.

    And chevy/GM went bankrupt while nearly all other manufacturers continue to prosper. Have you heard of the build quality on Toyota? Honda? Hyundai? Heck, even Fiat has much improved build quality.

    If you are suggesting that drivetrain components on Mini/BMWs should be expected to be only 5 years even at low mileage, then your point is well taken. Certainly, many others will consider such before purchasing MINI/BMW and won't expect better than a mid- 80s Chevy.
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    No, the only point I was making is that anyone can get a "lemon", regardless of make, model or year.

    The fact you clearly ignored the section in my comment where I suggested you take a look at the best-selling sedan model forum sections (Toyota, Nissan) pretty much demonstrates your focus on trashing Mini.

    Like the poster previous to your comments above stated, your experience is a single data point, just like his, yet his experience is 100% different, as opposed to yours.

    What makes you so confident that your experience carries more weight than anyone else's experience?
  • badminibadmini Member Posts: 8
    Hold on there. Didn't mean to make you upset. I do enjoy my mini when its running. I've owned most European brands and Japanese brands and always like to help others make good decisions about auto purchasing and repair. Unfortunately this is is not just one data point. Its good to keep an open mind about auto repair expectations, especially of the cars.t steal our hearts. that's all and so it seems clear that when making a Mini purchase one should know that many owners have had this problem. A quick Google.reveals.that in fact Mini has a TSB out.on the problem. My mini is my favorite driving car I've owned. Its fun. Maybe the mini you have or are.thinking.about.purchasing will go 200k with routine maintenance. I hope so. But there are many minis out there with failure of drive train parts. Can we agree not to compare it to a mid 80s GM?; ) And I'm checking other forums of other makes to determine the prevalence of drive train failure at 34k. I'll share what I find. Good bad and ugly Thanks for the discussion.
  • badminibadmini Member Posts: 8
    After an initial review of other forums, it appears that timing belts and/or chains are recommended to be changed every 60k-120k. The problem here is that it isn't the chain per se. It's the plastic guides that fail. In full disclosure here, I'm a teacher and automobiles are just a hobby. I'm clear no tech. But it seems logical that the chain is dependent upon the guides and therefore, the guides are the weakest link (pun intended). Its seems that most other manufacturers don't have timing chain or belt related issues at low mileage with a few manufacturers warranties extending coverage for 100k! Maybe it's the nature of a high performance engine?

    The other caveat here is that the dealer just replaced the water pump at 30k/3.5 years use. Could that be related?

    Mini is a fun automobile and clearly some are getting high mileage with minimal service requirements. If you're considering one, clearly you should investigate whether cold start timing chain tensioner problems existed and maybe you'll want to have it inspected (if that's possible) before purchase of a used one. If you're lucky enough to buy one new, maybe consider the extended warranty. Then you can have fun motoring rather than waiting for repairs!
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    edited August 2012
    Oh, I agree that no modern 2012 car should be compared to a mid-80's model, but it's YOU that attempted to make the connection (your post #10). All I did was identify a vehicle that cost me lots of $$$.

    I've said it a thousand times...EVERY MANUFACTURER makes the occasional lemon, and it really sucks if you happen to win that lottery.

    And, like any chain, every model has its weak link. No manufacturer is immune to bad engineering or assembly issues from time-to-time.

    My luck with LG products has been consistently bad, from cell phones, to a plasma TV, to a fridge. All failed within a year. However, I understand that there simply isn't any way LG could be in business today if even a minor fraction of LG's customers had my experiences. And, I've never gone to any LG product forum and attempted to insinuate that all LG products are faulty. What I HAVE done is to relate my experience... Nothing more.

    I sincerely hope you get a favorable resolution on your problem.
  • badminibadmini Member Posts: 8
    OK. I understand. (Please don't yell, though. let's keep it civil), but buyers should not dismiss this issue so easily. Maybe your right. Or maybe the problem is very widespread. Maybe Mini is preparing to extending the warranty on this issue, like they honorably did with the fuel pump failure or maybe they won't leaving owners to pay for costly repairs.

    If your attempt to make this out to be an isolated case, calling my MINI a lemon, I humbly disagree. Simple google searches reveal the problem to affect many and that represents only those who have the time and inclination to share their experience.

    Since starting this thread, I've completed extensive research into similar repairs in other makes and Minis and I'm placing random phone calls to independent MINI repair specialists as part of my own research. This is not an isolated case, but a condition which affects many other minis.

    In this case, its may be poor design rather than simply a manufacturing defect. There are many Minis which have had similar failures. Also, much to my chagrin, US News and other vehicle ratings rank Mini poorly on reliability when compared to other similar vehicles. I'm in the process of completely an extensive blog with references. Unfortunately, it's not just me with the problem and not just me suggesting that it is widespread. You can dismiss it as bashing, or you can help others get to the truth if if it means revealing a an ugly wart that's not being addressed.

    There are many occasions where a manufacturer earns a profit producing poor quality goods, even defective goods. I agree that much of Toyota and Honda and Hyundai financial success is based on perceived quality. The costs for a manufacturer to issue a repair or cover the repair on all vehicles in service is substantial, so there is less incentive, if any, to cover existing defects versus to fix or correct them in future models. Please take your discussion of other brand names to other websites where others have a chance to respond.

    Any one person's experience is an isolated data point, we don't have data on the number of repairs. Using these forums and other internet research helps, but even these forums don't give an accurate representation as car forums tend to attract both those, like myself, who've had a bad experience, and many more advocates, some who may even receive compensation by the manufacturer. Fervent support of any person, brand, or ideology is equally suspect, agree?

    All I want to suggest to potential buyers of '07 Mini Cooper S and possibly all Mini's, is that they look into this problem before making their purchase decision and don't quickly dismiss this or any problem as "an isolated case", a "lemon." Do the research. Do a google search. Then decide for yourself.

    I continue with research, at least until school starts up again. :)
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    edited August 2012
    No offense, but you appear to do a lot of "reading between the lines", even when there isn't anything there to be reading.

    I never said, nor meant to imply, that your problem isn't a valid one... It may well indeed be one.

    But, let's face it... Car forums are a bit like prisons... Both are full of innocent people who never, ever did anything to cause the situation that they now find themselves in...

    Just to be clear, I think you have a legitimate issue, and knowing a thing or two about automotive engines, I can't easily see any way you caused the damage to the car.

    I think the difference between we two is the approach used. I would have simply outlined my issue and then requested information from others experiencing the same issue, or not, by listing the specific model, year, etc. You did list the year, but no model. I assume from your remarks you have the "S" model. Information like that helps narrow down your searches.

    Nor would I use a name with "bad" anything in it. You have already "tainted" the conversation before it has even had a chance to start.

    It strikes me that, while you certainly have a manufacturer-related problem, you may also have a dealer-related one as well. In my experience, I have established a good working relationship with the dealership (AND service advisor), which has paid off handsomely in the past. The advisor knows that I take care of the vehicle, so there was never the question of abuse, when it came to repairs.

    You don't appear to be getting much, if any, dealer support here, based upon your comments.

    As I said earlier, I sincerely hope you get resolution to your problem.
  • badminibadmini Member Posts: 8
    Point well taken. I'm trying to not bash Mini/BMW until I can get all the facts. In the week since penning the post, I've found much information.

    To your point about a dealer problem. You are right. Unfortunately, I started with the dealer and received no help. Worse yet, the dealer said nothing about the TSB out on the vehicle for the repair and offered no help. I put a few options on the table but was flatly rejected. That's when I turned to the internet for answers.

    In this forum and across the net I've since learned the the problem is not an isolated case. Maybe it's a manufacturing defect, maybe it is faulty manufacturing processes, maybe it is a design error.

    Wish I had a better way than "Bad Mini" to label my experience, "Love Hate" might be a good description. Fuel pump failure in the first 30 miles of ownership, later repaired under warranty and subsequent part of a recall. Tires peeling off at highway speeds spinning me 390+ degrees. Serious burn injury from tailpipe, no help from the dealer, later recalled and replaced. Melted cowl, faulty water pump, no help from the dealer or Mini/BMW. In all these cases, I was first told by the dealer, "it's an isolated case." Then, after doing internet research, I find they've all be common issues and in some cases, Mini/BMW to their credit, issued recalls.

    So, I turn to the 'net at first to find whether this problem is normal, but this time I post the question and immediately I'm referred to the TSB that the dealer was silent on. Now that I've learned this issue is much more prevalent, not an isolated case, not a lemon I want to identify how prevalent it is. I have the time and the resources to give back to my community of Mini/BMW owners. If it's my findings show it's prevalent, I'll commit significant time and resources to sharing with the MINI/BMW community.

    I'll take a few more weeks to do the research, gather secondary data and conduct basic primary research. I'll create the blogs, gather the photos, and post the results. Others have already offered to help. And I've got years of net search and keyword experience that might help us get word out, assuming the findings show it to be prevalent. I want to emphasize that last point: To date, I'm uncovering many who've had problems with the MINI Cooper timing chain and tensioner. However, the data is still very sketchy. MINI/BMW has a clamp on the data but I'm starting to get referrals to people who until now, have never said a word. It's amazing how things can mushroom when you get a lot of people talking about it. But even 50 similar repairs does not make the case of a defect. Too many variables to get from result back to cause! We'll have the website/blog setup in another week or two and I'll post here and across the web links to it at that time.

    Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated.
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    It never ceases to amaze me how a poor dealer can trash a manufacturer, especially when there is some evidence to support the idea of a widespread issue. "It's the first we have heard about it!" is an all to often heard phrase.

    What's it tell you when the customer is more well-versed on a product that the seller? Reminds me of shopping at Best Buy... Lol!

    There's a guy on the BMW 3 series section at this very moment experiencing the same lack of dealer "quality" that you seem to be experiencing. It's far too common.

    Good luck in your "adventure". It sounds like you may need some....
  • ldt66ldt66 Member Posts: 2
    I have 2006 Mini S Convertable
    Harmonic Trans Balancer ....replace
    Power Steering hoses leaking ,oil pan gasket leaking,lower control arm bushings and this all needs to be replaced at 50K ,right side engine mount ... Something very fishy !
    Class action lawsuit was started against Mini Cooper in 2011 seek and yee shall find .... it's not just a transmission issue it's bigger .
    :lemon: :lemon:
  • mini9mini9 Member Posts: 1
    The engine light keeps coming on in my mini with about 140k miles on it? The engine has a mind of its own sometimes and switches gears on it's own (revs up) . I was told it might be the 02 sensor. Will replacing that fix the problem? If not, what could be the problem? It also burns oil more in the summer months. I love my mini and would like to keep it and also trying to buy another mini.
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