Mini Cooper S owners have reported 86 problems related to timing tensioner (under the engine and engine cooling category).
Timinig chain tensioner had a washer stripped, oil was leaking all of ther engine and it was down to less than a quart. It's a known issue with Mini coopers all over the internet where a $10 part, if not caught causes major engine repairs, or worse, engine replacement. Mini cooper dealer wont fix it for free even though it's touted "maintenance free" chain belt. Vehicle only has 22,365 miles on it.
See all problems of the 2011 Mini Cooper S.
Defective timing chain and tensioners causing additional damage to the exhaust valves preventing compression in the engine as is described in one of many class action suits.
See all problems of the 2009 Mini Cooper S.
The timing chain tensioner came loose causing an oil leak and the timing chain to slip/skip which in turn caused damage to the motor and now my car needs a new timing chain & new motor which is costing around $9k. This car only has 35k miles on it & this should not have happened! I was driving on the freeway when all my oil leaked out, causing lights to flash & loud noises. Once pulled over to a gas station and found all the oil was gone, a mechanic there noticed the tensioner coming out, tightened it, then refilled the oil. The car held the oil at this point but then the car would not start. After towing it to a shop, they saw that it would need a new timing chain but didn't want to do a full break down of the car since it is very involved and there could be motor issues so he suggested I contact Mini USA & a Mini dealership. The dealership said they had to have it there to determine the issue & see if the manufacturer would cover the costs. So I towed the car again to a Mini dealership & they said it needs a new motor since the valves were damaged also. After sending this info to Mini USA (the manufacturer), they reported to me that they would pay $4k of the $9k in costs (not even half). Getting advise from a lawyer, this entire issue should be covered by the manufacturer and I already paid too much just by having it towed twice when this is a flaw in the car. The car only has 35k miles & this tensioner should not have come loose in the 1st place causing all this damage. In the end, I am still fighting with Mini USA (after being without my car for almost 4 weeks) to cover all costs of repair for this and asking that this be reported as a "known issue" on the TSB so other people do not have the same problem I am having!! I have attached the email I got from seattle Mini for the diagnosis to give you an idea of what they see happened!.
See all problems of the 2010 Mini Cooper S.
After Mini/BMW repaired the timing chain tensioner and the timing chain, my turbo oil supply line developed a significant leak (within a week/ within 200 miles of Mini service) causing smoke to escape from the bonnet, oil to cover the front engine/turbo/exhaust. Oil now puddles beneath the car when parked. The car has 89,xxx miles. I first noticed the smell of burning oil when driving across town at a speed of 40mph. When parking the vehicle, upon idle the smoke billowed from the bonnet of the car. According to Mini forums, this problem of a failed o-ring in the turbo oil supply line is a known problem resulting in numerous failures that can lead to catastrohic damage to the turbo, catalytic converter, and engine.
See all problems of the 2008 Mini Cooper S.
As many others have posted here, my engine began rattling loudly when I would start it up. To alleviate this, I would top off the oil and get frequent oil changes, in fact, more often than Mini/BMW suggested it should get an oil change. This would usually take care of the rattle. One night, the engine rattle kept increasing and suddenly the car stopped in the middle of a busy street just 20 feet from railroad tracks without any warning lights or indications whatsoever. I had it towed to a nearby mechanics shop I trust (not the dealership). The timing chain had broken and bent the valves and I'm in the process of having a new engine put in (with the same faulty timing chain) to the tune of $6,500. I called Mini/BMW USA because my mechanic said he's seen this problem frequently in my model. Mini said they would not do anything for me unless the car was diagnosed by the Mini dealership, and even then there would be no guarantee they would cover anything because of "my vehicle's age. " Mini/BMW USA wouldn't even acknowledge that there have been frequent reports of timing tensioner/chains having problems. I'm even more surprised how frequent this problem is now that I'm looking on the NHTSA website. This needs to be a recall and something that Mini/BMW should cover and respond to, since there have been several class action lawsuits against the company because of this.
When starting car, I get a grinding, rattling noise from the engine. I have been told this is the chain tensioner on the car.
My timing chain has now started to fail for the 4th time on this car. The timing chain tensioners fail and Mini does nothing to correct the issue past the warranty period.
This is a complaint against the timing chain and tensioner for the Mini cooper which is known to be faulty. The timing chain had begin rattling and was inspected at a Mini dealership. They stated that it's a known issue with Mini. Repair for this job is 2000 usd. This is a tremendous price tag. This can lead to a very very dangerous situation on the highway heading to work. Imagine going 65 on the highway the the chain snap. Lost power and control of the car. Not only the driver is at risk but other as well. What if it cause a family in the car an accident. Let's say 3 car were involved filled with families but one person died. You are causing a lifetime of heartache for not acknowledging the fault in your engine. Please be aware that people lives are at stake. It's better that Mini should take responsibility. Is money so much more important to Mini than the lives of people. The lives of families. If future accident can be avoided. It must start now. Do the right thing and make this recall happen. Don't let me start on carbon buildup. Engine design wasn't tested thoroughly. Everyone should be given a courtesy clean every 70000 miles or so. Already show sign of carbon buildup with 48k miles.
See all problems of the 2007 Mini Cooper S.
I was driving in a three lane highway when the engine stopped suddenly and would not restart. The 2008 Mini Cooper S was towed to a local Mini dealer. I was informed that the timing chain had broken because the timing chain tensioner had collapsed. Mini USA informed me that there was a recall for the tensioner which my car qualified for and if the dealer could state that that was the cause the engine would be replaced free of charge. The dealer refused to make the connection and refuses to tell me after a tear-down what caused the failure. Mini is taking no responsibility and I'm left with a $12000 repair bill, beyond what the car is worth. It is well documented that the failure of the tensioner causes engine failure.
This is a complaint against the timing chain and tensioner for the Mini cooper which is known to be faulty. The timing chain had begin rattling and was inspected at a Mini dealership. They stated that it's a known issue with Mini. Repair for this job is 3800 usd. This is a tremendous price tag. This can lead to a very very dangerous situation on the highway heading to work.
My car started to act funny. Almost sounding like it was suffocating. It would die about ten to fifteen times every morning before I would finally get the car started. It would shut off when I stopped at intersections. The only time it ran decent was when I was driving highways speeds for 20 minutes or more. I changed out filters, spark plugs, and fluids but none of it changed the way it was running. Come to find out it that the chain and chain tensioner had broken. This damage caused roughly $1000 to fix. Luckily I caught it in time before it did additional damages to the crank shaft. With low miles the mechanic even told me its a fault part and brakes easily. He has had to replace numerous american model Minis in italy. My country code is 39 if you call.
I have now experienced my second timing chain tensioner failure within a three year period. Countless reports are surfacing around the globe of the faulty design, and the manufacturer (BMW) has acknowledged a design flaw. They have yet to issue a recall as the federal govt has not yet mandated the repair. This is a very dangerous situation (and expensive ~ $2k) should the system fail. The only notice is a rattling sound in the engine compartment prior to failure. BMW claims the tensioner should be good for upwards of 120k miles. My vehicle has less than 50k and this is the 2nd failure I've experienced in the last 3 years. Considering the number of Mini cooper vehicles on the road, a nationwide recall is the only measure to ensure this problem is adequately addressed.
Driving on 405 fwy in southern California turning out of freeway off ramp in the pouring rain. The car dead stopped. Very dangerous, cars coming off freeway behind me was a 911 situation. After someone pushed me off to the side of the road had car towed. No engine light warning to indicate problem of tensioner (timing chain breakage). Entire engine was replaced/rebuilt because of extensive damage to engine. BMW apparently is aware of the timing chain defect and has not issued service bulletin or recall. I'm hearing there is a class action suit because of the many complaints. The fact that I could have very easily been killed or seriously injured is why I am issuing a complaint (not to mention my bill for $6200. 00 I have on my credit card) and the three weeks it took to fix. Naturally I was 6 months out of my warranty.
The problem occurred when the tensioner for the timing chain no longer applied pressure to the guide rail. This causes the timing chain to flap against the the guide rails eventually breaking them. There was a noise that was created heard during cold start up and eventually went away when the engine got warm. The items repaired were a faulty chain tensioner, timing chain, chain guide rail, bearing bolt, bearing bolt gasket, crank shaft sprocket, crankshaft pulley bolt, valve cover gasket, permatex hylomar gasket maker, serpetine belt, solenoid, and vanos. This issue appeared well before BMW’s suggested maintenance period of 120,000 miles, or 10 years.
My car has been leaking oil and the dealership determined it was due to the timing chain tensioner. They are charging $357. 98 to have it fixed. My car was purchased brand new and has only 50,000 miles on it. As soon as my 4-year warranty expired, my car has been in the shop multiple times due to engine issues. Services that have been performed at 50,000 miles: 1. Thermostat is leaking coolant- $ 671. 99 2. Water-pump also leaking coolant- $661. 20 3. Coolant flush- $169. 80 I use only premium gas for my car, perform regular oil changes, and maintain my car meticulously. These problems should not be occurring after 4. 5 years of driving. I believe that Mini produces faulty cars that do not last, have absolutely zero reliability, and then charges an exorbitant amount to fix something that should have not been broken in the first place.
Loud noise/rattle at idle. Loose camshaft timing chain due to tensioner failure. It would appear from several forums that this is fairly common problem that dealers are refusing to fix since warranty is expired.
See all problems of the 2006 Mini Cooper S.
Upon starting the vehicle the engine sounds as if parts are loose in the engine area. It lessens up after the engine warms up but is getting progressively worse. It appears it may be the timing chain/ tensioner.
At about 42000 miles, I started to notice a rattle coming from the engine when the engine was first started. The rattle was most noticeable between 2000 and 3000 rpm. This rattle also coincided with the weather turning colder. The rattle continued to worsen over time, an oil leak developed, and the check engine light eventually came on. After searching the internet and calling my Mini dealership, I determined that the timing chain tensioner was most likely at fault. I ordered the part and replaced it myself. During the process of replacing the tensioner, I found that the old tensioner was loose in its socket. After replacing the part, the engine ran smoothly and continues to run smoothly.
Driving my 2008 Mini Cooper S at 70mph on the highway, the vehicle lost power and died. The timing chain tensioner failed causing the motor to blow up and the timing chain popping through the valve cover, the timing chain tensioner is under a factory inspection notice, I never received a notice to inform me of the part failure. Now the engine needs replaced.
The timing chain guides and tensioner in the Mini cooper are made from plastic. There is a service bulletin created by Mini USA to address this issue, but no recall. As I was driving home, making a turn across a busy intersection, my tensioner broke, which caused my vehicle to die in the middle of a turn with oncoming traffic. I had to get out of my vehicle and push it across the intersection while cars were driving by. Although it is common for vehicle engines to die of different issues, this is a well-documented and acknowledged problem for Mini coopers, but there has not been enough of a public outcry for a recall. The situation is dangerous, as it can cause engine failure which can result in a collision. The remedy is a replacement of a manufacturer-acknowledged faulty part.
The car lost power and would not run at idle speed. After much effort, managed to get the car to the only dealer in the state. After two failed diagnostics and two "repairs," the dealer says I now need the timing chain replaced. There are known issues about the timing chain and the tensioner. BMW and dealer deny responsibility and now wish to charge an additional $1500 to repair.
We were driving the car at 20 mph and the check engine light came on. We pulled over to the side of the road and did not note any problems. We then drove directly to the Mini dealership nearby and they said the head gasket seal was broken a leaking oil. Also they said the timing chain and belt tensioner needed to be replaced as they were loose. No repairs were ever performed on these parts. It was noted that there was build up in the oil lines to the turbo causing it to seize up and needed to be replaced. Total costs were $3,000 for parts and labor.
Was told by mechanic at dealership timing chain tensioner had been replaced while in for service in past but now it needs replaced another employee 2 days later says no record of it. I need to pay full amount. Too early for timing chain replacement to be required in a decent car. Defect. Needs recall.
I started the car and a loud rattling noise came from the engine. I drove about 5 miles and the oil check light came on. I decided to take it to a jiffy lube that was within 2 miles and then the engine light came on. By the time I got to jiffy lube the car didn't have any oil left. The car was serviced by the Mini dealer only 4 months prior. Had the car towed 1 1/2 hours to the nearest Mini dealer. Most of the damage was caused by the timing tensioner chain. The dealer said Mini would cover those repairs but the turbo oil feed line was leaking too and I would have to pay for that. It cost me $900. 00. I asked if the car had a heat on it and he said no but that I don't really need one. I thought there had been a service bulletin put out specifically because of the heat from the turbo causing this issue but he said it had nothing to do with it.
Turbo oil supply line is leaking oil on my 2008 Cooper S, the dealer has recommend replacement at a cost of $900. I initially took the car in for a recall to install a heat shield on the same oil line, some online research (including many official complaints here) has suggested that the lack of a heat shield has caused this failure, yet it is not covered under the recall. Yet another unfortunate defect in the Mini design, I've already been through the timing chain/tensioner debacle.
|Problem Category||Number of Problems|
|Timing Tensioner problems||
|Engine And Engine Cooling problems||
|Engine Oil Leaking problems||
|Engine Belts And Pulleys problems||
|Water Pump problems||
|Engine Exhaust System problems||
|Car Stall problems||
|Engine Failure problems||
|Gas Recirculation Valve (egr Valve) problems||