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Timing Tensioner Problems of Mini Cooper S - part 1



Mini Cooper S owners have reported 71 problems related to timing tensioner (under the engine and engine cooling category).

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2008 Mini Cooper S 1
Failure Date: 05/04/2014

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.

See all problems of the 2008 Mini Cooper S.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2007 Mini Cooper S 2
Failure Date: 04/22/2014

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.

See all problems of the 2007 Mini Cooper S.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2008 Mini Cooper S 3
Failure Date: 03/24/2014

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2009 Mini Cooper S 4
Failure Date: 02/06/2014

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.

See all problems of the 2009 Mini Cooper S.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2009 Mini Cooper S 5
Failure Date: 01/03/2014

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2006 Mini Cooper S 6
Failure Date: 01/01/2014

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.


car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2007 Mini Cooper S 7
Failure Date: 01/01/2014

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2010 Mini Cooper S 8
Failure Date: 12/30/2013

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.

See all problems of the 2010 Mini Cooper S.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2008 Mini Cooper S 9
Failure Date: 12/24/2013

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2007 Mini Cooper S 10
Failure Date: 12/19/2013

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.


 
car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2007 Mini Cooper S 11
Failure Date: 12/09/2013

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2010 Mini Cooper S 12
Failure Date: 12/09/2013

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2009 Mini Cooper S 13
Failure Date: 11/29/2013

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2009 Mini Cooper S 14
Failure Date: 11/22/2013

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2008 Mini Cooper S 15
Failure Date: 11/18/2013

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.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2007 Mini Cooper S 16
Failure Date: 11/18/2013

Received a letter from Mini on 11/16/13 notifying me of possibility of faulty chain tensioner, which needed to be "checked for wear and replaced if necessary," and that I should contact an authorized Mini dealer to arrange an appointment. No indication that the vehicle should not be driven. Two days later (11/18/13), just as I was about to schedule an appointment, the vehicle began to shake, then the red engine light came on, so I shut down the vehicle and had it towed first to the import shop that normally services the Mini then, after consultation with that mechanic about Mini's recall letter, had it towed to a Mini dealership, where it now sits waiting for diagnosis and news about what any damage might cost to repair, whether I will be responsible for it, and whether I will be reimbursed for two tow charges and a car rental.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2010 Mini Cooper S 17
Failure Date: 09/09/2013

Engine experience rapid oil loss which coated underside of vehicle including tires. When the brakes were applied the vehicle became unstable but I was able to avoid a crash. While pulling to the side of the highway the oil light came on. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic. He reported that a fastener on the cam chain tensioner had become loose which caused the leak. That part had never been modified or service. There was no leak when I began my commute. The problem occurred in only a few miles. Searching online forums indicates that this is not an isolated incident.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2008 Mini Cooper S 18
Failure Date: 09/03/2013

Timing chain mechanism (tensioner seemed to be main culprit) failing and system needed replacement. Total cost $2500. Car had 33,000 easy miles on it. Mechanic said timing system was on the verge of failing traumatically and destroying the engine. Reported it to Mini, who admitted they have been having a lot of trouble with those but there had been no recall so they couldn't help me. Replacement parts were different serial numbers than the originals indicating, per my mechanic, they had redesigned the parts.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2007 Mini Cooper S 19
Failure Date: 05/16/2013

With only 23,000 miles, engine exibited a loud rattling noise at idle, and running up to about 2800 rpm, when noise would disappear. Took it immediately to dealer, who diagnosed it as a failure of the timing chain tensioner piston; that failure caused the chain to skip and throw the cam timing out of alignment, according to the dealer. . . Cost of $188. 00 to replace timing chain tensioner, and $471 to diagnose cam timing skip and restore cam timing. . . Total cost $659. Dealer refused to submit claim to Mini north America for goodwill coverage, despite outstanding condition, low mileage, regular dealer maintenance, and proper oil levels and change intervals. This issue with the timing chain tensioner failure and resulting damage is well known and well documented and should be the subject of a recall and repair of entire timing chain system at Mini's cost-- severe cases can result in catastrophic engine failure at highway speed and potential crashes/fatalitites. Nhtsa, please make Mini do the right thing!!!!.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2007 Mini Cooper S 20
Failure Date: 05/08/2013

I have been experiencing a major flaw with oil supply/return lines to the turbo. A condition exists where if left unattended and uncared for creates the high risk of fire and subsequent loss of engine/vehicle. This event can happen at any time the car is being driven and/or later parked. The risk is created when oil accumulates, either through time or over a leisure drive, and collects near/on the exhaust manifold & turbo components, both of which operate at extremely high temperatures. It is becoming a daily task to look under the car hood and investigate for accumulation of oil near these parts due to the fact that the car smells of burning petroleum. Need I be more apparent of burning oil that will burn and destroy a car due to a faulty product? this has been occurring for the majority life of the car but he issue has never been professionally addressed due to disregard of the Mini/BMW dealerships to accept this design flaw. If researched further, there are many standard examples of this design flaw and numerous descriptions, images, examples, forums, and complaints of this flaw occurring in many cars of various styles, mileage, and trims occurring within the same year model of 2007. I have also experience many of the major flaws already listed and complained about on the nhsta such as the ¿death rattle¿ belt tensioner failing (luckily no catastrophic engine failure and which has been listed numerous times on nhsta, numerous), valve cover replacement (also listed), etc. Nhsta, address this problem as it is an avid and dangerous safety issue. The common person does not check under the hood daily and its only time before someone parks their Mini in a garage and the home goes down in flames. I personally don¿t park the Mini in the garage for fear of fire. Do not repair the Mini with the same faulty oil line design. Recall design.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2007 Mini Cooper S 21
Failure Date: 04/02/2013

Timing chain tensioner, a well known problem with these cars. . . I worked my a** off for a year saving up for one of these cars and what do you know the tensioner goes. . . Mini does not care about you or the car they sell, its all about taking whats in your wallet and putting it in theres, dont buy one of these cars and not expect to pay for it twice literally in fixing it. .

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2008 Mini Cooper S 22
Failure Date: 03/28/2013

While driving the car (gas) started running rough and sounded like it was a diesel. After some research I found that the tensioners in the engine are worn out. I had the upper replaced, but the others also need replacing. Based on my own research, it appears the problem is related to the manufacturer's recommended oil change. The company recommends changing oil every 15000 miles with syntetic oil. The fix is supposedly to change the oil at half that, 7500. I've been told this could result in the timing chain coming off and the engine being trashed.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2009 Mini Cooper S 23
Failure Date: 03/14/2013

Mini released a service bulletin (campaign: sim 11 02 12) regarding faulty timing chain tensioner. At appx. 40k miles, my Cooper S was taken in for service and it was reported there was a "rattle" in the front of the engine. The dealership replaced the tensioner under warranty. Now the same issue has occurred. I am being told the entire timing chain assembly needs replacement at an approximate cost of $3k. Mini has offered to pay 1/2 the cost. There is no explanation why the repair is not covered under 2 year replacement tensioner warranty; since this original issue was only partly addressed while in 50k car warranty. My Mini now has 77k. Once warranty request is submitted from dealer to Mini corporate, decision is final. There is no appeal. Failure to perform service will result in engine failure in near future.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2008 Mini Cooper S 24
Failure Date: 02/15/2013

Engine rattle on cold start indicated a loose or stretched timing chain. Required a premature replacement of timing chain, guides and tensioner.

car image   Timing Tensioner problem of the 2008 Mini Cooper S 25
Failure Date: 01/21/2013

The timing chain tensioner backed out of the engine block allowing engine oil to be pumped out of the engine. The tensioner works on engine oil pressure and it backed out far enough to allow the engine oil that normally pressurized the piston to be pumped out of the engine. I was lucky enough to see the streak of oil as I backed out of the driveway, but if I had not I am sure that more damage and potential fire would have occurred. This is surprising as this same part was replaced under a recall for being faulty. I believe that this is still a design flaw and something that should be addressed by Mini.

Other Common Engine And Engine Cooling related problems of Mini Cooper S