If you’re thinking about purchasing a used Mini Cooper, you need to be aware that there have been multiple production generations and some have known issues with their engines.
Early Mini Coopers used a 1.6-liter engine that was also used in other Chrysler products, including the PT Cruiser and the Neon. These were produced between 2002 and 2006. The second generation of the Mini Cooper was released in 2006 and produced until 2014. These models were quite similar to the first generation but featured new engines.
The second generation engines were also 1.6-liter but were produced by BMW. They had the same displacement but were more efficient and cost-effective than the first-generation engines. However, they also had a reputation for specific problems. Here’s a look at some of the common issues you may run into.
The Mini Cooper’s first-generation 1.6 engines are notorious for having oil leaks. These engines have crankshaft seals that are made of low-quality rubber that takes on a plastic-like quality as it ages. This can lead to oil leaks, which can be very expensive to replace. While replacing the front seals isn’t too difficult, to replace the back ones, the entire transmission must be removed, making this a large and expensive repair job.
Timing Chain Rattling
In the second-generation Mini Coopers, the timing chain often begins to rattle when you start your engine. This can be worse depending on whether the vehicle’s previous owners kept up with the recommended maintenance.
Replacing a timing chain can be an expensive job, so before purchasing a used Mini Cooper, be sure to find out how well the vehicle was maintained and whether the timing chain has been previously replaced. While the third-generation MINIs saw significant improvement in many areas, the timing chain issues remain, particularly in the earlier models.
Fuel Pump Failure
The high-pressure fuel pump has been known to fail on the Mini Countryman and the 2007 through 2009 Mini Cooper S models. If it does, this can result in a lack of power, rough running, and significantly reduced performance. You may notice that your check engine light comes on and the engine goes into “limp mode.”
When this happens, you’ll need to replace the fuel pump before a dangerous situation arises. Since this is a well-known issue, Mini did extend the warranty on 2007 to 2009 S Models to 10 years or 120,000 miles. If your vehicle is still within the warranty period, the repairs may be covered.
Temperature Sensor Failure
Mini Coopers with a 1.6-liter engine also often suffer from temperature sensor failures. This sensor, which is located in the engine’s coolant passage, changes resistance based on temperature. This is critical for many functions, including ignition timing, fuel injection, transmission shifting, and variable valve timing.
If your Mini has a bad temperature sensor, you may see black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe or notice that your vehicle is using more gas than usual. Frequent engine overheating is also common, and your check engine light may come on. Generally, this can be fixed by replacing the sensor, which will run you a few hundred dollars.
Variable Valve Timing
The variable valve timing is essential for keeping your Mini Cooper’s engine running as it should. It ensures a regular supply of clean oil into the engine’s intricate system, keeping the engine from getting gummed up with sludge.
It’s easy for this build-up to occur in just a few thousand miles, making this a fairly common Mini Cooper engine problem. If you’re looking at purchasing a used Mini Cooper, be sure to take it for a test drive and pay attention to whether it idles rough, stalls, or has any other signs of engine problems.
If you want additional peace of mind, schedule a full 36-point inspection with a BMW-certified mechanic at The Haus. We offer this valuable service for just $99.95.
Trust The Haus for Your Mini Cooper Repair Needs
From engine problems to standard maintenance and beyond, the experts at The Haus have the knowledge, experience, and equipment needed to fix any of your Mini Cooper problems and get you back on the road quickly and affordably. Contact us today to schedule your VIP appointment.