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Old Dec 3rd, 2013, 08:39 PM
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Oil leak mini cooper s 05 reg

Hi

Wondering if anyone can help recently bought a cooper s and been looking it over underneath tonight and noticed oil pn bottom of the engine where it joins the gear box and also some oil horrible stuff at back of engine on some pipes any common problems for this or can anyone have a guess.

Hopefully the photos will load

Thanks

Jase
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 11:17 AM
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That yellowy stuff could be a bit of overflow gear oil from when it was last serviced.
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Possibly thought that about the oil over the pipes the oil along the bottom of engine/gearbox looks fresh am checking the oil level Day to day and have booked it into mini for a full inspection as well as look at the leaks
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 11:39 PM
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Might be from the power steering hoses. They often leak some after a while and
in the general area shown in the pics, if I'm looking at them right.

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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Not sure about the oil leak in the first photo but here's what I suggest. Goto your friendly auto accessories store and buy an aerosol can of spray on engine degreaser. Give the oily areas a good spray, leave for a few minutes then flush down with clean water.

Basically the trick with oil leaks that you're not sure about is:

a) Get the area clean & dry first then
b) Look again after you've driven your car for an hour or 2.
If the oil leak is still there - you'll see the exact source pretty quickly. If it looks clean & dry, then drive it some more and re-check.

I do agree with Cristo though - it looks suspiciously like oil from your power steering system so I'd have a good look there first. FYI - I had to replace the factory hose clamps (which you can't tighten) on the power steering hoses on my R53 with good quality aftermarket ones and tighten firmly. That fixed the oil leaks on my car straight away.

Re: 2nd & 3rd photo: Got an ugly feeling it is the same oil leak I have in my 06 R53.
In my case its the crankshaft seal that's leaking and it's proving difficult (and very costly) to fix. Apparently leaking crankshaft oil seals are common in Gen 1 engines.

My Mini dealer has fitted 2 new crankshaft main seals to my car in the past 6 months (they've got to remove the gearbox, clutch & flywheel just to get to it - so its a lengthy process), and I just found out today its leaking again!!! Arrgg!!! :-( Not Good!!

Either that or your leak could be from the oil sump which is much easier to fix than the crankshaft seal.

Get your mechanic to check these - there is an inspection cover that can be removed and they can inspect behind the flywheel with a fibre optic camera inspection tool to see if its the crank seal that's leaking in your case.

If the area behind the flywheel and the block is dry, then I'd suggest replacing the oil sump gasket first which is much less costly.

Again, with this leak, I recommend you clean down the area with degreaser first and get it all clean & dry. Drive your car then go look underneath for the source.

Good luck with it!!
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 10:25 AM
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Thanks for thay information very helpful i had a suspicious feeling it could be that seal but without knowing common problems then i wasn't sure why did yours go again? And if you don't mind me asking what was the rough cost of the repair
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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From Chad Miller, owner of the MINI only shop Detroit Tuned, regarding oil leaks:

Quote:
I see several leaks out of the early cars. The first one that leaks on all cars is the crank sensor. It has an o-ring on it and shrinks after it get hot after 30K and it allows oil pass it only when the car is running. It leaks down the front of the block and collects lots of dirt that comes through the radiator. It will continue down the front of the motor to the pan and blow off when driving. It never drips as it is well above the oil level when the car is parked at any angle. The fix for it is to clean it up, pull it out, RTV it, Put it back in. To do this you HAVE to pull the front of the car off.

The second (and biggest) place I am seeing oil leak issues is the crank seal/gasket. This seal dries up and will also work its way out and allow oil to be pumped out as its right at the oil pump behind the crank damper. Itís the same on cooper or cooper S and itís an easy fix once you pull the crank pulley. When this seal goes it will cover the front cover and the oil pan gasket and will make it look like the pan gasket is going. Sometimes itís good to replace this seal first as it is easy and cheap before you pull the pan and replace that one. The seal is $13.48 the next one is the oil pan gasket. Itís a big job and very messy. (ED: This seems to be what most problems are that weíre hearing about.)

You also have to pull the front end of to pull the air compressor. The gasket is a MINI only part, and lists for $36.71. There are no aftermarket parts for it. I always seal up the crank sensor when doing this job as you already have the front end off, even if the leak is not bad or not at all. I can almost guarantee that, at some point, it will start leaking.

I also see the oil cooler seals on the cooper S go. They get really hot and dry up and get hard. It starts as a drip, and can drip on the driveway. They can also just go and pump all the oil out of the motor. Again a very cheap part at $3.80 each (you need 2) and itís a special square o-ring that youíre not going to just pick up anywhere. Itíll take about an hour to install and requires removing the oil filter to stop the drain of oil in to your work area. You can get to it through the drivers wheel well so itís an easy install.

If you monitor your oil level and you're not having to continuously top up the oil then the "leak" can be fixed later.
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Old Dec 6th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Mini-jase (original)
Thanks for the information very helpful i had a suspicious feeling it could be that seal but without knowing common problems then i wasn't sure why did yours go again? And if you don't mind me asking what was the rough cost of the repair

Hey Jase - Not an easy one to answer about the cost and uncertain if it will help you if you live outside of Oz. In my case the seal was replaced because the clutch was on the way out (engine had about 123,000km on it) but wasn't leaking any oil before they pulled it all down. The dealer advised they should change the oil seal as a precaution whilst the engine was in pieces given its such an expensive repair just on its own.

Problem is you need to remove the transmission and flywheel just to get to the crankshaft oil seal (same as for the clutch) and that's where the big money is. The cost of the seal itself and the installation of it is peanuts compared to the labour involved to pull it out and refit it.

The total cost of my repairs was about $5k all up (clutch, flywheel, crank oil seal etc plus some other minor repairs on other items) for the first clutch replacement job. All work was done by a major Mini dealer in Sydney.

The second seal cost me nothing as it was still under the repair warranty when it failed. The dealer also put in a second new clutch as the first new one was contaminated with oil. Now I'm just 5 1/2 months down the track after the second seal was replaced and have only done 2,000klm in that time and its leaking again plus I now have a leaking axle seal into the bargain. Am so not happy about this.

Why is the crank seal leaking after being replaced twice? Well I have my own theory on that. One word - it's got to be related to quality control.

If the mechanic doesn't take the appropriate steps to install the seal exactly as instructed and be scrupulously clean with the re-build or if he doesn't understand about how seals and gaskets have to be fitted then you're bound to have trouble. Either that, or else we're all missing something such as a hairline crack somewhere at the seal face or something odd that no-one has yet spotted.

Whatever it is we'll get to the bottom of it very shortly. I just hope you don't go through the same agony I am going through. And to add to that agony, everytime they pull the engine to bits there's always new marks, paint scratches and damage done inside the engine bay. Grrr!!! My engine bay was perfect before all this started.
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Old Dec 7th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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For gasket seal leakage you may be able to find some type of stop leak and add it to the oil. Never tried it myself but i know stuff does exist.

When I used to work on Aircraft, for small fuel / oil leaks we rubbed a "oilite" stick into the leak, it reacts & stops the leak. No idea if it still exists, but it may be an option.

Good luck
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Old Dec 14th, 2013, 10:34 PM
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I have the same sort of leak however doesn't seem bad enough to drip off and onto the floor.
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