Resolved - Black soot from turbocharger (with photos)
Just a final update for anyone following this. Due to numerous problems with my last dealership (I was advised this was normal and that the engine bay and turbo would simply be cleaned), the car was finally serviced at another authorized Mini dealer. The car was taken in for diagnostics on the turbo. A pre-cat leak and a lack of boost pressure were found. This was not a problem with the wastegate. The engine was also running a little rough.
BMW/Mini authorized replacement of the entire Garrett turbocharger along with the replacement of the seal between the catalytic converter and the turbo. BMW/Mini authorized 100% parts and 50% labour on the job as a goodwill (estimated cost of the turbo itself is €1500-€1600). The car is 6 months out of warranty. In addition to the labour, I paid for all small parts under €20 (not covered under the goodwill). Repair was carried out in in less than 2 days. I would also advise having them change the cabin AND engine air filters at the same time; mine were black with soot.
Aside from the pre-cat leak, the only info BMW gave to the dealership was that there was some kind of internal problem with the turbo. Apparently the dealers have no authorization to disassemble the turbo so the unit will be returned to Garrett for analysis and re-conditioning. I have no specific info on the problem other than it wasn't anything to do with the oil feed. Mechanic is guessing some kind of problem with the internal seals.
Due to raw diesel exhaust leakage and the presence of high levels of carbon monoxide (diesel exhaust contains approx 7000 ppm) entering the engine bay from the leakage, I would urge anyone with similar issues to have an analysis and repair carried out asap.
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I'm looking for some help here as I am having ongoing problems with my Clubman. The car was just in for a clutch and flywheel replacement (see associated thread in the Clubman forum). I picked up the car after the clutch job on Saturday and noticed a diesel exhaust (not gas) smell inside the cabin. Upon opening the hood, I see that the turbochargers is black with soot and so is almost the entire underside of the hood of the car above and to the right of the turbo.
The turbo smells of diesel exhaust when the car is running although I cannot see visible emissions. However, it is clearly leaking and not gas tight. I took it back to the dealership first thing this morning (they were closed over the weekend).
They insist they didn't have to access anywhere near the area of the turbo when they changed the clutch and they are now claiming that the car needs a new turbocharger. Estimate €1500 not including tax. I just paid €2300 for a new clutch and flywheel and am currently disputing with BMW that it be covered (at least partially) under warranty. The car is just 2 years old with 75,000 km on the clock.
I cannot believe the turbo needs replacing; I find this incredible. The dealership is telling me it is okay to drive the car from now until the 21st when they will repair the turbo and at the same time replace yet another waterpump. I have been told they will ask BMW for a "goodwill", but having just been refused for clutch/flywheel I am not optimistic at all about this.
My concerns are the emissions entering the cabin and the viability of a malfunctioning turbo for 3 weeks until service.
My questions are:
1) Is this the turbo itself or the wastegate?
2) Has anyone had similar problems?
3) Is it necessary to access the area of the turbo to change clutch/flywheel on a second gen Mini?
4) Is the car safe to drive for another 3 weeks?
Please, any help would be massively appreciated.
UPDATE: Included some photos of the soot on the Garrett and the underside of the hood. FYI, the black on the hood is soot, not heat damage.
Last edited by MiniDeLux; Jan 20th, 2012 at 05:41 AM.