Our engine rattle as many have previously mentioned has turned into a disaster. Although the car went through a full check only 4 weeks ago, the rattle noise appeared on the way home yesterday when the car dropped below 2000 rpm. (warm).
We parked up, and this morning it would not start.
Fearing the worst, I had it picked up and towed (flatbed recovery lorry) to the dealership.
Just had the call to say the timing chain had broke, and they need authorisation to strip the engine to see how bad the damage is.
I asked for an estimate if there is valve / cylinder damage, and they said that would be around 4K!!! so they might have to get a replacement engine instead.
So either way, it looks like I am in big trouble, with a bill we can't afford.
I asked the guy if he could look into the possibility of assistance from BMW considering the car is fully serviced, and a check only 4 weeks ago showed everything to be in good working order.
To say that I feel sick is an understatement.
Last edited by jamesmonty; Aug 11th, 2010 at 11:09 AM.
Reason: Cost change
Hi Paul. The warranty ran out in January, and the engine rattle was only really heard on a very cold morning, even then it disappeared within 10 seconds so nothing really to report as it would be almost impossible to replicate at the dealer unless left for several days in the hope for a very cold morning.
I'm a little puzzled how the car went through a full check only 3 weeks ago, then this happens. Plus no warning light or any indication there was anything wrong until we slowed down coming off the dual carriageway when the rattle noise was heard below 2000rpm. The car was then parked, and would not start in the morning. I even paid out £130.00 to have it towed to the dealer as a precaution.
I had to give the go ahead to strip the engine yesterday, so I'll find out today what will happen. 4K might as well be 20K for us at the moment, so I'm hoping I can convince BMW to assist with this.
Any further advice will be much appreciated, and I'll post a progress report on here for future reference.
BMW are usually pretty good with problems like this so I hope they assist and get it fixed for you. Although on the other hand they have every right to say well it's out of warranty we're not paying...
What you don't want to happen is for them to strip the engine which they will charge you for and then for MINi not to contribute or assist as you as you will be left with a load of bits and a bill.
What sort of checks were carried out on the car? How many miles has the car done?
It might be worth writing to MINi customer services explaining the problem and asking them to help you?
Also speak to the service manager in person - they can be very helpful and make thnings happen very quickly if need be.
Hi MJS, to be honest, the dealership have been very helpful so far. The reason the engine needs to be stripped is simply to assess the damage, as if there is serious damage the a new engine is likely to be more economical.
The car has done 31K and as far as I know a full diagnostic check was carried out, which led to the next service indicator being set to 7000 miles.
The service chap was very understanding and said he would do what he could to help.
My daughter was crying (3 years old) that the MINI was "hurt" and offered me her savings (£1.62) to help with the bill.
I guess I will simply have to wait until they get back to me on how we proceed.
We've had a two year saga with our dealer regarding the hydraulic timing chain tensioner which has been sticking and not extending far enough, causing the timing chain to run loose. In Feb' 2008 our dealer replaced the tensioner which fixed the problem for a while, but then the rattle would periodically return. And then in June 2010, the problem would occur every time we started the car!
So the car was returned to the dealer again and they installed the latest tensioner, the hydraulic piston is 10mm longer which puts the chain under more tension.
The timing chain is a part of the engine which is subject to very low wear and tear, unlike a clutch etc The timing chain is not subject to servicing, such as brake pads etc.
So if the timing chain breaks, then it has a manufacturing defect and is of "Non Merchantable Quality".
I would be very surprised if BMW don't cover the cost of your repair or new engine. BMW have had some extremely bad press over the build quality of the R56 range of cars, especially the problems with the timing chain tensioner. They don't need anymore bad press considering the present economic situation in the UK.
Quick update: Spoke to the dealership today and basically the cost to repair is very near to the cost of a new engine. £6,300.
I explained about the timing chain rattle issue, and was given the feeling they were trying to blame something else. The service chap said the rocker arm had broken which caused the damage, although the timing chain had also broken. I don't buy this, but to give the guy credit he was very understanding and has submitted a claim for BMW Good Will assist.
I have also sent an email to MINI customer service, and BMW customer service, as £6,300 might as well be £20,000.
More the case of, the timing chain jumped a tooth on the crankshaft sprocket, thus causing valve to piston contact, which in turn broke the rocker arm, then through lockup, broke the chain, or, the timing chain did actually break, resulting in valve to piston contact, which then also broke the rocker arm, if the valve assembly is checked by a competent engineer, there will be tell tail signs, as to what the exact cause of the fault was.
Remember Mini have a regional area technical engineer, who you can ask to oversee your case, as he has more say than the dealer!
Performance Powered By Thought. Engineered Horsepower.
And here is a roller rocker arm from one of our valve train assemblies, and under normal circumstances, there is absolutely no way, one would fail, as indicated by your misleading with poor knowledge dealer and telling you *ull*hit, they are very very strong indeed, and produced by one of the best valve train component manufacturers, that the OEM factories use.
Performance Powered By Thought. Engineered Horsepower.
Quick Update. - The dealership has submitted the Good Will Claim to BMW and they have come back with an offer to pay for 80% of the parts, and 50% of the labour. So basically £6300 has now become around £2300.
I've now called the chap at Customer service (who also said they are unaware of a tentioner part problem?) who is going to speak with the manager to see if a larger contribution can be sought.
I wouldn't accept BMW's offer! Your timing chain broke because it was running loose and it jumped a tooth on either the crankshaft or one of the camshafts. The rocker arm then broke as a result of your valves smashing into the top of your pistons!
The design of the timing chain tensioner on the R56 S engine is no good, the hydraulic piston which keeps the chain guide under constant tension was too short and sometimes would stick resulting in the shagged diesel sound that all of us R56 S owners would here!
BMW have just redesigned the hydraulic piston to stop the timing chain running loose, it's 10mm longer.
It's BMW's f*ck up, not your's. Why should you pay?!!!!!
Get advice from a Consumer Lawyer, it'll cost you about £150 for a consultation and a letter from them to your BMW dealer, it's a lot cheaper than £2300!
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.