Death rattle, Cooper S R56 - MINI Cooper Forum

Second Generation Faults & Fixes MINI faults and fixes Late 2006 - Present

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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United-Kingdom Death rattle, Cooper S R56

Has anyone got the latest timing chain/ tensioner fix for R56 Cooper S? Purchased mine 4 weeks ago, 14,000 miles on clock, full service history, bought from main dealer with 12 months warranty. Only done 250 miles and already have heard this on 5 occasions. Does anyone know what the up to date dealership stand is on this? As this is an intermittent problem I just wondered how they are responding to this? Is there such a thing as a permanent solution as I am taking mine back tomorrow for inspection and am already considering extending the warranty. Judging by the comments on this site I have a feeling that this car may be trouble and expensive to fix. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am a new 'cherish mini' !!!!!! owner.Wish I had my Ford back!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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I am not sure if this is right, but here:
Timing Chain Tensioner (December 2009 on) - R56 , BM11.31.7.607.551 | Mini Sport
They say they have the latest version, and the rattle should go away. My MCS also does this, just bought 2 weeks ago and will be investigated further next week.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 2011, 03:27 PM
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 2011, 10:39 PM
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Got a 57 plate R56 and had my 2nd timing chain fitted about 2 months ago. I first took the car in to the dealers last November, got the timing chain replaced and the 'death rattle' returned intermittently after 3 or 4 weeks. I took it back in January 'armed to the teeth' with info off the forum and asked if they had replaced the guides and tensior - they hadn't but acknowledged the problem straight away and replaced the lot without me having to show them a thing! So good.

I've had a few problems / doubts since I bought the car last year but must admit my dealers have been brill and...when the car is running sweet it's just a joy to drive. I had a Golf that ran faultlessly for 2 years...went out to buy another Golf and came home with the Cooper S but...I'm SO glad that I did
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 2011, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Just got car back from Halliwell Jones (dealer). Replaced timing chain and latest tensioner. Car runs and sounds great and had no problems obtaining new parts. Only time will tell.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 26th, 2011, 12:20 AM
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Got my second timing chain tensioner replaced earlier this week. The first one was replaced Aug 2010. Hope this one will last a little longer..

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Mar 26th, 2011, 10:13 AM
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from from latest May/June 2011 issue of Modern MINI magazine:

from 'Buying a used R56 Cooper S' - the Cam Chain.....

"The major issue with the turbocharged S engine has been the noisy cam chain, which has been an issue from the start. MINI has issued several redesigned chain tensioners, with Richard at Mad4MINI advising that the most recent design does seem to cure the problem. The noise typically shows itself at idle when started from cold but if you find a car with a noisy chain at the right price, don't dismiss it: MINI's official line is that it won't damage the engine and Mad4MINI told us there's a simple way to avoid it, too: when starting the engine from cold, just let it idle for a few seconds to build up oil pressure before giving it any revs and it will be fine. A lot easier than taking the engine apart."

Modern MINI Magazine
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 03:25 PM
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Took mine in 4 days ago because the intermittent rattle turned into a constant cold start/ sometimes repeating through the day death rattle on is what they have done so far(they say my 2007 MCS has the tensioner upgrade already, bought used with 70k on it)
Valve cleaning
Reprogramming computer(said still had original version)
and High pressure Fuel pump, I am awaiting my callback today on an update

in a sick twist of fate my rental is a chevy aveo.....MINI says they have no loaners for me right now.....they also have gotten a Clutch slave out of me on this visit....before the high pressure fuel pump they were saying 1 grand for all the work, we shall see.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 2011, 01:55 PM
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sad sick mini

Hi, just joined up, my sad sick mini also has the horrid cold start death rattle. I have had it from new(57 plate) and it's now out of warranty. How much does it cost for repair?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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tensioner upgrade should not cost you more then 80GBP or something.. its easy to repair.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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I'm new to the forum, but hopefully after some help and advice as I'm trying to do some research on the 'death rattle'.

I have a 07 (56 plate) MCS*, 51k on the clock, last service at 48k in January. *bought as a cherished Mini

We broke down this weekend, I heard a loud 'clunk' from the engine bay whilst cornering a roundabout and immediately the red battery warning light came on. After pulling over and checking my manual it suggested an alternator fault. I tried to drive a little further to get home but very quickly all electrical items (PAS, ABS, AB's) failed and we ground to a halt.

I had it recovered and taken to my local Mini dealership.

It turns out the friction wheel had come away and shattered, in turn shredding the fan belt!! 275 later my Mini was ready to collect.

Anyway, I thought whilst it was in I would ask them to investigate the 'rattle' on start-up to see if it was known, dangerous and of course how much it would be to resovle.

I received a call back today advising that it was a timing chain fault and it urgently needs to be replaced, a cost of 650 all inc.

From reading this thread and a few others, whilst I agree to noise is annoying it doesn't appear to be dangerous?? Can anyone confirm if I can just live with the noise as my dealer seems to think if I leave this untreated it will cost me more longer term.

Any help would be appreciated!

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 5th, 2014, 04:27 AM
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United-States Death rattle fixed free of charge

My 2009 R56 (41K miles) developed classic death rattle two months ago. Took it to MINI of Warwick, Rhode Island, USA (Inskip/Penske multi-brand dealership headquartered, I think, in Texas). After loud, persistent protest on my part--no doubt causing embarrassment to everyone in the combined showroom and service reception area--a call was made by exceptionally patient and polite service rep., James Vazquez, to Northeast regional MINI service manager who authorized 100% replacement of timing chain, tensioner, seals, and all associated parts (some 18 discrete components in all). Work was done within two days. No charge! Not a cent for parts or labor! Absolutely delighted. Car is running like new. Don't know if this is a typical experience of Gen 2 MINI Cooper S owners whose cars have death rattle symptoms, but I found that quoting hard facts about the Prince engine's long-standing (and, let's face it, by now widely known) defects/design flaws, and showing detailed knowledge of the technical aspects of the components involved, including references to the relevant BMW Technical Service Bulletins, did the trick. MINI of Warwick was spectacularly cooperative and customer-focused. Highly impressed. Love driving this car and have had no other problems. Mark Motte, Rhode Island (New England region), USA.
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