Travelling on the M25 last week in rush hour traffic, when there was a sudden and increasing knocking noise. Indicated, changed lane, decreased speed and within seconds there was a bang and the engine light came on. Engine stopped, but luckily managed to emergency stop onto the hard shoulder. Car was covered in oil around the sides and rear bumper. AA towed car to independent garage. Timing Chain Tensioner had failed so they carried out a compression test to check damage, which showed a failure on 1 of the cylinders. Thinking this could be fixed they removed the exhaust manifold and found a hole in bottom end!
I purchased the car from new, has 44,000 miles on the clock and mainly used for local journeys, first three years BMW maintained and then well maintained by local BOSCH service centre. It was only in the BMW service garage a few weeks ago for a recall on the turbo coolant pump. I have found lots of mini owners in the UK & US with similar issues. The mini cost me £22k and is now worth £0.
MINI UK aren't accepting that there is an issue with the Timing Chain Tensioner yet there are lots of owners complaining all over the forums.
Visited a few competitor dealers yesterday and they are all said the MINI UK are aware of the "Death Rattle" and the Timing Chain Tensioners Issues. Taken legal advice and going to fight this all the way. Please get in contact if you would like to provide additional stories to support the case against MINI UK.
Steve - firstname.lastname@example.org