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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:46 PM
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2012 R56 MCS cooling fan issues

Hi All. Can anyone help, please?

I've had two previous R56 MCS' with not a peep from their cooling fans.

With my latest (2012 R56 MCS LCI) after about 12 miles the fan always comes on, whatever the outside temp, and stays on until about 30s after the engine's switched off. It stays off when the engine is restarted - even when I carry on driving!

After the first week I mentioned this to the salesman who said "my demo does that too; they all seem do that when new" but mines now up to 1600mls or so.

Anyone noticed any similar issues? Could this be a software solution to keep engine bay temps down? According to the OBD port diagnostics he car warms up to 223deg F/106deg C and doesn't seem to respond to (or need) the extra cooling from the fan...

I must say the noise is really intrusive and spoils the pleasure a bit, too...
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Old May 12th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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Congrats on the new Mini :-) MCS too, very nice choice !
I have to say I have never had any issues personally with this or even heard or any other cases like this currently.
Could be something to do with the new car that needs to settle or a part that isn't funtioning as it should be fully. Either way, you are covered by warranty. I would just keep a very close eye on it and keep the dealer updated, might even be worth asking if you can test another car to see if the same thing happens as this doesn't sound right to me.
MCS are very hot cars and have ample cooling to keep them safe but definately get to the bottom of this with the dealer. The last thing you want it long term damage or wear on parts for no reason.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 06:53 PM
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It is a common fault and only gets worse ! sooner or later the fan will stay on for 30mins after you have stopped . Its a 3 stage unit runnining at 3 speeds and should be slow and quiet after normal driving.
The resistor fails and the only option is a complete new unit which will set you back 240 and the labour to fit it , normally 2-3 hours
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Old May 12th, 2012, 08:37 PM
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Thanks folks. Other info that it's an air lock might ring true, too, since I recall recently hearing purging/gurgling noises. I might drain the coolant (easy now it's cold) and carefully re-fill it.
I changed the coolant on a previous R56 MCS and found it's self-purging and makes distinctive noises over the next few days, whilst needing 'topping up'. I think I've been hearing these noises on the new MCS; perhaps it's been trying it's hardest to self-purge but is being thwarted by an 'awkward' air-lock.
There is a 'hot fix' too which involves loosening the filler cap when at running temp. (care: steam escapes and hurts!) until any trapped air escapes as bubbles. I think I'll try the cold coolant-drain fix first, though...

next morning: Cold coolant drained. It needed filtering due to some small cork-like deposits. Coolant replaced. Hard to get the coolant level to fall until I massaged/squished the bottom radiator hose. Set heater on max. when I went to test it then lowered it towards the end of the run. Temp. still max'd at 221deg F but raised to 223deg F with heater level lowered. Fan ran for a minute or so, but only after the engine was turned off. Final 1/2l of coolant added to top it up to max on the filler. Sounds more normal...thanks again!

Last edited by cjm; May 13th, 2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Mon 14/5/12 10:00, an update:
I went on a 26 mile round-trip, stopped half-way where the fan usually comes on (but kept the engine going as usual) - and it didn't; everything seemed fixed! Journey temp. peaked around 107celsius / 225F this time.
I smugly continued and as I was very close to home it came on with all it's usual fury, stayed on as I opened the garage doors and drove in, then went a little slower for the magic 30s after I switched off, then stopped. So back to square 1...
I then 'phoned the dealer + asked to speak to a MINI tech. I described the symptoms. He said he wasn't up on the latest MINI foibles but agreed that that 'high 90s' is a more reasonable temp for most cars, wondered about the thermostat and booked me in for Thurs 17/5 @ 08:30 so that a more knowlegeable/senior techie can address the issue.
So, I'll report back after Thurs. Meanwhile, I'll try to log the temp data.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Sun 20/5/12.
The themostat was replaced on Fri 18/5/12

I already I feel the fan seems to activate less often and seems less 'frantic' when it does. I haven't measured any temperatures yet; it might be an interesting comparison if anybody could post theirs...Mine was 226 degF / 107celsius before the new 'stat.

Anyway, it's early days and I hope it'll settle down further.

(Many thanks to Paul, Adam + their colleagues at Chandlers Mini, Portslade for their caring, courteous and prompt service!)
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Old May 26th, 2012, 12:58 AM
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it is normal for the cooling fan to stay on up to 15 minutes after the engine has been turned off if the coolant has reached a certain temp to cool down. BUT there are a batch of thermostats that came out that have coolant temp sensors that go bad.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 06:44 AM
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Hi MiniTeck72
Despite a recent 'stat replacement and a follow-up recheck (as the symptoms remained) my R56 N18MCS fan seems to come on as soon as the engine is warm, stay on for the entire journey and only switch off ~60s after shut down and has done from new (3months/2000mls). And when the engine is immediately re-started it stays off.
A really loud fan: can't be 'normal' surely?
I'd like to know more about this batch of faulty 'stats...
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Old May 26th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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Interesting thread, mine does this too.

However being a Mini newbie I thought it was normal.... :-(
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Old May 26th, 2012, 08:20 PM
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amb67.
I commented on it the day after I took delivery in Feb '12 and was assured it would 'settle'.
I feel the N18's been out for 6months or so and we're all thinking it's only happening to us so it must be 'normal'.
Plus it's happening more with the warmer weather (and associated use of a/c?).
Also plus when you've got the sound system on you may not even be aware of it thinking it's just started up when you switch the car off; it fooled me like this!
NAM agrees that the objectionably loud fans seem to switch off after 60secs and a very talented Elec. Engineer friend agreed it might not be the 'stat at fault, which MINI test but a fan relay/fan motor assembly (or even the expensive engine control unit) which the MINI techs aren't instructed to look at or even follow through with...
Mine's had a new 'stat, been returned to the dealer and now it's a 'feature of the car' but I'm not happy with that! Two independent BMW/MINI techs have said it shouldn't happen with air moving through the car only, perhaps, in a hot Bank Holiday stop/start crawl when we might expect it. I think it's a head-in-the-sand job from all angles.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by pete3055 (original)
It is a common fault and only gets worse ! sooner or later the fan will stay on for 30mins after you have stopped . Its a 3 stage unit runnining at 3 speeds and should be slow and quiet after normal driving.
The resistor fails and the only option is a complete new unit which will set you back 240 and the labour to fit it , normally 2-3 hours

Got to agree with Pete3055, mine does the same sometimes, so i did my own research and often it gets to the point where the fan stays on until the battery is flat, i am not 100% sure but the resistor unit is a green coil mounted near to radiator/fans and about 50mm/2" long, good luck hope you sort it.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 10:13 AM
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I've been out to the car this morning and now that I know the fan is running I am finding a little more intrusive (noise wise). Tried disabling the AC as I thought it may be the AC condensor fan running in addition to the main fan but alas this really didn't make much difference.

Looks like I need to raise this with my local BMW Mini dealer, if this continues I can't see the life span of that fan being very long.

Thanks for the reply, loving the forum already.

Quote: Originally Posted by cjm (original)
amb67.
I commented on it the day after I took delivery in Feb '12 and was assured it would 'settle'.
I feel the N18's been out for 6months or so and we're all thinking it's only happening to us so it must be 'normal'.
Plus it's happening more with the warmer weather (and associated use of a/c?).
Also plus when you've got the sound system on you may not even be aware of it thinking it's just started up when you switch the car off; it fooled me like this!
NAM agrees that the objectionably loud fans seem to switch off after 60secs and a very talented Elec. Engineer friend agreed it might not be the 'stat at fault, which MINI test but a fan relay/fan motor assembly (or even the expensive engine control unit) which the MINI techs aren't instructed to look at or even follow through with...
Mine's had a new 'stat, been returned to the dealer and now it's a 'feature of the car' but I'm not happy with that! Two independent BMW/MINI techs have said it shouldn't happen with air moving through the car only, perhaps, in a hot Bank Holiday stop/start crawl when we might expect it. I think it's a head-in-the-sand job from all angles.

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Old May 27th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Great. I hope we all keep talking and sharing experiences, opinion, quotes and fixes.
It's very easy to feel we're too small to ripple the waves of common-sense within the dealerships and that we must suffer alone.
The dealer thinks they've replaced the 'stat so it must be ok. My thoughts are what do we investigate next 'cos it isn't ok.
(That green resistor that's part of the fan assembly that might be heating up and giving a 'wrong' reading and finally breaks making us think that it's 'cleared itself' before the engine overheats catastrophically 'cos the fan doesn't work at all now?)

Last edited by cjm; May 27th, 2012 at 12:44 PM. Reason: addition
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Old Jun 21st, 2012, 11:08 AM
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Finally a solution on Thur 15/06/12 and it has been running perfectly for a week!

Ater a new thermostat and three return visits (when the dealer diagnosed it as 'normal') they tested it alongside another N18 confirming the original fan anomaly from a month ago.

Kept for a week for lots of coolant bleeding, since an air-lock had been suspected, then another new thermostat was fitted. Now there's no cooling fan activity during the journey nor is there any activity after switching-off.
(This is what I consider as normal.)

Temperatures are generally lower; 219 degF and varying compared to 225 degF and static so I suppose the faulty 'stat must have kept the cooling fan going to stop it overheating...

So, job done after lots of frustration/anxiety.
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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I have the same issue (and it was doing it before the weather even got warm) but I just can't see the dealer here agreeing that it's a problem and would probably cost me $200 in labour for them to tell me that too.
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