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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 07:57 PM
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Angry Mini Cooper S 2007 Disaster

Hi,

I have recently purchased a low mileage 2007 Mini Cooper S in Lazer Blue with full JCW kit, looks absolutely wonderful. Two weeks after purchasing the car I was driving down the road and it started making a noise that sounded to me like something was catching the wheel, the sound got louder like a tumble dryer going round with nuts, bolts and spinners inside, it started losing power and then the EML light came on, I was only half a mile from home so I drove it back home and parked up, I spoke to the dealer and told them what happened, they were nice and asked if I could get the car back to their garage, so I used my car insurance breakdown cover and they came out and checked the car, they advised that the car had no oil in the engine...what? The oil light never came on, no signs of a leakage on the drive. They agreed to deliver it back to the garage. The garage have taken the engine apart and said the following.... The timing belt guard has moved and the timing belt has slipped, the valves are bent and the head is damaged and we cannot start the car to determine if the turbo is damaged also. They agreed to do further analysis would call me back. So today 20th August I called them and they gave me the bad news...we have spoken to our workshop and the main Mini dealer and they advised that it is the owners responsibility to check oil levels and not rely on the engine management system to tell you that there is no oil, and because of this we will not be repairing your car...what! So you are telling me that I buy a car and two weeks later the engine fails without warning, the oil has apparently evaporated and you say you checked the levels before delivery and now I'm left without a car that runs, that you have and a very large repair bill? Yes sir. Now surely as a consumer I have some rights and they should repair the car. No oil, no warning, catastrophic failure...I even mentioned to them at the time of purchase about similar issues with Minis that I had read and low and behold it happens to me. Advice from all Mini owners would be greatly received. I also have a 2004 MCS that has nearly killed me and that was after only 3 days after purchase....not a could advertisement for Mini I'm afraid, but I love it as it is fun to drive and looks amazing, I'm just now broke after spending 12k and losing the build quality and reliability of Audi.
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 08:54 PM
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No timing belt it has a chain....the common timing chain tensioner failure is probably the original cause of your problems and caused the tumble dryer/nuts/bolts noise, not a lack of oil, that probably left the engine via the exhaust after the chain failure caused major damage to valves, head and pistons, then the lack of any oil would damage crankshaft and bearings. The garage are trying to pass the blame on to you by the sounds of it, by saying lack of oil caused the original failure, thereby avoiding a warranty payout on timing chain failure and BMW 'Goodwill' if a MINI Main Dealer is involved.

Google "2007 Mini Cooper S timing chain" and you will quickly see the early 2007 onwards R56 Cooper S has had an ongoing problem with timing chain failures.....
MINI Cooper S R56 - MINI Cooper S Timing Chain Failure | Motoring discussion | Back Room Forum | Honest John
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Old Aug 20th, 2014, 10:43 PM
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They are a car dealer so the purchase would be covered under the sale of goods act. If the fault developed within two weeks I would think you have a pretty strong case for a claim under the act.

Even if the oil was lost it would be unreasonable to expect a car to loose 5l of oil in two weeks and that on it's own would be reason to reject the car.

Search online for sale of goods act car dealers and you'll find plenty of information.

You need to keep a copy of the original ad and put everything in writing to the dealer so you have a record.

Speak to your local trading standards office or Citizens Advice Bureau
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 07:00 PM
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Sounds like this should be covered under the timing chain tensioner campaign (#0011080300 - google it and you'll find tons of information). Just last week my 07 MCS with 84k had an incredibly loud rattling noise so I got it towed home and then to MINI. I did some research myself and found out about this service campaign that Mini had failed to tell me about (they had my address wrong and mailed the letter to someone else)

Mini ended up covering 100% of the repairs for a new tensioner and new chain. They also noted an outstanding service campaign for the turbo heat shield which they replaced free of cost as well.

You said your mini is low mileage - it doesn't happen to be low mileage enough to still be under the 50k warranty, does it? If so, you should be able to get this repaired under warranty. If not, I'd call up MINI with your VIN and they'll be able to tell you if your car falls under this service campaign. Hopefully the associated damage you listed due to the slipping of their faulty chain/tensioner will be covered by MINI. Best of luck.
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Old Sep 30th, 2014, 07:23 AM
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Surely you have some kind of warranty coverage for such a recent purchase.

Your argument should be that the car cannot have possibly used that much oil in two weeks (check how many miles you've put on it since you purchased it, I'll wager it's not many) so the oil has drained after the timing damage occurred. It's not a question of customer negligence, but rather a known mechanical issue with the car (i.e. the timing chain problem which is well-documented).

I'd go right back and tell them that you had been checking the oil and that it was fine. Loss occurred after the catastrophic failure and you therefore intend to pursue a warranty claim.
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