Questions about my "new" 2009 MINI Cooper...
I have been the proud owner of a red 2009 MINI Cooper for just over a week now. My previous car (a 2013 Civic) was decent but a bit boring and I have wanted a MINI for a long time. I am delighted with it so far, it reminds me of the 1991 Peugeot 205 GTi that I owned 14 years ago, feels completely unique compared to most modern cars, is great on gas and the most fun car that I have owned for a while. Just a few issues/concerns that I have, which I would be really grateful for some advice on.
1. I have read about chain tensioner issues on MINIs of this generation but was led to believe that this was mainly an issue on the Cooper S. Mine has only done 82000km, has a full MINI service history and a recent fully synthetic oil change. The level is still good and it idles smoothly but there is a slight "dieselly" noise. Is this normal or cause for concern? How do I know whether my car has the chain tensioner issue? I have a 3 month warranty from the vendor and want to get this potentially expensive problem remedied within that period if my car has it.
2. I seem to have developed an annoying rattle in the passenger door. Any ideas? When I held the internal door handle this morning, it seemed to improve. It didn't do this last week but it was below freezing this morning.
3. My car is on 195/55 R16s. I have some decent Michelin winter tires on steel rims in the garage from a previous vehicle which are 195/65 R15s. Should I have any issues using these on my MINI for the winter?
Finally, I plan to keep this car for at least 3 years but really love the idea of an R56 Cooper S next (I'm not a massive fan of the styling on the new MINI). I hear that the "upgraded" N18 engine in the R56 has more power and potentially less reliability issues. For which model year, was this engine introduced?