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I am due to close on a 2008 Mini Cooper S, that is very clean, premium appointed and well cared for. It has 42k on it, and I had it checked out by a mechanic that works on Minis. A reasonable price and I'm planning on getting an extended warranty. But something in my gut says "beware of the rattle" So I have a few questions. 1)Is there a certain extended warranty that would cover this defect if it arises 2)Can the timing chain tensioner be preemptively replaced to avoid this problem to begin with? 3)Should I just avoid this problem all together and buy a newer model, a lastly 4)Which S models do not have this problem. According to Consumer Reports, reliability got better as of 2011.
 

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The N14 engine has other problems besides the timing chain tensioner ... high oil consumption, high pressure fuel pump and carbon build-up on the intake valves.

A 2011 or later MCS with the N18 engine would be a "safer" choice.
 

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I'm quickly losing faith in Minis, this might be the wrong place to say this. My nearby Mini dealer seems indifferent. They seemed puzzled when I brought up timing chain problems when visiting their showroom. Certain years 2002-2006 and 2011-2015 seem better than others. And it's hard to get an answer as to the rate of failure. So even after doing all my homework, and finding a couple of 2011 - 2013 I like, I'm still wondering who is asleep at the controls at MIni. I'm thinking of either buying a high mile 2002-2006 or an 11-13. My psyche can withstand reasonable repairs and maintenance but flying plastic shrapnel and a manufacturer not willing to claim responsibility is ludicrous.
 
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