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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read several posts on the forum regarding this code. I would like some feedback as to whether people think it is the dreaded timing chain issue.

R56 N12B16A engine with 70k miles

We have had the car about 6 months now and it ran fine until end of October. It developed a bad misfire and started throwing blue smoke out of the rear on cold start up and after idle at traffic lights. I traced the misfire to a knackered plug - new OEM cured that.

A new set of valve stem oil seals has cured the oil issue, so all is good. As I had the cams out and reset the timing, I have reset the adaptions too - all was good for a short while until the code appeared. FYI - the timing is spot on, I have checked many times!!!!! In the process I changed the rocker cover gasket too as it was toasty to say the least

Further checks so far:

Both VVT solenoids - ohm reading around 9.6 ohms (all good). We have B+ at pin 2 when running and continuity back to the ECM. Removed and cleaned both VVT's. Have applied 12v to both, and both click perfectly. Played swapnostics with them, and still 287D is appearing. Tried to reset the adaptions again - no luck.

Checked and actuated the valvetronic motor with my scanner, and reset the adaptions - no issues there.

Scoped both cam sensors and am getting a good waveform - tried swapnostics again - no luck.

I have done another oil and filter change too, but to no avail.

At this stage, I would welcome any comments/feedback as to the way forward. We want to keep the car as it runs (ran) sweet and is fun to drive.

For the future, I am going to do all brakes/discs and brake fluid, oil filter housing gasket and gear box oil - any other thoughts please?
 

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The error codes point to a failing Vanos. I know you report the electrical circuits ohm test ok and the solenoid click, but the problem can be with the actuator.

I had a variable valve timing problem with another car. Tech diagnosed it and replaced the solenoid. But after the problem and error code came back. He had to replace the actuator too.

Believe it or not he told me the SOP when doing this work under warranty was to replace both the solenoid and the actuator at the same time. There was no way to test the solenoid and actuator separately and to get at both required considerable labor.

Because my car was out of warranty he elected to replace just the solenoid as a cost saving measure. Had he asked me I would have had him replace both the solenoid and actuator cause that's the way I roll.

And the service manager knew me and knew this so when the car went back in I was not charged for the duplication of labor to get at the actuator but I was charged of course for the new actuator...

Barring a better diagnosis/recommendation I think you are looking at replacing both Vanos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Rockster, thank you for the feedback, and that is an interesting piece of info you have. Could I just clarify which item you are referring to please. You mention the solenoid as well as an actuator. Do you mean both the vanos solenoids for intake and exhaust?

Cheers :)

Phil
 

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@Rockster, thank you for the feedback, and that is an interesting piece of info you have. Could I just clarify which item you are referring to please. You mention the solenoid as well as an actuator. Do you mean both the vanos solenoids for intake and exhaust?

Cheers :)

Phil
Found this but no guarantee of its correctness...

  • 2845 VANOS Exhaust Actuator Movement
  • 287D VANOS Inlet Actuator Movement
  • 296A Inlet Camshaft Sensor
  • 296D Exhaust Camshaft Sensor

Note there is nothing specific about a solenoid. Without access to factory manual and OBD2 errors and definitions how to distinguish/determine a solenoid is bad vs. an actuator (assuming they are separately field serviceable) they could be considered a single replaceable item. This was the point I was making in my previous post. While the solenoid and actuator were two separate items and each replaceable separately which of the two items was bad was not possible given the "primitive" OBD2 diagnostics provided by the automaker.
 

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I have read several posts on the forum regarding this code. I would like some feedback as to whether people think it is the dreaded timing chain issue.

R56 N12B16A engine with 70k miles

We have had the car about 6 months now and it ran fine until end of October. It developed a bad misfire and started throwing blue smoke out of the rear on cold start up and after idle at traffic lights. I traced the misfire to a knackered plug - new OEM cured that.

A new set of valve stem oil seals has cured the oil issue, so all is good. As I had the cams out and reset the timing, I have reset the adaptions too - all was good for a short while until the code appeared. FYI - the timing is spot on, I have checked many times!!!!! In the process I changed the rocker cover gasket too as it was toasty to say the least

Further checks so far:

Both VVT solenoids - ohm reading around 9.6 ohms (all good). We have B+ at pin 2 when running and continuity back to the ECM. Removed and cleaned both VVT's. Have applied 12v to both, and both click perfectly. Played swapnostics with them, and still 287D is appearing. Tried to reset the adaptions again - no luck.

Checked and actuated the valvetronic motor with my scanner, and reset the adaptions - no issues there.

Scoped both cam sensors and am getting a good waveform - tried swapnostics again - no luck.

I have done another oil and filter change too, but to no avail.

At this stage, I would welcome any comments/feedback as to the way forward. We want to keep the car as it runs (ran) sweet and is fun to drive.

For the future, I am going to do all brakes/discs and brake fluid, oil filter housing gasket and gear box oil - any other thoughts please?
what voltage have you got ignition on at the orange wire to oil control solenoid 12v should be present , very common for the electrical plug to become intermittent, also the orange wire is ecu direct so shared live and switched earth's to other components so possible another component faulty high resistance car cause such code , if pull harness apart from the plastic upright cover find the orange wires and track what goes where will help work out what could be doing it, might harness fault, might be ecu failure and very common , ecu testing on line good will test it for £65 at least will know for sure if ecu,, could spend a load of time and money throwing parts at it to find its a driver issue on ecu, electronics on these are not easy
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the feedback @mike1967, it was some of your previous comments on other threads that i found, and ultimately joined this fine forum.

I did have 12v at the pin when running (I back probed the wire).

I will have a quick look tomorrow. Looking at the wiring diagram, it is shared by the outlet vvt, purge solenoid and the themostat heating element - as you say, thee could influence it - I will unplug them and try again on the code - may rule out crossing issues - I will see what codes it throws. I will also go for a loaded volt drop test on the circuit and see what it throws up.

As it has the original chain set etc, what are your views on a stretched chain? Knackered cam sprockets and tensioner? When I first tore into it, when I locked the flywheel, the inlet cam was most certainly rotated back towards the firewall slightly. It is spot on now, but could that be a cause??

Appreciate your input/knowledge @mike1967
 

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Thank you for the feedback @mike1967, it was some of your previous comments on other threads that i found, and ultimately joined this fine forum.

I did have 12v at the pin when running (I back probed the wire).

I will have a quick look tomorrow. Looking at the wiring diagram, it is shared by the outlet vvt, purge solenoid and the themostat heating element - as you say, thee could influence it - I will unplug them and try again on the code - may rule out crossing issues - I will see what codes it throws. I will also go for a loaded volt drop test on the circuit and see what it throws up.

As it has the original chain set etc, what are your views on a stretched chain? Knackered cam sprockets and tensioner? When I first tore into it, when I locked the flywheel, the inlet cam was most certainly rotated back towards the firewall slightly. It is spot on now, but could that be a cause??

Appreciate your input/knowledge @mike1967
if its north of 60k on factory chain it will be buggered need doing, would also do the full kit new vanos sprockets i only ever fit the full kit when i do refresh rebuilds on them and its one after another now for many years as common issues, what happens with me is people drop cars needing refresh and then when i dig in to them find such codes as you have and then when live data and see vanos positions dont match and loads of misfires etc and smooth running figures are all over the place the game begins, how i do it is make the mechanicals right first , sort the oil burning and timing chain stem seals also change piston rings at same time to solid oil rings rather than bmw crap flexy plastic rubbish, then the boanes is about right, i also replace the oil control rings in the end of camshafts for vanos , pre 2009 they ar emetal and post this plastic nylon type and prob better as dont wear the head away or camshaft when someone runs it out of oil etc, ,, this all said how right do you want your car,
so a timing chain kit would be from dealer for partial kit £700-£1000 , full kit would prob add another £300 ish the oil rings for camshafts are around £4 each and a must do job anyway, ,
if doing t yourself then get parts from psa and just do all of it in one go as above and then your going to enjoy your car, only do bits of it then it will just mess you around at some point again , i would do a oil pressure test on that when its hot and fan cut in and out , should see post 20psi if barely 10 then oil pump and maybe the oil rings on camshafts have worn or worst case head worn can also cause low oil pressure on idle when hot,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your insight @mike1967

It is a post 2009 (59 plate) with nearly 70K miles on it. Post the valve stem oil seals swap, it appears not to be burning any oil - good news.

I agree with you on the basics in first place. I will go for a full kit with the "rectang rings" too to start with as I believe the chain is knackered too. I will do the shared circuit checks and see where we go from there. I will check teh oil pressure and see what we have. According to teh spec it should be 0.75 bar at idle, and 3.0 bar at 3000rpm (if I have read it correctly - will check of course). If I am still blowing oil. I will think about the piston rings and the oil pump then

I will report back on progress

Cheers

Phil
 

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i would just do refresh if were mate sounds like you got the know how and tools etc , get stuck need to ask something feel free to massage me i share all info and i've done a lot of these and all ended well,
Font Gas Electric blue Transparency Packaging and labeling

above rings what i use and by far the best on worn honed bores

Household hardware Nickel Thumb Auto part Engineering

above retang rings part number
i use ntk 02 sensors really stable, and not to much money,
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@mike1967, no issues on loaded volt drop tests on the VVT/purge circuit.

I will go for the full chain kit and rectangring next. Looking into the ECU testing too.

We have run around in the mini and currently, it has used no oil at all. I will do the bottom end if it needs it, but will wait to see what the TC change does
 

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@mike1967, no issues on loaded volt drop tests on the VVT/purge circuit.

I will go for the full chain kit and rectangring next. Looking into the ECU testing too.

We have run around in the mini and currently, it has used no oil at all. I will do the bottom end if it needs it, but will wait to see what the TC change does
have you try'd doing a long run in it motorway speeds thats when they really show up for oil use , when short trips never getting really hot and low revs covers it up a fair amount , i would always say to anyone who is doing head off on these do the rings at same time honestly makes them so much better, many people on here have had me do such a job and all say thousand s of mile down road use zero oil and run better for it,
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for that @mike1967 I see where you are coming from on the hot/high revs situation. I will go fo r a long run and see what it shows. I do agree, for the minute amount of extra work, it is well worth the effort

Will keep you posted
 

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will add this and its pretty open and shut in my eyes , years a go i was given a Citroen grand Picasso thp its a n14 turbo charged prince engine done 45k back then was out of warranty but fairly new, story went dealer sold this car to a customer after a 1000 miles oil light came on ie was eating oil and the garage car sale pace then spent over £3000 on all genuine parts full engine rebuild and I mean they spared on nothing, but used the genuine factory piston ring sets,, car went back still using oil customer by this time was hoping mad and wanted refund which car sell done ,, thats where I came in to it he brought car to me and asked me to strip it and see if something was wrong with rebuild,, hmmm I had the receipt, and clearly showed genuine piston rings , only thing i changed on that car was the bmw flexi rings to 3 piece solid rings and rehoned it , I used that car for a month put a couple of thousand miles on it as went away for holiday in it , never used a drop of oil , since then this car seller sends all his mini and psa cars to where I work in main job, my point with this is that anyone can take what they they want from that chain of events , my conclusion has always been get rid of those rings no mater what ,, its on barrowed time ,, the worst case is and i have seen this many times, owner only has stem seals done ie head off spends a big back of cash, to find 6 months later the rings now have cleaned up from not using as much oil and start smoking on over runs due to those plastic rings, ,, when doing the rings would cost a few hundred quid more , over the years i have many times told customers what really should be done to be met with a no they no better than me and dont do the bottom end , to later after wasting money on half a job to be told wish i had listened to you comment at the end,, or if i'm feeling cheeky i will remind them could of sorted all that back then for half of what it will now cost to do it again lol, told you so moments make me grin sometimes
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Lol, liking that storey indeed Mike, and I can imagine the grin from here :)

I did the oil stem seals with out taking the head off, so yes, if (or more likely, when) it starts drinking oil on over run, I will keep those part numbers listed and saved. I shall be calling the ECU testers on Monday to work out what turn around is for a test - the prices, as you say, seem very reasonable. Once that is done, that would be another thing out of the equation
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@mike1967, I was just watching a video on YT about the rectangrings - the guy mentioned a non return valve on the oil supply galleries to the vanos units. I can not seem to see one on my schematics, would you know if there is one at all.

From the video it seems approx 10mm dia with possibly a torx head. I am assuming it has a ball/spring type arrangement

Thanks
 

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the non return valves are under the solenoids single torx in a recess , also the oil filter housing has a non return valve in it and known to fail with age and when do they will prevent pressure to top of engine ,, the vanos oil feed is direct off oil pump and not run through oil filter housing are direct feed hence why have gauze filter on solenoid valves , just because solenoid clicks when add voltage dont always mean they work as they should ,, you need live data and be able to view vanos prescribed and actual positions below screen shot is a cooper s n14 if they match and if when rev engine they change as they should can tell off that, if dont match or dont move when rev'd then a fault
Rectangle Font Line Screenshot Software

notice at bottom
 
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will add its impossible to work these engines out without such data so much effects so much
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Many thanks Mike, my scanner does show those readings, so I will check again. I will take the NRV's out and clean them too (just looking for all items that could cause the problem, and then ticking them off). I am with you on the multi interactions perspective :)
 

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another check can do is lock camshafts and crank and see if miles out on the top locks also with crank locked can try and rotate the offending camshaft if camshafts moves and vanos dont move then vanos faulty and gone free wheeling common fault when the plunge spring inside the vanos unit break's that lock it in start no oil pressure state for first start ups, its why on these engines never touch the throttle when starting them just let idle for 10 seconds before adding revs, or vanos might not be released and can stick and can hurt that plunger wears it on a angle i found on a few that went like it,
 
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