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Dear All,

I do have a lot of fun with my S-Works. By now I have driven around 25k in normal mode and 15k in works mode. I usually 'rev-up' to around 5500-6000 rpm, sometimes to the top.
I always make sure the engine is in good working temperature before I do this.

Recently I have noticed that the backside of the car contains pollution which could either be caused by an imperfect fuel burn -or worse- by worn out piston springs. Monday the 18th the car is due for its 40000km service.

Anybody experiencing worn out piston springs or would the spark plugs have deceased? :confused:
 

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I think you mean piston rings; you're wondering if they've worn enough to be burning oil in the combustion process. Generally speaking, piston rings last the lifetime of the engine under typical driving conditions. I have a Chevrolet with 180,000 miles on it (289,000 k) and it still runs strong with no indications of wear on the rings or cylinders. Considering you're at less than 25,000 miles on a superior engine I don't think it's a problem, even if you have a more aggressive driving style.

If you're really concerned, there are some things to check. First is the exhaust: Visible white smoke generally indicates something besides gasoline is burning in the cylinder(s). If you get a small puff when revving the car up, that's ok, but a good amount of it might be an issue. Second check your spark plugs: Back the plugs out of the engine and inspect the points. If they're a little browned or the metal appears "tinned," that's fine; you do have 25,000 miles on them. If they are oily, black, or have a baked-on load of crud on the insulator (the ceramic part), then there's a problem; oil is getting into the cylinders and collecting on the plugs. Spark plugs cannot survive too much fouling; when they become coated in foreign matter they are unable to dissipate heat properly and may eventually detonate, which is an immediately noticable condition, trust me. Finally, check your oil: Check the color and odor of the engine oil on the dipstick. If you can still see through the oil and a small amount on your fingers feels thick and, well, oily, then that's a good thing. If the oil feels thin and/or slightly gritty, then the oil may be getting cooked by combustion forcing past the rings into the crankcase and likewise contaminated by carbon that normally goes out the exhaust. After you've got some oil on your fingers, sniff it a bit. A strong gasoline smell or a smell like burnt leather is bad. Note the keyword "strong" there. Don't panic if there's a very slight gas smell, oil and gasoline are derived from the same thing, so some smells are the same. The sniff test may not be as reliable with the synthetic oil used in MINIs; I can't say with any certainty on that point.

Well, that was longer than I expected, but there you go. ;)
 
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