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2011 Cooper S slick top, 6 spd
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Discussion Starter #1
First thought, in regards to the dipstick in my '11 Cooper S: whose bright idea was it to make the bottom of the dipstick the exact same color as the engine oil? Talk about being difficult to read..... Which brings me to my question: I'm monitoring oil consumption VERY closely, as an aid to deciding whether to keep this thing or not, and wanted to know if anyone else has noticed that the attitude of the car, ie how level or off-level it is, seems to be a huge factor in where the oil level reads on the dipstick. Having one side of the car a few inches higher than the other appears to change the indicated level by at least 1/2 quart. Am I all alone in this or is this something everyone's already aware of?
Currently it's using a 1/2 qt anywhere between 1500 miles and 350 miles, driving all day, mixture of hiway and surface roads, RPMs kept below 4500 or so. I should also add that it just turned 100k miles and has no external leaks, PCV plumbing is clean and dry inside and it never smokes. I sold a very nice Volvo S40 T5 AWD 6spd that this car replaces, primarily because the Volvo was close to 300k miles and using a quart every 1500 miles, consistently. I'm already regretting selling it.
 

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Yes, my oil level looks overfilled,due to the driver side wheel (UK RH drive) is in a slight dip.
(Oil level on these needs to be at max)
 

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I replace my oil every 3 months or 3000 miles. In between that I just check the dipstick by pulling it out really fast of the sleeve. My used to come up about 1/3 of a quart. I had the oil catch can on it for a while driving around in town with it on there. And decided to remove it; due to vacuum being in question not that it caused any problems. I still use it if I drive a lot of highway miles. In the end the car is going to burn oil through the re burn process(when the oil,air, and fuel combine in the valve cover and turn into a milk shake mixture). I think that is where the majority of the oil goes. Some of it goes past the Oil wiper rings on the pistons. High mileage Mini with the original plastic rings tend to let more oil go by.
I rebuilt my engine. I know it is extreme really in the big picture, but it runs better in some respects than it ever did stock. I.E. with the metal oil wiper rings.
You say it does not burn any oil and your right for the most part. As a quarter of a quart of oil is not gonna be recognized from the tail pipe due to the idea that the car has a modern more complex exhaust and the re burn value turns that oil into soot on the pistons and tops of the valves before really coming out of the tail pipe.
It's ordinary! for it to burn a little from the re burn process. What Mini really needs is the 5th low pressure fuel injector like other modern direct fire engines that is plugged into the intake system. and washes the combustion camber. Some people have the methanol and water system. In that respect it works. A little more complex.
I would not regret the purchase of a mini cooper. considering the problems that due occur with it are a little more affordable and servicable in contrast to a full size car. Like a Timing Chain kit is only like 225$ U.S.
 

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2011 Cooper S slick top, 6 spd
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Discussion Starter #4
"Plastic" rings? I don't care if the oil scraper rings are made from unobtanium, a quart in under a thousand miles is ridiculous, even with 100k miles. Never in my long career as a professional automotive tech, mechanic, whatever, I have never seen a modern production engine consume oil at this rate without something being seriously wrong. And with all due respect, a "milkshake" mixture is oil and water combining, usually a bad thing independent of excess oil usage. My next avenue is to check the pressure side of the intake plumbing, see if it's going out the turbo. I also ordered an anftermarket dipstick that's all bare metal so I can see the oil on it. I try to keep it topped up, but I also do NOT want to overfill it.
 

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I found the trick of putting the dipstick in only to the bottom of the yellow part three times, wiping each time, then putting it on all the way works well. (Until I got a cravenspeed.)

it is a stupid design, especially for a car known to use oil.

edit:
valve seals were the reason for my consumption. I used Forte and it stopped the consumption.
 

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I think it is 4.3 quarts that it takes. And another thing you are right about the mixture. It's just with modern cars they are all doing something similar. to this and I cannot remember where I heard that in reference to what the cooper is doing and forgot totally about how that a milkshake mixture is oil and water. Modern cars.
I was just referring to the re burning of the fuel in the crankcase that gets past the gas ring in the cylinders. and that air,fuel,oil mixture not separating like a traditional car or like a car with a dry sump and air oil vortex separator.
But yes you are absolutely correct. And they need a better short term slang for what that is that is happening. aside of any remedies.
Mini coopers can be worked on they need a little better aftermarket and customer support in general in my opinion. People should not have to learn every last aspect of the car in order to live with it and own it. There should be at least 80 percent driving and using the car and 20 percent servicing the car ; and that would be if one owned it for 20 years. Not 2 or 5 years. I just wanted to keep mine a little more. buying it sense new really gave me about 5 years before it went completely into a service now situation.
really that would be the end result in my opinion it is a track type car that needs a dry sump and vortex separator in order to never lose fuel and a new set of rings that prevent a certain amount of oil from burning up in the combustion chamber.
It seems like a far cry but really it's not un common. It want's however arogant it sounds like from that dinky little engine what a modern LS corvette type engine wants. shallow oil pan,dry sump, and vortex separator.
 

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My other car is a Mini
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The N-14 Princess turbo engines are renown for burning oil, it gets fed as oil vapour back into the intake. This in itself causes problems with carbon build-up on the intake valves, as with the direct injection there is nothing "washing" soot off the valves. An oil separator to remove the majority of the oil vapour is almost mandatory, and I don't understand why they were not factory fitted, as it is such a well-known problem. The oil level on the dipstick should be kept at the max mark, obviously measured with the car level. Mine has just turned 140,000km and oil consumption does not seem to have increaced, indicating that this is just how they are, that the oil rings or bore are not worn, just that the piston rings are not as efficient at controlling blow-by gases than other car engines. If you want a car that you can drive for 10,000km between oil checks and 20,000km between oil changes, buy something else! As for creamy milkshake in the cylinder-head cover, that is a different issue and indicates bigger problems than perceived excess oil consumption.
The problem that I have with mine is excess tyre wear, perhaps that is just due to me enjoying the car and driving it as it should be driven!
 

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2011 Cooper S slick top, 6 spd
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Discussion Starter #8
I would be quite content to add a quart every 2 to 3 thousand miles. I'm not asking it to do what, for instance my '91 Miata does, which is run over 4,000 RPM for hours at a time just to keep up with freeway traffic around here and never needs a quart added between changes, oh no.
I should also clarify: I do NOT have any kind of excess condensation, no mixing of oil and water anywhere. I just want to be able to know when to expect to add oil, like maybe the Volvo I just sold. By the odometer I could tell it was low: every 1.500 miles it took a quart, totally fine. It's the fact that this car may go close to 2,000 miles and need a half quart, or as little as 400 miles and need a half quart, EXACT same driving style. THAT bugs me big time.
When I first got the car, I was running it to over 5K RPM on most upshifts since it's so smooth... after wondering where the oil was going, I've started short-shifting it, at around 4k, using a little more throttle down low, and waiting to see if the oil consumption gets predictable. I also have another dipstick on the way, something might actually be able to see the oil on.
And: Whats "Forte"? If it's some kind of additive, I'm curious. And if there's a FAQ page which I should go look at I will, especially concerning an oil trap in the PCV system.
 

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TGMoCatKU
2019 MINI Cooper JCW convertible manual transmission
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In the last 300,000 miles I have driven in BMWs, MINIs, and Audis I have never had to add oil between oil changes. You have a problem.
 

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In the last 300,000 miles I have driven in BMWs, MINIs, and Audis I have never had to add oil between oil changes. You have a problem.
The Mini has a different engine to other BMWs. The Mini's Prince engine is the same as used in a Peugeot (joint development) and is notorious for burning and leaking oil. Other BMW engine are also known for oil leaks.
 
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