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Discussion Starter #1
This covered in spots elsewhere, but for latest update.

New mini delivered last Friday has the new suspension widgets and the pull. Will be looked at by BMW engineer to confirm it has the problem and the new fix (not specified) should be available in March.

Before calling BMW this week the dealer was not aware that the suspension fiddle wasn't a guaranteed cure (so the info from Mini2 very useful), but now admits that the other fix may be needed.
 

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From my meeting yesterday with BMW (my car has this fault too, but they are not willing to replace it yet) it would seem that they are still working on the fix and are hoping that it will go into production in 4 weeks. It will then be fitted at dealers in March, I'm told it will be new springs and possibly other parts. Nothing seems definate so far and as such I am not ordering another MINI. They even mentioned that if the fix doesn't work they will "re-adress the situation" so that really instills confidence. It would seem that if you order a MINI for delivery/build before this fix is put in place you are running the risk of recieving a car with this fault, good luck. If you are picking up a car, maybe it would be an idea to drive the car with the dealer present and make it completely clear that you are not accepting the car until you have.That way you can reject it straight away without the complications that I am now having.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
New springs not a solution (they are already on the production line, and my car has them), so it will be good when we know what else needs to be done to rectify it.
 

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Are we talking about the same thing? There was the original springs and struts, then (from September>???) there was the newer set (which my car has and BMW was fitting as an unsuccessful fix for a while) and then... If you have a set newer than this, I would be very interested as this is the fix that they are saying should fix my car and is the sole reason they won't accept it as a reject. However, the Regional technical Manager yesterday did state that they were 'going into production in 4 weeks', which would suggest that there is a newer set that your car possibly doesn't have? (or any car for that matter).
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
So the new new suspension fiddle, not the new suspension fiddle? Regardless, if they can rejig it in March and it fixes the problem, I'm cool. Brilliant car otherwise.
 

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I am concerned for those people that have the 'pulling-left' problem.

IMHO, the issue may be a quality control problem. The reason I say this, is that my car is a Week 50 (Dec 01) build and (thankfully) it does not have the problem.

If cars built around this time have the problem then:

A. We assume that they are built using the same parts & components. AND THEN BY DEDUCTION

B. We potentially have a build quality problem.

I don't understand why some cars have it and others do not.

Any comments?
 

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Has anyone here tried to tow a MINI? The reason I ask is it might shed some light on the problem. Alignment has three parts to it, camber, caster and toe-in/toe-out. Camber is the "vertical tilt" of the wheel and changes as the wheel moves up and down. Caster is the fore/aft tilt, similar to the wheel on a shopping cart. It keeps the wheel going straight. Toe-in is used to keep the wheels forced inward slightly to keep pressure on the bearings and minimize wheel wobble and tire wear. An old Behr wheel alighment guy once told me that one front wheel should be positioned slightly ahead of the other to compensate for road camber. He also told me "If the tires on a sports car don't wear out quickly, it won't handle."

Given that, if you put a 20 foot tow rope on the front of the car and tow it behind another vehicle, it should follow straight if the alignment is correct. If it drifts to one side, then it may have a chassis or alignment problem. If it tracks straight, but veers to one side when driven, then the problem may lie elsewhere, such as in the steering rack or the transaxle.

The pulling left problem doesn't seem to be on all MINIs, and some are much worse than others. One might wonder if a car that tracks straight could easily be knocked out of alignment if a pothole or kerb was hit. A properly designed suspension shouldn't do that.
 

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Hello out there my MINI one had this pulling to left problem and when I went down in Inverness they said that the car would have to go to perth to get it fixed and as I don't live on the mainland this was going to be a problem for me so I didn't bother sending it down. But heres the best bit when I got home I went to local garage to see about fitting snow tyres to my beloved and when I got the car back low and behold the pull has gone this was about two months ago, I have asked the garage if they did anything else to the car but they insist that all they did was fit new tyres. I don't know what happened but it must be a miricle.:confused: :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
 

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Wow Fontal, Shetland! How long is the trip to the mainland, and how often do the ferries go?

But to get to the point: Are the snow tires the same size and aspect ratio as the original equipment tires? (I guess you'd call them standard fitment tyres, you don't mind if I use Americanisms I hope) I wonder if when you put the standard tires back on, will the problem remain fixed or will it come back.

Has there been a poll on what size wheels/tires have the pulling-left problem?
 

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The trip to the mainland takes fourteen hours but there is two ferrys so there is a ferry every night.

The tyres that were fitted had all the same diamensions as the origional tyres they were vredestien snowtrac tyres with no studs so they can be used until they are ilegal.
 

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More bad info!

All quotes posted by Mr Bill.

Alignment has three parts to it, camber, caster and toe-in/toe-out.
There is a bit more to it than that. KPI, set-back, Ackerman etc.

Toe-in is used to keep the wheels forced inward slightly to keep pressure on the bearings and minimize wheel wobble and tyre wear.
Not all cars run toe-in, it certainly isn't used to put pressure on the bearings and minimalize wheel wobble?? Toe-out is actually better for tyre wear. Toe-in, toe-out settings are developed to tune the steering and handling characteristics, as well as optimising tyre wear and the efficiency of the contact patch. The most important thing on toe is bumpsteer, i.e. what it does mid bend, Mini is slight bump toe out at the front and toe in at the rear.

An old Behr wheel alighment guy once told me that one front wheel should be positioned slightly ahead of the other to compensate for road camber.
You have got to be kidding!!!! Cars are specifically set up to have the wheel centre line (axle line) parallel, having an unequal wheel position gives you the 'crabbing' that old minis have. Imagine what would happen if you had adverse camber on the road, you'd be forced toward oncoming traffic.

He also told me "If the tires on a sports car don't wear out quickly, it won't handle."
No, it just means they aren't being used efficiently. I could wear out a set of tyres in about an hour on any car, it doesn't mean it handles well.

If it drifts to one side, then it may have a chassis or alignment problem. If it tracks straight, but veers to one side when driven, then the problem may lie elsewhere, such as in the steering rack or the transaxle.
Alignment and the steering rack are interconnected, there is not issue with one which doesn't effect the other.
Power on veer , or torque steer isn't a problem on the Mini as it has equal length driveshafts. Knocking the car out of gear at speed is a better indication as there are no external forces acting on the car.

One might wonder if a car that tracks straight could easily be knocked out of alignment if a pothole or kerb was hit. A properly designed suspension shouldn't do that
So what suspension system have you designed which makes you an expert!!!!!!
A few 'real' facts, the mini front suspension is similar to that used on the following cars, BMW 3er (E36 & E46), Rover 75, Jaguar X-type etc. etc. It is not something new and radical, Rover used it on the Maestro it's just a McPherson strut. Any car no matter what (except perhaps a 4x4, and thats due mostly to tyre sidewall size) will have the alignment knocked out when hitting a kerb, and occasionally if the pothole is big enough. This is not something specific to the mini.
Steering is also affected by all 4 wheels not just the front, rear alignment can actually be more important.

As I have said in the past, it takes time to validate a production fix and get parts made, BMW have stated a fix by March so wait and see.
 

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Re: More bad info!

oxfordmini said:
All quotes posted by Mr Bill.



So what suspension system have you designed which makes you an expert!!!!!!
A few 'real' facts, the mini front suspension is similar to that used on the following cars, BMW 3er (E36 & E46), Rover 75, Jaguar X-type etc. etc. It is not something new and radical, Rover used it on the Maestro it's just a McPherson strut. Any car no matter what (except perhaps a 4x4, and thats due mostly to tyre sidewall size) will have the alignment knocked out when hitting a kerb, and occasionally if the pothole is big enough. This is not something specific to the mini.
Steering is also affected by all 4 wheels not just the front, rear alignment can actually be more important.

As I have said in the past, it takes time to validate a production fix and get parts made, BMW have stated a fix by March so wait and see.
Respect!
 

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Re: More bad info!

oxfordmini said:
As I have said in the past, it takes time to validate a production fix and get parts made, BMW have stated a fix by March so wait and see.
oxfordmini,

What do think is causing the problem?

Am I correct in assuming the Mini should drive straight? Have niether a pull nor a drift to the left?

Cheers

LMB:)
 

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Drift vrs Pull

LMB,

I have said in the past that due to the suspension set-up on the mini the car is camber sensitive, as such it will drift down a camber, any car will do so given the right circumstances.

Pull, is a problem, I ran through a check on a previous thread, the drive on the wrong side of the road check, and if it pulls up a camber something is out.

If it drifts down a camber, thats a characteristic so you have to live with it. If it pulls up the camber complain.
Originally posted by LMB
What do think is causing the problem?
Again, as I have said in the past NO COMMENT ;)

The fix is on its way.
 

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Re: More bad info!

Mr Bill and oxfordmini, I hope you guys are not taking all this personally (actually, I don't care if you are, I'm just trying to be "PC"), but I am finding the entire exchange to be very interesting and informative, car-technology-wise. So don't stop just because you don't want to be flamed for flaming!!

Has BMW really "stated a fix for March"? Or is this just a rumor propagated by dealers to get complainers off their backs.
 

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oxfordmini said:
Pull, is a problem, I ran through a check on a previous thread, the drive on the wrong side of the road check, and if it pulls up a camber something is out.
oxfordmini,

My dad drove my Mini today and he is in agreement with me that the car definitely 'Pulls' to the left as opposed to a drift:(

I tested it on the RHS of the road and the majority of the time it drove straight. To me this throws BMW's camber theory out the window, for me anyway, as surely if that were the cause the car would drift right?

clutch cargo,

I wrote to Mini Customer Services voicing my concerns over the problem and they mentioned nothing about a fix coming in March, they just said "…this investigation is an ongoing a final decision has yet to be released." and that was in January so read into that what you will. But I feel the dealerships haven't got a clue whether there is even a fix. When I mentioned the letter I received to the service manager he was very keen to see it. I wonder why?:rolleyes:

Anyhow I am not planning to hang around to find out.

Cheers

LMB:)
 

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FONTAL said:
Hello out there my MINI one had this pulling to left problem and when I went down in Inverness they said that the car would have to go to perth to get it fixed and as I don't live on the mainland this was going to be a problem for me so I didn't bother sending it down. But heres the best bit when I got home I went to local garage to see about fitting snow tyres to my beloved and when I got the car back low and behold the pull has gone this was about two months ago, I have asked the garage if they did anything else to the car but they insist that all they did was fit new tyres. I don't know what happened but it must be a miricle.:confused: :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Only a couple of people picked up on this.

Doesn't it sound significant ?

LMB. How about asking BMW to fit a different brand tyre to your front wheels, or even fitting 15" wheels with some standard run of the mill cheap Bridgestones, for a test.

never know........!

:)
 

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Just a thought, but what if the new tires had a more aggressive tread and greater rolling resistance? If they are harder to turn, it could reduce the amount of pull. Given that those cars that had the suspension modifications and KDS still pull left, perhaps the problem is not the alignment or suspension, but rather lies in the transaxle (unequal torque on the front wheels) or in the power steering (unequal pressure on both sides of the rack when the wheel is centered.) It will probably turn out to be something so obvious that nobody thinks of it.
 

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hmmm... I did speak to ATS once (I was considering them double checking the BMW KDS, not that I don't trust them or anything ;) )
The guy there mentioned that they had the same problem with cars with Runflat tyres, this is where I may misquote and be wrong, sorry if I am...

The runflat tyres have steel bands round the sidewalls, if the tyres are fitted incorrectly, the tread can 'twist' slightly, resulting in a pull...

They had been re-instructed on how to fit these tyres as a result. I'm sure that it can't be something as stupid as this in the MINIs case though???
 
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