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I just got this 2009 mini convertible (non-turbo) and it's been a pain so far. When you start it, it chugs like the idle goes up/down/up/down, etc. you also have to feather the gas pedal to get it to start. After doing some research online I thought it was a bad vvt solenoid. I replaced both of them. I noticed the crankcase breather hose was broken so I replaced it and while I had the intake manifold off I replaced the gaskets. None of this helped. After a lot of digging around I did find the large weird looking blue plug in the front that goes to the front o2 sensor and a few other places had some bare wires so I repaired those but that did not help either. The only codes it has are multiple misfires and a misfire code for each cylinder separately. I drove it around a little and it really didn't drive too bad other than it bucked really hard when I let off the gas like a manual transmission would if you slow down too much without pushing in the clutch (This one is automatic trans) The surging idle isn't quite as bad with the air conditioning on or when the cooling fan kicks on but it still does it. What has me perplexed is I can unhook the mass air flow sensor while it's running and it makes no difference, Also I tried unhooking the VVT solenoids, the plug going to the o2 sensors and there was no change either. I'm not sure if the crankshaft or camshaft sensor is the one closest to the front but when I unhook and reconnect the one in front no matter how many times there is no change. The one towards the back will occasionally make a difference if I unhook and reconnect it. Is there a "limp mode" that the ecm goes into when a certain sensor is bad or timing is off or do I have an electrical issue common to almost all of those sensors? I checked every fuse in both fuse boxes, the only one bad is a 5 amp fuse that says it's for a built in cel phone and it blows as soon as I replace it but there is a crap ton of corrosion in the connector in the center console that I'm assuming a factory cel phone goes in. I purchased the service manual but there are no voltage checks or pinouts of the sensor connectors or ECM plugs. I'm an electronics service technician so I can fix the wiring if it's an electrical issue. I just wanted to make sure first that the ECM wasn't just ignoring all of those sensors in some sort of "safe mode" Has anyone else ran across this issue? I already had to replace the footwell module and one of the plugs on it because water was leaking in due to the seal being rotted along the wiper cowl. That got all of the headlights/brake lights etc working allthough the Brake light is still lit on the dash for some reason. Thanks in advance
 

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I have the N14 you sound like you have the W12 or W11 I don't really know. An N14 is somewhat of a project X type of engine it's not the best it's not the worst. But in this case mine does not have VVT system for the intake nor a Vanos for the exhaust cam like your does.
Long story short. There are only a few things that cause multiple misfires unless it is deep. I would change things out a bit. Try a different spark plug iridium NGK are good but they have reverted to a older product and no longer sell the Z series they used to. Check into brisk brand spark plugs. For a non turbo I know they have the perfect plug for you. The plug is much hardier and the tip of it is larger diameter :and could probably handle 30,000 miles easy. Then I would check The plastic valve cover for leaks. pull it put it on a table and pour water in it for a day. That will cause misfires.
Finally The vanos cloging up you have two of them is common and will cause misfires. Total cost consider your starting there and not buying 4 new coils. (buy one coil sometimes one good coil will lead to another coil working fine that the system thought was bad. buy another as you move the brand new one to checking each cylinder and confirming spark on your computer reader).
Vanos is about 75-100 dollars. If the valve cover is cracked that would be the problem and just buy that I think that is about 250 or 300 or more. IT WILL CAUSE MISFIRE IF IT IS CRACKED AT THE BREATHER HOSE POINT IS WHERE YOU WOULD LOOK FOR IT AT.
That really does wrap alot of what that problem might be up. Buy the intake vanos first. then the exhaust if you have to. To me it might just be valve cover or the two vanos's or both.
To say all four coils are bad after you replace the spark plugs is weird. Those coils need to be last on your check list. unless you like paying 300 hundred dollars and may or may not solve the problem.
Total cost for everything would be A little over a 1000 dollars. If you like have proof and insurance against the fix.
 

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Sounds like your N12 timing is way out, probably needs a replacement timing chain and timing done with the special tool and a new uprated timing tensioner. I wouldn't go throwing any money at other items until your chain and timing have been done. If your mileage is anything over 45-60K miles your chain needs replaced. There are lots of other maintenance parts you should/could do while doing the chain. Search about.
 

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Sounds like your N12 timing is way out, probably needs a replacement timing chain and timing done with the special tool and a new uprated timing tensioner. I wouldn't go throwing any money at other items until your chain and timing have been done. If your mileage is anything over 45-60K miles your chain needs replaced. There are lots of other maintenance parts you should/could do while doing the chain. Search about.
that would be my first point of call too
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is there a way to see if the timing is off without taking the motor apart? It doesn't have any death rattle but I know it's still possible that the chain skipped a tooth or 2
 

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yes with diagnostics tool like autocom cdp plus or insta d or a 3k snap on diagnostics tool and a few others ,, can also measure the throw on timing chain tensioner,,, but just as easy to pull rocker cover off, put a 5mm 300mm long rods in plug hole 1 and 2 and turn crank untill both at same height ie all pistons same height then look at camshafts and see the writing on them they should look on top evenly ,,, note is cant see writing turn crank 180 degree untill can see them
 

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One question though, what code reader are you using? A generic code reader will not read all the mini codes. You need to get a mini or bmw specific code reader.
 

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Not sure what the values are supposed to be but that's what the snap on scan tool shows
 

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4 degrees out on exhaust set point something going on with timing or vanos maybe bad something going on with vvt set point and actual dont match,, but that might be due to vanos issue or vvt motor,, the vvt will go in to a default position when the ecu feels high resistance for some reason or if car in limp mode will cause the system to protect its self,
snap on use the words set point is prescribed,,, and actual is the reading you have
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There is a very good chance that the car is in limp mode because I can unplug most of the sensors with it running and there is no change. How can I tell for sure if it's in limp mode? Thanks for the help
 

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There is a very good chance that the car is in limp mode because I can unplug most of the sensors with it running and there is no change. How can I tell for sure if it's in limp mode? Thanks for the help
normal have eml on, and a full limp mode car wont rev past 1500 revs partial limp mode 2500 revs ish, i would first off do oil pressure test on car make sure got pressure to work the vanos sprockets.,, the prince engine needs timing chain replacements around 60.000 miles and its all of them , i'm in middle of undoing the damage on a 2008 mini that was driven until would drive no more and its has melted cat and needs rings and stem seals etc and its so common with them, after oil test would then check chain for stretch with the lock tools in place best way rocker cover off etc, if were my car etc i would just do chain if around those miles treat it as a service item ie must change,, crap design
 
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