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  #1  
Old 01-09-2011, 09:21 AM
Ladybug-S Ladybug-S is offline
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Major Oil Leak

I was just on my way home on the highway and my low oil warning light comes on as I am getting off my exit. As i pull to the stop sign the engine is VERY rattly. I struggle home and I jack the car up, only to see oil everywhere on the left side of the engine bay (looking from front of car), it is now all over my garage floor, and even on my right front wheel well and wheel.

No clue what happened but I am not going to drive it ANYWHERE until I know what is wrong.

I cannot tell if there is a bolt in the sump so does anyone have a picture of what a correct looking sump looks like on an R56 S?

Oil spatters even made up to the noisemaker area. No clue how it got there.

NOT HAPPY
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:07 AM
Creeve Creeve is offline
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I have heard of a few cars with massive oil loss caused by the timing chain tensioner walking out of the head.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:04 AM
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Have it towed to the dealer?
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:24 AM
Ladybug-S Ladybug-S is offline
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She is on her way there as we speak.

Now I have to clean my garage floor.

I will post back when I get a diagnosis.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:03 PM
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sometimes the cap that seals the oil filter can leak... Ive had the rubber seal underneath the cap twisted on the threads and have oil spill everywhere. Id give that a quick check
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2011, 05:23 PM
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Gil-galad Gil-galad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creeve View Post
I have heard of a few cars with massive oil loss caused by the timing chain tensioner walking out of the head.
Yep, this seems to be occurring with some frequency lately. See experiences and speculation on causes in this other recent thread:

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com...-oil-leak.html
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:28 PM
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Did you have the oil changed lately ?

If you have some kitty litter, it works great for oil on cement floors. Pour it all over the area about 1/2 thick and let it sit and soak in for a few minutes.

Remove it and put more down. Only this time while holding a small piece of 2x4 (about 8 inch long) grind that new patch of kitty litter into the floor using sweeping motions back and forth pushing down so as to grind it into the floor pulverizing it into dust.......This help to get it into all the defect areas of the floor....

If you want to save some time, grab two small pieces of 2x4 one for each hand and work it in like you are skim coating a plaster wall.....It will remove about 99.9% of the oil....

Then just dispose of the contaminated kitty litter properly.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:20 PM
Creeve Creeve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pillar View Post
sometimes the cap that seals the oil filter can leak... Ive had the rubber seal underneath the cap twisted on the threads and have oil spill everywhere. Id give that a quick check
On the wrong side of the engine.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:16 PM
Ladybug-S Ladybug-S is offline
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Thanks, everyone. Looks like I had the same issue as many others. The timing chain tensioner came out and the chain went loose, breaking some of the chain guides. All being replaced, and CLEANED, under warranty. Result!
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:26 PM
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Do you know if the rattling sound was caused by timing chain slack, or lack of lubrication? Since you described it as rattling as opposed to knocking, I'm hopeful it was chain slack.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:55 AM
Ladybug-S Ladybug-S is offline
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Yes, I believe it was the lack of tension in the chain that was the noise I heard. The engine still had a good amount of oil in it. I know this because whatever was left is now on my garage floor, under some kitty litter thanks to gray raven.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:08 AM
noirsith noirsith is offline
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Very Similar Issue not I have to pay $2600

I noticed that my 2009 MINI Cooper S that I bought in 2009 had its Engine Pressure Sensor light come on while driving. I immediately pulled over as instructed under the car manual. I took it to the dealership and was subsequently informed thatt the Tensioner next to the Timing Chain seemed to have broken resulting in the oil leak. The dealership could repair it for $500 as it wasn't covered by warranty seeing as my car was over 50K miles. I A couple of hours later I was informed Timing Chain was also damaged and it would need to get replaced for $2100, again not covered by the warranty.

A little researched revealed that many other MINI owners had the same problem with the Timing Chain on the R56. Also, dealership staff told me that they had seen up to 15 MINIs with the same problem with the timing chain this past year alone. I called the MINI Customer Service line about this mechanical defect and asked what the company was doing to remedy the situation. The representative informed me that all she could do was open a ticket and let me know that a service manager would make a decision whether to reimburse me in 3-5 business days. I was told that the service manager could not make a determination in a shorter period of time and I was advised that I should not pay for the repair first and then seek reimbursement because that would make it less likely that MINI would assist me with the costs of repairing their cars' defective timing chain.

I was able to call the dealership holding my car and procure a loaner for the time being as I wait for my ticket to work its way through the system. I don't understand why a known issue with the engine in my car wasn't fixed sooner by MINI since I took my car each time to the dealership to be serviced, especially since the Timing Chain seems to be a defect that is well-known to the company. I find it hard to believe that the part in question wasn't deteriorating over the past two years. I am even more disappointed that MINI is trying to pass off the high costs of a mechanical defect in its cars onto its customers who did not create the problem in the first place.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:21 AM
noirsith noirsith is offline
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Just wanted to give everyone a heads up, I got a call today saying my claim was denied. Looks like I'll have to front the cash for a car that's not even two years old. I can't believe that MINI nor the dealership is taking any responsibility for not checking on the timing chain when there was a service bulletin out for this issue.

Very disappointing. I think I will be filing a complain with NHTSA.
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  #14  
Old 02-08-2011, 06:25 PM
TYIELD TYIELD is offline
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Massive Oil Leak Linked To Defective Timing Belt

My Mini Cooper Clubman Suffered A Complete Oil Leak. While Driving To My Office The Oil Pressure Warning Light Came On And The Car Started To Rattle. I Checked The Oil Level And Replaced It Only To See 4 Quarts On The Ground. Had Road Side Assistance Tow It To Closest Dealer. The Dealer Informed Me That The Timing Belt Had Slipped/ Degenerated And Had To Be Replaced (the Tensioner And Or Belt Has Been Re-engineered-- According To The Dealer). I Still Am Not Sure Why It Causes This Sort Of A Major Loss Of Oil. It Does Happen

Fortunately, No Engine Damage And It Is Being Returned Tomorrow
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:34 PM
TYIELD TYIELD is offline
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The Start Of A Class Action Lawsuit

To Noirsith

You Need To Contact A Lawyer. Sounds Like You Have The Basis For A Lawsuit And I'm Not A Lawyer (rather A Physician)
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:41 PM
TYIELD TYIELD is offline
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Mechanism Of The Timing Belt -oil Leak Problem

I Need The Service Department Or A Mechanic To Explain To Me How This Massive Oil Leak Occurs In The Mini As A Result Of The Timing Belt Failure And If There Solution Will Fix The Problem Permanently Or I May Not Be Able To Trust The Car. What Is The Recurrence Rate Of This Problem After It Is Fixed?
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:44 AM
EuroTechsAZ EuroTechsAZ is offline
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Chain issues do not cause oil leaks from chain tensioners. They were incorrectly tightened at the factory. I have seen cars with 50 miles leaking from loose tensioners. Someone at the factory must have finger tightened them. They have an aluminum crush washers that have been removed on leaking cars to find they have not been crushed. I am sorry the dealer is passing the blame to the customers, they make more money off customer paying jobs than warranty/goodwill repairs.
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Last edited by EuroTechsAZ; 02-09-2011 at 05:56 PM. Reason: aluminum crush washers not copper :)
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:28 PM
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Just thought it should be mentioned that the Mini does NOT have a low oil light, only a oil pressure light.
Check your oil regularly, the N14 engine (turbo R55, 56, 57) are using aLot of oil, not uncommon for turbo engines to use upto a quart every 1500 to 2000 miles. With oil changes due only every 15k or so, do the math.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:47 PM
TYIELD TYIELD is offline
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To Ax Racer

I Had Quite A Long Conversation With The Mechanic Today About The Timing Chain And Tensioner. I Was Informed That It Did Indeed Cause The Oil Leak From My Mini And The Mechanic Has Seen This Multiple Times Before.

I Am Aware That These Cars Do Burn A Little Oil And That One Needs To Check Periodically. Thanks
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:54 PM
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Please continue, What did the mechanic say?

Dave
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:08 PM
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Mini Timing Chain Problem

Unfortunately, I am not the best person to describe the problem as the mechanic relayed it to me (I wish I had better understanding of the mechanics of the interaction of the timing chain/tensioner and lubrication involving this car). I can put you in touch with the mechanic through the service department that worked on my car. It was serviced at Midwestern Mini in Dublin Ohio. I was told they have had to change out quite a few of these. Apparently the chain or tensioner has been re-enginered but no recall has been issued.

You can make a call to this service dept to inquire about the mechanics of the situation. I dont have a design or schematic in front of me to help elaborate.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:33 AM
EuroTechsAZ EuroTechsAZ is offline
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Here is picture of the tensioner where it goes thru the head to put pressure against the timing chain guide. Also a photo of the tensioner that shows that it is side fed oil pressure from the engine to move the piston outward against the timing chain guide. This keeps the chain tensioned. The threaded portion and the head of the tensioner is what keeps oil in the head. If oil is leaking its because it came unscrewed and the crush ring is no longer sealing against the head. The rattle noises that is common with old style tensioners is caused by weak springs inside(spring keeps pressure when no oil pressure is present) and too short of a piston in tensioner. updated tensioners have stronger springs and extend a small amount more. I have seen plenty of failed tensioners without oil leaks. A loose leaking or failed tensioner will cause chain slack and skipped timing/bent valves ect. But a chain will not cause the tensioner to leak. hope this helps clear things up.
Attached Thumbnails
Major Oil Leak-tensioner.jpeg   Major Oil Leak-tensioner2.jpeg  
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:33 AM
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Massive Oil Leak Linked To Defective Timing Belt

Thanks For The Diagram And The Information. So The Chain Itself Did Not Cause The Leak Rather A Defective Tensioner Caused The Leak?
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:37 AM
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That's a great explanation Eurotechsaz, there has been a lot of confusion on this....

Tyield, yes, the tensioner is the problem, however in many cases it's not defective, it just uscrewed itself from the block - causing the chain to be loose and oil to escape under pressure from the head. That's what happened to Ladybug's car. Sometimes the tensioner itself fails, not holding proper tension against the chain, as Eurotech explained. When that happens there can be extensive internal damage to the engine.

Seems pretty simple to those of us with a mechanical background, but the combination of inexperienced SA's trying to explain complex mechanical things to people without a mechanical background makes for some very confused posters....

Bottom line is check your engine oil frequently, while you're in there check for leaks too.

I had my tensioner replaced on my '09 at about 3K miles, no issues since - no chain noise, no leaks....nuttin. I've posted many times about what a quality dealer Baron MINI is in KC, I urge anyone in our area to use them for your service.

I'm also a little surprised that MINI is taking such a hard line on not paying for these repairs, it's not like it's anything an owner would have an involvement with - it's definitely either an assembly problem or a tech problem, and a lot of people just don't understand what those noises are and why they are a problem till it's too late.

I'd be willing to bet her a coke that Ladybug's car has been making all sorts of noises in the few weeks or days leading up to her car failing - but she didn't hear them or realize what they were.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:15 AM
countryboyshane countryboyshane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EuroTechsAZ View Post
Here is picture of the tensioner where it goes thru the head to put pressure against the timing chain guide. Also a photo of the tensioner that shows that it is side fed oil pressure from the engine to move the piston outward against the timing chain guide. This keeps the chain tensioned. The threaded portion and the head of the tensioner is what keeps oil in the head. If oil is leaking its because it came unscrewed and the crush ring is no longer sealing against the head. The rattle noises that is common with old style tensioners is caused by weak springs inside(spring keeps pressure when no oil pressure is present) and too short of a piston in tensioner. updated tensioners have stronger springs and extend a small amount more. I have seen plenty of failed tensioners without oil leaks. A loose leaking or failed tensioner will cause chain slack and skipped timing/bent valves ect. But a chain will not cause the tensioner to leak. hope this helps clear things up.

Is the right side of that picture the front of the engine (crank pulley, belts, timing chain...etc.)?
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:15 AM
 
 
 
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