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  #1  
Old 04-03-2011, 08:29 AM
MiniMiAmor MiniMiAmor is offline
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Dipstick will not go in

2007 Cooper S (Turbo)

Dipstick will not go in!

I started the car the other morning and the engine started rattling, like a diesel. My dealer told me that the rattle was possibly low oil. I left the engine running and pulled out the dipstick to test the dealer's theory.

I took it out, it kept rattling, and now I cannot put the dipstick back in. I can put in until about 5 inches is still showing.

It feels like it's hitting something pretty solid; there is not give at the end of its travel. I turned on the engine again to see if it's something cyclical that would spin out of the way, no luck.

I'm baffled. I haven't found anything regarding a non-entering dipstick anywhere, in there, Google, etc.

Help! Of course, I am not driving the car.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:35 AM
Murker1991 Murker1991 is offline
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if its like mine its quite tough to push it in, get a cloth hold the dipstick down the rod further down nd force it in seems to do the job for me, dont hold me to it if you break anythin!
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2011, 08:37 AM
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MCS Fever MCS Fever is offline
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Try rotating it as you put it in, (seriuosly).

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Old 04-03-2011, 08:41 AM
Fly'n Brick Fly'n Brick is offline
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Don't know exactly what you are dealing with or if this will help but mine sometimes is hard to return to its proper position and sometims it does feel like there is something in the way. I just kind of rattle it around not forcing it and holding it very loosly in my fingers and let it rotate or twist or do what ever it needs to do and it eventually slides in. Don't force it, there is a thread or two about somebody breaking it off inside the tube. Don't want that regardless. Hope its nothing serious.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:40 AM
MiniMiAmor MiniMiAmor is offline
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Hi everyone, thanks for the quick replies.

However, for the life of me, I could not get that thing in. I consider myself mechanically able, but I could not feel any give down there. I called my mechanic and he told me the same thing: pull out just a fraction after it hits the "wall", then twist as you push in. No go.

I started the engine up and tried again. Same thing. Strangely, when I tried forcing it in, the engine seemed to "gasp" for air; the RPMs dropped ever so slightly. I tried this a few times and am pretty sure the causal relationship is correct.

I will give it another go; frustrating that such a seemingly trivial matter is keeping my car in the garage. Beautiful weather here in the Bay Area, and my Mini is sick--was hoping for a dash over to Hwy. 1.

Back to the garage I go...will keep you posted on progress (or lack thereof).
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:03 PM
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MCS Fever MCS Fever is offline
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How about trying a small dia nylon tube from your hardware store that is a good 6 inches longer than the dipstick and try it down the rabbit hole....... Pretty much how the mess-less oil change gizmos work....... Just to see if it will go....... It could at least check that you have enough oil to run the engine....

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:21 PM
MiniMiAmor MiniMiAmor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCS Fever View Post
How about trying a small dia nylon tube from your hardware store that is a good 6 inches longer than the dipstick and try it down the rabbit hole....... Pretty much how the mess-less oil change gizmos work....... Just to see if it will go....... It could at least check that you have enough oil to run the engine....
If that nylon tube's durometer is anything less than that of the dipstick, I doubt very much that it will have any more successful.

I am a mountain bicyclist. I took some derailleur cable housing and tried stuffing it down there--again, no go. Feels like a solid wall, nothing's giving down there.

The tip of the dipstick is very sharp and hard; if it's not going in, anything not as hard definitely won't either. But I like your thinking.

Here is a video of me experiencing the issue. You can hear the nasty diesel-ish sound when my engine starts up. That's the sound my dealer (MINI of Mountain View) claimed is due to a low oil level (sorry, filmed in portrait on my iPhone!).

And just to make sure--nothing from the outside fell in there. I literally took the dipstick out and put it right back in, which is when I first encountered the issue.


Last edited by MiniMiAmor; 04-03-2011 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:01 PM
rusty3096 rusty3096 is offline
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Add a quart of oil and see if the motor sounds better.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:35 PM
grgramps grgramps is offline
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Can you see if the dipstick tube is still properly attached to the engine? If it has come loose, you should see oil under the car.

Otherwise, I wonder if the awful timing chain rattle may have moved something into the path to block the dipstick.

This is certainly baffling, so I hope you will post results to let us know how this is resolved.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:48 PM
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In the photo's below you can quite clearly see the route the dipstick takes, I can only think that your chain guide has broken!

Simply remove your cam cover and have a look.




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  #11  
Old 04-03-2011, 10:01 PM
MiniMiAmor MiniMiAmor is offline
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Originally Posted by czar View Post
In the photo's below you can quite clearly see the route the dipstick takes, I can only think that your chain guide has broken!

Simply remove your cam cover and have a look.
Those are enlightening photos. Do you think that's also the source of the nasty rattle?

I've taken out and replaced the dipstick quite a few times after the rattle appeared. Unless, of course, it was a degenerative issue that finally resulted in blockage of the dipstick path due to the now broken chain guide.

Can you elaborate more on "remove your cam cover"? You make it sound so easy.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:43 AM
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The "timing" is right for a tow truck trip to the dealer.......

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Old 04-04-2011, 06:08 AM
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The rattle is the tensioner and/or the timing chain with slack in it. Is it in warranty?
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:25 AM
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Enlightening indeed, I did not know the dipstick tube was formed into the chain guide. That explains the pointy ends on the dipstick, both for going in and coming out.

It does sound like the chain guide is broken, and I agree - have it towed in and fixed.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:02 AM
MiniMiAmor MiniMiAmor is offline
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The rattle has been present for a long time.

What is curious is that the car was in for warranty work on the high-pressure fuel pump when it had 52,000 miles. The repair was covered under warranty, even though it was 2,000 miles out of warranty. The dealer covered it anyway, due to their "altruism."

A few weeks later I get a recall letter informing me that the HPFPs were bad, and to take it into a dealership for a free replacement. Altruism indeed.

At the time of repair, I informed my SA about the rattle. When I got the car back, I was told it was just low oil. Now I am starting to wonder if I have a case against them. I would think since my car was out warranty, but if the repairs were done "pro bono," that I would have some leverage. But I guess the milk's spilt.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:38 AM
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Normally if you had the dealer look at an issue while it was under warranty still and the issue needs to be repaired out of warranty then its normally covered.

My 2002 GTI had a funny noise coming from the waterpump/timung belt area. I was told that it was nothing. 1k after the 5Y/50K warranty runs out its really loud and needs a water pump. Needless to say they covered it...
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:54 AM
sp_clark sp_clark is offline
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Low Oil, Huh?

My R56 seems to need a quart about every 600 miles now. I'm getting real close to 75,000 miles on the clock. Dealer said this kind of consumption is normal.

I'm careful to keep the level between the two "buttons" on the 'stick, but it still sounds like cr*p when started cold, a least for the first two or three minutes.

Anybody else have words on what kind of oil usage they're seeing? There's no obvious signs of leaks on my driveway but I do see what looks like oil blow-by at various places under the hood, mostly around hose ends & things.

Last trip dealer-side I was told I'd be needing a new transmission mount soon too. What's the $$ for replacing one of those, a grand?
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:31 AM
TheBigNewt TheBigNewt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniMiAmor View Post
The rattle has been present for a long time.

What is curious is that the car was in for warranty work on the high-pressure fuel pump when it had 52,000 miles. The repair was covered under warranty, even though it was 2,000 miles out of warranty. The dealer covered it anyway, due to their "altruism."

A few weeks later I get a recall letter informing me that the HPFPs were bad, and to take it into a dealership for a free replacement. Altruism indeed.

At the time of repair, I informed my SA about the rattle. When I got the car back, I was told it was just low oil. Now I am starting to wonder if I have a case against them. I would think since my car was out warranty, but if the repairs were done "pro bono," that I would have some leverage. But I guess the milk's spilt.
Rattle from low oil ? What's the low oil from pray tell . I think you have a problem, and it's not getting any better. Tow the sucker in there and let's get to the bottom of it. I think you have a case toward getting it fixed under warranty, but you gotta get the car torn down first.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:38 PM
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You should not be driving it at all if the chain guide is broken, the chances of doing real damage to the engine is very high if that's what's wrong.

Czar suggested pulling the valve cover and taking a look inside - you should be able to see whether it's broken or not, and it's only a few screws to remove the cover (cam cover - he called it), I think that's a good idea too.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:57 PM
MiniMiAmor MiniMiAmor is offline
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Problem repaired. It was indeed, as others surmised, the chain guide, as noted in the photos below.

I'd like to commend MINI for saving weight at the expense of durability. Brittle plastic next to a high speed-moving chain is a great combination; having little plastic pieces snagged by said chain and deposited into the dipstick shaft is even better!

My mechanic had a conversation with someone in an official MINI capacity (mechanic, service advisor, ?) and was told that this issue was addressed by a recall that only lasted until the 35k-mile mark. Strange, considering that the B-to-B warranty carries on until 50k. However, the source reiterated this fact and discrepancy.

He was also told that it's potentially a software issue, which has to do with the variable camshafts (is that the correct terminology?); if they're off-sync then it slackens/tightens the timing chain, placing undue stress on these cheap-*** plastic parts, causing the type of damage I experienced.

This I can't verify, but I was told that my motor got modified later in the model year? Mine's a March 2007 version with the turbo. Can't verify this.

The only saving grace is that my mechanic fixed this in 8.0, instead of the 14.0 as recommended in the Mitchell guide. He didn't have to drop the motor. This saved me quite a bundle.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:02 PM
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I still will never understand why the chain guide is made from crappy plastic. It's almost like they want it to fail...
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MiniMiAmor View Post
Problem repaired. It was indeed, as others surmised, the chain guide, as noted in the photos below.
That's ugly.

Thanks for the update, MiniAmor. Nice to have some closure to this thread, even though the result sucks for you. I wish more people would post the resolution to the particular problem that caused them to post in the first place. Too many of these type of threads go on and on about the problem, but then just end with no mention of the solution.

Great photos and info from other members, too. Anyone who has a similar problem in the future will have a good reference in this thread.

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Old 04-20-2011, 07:45 AM
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Very useful info and thanks for caringnough to post the picture.
Thanks
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:48 AM
Fly'n Brick Fly'n Brick is offline
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I see now that my very early suggestion was just a bit naive. Glad you're back on the road and a to 33EJB's observation.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:13 PM
MiniMiAmor MiniMiAmor is offline
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Thanks to everyone who posted, even if some of the responses were "naive."

I don't know if I should just drop it and move on, or attempt to vent some frustration and disappointment MINI USA's way. I hope an issue like this isn't incorrigible, but I do not hold hope.

Oh, and as an added bonus, I had to replace my thermostat housing (see photo below; red circle is where the lower part of the housing warped, allowing fluid to spew out) along with the water pump. My mechanic was furious at the fact that the chain guide, water pump and thermostat housing were all made out of plastic.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:13 PM
 
 
 
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