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  #1  
Old 08-17-2011, 09:29 PM
MisterClean MisterClean is offline
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Losing small amts of oil and coolant

Im typing on my new tablet so I apologize ahead of time if this is short.

First prior to my recent checkup at the dealer I noticed over the span of several months that the coolant began to get low. More specifically that it got just under the low line. They filled it up and said that was normal. Now about two months since then the fluid has dropped about a half an inch. No leaks that I can see on the ground. Now about the oil.

Second issue is that since I took it in for servicing I've noticed oil disappearing every two weeks. The first time I checked it was 1/3 quart low so I filled it up. The second time I was at the same gas station and checked it was low the same amount so I filled it up again. Now the third time I'm checking it's low again or about halfway down the dipstick. I'm perplexed as it's never done this the past year that I've owned the car and I check the oil a couple times a month. I only drive about 300 miles between fill ups and 1/3 quart oil every two weeks seems excessive. Again no evidence that it's leaking on the driveway and the muffler is clean between washings.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why both these fluids are disappearing especially considering the car was just checked a couple months ago.

Any ideas before I call the dealership and they either tell me it's normal or I take out time for them to look at the car?
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2011, 04:37 AM
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Minibeagle Minibeagle is offline
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I have a 2002 MCS and have always noticed that oil level goes down on its own. After reading quite a few threads, I have come to realize that it's supposed to be normal in the older MC models.

However, I have noticed this summer that I too am experiencing a drop in coolant level. No leaks. Just that coolant level in the overflow tank drops a little and that I need to top it off. I don't get it. Weird.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:00 AM
Minidrivr Minidrivr is offline
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My 07 MCS has a similar coolant loss. Dealer says they've pressure tested it and there's no leaks. I think there's probably a leak somewhere that is so small the coolant burns off before it drips down and becomes easily visible but that's just my theory. I've never had any other vehicle "use" coolant like this. There's no coolant in the oil either.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:57 AM
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Minibeagle Minibeagle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minidrivr View Post
There's no coolant in the oil either.
Same here
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:15 PM
MisterClean MisterClean is offline
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I forgot to mention that the dealership pressure tested the cooling system and it passed with flying colors. All I can figure is that my change in commute coupled with the hotter temps is causing this to happen. Ill continue too monitor the fluids and add where needed.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:19 AM
KochDeutsch KochDeutsch is offline
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Sorry to revive, but did you ever find out what was causing this? My 2007 MCS is giving me all sorts of headaches right now including coolant loss.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:47 AM
Minidrivr Minidrivr is offline
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Had mine back at the dealer again for this. In 4k miles the coolant level goes from just above the "high" line on the reservoir tank to the "low" line. Dealer pressure tested and found no leaks. They also did a visual inspection and didn't find any leaks. They claim it's normal; "some engines use small amounts of oil and coolant". But again no coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant. No other cars I've owned use coolant, including my daily driver with 250k+ miles. My car runs fine so I don't worry about it. I keep a gallon of Mini's coolant on hand to top it off now and then.
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:17 PM
MisterClean MisterClean is offline
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Originally Posted by Minidrivr View Post
Had mine back at the dealer again for this. In 4k miles the coolant level goes from just above the "high" line on the reservoir tank to the "low" line. Dealer pressure tested and found no leaks. They also did a visual inspection and didn't find any leaks. They claim it's normal; "some engines use small amounts of oil and coolant". But again no coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant. No other cars I've owned use coolant, including my daily driver with 250k+ miles. My car runs fine so I don't worry about it. I keep a gallon of Mini's coolant on hand to top it off now and then.
Wow your story sounds just like mine. Nah I havent had any new revelations. The coolant is again on the decline but I put my car on a lift and looked for 15 mins. Couldnt find any leaks or signs of leaks. Guess it's normal...maybe thats why it's lifetime fluid....because you always have to fill it

I'm just going to let it get reasonably low and take it in to get checked out.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:58 PM
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The coolant is (obviously) going somewhere. The most common trouble spot is a thermostat housing/gasket leak. These are plastic and tend to warp over time. Coolant loss will be very small at first and will tend to evaporate off of a hot engine before it can be detected. You did not find any residual evidence near the thermostat, like white crusty-looking mineral deposits?

Also, check out the expansion tank itself. Though less often discussed, I have heard of the cap having issues. If you are somewhat diligent about engine bay cleanliness, you could be wiping out the evidence every time you detail the MINI as this will also be a rather slow leak.

The down side is that a pressure check (if they actually performed it) should have caught either of these issues. IMO, the dealer should have kept the MINI until this little mystery was explained.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:52 PM
KochDeutsch KochDeutsch is offline
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FYI, I found the source of my problem. I'm losing coolant through cylinder #3.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:56 PM
MisterClean MisterClean is offline
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Originally Posted by KochDeutsch View Post
FYI, I found the source of my problem. I'm losing coolant through cylinder #3.
You mentioned that you had all kinds of issues including the coolant loss. What were the other issues? How did u find out that was the issue?
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:53 AM
SooperCuperErik SooperCuperErik is offline
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Would like more details as well please. I've been consuming oil and coolant too. The oil consumption occured once before and was solved by replacing a warped valve cover due to excessive heat. The coolant has always slowly dropped since it was new. So I'm hoping its a valve cover again, but am afraid its the cylinder.

Is cyl #3 the 2nd from the passenger side? Pulling the coilpack for this one reveals a "rusty" looking surface on the coilpack... which may be dried/burnt oil. This may be evidence that it is from the valve cover not sealing properly
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:43 PM
KochDeutsch KochDeutsch is offline
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Regarding the lost coolant:
I'm losing about 1 to 1.5 fl. oz. of coolant per day (~50 miles per day) with no apparent leaks. Reservoir, cap, hoses, connections, and thermostat housing all look good. I pressure tested the cooling system at 15psi and saw a slight drop in pressure vs. time. After seeing that, I pulled the spark plugs and ran a borescope into the cylinders. I could see a small pool of water building on one of the pistons. So with a reasonable amount of certainty, I feel that a new head gasket (and possible milling of the head) will solve my problem. Hopefully it's not a crack in the block. Whatever it is, it's minor for the time being. It doesn't sound like a typical blown head gasket. I've been babying the car since the replacement parts have not yet arrived. I can confirm with pictures after I pull the head.

I called cylinder #3 the third one from the passenger side; it may not be.

Regarding my other issues:
I believe I have an elongated timing chain. I got the cold start rattle...once. I'm going to just do the work at the same time as the new head gasket (also going to clean up any carbon as well while everything is apart and on a bench).

I also had multple lights on my dash. Brake, DCS, ABS, airbag, and service. All of these were the result of bad front wheel speed sensors. I don't know what happens when one goes bad, but when the two front ones go bad together, the car goes into limp mode and the dashboard becomes really pissed off.

I also have a bad throwout bearing.

Not bad for a month of ownership!
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:05 AM
SooperCuperErik SooperCuperErik is offline
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Are you lowered or tuned?

The lowering can cause your speed sensors to rub against rotating parts, thats what happened to mine. Luckily once my light came on for the first time I looked and found it, wrapped it up in electrical tape and zip tied it out of the way. Never came back on

As for the coolant, if you look around you'll see people with blown piston rings/skirts etc. If you're seeing coolant pool you may want to run a compression or leak down test. The tolerances from the piston-cylinder wall gap is slightly too large and with the carbon build up can cause hot spots when running high boost (even seen at stock levels of peak boost), and all it takes is some detonation or the hot spot to cause the piston to fail.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:54 AM
KochDeutsch KochDeutsch is offline
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Not lowered. I put 225s on the car and, out of habit, zip tied (tightly) the sensor wires to avoid any rubbing, inadvertently damaging the very item I was trying to protect. Everything appears to be clear and not in danger of rubbing any more. I'll reevaluate after I get coilovers, but that's at least a few months down the road.

Not tuned. I will look into the piston issue you mentioned. Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:09 PM
MisterClean MisterClean is offline
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bump

Still having steady but slow loss of oil and coolant. Work has been draining on me and I dont want to run up to the dealer yet. Think I will just fill them and continue to monitor.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:04 PM
MisterClean MisterClean is offline
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*update*

Took my car to the MINI dealership for the second time regarding the issue with the coolant mysteriously disappearing after 6 months. Basically they came back and said that the pressure test came back good again. They questioned why I brought it back again after only 6 months...almost as if I'm inconveniencing them. I told them that it was full and 6 months later it's down to minimum again and that the coolant has to be going somewhere. They tried to fluff me over by saying that the coolant will lower when the engine is hot...I'm sorry but if I check my coolant religiously every other week, when the engine is hot, and it ONLY gets lower and never raises...it's going somewhere.

*Sigh* As I write this I'm getting increasingly annoyed that this isn't being resolved. They are using the pressure test as a reason to not further investigate. I have serious issues ahead about whether I will extend the warranty because of this issue and if I'll continue to pursue this coolant issue. I don't know what else I can do but continue driving and monitoring the issue.

Otherwise my car is very reliable thus far...which is why I don't really want to get an extended warranty. For 2-3K dollars I could just get a newer car and it would work out the same.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:44 AM
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Mr Clean,
I have the exact same problem with my 2007 MCS. First dealor said coolant problem was a leaky hose which I think now is BS as they didn't want to fix the more expensive problem under warranty or misdiagnosed it or had multiple problems. So, I took it to another dealer and they say its a leaky seal to the water pump which is to cost $800 at dealer (on sale) and $600 elsewhere. So, it's a minor problem and will just fill with regular coolant (can buy special mini coolant but it will work fine) when needed. After having the timing chain tensioner, guard rail and chain replaced my oil consumption has continued to be excessive. Excessive oil consumption started and has increased since the timing chain repair. The symptions of the timing chain tensioner continued after the repair and I took it back to the dealer and they said all is ok (I'm skeptical). I consume a 1/2 quart oil every 2 weeks and its black black black (undetermined smell). The dealer said to bring it back and he thinks it might be cooking off which I seriously doubt because I would smell it. It doesn't smoke so I suspect its the turbo or somehow associated with the timing chain problem (which they probably doin't want to fix again for free). My dealor has been pretty good but a pain to drive an hour to get there and have it in the shop every 4-6 months. Beware, the dealer will say that normal consumption is 7/8 of a quart every 3k. I think this is BS however, i do concede that a turbo can use more oil. Another thing which I'm pondering is how the vaulve condensation/deposits affect the oil consumption problem. Let me know how it goes with you.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:19 PM
SooperCuperErik SooperCuperErik is offline
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Has anyone with a bad thermostat housing / losing coolant experienced your car not hitting target boost values? I'm fighting either a boost leak right now or its the thermostat playing games with the ECU, but I'm seeing about 3-4 psi under target, on tuned and stock files.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:09 PM
MisterClean MisterClean is offline
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Looked at the manual for the car and it says this about having to top off coolant....

"6. Have the reason for the coolant loss eliminated as soon as possible."

It's taken from the section about checking the coolant level. I find it interesting that the dealership can say that it's normal and yet the manual seems to indicate that it isn't. So which is it?
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:29 AM
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My 07 justa seems to always loose a small amount of coolant over time. I noticed it was down yesterday. I've had the water pump replaced after coming out to the car and finding a puddle under it. The water pump seemed to take care of it for a while, so I'm assuming its something to do with the water pump again developing a very small leak, which over time will get bigger. Bummer. Hopefully it will fail within the two year part warranty.

I never lose any oil. I had it changed yesterday at its normal 5000 mile interval and the dipstick showed completely full. I've added no oil since the last change.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:15 AM
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I've had the same minor issues with my coolant since my MINI was delivered back in '09. Nearly every single visit to the MINI dealership for service has included them checking the system for a coolant leak because it drops from max to below min so quickly. I would estimate that I'm topping it off every 4-6 months depending on how much I'm driving. The dealership has said that there isn't anything wrong and that this is normal for MINIs. My SA congratulated me on being so vigilant. I don't know what to think. My dad's '05 MCS never has required this much coolant and none of our other cars need it.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:15 AM
 
 
 
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