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R60 Timing Chain “death rattle”

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Old 02-14-2019, 04:26 PM
horsedragon
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Timing Chain “death rattle”

Hi All, I posted about this last month, but I own a 2012 Mini Cooper countryman S ALL 4 with N18 engine and believe I am experiencing a “timing chain rattle”. I was wondering if anyone knew any of the death rattle symptoms so I can compare the noises. I’ve tried to post the video but could not figure out how to
 
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:09 AM
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Upload to youtube and post the link here.
How often the oil is serviced? What's the mileage?
 
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by horsedragon View Post
Hi All, I posted about this last month, but I own a 2012 Mini Cooper countryman S ALL 4 with N18 engine and believe I am experiencing a “timing chain rattle”. I was wondering if anyone knew any of the death rattle symptoms so I can compare the noises. I’ve tried to post the video but could not figure out how to
For what its worth, shortly after I bought my 11 justa Countryman with 130k miles, I also kept thinking I had the dreaded death rattle everyone talks about. So I bought a new chain, cartridge, etc, and when I got it opened up, everything looked perfect and brand-new inside. Puzzled, but pleased, I buttoned it back up.

But it still had a "sewing machine/rattle"... Anyway, long story short (through the belt tensioner, friction wheel, etc) I finally found it was the water pump wheel had turned loose of some rubber coating causing potholes on the friction surface...

I'm just an owner of an '06 Mini with 260k miles and my Countryman now has 220k and I do all my own mechanical work (so I'm not a pro), but my sense is that that timing chain weakness was only for specific models and/or earlier years.

Howard
 
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:08 AM
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I have around 55,000 miles.
Service history:

around 51,000 miles I had the oil changed and other multi point inspections completed.

At 54,000 miles I had the battery changed and oil topped off.

buying the car in 2017: I try to change the oil every 5-8,000 miles

Based on the vehicles service history, the Cranckshaft seal was replaced once.

This might help: my check engine light is not illuminated

and the noise only appears during cold starts, and goes away after about a minute.
 

Last edited by horsedragon; 02-15-2019 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by HowardH View Post
For what its worth, shortly after I bought my 11 justa Countryman with 130k miles, I also kept thinking I had the dreaded death rattle everyone talks about. So I bought a new chain, cartridge, etc, and when I got it opened up, everything looked perfect and brand-new inside. Puzzled, but pleased, I buttoned it back up.

But it still had a "sewing machine/rattle"... Anyway, long story short (through the belt tensioner, friction wheel, etc) I finally found it was the water pump wheel had turned loose of some rubber coating causing potholes on the friction surface...

I'm just an owner of an '06 Mini with 260k miles and my Countryman now has 220k and I do all my own mechanical work (so I'm not a pro), but my sense is that that timing chain weakness was only for specific models and/or earlier years.

Howard
More power to you for being able to do your own mechanical work. I wish I had the same mechanical ability. The most I can do, is check the oil, change and check tires, add car fluids, and read check engine light codes.

how has your countryman been holding up? What kind of repairs have you had to make?
 

Last edited by horsedragon; 02-15-2019 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by horsedragon View Post


More power to you for being able to do your own mechanical work. I wish I had the same mechanical ability. The most I can do, is check the oil, change and check tires, add car fluids, and read check engine light codes.

how has your countryman been holding up? What kind of repairs have you had to make?
We've really like it - and the 2006 Mini R56. On the '06 (with 260k), the only thing we've done is put a power steering pump on it, but now it has started leaving the rear lights on all the time - which means (I think) that the control computer has failed. It is so dog-eared on everything else, though, not sure whether to put much money into it, but it sure was reliable until the computer/lights issue (the kids got some water inside the cabin, which I think exacerbated that issue ).

On the '11 Countryman - it is just the base model, so it is not a race car, but we put 2-3 belts on it, the belt tensioner, and the friction wheel for the belt, before I finally realized it was the water pump pulling wearing out that caused all that belt trouble. But recently, at 215k, the O-ring behind the water pump started leaking, so I replaced it. And I should have just replaced the thermostat housing at the same time, since that has to come off to get to the back water pipe and O-ring - since shortly after that issue, the temp sensor on the thermostat failed.

In diagnosing the thermostat with an OBD reader, I also realized the mass air flow sensor is not reporting in properly, so I need to get that settled.

I also put rear struts on - since the rear tires got to wearing sort of scalloped - that really helped smooth out the tire wear. Other than that, its been a really trouble-free car.

On your engine noise, you might wait until dark - and then start the motor with the hood up - and shine a bright flashlight down on the belt tensioner and make sure the belt isn't bouncing around. If it is, that could possibly point you to whats causing some of your noise.

I don't have a lot of data points to refer to - and I know there is a lot of chatter about "timing chain rattle" - but all I can say is I probably had about 160K or so on mine when I opened it up - and my timing chain, tensioners, guides, etc, all still looked brand new. So unless you've really had some bad luck, that sounds like really low miles to me for that sort of problem.

Howard
 
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:40 AM
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These engines are generally just loud and rattle-y. Our 2016 with 20k miles makes a rattling noise on start up for the first minute or so. Every single one we test drove was loud and rattled.
 
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:37 PM
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is this what it should sound like? This is 2012 countryman 133k
 
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by horsedragon View Post

Hi All, I posted about this last month, but I own a 2012 Mini Cooper countryman S ALL 4 with N18 engine and believe I am experiencing a “timing chain rattle”. I was wondering if anyone knew any of the death rattle symptoms so I can compare the noises. I’ve tried to post the video but could not figure out how to
I just had mine replaced due to a tensioner that was obliterated (thank god for extended warranty. Keep your receipts if you have one!!). I think the best way to tell how bad it is, is by getting the chain measured/checked. The sound of mind crept up on me so I never really noticed via the noise it was making.

Good luck!
 
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:31 AM
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It sounds fine.... these little engines are noise makers for sure. There are a couple of things going on. First of all, the direct injection system that they use is noisy... very diesel sounding in a way. The other thing you might be hearing, especially on a cold start, is the wastegate rattling a little bit if you have an S. They issued a technical service bulletin about it a few years ago because a lot of people were common complaining about the noise. It is normal..... when your timing chain starts to make noise, you will know it. And it should probably be throwing codes as well.
No worry, drive it like you stole it! They need the old “Italian tune-up” now and then!
 
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:46 AM
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Mine was stretched and not throwing any codes so I'd still be a little careful. I'm not sure what the shop charges to measure a chain for stretch but I would imagine that would still be the best bet.
 
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