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Mini R56 petrol engine issues

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Mini R56 petrol engine issues

Postby marcos_94 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:45 pm

Hi All,

This is my first post so ill introduce the car! It is my girlfriends 2010 Mini Cooper Mayfair 1.6l petrol (i believe its the N12B16 engine). Over the past 6 months or so she has had a strange issue where when coming to a stop, and engaging the clutch, the car cuts out. This doesnt happen all the time. We had noticed that it was drinking a bit of oil but from my own experiences with BMW engines over the years, I didnt think it was abnormal or excessive (maybe 1 litre every 2000km).

I taught her how to use my BMW diagnostic reader and it was throwing two codes; 1) related to the Brake vacuum pressure sensor, and then another related to the Vanos exhaust actuator movement. These two codes never appeared at the same time. She brought it into her local mechanic in Cork city (not a mini specialist) who came back with the following diagnosis:

"Essentially there is metal filings in the engine. The oil on the dipstick is clean but the oil in the
engine has metal filings. The oil pressure is way too high. It’s idling at 5bar when 1bar is normal. Said this is disturbing. The vanos units also have the metal filings in them. They swapped them around and it’s running okay currently. But they said they high pressure is like high blood pressure my car is essentially heading for a heart attack. They said it’s going to have a catastrophic failure at some point. They value the car at €2500 and said that the cost to fix the oil pressure is unknown and it could cost more than the car


Now, this was a concerning diagnosis. I asked her to contact the BMW specialist that I have used and she has used in Dublin (bloomfield garage) who are also very knowledgable on minis who said based on what the other garage said, it sounded like one of two things; 1) vanos motors are breaking up 2) timing chain (not the casue as I have plenty of experience with timing chain failure.....).They said they would have a proper look next time shes home.

My question for the community is what to do from here? Is sourcing a replacement engine difficult if the diagnosis proves to be as dire as first thought? How much should she expect to pay for a replacement engine? Any and all advice is welcome!

Thanks in advance for your help
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Re: Mini R56 petrol engine issues

Postby irlmin » Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:45 pm

The brake sensor is linked to the stop start system and if faulty the stop start won't work , oil consumption is a major problem caused by totally inadequate service intervals in the 1st 3 years of life . change oil every 10000km and you will not have major issues , however your issue is poor running , I doubt anyone tried to swap the vanos units around as they are NOT interchangable , I presume they meant the vanos solionoids , it is quiet common to find debris and dirt on the filters of these units which will cause issues like poor running . I would 1st do an oil pressure check from cold and allow engine to warm and record pressure changes , the usual problem is low oil pressure, was the pressure measured with a 'mechanical' gauge ? as 5 bar is very unusual . Oil consumption can be reduced and we do lots of them and are successful if caught in time . as regards a replacement engine there are a few options inc rebuild your own or Our preference an exchange engine from a reputable engine remanufacturer with a warranty . sometimes you can be lucky and get a decent secondhand engine as these were used until mid 2014 . anyway if there is anything I can do let me know .
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Re: Mini R56 petrol engine issues

Postby marcos_94 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:00 pm

irlmin wrote:The brake sensor is linked to the stop start system and if faulty the stop start won't work , oil consumption is a major problem caused by totally inadequate service intervals in the 1st 3 years of life . change oil every 10000km and you will not have major issues , however your issue is poor running , I doubt anyone tried to swap the vanos units around as they are NOT interchangable , I presume they meant the vanos solionoids , it is quiet common to find debris and dirt on the filters of these units which will cause issues like poor running . I would 1st do an oil pressure check from cold and allow engine to warm and record pressure changes , the usual problem is low oil pressure, was the pressure measured with a 'mechanical' gauge ? as 5 bar is very unusual . Oil consumption can be reduced and we do lots of them and are successful if caught in time . as regards a replacement engine there are a few options inc rebuild your own or Our preference an exchange engine from a reputable engine remanufacturer with a warranty . sometimes you can be lucky and get a decent secondhand engine as these were used until mid 2014 . anyway if there is anything I can do let me know .
G


Hi G,

Thanks for the response and the information. I can add a bit more information now as I was down with the car this past weekend and drove it up to Dublin.

So, the issue with the stop start appears to be quite strange in its occurrence. It occurs maybe 5 minutes after a cold start. My girlfriend told me that once it has cut out, if you fully turn the car off and re start the car, it wont cut out for the rest of the day. I can now say that this occurred to me and once I turned it off, it did not come back at all both when driving back to Dublin, and same again this morning when i dropped it into the garage. So my gut feeling is that there is a faulty sensor which is leading to this bizarre behaviour.

With regards to the running of the engine itself, the car is driving beautifully at the moment. I can say that I drove home and the car pulls very well, theres no hesitation, and no funny sounds per se from the engine. It sounds healthy, and di not burn a load of oil on the drive home yesterday. I cant quite remember the service intervals for the Mini but it has full service history (but I do know that the BMW/Mini intervals are quite ridiculous in length).

Im not sure how they measured the pressure in the other garage so will wait and see what Bloomfield say. They initially said upon hearing the Cork garage diagnosis that they thought it was potentially the VANOS motor breaking up in it so will see what they think now that they can get a look at the car,

How much would an engine replacement be for the Mini, just to know to compare it with the potential repair cost. PM me if you prefer. I will be sure to send her with the Mini with any other issues to you down in Cork in the future as i now think shes learned the importance of using a specialist garage rather than a normal garage!
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Re: Mini R56 petrol engine issues

Postby marcos_94 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:41 pm

Just to update all in case anyone has similar issues, we got the oil pump replaced and the inlet VANOS solenoid and it appeared to help for a day, then went back to cutting out when coming to a stop. Good thing was that the oil pressures were now back to normal.

Threw in my Carly scanner and saw some fault codes associated with the exhaust VANOS solenoid so went back and got that replaced too and the mini is back to driving normally again! Drove it home through Dublins terrible city centre traffic and no issues at all in stop start traffic.

Hopefully this helps others! Now to get my BMW back from the girlfriend.....
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