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Advice on purchasing 2008 R56 Cooper S

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Advice on purchasing 2008 R56 Cooper S

Postby thecuse » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:17 pm


I hope to be the proud owner of a mini in the coming days, something which I've always wanted. I've test drove a couple of 2007/2008 R56 Cooper S over the last few days.

I have my eye on a particular 2008 Cooper S. Has a full and regular service history with Joe Duffy (although the intervals appear to be too long based on my research and advice on this forum) and has 80K miles on the clock.

The independent garage I am looking to buy it off just replaced the timing chain. I test drove it today and had no knocking or performance lag and seemed to be running very smooth and responsive. The salesman told me the mechanic said it may also need a fuel filter replaced, but said that there were no error codes coming up after the timing chain was replaced. Also no carbon build ups detected. They are providing a three-month warranty on the engine and gear box.

It is a very clean Irish Mini with one single owner from new, and seems to be very well looked after based on the condition of the interior and body work.

I have looked at how to change to oil and filter and would be happy to do this myself every 7000-10000Km, with the odd one being carried out by a garage for the stamps. I wouldn't have access to a lift, but have a small 12v battery powered oil pump to remove the engine oil. So here is what I need help on:

1. What is the best oil to use - 0W-30 or 5W-30. Is one oil filter better than another?
2. Should I be worried that the BMW/Mini recommended oil change intervals have been followed for the last 10 years?
3. If the timing chain was replaced yesterday and I change or have the oil changed every 10,000Km going forward is that enough to minimize the N14 engine issues?
4. Is there anything else I need to check with the garage before I make the final bank transfer?
5. Should I budget to proactively replace any other parts after I purchase the car to ensure longevity?

Really hope to be a mini owner by the end of the week but want to have it still running for the next 5 years.

Any help much appreciated.



Got oil service history carried out by main dealer, it is as follows:

1st Oil Service - 25,680Km
2nd Oil Service - 52,915Km (Interval 27,235Km)
3rd Oil Service - 76,565Km (Interval 23,650Km)
4th Oil Service - 93,689km (Interval 17,124Km)
5th Oil Service - 119,862Km (Interval 26,173Km)
6th Oil Service - 129,800Km (Interval 9,938Km) Timing chain replaced also.
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Re: Advice on purchasing 2008 R56 Cooper S

Postby irlmin » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:01 pm

I think reading your post you are aware of the problem with R56 S models and its the long service intervals from new . its directly responsible in a major part for the high oil consumption MINI still refuse to do early service on new MINIs and We have lots of 2015 ,2016 ,2017 MINIs coming in for 10000 km oil changes as will not get the free service until 30000km from MINI despite requesting it , so it still goes on . also MINI in the US have just been forced to do a 10 year warranty on R56 turbos ( wont happen here ) anyway your service intervals are long but typical , make sure you use a very good 05/30 oil with 7000km intervals , We use Castrol Edge titanium 05/30 in all Customer cars , as regards your car I would push for a 6 month warranty , as regards preventative maintenance I would check if rocker cover is 'updated' type as they changed in 08 and new type helps with carbon build up problems . you say no carbon was detected I assume they had the inlet manifold off as this is the only way to check this , I find it unusual not to have carbon at that mileage without intervention , some people remove the head to sort carbon We use walnut shell blasting . anyway best of luck with your purchase .
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Re: Advice on purchasing 2008 R56 Cooper S

Postby thecuse » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:07 pm

Many thanks for your advice. Very much appreciated. Just paid the deposit today but will get the contact number of their mechanic, who replaced the timing chain on Monday (Independent garage). I was speaking with the service department in Joe Duffy today (they did all of the services and vehicle checks from 2010) and they confirmed that did not have to replace any other engine parts in that time, and did not de-coke the engine.

When I say no carbon deposits detected, this is just was the sales guy told me. Their mechanic, which is a separate garage, told him they only thing he had to do was the timing chain, all else checked out apparently, but that depends on the range of the checks I suppose, but I'll get clarification on it tomorrow. Would he have to take the inlet manifold off while doing the timing chain?

How do I tell the rocker covers apart and if I have the updated rocker cover? I decoded the VIN, would this be in it? Production date is 21/11/2007 but registered in 2008. It does have this S1CBA - CO2 Package which I can't figure out what it is.

I'll buy a bottle of that Castrol oil and keep it in the boot so it's always handy.

If the garage I'm buying it off didn't check the carbon deposits and anyway do not have the walnut blaster, I'll arrange to drop down to you over the coming weeks. I'll buzz you tomorrow to get cost for same if that's OK.

Be nice to have a stroll around Cork too ;)

Many thanks again.
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