Mini solves the r56 cold start issue motoring alliance emitra electricity bill payment


[IMGL][/IMGL] The Death rattle. It’s a story we’ve been following closely on MF since 2007 and a topic many of you have been extremely concerned about. Last year we posted a lengthy expose on the topic that you can read here. But for owners affected, this news will bring a huge sigh of relief.

The cold start issue has been a common theme popping up in the Faults and Fixes threads on various MINI forums. Specifically, MCS owners complaining about a peculiarly loud engine rattle on start-up. Now the R56 is an “interesting†sounding engine to begin with. The direct fuel injection solenoids give the car a very diesel-esque sound at idle. But this is a very different sound altogether.

BMW has determined that the cold start rattle was/is being caused by the timing chain tensioner (which is in turn powered by an oil-pressurized piston). More specifically the sound is caused when the tensioner piston doesn’t extend all the way (or at all) which then allows the timing chain to come in contact with the guides on the engine cover.

After two years of research into the issue MINI now has official repair information at dealers that will eliminate the issue. The PuMA measure number that will need to be referenced is 10686850-13 (we’ve seen 10686850-12 mentioned but we believe 13 is the latest) and the part number is According to the information we’ve seen, all cars affected in with the issue will get a new timing chain, chain guides and cam sprockets.

At this stage MINI is handling this on a case by case basis when the owner complains about the sound. We’re guessing they would like to steer clear of something along the lines of a recall (voluntary or otherwise) due to the cost of the service. However don’t be surprised to see and hear more about this issue and the official fix soon.

I had my Mini into the dealership for the "death rattle" issue 4 times while under warranty. They orginally said they couldn’t duplicate it and then said the noise was "normal". Finally they admitted the rattle was not normal and replaced the timing chain tensioner twice (15 days apart). The service department assured me that when Mini found a "fix" Mini would back their product and I would be covered, in or out of warranty. Well, after driving 40,000 miles with a bad timing chain….I had to pay for the $850.00 labor to replace it. My engine now has a cold start "knocking" and I am not convinced that my engine is not damaged. I also had my car to the dealership multiple times for the sunroof. The tech lubricated it once and all other visits told me they could not duplicate. Now out of warranty, the sunroof was stuck open on one side. I declined to pay the $3,840.00 to repair it. I now have a sunroof that doesn’t work at all! I see many other Mini owners are having the same issues. Mini Customer Service said they have supplied me with $1,000.00 in parts to replace the timing chain and will do nothing more. Mini Customer Service said they would supply the parts for the sunroof….ONLY if I have the dealership do maintenance repairs that I have already had done…..I was not willing to pay for the same maintenance twice! Any advise on who I can contact to examine my engine and resolve my sunroof issue? I love my MINI. I’m afraid I will have to trade it because Mini has not backed it’s product or valued me as a customer.

I asked myself why the dealer had to replace an oil pan seal that wasn’t leaking and that there hadn’t been a trace of oil pan leakage in my garage since I bought this car? As you know by Invoice “1mcs32953” work performed on 9/11/13 by Ontario Mini, repaired this alleged pan gasket failure along with a defective thermostat and engine valve gasket. This work was authorized and subsidized by your agency.

I have since contacted you concerning Mr. , Ontario Mini Service Advisor’s advice that I would be returning for replacement of the timing chain and plastic chain guides under a recall associated with this problem, the diagnosis ie. “Cold start death rattle”.

In prior correspondence to you and your phone operators, I have petition your authorization for this correction to be performed as soon as possible given my justifiable concern that a major catastrophic engine failure may ensue with continued operation of my Mini. Though cold start “death rattle” is not yet consistent with each start of my vehicle it does occur with a disturbing level of consistency.

This problem has plagues me and consequently I have researched on the Internet other Mini owner suffering the “Diagnosed Death Rattle cold start problem”. What is evident now is a common practice of having the customer’s oil pan gasket serviced in order to remove plastic fragments from a defective chain guide’s premature deterioration.