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Post Info TOPIC: Carbon Buildup Issue - Which model/engine?


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Carbon Buildup Issue - Which model/engine?


These horror stories of the maintenance issues with the MINI are scaring the heck out of me as I am looking at a 2009 Cooper Convertible with 86k miles on it.  It's the base version so I am wondering if this is a direct injection engine which seems to be the ones susceptible to this carbon issue.  I believe the engine in this MINI I am looking at is the an N12 while the turbo version is the N14?

The other issue I an concerned about is the cam tensioner issue.  Towne Mini told be that if the engine oil was properly maintained, it should not be a problem.  OK, I am going to have an mechanic check this out for me but should I also be concerned about the timing belt/chain on this as well?

I really like this vehicle and hoping that it is in good shape (it looks immaculate with the exception of a couple cosmetic things) so I can reward myself with ownership.

Comments appreciated!



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I just traded in a 2009 Clubman, non S, with 99K on it, for a 2014 Countryman, yesterday.
I've never looked up the carbon problem, so I don't know the symptoms, but we never had any running, or stalling problems.
As for the timing issue, the car was under the extended Maintenance plan out to 100K, so the oil & other wear items were always replaced when the service indicator came on.
If this car is local, Towne would have the service records, at least out to 36K included maintenance & 50K factory warranty & they would check out the vehicle for you, as a third party.


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'09 Sparkling Silver Clubman- "M" Premium Package, Piano black int, Black Jack side & rearview mirrors


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To the best of my knowledge, the carbon buildup problem is exclusive to the turbo engines. The timing chain issues (including the tensioner) is common between the turbo and non-turbo engines. Just keep an eye out for oil leaks (timing chain is on the passenger side of the vehicle) or odd noises. If you hear a rattling at startup, that goes away after a minute or two, then it could be the timing chain.

Enjoy your car and post a few pictures...

Have fun,
Mike


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As mbwicz said, the Carbon Build up issue is exclusive to the S model MINI, even though all second gen motors (n12, n14, n16 and n18) are direct injection. The timing chain issue is comes free with any 2nd gen MINI, but mostly only on the S model, more-so n14 engines, but I have still seen it in a n18 as well. Another big issue is the HPFP, as they tend to go out every few years. Anything 11' and newer (Unless John Cooper Works, then 13' and newer) is also going to get the Oil Solenoid Valve leak as a freebie. 

Recommendations: Buy a CravenSpeed dipstick, it's actually worth something. Keep oil filled, I check mine every other week. Use 93Octane, and push the gas pedal down hard when motoring.



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2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP2, 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4, 1981 Mini 998cc

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They are both Direct injected engines. The Turbo's tend to have more carbon issues than the NA. (I've had this cleaned twice already). The Little Speed Shop in Roch does a great job at a fair price. They can also scpe your intake to see how bad it is.
The Timing chain problem is now something that you do not have to pay for (as long as it '07+) as it's now a recalled part. I had one that I paid $1800 for and Mini just sent me a check with a "sorry we made a bad part and made you pay for it" letter. lol

If you're in the Buffalo area, Jason at Black Forest Motorsports is very knowledgeable and his guys do fantastic work. (I drive back to BUF from NYC to have my work done by him, he's that good)

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