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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,154 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Mini Cooper engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #49

Apr 012014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 77,500 miles


Noticed decreased acceleration performance and visibly noticed leaking oil from the top of the turbo system next to the heat shield after returning home after a drive on the freeway. MINIdealer identified the problem as a turbo oil feed line leak. Noticed on NHTSA forums that this is a common issue with MINIowners and could become a fire hazard under the hood if not detected and quickly repaired.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #48

Mar 212014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The thermostat failed, the temperature elevated, the freeze plug fell out/broke out of place causing the head gasket to blow out. The coolant leaked into the oil and caused it to become "milky" therefore blowing out my engine. I was driving on the freeway at the time of the incident and the car failed to accelerate. Luckily people were kind enough to let me pass from the far left lane to the nearest exit and I did not crash.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #47

Mar 022012


  • 40,000 miles
I purchased a 2009 MINICooper with 16,000 miles in December 2011 through a dealership. In the spring of 2012 the car sat in my driveway overnight. The next morning both windows were completely down. It had rained 5 inches during the night and the pie was an aquarium. I had just had an oil change at a MINIdealership so I called the dealership and was told I had to have it towed to them. The dealer refused to take responsibility for the water damage. The computer was replaced and paid for through a claim on my insurance policy. I told my insurance company to not pay the claim because there was a malfunction of the car. After the computer was replaced the windows again lowered on their own Accord but this time they only went down half way. The dealer then said they reinitialized the computer. Since then the car has randomly stalled while driving in houston, merging onto the freeways, while driving in stop and go traffic and while driving at slow speeds. I took the car to another MINIdealer in houston and they kept the car but claimed it never stalled when they drove it. The car continued to stall randomly. Each time the car stalled I took it to the dealer and after numerous times of being told there were no codes shown by reading the fob I quit taking the car to them. The car continued to randomly stall. In March 2014 the car stalled in 4:00pm traffic while I topped an overpass on a Friday. After a wrecker towed the car to a mechanic the diagnosis is a blown head gasket. I have not gotten a second opinion and have not had it fixed yet. This MINICooper truly has serious problems and is a hazard to be on the road. I no longer drive the MINIwill never drive another MINIand I no longer have to say a prayer before I get in my car. I hope the NHTSA can provide some assistance with this situation.

- Texas City, TX, USA

problem #46

Mar 052014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper. The contact stated while starting the vehicle, parts of the engine sound as if they were loose. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and the technician confirmed that the timing chain assembly was defective. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure and current mileage were 60,000. Updated 06/10/14

- Duluth, MN, USA

problem #45

Feb 282014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, a loud popping noise was heard from the engine before the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the timing belt had malfunctioned. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #44

Feb 062014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Driving on 405 fwy in southern California turning out of freeway off ramp in the pouring rain. The car dead stopped. Very dangerous, cars coming off freeway behind me was a 911 situation. After someone pushed me off to the side of the road had car towed. No engine light warning to indicate problem of tensioner (timing chain breakage). Entire engine was replaced/rebuilt because of extensive damage to engine. BMW apparently is aware of the timing chain defect and has not issued service bulletin or recall. I'm hearing there is a class action suit because of the many complaints. The fact that I could have very easily been killed or seriously injured is why I am issuing a complaint (not to mention my bill for $6200 I have on my credit card) and the three weeks it took to fix. Naturally I was 6 months out of my warranty.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #43

Jan 102014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles


Turbo oil feed line leak, oil filter housing gasket which is costing me close to 1200$.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #42

Jan 162014


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper S. the contact stated that coolant was leaking from the radiator. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was repaired by the previous owner under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V008000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 44,000.

- Bullhead City, AZ, USA

problem #41

Jan 032014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
My car has been leaking oil and the dealership determined it was due to the timing chain tensioner. They are charging $357.98 to have it fixed. My car was purchased brand new and has only 50,000 miles on it. As soon as my 4-year warranty expired, my car has been in the shop multiple times due to engine issues. Services that have been performed at 50,000 miles: 1. thermostat is leaking coolant- $ $671.99 2. water-pump also leaking coolant- $661.20 3. coolant flush- $169.80 I use only premium gas for my car, perform regular oil changes, and maintain my car meticulously. These problems should not be occurring after 4.5 years of driving. I believe that MINIproduces faulty cars that do not last, have absolutely zero reliability, and then charges an exorbitant amount to fix something that should have not been broken in the first place.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #40

Dec 262013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
Known issues: Timing chain and intake valves. Engine light came on at approx 40,000 miles. Dealership diagnosed 2 issues that seem to be known recurring issues for this make/model: Carbonized intake valves requiring cleaning, and replace timing chain. This bill will cost over $2600. Several complaints have appeared for intake value buildup and also for the timing chain issues. Internet searches show this as a common issue and also a known issue by BMW MINIThis should have been a recall as they knowingly sold these defected cars in 2009. With only 40K miles to date, I plan to keep this car for at least 4 more years. May not be possible with bills like this one.

- Avondale, PA, USA

problem #39

Dec 082013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles


Fire did not occur, but there is a risk. Many MINIcooper models with turbochargers are experiencing a leaky oil feed line to the turbo after approximately 25,000 miles. Due to a poorly insulated rubber gasket. It is a manufacturing flaw, but MINIhas failed to acknowledge the issue. This is a fire risk. The oil is allowed to leak into the engine bay, and it can destroy the engine because MINIcoopers do not have an oil sensor.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #38

Nov 292013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,230 miles
Was told by mechanic at dealership timing chain tensioner had been replaced while in for service in past but now it needs replaced another employee 2 days later says no record of it. I need to pay full amount. Too early for timing chain replacement to be required in a decent car. Defect. Needs recall.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

problem #37

Dec 022013


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving approximately 45 mph with the illumination of the check engine warning light. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The technician stated that the water pump would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000. The VIN was not available.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #36

Nov 222013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I started the car and a loud rattling noise came from the engine. I drove about 5 miles and the oil check light came on. I decided to take it to a jiffy lube that was within 2 miles and then the engine light came on. By the time I got to jiffy lube the car didn't have any oil left. The car was serviced by the MINIdealer only 4 months prior. Had the car towed 1 1/2 hours to the nearest MINIdealer. Most of the damage was caused by the timing tensioner chain. The dealer said MINIwould cover those repairs but the turbo oil feed line was leaking too and I would have to pay for that. It cost me $900. I asked if the car had a heat on it and he said no but that I don't really need one. I thought there had been a service bulletin put out specifically because of the heat from the turbo causing this issue but he said it had nothing to do with it.

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #35

Nov 212013


  • 85,000 miles
I was driving home from work on 21 November 2013 when the check engine light on my MINIcame on. I called the dealer to schedule the appointment. By the time I got off the phone with the dealer, the light turned off. Around 5 miles further down the road the light came back on and then the car erupted in flames. I am unsure where else to file a complaint but I thought I would begin here.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #34

Oct 212013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Fuel leak A/P MINIservice; not covered by extended warranty; after extensive research advised service representative of the reported design flaw in crimp device holding oil line connecting to turbo. Advised by independent mechanic turbo unit defective, needs replacement. MINIof fairfield returned vehicle in an unsafe manner with stripped bolts and improper placement of oil pan. After calling BMW of North America MINIof fairfield decided to change oil lines without changing turbo unit. On driving vehicle noticed smoke coming from hood; vehicle revving in park, and a metallic sound coming from under vehicle; returned to MINIservice and after further evaluation (diagnostic fee $100)I was advised that car is safe to drive; I tried 2 different MINIservice departments neither would replace turbo unit considering the fire hazard as reported.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #33

Aug 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 31,059 miles
Check engine light came on....excessive carbon build up. Happened again at 68K miles....

- Fountain Hills, AZ, USA

problem #32

Nov 062013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
I purchased this car with 24K miles on it. It now has a little over 28K miles. It has been starting and running just fine, until the weather turned colder. Now if the car sits outside for a few hours with the temp below about 45 degrees, the engine rattles and sounds horrible when I first start it. This is a very loud rattle coming from the passenger side of the engine. The noise is so bad that I am afraid to drive the car until it warms up and the sound goes away. After a little research online, I am shocked to see how many people have this problem and that it is the timing chain tensioner and guide system. I wish I had researched these cars before making a purchase because now I own an expensive problem.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #31

Aug 252013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
The vacuum pump (attached to exhaust cam shaft) on my 2009 MINICooper jcw seized on the highway in moving traffic (luckily in the right hand lane) - vacuum pump seizer led to exhaust cam shaft failure, which led to multiple engine part failure / engine puncture (destroyed engine and timing chain): Destroyed engine = no power in moving traffic = serious hazard.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #30

Oct 252013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 63,931 miles
Timing chain broke..I was driving on the road on my way home coming to a stop sign slowing my speed luckily to make a left turn when I heard an awful noise coming from the engine. I tried making my left turn when the light turned green and it started sputtering very slowly moving. I made it home sputtering..luckily was close to home otherwise I would had to have it towed. After some long and frustrating troubleshooting from a nice neighbor, he found out that the timing chain had broken causing several other problems. He also found out that it had very little or no oil. Which I had no indication from the car computer that it was even low. This may have contributed to the timing chain problem but again I had no car indication. It will cost me at least $7000 for cost and labor to fix since it is not under warranty or not even sure if it's covered...this is my 3rd MINIfirst one was a leased one and I upgraded to a MINIS when the lease was over and leased another one. I bought this one when the second lease was over..ever since I bought this one..I have had so many problems with the engine. Everything is documented on how many times I have taken it very disappointed with this one!!!!

- Kapolei, HI, USA

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