hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,369 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.

2007 Mini Cooper engine problems

engine problem

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2007 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #49

Jul 022013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles


I took my car into my local shop and had oil change, new battery, tires rotated and alignment.they could a noise from the engine and they checked it out. Call me to inform me that I had to take to the MINIcooper dealership because the timing chain needed to be replace. I called MINIcooper and spoke to [xxx] at the houston dealership momentum MINIShe informed me that the cost would be anywhere from 4000 to 10,000 dollars. I explained to her I had the car for 1 year and have any driven 6000 miles in a year. After doing research I noticed that other people where having the same issues with there MINII purchased this car with 39,126 miles on it and my daily drive to work is a quarter mile if that. Please help !!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #48

Jun 172013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
While in idle and any RPM, a rattle/growling sound could be heard coming from under the timing chain housing of the engine. When shifting it was harder to place into gear without grinding and very easy to miss a gear when shifting. Master mechanic diagnosed this has a failing/failed timing chain. A new timing chain was installed, costing me $1,400. One week after being fixed the same sound is arising from the time chain housing and need to be taken back in for a new chain yet again. This is not the first time the timing chain has been replaced on this MINIcooper, it is just the 1st while I have been the owner of the car and seems to be an ongoing issue with it.

- Lake Mary, FL, USA

problem #47

Jun 212013


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 MINICooper S. the contact stated that coolant was leaking from the vehicle. The contact also stated that the transmission mount was fractured. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the coolant housing and the transmission mount needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Willoughby, OH, USA

problem #46

Jun 102013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


While driving West on 580 highway, my car lost power and was unable to accelerate out of the lane. I was able to coast off of the freeway out of the way of moving traffic. Highway patrol was able to assist with warning other drivers of a mechanical failure. Due to a mechanical vacuum pump failure, car lost all power, and the engine was a total loss. Also failed on the engine was a cam shaft failure, timing chain failure. This is considered a total loss. Repairs cost more than the car is worth. Cost of repairs provided by dealer is estimated at $9,700 dollars manufacture aware of oil issues with the vacuum pump, which could lead to a catastrophic engine breakdown. Oil feed hole on the pump can become clogged on the pump. Vacuum pump will inadequately supply oil to the vital moving parts on the engine.we had just completed an oil change a week before this failure. Manufacture intervals for oil changes, put failure of pump a reality, not a possibility.

- Mountain House, CA, USA

problem #45

Jun 152013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 69,011 miles
Daughter was driving the vehicle and while stopped at a toll booth on the NJ toll road, the car shut down and could not be restarted. After several mechanics, the 3rd mechanic has diagnosed the problem as " locked up vacuum pump on engine that caused camshaft sprocket to snap causing bent valves in engine, motor oil was full." Totally unsat.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #44

May 042013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 MINICooper S. the contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic for inspection and they stated that the timing change needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 41,000. Updated 07/12/13

- Mendon, NY, USA

problem #43

May 162013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 23,060 miles


With only 23,000 miles, engine exhibited a loud rattling noise at idle, and running up to about 2800 RPM, when noise would disappear. Took it immediately to dealer, who diagnosed it as a failure of the timing chain tensioner piston; that failure caused the chain to skip and throw the cam timing out of alignment, according to the dealer... cost of $188 to replace timing chain tensioner, and $471 to diagnose cam timing skip and restore cam timing... total cost $659. Dealer refused to submit claim to MININorth America for goodwill coverage, despite outstanding condition, low mileage, regular dealer maintenance, and proper oil levels and change intervals. This issue with the timing chain tensioner failure and resulting damage is well known and well documented and should be the subject of a recall and repair of entire timing chain system at MINIs cost-- severe cases can result in catastrophic engine failure at highway speed and potential crashes/fatalities. NHTSA, please make MINIdo the right thing!!!!

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #42

May 022013


  • 52,000 miles
I was the one that reported the "death rattle" on my wife's MINIcooper a few weeks ago. I'm happy to report that the engine was not damaged and MINIfixed it for $1800, which was right in line with their estimate. They replaced the timing chain (it was stretched 70mm... 70!!), the tension pulley, the guide, changed the oil, replaced the aux water pump (was a recall so it cost $0), retimed the engine, washed the car, and cleaned the engine bay. The good news is that the car runs like new. The great news is that the service manager told me he called MINIon my behalf and they gave us a $500 discount on the repair since the car was "only a couple of years out of warranty". perhaps that means MINIis finally waking up to this problem? I'll never understand how between the timing chain stretched 70mm, and the broken piece of guide rattling around for who knows how long, didn't destroy the engine... but I'm not complaining. Anyway, just wanted to let other MINIowners know that there's hope after all. And $1300 is better than $1800 any day of the week. Car runs great and neither my wife and I realized how much power the car had lost. We're still getting rid of it though... enough is enough... every time something goes wrong with this car, it's drama. And this was the last straw. Good luck everyone.

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #41

Feb 222011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Car has timing chain noise on cold start-up and if left unrepaired, it will result in timing chain failure and engine destruction. This is a widespread problem on 2007 and later MINICooper S. dealer refuses to repair out of warranty and, even if repaired, the problem will return. There are cases of multiple engine failures to same car. Car also uses 1 quart of oil every 2,000 miles.

- Southlake, TX, USA

problem #40

May 082013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 89,900 miles
I have been experiencing a major flaw with oil supply/return lines to the turbo. A condition exists where if left unattended and uncared for creates the high risk of fire and subsequent loss of engine/vehicle. This event can happen at any time the car is being driven and/or later parked. The risk is created when oil accumulates, either through time or over a leisure drive, and collects near/on the exhaust manifold & turbo components, both of which operate at extremely high temperatures. It is becoming a daily task to look under the car hood and investigate for accumulation of oil near these parts due to the fact that the car smells of burning petroleum. Need I be more apparent of burning oil that will burn and destroy a car due to a faulty product" this has been occurring for the majority life of the car but he issue has never been professionally addressed due to disregard of the MINIBMW dealerships to accept this design flaw. If researched further, there are many standard examples of this design flaw and numerous descriptions, images, examples, forums, and complaints of this flaw occurring in many cars of various styles, mileage, and trims occurring within the same year model of 2007. I have also experience many of the major flaws already listed and complained about on the NHTSA such as the ??death rattle?" belt tensioner failing (luckily no catastrophic engine failure and which has been listed numerous times on NHTSA, numerous), valve cover replacement (also listed), etc. NHTSA, address this problem as it is an avid and dangerous safety issue. The common person does not check under the hood daily and its only time before someone parks their MINIin a garage and the home goes down in flames. I personally don??T park the MINIin the garage for fear of fire. Do not repair the MINIwith the same faulty oil line design. Recall design.

- Litchfield Park, AZ, USA

problem #39

Apr 262013


  • 50,000 miles


Just wanted to report another case of the "death rattle". my wife has a 2007 MINICooper S we bought new in Sept. 2007. She complained of a loud rattle when she started the car for about 5-10 minutes until warm. Thought it might be a loose exhaust component until it started having idle issues. We took it to a local shop and they "rebooted" the computer and the idle problems went away but the rattle persisted. Our closest MINIdealer is an hour away so we don't take it to them unless we have to. Early last week the oil light came on. Checked the oil and oil level was fine... although the dipstick did not want to go back in the engine. Oil light would come and go over the next few days. She took it to the local shop again to have the rattle checked and the oil changed since it was almost due. They found the guide for the timing chain was broken and laying in the bottom of the cover. They called our closest MINIdealer, said it was a "common problem" with turbo minis, and we shouldn't drive it. Had it towed to MINIand that's where it sits. They haven't worked on it yet and they will call me when they do, but an early estimate is ~$1800 to repair, as long as the engine isn't damaged (which it isn't as the car starts and runs fine). I asked MINIabout it being covered under some sort of warranty after reading all the horror stories since it's a known problem but they said since the oil level was low, and low oil levels exacerbate the problem, there's nothing they can do. Had no idea the oil level was low until the light came on. Pretty sad that this "common problem" still hasn't been fixed after all these years. Wife is now a full-time student and her school is over an hour away. She makes that drive twice a day, three times a week. How that broken piece didn't get tangled in the timing chain and destroy the engine I'll never know.

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #38

Apr 222013


  • 77,000 miles
My 2007 MINICooper S thermostat housing has started leaking to the point that it would cause the engine to overheat at prolonged stops in traffic if fluid is not put in the overflow tank. I have been reading various threads regarding this issue and see that there are several reports of this failure, however MINIdoes not seem too worried about this part.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #37

Mar 152013


  • 48,000 miles
Turbo oil supply line from engine to turbo leaking excessive oil requiring replacement. Poor engineering design of compression fitting led to premature failure. Continued operation of vehicle with this condition would result in catastrophic engine and or engine turbo failure. MINIof marin was notified of the ongoing issues and were told they hadn't heard of the issue. Car smokes up if driven slow. Must be addressed in recall.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #36

Apr 092013


  • 115,000 miles
Without warning or cause, the timing chain & tensioner failed, which ruined my engine. Just the timing chain costs $2000-$3000 to fix, but since my engine is gone as well that number is more like $6000-$7000. This is a 2007, and sinking half of the value of the car back into it does not make sense. This is a huge issue that needs to be dealt with. It is obviously a manufacturer issue as others have also reported this issue at various mileage stages. Please do something about this.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #35

Mar 112013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
I took my MINIS in to the shop for brake maintenance, to be told that the tensioner had failed and the timing chain kit had to be replaced. Unnecessary to mention, this is a very expensive repair. After doing much research, I have found that the tensioner in the MINIhas been an issue for quite some time, some sites have quoted since 2007. Had I not taken my car in for a completely unrelated issue, my timing chain could have broken, resulting in a thrown rod and a blown engine, which can be incredibly dangerous. This tensioner is a defective piece which causes significant damage to the timing chain and area components when it fails. Due to the nature of this issue and the number of complaints seen on the web, a manufacturer's recall should be made.

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #34

Jan 172013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
Took vehicle in to MINIof the woodlands to have recall work done to the vehicle and while it was there had them do a diagnostic to ensure car was in good shape. Was told that it needed a new timing chain and that I shouldn't drive it. Was told to tow it home or leave it with them and they would fix it for close to $2500. The car has 37,000 miles. Really? feel like there's a nice scam going on with a product that has obvious defects with this timing chain issue. There are complaints all over the internet. No vehicle should need a new timing belt with this low of mileage. MINIneeds to do the right thing and issue a recall for this problem.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #33

Feb 232013


  • 65,852 miles
On 2/4/13 had my car taken to global imports BMW/MINIdealership on 5925 peachstreet ind.blvd.atlanta, ga. (the cylinder head cover had to be replaced, was leaking, I paid $1291.45 for the service). I picked up my car on 2/5/13, according to them is was good to go. Started heading back home, when the engine light popped up again, the car started smoking, shaking, it would not drive higher than 40miles., got off I-75 in macon ga, called roadside services, had car towed back to the dealership mentioned above for repairs. They kept it for a week. They call on 2/20/13 telling my the car was ready for pick up. I returned to atlanta the following day 2/21/13. They charged me for service $3,991.57. Headed back to Florida on 2/23/13, and not even half way, on I-75, the engine light popped up again, the car would not higher than 40miles, had car towed to the MINIof South atlanta dealership in union city, and im awaiting to hear from them when to come and pick up my car. When the recall was first announced, I tried to contact BMW/MINIheadquaters, they told me I will receive a letter in the mail regarding the recall, which I never received. I need help forcing these people to be responsible, fix my car or if not reimburse all the money I have invested in repair (not only in atlanta but in Florida as well). Please I need your advise. A very frustrated MINICooper S driver.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #32

Jan 122013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 54,180 miles
Turbo charger oil feed line - very poor design crimped tube with an O-ring seal failed in very hot environment and caused large oil leak onto hot catalytic converter. Stopped car before fire started. Dealer wanted $1,300 to install a new $50 oil line of the same poor design. Every single 2007+ MINICooper S has a similar oil line - they are all failing at fairly low mileage - no exceptions. MINIshould redesign this part and issue safety recall and re-imburse those that already paid to repair oil line.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #31

Sep 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Turbo oil feed piping fails at connector. Banjo type fitting on tubing fails on connection above turbo, spilling oil on turbo unit. Produces smoke and a potential fire hazard.

- Bryan, TX, USA

problem #30

Aug 012009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
As with alot of other MINICooper S models for this year, my timing chain started to rattle, the dealer replaced it under warranty, not once, but twice, the water pump had been replaced, fuel pump replaced, throttle body replaced and the list could continue. Now the car has 98,234 miles on it and it is sitting at the dealership with a blown motor from bad #3 cylinder, leaking head gasket, and valve issues. This car has several design flaws that the manufacturer will not own up to. For a car with a price tag of over $32, 000 made from BMW, you wouldn't expect any of this.

- Independence, MO, USA

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