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 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Nov 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles


I own a 2007 MINICooper S, that I purchased brand new in June of 2007. I immediately fell in love with the car and knew that this would be the last car I would ever own. It is a $31,000 car that I have blood, sweat, and tears made expensive ($560/month) payments on for the last five years. About two years into owning this car, I noticed when it was cold out that my MINIwould get what is now known as "the death rattle". when I called ralph schomp MINIwhere I had purchased it), they told me that the noise was nothing that I had to worry about and that it just had to do with cold weather. A year after that my MINIwould struggle to get moving, I thought it was a battery problem, again the mechanics at ralph schomp MINItold me not to worry about it, again just cold weather. A couple weeks ago, I noticed that my car was acting up severely. The check engine light came on. Then a couple days later it went off and it seemingly stopped having issues. About a week after that, it started acting up again and the check engine light came back on. I attempted to take it to another auto place to have it diagnosed, but it was non-conclusive, and the symptoms only got worse. I had my MINItowed back to ralph schomp MINIand their diagnosis resulted in saying that the timing chain tensioner malfunctioned and had come loose which did significant damage to the engine and that I would need to replace the engine. An engine supposedly built to last at least to 250,000 miles only made it until 52,000 miles and will cost me as much as $8,000 to repair. My warranty expired literally six months ago, and I am only about three months away from having her paid off. In looking up this issue online, many other 2007 MINIowners have also had this issue. I am incredibly disappointed in the entire situation, and would encourage a recall to be issued on 2007 MINICooper S.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #28

Nov 142012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
A car stopped short in my path causing me to brake hard and stall. Since I didn't apply the clutch during the emergency stop I pressed the clutch pedal to the floor in an attempt to restart the engine. When it failed after several attempts I had it towed to MINIof baltimore. They told me it had no compression and that the exhaust cam had jumped 180 degrees out of timing. This sounds like a timing belt tensioner problem the service manager gave me an estimate of $2800. After further research I found this is a common problem but MINIwon't issue a recall for this common problem.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #27

Oct 302012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
While driving in traffic, the engine seized and stopped abruptly due to the failure of the oil suction pump. The pump failed internally and due to the design that tied it directly to the overhead cam, it caused the camshaft to seize, stretched and broke the bolt connecting the timing gear and chain to the camshaft, which the fell into the lower engine area and caused further engine damage. Fortunately, this particular incident occurred in a relatively slow traffic situation and the car was shifted to neutral and pushed off to the side. Damage to the engine was substantial and consistent with multiple other reports of similar failures. This is a major design flaw (in my opinion as an engineer) in that the shear point being on the camshaft instead of the pump causes instantaneous engine failure without warning and could lead to a serious crash or injury. In addition to this failure, there was damage to the oil system that may have triggered this pump failure. MINIhad allegedly performed some 'valve cleaning' approximately 6,000 miles prior to this incident, however there was no evidence of any such 'cleaning' when the engine was opened. I have extensive photos of this engine as it was disassembled, showing the pump, bolt and other parts and will be happy to share those.

- Osprey, FL, USA

problem #26

Oct 152012


  • 47,050 miles


Was driving back from vacation, and upon getting off the highway we had noticed a loud rattling was coming from the engine. Brought the car to a mechanic who said the timing chain tensioner had failed, resulting in the timing chain to be loose and destroy the rails it rode on. Upon looking into this issue further, discovered there is a tsb out about this issue, and many owners have had this same problem, but it is not a recall yet.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #25

Sep 212012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 43,483 miles
Check engine light on and off intermittently; engine rough on start up; sounds like rattling chains when shifting; MINIsaid our oil was too low subsequently destroying our timing chain; tech was amazed that the chain guides were shorn off as well; MINIdoes not have a check oil indicator light on the console; we change our oil every 5000 miles even though MINIrecommends every 15000. So, we had to replace the timing chain on a 5 year old car with less than 44,000 miles. Complained to MINIcorporation and proceeded with conflict resolution expert. MINIdenied our claim because our oil was low at the time of the incident. Repair cost $1,950.83 and we are still making a car payment on this newer vehicle. Researched similar complaints on the internet as well as talking with 3 acquaintances who own a MINIWe are fortunate we caught this issue before we had to replace our engine. According to their website, BMW/MINIfinds oil usage at 1 quart per 1000 miles as acceptable. If that is the case, they need to install a check oil indicator light on the console and change their maintenance schedule from 15000 to 3000 miles.

- Coopersburg, PA, USA

problem #24

Jun 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Traveling with no warning, thermometer light came on, turned yellow to red almost immediately, pulled over and called dealership, advised there was recall on water pump for overheating, had car towed immediately; dealership replaced recalled water pump (exterior), but paid $600 for thermostat; left dealership and engine light came on within 30 minutes, had to have it towed again; now car ran hot again, no antifreeze in car, refilled and light went off, 1.5 days later same occurrence but engine smoking, very badly, towed again to dealership, now states it is water pump #2 (interior), and timing change which was already supposedly performed on car, now stating I must pay for water pump, tensioner on timing change, valve sensor, and valve cover gaskets another $1000, all of which pertain to the same occurrences over and over and over and over again. I called MINICooper call center and they only refer you back to dealership, stating they have no technical knowledge and are unable to assist me, they have no knowledge of the recall items. Wow I thought this problem only belonged to a Saab I previously owned and eliminated for same reasons.. !

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #23

Sep 042012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


I bought my 2007 MINIused 1 month ago. When I went to test drive the car the engine would not start and there was a check engine light on. The dealer told me that they would have it fixed and call me back in for a test drive. I went back and when the car started it had a very slight rattle that eventually went away. Now in the month time that I have had the car it takes me 6 or 7 tries to get the engine to start, and when it runs it has the rattle that has plagued so many other MINIowners. Enough is enough. Action must be taken to correct the inadequacy of the inferior timing chain set up. The dealer has told me that it is a "normal" MINInoise and that I would have to get used to it. That is in a sense a "cop out" for a problem that is heavily known in the MINIcommunity and that BMW MINIis well aware of. This is a major mechanical defect in the car and BMW MINIneed to own up to repair with an updated and current corrective action or replace the engines for all the loyal MINIowners experiencing this very costly problem that could lead to total driveline failure. We paid for a good running reliable vehicle and are not getting what we paid for.

- Southbury, CT, USA

problem #22

Sep 102012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 29,800 miles
My car has a transmission problem. Have to replace it for $9000! it S MINICooper S 2007 only 29800 miles!! the dealer will not repines anything and the warranty is out!

- Sf, CA, USA

problem #21

Aug 232012


  • 41,000 miles
Engine timing chain tensioner malfunctioning causing decreased accelerating power and a loud rubbing/knocking noise when driving, that will cause engine damage if not promptly fixed. It is a well know MINIcooper problem (2007 models to current year) and the MINIdealership I took mine to has had many complaints about the issue. MINIhas came out with replacement parts and a service guide on how to repair the issue at a hefty cost (if the engine hasn't already been damaged); however, MINIBMW has not issued a recall or replacement at no cost to consumers to back up their product. Estimates for repair in my area were $1300-$1600 if repairable because again, it will cause engine failure if not fixed quickly. My car has 41,000 and have had my MINIserviced at the designated time intervals at only MINIservices areas. Such a major repair that could have eventually caused my engine to stop working should not happen at 41,000 miles. MINIBMW should back up there product with repairs and needs to find an ultimate fix because it is an issue even in the current models.

- Charlestown, IN, USA

problem #20

Jul 212011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 46,205 miles
Timing chain tensioner replaced July of 2011 now aug31,2012 loud noise timing chain stretched so replaced & tensioner replaced again.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #19

Jan 062012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 37,570 miles


In January 2012 with 37,000 miles on it my MINIstarted having very noisy starts. The noise would go away after it warmed up. Took the vehicle to MINIdealer and they said that it was the timing chain and tensioner. They agreed to replace the timing chain, tensioner guides etc for half price as a good will gesture. Now I find out that this is a common problem.

- Scarborough, ME, USA

problem #18

May 162011


  • 60,800 miles
The contact owns a 2007 MINICooper S. while driving approximately 35 mph the contact noticed a burning odor. The contact stopped the vehicle on the shoulder and noticed small flames and smoke coming from under the hood. The contact was able to extinguish the fire with a blanket. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician stated that the oil return line that was connected to the turbo charger had began leaking oil and caused the fire. The vehicle was repaired however, after the repair the contact was driving approximately 65 mph when the vehicle suddenly stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer a second time for diagnostic testing. The technician then stated that the turbo charger and the engine would have to be replaced. The technician stated that the turbo charger could have been damaged during the fire. In addition, the contact had previously experienced intermittent stalling and the vehicle was taken to the dealer where the timing belt tensioner was replaced. The approximate failure mileage was 60,800.

- Park Ridge, IL, USA

problem #17

Aug 182012


  • 56,000 miles
The engine quit while preparing to enter a highway. The car was accelerating to turn onto the highway and it just quit and partially blocked the highway. Luckily the highway was on a slope and to prevent from blocking the highway and risk injury, I was able to coast into a fire station along the highway and from there push the car out of the way of traffic. The cause of the failure is a broken timing chain which broke with no warning. The repair will cost about $4000. The fact that it broke as I was entering a highway and with no on-coming traffic was very lucky. There is no warning for the engine to stop. This seems like a common problem for 2007 minis and as these cars age the likely hood of the problem occurring increases. This can happen at any time the engine is running and without warning. This is a safety issue as an abrupt engine failure can happen anywhere and without notice. It was over 100F the day my engine quit, I was over 90miles away from home in a sparsely populated rural area with no cell phone coverage. If it had happened 15 miles in either direction it could have been hours before anyone found me and my car.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #16

Aug 042012


  • 63,000 miles
Without warning the car started jerking and running very roughly and the engine warning light came on. We brought the car into the MINIdealer to be diagnosed. While the dealer was very helpful, the diagnoses was disturbing at best. After tearing apart the motor, cleaning it and reassembling, the problem remained. It was "MINIservices" recommendation to the dealer that the timing belt be changed. This is a 13 hour procedure that cost just over $2000 and provides no guarantee that it will solve the problem. In addition, they may run into more problems once they are inside of the engine. To add insult to injury, the timing belt tensioner had already been replaced do to a similar problem while under warranty. We have elected to pay $5000 for a new motor and 2 year warranty so at least we would have a slight piece of mind that the problem would not reoccur at our expense. I completely understand the risks of owning a vehicle beyond the warranty period. I just wish BMW MINIwould recognize this problem and stand behind what appears to be a rampant problem with the "timing-belt-tensioner" on the 2007 S models. I was shocked to see the pages of owners that are reporting the same problem. My wife loves this car. There is no way I would purchase another MINIproduct after paying over $30,000 for the 2007 63,000 mile disposable model.

- Oneida, WI, USA

problem #15

Jul 232012


  • 103,000 miles
Timing chain and tensioner failure mentioned by others also occurred in my car. Failure in my case was progressive: Started with rough starts, noisy idle (from chain impacting cover!) progressed to non-existent acceleration above 4000 rpms (a safety issue on the highway). Brought the car to mechanic and while he was investigating the obvious air leak, car failed to start. Dealer eventually discovered bent valves from impact with piston preventing proper seal, but only after replacing snapped tensioner guides and timing chain dropped into oil pan for $2,525. Had this occurred while driving it poses a significant safety issue. Then they tell me they can replace all valves for $4,500. Total cost, over $7,000. Effectively, this is a total engine failure and it would be cheaper to drop in a complete new engine. MINIand their dealers are well aware of this problem and as it can - and has - resulted in failures for other motorists at highway speeds it poses significant safety risk and should be addressed with a recall.

- Gilbertsville, PA, USA

problem #14

Aug 052012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 17,669 miles
Engine is rattling horribly. In doing some research it sounds like what most are calling the "rattle of death". the timing chain is making entirely too much noise. And car is running poorly. I can not and will not drive this car till it is repaired! this is a potential catastrophic engine failure. MINIcooper knows about this major engineering problem and will not issue a recall. Repair estimates are as much as $2500 for timing chain and timing chain tensioner.

- Orchard Park, NY, USA

problem #13

Jul 282012


  • 78,000 miles
My car has been making a rattling sound for about 6 months. Although the car has been serviced twice during that time, no technician or MINIservice department representative said anything about the rattle. While driving on the highway I noticed my car beginning to run... funny. Not long after, the engine power light came on. Approximately 10-15 miles later, my car stopped in the middle of the road. Because the car would not restart, it was towed to a MINIservice department. I was told the problem was the timing chain, and it needed to be replaced. There are countless numbers of these reports on the internet. Inspite of the numbers of complaints and repairs, MINIBMW has refused to take responsibility for the part. It was very fortunate there was no crash or fatality, again my car stopped in the middle of the road with very little warning.

- Brooks, GA, USA

problem #12

Jul 092012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The time chain jumped which needs to be replaced. This shouldn't happen with such low miles on the car. MINIrefused to accept responsibility. It is a very expensive repair to replace the timing chain.. the car began to make knocking noise and run rough. Couldn't drive the car and had to have it towed to MINIcooper service dept.

- Boerne, TX, USA

problem #11

Jul 102012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
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.

- Winsted, CT, USA

problem #10

Jul 022010


  • 37,000 miles
The timing chain tensioner brackets all broke on my 07 MINIMy mechanic stated that this in not a new issue and the it is a frequent problem that he deals with on several minis. They are made of plastic and when cracked or broken they allow my timing chain to slip causing damage to my engine. I have already spent over 2000 dollars in repairs for this problem, and it has happened twice in the last 5 year that I have owned the vehicle. BMW/MINImust take responsibility for their defective engine parts. There should be a recall on these vehicles for it can cause enough damage to were you would need a new engine.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

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