Notes: The 2008 Mini Cooper has problems with the oil feed lines to the turbo leaking which is not only dangerous & a fire hazard, but also costs $1,200 to fix at relatively low mileage.

Also the 2008 Mini Cooper has a defective timing belt tensioner pulley that can cause the timing chain to break, resulting in expensive engine damage.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,246 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.

2008 Mini Cooper engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

Mar 162014


  • 27,500 miles


Found large oily mark under parked car. Turns out to be the thermostat hose leaking due to cracks because of being made of plastic. This is a known design issue by MINIBMW that could cause an engine to overheat producing a file or blowing the engine. This should come under a recall. Checking online, you can see that it was such an issue last year, that dealers were not even able to get parts for weeks due to the number of failures. Calling the dealer, they readily admit it is a huge problem and they have to replace lots of them. Of course, it is $600 a pop for the fix. Due to the large cost and admitted design flaw, these should all be placed under a recall before someone is badly hurt. Also anyone that has had to have this fixed should be reimbursed for that expense.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #57

Mar 032014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 36,800 miles
When you start the car in the morning while its cold and start driving, you hear a rattling noise in the engine which coming out of the timing-belt area. It started 5 days ago.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #56

Feb 242012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
My MINIhas a faulty oil supply line going to the turbo charger. The dealership has known about these faulty lines for sometime. Instead of replacing the line with a better design they have installed heat shields to prevent the heat from burning up the O-ring in the fitting on the line. They installed another heat shield on 2/21/14 over top of the oil line to prevent the heat from burning up the O-ring that is already bad. Now they inform me that since the heat shields are in place I need to pay to have the oil line replaced which cost $805. I think that MINIcooper should have recalled all these vehicles and repaired the faulty oil lines since they have been doing this from 2007 models to 2011 models. This is a bad safety problem under the hood because when the oil goes to leaking on the turbo charger which is really hotter that the exhaust manifold it causes excessive smoke from coming out of under the hood and could cause a large fire fueled by motor oil pumping out on top of turbo charger. Allowing the dealerships to put shields over top of the bad oil line needs to be stopped. They need to fix the problem that exists for free and not try to cover up the problem as they did on my car and then tell me that the oil line needs to be replaced. After the warranty run out. They were well aware of the problem then and now because of them putting heat shields on to prevent this problem.the oil supply line should have been replaced and then the shields put on. Thanks, hope to see a recall very soon.

- Christiansburg, VA, USA

problem #55

Dec 012013


  • 91,000 miles


Stretched timing chain seems to be a common issue with this model, but recall is only on the type S models.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #54

Feb 062014


  • miles
Turbo charger fuel supply line is leaking on my 2008 MINICooper S. the dealer suggested a replacement cost of $750. There are many complaints online about this issue and the leak is happening due to poor design. The leak may cause fire damage and might cause extensive damage to the car.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #53

Jan 282014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 38,879 miles
Car has had issues with cvt transmission. Yesterday I was told that it needed to be replaced. At urging of other MINIowners in the same situation, I am reporting problem to your Agency in hopes to have BMW recall the cars and replace the faulty transmissions.

- Browns Summit, NC, USA

problem #52

Nov 252013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


Turbocharger oil feed line leaking. The part is poorly designed and according to the research I've done prone to failure. The part is not covered by the cpo warranty and the dealer wanted $1400 to replace it. I replaced it myself with a better designed aftermarket part. I think MINIshould cover the cost of replacing the part with a better design.

- Mansfield Center, CT, USA

problem #51

Sep 162013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
I took the vehicle to the MINIdealership after I heard a noise from the engine and the engine light came on. From online descriptions, I suspected it was the timing chain tensioner. I contacted MINIcorporation and opened a report. The check engine light came on about a week later and I took the car to the dealership. I was told by the dealership that the timing chain tensioner needed replaced. It was a $3500 fix. The dealership contacted MINIto see if they would cover the repair and they refused saying the vehicle had too many miles. They changed the oil and the check engine light went off. About two weeks later my son was at a red light, stopped and the cars stalled. We had it flat-bedded to a repair shop. The timing chain had snapped and the engine needed to be replaced at a cost of $5700. I just saw where MINIissued a recall for the timing chain tensioner and I contacted them but they have not replied.

- Boardman, OH, USA

problem #50

Nov 112011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,700 miles
Loud engine noise coming from chain tensioner at startup. Sounds like diesel engine. Also happens during cold engine start.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #49

Dec 042013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
The car starts very rough especially in colder weather. I was told by a MINIdealership that could have been due to lack of oil, which is not the case as the oil was just changed. Also when in traffic coming to a stop the car will drop idle and stall out. The car will stall in neutral or with clutch fully pressed in. Researching online and watching some videos, it seems much like the timing tension/chain issues known but not yet having much done with them. It would be nice if BMW/MINIwould sort out the issue especially if its a design flaw. Kinda disappointed as its not that old and has fewer then 50K miles on the engine.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #48

Nov 182013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 53,600 miles


Turbo oil supply line is leaking oil on my 2008 Cooper S, the dealer has recommend replacement at a cost of $900. I initially took the car in for a recall to install a heat shield on the same oil line, some online research (including many official complaints here) has suggested that the lack of a heat shield has caused this failure, yet it is not covered under the recall. Yet another unfortunate defect in the MINIdesign, I've already been through the timing chain/tensioner debacle.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #47

Nov 022012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
Bought car from dealership after a lot of research on issues with these cars an complaints. Brought varro MINIdealership and asked about timing chain and tensioner and was told mine was fine even though they never opened up cover to inspect chain or tensioner. Have been back three different times with multiple issues with timing chain/tensioner horrible rattle. MINIsays there is no known defects with timing chain/ tensioners ever brought up. I then was told by my brother that he I taking his MINIin for a service action on the timing chain/tensioner, turbo heat shield, thermostat housing. We have exact same car, same build date, and rolled out from same factory but MINIstates ours isn't covered under the service action even though we have the exact same car and everything. And my brother is also out of warranty but theirs is getting fixed free. Please help. I am aware of the freeman-skeen class action lawsuit and have file a complaint with BBB so I guess I'll have to find legal help since they don't pay attention to NHTSA complaints.

- Mountainburg, AR, USA

problem #46

Oct 242013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
It has oil leaks around turbo line which the oils make smokes as the oil drip contacts with down pipe. This may result in serious damage to the car.

- Wheeling, IL, USA

problem #45

Oct 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 29,976 miles
While driving my MINIthe check engine light came on. I took it to a local repair shop that specializes in MINIs. the manager told me that the crankcase valve needs to be replaced and it is built into the valve cover. Upon inspection the mechanic also discovered my timing chain is almost ruined also. I have been hearing the timing chain rattle upon start up.

- Temple, TX, USA

problem #44

Sep 152013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
Timing chain making terrible rattle. After research this seems to be a new and quite common problem. This needs to be recalled.

- Columbus, MS, USA

problem #43

Sep 032013


  • 33,000 miles
Timing chain mechanism (tensioner seemed to be main culprit) failing and system needed replacement. Total cost $2500. Car had 33,000 easy miles on it. Mechanic said timing system was on the verge of failing traumatically and destroying the engine. Reported it to MINIwho admitted they have been having a lot of trouble with those but there had been no recall so they couldn't help me. Replacement parts were different serial numbers than the originals indicating, per my mechanic, they had redesigned the parts.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #42

Feb 152013


  • 46,674 miles
Engine rattle on cold start indicated a loose or stretched timing chain. Required a premature replacement of timing chain, guides and tensioner

- Floyds Knobs, IN, USA

problem #41

Sep 102013


  • miles
The sensors on this car were no good. It did not inform me that there wasn't any oil or coolant I'm the car. I only had the car for two weeks after we discovered the dealership did not inspect or service the car like they promised. On 9/10, the car turned off while I was driving and wouldn't turn back on. Two mechanics have told me the car is no good and I am not at fault for the defects. The entire time the car was in my possession, the sensors did not warn me about any services the car needed. I have been going back and forward with the dealership about the defects. I returned the car, asked for a full refund, and they have yet to do anything to honor my wishes.

- Opa Locka, FL, USA

problem #40

Aug 262013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Thermostat housing developed a leak resulting in loss of coolant, engine overheated and warped the head and bent valves.

- Lake Wylie, SC, USA

problem #39

Aug 172013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
While turning at a highway intersection, the timing chain failed which, in turn, destroyed the engine. I was stranded in the middle of the intersection. I have been given a quote of $7,200 to replace the engine with a new one.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

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