definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,886 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #17

Aug 282016


  • 86,000 miles


On 8-28-16 the timing chain failed on the engine of my 2009 MINICooper S, which lead to catastrophic engine failure, requiring the engine to be replaced. At the time of failure I was driving at full speed on the highway. There was sudden power loss and I had to avert traffic to safely pull over. During power loss there was lots of smoke pouring out of the car. Timing chain failures are a known issue with MINIand the subject of a recent lawsuit against MINISee info regarding a settlement due to timing chain failure: www.timingchaintensionersettlement.com/ the lawsuit settlement extends the engine warranty to 7yrs/100,000mi. My MINIis at 86K mi, and a few days over 7 years. MINIusa refuses to assist me in solving this known issue.

- Westborough, MA, USA

problem #16

Jan 242014


  • 29,800 miles
Since I get my until now I repair two times. The first time I was change the part of the top of the motor I don't remember the name. But this one that is the most strage I was driving and in the middle of the road the motor stop intanly. The most strange is 10 minutes after drive the car all this happen so that mean is no safe. And now what I have to do....

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #15

Dec 052014


  • 27,000 miles
Purchased a used 2009 MINICooper S hardtop with 27,000 miles on it and within 20 days the clutch was slipping upon light acceleration and caused very unsafe driving conditions. It was replaced by the carmax warranty given under the first 30 days, my vehicle now has 32,000 miles and is starting to feel similar to the previous symptoms.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #14

Dec 172014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


My timing chain has now started to fail for the 4th time on this car. The timing chain tensioners fail and MINIdoes nothing to correct the issue past the warranty period.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #13

Sep 012014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
I was driving my MINIcooper on I-95 when the I noticed a very strong burning smell and the clutch was giving me difficulty changing gears. As I was getting off I-95 the gears were not responding and the car began to slow down. I got off I-95 and just made it to a main blvd. When the clutch gave out and the car would not move. I could see the cars in the rear view mirror coming at full speed and honking at me to move out of the of the way. I called 911 and asked for a patrol to spot traffic and then tried to get out of the car to ask for help but almost got ran over by cars passing by. I thought I was going to get either hit or killed. Two man in a van stopped and pushed my car out of the way until the truck stopped. The police car never showed up. A West palm braman MINIcooper service man was driving by and told me the clutch was completely burnt out and to tow the car to his facility. I did and MINIcooper refused to fix it even though they are aware of the defect and the many complaints. They tried to tell me the clutch was worn out but the car only has 13,000 miles, they also tried to blame it on aggressive driving or that I did not know how to drive a standard transmission. I told them I drive very slow and have been driving standard transmission my entire life. They just refuse to acknowledge the manufacturing defect. Please make sure that someone looks into this so that no one has to face the same danger I did or even worse, be killed.

- Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA

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problem #12

Apr 012014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
During light acceleration at interstate speeds, the engine lost some power and the service engine light came on. The dealer first replace the vacuum hoses. It happened again, the dealer replaced the vacuum pump. It happened again immediately, the dealer replaced the turbocharger unit because the wastegate won't close completely. The turbocharger and wastegate should last much longer than 5 years (the car was delivered in April 2009) or 70,000 miles.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #11

Jun 122014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 41,932 miles


Engine all of a sudden starts making a rattling noise. Took it in to dealer, timing chain guides had broken and chain was stretched. Was informed there was a MINIcampaign about this but my vehicle was not included. Expensive repair and potentially dangerous situation if chain had broken. Was informed after work was done that clutch was bad as well. Had driven the vehicle the day before without issue but after only 10 miles from the dealership car would not move from stopped since clutch would not engage. Extremely early for this amount of repairs to be needed, I question the durability of these parts and this brand. Both of these sudden wear failures could have been extremely dangerous if they had occurred on the highway.

- Englewood, CO, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Jun 202013


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper S. the contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the clutch slipped as the rpms increased to 6000. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- Moore , OK, USA

problem #8

Feb 192013


  • 29,000 miles
The timing tensioner on my MINICooper S backed out, resulting in a massive oil loss while at highway speeds. This is apparently a known issue by MINIbut no known recall has been issued at this point.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #7

Dec 232012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,100 miles


Vehicle was taken to dealership in Feb 2012 for a rattling noise. Service center at braman miami said that they could not duplicate the noise, so it was assumed they found nothing wrong with the vehicle. Prior to this, the vehicle had been in the shop 2-3 times due engine malfunction light, rough idle at cold start and loss of turbo power due to leakage in turbo oil feed lines. This was repaired in early 2012/late 2011. In December of 2012, while driving the rattling noise of the complaint in Feb 2012 intensified and oil light illuminated while driving. Car was pulled over to safe location. Once car was stopped, the engine malfunction light also illuminated. Driver checked oil level, which appeared low but within the marks on the dipstick. Oil splatter was observed on the hood and on engine. Rubber gasket feeding to engine was observed to be displaced where oil appeared to have leaked out. Vehicle was towed to braman miami. Service department reported that failure was caused by timing chain/tensioner issue. Service dept is charging 17K usd for repairs as it is not found to be under the scope of warranty of previous repairs to the turbo oil feed lines. MINIhas been contacted to see if any relief can be provided as this seems to be a common issue with these vehicles.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #6

Sep 292012


  • 52,000 miles
The timing tensioner on my MINICooper S backed out, resulting in a massive oil loss while at highway speeds. This is apparently a known issue by MINIbut no known recall has been issued at this point.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #5

May 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 57,120 miles
Timing belt failure due to restrictor belt defect.

- Davis, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 232011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 30,147 miles
While driving vehicle, oil started to drain in large quantities over the street. Steady stream about 2 inches wide was visible on the street once vehicle was stopped. Oil light came one approximately 5 minutes after oil spin was noted. Car was moved to safe location once oil light came on. Engine would not restart. Notes from knauz MINIservice manager: Found timing chain tensioner walking out of position causing oil to come out of cylinder head. Cleaned oil residue and replaced timing chain tensioners. Due to lack of proper tension of timing chain tensioner checked timing.

- Lakemoor, IL, USA

problem #3

Feb 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 44,463 miles
While driving the vehicle the abruptly halted causing me to veer off to the side of the road so that it could be stopped somewhere safe. Vehicle would not restart, no warning lights of any sort were present prior to this incident. Vehicle needed to be pushed to a location to allow it to be towed. Details of service provided from knauz MINIas follows: Found car not starting, during fault inspection found fault for exhaust cam sensor not reading. Found exhaust cam not moving through oil cap on valve cover. Removed valve cover for cylinder, found timing chain to be broken causing exhaust cam timing chain sprocket to break off exhaust cam. Found the timing chain breaking causing damage to complete engine due to timing chain breaking in two pieces. Found lower crank damaged from timing chain wedging in between block and timing chain cover area. Removed complete engine and replaced, note during removal of sub-frame bolts on rail found treads to be damaged from factory (subframe never removed before) while being installed. Re-tapped treads and replaced both bolts. Test drove car with new motor overnight no further problems found.

- Lakemoor, IL, USA

problem #2

May 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 MINICooper. Consumer states that clutch was compromised and the vehicle needed to be towed. She would like this issue to be looked into. She paid to have the flywheel replaced. The flywheel was replaced twice within three months. The second time the flywheel was replaced, the consumer was informed it was burnt and not covered under warranty.

- Tuckahoe, NY, USA

problem #1

Aug 012010


  • miles
A 2009 MINICooper clutch was defective was replaced in may of 2010 and in August of 2010 the clutch went again and this time burnt the fly wheel. The car had to be towed safety of passenger was compromised.

- Tuckahoe, NY, USA

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