hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,592 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 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #74

May 302015


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and came to a complete stop. The engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was able to restart on the first attempt. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the timing chain needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #73

Jun 112015


  • 37,914 miles
When I was driving highway, a red warning light of "low engine pressure" came on, and the engine started to make noises. Luckily, I was able to come down from the highway, and soon after that, the engine stalled completely. It was a very scary moment. The car was towed to a repair shop, and they reported, "significant oil splash on right side of engine. Added 3 quarts of oil to try and start engine to determine if engine damage had occurred from loss of oil. Vehicle would not start. Vehicle sounded as if chain had jumped timing or engine damage had occurred. Researched vehicle and found technical service bulletin (tsb) relating to seal on timing chain tensioner failing and causing tensioner to leak and loosen. May have loosened, causing jumped timing and possible engine damage. Job requires extensive labor and special tools we do not have. Recommend seeking dealer for futther assistance. The car was towed again to a MINIdealership. Their diagnosis was: Found oil leaking out at the timing chain tensioner, oil level low. Crank but not start remove valve cover and found timing was off, re-adjust timing, retorqued timing chain tensioner, performed compression test, 8 cranks for each cylinders cyl 1: 60 psi cyl 2: 55 psi cyl 3: 35 psi cyl 4: 30 psi performed cylinder leak down tests, all were below 50%. used scope and inspect inside combustion chambers and cylinder walls. Found damaged and cracked wall caused loosing compression. Need new engine required also: Water pump leaking and contaminaited the pully, friction wheel and drive belt thermostat is leaking

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #72

Jan 102014


  • 68,250 miles
The problem occurred when the tensioner for the timing chain no longer applied pressure to the guide rail. This causes the timing chain to flap against the the guide rails eventually breaking them. There was a noise that was created heard during cold start up and eventually went away when the engine got warm. The items repaired were a faulty chain tensioner, timing chain, chain guide rail, bearing bolt, bearing bolt gasket, crank shaft sprocket, crankshaft pulley bolt, valve cover gasket, permatex hylomar gasket maker, serpetine belt, solenoid, and vanos. This issue appeared well before BMW's suggested maintenance period of 120,000 miles, or 10 years.

- Butbank, CA, USA

problem #71

Feb 032014


  • 50,000 miles


Upon the engine heating and cooling the plastic gasket on th eengine oil cooler can get pinched, causing an oil leak. MINIcoopers in prior years - 2002-2007 had the same issue and MINIhad a recall. If I spend the $1,800 to get the repair the next time the engine heats up and cools - the gasket could become pinched again - thus causing a leak. MINIcooper of atlanta is yes this could happen and I would have to get it repaired again. MINIcooper needs to ensure the 2 plates of the metal oil cooler are secure and cannot expand and shrink - upon engine usage. This is the same manufacturing flaw MINIcooper had in 2002 - 2007 - so why hasn't MINIcooper been told to fix their problem - verses throwing the responsibility to the customer?

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #70

Apr 122015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Engine ceased while traveling on highway. Previously took car to MINIdealer when engine light was on and was told that the engine light was probably on because of the gas cap and their was nothing to worry about.

- Newburyport, MA, USA

problem #69

Apr 292015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 83,234 miles
Rattling noise from the passenger side of the engine. Took to MINItiming chain was stretched out. 2000K fix car has less than 84K miles. Had the same problem about 13 months ago. Said it was the tensioner but chain was fine. That was at 64K miles. In 13months spent 3K on the same issue.

- Knoxville , TN, USA

problem #68

Apr 172015


  • 74,000 miles


I took my MINICooper to passport MINIin montgomery county Maryland for the hpfp failing where they changed it and then told me that the turbo oil feed line is leaking and that the timing chain had stretched and was going to fail. After I told them that I know that they have had problems and complained some they said that they would cover 30% of the chain replacement and a complete detail of my car and that they were being "generous". I explained to them that I wanted my defective chain fixed not a car wash. After reading this website I am hoping to get the oil feed line replaced too. It to is very well documented. If it goes up in flames while my wife and daughter are in the car which one of the executives at MINIor BMW will write me to apologize for this? this totally unacceptable behavior for a company. Lawyers wont help MINIwont help BMW wont help. No one wants to do the right thing for the consumer anymore! all of us deserve to be treated fairly. This is why we have government, for times like this when the big companies run us over and laugh at us!

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #67

Feb 142014


  • 65,000 miles
Leaking turbo oil feed line and failing timing chain.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #66

Jan 152015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 64,500 miles
Air bag warning light comes on while driving. BMW North America had issued a recall for the 2005 - 2008 models, but not affected 2009 (2008 production date) models. Persistent oil leaks from and around oil filter housing and turbo oil lines. Oil leaks directly on exhaust manifold down pipe, potentially starting a fire, hasn't yet, but there has been plenty of smoke and in one instance, a small flare-up when oil dripped on the pipe as the car was idling in the garage after a short trip.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #65

Apr 162015


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper S. while driving at 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 113,000.....updated 07/22/15

- East Killingly, CT, USA

problem #64

Mar 182015


  • 66,586 miles


I was driving on the road, and suddenly I saw the car start to stop in the middle of the road, and I saw the smoke coming out of engine.the diagnostic was the engine totally is collapsing, and need new engine.

- New Hope, PA, USA

problem #63

Mar 202015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
Timing chain, went, ,the dealer said it was the self adjusting timing chain, if it self adjusts there must be a manufacture defect, ,looked on line and from 2007-2009 500,000 car had the same problem the cost to fix is $2200 dealer said not worth fixing and sent me to look at a new car.

- Jacksoon, NJ, USA

problem #62

Mar 112015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
A few weeks after I bought the vehicle, I noticed that there was a noise when starting the engine cold. This "rattling" noise would continue until the engine heated up & go away. I took the car in they changed the oil & told me that the coolant was low. He asked if the car was overheating which it was not. He told me to keep a close eye to see if the car overheats. I made an appointment to take the car to a local mechanic just to be safe. A few days later, driving 65mph on the freeway I noticed smoke coming out of my exhaust & the hood, closer to the windshield not the front by the radiator. Smoke started coming from the vents and smelled "rubbery". the thermostat symbol appeared & then the oil light. I took it to carmax who said "sry, no extended warranty, no help". I took it to the local mechanic. He told me initially that the thermostat was blown and there was a material failure of the housing (it was cracked), he replaced all the pipes from the coolant: $482. The mechanic called & said that he could not "burp" the vehicle & that it made a weird sound so they have to "bleed it overnight". this did not solve the issue so they had to take the engine apart & find the problem. The head casket was blown & quoted me a repair bill of $5000+.the owner of the shop called BMW and asked if they could do a "good faith" replacement which they said they would do if the car had less than 80,000 miles on it... mine had 85,000 miles on it... from what I am reading on the complaint board, this is a very common issue!! as a rn if there is a failure in any product we implant in patients, there is an immediate recall, so why, when BMW clearly knows this is an issue do they wait for hard-working people like me to be put in this horrible situation!!! I hope that BMW steps up an honor it's "good faith" beyond 80,000 miles and replace the car.

- Grass Valley , CA, USA

problem #61

Mar 032015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper. While making a right turn at approximately 5 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. After several attempts, the vehicle was able to be restarted and resumed normal operation. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure recurred on several occasions. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was unavailable.

- Santa Isabel, PR, USA

problem #60

Mar 052015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
I stopped at a red light on a busy city street. The MINICooper S engine stopped running and would not start. That day was heavy snow and the roads were very difficult to drive on. I could not move the car. After sometime waiting on a tow truck the four way flashers quit working. Fortunately no one ran into the car. I disrupted traffic for about an hour until the police were able to push the car off the road. The car was towed to the MINIdealer and it was determined the timing chain broke. The car only has 32,000 miles on it. Researching, I see that many MINIowners have experienced the timing chain failing. My 17 year old daughter usually drives this car. I am glad I was driving it when this happened and fortunate the car was not moving when the engine failed.

- Monroeville, PA, USA

problem #59

Feb 032015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 51,700 miles
Leak in turbo oil line due to cracks in plastic O-ring. After hundreds of heat cycles, the O-ring cooks its self and starts to leak oil onto the turbo. It seems to me that the product recall and installation of the oil line heat shield by ntsb should have also included recall and replacement of the turbo oil line. The oil line heat shield has not solved the problem of the baked O-ring in the turbo oil line and therefore the turbo oil line should be covered under manufacturer recall/defect!

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #58

Jan 282015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,100 miles
2009 MINICooper S - I, like so many other MINIcooper owners, have just fallen victim to the "death rattle" of the [known by BMW] defective/faulty and non-recalled timing chain issue. It's absurd that we continue to expose this far too common defect of a product that was originally deemed as a "non-service" item good for the operating life of the engine. Most owners experience problems within the first 50,000 miles. I purchased this well maintained (at a local MINIdealer) MINIfrom a private party just days after they performed an expensive 'walnut treatment' to clear out excessive carbon build up. Within 100mi of this service, the 'death rattle' starts. I am now being told that it will run just over $2400 (I've uncovered about $400 in total parts) to correct an issue BMW has been hiding behind for years; they've even issued a warning to service advisors to not re-install the defective parts, but deny the part to actually be defective or in need of recall. When will anyone stand up for the little guy, the consumer, and demand this well known, often occurring, extremely expensive and potentially dangerous defect be corrected at the cost of the manufacturer? I now have an $11,500 paper weight.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #57

Jan 132015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,716 miles
The engine was rattling heavily when the car ignition was on around 5 pm at the workplace parking lot. In the meantime, the check engine light was flashing. The car failed to deliver the power to the transmission. A few days late, my car was towed to a local dealership and diagnosed with leak oil from one of timing belt tensioners and a broken tensioner. The dealership had to replace the broken one with a new timing belt kit together with tensioners as a goodwill from the MINICooper usa (85% warranty deductible). Even though, I felt the quality of this important engine parts was unacceptable with such a low mileage on the car. The timing belt of this model was a metal chain located inside the engine box and supposed to last life-long without worry. I was lucky that this incident happened just in the parking lot. I could not imagine potential consequences if this incident happens while driving on the highway. I sincerely believe the manufacture BMW/MINIshould be fully responsible for such a defect product and a proper action by the manufacture should be considered to avoid such an incident happening to other customers who own this model.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #56

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 #55

Jan 092015


  • 65,000 miles
My vehicle experienced sudden loss of power without warning while on the interstate at full speed and was unable to be restarted. Luckily traffic was very light and I was able to guide my vehicle safely to the shoulder but the vehicle would not start. The temperature outside was around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It took over 2 hours for a two truck to arrive and my wife and I were lucky enough to have an emergency kit in the vehicle and were able to use the included space blanket to survive the freezing temperatures. Based on what happened I am certain that my vehicles timing chain had broken resulting in the loss of power and inability to start. This particular vehicle model has a known issue with this. My vehicle has had this issue before and was serviced by the dealer since it was recognized before any dangerous situations arose but this time I was not so lucky. The manufacturer is aware of this design flaw but refuses to accept any responsibility or properly fix it. My wife and I would have called emergency services but were told by the tow service that we would be helped sooner than what actually happened. I feel that this known manufacturers defect put me and my wife's lives at risk.

- Saint Peters, MO, USA

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