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 1 of 5)

problem #94

Jun 012016


  • 65,000 miles


At about 65,000 the car would just randomly rattle & turn off at any stop including during rush hour when car had to come to a rolling stop due to traffic. Car also skipped gears, also just randomly. We were unable to take to a MINIservice center due to my daughter having it at college where MINIwas not available. We did take to a reputable mechanic and unable to replicate the symptoms and diagnostics not telling him anything he could not "fix" the problem.....twice. We know that MINIhas had issues with the timing chain and they claim that our model and year is not part of this issue. Well we also have a 2010 MINICooper and the same timing chain issue with similar symptoms has just been repaired for over $1800.

- Farmers Branch, TX, USA

problem #93

Dec 062016


  • 80,000 miles
Timing chain broke leading to vehicle coming to a sudden stop. Had this happened in heavy traffic, it could have been life threatening. BMW refuses to assist.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #92

Nov 232016


  • 65,000 miles
We parked the car and 3 hours later is was on fire. It seems to have emanated from the power steering pump area but cannot tell with all the fire damage. The car is most likely a total loss.

- Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #91

Sep 262016


  • miles


Bought a 2009 MINIS for my daughter in August of 2015 with 36K miles on it. Since then I've spent over $5000 in repairs and the car is currently parked and not being driven because now the timing chain needs to be replaced. My car is 5 months past the "warranty" period for this service bulletin campaign, and this repair will likely cost another $3000or more I've paid for to repair the oil leak in the turbo line as well as the water pump failing, and replaced the valve cover due to oil leaking, all well known issues with this car. The timing chain and tensioner issues are well known by BMW/MINIas well and there is no recourse for owners of these cars at this point. My car only has 48,000 miles on it! there is no reason for all of these parts to be failing the way they are. I will have spent more than double what I paid for this car before its drivable again. Very unhappy with MINI

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #90

Sep 112016


  • 67,890 miles
Turbo oil line leaks and drips on turbo manifold causing burning oil smell and smoke. The engine caught a small fire, lucky I was parked on side of a highway road up in the mountains. (no fire stations or very little traffic) I smelt something burning under to hood when it happened and caught the flames in time to extinguish the fire. 2 seattle area MINIdealers state that this is a problem with all the turbo engines in this class. They want you to pay for this repair it's a $1300 fix. I believe that MINIBMW needs to take responsibility and repair/recall the turbo oil line because it poses a safety issue the car could catch fire and potentially injure someone cause an accident, or worse death.

- Tukwila, WA, USA

problem #89

Jan 182016


  • 87,100 miles
My 2009 MINICooper hardtop with 6 speed manual transmission consumes one quart of engine oil per 1000 miles. This is truly unacceptable. It is an ongoing problem and expense that is very annoying. Not to mention the safety side of it and the possibility of burning out the engine. BMW/MINIneeds to take responsibility and rebuild and repair the engine to correct this very important problem.

- Aberdeen, NJ, USA

problem #88

Jun 042013


  • 350,000 miles


Occupancy air bag light stays on replacement 2 times now on again hit a bump it could at times go off. Replaced the water pump and oil pump not even at 60,000 miles

- Broken Bow, OK, USA

problem #87

Apr 292016


  • 45,500 miles
My MINIhas under 50,000 miles and is a 2009, and two months after purchasing it, one week after a new oil change a rattling started in the timing chain region under the hood. There are several ongoing and recent lawsuits involving the faulty timing components, however BMW has refused to do a recall. I have no other option where I live than to take it to a MINIdealership, which is taking advantage of this situation, quoting a ridiculous amount of $2000-$4000 for a complete diagnostics/repair. I can't believe how common the problem is and the fact that a company that is known for being reputable, BMW, is being so unprofessional in admitting the fault. Also, I had to tow my MINIto prevent the chain from spontaneously braking on my way to the dealership as well, just another fee, to prevent incurring an even pricier damage to the turbo engine, just unbelievable.

- Kaneohe, HI, USA

problem #86

Apr 162016


  • 64,000 miles
I noted that at idle the engine of my 2009 MINICooper was not running smooth and instead beginning to pulsate/vibrate. Within in 3 days I had my MINIat the service center. On the way to the appointment the engine cut off at idle at a stop light but was able to restart. No sensor light. I was informed that there was a timing chain failure. As a result there was extensive damage to the engine. The damage also caused an oil leak so that the engine was running without oil, though I'd recently received an oil change. Additionally, the vacuum pump was also leaking. At no time did any sensor lights come on as a warning, including a check engine, low oil, or low coolant. I was informed that repairs would be upwards of $3500, over half of the value of the vehicle. Despite the class action lawsuit settlement that I inquired about, MINIfailed to acknowledge knowledge of the problem. It was my understanding that the settlement of the lawsuit resulted in extending the warranty on these vehicles for the timing chain issue to 7 years/100,000mi. My MINIonly had 64,000miles and was within the 7 year mark. Additionally, I learned that MINIhad previously issued a recall for the vacuum pump. However, I was repeatedly told that for both of these issues "[my] vehicle was not one of the affected vehicles."

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #85

Sep 072015


  • 87,178 miles
The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper S. while driving the vehicle or while parked, the coolant in the vehicle began to leak profusely. The failure was persistent. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the water pump failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V008000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 87,178.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #84

Mar 152016


  • miles


Timing chain, passenger airbag sensor when in motion.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #83

Jan 012016


  • 89,000 miles
At 89,044 miles my 2009 MINICooper, purchased from vista MINIsuffered a catastrophic coolant loss due to a cracked thermostat housing, and as a direct result the vehicle severely overheated irreparably damaging the engine. I was driving along the turnpike at highway speeds when the warning indicator light for the engine temperature came on, and before I could safely pull the vehicle over the vehicle rapidly slowed to a veritable crawl (allowing me just enough time to get it off the road). The vehicle was ultimately towed to a MINIdealer for inspection, but they determined that it would need to have the entire engine replaced. Which would be a rather costly repair, requiring an outlay of funds far greater than the vehicle's value. Thereby substantially decreasing the likelihood of completing the required repairs. I purchased the vehicle believing it to be a quality product, and one capable of being driven for many years to come. However, the experience I suffered severely shook my confidence in the product, so I began to do my own research on the cause of the failure. It turns out that not only MINIengines, but also those manufactured by BMW, share a similar defect, in that they both are prone to the thermostat housings cracking and causing rapid coolant loss. Couple that with the well documented criticism of the location of the coolant sensor in the engine, and you have created the perfect nucleus for generating a cataclysmic meltdown of the engine that lies secretly hibernating within the product line. Therefore, I do not feel that it is fair for me to have to bear the burdensome cost of repair for a problem that is endemic to the product line as a whole.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #82

Mar 082016


  • 60 miles
I have a MINICooper S 2009, with only 50,000 miles in it, and already its failing the guide and support rail the holds the timing chain, those supports are made of plastic which I believe it should be some kind of metal instead, when the support guides breaks the chain comes out of place crashing the engine, well the is ecsactly what happen to me, when I was driving in the freeway, I had to stop and get my car towed, but lucky me I wasn't in the middle of freway which it could cause a big accident, maybe death. Most of car makers like Honda has a miles limit for timing belt replacement, MINICooper S dont, its base on how much you drive it, thats what dealer said. Botton line MINIusa should replace those plastic parts for something more durable specially if its going to make your car stop all of of sudden.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #81

Jan 282016


  • 55,000 miles
At 30000 miles the timing chain was replaced due to a recall. Car rattled for a few months prior to replacemen. At 55ooo mile my car engine light came on and lost power. I was able to limp it in to work about another 5 miles. My husband drove it to MINIdealership another 10 miles away and they stated that it blew a valve or a piston quoting him a head replacement of $5000 or replacement of engine for $10000. I purchased this car new and I have maintained it to a T. reading on line this seems to all be related to the timing chain issue. MINIis not standing by their car and refusing to take responsibilty. Hopefully if we all continue to squeak we can get them to take responsibilty for faulty vehicles. I have a nice looking non running worthless car sitting in my driveway...anyone want it!

- Algona, WA, USA

problem #80

Dec 292015


  • 660,000 miles
Defective timing chain and tensioners causing additional damage to the exhaust valves preventing compression in the engine as is described in one of many class action suits.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #79

Oct 152015


  • 72,000 miles
Timing chain broke well before 10 year or 100000 miles. This timing chain breakage caused my engine to fail due to piston damage or cylinder damage. My engine now needs to be replaced. My vehicle was moving when the sound occurred. When I researched this sound, I learned it may be the timing chain and took it to the garage to be replaced. The garage replaced the timing chain and when they took it for a test drive, it didn't seem to be running right and after further inspection it was determined that the engine was ruined and needed to be replaced.

- Enfield, NH, USA

problem #78

Sep 022015


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 MINICooper S. the contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed and began to jerk. In addition, a loud knocking sound was heard from the hood of the vehicle when driven and oils leaks were discovered when parked. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 44,000.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #77

Sep 092015


  • 75,000 miles
Timing chain problems at 75,000 miles on base model 2009 MINICooper convertible. Well known "death rattle" when engine first starts. Also oil dipstick will not go fully back into the tube (sticks out about 4 inches). Dealer and MINIcontacted. Dealer says timing chain issue and quoted ~$1400 repair. Also said oil pan needs replacing, another ~$300. MINInot willing to pay for repair. Well known problem. 500,000 MINIs recalled (s model). Not sure why base model was not included in this recall. It should be.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #76

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 #75

Aug 102015


  • 54,000 miles
The timing chain tensioner on my MINIwas changed as part of silent service bulletin which aught to be a recall. By the time it was replaced it was too late, now a year later my timing chain is out of spec and rattling away in my car with a replacement set to cost about $2000 for parts that MINIclaimed would last the life of the vehicle. MINIrefuses to replace any parts until they've failed so I'm stuck either paying out of pocket and never seeing a dime back, or risking life and limb on the road until these parts fail so that MINIcan own up to their mistake...

- Washington, DC, USA

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