definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,283 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

problem #17

Feb 212011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 24,662 miles


The timing chain failed, found to be sheared through.

- East Orange, NJ, USA

problem #16

Sep 092014


  • 32,000 miles
In September of 2014, the check engine light of my 2009 MINICooper came on. I took the car in for service at the MINICooper dealership in fife, Washington and was told the timing chain needed to be replaced. When I purchased the vehicle new I was told the timing chain would remain maintenance-free throughout the full running life of the engine. Obviously this was not the case. All maintenance has been performed at the MINICooper dealership in fife since I purchased it new in October 2008.

- University Place, WA, USA

problem #15

Nov 092013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
MINIcooper sent a recall for a faulty timing chain in my 2009 MINIcooper. This is the 2nd timing chain repair in 2 years. When I had it in for the repair I informed the tech I smelled oil burning after the vehicle was running during a highway drive. They looked at the car and informed me the turbo lines were leaking which pose a risk if I left it unrepaired. The turbo line repair is a $1000 repair on a car with less than 35000 miles. The tech informed me that they were going to put a heat shield on the vehicle also as part of a recall. Perhaps this shield should have been installed prior and the line would still be intact.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #14

Aug 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


Check engine light came on. Checked it and its the thermostat. I had replaced the thermostat 1 year ago and now again. Went to the dealership here in san antonio, tx and they told me their on back order. Apparently 17,000 on backorder! its almost been a month and a half and my car is still in my garage with no definite answer from MINIThere has to be a bigger issue that is being covered up by MINI

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #13

Jun 192013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Fan is barely blowing out of the front vents, the air is all flowing through the bottom vents. This happens intermittently. Heat and air-conditioning works fine. Only the air flow is limited regardless of adjustments to air flow settings or temperatures.

- Los Alto Hills, CA, USA

problem #12

May 012013


  • miles
Cpsc: I1350251A. MINICooper S 2009. Consumer stated that the car was brought new and have several issues. The consumer stated because of the late recall, issued by BMW, the oil supply line was damaged and started to leak.

- Snoqualmie, WA, USA

problem #11

Apr 022012


  • miles


2009 MINICooper. Consumer writes in regards to recall concerning electric auxiliary water pump the consumer has not been able to get the recall fixed, because it would require him to ship the vehicle, as there are no local dealers where the consumer resides. The consumer stated he can not afford to ship the vehicle.

- Kapaa, HI, USA

problem #10

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 #9

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 #8

Jan 102012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 14,800 miles
Loud rattle at cold start.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #7

Dec 292011


  • 53,000 miles


Why is my VIN # not added to this recall" it has all the same symptoms.. I called MINIusa without getting anywhere. Did I just a buy a lemon? see info below: The cold start issue has been a common theme popping up in the faults and fixes threads on various MINIforums. Specifically, mcs owners complaining about a peculiarly loud engine rattle on start-up. Now the R56 is a N"interesting" sounding engine to begin with. The direct fuel injection solenoids give the car a very diesel-esque sound at idle. But this is a very different sound altogether. BMW has determined that 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. After two years of research into the issue MINInow has official repair information at dealers that will eliminate the issue. The puma measure number that will need to be referenced is 10686850-13 (we've seen 10686850-12 mentioned but we believe 13 is the latest) and the part number is According to the information we've seen, all cars affected in with the issue will get a new timing chain, chain guides, cam sprockets and vanos unit. At this stage MINIis handling this on a case by case basis when the owner complains about the sound. Were guessing they would like to steer clear of something along the lines of a recall (voluntary or otherwise) due to the cost of the service. However don't be surprised to see and hear more about this issue and the official fix soon. In the mean time if your 2007-2009 mcs is affected wed urge you to call and make an appointment at your local dealer.

- Waynesboro, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Engine light on loosing power engine smoking.

- Seneca, SC, USA

problem #5

Oct 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
I drove the car for less than a mile at city speeds and proceeded to park to run errands. About 5 minutes later I noticed smoke coming out of the engine compartment of the car, upon closer inspection I realized the car was on fire and called 911. By the time the fire department arrived to the scene (about 5 minutes later) the fire had spread through the vehicle. The car showed no warning signs before the fire started and all scheduled maintenance had been performed. The cause of the fire is to be determined.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #4

Sep 222011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 31,621 miles
Engine oil spraying from camshaft chain tension-er seal. Oil was spraying out under pressure. I would consider this to be a fire hazard, as hot exhaust components are nearby.

- Huntersville, NC, USA

problem #3

Feb 022011


  • 52,124 miles
My vehicle had been parked for a couple of days in our garage. When I pulled it out on the 2nd I noticed a large pool of oil on the floor. I immediately drove it to the local dealership and was informed that the timing chain tensioner system had failed and that if not immediately remedied this would cause catastrophic engine failure. Over my communications with the dealer, MINIof sterling in sterling, va, I was told that this was a frequent occurrence, at least one a week, and is a recognized problem with a known work-around. They informed me that they had seen catastrophic engine failure and that with my commute of 45 miles on major highways that such a failure at speed would result in a major crash.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #2

Nov 202008


  • miles
2009 MINICooper S loud noise at cold startup immediately after car was received in November 2008 miniusa has discovered it's an issue with the timing belt and its tensioner I read of this issue online and asked MINIdealer to repair it: They replaced timing belt and tensioner but some MINIowners report a recurrence of the issue and major damage to the car's engine.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #1

Dec 022010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 14,000 miles
Failure of timing belt tensioner in 2009 MINICooper S leading to massive oil leak loss of power to engine and near lethal accident.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

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