Kinetech Motor Werkes & Services and Areas of expertise
One of the most frequent problems we come across when it comes to MINIs is turbocharger failure. Before we get it to that you may be thinking to yourself, What’s a turbocharger? Why do I need it? Does my MINI even have one?, just to name a few.
As its name implies, a turbocharger increases the power output of an engine by utilizing spent exhaust gasses to spin a turbine and for more air into your engine which creates more power. From 2007-2014 MINI Cooper S with the R5x and R6x designations are equipped with turbochargers. Non S models DO NOT have them.
What causes turbocharger failure? The main cause of turbocharger failure is oil-related – usually due to either an insufficient amount of oil or dirty oil.
How did my oil get low? How did it get dirty?
In answer to the first questions, The manufacture suggests that an engine's oil consumption of 1qt per 1,000 miles is perfectly normal for today’s modern engines due to a number of engineering and design factors.
To stay ahead of this before it becomes an issue we recommend checking of your engine’s oil every 2-4 weeks or 600 miles. Top off as needed with recommended oil.
The reason your engine’s oil gets dirty is most commonly the result of long oil service intervals. (The dealer/manufacturer/owner's manual,) typically recommends oil changes on a MINI every 12,000-18,000 miles, depending upon when the car’s indicator says to do it.) To that we say nay-nay! With a strong head shake. Below are just a few countermeasures you can take.
1. After driving (once you have reached your destination), let your MINI idle for a couple of minutes, rather than turning it off right away. This
will let the turbo cool down a little before turning it off. It’s also a great opportunity to jam out to your favorite song.
2. Keep oil full and cooling system in good working order. Coolant should be service every 4 years/50,000 miles.
3. Frequent maintenance. Have one of our highly qualified and experienced MINI Cooper Technicians inspect your MINI Cooper every 6 months.
It has been our experience over the last 15 years, that when using full synthetic quality motor oil, it should be drained and have the filter changes every 5,000 This will prolong the life of your MINI’s engine.
Are turbocharger failures serious?
Turbocharger failures can be catastrophic, so they are important to address at the first sign of a problem.
Signs of MINI Turbocharger failure
- Your check engine light comes on
- You hear a loud screeching noise that sounds like metal on metal
- You experience a great loss of power, not quite as peppy as it once was.
- If you experience any of the following signs, you may be on your way to turbocharger failure. Call or stop by Kinetech Motor Werkes so our qualified staff can check out your MINI’s turbocharger immediately.