Are the turbo charged Mini coopers defective?


Asked by Nov 13, 2012 at 03:26 PM about the 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I was warned to avoid turbo charged Mini Coopers while I search for my next car.
Are these valid concerns?

4 Answers


Find a Mini Cooper forum and search for turbo problems. All cars have some kind of quirks. Many times the manufacturer will recall the cars and fix the problem by the time you hear about it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Robert Charlson

That one you have listed on the question yes I would agree do stay away from. They are having issues with timing chains, carbon deposits on the intake valves, high pressure fuel pump failures (those now have a extended warranty from mini) The turbos oil feed bearings will get coaked up and fail causing turbo failure. The motor in this car is called a N14. But they now have a new turbo engine out called the N18 and so far those have pretty good no real issues yet. But if your looking for a good reliable engine over power then I suggest the N12/N16 MINI's naturally aspirated engines only issues they really have is a coil pack going bad. Hope that helps with your decision.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
Vince Lee

My wife's '10 Cooper S Clubman has 24,000 km and had already had the high pressure fuel pump replaced (after being stranded), the rear door power lock repaired (barn doors wouldn't close), and the intake ports walnut shell blasted to remove excessive carbon deposit (misfire codes). These were all fixed under warranty but the service department always had blanket statements to deny manufacturing defects in all cases. So far the only recall has been the turbo lube pump repair (after a few reported cases of engine bay fire). BMW (MINI) is not a company that will proactively fix its own faults, nor will they super cede defective parts with working ones. BMW relies on the uninformed to shoulder the costs when the timing chains of these engines should eventually fall off the sprockets when the plastic guides fail (reported in a good number of cases).

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

Have to agree. My first new car-a 2009 JCW Clubman-had to have the timing chain replaced before 36k; which caused be to buy the $2600 warranty to extend coverage to what I thought would be 5 yrs/100k miles. When the check engine light was coming on at 95k and the dealer was telling me I needed a new turbocharger for $3600, I found out the car was actually placed in service 6 months before I purchased it (for nearly $40k). While waiting to find all this out, the local dealer who had already reached the turbo oil line, added a heat shield to the oil line to help prevent premature turbo failures!! Replacing it myself now that I have saved up enough for the $1500 part. Very fun car to drive, but not dependable enough for daily transportation if you have a long commute. And stay away from Hendrick Mini in Charlotte, NC!! Always ask when a car was placed in service; "new" means something else to dealers.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

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