Puget Sound MINI Motoring Club Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Dealer Discussions > Service Discussions and Questions
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Need a non-dealer shop/mechanic
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Need a non-dealer shop/mechanic

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
amethystMINI View Drop Down
PSMINI Member
PSMINI Member
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: February/13/13
Location: Renton
Status: Offline
Points: 30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amethystMINI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Need a non-dealer shop/mechanic
    Posted: June/30/14 at 10:00pm
Well, looks like I can't ignore it any more - I hate to drive Jojo knowing I may be doing damage...

Who does everybody use to take their MINIs for work?  Need a good diagnostician, can't figure out what is going on. 

The brief description - I'm slowly losing coolant.  It's not ending up on the garage floor.  I don't smell any coolant odor in the cabin whilst driving.  I don't see any white smoke coming from the tailpipe.  It's a mystery! 

He's not running great - engine startup is a little rough, and sometimes he idles a little rough too.  I could be imagining it, but it seems like I'm not getting as much power as before...R53, 106K miles...

My friend from back home, a MINI tech, recommends I find a spark plug tool, take the plugs out, and have a look in to see if there is any coolant in my engine.  I'm sure hoping this isn't a bad issue, whatever is going on!  Cry
Eat, Drink, and Motor, for tomorrow we die!
Back to Top
Wildfamily View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: March/11/06
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4558
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wildfamily Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/01/14 at 7:24am
Several good shops depending on where you are and want to go. Northend try Broad Stroke Associates (BMW/MINI). Southend try South Lake European. Both know MINIs well and will server you well.
'15 F55 Cooper Volcanic Orange
'80 Mini English White
Back to Top
CORNERS View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: July/29/10
Location: Bothell, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 3733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CORNERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/01/14 at 11:55am
If this is an R53 I'd be happy to have a look or fix it for you. I'm not a professional mechanic but I'm the next best thing (I've worked on at least 30 different MINIs at my home garage over the last few years and R53 are my specialty, I can safely say that I've seen almost every way an R53 can break).  If nothing else I can help you diagnose it and save you on the mechanic shop time. 

Based on your symptoms, some possible cause(s): leaking thermostat housing, broken/stuck thermostat, leaking radiator hose inlet gasket, old/worn plugs, coating came off supercharger vanes and is stuck in the intercooler, or dirty air filter. I doubt you have coolant in your cylinders, I've never seen a bad head gasket on these cars.  


PM me if interested.


Edited by CORNERS - July/01/14 at 12:00pm
Back to Top
amethystMINI View Drop Down
PSMINI Member
PSMINI Member
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: February/13/13
Location: Renton
Status: Offline
Points: 30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amethystMINI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/14 at 3:52pm
Big belated thanks to Kurt for poking around and helping me diagnose things a few weeks ago!  Here's what we discovered, maybe someone has any input? 

Couldn't find any source of leaks, although I was a little low on oil. Added 1/2 quart, will keep an eye on that.

We pulled out the spark plugs, and Kurt used a camera scope to take a look at everything and the good news is Jojo is very clean. Yay for top tier gas! Then we ran a compression test and things got interesting. There is a chance that the gauge wasn't the most accurate, but here are the results:
Cylinder 1 - 90 psi w/o oil, 140 psi with oil added in.
Cylinder 2 - 120 psi w/o oil, 120 psi with oil
Cylinder 3 - 80 psi w/o oil, 110 psi with oil
Cylinder 4 - 120 psi w/o oil, 120 psi with oil.

Not sure exactly where to go from here - my MINI tech friends back home suggest a leak-down test to discover where I'm losing compression.  Anyone want to weigh in?Confused
Eat, Drink, and Motor, for tomorrow we die!
Back to Top
CORNERS View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: July/29/10
Location: Bothell, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 3733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CORNERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/14 at 6:45pm
We determined that the coolant disappearance may have been due to technician not bleeding air out of the system at the last service and not topping up the reservoir. 
R53s consume oil, it's just the way it is. 1 litre every 1000 miles is normal. 

The readings were low, but it was a quick test. I also forgot to open the throttle plate and that could have affected numbers. 
There is a bone stock R53 in my garage right now that has about 95,000 miles on it. I'll do a compression test on that one and see what we come up with. I'll try with the throttle plate opened and closed and see if it changes anything. 
(If I get time I'll do it on CORNERS and his new engine as well)

I also picked up a leak-down tester the other day so we can do that next time maybe. That would take an hour or two. 



Edited by CORNERS - July/25/14 at 9:00pm
Back to Top
amethystMINI View Drop Down
PSMINI Member
PSMINI Member
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: February/13/13
Location: Renton
Status: Offline
Points: 30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amethystMINI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/14 at 8:08pm
Cool, I'll be interested in seeing how it compares to mine.  I have a tentative appointment with Zahntech next Friday to do some diagnostics, but maybe we can do the leak-down test first and try and narrow it down before I spend the cash on a professional. 

I'll bring the beer (or root beer, if that's your thing)!  :)
Eat, Drink, and Motor, for tomorrow we die!
Back to Top
CORNERS View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: July/29/10
Location: Bothell, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 3733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CORNERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/14 at 8:16pm
Going out to do the test now. 
Back to Top
CORNERS View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: July/29/10
Location: Bothell, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 3733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CORNERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/25/14 at 8:51pm
- Electric blue 2005 MINI Cooper S with black roof compression test results - 

 Dry: 
120 120 110 120
Wet: 
160 150 140 150


Bentley manual says 131 to 196 is normal. Both these engines are on the low side but the above numbers would appear to be fairly normal for a car with 100K or so miles.  I'd guess this cars is down on power. 
If your car is 90psi, that is very low and could cause rough running (especially when cold) and it might be time to rebuild the engine or drop in a new short block. (New short block=about $2200 plus gaskets and fluids and labor. New factory remanufactured short block would be cheaper than rebuilding your existing block. The head on these cars will probably outlast the block so you'd be good for another 100K by replacing just the bottom end and maybe replacing the valve stem seals.)

I replaced an short block (bottom half of engine) for a MINIac about a month ago, he said the car was a lot faster with the new short block. 


-- PS - your low wet readings are probably because I didn't add enough oil for your car to get a good wet reading. 
-- PSS - holding throttle pedal to floor made no difference. 



Edited by CORNERS - July/25/14 at 8:56pm
Back to Top
amethystMINI View Drop Down
PSMINI Member
PSMINI Member
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: February/13/13
Location: Renton
Status: Offline
Points: 30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amethystMINI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/14 at 4:51pm
Ugh, good to know. This hurts my heart and my wallet considering I just dropped around 4k into it with the supercharger and clutch replacement. Hubs will not be glad to hear it, that's for sure. I'm backlash buying the car again if I have to do this work-I think I need a beer! :(

Guess I'll go ahead and keep my appointment tomorrow and see what the shop can find out as well. Edit: Unless you would like to play with your leak-down tester a bit? :)
Eat, Drink, and Motor, for tomorrow we die!
Back to Top
CORNERS View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: July/29/10
Location: Bothell, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 3733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CORNERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/14 at 5:02pm
Definitely get their opinion. They are the professionals, not me. :-) 

I'd love to play with the leakdown tester but I don't have time this week, and even if I did have the time, my driveway is full of cars. They are all going over their original time estimate, so nowhere to work ... 
  • 1997 Toyota Camry - bought it to clean up and sell for profit, some guy drove into the driver door and now I have to wait until his insurance fixes it (or writes me a check) 
  • 2004 Toyota Camry - blown head gasket, head is warped and not machinable, waiting for new head to show up
  • 2005 MINI Cooper S - died because battery box in boot filled up with water. Waiting for parts. Also needs lots of other TLC (leaky water pump, brakes, front suspension...) 

Back to Top
amethystMINI View Drop Down
PSMINI Member
PSMINI Member
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: February/13/13
Location: Renton
Status: Offline
Points: 30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amethystMINI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/14 at 12:59pm
Wow, yes, you certainly have your hands and garage full!  Is your own MINI put back together, at least? 

Fingers crossed, I don't know what I want to hear today but hopefully some good news is in my future. 
Eat, Drink, and Motor, for tomorrow we die!
Back to Top
CORNERS View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: July/29/10
Location: Bothell, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 3733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CORNERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/14 at 1:37pm
Yes, my MINI is fixed at least... 

Back to Top
amethystMINI View Drop Down
PSMINI Member
PSMINI Member
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: February/13/13
Location: Renton
Status: Offline
Points: 30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amethystMINI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/05/14 at 9:01pm
That's good to hear!
Eat, Drink, and Motor, for tomorrow we die!
Back to Top
hturisno View Drop Down
MINI Motorer
MINI Motorer


Joined: August/19/14
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hturisno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/14 at 12:08am
hi i just read your post regarding you have some experience with mini cooper, i might need your help :)
Back to Top
CORNERS View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: July/29/10
Location: Bothell, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 3733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CORNERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/14 at 8:37am
Originally posted by amethystMINI amethystMINI wrote:

Ugh, good to know. This hurts my heart and my wallet considering I just dropped around 4k into it with the supercharger and clutch replacement. Hubs will not be glad to hear it, that's for sure. I'm backlash buying the car again if I have to do this work-I think I need a beer! :(

Guess I'll go ahead and keep my appointment tomorrow and see what the shop can find out as well. Edit: Unless you would like to play with your leak-down tester a bit? :)

How did this go? Did you find out anything one way or the other? 

Back to Top
CORNERS View Drop Down
PSMINI Expert Advisor
PSMINI Expert Advisor
Avatar
PSMINI Member

Joined: July/29/10
Location: Bothell, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 3733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CORNERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/20/14 at 8:37am
Originally posted by hturisno hturisno wrote:

hi i just read your post regarding you have some experience with mini cooper, i might need your help :)
Please send me a private message and we can discuss what help you might need.
Back to Top
arnoldmini View Drop Down
MINI Motorer
MINI Motorer


Joined: December/03/17
Location: Sumner, WA
Status: Offline
Points: 1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arnoldmini Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/17 at 1:19pm
I have a 2004 Cooper S and have small oil leak and need an alternator replaced ... what South End - Tacoma - Renton shops are good to fix the car? I may have the shop rebuild the car engine .. currently runs fine.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.