Noise on cold start - Aprilia
I've put this in Discussion rather than Technical because its not really a 'technical' question.

The mother of one of my daughter's friends has a new '57-reg Mini Cooper. The engine was reported to be 'noisy' on a cold start. The BMW dealer have told them that its fine and 'normal'. I've now listened to it and it doesn't sound right to me - sounds like piston slap or possibly a small-end. Anyone got a new (2007) Mini and confirm this noise as being normal? I am very skeptical.
Not impressed with the build quality of this car - only got about 1000 miles on it and the trim is rattling from several locations - how do they get away with it?
Noise on cold start - David Horn
I remember thinking that a Mini Cooper S made a distinctive whining noise, but put it down to the supercharger. Apart from that it sounded fine. Does the dealer not have one sitting on a forecourt they can compare it with?
Noise on cold start - k9dan
Had a gearbox problem with a Mondeo years ago, would crunch going into first, dealer said it was fine, they all do that etc, saw similar car sitting and asked him to try it, didn't crunch and took away his arguement, get a dealer car to compare.
Noise on cold start - Archie35
I've a May 07 registered Mini Cooper. Its reasonably quiet on start-up - but, yes, on rough roads there are some trim rattles (or, rather, resonance).
Noise on cold start - bbroomlea{P}
We had one as a courtesy car for a week - was very tappety - especially when cold, however wasnt much better when warm either. The old Chrysler engine may have been a bit thirsty but out of the two sounded and drove far smoother.

That too had lots of cheap plastics and rattled on uneven roads - felt less well built that the previous model cooper we had at the time.

Noise on cold start - nortones2

Might be of interest: 11 pages! Not clear what is at fault although cam-chain tensioner is one culprit. Some dealers pronounce the noise normal, but listen to the sound effects.....
Noise on cold start - Aprilia
Crikey! There's a few problems listed on that thread! The noise does in fact sound like piston slap to me, rather than timing chain. I suspect that BMW will not want to do anything about it.
Interesting to see the comments about gearbox noise too - this car had a rather rattly gearbox...
I was trying to help the owners out - they just bought this car (1st Sept) for the wife and then few days later the husband found out he's being made redundant - so company BMW going back etc and they are having to rely on the Mini more than anticipated..
Noise on cold start - Pugugly {P}
Bumped into a young acquaintance in the local BMW dealer last week, her brand-new MINI was having a new gearbox under warranty...
Noise on cold start - WipeOut
I rejected a Cooper S earlier this year with this problem among others.

The engine made a very loud clatter (louder than my diesel engine) at start up, particularly on cold mornings. It sounds like an extreme case of tappets . It was ironic, that I had bought a petrol engine as I wanted to get away from diesel clatter, and ended up with an engine with far more clatter than any diesel I have owned. They tried to tell me it was a characteristic of an engine, to which I told them rust is a characteristic of untreated metal both of which aren't acceptable characteristics. My car also suffered the gearbox/clutch squealing noise, and some electrical problems which admitedly were resolved but I had lost interest in the car.

After much fuss, many letters, and threat of legal action I did reject the car. I temporarily bought a three year old Golf 2.0 tdi which was quieter on start-up! I am soon to take delivery from a different dealer of a Cooper D as I liked the Mini, as I've heard better reports about the Cooper D and at least expect clatter at start-up.

Shame my Cooper S would have been a great car, if it wasn't for some of it's reliabillity issues. I hope I'll be luckier with a Cooper D


Noise on cold start - Aprilia
I did a further examination of this car this morning. Cold start and there is a lot of clatter from the engine. It is not the timing chain (the timing chain DOES clatter, but only for a few seconds as oil pressure builds up, as expected). Sounds very 'Diesel-like' - maybe small ends or piston slap. The gearbox is also noisy - the gears really kick about at idle, reminds me of an old Punto gearbox. After the fiasco of the old 'Midland' gearbox I would have thought they'd have made sure this one was fully sorted out.
After a further examination of the car I found.. boot poorly aligned; driver A-post trim not properly fitted (I knocked it into place); part of engine wiring loom not properly clipped into place and potentially chaffing; headlamps appear misaligned. Clearly checks at the factory are not as thorough as they should be and nor was the dealer's PDI.

Once warmed up the engine does quieten off, but performance is not that impressive IMHO - engine is decidely flat in the lower rev ranges - certainly doesn't feel its quote BHP - and I don't think this is related to the engine noise. Steering rather wooden.
I have written a few notes for the owners (who are not mechanically minded) and they will be off to thump the table at the dealer tomorrow. I cannot believe this noise is 'normal for the car', as they were previously told.

I don't care what anyone says, or what the road tests say, these are not a particularly good car and there are far far better motors out there for the money.
Noise on cold start - Avant
"....there are far far better motors out there for the money. "

Aprilia - purely out of interest (as SWMBO's Mini One is only 16 months old, and fortunately doesn't have any of these problems) what do you recommend as a small, nippy, fun-to-drive car that would do the same job better?

I can think of - Suzuki Swift 1.5, Mazda 2 1.5 and Toyota Yaris 1.3. Maybe Fiat Panda 100 bhp?
Noise on cold start - gordonbennet
Strangely enough delivered some of these brand new today and i can confirm very noisy when cold, don't do beemers very often.

Reminded me of mk 2 escort/mk1 fiesta sound sort of timing chainey if thats a term?

Noise and feel of car a bit 'uncouth' IMO
Noise on cold start - bell boy
3 bearing cranky noise ?
Noise on cold start - Aprilia
3 bearing cranky noise ?

No, not a crank noise, BB, more top-endy. In the early '80's we used to get a fair number of customers with Vaux/GM Cavalier/Ascona 2.0 litre cam-in-head that made a knocking noise when cold - it was piston slap. Sounds just like that to me.
Noise on cold start - Aprilia
Noise and feel of car a bit 'uncouth' IMO

That's a good way to put it. Not what you'd expect of a new design in 2007. The old Chrysler Neon-derived motor in the last model wasn't a paragon of smoothness, but this new motor is a not as smooth. In fact this particular example I drove today is the proverbial bag o' spanners. Personally I think the owners should strive for rejection. I really don't think its right - if they really ARE all like this then I wouldn't want one after 50k miles!
Noise on cold start - Aprilia
Not really my kind of car - I would be more inclined to spend the money on one of the last of the old Impreza saloons (turbo or non-turbo, according to taste and funds) - far more enjoyable to drive, more comfortable (surprisingly!) and with a real depth of engineering excellence. You can really feel the stiffness of that chassis! Pity about the new hatchback model.....

If you like the 'Mini' style thing then a Suzuki Swift Sport 1.6 comes in at £11.5k (and possibly some discount) and is pretty much spot on with the Mini Cooper in terms of performance. It also has all the kit as standard. On the Mini I was told (by the owners of the noisy one) that air-con was £900 extra?? Can this be right? Anyway, if true than that soon bumps up the list.
I am not convinced that the Mini would hold its value significantly better than a Swift in percentage terms or in ££ terms (when referenced back to price paid as opposed to OTR price with aircon etc.). From the used prices I see touted about the Swift is holding its money pretty well.
Noise on cold start - gordonbennet
Forgot to mention, one for you Aprilia.

Mate has cooper s (facelift with i think turbo as against supercharger, have i got that the right way round), anyway when giving it a bit of welly it sort of backfires/exhaust popping on overrun.

Dealer has inspected and says they are desinged that way to make them sound more sporty

Sounds more like fishy to me.
Noise on cold start - Happy1981
I now own my second MINI, the R56 Cooper S after 60,000 miles on my previous 04 plate Cooper. You need to remember that with any mass produced car, a certain percentage will have problems. My first MINI was driven extremely hard with harsh sports suspension and runflats and after 60,000 miles didn't have a single rattle.

Some of the latest Cooper S models have had a design or manufacturing problem leading to noisy cold startups. On mine for example after several months of ownership this has occured three times. However BMW service is nothing short of excellent and this problem is now well documented. Should further problems occur down the line I have no doubt they would be sorted out.

As for the rest of the car, I have yet to sit in another small car that is as well made or technologically advanced - curtain airbags, runflats, stability control, traction control, cruise control, bi-xenon headlights etc. Even the second generation Ford Focus doesn't come close. Given the low depreciation and fantastic fuel consumption (50mpg at 60mph) the car works out cheaper than many alternatives (Clio 197, Fiesta ST, Corsa VXR etc) despite its high list price.

Yes there is an 'inexcusable' problem on BMW's part that has affected a few cars. It is worth noting that this engine is also used in the Peugeot 207 and some pug owners have reported problems too. If anyone reading this is considering a Cooper S please don't be put off it is just about the best small car money can buy IMHO. And I don't work for BMW. Or MINI.

Edited by Happy1981 on 21/02/2008 at 21:58

Noise on cold start - SlidingPillar
Pops and bangs on the over-run are near unheard of with standard cars (pre-cat Ferrari F40 does it but I can't think of another more recent car).

Can be a result of radical valve timing, retarded ignition, or a straight through exhaust system getting up to temperature and lighting up the unburnt fuel. Or a combination of the lot.

Nearly all of this can apply to an older competition car, but I'd not expect it of any modern car. Indeed, I'd have thought the cat would not survive this treatment for long.
Noise on cold start - Wal
This is how my 15 month old R56 Mini cooper S sometimes sounds during a cold start. {link to youtube clip}

{Sorry, we don't allow vid clips to be directly posted on the site (with the exception of the how2 section by those with admin rights), hence the edit - DD}

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 24/03/2008 at 15:35

Noise on cold start - qxman {p}
Sounds horrible. Even if (somehow) its considered to be normal I think you'd have trouble selling that car (to a private buyer). Maybe you'll have to p/x it at a Mini dealer (good way of keeping people loyal to the brand!!).
Noise on cold start - madf
I had a Rover 75 (1953 vintage ) that made a noise like that.
Leaking exhaust manifold gasket.
Noise on cold start - Martin Devon
"....there are far far better motors out there for the money. "
I can think of - Suzuki Swift 1.5 Mazda 2 1.5 and Toyota Yaris 1.3.
Maybe Fiat Panda 100 bhp?

I defy anyone to dislike the Mitsi Colt I have just bought. I think my views are well documented somewhere on this great site, a 1.3 automated manual (Tiptronic) It is soo much fun. This is from someone who came out of an E320 straight 6 petrol!!

For what it is worth in 1989 I bought a nearly new Ford Granada 2.9i Ghia 150 bhp. 0-60 10 secs. Colt 0-60 10.5 secs 100bhp (I think) The car just gets better and better.

A test drive won't do it for you. A 24 hour test drive won't do it for you, but it is a great little car that is not so little. Fits 4 stout adults. Still drives and goes well. Me 5' 11" (height not waist) and there is still room for a top hat. Aircon. ABS. etc etc etc. It's the only thing I have bought that I would do again tomorrow. Oh! and the Renault Master van too.

Try it, you may just like it........................MD
Noise on cold start - robmgy
If the car is a normal 'cooper' not a 'cooper s' the noise is probably down to low oil level or something rather than an actual mechanical issue as they are pretty solid.
If however the car is a cooper S, there is a procedure which is under-taken at BMW dealers for checking this fault, at which they check the tension of the timing chain. Theres two setpoints on which they measure the chain, if it falls on or before 0.8mm of movement in the chain, they replace the tensioner, anymore and they replace the timing chain and tensioners.
BMW are aware of the problem and have sent out technical bulletins to the dealers.
Pretty good of them really

Added -
also the 'popping and banging' from the exhaust on the cooper S is actually a design characteristic - they are meant to do this. it sounds awesome :)

Edited by robmgy on 22/11/2009 at 19:46

Noise on cold start - Dynamic Dave
they are meant to do this. it sounds awesome :)

Good grief!! Next you'll be telling us that dump valves are cool as well.

ps, please note, this is an old thread that someone has revived from the basement of the forum - in case someone thinks Aprilia has returned.
Noise on cold start - stevethesparky
i have a 2009 mini cooper s
and it has just come out of bmw they say my diesel sounding noise on cold start is the vacuum pump ? and is normal
oh yeah and mine pops and baangs if i am coming off the throttle whislt turbo is spinning up

is this noise normal for a pump? i dunno but does sound very nasty


Edited by Pugugly on 10/02/2010 at 16:56

Noise on cold start - WorkshopTech
diagnosing noises from a description is always difficult. We are mini specialists and I have seen hundreds of minis, and vac pump should not sound like a diesel. I have not yet had an 09 spec in the workshop though, so maybe something has changed? Seems odd tho0ugh.
Noise on cold start - Ironbarzeus
I get this noise on a cold start but it also persists until I hit over 2,500 rpms but this is definetley not normal. People have mentioned on other forums timing gear/chain transmition problems. Also reports of many dealers trying to fob off other customers with, "this noise is normal". It isn't, sounds like a bad diesel, if I'd had wanted my car to sound like a Taxi I would have bought one.
Noise on cold start - WorkshopTech
We advertise ourselves as VAG and BMW/BMW Mini specialists, so I have been working on these cars routinely since about 2003, when we started to see the first out of waranty motors.

If you have a post-2006 Mini then it will likely have the Peugeot engine. Im not a great fan of this (in fact I am not a fan of ANY mini engines!). The pug engine suffers with timing chain tensioner problems and this is probably what you can hear rattling (im guessing, since obviously Ive never heard your car!).
There are modified tensioner and uprated chain etc available, but its quite a big job (i.e. a fair bit of labour) to fit. The dealers are under the cosh to keep warranty claims to a minimum (recession etc) so I guess many are trying to blag it until the car is out of warranty and then they will "diagnose" timing chain trouble and skin you alive.

My suggestion is get an independent assessment (e.g. AA/RAC etc) and then approach dealer for rectification. Or you could try another dealer who might be a bit more helpful.
Timing Chain issue - Unclejake


I'm not sure what I'm more upset about - finding out that this issue is a common fault, or that my Cooper S Clubman engine is a Peugeot one.

Thanks for your advice. My car is in the garage - having it's 3rd timing chain in 3 years replaced. Is there anything I can do to prevent this continuing when the car is out of warranty?

Are they in anyway obliged to fix the problem for good or replace the car?

thanks in advance.

Timing Chain issue - madf

". Is there anything I can do to prevent this continuing when the car is out of warranty?"


Sell it.

Noise on cold start - Pat L

WT - can you help me please. I have recently bought a R56 Cooper D 2008 plate and I don't know if it's got a belt or chain. There's no mention of any belt renewal in the service book.




Value my car