Few things are more stressful than when you notice your vehicle starting to make an unfamiliar noise. While Mini Coopers are notoriously reliable, they do have some common problems. This simple troubleshooting guide will help you diagnose that funny sound and figure out exactly what your Mini is trying to tell you.
Loose Timing Chain
A loose timing chain presents itself as a rattling noise that comes from the front passenger side of your vehicle. The sound is often worse when you first start the car. If you notice a sound that fits this description, you need to have a professional look at it right away. This is an urgent issue because if the chain comes loose, it can damage your engine. In some circumstances, the manufacturer will pay for this repair. Either way, it’s not something you can avoid and isn’t something you should attempt to do yourself. A timing chain repair requires special tools and a skilled technician.
Broken Wheel Bearing
A constant rumbling sound from your wheels can be an indication of a broken wheel bearing. You can usually only hear it when you’re driving, and it might not be noticeable unless you’re going at least 40 miles per hour. Before you take your Mini into the shop for wheel bearing repair, check all of your tires thoroughly. If you don’t see any major problems, a mechanic can easily diagnose wheel bearing problems. The repair is difficult to do yourself and is labor-intensive, making it one that’s best left to a trusted professional.
Worn Ball Joints
Ball joints are part of your vehicle’s suspension system, and when there’s a problem, you’ll often notice a “clunk” or “knocking” sound that you can sometimes feel coming from under your floorboard. You can drive a car with worn ball joints, but if the damage is significant, it can become dangerous. If it fails completely, the control arm will lose its attachment to the steering knuckle and you’ll lose control of your vehicle. This is an issue you’ll want to have a professional diagnose and repair at your earliest convenience.
Bad Strut or Shock Absorber
Struts and shocks are also parts of your vehicle’s suspension system. When they go bad, they’ll cause a knocking, thumping, or rattling noise while you’re driving. Other symptoms include a rough or bumpy ride, abnormal tire wear, and leaking hydraulic fluid. If your shocks or struts are worn, your Mini will still be drivable, but you’ll have to deal with a rough ride. This should be fixed at some point, however. If the wear gets worse, you’ll have an increased chance of losing control or rolling your vehicle. A front strut that’s broken, rather than worn, should be fixed right away. While a simple strut repair can possibly be done by an intermediate-level amateur mechanic, transferring a coil spring should only be done by a professional.
Power Steering Damage
A vehicle with power steering damage will often emit a whining sound that’s more noticeable when turning at lower speeds. There are many possible causes of power steering issues, and if not addressed, some can lead to a total loss of your power steering. If this happens, it will be extremely difficult to turn your steering wheel and could result in a dangerous driving situation.
The Haus: Your Mini Cooper Repair Specialists
As a general rule, it’s never a good idea to ignore strange vehicle noises. Instead, bring your Mini to The Haus, where we can provide you with a professional diagnosis.
If you have an issue that needs repair, we’ll take care of it for you and have you back on the road in no time. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!