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Help needed - fourth turbo failure
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Default Help needed - fourth turbo failure - 15th February 2014, 04:09 PM


I’ve came on here hoping for some advice and to hear if anyone else has had similar problems. Sorry in advance for the very long post!

My 2009 Mini Cooper 1.6 Diesel has just had its fourth turbo fail in 14 months. Three of these have been since October last year. I’m now having issues with the BMW dealership involved in this and wondering where to go next.

Here’s the story...

I bought the car in August 2011 at 45k miles, It has now covered 85k. 99% of this is motorway driving during the week to work and back.

The turbo which was in it when I bought it failed in December 2012.

A new oned and was installed by a trusted and known local garage in Glasgow, to my expense, with the turbo unit supplied by the local Douglas Park BMW dealership.

That new turbo failed in October 2013 - under a year later.

It was fixed under warranty, this time installed at the BMW garage which supplied it. But just a week later, that replacement turbo failed.

It was replaced, again under warranty at the BMW garage.

They said the problem with the fail after a week had been caused by them not changing the oil.

Everything seemed relatively ok, although it was always at the back of my mind that it might happen again.

Recently, a regular smell of oil has developed in the cabin and then, on Wednesday night, on the motorway, the turbo failed again! Ironically on the exact same spot on the motorway as before. (I’m a bit of an expert on what it feels like when a turbo fails now).

I managed to get it to the BMW garage and described to them the issue and that the turbo had failed.
They said they would check the turbo and the loss of power.

On Thursday, I received a call saying they had checked the car and the “turbo was fine”. Much to my surprise.

The problem with loss of power was two back pressure hoses blowing. They had in turn caused the DPF sensor to melt. Quote to fix was £329+VAT.

Wanting a second opinion and not wanting to pay BMW’s huge garage prices, I took the car back to my local man. Although BMW charged me £85 for their time in checking it!

Yesterday my local garage checked and discovered that, as well as the hoses and melted DPF pressure sensor (cost of £180 for them to fix), the turbo had infact actually failed. It was a damaged blade.

Trying to contain my anger, I went into the BMW garage and asked what was going on. Spoke to the mechanic who looked at my car on Thursday and he said he took the car a test drive, thought the turbo was fine so never stripped it down (one screw) and when he discovered the blown hoses he thought that was the problem. My point was that surely when a customer reports a turbo fail for the fourth time you take them seriously and check the turbo unit!!

After a heated debated with the service manager, my £85 was refunded but the car has, unfortunately, had to be taken back to the BMW garage for them to “investigate the turbo failure”.

They believe there is something else wrong with the car causing them to fail. I said surely they should have checked that after the third fail? They said their only job was to replace the turbo under warranty.

My local guy says there is nothing else wrong with the car. In his opinion it is poor quality turbo units.

My concern is that I’m going to get a massive bill for checking the car, some other mystery fault will be found, a massive bill for that, and then a replacement turbo under warranty which will fail again in a few months time.

The other frustrating thing? I was planning to trade in the car in a few months time for a bigger car as we’ve a baby on the way and need five doors. Going back to VW I think, had no problems with my last Golf.

Sorry again for the long post but what does anyone think I should do?

I work as a journalist and I’m planning to take a story on this to the motoring press. Also considering a complaint to MINI customer service and to trading standards. Not sure whether to take these actions now or wait until I get my car back.

Thanks for your time in reading this. Craig.
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Default 15th February 2014, 04:21 PM

I have had issues with my last R56 and know how you feel, MINI customer were useless and don't actually get involved they ring the dealership, get fobbed off and then get the dealership to get back in contact, I have yet to see customer service work for the customer. I was advised about trading standards and also I'm sure there are ombudsman you might be able to talk to, I think I got referred to citizens advice bureau and someone else who told me to do a letter of rejection, long story short I sold the car after 7 months of hell and I hd no one on my side. Hope it all works out for you.
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MINI Icon Hot Choc Clubman 20th February 2014, 05:22 PM

Are they just replacing the turbo each time? They should also replace the oil pick up pipe. These are a well known problem and block up very easily.
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Default 26th February 2014, 08:26 PM

Originally Posted by Black LWB View Post
Are they just replacing the turbo each time? They should also replace the oil pick up pipe. These are a well known problem and block up very easily.
As said above if you search the interweb you will find a Ford service bulletin regarding replacing turbos on the same engine in fords etc, they remove sump clean out change pick up pipes oil feeds etc i also think a guy on ebay who sells the turbos gives really good advice on what you must do before just changing the turbo.
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Default 6th March 2014, 09:08 PM

I had a turbo go on my old A3 2.0 TDi. When I replaced it I also replaced the turbo oil feed and return pipes, removed the intercooler and got it cleaned out and also cleaned out all of the intake pipes that were filled with metal filings off the impeller which had failed inside the turbo.
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diesel, mini cooper diesel, turbo

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