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Unread 01-10-2017, 07:28 PM #1
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Awful metallic sound at cold temp . . . puzzled...

I don't know if this is just a roadster issue or a general mini issue but has anyone got bad metallic sound at very cold temperature... possibly coming from the front suspension.

So every year now, when it gets below freezing and more so in the teens or below it feels like there's a bad suspension noise when going over any kind of uneven pavement. It's fine on smooth road. It feels like something is getting really loose with the suspension. It sounds like some bolts are loose where metal is shifting or something...

Two days ago it was about 13°F and I though, something is terribly wrong here. I need to take it in asap...

Today it's back to 45°F and the sound is completely gone.

Then I thought, wait a minute. Is it possible the bushings are contracting so much at very low temperature that metal is in contact somewhere, such as LCA bushings for example?

I mentioned it last year to the shop but they didn't find anything. Of course it was in the spring by then...


Anyone with any form of similar experience with any minis?
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Unread 01-10-2017, 07:45 PM #2
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Rubber bushings are going to get hard in 13-degree weather, so I'd expect some harshness, and perhaps some noise. Even the rubber in your tires is going to get harder, making your ride a bit harsher.

It rarely get's into the teens here, but my cars always ride harsher in really cold weather. I also notice more squeaks and rattles from cars in really cold weather.

If a thorough inspection doesn't reveal anything put together wrong, or worn out, then it is probably just rubber bushings getting hard, IMO.

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Unread 01-10-2017, 09:36 PM #3
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Yes harsher, that's okay...

I should be more clear here. Metal parts are literally knocking against each-other.

I'm trying to find a good image to express what it sounds like. Imagine there is some play with the drive shaft and you rotate it back and forth. It would give a knocking sound. Or imagine the bolts that holds the struts are completely loose. The whole top of struts would dance back and forth, bolt thread hitting the side wall of the holes in the sheet metal. That's kind of what it sounds like...

In a way it sounds like what I would imagine the LCA would sound like if the rubber was completely ripe and half gone, where the pivot would hit the side of the metal.

Seriously it feels like something is going to fall off and break.
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Unread 01-10-2017, 09:45 PM #4
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I guess with that kind of sound I would imagine that if it was normal others would have discussed this before. I'm sure I'm not the only person on the forum driving with a mini in very cold weather.

On the other hand, if no one has experienced that, perhaps something is indeed wrong with the suspension, cold weather makes more apparent.

(?)


ps: The car is only 3 and a half years old. And we've heard the sound during previous winters so I can't imagine the bushings would be worn out
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Unread 01-10-2017, 10:22 PM #5
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The only advice I can offer is to get the car up on a lift, and inspect everything -- or have it inspected by a professional tech. I'm lucky, as I have a shop that will do that for me for free (well, barter, actually). If they don't find anything wrong, then it may just be cold bushings, and the noise may not be actual metal-to-metal.

Hopefully someone will chime in who has experienced just what you are experiencing. My 2007 MCS get's harsher in very cold weather, but that's all.

I had a "clunking" noise that came and went, my shop could not find any reason for it.

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Unread 01-10-2017, 10:43 PM #6
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It's a shame I didn't took the time to check it out when I replaced the rear brake pads and rotors last weekend (and the sounds was well before that, in case someone ask ).
The car was lifted on jack stands. But I it took me extra time nice it was the first time I was doing the brakes on the mini, and I had the go somewhere...

Perhaps I'll wait for the next cold front and check it out then...

Thanks for the sound check though...
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Unread 01-10-2017, 10:48 PM #7
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Awful metallic sound at cold temp . . . puzzled...
How many miles does your Mini have on it? The stock LCA bushings are only good for around 40k. Jack the car up and kick the front of the front wheel, if it movies back any at all then its time for LCA bushings. In the cold rubber and metal(to a small degree) shrink so if you have a part that is getting close to being worn out it could show itself in the cold first. Also check the front strut bolts under the hood I have seen these get loss and cause a rattle. Put a socket on them and make sure they are tight. Do this with the car on the ground. You don't want a spring to go flying if you turn it the wrong way.
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Unread 01-11-2017, 08:35 AM #8
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Awful metallic sound at cold temp . . . puzzled...
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Awful metallic sound at cold temp . . . puzzled...
O8 here, and we get down in temperatures like what you're talking about regularly. I've not heard that sound from mine, and I know my bushings need replacing.
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Unread 01-11-2017, 10:09 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCS02 View Post
How many miles does your Mini have on it? The stock LCA bushings are only good for around 40k. Jack the car up and kick the front of the front wheel, if it movies back any at all then its time for LCA bushings. In the cold rubber and metal(to a small degree) shrink so if you have a part that is getting close to being worn out it could show itself in the cold first. Also check the front strut bolts under the hood I have seen these get loss and cause a rattle. Put a socket on them and make sure they are tight. Do this with the car on the ground. You don't want a spring to go flying if you turn it the wrong way.
The car has about 36k miles on the clock, and it is only 3.5 years old so not what I would expect on wear for bushings. It is not driven very hard most of the time (though the roads around here can compensate for that ).

I'm guessing bushing aren't part of the warranty items (maybe more of a wear item), are they?
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Unread 01-11-2017, 08:46 PM #10
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Awful metallic sound at cold temp . . . puzzled...
How long is the warranty for? If it is under warranty I would think it would be covered. If it is not under warranty and you find the LCA bushings are bad replace them with PowerFlex bushings. They will last the life of the car.
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