1st Gen R53 Cooper S Coolant in the throttle body?!

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by fhtagn, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. fhtagn

    fhtagn New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    So...before I start dismantling this thing, I was hoping for words of wisdom, or at least offerings as to what others might think is the root of this.

    The long story:

    My 2003 R53 has been acting a bit odd lately. I thought it was the fuel pump, as is seemed like the engine was acting as if it wanted more fuel (hard to start, "bogging down" on heavy peddle depression, and would pick up when the throttle was eased back on). So I replaced it. That seemed to work, at first...but then it started being real hard to start. I would need to "prime" it by turning on the key a few times and letting the fuel pump prime the line before starting it, even then, it would only, but nearly always, start on the third attempt. I also replaced the fuel filter, no change. It wasn't ideal, but I ignored the issue, as I only drive a little ways to work, and life has been hectic. I never pulled the CEL codes. I was just happy it got me to work. I was wondering about maybe a vacuum line, or something as the fuel tank never seemed to pressurize. Anyways...driving home last night it lost nearly all power. It didn't go into limp mode...just acted like it couldn't get fuel...would "bog" if I pressed to hard on the peddle, but would slowly get up to 3k for a shift to the next gear...so I made it home.

    I took the intake tubing off to see the throttle body, wondering if it was just worn out or something, and to look for fuel lines, and vacuum hoses. Well I tried to start the car, as it still acts like it wants to fire up, and will, just with a horrid rough idle...to see if I could notice anything...and I did. Coolant sputtered up from the throttle body. I shut it down and stuck a rag on a stick down the throttle body opening...it came back soaked in coolant. So...what do you think would be the most likely source of this coolant? I checked the oil and it didn't look like it had water in it. Coolant at that spot would mean it came through the supercharger? Isn't the water pump on the far side of the SC? Does it ever crack through? Could the weird lack of power be some leak in the SC due to such? I know that the only way to be sure, is to take it all apart and be sure, but I have found, that with these quirky little cars, there are often valuable insights to be learned from those who have dealt with the oddities of these MINI's.

    TL;DR: Coolant sputtered out of my throttle body. WTF?

    Thank you for any and all insight.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator
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    Apr 23, 2009
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    Yikes! Would definitely be a WTF situation for me...at least.

    Here's hoping someone has a clue because I want to know how this story ends.

    Just because I'm curious, how many miles on the clock?
     
  3. fhtagn

    fhtagn New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    About 102k.

     
  4. caseydog

    caseydog Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2012
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    I don't know much about R53 superchargers. But, I can't think of another way for coolant to get into the throttle body.

    I have an R56, and the turbo is both oil and water cooled, so there is coolant running through the turbo. I don't think the supercharger on your R53 is water cooled, but I could be wrong. If not, the coolant would have to originate before the supercharger, and pass through the supercharger.

    I wish I could be of more help, but I think you are on the right track with a leak ahead of the supercharger.

    Good luck!

    CD
     
  5. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Wisdom-MA? um isn't that an oxymoron???:biggrin5:

    This is a odd problem. I would not drive the car at all till this is solved. You are just asking for more to happen if you do. The water pump PTO runs off the back of the SC but even if the back of the water pump had a bad seal it could not get in that way. I will have to go look at my car. I am trying to remember where the coolant meets the intake system. Its early I can't think.
     
  6. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    #6 MCS02, Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
    removed due to bad advice. :frown2:
     
  7. fhtagn

    fhtagn New Member

    Sep 22, 2014
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    That would stink. There have been no weird start up noises or chattering from the SC gearbox...just a general loss of power and bogging/unresponsive to quick/heavy throttle changes, but it was still drivable. I'm definitely not driving it now until I resolve the issue, as it went from being annoying to horrible. Thanks.

     
  8. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    When you find it I would like to know what the problem was.
     
  9. Canusrufis

    Canusrufis RMW Powered R53
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  10. Tummi_Gummi

    Tummi_Gummi New Member

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    Maybe your caps exploded pressure and it's gotten into your intake. I know I didn't have a cover over my intake filter for a while before I got my new one and one time my radiator cap blew out and coolant collected in my intake box.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
     
  11. mrntd

    mrntd Well-Known Member
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    The throttle body is before the supercharger so coolant there would have to come before it. If you just have it in the bottom of the pipe before the super charger it may be from the seal inside. But that would only sit there when the car is not running. Do you see coolant in the intercooler? Oil gets in there but there should be any coolant.

    See if you have coolant in the intake pipe before the throttle body and in the EGR tube. If it is in the EGR tube then you could have coolant in you oil and you're looking at head gasket among other possibilities.
     
  12. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Mrntd is correct I do not know what I was thinking. :frown2:
     

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