1st Gen R53 Cooper S Oil Pan Gasket Failures?

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by Nathan, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    According to reports on Motoring File and discussion on White Roof Radio there is a rash of Oil Pan Gasket failures as of late. Being mine replaced at 30k or so miles since the pan was pulled to add caged oil pickup I've not seen this issue.

    The issue causes a slow oil leak and has been possibly attributed a few blown engines. Replacing the gasket is not an inexpensive fix. The part is inexpensive in the MINI realm at around 60 bucks but the labor is about 5-6 hours making this a 600-800 dollar fix. Most of these cars are now out of warranty and lets face it, MINI has no real incentive to re-engineer the gasket so this is a big hit to wallet.

    Have you had to have oil pan gasket replaced?
     
  2. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Yep - I had a weepy one when my car went in for scheduled service while still under warranty, at maybe 30K miles. Replaced then.

    I *may* have something seeping a little oil now... hard to tell - if I do, it's very slow...
     
  3. Ernesto

    Ernesto Club Coordinator

    May 16, 2009
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    Mine has been weeping for the past 3 years or so. Dealer quoted $800 to replace the gasket. I've just been watching it to make sure things don't get worse. I get some goop inside my skidplate but haven't had to add much oil between changes.

    BTW, I have a 2002 Cooper, 60K miles
     
  4. drPhilGandini

    drPhilGandini MINI of the Month May 2009

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    I had a slow leaking gasket, got the dealer to replace under warranty about 30,000 miles but almost at the end of the 4 years of warranty. I was lucky, as they said it was a big labor job. They said it's caused by the differential thermal properties of the cast iron block and aluminum oil pan. Could be, I guess...
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Active Member

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    Still a dry underside at 66K hard miles on 2003 S.

    Alan
     
  6. TT_Zop

    TT_Zop Club Coordinator

    May 26, 2009
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    Hmmm. What are the visible signs of failure. I have no puddling under my 2005 but there is a mist like coating on my X-brace on passenger side. Have wiped off several times but reappears again.
     
  7. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Mine never leaked enough to drip - but I had perpetual oily film on the sides and bottom of oil pan.
     
  8. Dr Obnxs

    Dr Obnxs New Member

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    The slow leak didn't blow the motor...

    it was the owners that never checked the oil level! While this is a real issue, it's not one that I'd really raise the red-flag over. Questions are:
    • How fast is it leaking?
    • What's it cost to fix?

    If the leak is really, really slow, and it's really, really expensive to fix, then just watch your oil levels till something forces you to work in the area.

    Tempest in a tea pot.

    Matt
     
  9. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Cost to fix can be expensive depending on the skill of your tech. I was at the dealer today picking some incredible prizes donated by them for the MetroplexMINI Poker Run next weekend and had a chat with a few techs.

    The job pays 5 hours, mostly because there are 2 bolts hidden by the A/C compressor so it needs to be removed. This means evacuating the A/S system properly and capturing all the Freon or what ever is now used. That is the "by the book" method. Now I've seen Danny of MINICorsa fame do this job in about 45 min. So what shorcut did Danny take? He did not remove the lines from the compressor and hung it out of the way to access those bolts. I'd venture to say that many a skilled MINI Tech does the same thing, gets the job done in an hour or so and books the 5 hours for payment. Can't fault the tech for finding a work around that earns them a bit more.
     
  10. hohokam

    hohokam New Member

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    i have yet to have it replaced but mine might have a leak... different mechanics are saying different things.
     
  11. Norm03s

    Norm03s New Member

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    Hey, we need a how to.
     
  12. Dan@GrassrootsGarage

    [email protected] New Member

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    I made a tool to hold the engine tilted back so I could gain access to the compressor bolts. It's still tight, but the front end stays on the car.
    --Dan
     
  13. nabeshin

    nabeshin New Member

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    I've done it twice. Not that bad of a job, it just takes time. You don't have to release the freon, just wire the compressor off like Nathan said Danny does. It is easier to do if you slide the modular front end forward. My gasket still leaks, even though I used some gasket sealant. I think it is because of my polyurethane engine mounts, the lower mount bolts right to the engine. Any kind of torque load is put right on the oil pan through that mount.
     
  14. Dan@GrassrootsGarage

    [email protected] New Member

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    something else I have found, a good amount of the greasy mess on the front side of the block, I always tighten the lower block bolts. The main bearing bolts are always tight, but the smaller one on the outside of the ladder assembly, especially in the center, always seem to be loose. I think this is the cause of the dirty front of the block.
     
  15. theCapn

    theCapn New Member

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    The o-ring on the crank position sensor was leaking on mine.

    It will migrate down to the pan and make you think the pan is leaking. Just another place for oil to get out.

    Also, the o-ring for the back housing of the water pump (where it goes into the block) can leak too. The sticky nature of the antifreeze will collect dirt and look like an oil leak too. I've had that too.
     
  16. AMG-RX7

    AMG-RX7 New Member

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    It is more of an oil weap than a leak on my car. There wasn't drops of oil on the garage floor. I only noticed it b/c I do my own oil changes at intervals less than 15k miles. The bottom of the motor had a light coating of oil and was a bit grimy from dust and sand getting stuck in that layer of oil during normal driving conditions.
     
  17. TT_Zop

    TT_Zop Club Coordinator

    May 26, 2009
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    Fixed

    Took my Mini is for sevice at Al Hafners Tuning, turned out to be a leaky valve cover gasket. Lucked out on that one. No leaks from oil pan gasket.
     
  18. Boxcars

    Boxcars New Member

    May 27, 2009
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    had a leaky gasket done under warranty by dealer at 39K, who then found clutch/TO bearing issues.
    I spent the day at the dealer but paid 0$ right before warranty ended by time ( not miles)
    boxcars
     
  19. oldskool

    oldskool New Member
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    Gnat, I have had this issue with the black death mobile, for ....ever since the really radical cams...And the fix has always been to go to a felpro racing gasket, then they very carefully over torque it a few lbs. Not the best thing but it seems to hold for many years at a time, and tho you will say thats cause you never drive it (yada yada ) when i do i keep it at redline...(hence the newer oil pump seal)...but back to the felpro, dunno if you guys have them , but seems to eork for the old gal, a much less smooth mill...that just likes to unscrew things...
    just a thought...as i finally have a dry garage floor..
     
  20. imspencerwithanr53

    imspencerwithanr53 New Member

    May 27, 2009
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    My car has been leaking oil more and more each day it seems with only 42,9xx miles on it. I am going to the dealer tomorrow/today to pick up a new gasket and oil drain plug. I am doing it in my garage on Wednesday hopefully if not then Friday. I'd be glad to do a how to on it.


    Also picking up a PCV valve because I believe my crank case isn't venting and a valve cover gasket as well because i noticed some oil on my heat shield above my header...
     

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