2nd Gen R56 Cooper S The 'Carbon' Problem...

Discussion in '2nd Generation: 2007+ R55 through R61' started by Redbeard, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    #1 Redbeard, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
    Okay, I know this has been done to death over on the sewing site and there is the recent thread from TGS91 about his "flaming garage" (hilarious btw). I'm just tossing out some information that my service guy and the local "master tech" from Mini of Monrovia have told me and things that have been done for me. These guys have played it straight with me so far and I don't see any signs that will change.

    So here is the info they've told me and what has been and will be done:

    MINI is aware of the issue. They have opted not to assist with it. Most dealers (not all) will do a courtesy cleaning (sometimes called dealer good will) of the intakes if you are throwing a code.

    Vehicles that aren't driven for extended (20mins or so) periods at full operating temp are more prone to the issue. I.e. cold start and a 15 min drive to work then shut off until leaving work. The more often run and stopped away from full op temp the faster this issue develops. There seems to be no difference in manuals or autos. This is based on observations of the techs and writers at my local Mini dealer (Southern California). So, driving environment and distances travelled will most likely alter these observations.

    A non-manditory ECU update(re flash) was issued a month ago(late Dec 10-Jan 11) for manuals only that should shorten the duration the intake valves are open during the off cycle of of the rotation. I've had this done to mine. It raises the idle revs a bit and seems to make it pull a bit harder in higher gears (5 & 6) under load. I don't notice any other difference.

    They keep trying to sell me on this injector cleaner/fuel system treatment. They believe it works to stem the build up but not prevent it entirely.

    No one there has heard about the Seafoam treatment but I am aware that there are MINI dealers that are.

    I have a 2010 with 30,7XX miles and I show no outward signs (Loss of power, throttle hesitation, rough idle, CEL of misfire) of an issue. My daily commute is 30 miles each each way at 60-80mph for 40-50 minutes.

    I welcome any more facts that people have just so we can sort through the data available.
     
  2. AXO

    AXO New Member

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    I have an 08 MCS with approximately 37,000 miles. I dont have any overt signs of carbon build up. I contemplated using Seafoam as a precautionary measure, but have not. I have been following all the threads involving this carbon issue. Your explanation seems to make the most sense. Thanks for the Info...
     
  3. Rixter

    Rixter Well-Known Member

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    This is me exactly :( So will driving it for a more extended run once a month make any difference or once the damage is done it's not reversable (short of using chemicals).

    That's very interesting. I'm always concerned about ECU 'patches' since occasionally you read about people having really adverse affects, like worsened gas milage. I have the JCW Stage 1 Tune, would that negate the need for the non-manditory ECU update?

    I usually run a bottle of Techron concentrate right after an oil change but now that people tell me it won't help a direct injection engine I've stopped :frown2:

    Thanks for the very useful info. If you could see if your 'master tech' has any comments about the questions I raised, that'd be extremely useful.

    And lastly, what about an OCC?
     
  4. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Redbeard... Thanks for this posting.

    This non-mandatory ECU update, is there a BMW / MINI work order number or description available? Was this something you had to ask for? Normally MINI doesn't do any work unless the issue can be verified. Seems like this ECU update might reduce the carbon buildup problem.
     
  5. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    To you both there are questions I can't answer. However, I am due for service soon. I will ask when I go in and relay those answers back to you.

    The build-up isn't "damage" per say. I don't know if driving more afterwards would help or not. They only way that I know that will COMPLETELY remove the build-up is the removal of the cylinder-head and physically scrubbing the affected components.

    The cleaner they are trying to sell is the Techron stuff. I'm personally not sure that it would do much but my opinion is exactly that: An opinion and certainly not fact.

    This ECU tune is a COMPLETE reflash not a patch. I don't know how it would or would not affect a JCW car. I will ask. :Thumbsup:

    I don't know the technical side of it. I can and will ask though. The tech brought it up with the following statement, "I shouldn't tell you this but MINI just released a bulletin for an ECU reflash that changes the timing and fuel mapping. It's only for manual cars. The thing is they say it gives a small power increase. So most people will want it for that."

    Which is the truth for me. I asked to have the reflash done wheile they were changing the brakes. It would not have been done otherwise. I wouldn't even know about it unless I was talking "shop" with the guys in service. I was told I am only the second person to get the tune at thier dealership and the only one to give them feedback on the differences I felt.
     
  6. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    #6 Metalman, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
    Redbeard

    I don't mean to get off track.
    Do you know if this was the same ECU re-flash that also was supposed to reduce the torque steer that was discussed some months ago on Motoringfile?

    http://www.motoringfile.com/2010/10/04/torque-steer-fix-r56/

    I kind of wanted to stay away from that ECU re-flash for the torque re-flash, but am interested in the one you're discussing. I ask this only wondering if they bundle this changes or if you can only select one over the other.
     
  7. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    #7 Redbeard, Jan 31, 2011
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    I don't know. I'll have to ask. It doesn't seem so as the torque steer is still there. Not that I am worried about that. Its a higher torque FWD car. Its gonna have torque steer. Plus the tech mentioned it increases the power not a decrease.
     
  8. Nitrominis

    Nitrominis Banned

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    Any carbon in the combustion chambers or on the piston dome is not good.
    If a concern is there you can have your cylinder bore scoped? There are also many suppliers that offer water injection kits which will remedy the carbon issue.
    Seafoam and Clean Power will help with an existing build up but has not proven to be a reliable preventive cure.
    I am waiting to see how even BMW can adjust via an ECU adjustment for the people who do not allow Power plants reaching nominal operating temperatures to cure the carbon issues?

    I personally have always used water to successfully remove any and all carbon deposits in the combustion chambers.
     
  9. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    Agreed.

    Short of a problem with the car (i.e. throwing a code) or paying labor for the time, no.

    I have seen that they do a good job in removing some build-up in engines but not completely removing it. That has been documented on the sewing site.

    Water-injection and intake cleaning solutions, frankly, scare me because I'm not experienced with them and there is serious risk of hydro-locking the motor if done improperly.

    As far as the re-flash it does push up the idle so that may help heat the engine faster. Beyond that if the intake valves aren't open as long as long that may prevent more of the carbon build-up. I have no clue if it really does or doesn't work.
     
  10. Crashton

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    From what I understand the main carbon build up seems to be on the back of the intake valves. Running Techron through will certainly help the combustion chamber & piston top stay clean, but I can't see how it would be able to clean the back of the intake valves. Being direct injection the fuel/Techron does not go past the intake valve.

    Looks like the MINI version of the Italian tune up is to drive it until completely warm.

    Rather disturbing that MINI does not recognize this as their problem.
     
  11. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Das German Enkineering Roomin

    Yah..... Hinerich, das esn Peugeot's kerlunkinfukin, nict esn BMW/MINI (much German laughter in the background):eek:
     
  12. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    In response to Rixter's earlier concerns regarding mileage and the reflash. I've gone through two tanks of gas on the reflash now. I'm still getting the 32.5-33mpg I normally get. No adverse effects there.

    I have definite confirmation from a hard run this morning that the torque-steer is still very present. Not that I actually mind. :D
     
  13. Rixter

    Rixter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Red
     
  14. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Good to know, never wanted to give up my torque steer either. Now how do I ask for and get the same reflash you got?

    Redbeard, was there a description on your MINI work order with a reference number describing the reflash?
     
  15. Rixter

    Rixter Well-Known Member

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    That reminds me...
    Das German Coastguard
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh5xu35bAxA]YouTube - FUNNY! SOS! MAYDAY! SINKING![/ame]
     
  16. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    HAHAAHAH.... Too funny.
     
  17. Justa Jim

    Justa Jim Well-Known Member
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    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    That was good.

    Jim
     
  18. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    OH! I never thought to look there. I should still have the paperwork at the house. I'll check it tonight and let you know what it says. Heck I can even scan it for ya. :Thumbsup:
     
  19. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    That's wonderful, thanks a lot.:D
     
  20. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I didn't want to use the P word or the C word. I was afeared Jim would tell me I was being negative.:prrr: Das P&C does not a BMW make. :deadhorse:
     

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