Mini 2012 timing chain local repair man or main dealer

2012 Mini Cooper 12,500 miles, warranty ended July 2015 - still under Mini TLC (if that makes any difference)
I have been told by the local official Mini repair centre that they suspect
the timing chain has 'stretched' (there is a continuous high frequency rattle) with cost of repair around £1500. The oil level is fine and oil colour looks clear. Service stamps are up to date in the book. The service centre recommends booking in for diagnostic testing at a cost of £120.
Is this a repair which could be done by a local repairer (repairer used by a neighbour for his BMW with good feedback) or should it be left to a Mini official repair centre?
Are there other faults (cheaper to fix) with similar sounding symptoms?
If the timing chain is at fault is the problem likely to reoccur or have Mini made modifications to repair parts stop so that the problem is less likely to occur after such low mileage?
Thank you
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"Vince" wrote in message
2012 Mini Cooper 12,500 miles, warranty ended July 2015 - still under Mini TLC (if that makes any difference)
I have been told by the local official Mini repair centre that they suspect the timing chain has 'stretched' (there is a continuous high frequency rattle) with cost of repair around £1500. The oil level is fine and oil colour looks clear. Service stamps are up to date in the book. The service centre recommends booking in for diagnostic testing at a cost of £120.
Is this a repair which could be done by a local repairer (repairer used by a neighbour for his BMW with good feedback) or should it be left to a Mini official repair centre?
Are there other faults (cheaper to fix) with similar sounding symptoms?
If the timing chain is at fault is the problem likely to reoccur or have Mini made modifications to repair parts so that the problem is less likely to occur after such low mileage?
Thank you ============================================================= Replying to my own post: I have read on the net that the chain rattle may be caused by a stuck chain tensioner. Does this sound right? unscrewing and changing the chain tensioner sounds a much lower cost solution and one that might be worth trying before getting the chain changed.
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On 10/11/2015 16:02, Vince wrote:

I'd have thought a stretched chain highly unlikely at 12,500. Go for the tensioner.
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On 10/11/2015 16:24, Norman Rowing wrote:

At that age and history it should be fixed by the makers agent FOC
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"Mrcheerful" wrote in message

At that age and history it should be fixed by the makers agent FOC

Mini service reception said possibly it would be done FOC or on a half and half basis. A couple of Youtube videos show removed chain tensioners stuck offering no tension. A couple more show older and newer tensioners with the new type having a stiffer spring offering more tension.
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On 10/11/2015 19:33, Vince wrote:

Wouldn't failing at 12,500 indicate a faulty tensioner design? If so the makers should replace it FOC
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On 10/11/2015 16:02, Vince wrote:

"Stretched" chain is pure bollocks. If it has stretched, i.e. the links have deformed plastically, then the material must have been way out of specification and such a failure on this timescale is an original manufacturing defect. Knowing nothing about current Mini's (but a lot about chains) I would certainly go with the faulty tensioner argument.
Chains *do* wear, between the pins and bushes, and that eventually makes them "longer". But, in an enclosed and oil-drenched environment such as a timing chain housing, they should normally last the life of the vehicle provided the oil is changed regularly. The tensioner is there to take up the wear.
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"newshound" wrote in message

Insist they change the cassette FOC. They're very known to have issues and the dealer will be used to changing at least a couple a week. £1500? They're having a laugh, its a £500 job tops.
You'll be back to have a walnut blast session next.
Tim. .
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On 12/11/2015 17:07, @hotmail.com wrote:

I'm surprised for such a new car though. My 2008 S got caught up in the middle of the cam chain/tensioner debacle, and they kept hold of it for over a week.
I thought around that time they'd improved the tensioner.
That 1600 engine is very unrefined at idle in any event IMHO
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On Thu, 12 Nov 2015 20:03:15 +0000, RJH wrote:

It's only done 12,500 miles in three years though, could it be that a blast down the motorway will sort it out?
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I'd not want to do a blast down a motorway with a dodgy timing chain.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 13/11/2015 09:17, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

No, I don't think so, it's not that kind of fault. Have a look at the mini2 forum - plenty of reports on there.

AIUI, it's not the chain as such - it's the tensioner. But that was allegedly fixed around 2008. And at least in my experience the engine was perfectly smooth above idle, right up to the red line. It just idled like a tractor - before and after the repair.
Overall, I found the Mini to be pretty well thought through and engineered, once past the illogical switchgear and boutique image. But the engine and geartrain seems to have some inexcusable weak spots - I gather the new 2L petrol is not immune from simply giving up, something to do with crank bearings.
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Didn't the first version have a non BMW engine rather criticized for being harsh? Odd, given that the engine is generally the best bit of a BMW.
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Original MK1 used a Chrysler Tritec 1600 engine. Not the last thing in refinement, but they rarely die unless subjected to extreme abuse, even in JCW S trim, it was designed in the early 90's and spent afew years across the pond in low-rent hatchbacks. Well proven. They would have liked to have used a re-hashed K series but the head was way to wide to fit under the bonnet.
The PSA / Prince / EPx / BMW N16 1.4 and 1.6 in the MK2 Mini especially in direct injection form is not the best thing about the car, and do go pop. If it's not the cam chain cassette, it's the intakes or PCV's choked up with carbon, same with this engine in a Pug / Cit application. Given I despise anything of French origin as generally poorly engineered and unfit for purpose this is no surprise. We've seen afew bottoms ends go also due to a failing with the on-demand oil pump which defaults to "fuck-all oil" sometimes.
In the MK3 mini, the BMW 3 pot B37/N38 petrol diesels are generally extremely well engineered and live long, bar afew silly issues.
Tim..
"Dave Plowman (News)" wrote in message wrote:

Didn't the first version have a non BMW engine rather criticized for being harsh? Odd, given that the engine is generally the best bit of a BMW.
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On 13/11/2015 17:01, @hotmail.com wrote:

Interesting, thanks. The failures I've read about apply to the B48 2L, but good to hear they're finally getting the engine sorted.

As above :-)
I'd add that I found the mk2 a 'nice' engine, especially in the S - pulled very well, smooth, and 40+mpg with spirited driving.
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Except the Prince engine is a PSA-BMW joint venture, built (for Minis) in Oxford.
And, given the N47's cam chain problems, I rather suspect that BMW did that bit of the engine - chains are unusual for PSA.
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I've had two DOHC BMW 6 cylinder engine versions with chains - and neither gave trouble. Although tensioner problems seem to be more common on the V8s. Be interesting if they used some new type of tensioner.
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"Adrian" wrote in message

Except the Prince engine is a PSA-BMW joint venture, built (for Minis) in Oxford.
And, given the N47's cam chain problems, I rather suspect that BMW did that bit of the engine - chains are unusual for PSA.
BMW gave PSA the Vanos and Valvetronic tech on some engines. They might have said, "here this works with a chain" due to the vanos system, but they certainly didnt engineer the chain drive itself. You only have to look at it to see its not BMW's work.
Tim..
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Our 2009 Cooper S sounded like a diesel on start up soon after purchase from the dealer with 5000 miles on the clock. There was no quibble from them about attending to it.By then I think the pensioner problem was well known and talked about on the various forums and there was no point in "They all do that when cold ,it's normal sir" attitude that some owners found initially.
We also got a misfire/pinking like problem that they attempted to fix ,a week before the warranty ran out as it happened, even changed the DMF and threw in a new clutch as well which was good as the missus had cooked it at least once and it regularly smelt. so not all dealers are bad even so the misfire never quite went. Turns out that engine is prone to getting a carbon build up and I see another poster as alluded to that with his walnut shell comment. We didn't keep it for long after anyway as the missus never really liked the hard ride of the suspension so we went all staid and got the 2 litre Diesel SD version .

By 2012 of they OPs car you would have thought so, Some other mods were done to the BMW/Peugeot engine in that year I think it became an N18 as opposed to an N14 or something like that.

yes even after the modification there were times when I thought the Dads Grey Fergie was outside when the missus went to work on a cold morning.
G.Harman
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On Tue, 10 Nov 2015 15:48:42 +0000, Vince wrote:

By a Mini main dealer?

If it's main dealer history, then take it to the dealer. There's a very strong chance you'll get it covered outside warranty under goodwill.
If it's not main dealer history, but you can prove that it was done to spec and time with genuine parts and the right spec oil, then ask them what the chances of a goodwill payment are.
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