Mini Cooper Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We recently rented a F56 model Mini Cooper July 2015 registration, right hand drive manual with the 1.5 3 cylinder engine. We were enjoying driving it but on day 8 the following issue stopped us in our tracks.

In a town when looking for our place to stay, we did a couple of u-turns. On the 2nd u-turn (turning right) possibly on full lock (can't remember) I stopped to look on google maps as my GPS maps were hopelessly out of date. Then driving away failed as when letting the clutch up there was a sound of crunching gears. Thinking initially the gearbox had not engaged, put the clutch in, select another gear then back in first. Same thing, no forward progress. Tried the other gears to no avail. I rolled the car back and I believe now that this may have put the driveshaft in the hub far enough as we were able to drive off again (normally, no crunching of gears). Until we had to do a 3 point turn, then we didn't even hear gears crunching and you could let the clutch up completely while in gear and the car would not move.

The Mini was taken to the most local Mini garage where they found the drive shaft to be disconnected at the hub of the left (passenger side) wheel.

Now I do not believe that I did anything out of the ordinary. So my only explanation would be that the driveshaft could be too short so that at certain angles it is possible it could slip out of the hub?

Has anyone else heard/seen anything like this? The car was registered in July 2015 but would have been on a boat for a few months to the other side of the world. It had about 15,000 km on the odometer.

Ron
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,208 Posts
Agreed or had hit a heavy pothole/had a bash on that side wheel; i slid on ice in a mazda 323 f many years ago , into a kerb and knocked the drive shaft clean out (bent the alloy and the brake disc too mind you!) Still managed to drive the car home though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
890 Posts
You would expect a castleated or staked nut to be fitted to the hub end of the drive shaft to prevent it coming out of the hub, maybe work was done on the car and the nut wasn't correctly fitted.
Seems odd though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
478 Posts
Castleated nut, now your taking my language :) Unfortunately the F56 is a "Collar bolt with compression spring" so no split pins in sight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
890 Posts
Sounds almost rude!

I have tried to find a picture of one without any luck, it is new to me.
Not surprising, having been retired from engineering for nearly 20 years!

Anyway, doesn't seem to have done the job in this case for whatever reason.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
Certainly sounds like it put a kink in your Holiday. My thoughts are the "rental car"has seen some abuse, I'm not surprised. I've rented many cars especially in Las Vegas. Truly what happens there stays there 0:)
@driveshaftfail did you get an explanation from the rental company as to what went wrong? I do hope you received some type of compensation\refund for this experience.

I hope there isn't a drive shaft problem. I tracked and auto crossed my 2014 F56 and had it lock to lock>:D on a skid pad without loosing a drive shaft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone,

The rental company takes its information from the Mini garage where an assessor had looked at the car. He found what he called "slight markings on the oil pan" and some of the insulation is missing on the starter motor cable. From this their assessment is this:

Quote
The angle for this to occur needs to be extreme, there are marks on the under tray, engine and starter motorcable on the bottom of the engine, we suspect the MINI has been bellied, pushing up the gearbox with force inconjunction with the LHF wheel dropping has resulted in an angle allowing the joint to come out and fail.

You asked if this could have happened prior and not failed until later, with the information available this is highly unlikely.

For the purposes of a second opinion have sent the photos attached to BMW NZ for feedback and they feel it is unlikely to be a part failure and rather the result of an environmental use, i.e. taken off road

Unquote

Now surely if that was indeed what happened, engine and gearbox pushed up with force, I don't believe there would just be "slight markings" on the oil pan but a dent instead. As well as other warped components like engine and gearbox mounts.

From the description there is nothing that leads me to believe they didn't even looked at the possibility of a failing component. Maybe the driveshaft was too short? Not being an automotive engineer but I would have thought the driveshaft has some "room to move", ie slide in and out of the hub and same on the gearbox side to allow for geometry changes when the wheel is turned or moves up and down.

The u-turn where the car failed with crunching gear noises was on a road that sloped downwards, so when turning on that there would have been more "weight" on the left front wheel compared to doing a u-turn on a level road. I believe that it is due to this in combination of the steering wheel being at full lock (I'll assume this was the case but don't remember) was the cause that it came out to the point where crunching gears were heard. And that me rolling the car back a little popped it back in sufficiently that the car was able to drive again. And then failing at the next 3 point turn when I assume steering wheel movements caused it to pop out completely.

The explanation of the garage does not take into account that the car was on a normal bitumen road while this happened, at speeds less than 20km/h and underside damage not matching an engine being pushed up with force. And I know it wasn't off road, nor did I bottom the car.

Seems a he said, she said scenario.

Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hope there isn't a drive shaft problem. I tracked and auto crossed my 2014 F56 and had it lock to lock>:D on a skid pad without loosing a drive shaft.
I would think a skid pan is pretty level, therefore you wouldn't get the suspension compressing as much as when I did the u-turn on a downward sloping road. You should be good! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
890 Posts
One point about the assessors report, I remember a while back someone on here described how to do an oil change on an F56 Cooper.
Before he could access the oil pan/sump he had to remove an under tray which obscured the lower part of the engine.(There is an access door for the sump plug in this panel which he found later)

Surely this under tray would be badly damaged if the oil pan was marked by off road activity?

It is certainly true that hire cars do get used for all sorts of activities that they are not supposed to, so I suppose it is likely that something like that happened, done by a previous hirer.

Must have been very extreme though.

I doubt if they would ever admit it being due to a design or mechanical build fault, officially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The assessor does indeed mention he took that off and that the undertray was ripped. He supplied no photos of that so I can't tell how bad that would have been.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Just from some experience of my own yumping a Sunbeam Ti on a closed stage rally.(halcyon days :)). It is possible to shear engine mounts and not see them in an inspection due to the nature of the rubber/mental bonding, particularly if they're new(ish).

Couple of points then.
Huge "flat" impacts can result in surprisingly small amounts of cosmetic damage to undertray/sump etc. Eg, Flying and landing on a grassy surface. but massive amounts of structural damage..
Engine/gearbox torsion, if the mounts were damaged, could well result in the deflection required to dislodge a driveshaft, particularly doing something like a 3-point turn.

This is all down to abuse suffered by rental cars, nothing to do with MINI/BMW quality. After all, i watched a Porsche 991's engine explode in front of me at Spa Francorchamps, but I'd still buy one (if I was allowed!) as I know the failure was down to the circumstances of use.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,208 Posts
I was going to say the whole area under the engine is covered .if that's ripped and the sump marked the poor car has had a serious impact to its under side at some point.it's very thick felt like composite.bit like a parcel shelf. No wonder something has failed. With that sort of damage I'd be wondering what else,what next. Someone has been naughty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone, I'll conclude from this that there was prior damage resulting in an eventual failure. We drove over 1900km and did not notice that anything was amiss, perfect straight line driving, no pulling to the side, no vibrations, nothing.
For us it was also a 10 day test drive but no it has not put me off buying one at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Hi all,

After various searches for a thread on this extremely rare issue, this is the closest I found. I'd be interested to hear what you think, and perhaps for some it may be some interesting reading.

I bought a Clubman F54, 2018 plate, 16k miles, 1 previous owner from Mini direct. £22k cost.

I drove the car for 2 weeks and had done less than 1000 miles. When on the way home, there was a loud scratching sound from the gearbox when stationery but in drive. The car would not move and I was in the outside lane of 3 lanes of traffic.

When taken to Mini, the diagnostics confirmed the drive shaft 'popped out' of the gearbox. They were convinced this had to be due to a bottom impact, but there was absolutely no signs of this (especially on the tray mentioned in previous posts), and certainly not an impact I was aware of. After consulting various teams, they have concluded that there must have been a pre-existing fault in the gearbox that leas to the drive shaft 'popping out'.

Therefore given it is under warranty, they are replacing the drive shaft and gear box free of charge. This is of course taking time and no doubt costing them a lot.

On a personal note, I have rejected the car and asked for it to be sent back to the dealer and my money returned. I have lost faith in the car and the management of the issue by the dealership.

I write this because I find it so bizarre this happened to a 3 year old vehicle having covered only 16k miles, and wondered if anyone had any thoughts or opinions on this?

All input greatly appreciated.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,208 Posts
I think it's almost unheard of-has only happened to me when i hit a kerb-in the snow in a Mazda 323f but if the dealer is prepared to give you a new gearbox and drive shaft I'd be very happy and wouldn't be rejecting the car-in fact I think you might struggle to do so-given what the CRA says-but good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thanks Jeremy, that helpful. As a non technical car person, and this being my first Mini, I was shocked this happened and put off by it all. Though some have sold to me the merits of having a new drive shaft and gear box.

I'm just unsure if it points to potential future problems with the car if a fundamental problem occurred so early?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,208 Posts
Mmm-not sure-I'd want the history of the car but think the dealer response has been very fair-even if the car had had a bump this should sort it!
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top