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BMW recalls MINI models owing to water-pump fault

Around 29,868 MINI Cooper S and MINI John Cooper Works cars are being recalled in Britain following the detection of a potential fault in an engine water pump.

The worldwide recall applies to 2006–11 MINI Cooper S and John Cooper Works models following internal quality-control checks that spotted a fault with an additional water pump that is fitted in each vehicle.

BMW said in a statement that the water pump is drawing residual heat out of the turbocharger after the engine has been switched off, which prevents carbon build-up of the oil in the bearing.

Under high operating temperatures, an electro-migration can occur at the circuit board installed in the additional water pump.

The company added that the electro-migration is caused by plastic additives in conjunction with high temperatures and can lead to a failure of the additional water pump. 

This, in turn, can lead to a failure of the additional water pump or smouldering, and the possibility of fire cannot be ruled out.

BMW maintains that there have been no accidents or injuries related to this issue, although four cases of fires have been confirmed globally, including one in the UK.

MINI customers are to be offered a free replacement water pump in a procedure that is said to take around an hour.

Readers' comments (2)

  • My wife owns a 2006 mini cooper with only 34000 miles on the clock and has recently been experiencing some problems with her car overheating. Could you please let me know how I can go about availing of this procedure as she is very worried cause her car cost a lot of money to buy initially. Many Thanks.....Patrick

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  • A statement from BMW says: 'Customers will receive a letter over the next few weeks inviting them to have the additional water pump replaced at their MINI dealership. The replacement takes about an hour and is free of charge for the customer.'

  • I am sufficiently old to recall the first time that Minis were launched! late 50s A year or so after the launch and when there were perhaps 100,000 on the roads there started to be a series of similar call-outs' described by the AA/RAC . Cars were stopping unilaterally and usually after making a left hand turn. [Don't laugh it did happen!]
    The problem was traced -after many months of investigation to the use during manufacture of a 'rag' with release agent on it which was dabbed onto the mould that 'made' the aluminium casting (in-between each injection of the molten metal) for the carburettor. The rags were very 'hairy' and small quantities of minute fibres were left each time: these gradually aglomerated? into a small 'bundle' that lodged into one of the feed holes for fuel. Each time the car was driven round a left hand corner, this moved to block the fuel entry to the carb! When the car straightened up...the blockage moved back fuel started to get through again and the car started again! ... I never forgot this. many years later I was asked to investigate a very suspicious fire in a factory. Those responsible had used a 'hairy' fabric as the wick for a fire-bomb. They doused the area to be set on fire with petrol, laid a 'fuse' of this hairy fabric, also liberally doused in petrol, round the corner of a building and set fire to the 'other end. They hoped that the 'fuse' would burn away completely, leaving no trace. Unfortunately for them the 'hairs' on the fabric surface acted to encourage the flame to run along the top of the fabric. The explosion blew the still unburned 'fuse' away so that it was still recognisable!

    I believe several participants did several years! for their ingenuity.

    I have always found that it is often the tiniest problems,changes disturbances. often overlooked at first glance which are the root cause of a problem. This has been very valuable to my forensic analysis of textile faults and problems.
    Best wishes
    Mike B

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