5

I just had my 2012 Mini Cooper S (66K miles) repaired last week last week for a failed/leaky water pump. My car had an episode where it overheated and shut down and wouldn't start after pulling over and allowing it to cool. It was towed to the dealership where they found it to have both a short in the battery and the failed water pump. The brand new water pump was installed at the Mini dealership along with a new battery and it was determined there was no other problems. Four days later the car just shut down while driving to work with the engine light coming on (the temperature light did not come on). Towed again to the dealership and have now been informed that water was leaking into the engine basically destroying it and a whole new engine is required. My 3 year/36000K warranty is obviously expired. Cost of new engine approx $11,000. Mini will put up approx $8K leaving me $3,500 cost. They state because I have been a good customer and bring in car for regular service and own a second 2013 Mini I got for my wife 2 years ago. Could an improperly installed water pump have caused this problem?

It doesn't set well with me and my question is if the new water pump was somehow installed improperly at the service department could that have contributed or been the cause? The brand new engine will have a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty. Options limited as the car is fully paid for so I am faced with spending the $3,500 on basically a relatively new car.

  • 1
    Cost of new engine approx $11,000. Mini will put up approx $8K leaving me $3,500 cost. They state because I have been a good customer and bring in car for regular service and own a second 2013 Mini I got for my wife 2 years ago. Could an improperly installed water pump have caused this problem? Doesn't set well with me if this is some kind of cover up? – jeff martin Jul 31 '15 at 17:52
  • 1
    @aldux has it right in their answer. As for you comment question, their installation of the water pump would not have cause the issue. They should have checked it better for other damage when they replaced the water pump, though. If it had turned up that the head was warped, it still probably would have cost you $3500 to get it fixed properly. If you are getting a new engine for $3500, you are probably just paying for the labor and shop fees and getting a free new engine. I don't think I'd argue too much about that, unless you can do the work yourself, but then you'd be paying for the engine. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 31 '15 at 19:17
  • 1
    @Paulster2 One thing puzzles me. Why did the car run for four days before calling it a day? – Zaid Aug 1 '15 at 7:49
  • 2
    @Zaid - Assuming the head was warped from the over heat does not mean the head gasket seal was broken at the same time. After couple of heat cycles, the bond of the head gasket was broken, thus causing the leak and the catastrophe. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 1 '15 at 14:45
6

I think the overheating episode did a permanent damage to your car. A gasket could have cracked or the head could have warped or even cracked, thus allowing water into the engine itself.

Too much heat in an engine can cause serious problems because heat causes metal to expand. The hotter the engine gets, the tighter clearances become until there are no more clearances left. Overheating can cause valve stems to gall and stick, and pistons to scuff and seize.

Excessive heat can also cause cylinder heads to swell, warp and/or crack. Aluminum heads are especially vulnerable to warpage and cracking because aluminum has a much higher coefficient of thermal expansion than cast iron.

source

The broken water pump was probably to blame in the overheating episode. The new one did nothing wrong but to pump water into the already cracked/warped engine.

  • Thank you all for your comments and response. They have been very helpful as I go forward to correct this problem. – jeff martin Jul 31 '15 at 20:34
1

One other thing that may be the problem is that the water pump could have locked up.

If the pump was running off of the timing belt/chain then it could have seized. This could have jammed the belt, and locked the engine.

This could cause the valves to stop moving, while the pistons carry on. This causes the pistons to smash into the valves which could have also caused engine damage, as obviously it would damage the valves as you're amazing into them hundreds of times a second, which was exacerbated by driving it...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.