This article is a warning regarding a potentially catastrophic problem in Mini Coopers built from 2007-2011: failure of the the timing chain tensioner. Despite many owners love of their Minis, the fly in the ointment is the recurring problem with the timing chain tensioner as reported to Consumer Affairs, despite BMW’s claim that the timing chains are supposed to be a maintenance free feature of the car. BMW has no recommended service interval nor does the Mini’s on-board computer monitor the condition of the chain. The tensioner and chain are also located inside the engine thus causing serious damage should the tensioner fail. What to do? Monitor your oil levels – Mini Coopers have a habit of using oil. There have also been reports from Mini owners ofa warning sign preceding the tensioner failing called a “death rattle.” A rattling noise coming from the passenger side of the vehicle upon a cold start-up, during idling, and at lower speeds can mean that your tensioner is about to fail. Promini gives us sample of the noise in the video below. We have seen Mini Coopers with this problem, so give us a call with any questions.