Timing Chain Vibrations in a MINIPosted on: July 7, 2019
When you hop into your Mini Cooper to go for a drive, you may notice that your vehicle is vibrating and there is a weird sound coming from somewhere under the hood. This may be due to a malfunctioning timing chain. What is a timing chain? How does it work? We will go over that and the warning signs associated with the failure of the chain, going deeper into why these things happen, including the vibrations.
What is a Timing Chain?
The timing chain of a vehicle is a part that connects the crankshaft of an engine to the camshaft. Timing chains do a few different things that play a big part in how smoothly your Mini runs. The first thing it does is control the movements of the engine’s valves. It makes sure that they open and shut on time so that air and fuel can mix in the combustion chamber, igniting the engine. It also allows gases to escape through the exhaust pipes.
The timing chain also keeps the top half of the engine synchronized to the bottom half. If the movements are not in sync, the engine will not be able to properly do its job.
When the timing chain is failing or broken, a few different warning signs will pop up to help you understand what is going on so you can have the problem fixed as soon as possible.
Symptoms of a Malfunctioning Timing Chain
- Vibrations while the vehicle is idling
- Rattling noises coming from the engine
- Engine misfiring
- Metal shavings found in the oil or oil pan
Reasons Why a Timing Chain Malfunctions
Every one of the aforementioned symptoms/warning signs has a deeper meaning. They are just the tip of the iceberg when diagnosing what, exactly, is wrong with the timing chain. Let’s go over why each little vibration, rattle, or misfire happens.
- Vibrations while idling and engine rattling noises occur because the timing chain has come loose. This does not necessarily mean that it is broken entirely, but it needs to be fixed before it hits something important or does break through continued use. While this is happening, the engine valves can’t open or close and the gases that should be escaping through your exhaust won’t be. This could be quite dangerous.
- Engine misfiring happens when the timing chain has become stretched over time. This is just a normal issue; everything breaks down through everyday wear and tear. Though that is true, you still should not wait too long to have your vehicle inspected before more damage occurs.
- Metal shavings are found in the oil or oil pan usually because pieces of the timing chain have begun to break off and find their way through other parts of the vehicle. You can check for this occasionally when you change your oil or have it changed. This is recommended every 3 months or every 3,000 miles.
Preventative Maintenance and Timing Chains
After you do find a qualified mechanic to fix or replace your timing chain, you should have regular maintenance and inspections done to ensure that nothing is damaged and that your chain is doing its job correctly. You don’t want to have to keep coming back. That can be frustrating, and it costs a lot more than just taking extra precautions.
Where to Get Your Timing Chain Replaced
In the meantime, those vibrations have indicated that your timing chain has indeed been damaged. Not every mechanic is qualified to work on European cars like your Mini Cooper. You need someone who knows what they are doing, who will take special care and pay attention to your vehicle’s needs.
European Auto Service Center Inc. can do exactly that. We have tons of experience working on cars just like yours. Our mechanics are not amateurs, and you can be sure that your Mini is in good hands! We can save you all kinds of stress and hard earned money, too.
We have three locations: the Aventura/Miami area, and both East and West Boca Raton. If you are anywhere nearby, come and let us prove to you that you don’t need anyone else for your car servicing needs ever again!