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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I thought I started a thread on the reliability of the R56 but cannot find it (mod feel free to merge if you do find it) - basically I was wanting an update from you guys who have been running them for a few years now or who have bought older cars...

In short: How are they coping ?

What niggles are you getting are there any common faults, like the coolant header tank / power steering pump / steering column etc were with the R53 ?

Did I hear about there being an issue with coking up the exhaust valves ??

What are the problems your getting and is it easily fixed ?

How are the tuned cars coping ? Simple remap and your getting ~240bhp which is always nice but is it showing any signs of wear 6months / 12months on ?

Just thought it would be interesting to see how the R56 is coping now it has been with us for a few years - will be 5 years in ~November.... I know there was the timing chain issue almost from the start but has that been sorted, have other issues showed up ??

Cheers.

EDIT: Common faults Ive experienced:
- clutch/flywheel fault
- water pump failure
- coked up
- high oil use (aparently, so far at least, fixed from decoke process at BMW)
 

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I Like Turtles.
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1,285 Posts
1-Timing chain tensioner is probably still the biggest issue, but there is a newish fix that seems to work..or at least make it not break for longer!

2-Fuel pump, causing intermittent acceleration which almost feels like huge turbo lag that cuts in and out when flooring it which can be a bit weird. Its a common fault though and not mental to fix!

3- Excessive Oil consumption!!!! This is my biggest issue, myself and any other seems to be going through about a litre of oil every 1000 miles which is madness but apparently is very common for the car.

4- The electrics fail, including the electric windows. For example random warning lights will come on one day and not again another and the windows will go all the way up then randomly come half the way down again…

5- Turbos blowing up.

Most of the above can be fixed though, especially 1 2 and 4 as they are well documented and BMW are fully aware. Things like oil consumption you just have to keep you eye on i guess.

Overall its a very fun car and if you want, you can return relatively good MPG figures - i can hit the late 50's in mine when eco driving or be in the early 20's when having a bit of fun - there's a huge range. People seem to be running very modified R56's on NAM in the heat with hardly any problems at all and a lot here are also, i think when you get all the shitty typical R56 bits fixed then you'd be well away.
 

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I Like Turtles.
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1,285 Posts
I honestly have no idea why them seem to blow up :/ I imagine it probally goes hand in hand with the oil problems. Modified R56's dont really seem to suffer any more then standard ones from what i've seen , they both break equally as much :lol:
 

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omd
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4,714 Posts
ive been stomping on mine daily for a couple of months only problems I have had so far have been timing chain and mouldy fog lights :laugh:

and it does eat oil.

basically ollie has summed it up well the only other serious issues I can think of are crazy stock wheel gap and quiet exhaust.
 

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I don't think it's necessarily a fault but the sound from the engine when fired up from cold is fucking wank!

Apart from that mines is all good! Slight whine comes through after 100+ miles of 70+mph travelling but it's getting looked at during its service today
 

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I Like Turtles.
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1,285 Posts
I don't think it's necessarily a fault but the sound from the engine when fired up from cold is fucking wank!

Apart from that mines is all good! Slight whine comes through after 100+ miles of 70+mph travelling but it's getting looked at during its service today
You had the dreaded '..Is that a diesel mate?' moment yet? fml.
 
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Yep.. had the high pressure fuel pump and timing chain issues with my 07 R56. Oil is a pain but not all that bad.

Another common issue is the sticky sunroof which fails to open on hot days!

Edit: Also strut tower mushrooming (same issue as in R53). Though this hasn't happened to me yet.
 

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I don't think I would get a r56 once they go wrong they seem to just keep going wrong for example snapped valve and timing chain or vacuum pump list goes on!!
 

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My car was one of the first 100 R56 Cooper S built according to Rybrook in Stratford.

From what I hear the earlier models were better, something to do with making more power as when the JCW came out they apparently reduced the output a bit more on the standard MCS, but never had mine near a RR to find out.

I had my idle tensioner changed under warranty and also had my panormaic roof fail which was a major claim under warranty. Other than that nothing to report.

I picked up the car in October 2009 with 16900 miles which was low for the year and now it has 39000.

My last oil change was as part of the TLC service around MOT time last October. Checked my oil 2 weeks ago and only need 0.25-0.5 litres to fill up to the max so not all cars eat oil. Guess it is all down to how they are running and how you drive.

Modding on these cars is still new. Only now are some people reporting MCS Turbo failure and these cars seem to be those that have been remapped to circa 240hp where the standard turbo is designed for 205bhp. JCW or Hybrid Turbo Upgrade seem to be the way forward as does a FMIC like that from Evolve, Czar, Forge or Helix.

My car has been running fine with simple mods like Milltek Turbo Back Exhaust, Factory JCW Airbox and ITG Panel Filter. Next up is the JCW Turbo and Manifold which I already have, Evolve FMIC and a Evolve Remap to push everything. From what Ice00 on here has reported on his circa 280-290bhp should be achievable but from a reliability POV I do not know how reliable it will be until I do it. As I see it standard MCS Turbos are failing when you push them to circa 240bhp which is 35bhp over their limit. Maybe a FMIC helps but I sold a JCW Turbo to a guy in Cyprus who's MCS Turbo failed and he was running the Alta FMIC.

As 280-290bhp will be 35bhp or more over the JCW Turbo limit whether this causes reliability issues only time will tell.

For Carbon Build up it is a problem as reported over on NAM. It seems the BSH OCC is the way forward and regular use of Seafoam and BG44k or similar treatment. This is something I have started to do and I am sure maintenance more regular than 2 yearly intervals for things like oil will help further.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #15
I don't think I would get a r56 once they go wrong they seem to just keep going wrong for example snapped valve and timing chain or vacuum pump list goes on!!
That could be said for any car...

The point of the thread is what is to be expected to go wrong and is it major ? For example, the timing chain wasnt very expensive to fix on my R53 so I assume the same for the R56 and all it costs you is a bit of trouble with getting a loan car while its fixed... turbo, perhaps more of an issue but possibly a warranty jobbie if not then upgraded turbo is an option...
 

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I've been running mine since 6K, no mods, about to add sports cat and remap at 36,000. My cars a relatively young R56 with a May 07 build.

I also get a whine over 100, its intermittent and I doubt its anything to worry about, sounds like resistance from interior vents?

I've had the timing chain fix.

Oil levels have been predictable, nothing to report.

Never heard of mushrooming struts, not an issue.

Two main ones it seems are fuel pump (not that common) and timing chain.

Agree with the rest of the guys, they sound rough when cold and generally don't sound great at idle, took me ages to get used to it.

No electrical problems to report, I have nav, digital climate etc...so all toys.

Over life of car MPG is showing 36/37ish with me almost always "enjoying" it, I also live in city.
 

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Have the MCS for 2 and a half years and 75k km on the clock. Only problems so far are the timing chain. Broken right axel at 50k km, probably due to excessive low from day 1. And the hifi speakers coming apart.
 

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'07 Cooper S
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79 Posts
Had mine for coming up a year, is 07 (so early) only problems so far (touch wood) is the timing chain and turbo inlet pipe been gash and popping off all the time and now its split! I've driven loads of R56s and think there brilliant, use to be 'anti' r56 but as soon as i took one out on track completly changed my mind.

Does drink alot of oil which seems to just build up in the turbo :glare: but catch can should solve this!

oh and i've had 3+ people laughing and ask why i'm driving a diesel!!
 
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