What’s that noise?
This week on the blog we’ve decided to approach an issue that plagues so many of us at one point or another… A mysterious sound coming from your Mini!
Where is it coming from? What is causing that? How do I stop it?
Well, in the following blog we hope we can address a couple of ideas of what you could reasonably check yourself at home, in the garage. Or what you should do if it’s something that needs a professional.
Firstly, assess what kind of noise it is – is there anything you can instantly rule out? For example, you know it’s not a suspension problem if the noise doesn’t persist when driving over speed bumps.
Let’s look at a few examples:
- Minis that pop and bang when driving could be possibly running too rich, or lean, it could be an air leak on or around the carburettor or inlet manifold, exhaust leak from the manifold or joint between the manifold and exhaust system – check your air and fuel mixture and all gaskets and joints, it could be causing a backfire. Or another suggestion is that your catalytic converter may not be doing its job correctly.
- Does your Mini scrape and grind when you brake? Check the condition of your brake discs, pads and back plates – brake shoes and drums. Replace your brake pads or shoes immediately! This scraping is probably caused because your pads or shoes have worn down to metal… Now every time you brake, metal on metal will be doing damage to your discs or drums and will vastly reduce your braking efficiency.
- If you are hearing a hissing noise under your bonnet when you turn your Mini off, this could be an oil or coolant leak on to your heated engine – or your engine could be overheating! Check for leaks, if you can see smoke, then it is likely to be an oil leak, check your oil filler cap for security, check the rocker gasket and head gasket for leaks. If you can see steam, then the leak is from the cooling system, check your hoses, radiator cap and radiator if you cannot find a source, we would recommend you take your Mini to the garage to investigate if your engine is overheating.
- If your Mini is making strange noises when you’re changing direction, your steering column, steering rack or track rod endscould likely be causing this – we would advise that you check these for play or damage. Alternatively it could be a wheel bearing, a loose brake dust shield or possibly a tyre touching the wheel arch.
- If your Mini’s gears are grinding we would firstly advise you to check your clutch for wear or correct adjustment, However, this grinding could also suggest that there is a much more serious issue with your transmission possibly the baulk rings or synchro hubs.
- If accelerating in your Mini causes an almighty roar you should check your exhaust system first as it could be damaged! However, transmission issues could also be to blame.
- If it sounds like your Mini is making grinding noises from the engine bay, even though it sounds this way, this is not necessarily your engine – it could even be your front brakes causing this noise, or the cooling fan touching the cowling, it could be your clutch release bearing, alternator or water pump . We would advise getting this issue looked at as quickly as possible at a professional garage as it is better to be certain that this is nothing more serious!
- If your Mini squeals when you accelerate, chances are your fan belt has come loose and is causing that high-pitched sound. Although, it’s worth noting that your fan belt could have also worn through, if this is the case it needs replacing.
- When driving, if you hear a rattling from under your Mini you need to check your exhaust system – has this come loose? You also need to check your brake pads, as these could also have come loose, also check the security of your bumpers and grill.
- If you’re hearing knocking sounds from your Mini’s engine, we would advise that you get this investigated as soon as possible – this could be a something serious! Check your oil pressure and compression pressure, check your valve clearances, if it is a deep knocking noise, it could possibly be your crankshaft bearings, these could have become worn – this means they are on the verge of failure! We would advise you take your Mini to a professional garage and have the noise diagnosed immediately to keep yourself and other road users safe.