Overall, Mini is well-known to be a manufacturer that creates vehicles that are reliable and long-lasting. However, this does not mean that your Mini won’t spring an issue or two in its lifespan. Variable Valve Timing (VVT) problems can be quite commonplace with the Cooper and Countryman models. With this in mind, we hope this article helps you to understand, spot, and deal with variable valve timing issues, should they start to appear in your Mini.
Variable Valve Timing
Variable Valve Timing, or VVT, is a new innovation to the motoring world. VVT transforms the way in which your Mini’s engine consumes fuel. As a result, it improves performance and handling. It does this by working closely with the valve lift. Variable valve timing was actually created with the sole intention of reducing fuel wastage. The increased performance it gave was an added bonus.
When the VVT is working correctly, fuel wastage is pretty much non-existent. You’ll also notice that your Mini drives much more smoothly. Performance and handling are effortless. This is because the VVT is able to open and close valves reflexively as you drive, leading to increased precision in the way your Mini operates.
Symptoms of VVT Failure
VVT failure can result in heavy damage to your Mini. This means that VVT issues should always be dealt with at the first sign of a problem. We’ve created a list of some early warning signs to be on the lookout for to help you to avoid lengthy repairs.
Engine Management Light
The Engine Management Light (EML), or check engine light, is designed to be illuminated by your Mini’s onboard computer (ECU) if an issue is detected which affects the performance of the engine. As the VVT works closely with the engine systems, failure of the part can also trigger the EML to illuminate. While the EML can light up for a variety of other reasons, since you don’t know what’s specifically causing the light to trigger, you must seek the advice of a professional as soon as possible.
As the VVT is a valve, it requires engine oil to keep its moving parts lubricated. When the oil becomes older, it breaks down and leaves deposits of sediment and debris as it circulates the engine. This sludge loves to sit around your VVT and will inhibit its performance. Therefore, if you want to keep your VVT working correctly, look after your engine oil with proper, routine maintenance.
As it helps create engine precision, when your VVT is failing, it will do the opposite. Most commonly, it will impact upon the gear box. This will cause regular engine stalls and noticeable fluctuations, which can make your Mini become a hazard to drive because of its distracting unpredictability.
Lowered Fuel Efficiency
This one is pretty obvious. Your VVT is chiefly designed to dramatically reduce the waste of fuel. When it begins to fail, higher levels of fuel will be wasted, resulting in your Mini achieving less miles to the gallon than it used to.
How to Deal with VVT Failure
Issues with your Mini’s VVT should be handled by expert technicians. This is best done as soon as issues start to surface, as this will help ensure that they are minor and have not caused damage to other connected parts. You should bring your Mini to a shop that is experienced in Mini repairs, as this will ensure your car is handled correctly. You can help to prevent VVT failure by ensuring your engine oil is fresh and regularly topped up. You should also always make sure to bring your Mini to the shop frequently for routine maintenance and servicing.
Choose the Experts at Fastlane European
At Fastlane European in sunny San Jose, CA, we’re ready and waiting to take care of whatever problem your Mini has developed. From VVT problems to clutch repair and general servicing, we know just what it takes to have your Mini back on the road in perfect running order. Our customer service team is ready to handle your inquiries and book you in for your appointment with our expert technicians. Call us today or stop by to speak with us.
* Mini Cooper Car image credit goes to: jozzeppe.