When it comes to ensuring the reliable power of a Mini, proper maintenance is imperative. There are numerous parts under the hood that ensure your engine works as it should and that the ride itself is a comfortable experience overall. When any single part goes out on your Mini, it can lead to longer-lasting issues that could prove damaging to the vehicle.
The suspension system of your vehicle is intricate and can begin to wear down over time. Any issues that you suspect have arisen with the suspension system should be taken care of as soon as possible. Not taking care of these issues can result in a lack of stability in the vehicle and reduced driver control.
The Importance of the Suspension System
Most people overlook the suspension system of their vehicle and assume it is rather unimportant. This could not be further from the truth. This entire system ensures that the vehicle’s cabin is a comfortable place to ride, and it keeps the car in control for the entirety of your journey.
The largest part of the suspension system is the chassis. This holds the main cabin of the car. There are also a number of springs, sometimes air springs, that support the weight of your vehicle. These are directly responsible for absorbing the energy from the road and dispersing it so that it is not felt too much by a driver or passenger.
Another overlooked aspect of the suspension system is the fact that it constantly maintains the correct tire contact between the vehicle and road. This helps to increase the friction and tire grip of your Mini and keeps you in control of your car.
When you drive out on the open road, the springs absorb the impact and pass them on to the dampers of the system. These dampers, which are often called shock absorbers or shocks, transfer the energy to the rest of the system instead of to you.
Issues with the suspension system can lead to tire friction or grip becoming compromised which may result in a loss of driver control. A less severe but still annoying side effect of issues with a suspension system is a bumpy and uncomfortable ride. Identify the signs of suspension issues and take your vehicle in when necessary.
Signs of Suspension Issues
Given how many components there are in the suspension system, issues are relatively easy to spot early on and can be fixed before they become larger problems. Here are some of the common signs that there are issues with your suspension system:
Pulling to One Side While Driving
This issue may have something to do with the alignment of your tires within the suspension system. Look closely at your tires and see if they have the same level of wear and tear. If they don’t, it may be indicative of an issue with the alignment in your suspension system.
One Side of Your Mini Sits Lower
As mentioned, there are springs responsible for a comfortable ride in your Mini. Should one of these springs become faulty through natural wear and tear or even deflate, in the case of air springs, you may notice one corner of your car dipping lower than the other sides as the weight is not supported.
Bumpy Driving Experience
This potential symptom of an issue requires a keen eye. You know your Mini best, and if the ride is suddenly drastically bumpier, there may be a problem within the suspension system of your vehicle. Before rushing your vehicle to the mechanic, however, ensure you weren’t just driving on an older or bumpy road.
Turning Wrenches for Your Mini Needs
When it comes to servicing your Mini, Turning Wrenches is your solution. We proudly serve clients in Louisville, KY and pride ourselves on being Louisville’s leader in quality and customer service. Our experience in European vehicles means our technicians can troubleshoot your suspension system and get it back to its proper functionality quickly and affordably.
Please give us a call to schedule an appointment today or feel free to come in for a visit. Your satisfaction is our guarantee, and we hope to develop a long-lasting relationship of trust and business with you.
An Audi relies on a camshaft tensioner to maintain tension in its engine’s timing belt (AKA, the camshaft). The camshaft, which is a part of your car’s internal combustion engine, is responsible for maintaining a synchronized rotation of the valves that supply fuel and remove exhaust from your vehicle.
There are two main types of camshaft tensioners: hydraulic pressure and spring tension. An Audi is likely to operate using the former. The hydraulic pressure system requires high-pressure hydraulic oil to operate. But just like any oil, this high-pressure hydraulic oil is susceptible to leakages.
Camshaft tensioner leaks, when gone unchecked, can provide a significant threat and cost to you, your vehicle, and other drivers. If you suspect you might have a camshaft tensioner leak, look out for the warning signs below, and schedule an appointment with a local mechanic to ensure it is in proper working order.
Common Warning Signs of a Tensioner Leak
The first noticeable sign your camshaft tensioner might be leaking is difficulty accelerating. Both lagging and sudden lurching can be a result of improper tension in your vehicle’s timing belt, which is an indication of leaking oil. This problem will especially be most noticeable when accelerating around 2000 RPM.
Loud clicking and grinding
A malfunctioning tensioner will result in the camshaft (the timing belt) of your vehicle to become loose. When the belt is loose, the valves it keeps synchronized will begin to misfire. This misfiring is the primary potential source of clicking; however, leaking will eventually lead to a decreased amount of lubrication in your vehicle’s components. When unlubricated, multiple components within your car could be responsible for a grinding noise.
Engine misfires or failures
A complete engine failure is one of the more severe signs your camshaft tensioner is leaking. It could also be an indication that your timing belt has completely snapped, which can lead to bent valves or damage to your cylinder head or camshaft. Complete engine failure is a severe combustion issue, in addition to an absolute headache to expensive. Your car should be taken to a mechanic immediately if you experience misfires to avoid severe damage.
Accelerated belt wear
Your car’s timing belt can become prematurely aged when in conjunction with a leaking camshaft tensioner. The timing belt, which can be found under the hood of your vehicle, can last anywhere between 50,000-100,000 miles (your Audi’s will likely last on the shorter end of that spectrum, between 50,000-70,000). However, we recommend you check the owner’s manual for your specific model to be sure of the expected life span, and schedule a visit to a local mechanic if it exhibits significant degradation before the expected amount.
Check engine light illuminates
Perhaps the most unambiguous indication your vehicle has a leak in its tensioner is a simple one: the check engine light will switch on. A properly-functioning camshaft tensioner and timing belt are critical for a well-functioning engine, and failure from either component will result in the check engine light to turn on.
Turning Wrenches for Camshaft Tensioner Leaks
If your car is exhibiting the signs of camshaft tensioner leakage, it is wise to call a professional. While it is possible to fix the leak yourself, the threat of total engine failure, if done improperly, leads many people to turn to a professional and specialized mechanic to ensure it is fixed properly.
Turning Wrenches, based in Louisville, KY, is the best service center in the area for any problems you may experience with your European style vehicle (such as a camshaft tensioner leak). Since we opened our doors in 2013, we’ve specialized in the service and repair of the area’s most popular European brands, such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and MINI. We hire only the most qualified ASE-certified mechanics so that your car can get back on the road where it belongs.
Once your vehicle is fully repaired, the best way to keep your vehicle in top condition is by scheduling routine inspections with a mechanic. Regular inspections of your vehicle can determine potential threats before they arrive, which means fewer headaches you’ll have to deal with later. Call us today for an appointment.