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'03 MINI Cooper Leaks Oil After Fixing Coolant Seals

  I took my MINI Cooper (not S!) in last week for a routine oil change.  While they were in there, they found that the coolant overflow tank was empty, so they check the coolant take and found that it was leaking from the seals that seal the reservoir where the supercharger would be if my car was an S. So I had them go ahead and replace the seals, which required 6 hours of work because to get to the seals they had to take apart half of the engine, or so I am told.  I'm still not entirely sure where this seals are...  This weekend my boyfriend noticed some sort of liquid pooling on the driveway, and upon further inspection my MINI has leaked LOTS of oil.  I checked the oil level and it was about a centimeter from the bottom of the dipstick on Saturday, and by Sunday there was only a drop on the end.  I called the towing company and had them tow the car back to the shop where the coolant work was done.

  My questions are these:  What could cause an oil leak of this size?  Could they have hit something while repairing the seals that would have caused this?  Should I argue with them if they say it is something unrelated?  Am I being taken for a ride?  Thanks for your help!

I’m having a hard time understanding what they might have done. Can you read the deescription from your copy of the shop order and post it here?

Re: the oil, I suspect that you need to check your oil more often. And keep a few quarts handy, so that when it gets below the “fill” line on the dipstick you can bring the level back up before driving the car. Driving around with low oil is the fastest way I know to wear out an engine. If you’ve been not checking your oil and relying instead on the scheduled changes to meet the need, your engine may well be just plumb worn out. By the way, how many miles does it have on it?

I cannot comment on the cooling system work withuot knowing what they did.

This is what it says on the shop order:

“Technician states that the coolant bottle was almost empty. The car is leaking coolant out of a plate that is sealed off by o-rings. This would be the water pump inlet if it was super charged. They just block it off the non supercharged vehicles. Recommend replacing the intake gasket and o-ring for the coolant plate.”

I just heard from the shop and it looks like I should be ok after all. They said there was a pinched O-ring from replacing the filter? and that they replaced it free of charge and topped off the oil, plus cleaned off the underside of the engine. I had read on a few MINI forums that a timing belt issue could cause a large amount of oil to leak, so I was worrying that I would need to play upwards of $3000, but looks like I just scared myself!

Thanks for your help!

I’m glad to hear it’s solved and was simple.

The ports they’re referring to are probably the inlet and outlet for the turbocharger cooling system (if you had one).