MINI Cooper Clunks

My 07 MINI Cooper S makes an intermittent clunk between 30-40 mph. It’s like a lazy gnome with plastic boots is giving an occasional kick. It seems like it is coming from the center of the car. The dealer had it in for 2 days and claims to have taken it apart and found nothing. I noticed the noise right after I got new tires but they were taken on and off again and nothing was found. I’m going nuts - has anyone else had this problem or can anyone suggest a cause?

“It’s like a lazy gnome with plastic boots is giving an occasional kick.”

I have to say that this is the most creative description of an automotive noise that I have read so far in this forum!

Unfortunately, since I have no idea of what it sounds like when a lazy gnome with plastic boots kicks a car, I can’t offer any possible diagnoses. Do you think that you might be able to come up with a somewhat more…conventional…way to describe the noise?

Point taken. It sounds like an empty plastic container is being knocked again the underside. Knock on an empty yogurt container to get and idea. It’s not metallic, or squeaky, or rubbing. It really does sound most like an empty plastic container.

Are the new tires the same size as the old tires? Maybe they are hitting against the plastic fender liners? Or maybe you ran over something and it is stuck somewhere under the car?

Perhaps when they replaced your tires, they knocked something loose that is causing the noise. Does the car make the noise on smooth roads, or just going over bumps? Like the poster below says, check all of your plastic outside stuff.

Smooth, bumpy it doesn’t matter. If it were in anyway consistent I’d be so happy. The dealer had it for 2 days and claims to have taken the whole car apart looking for something so I hope they would have found some thing loose. They did find an oil leak and a loose heat shield. The tire dealer also checked everything out to no avail. Thanks for trying.

The tires are exactly the same size. I think if something was stuck it would make a consistent noise. See the answer about for more detail. Thanks.

If I were you, I would check the exhaust system for a disconnected or broken hanger.
Yes, I know that the dealer supposedly “took the car apart”. (Trust me–they didn’t do that.)

It is entirely possible that their cursory inspection failed to turn up a disconnected or broken exhaust hanger. When you check this yourself, make sure that the exhaust system is completely cold!

mini coopers have a power steering cooling fan kind of in the center of the car just in front of the firewall bottom side of the motor i have had them make different kinds of noises . worth a look

On another post it was said that the ABS self test will make noises like that but usually when you first start to move. That probably happens only once per trip. The ABS system was designed by lazy gnomes who don’t really want to stop the car.