Today I had an option to see a Mini, 3-door version – freshly bought car with a mileage of 2000 km.
Very shortly, I will mention my first impressions. Everyone, who has an interest, is welcome to visit the dealer – some demo cars should be available!
A person of height 190 cm 100+ kg can easily fit in the first row. Two adults can easily drive in this little car.
Interior – many positive impressions. Seats (a leather version for the specific car) worked with more quality than for 2x times more expensive BMW. By design, the interior is harmonious. Airplane-style switches – a nice touch.
The new multicolor display is prettier than the BMW 6WB “creation”. The only minus – this display does not really fit in the design; it can be clearly seen that this is an update/novelty.
The specific car is equipped with a manual gearbox. Sometimes, there is a problem with putting in the 1-st gear. Nothing new. Rew match is activated in the Sport mode.
Very useful and well-performing is a “feature” of parallel parking.
The owner says that the brakes are too weak for this car, especially when driving dynamically and/or in rainy weather.
The car handles well, a real “karting”. The car has poor aerodynamic drag. You can’t hope for very economical driving (especially at higher speeds). The average consumption of the specific vehicle (B38 engine, manual gearbox) is 6.5 liters/100km, driving on the highway. It is at least 1.5 .. 1.8 liters more than, for example, for e90 with an N43 series engine.
Several things made me disappointed.
This car does not have an Ambient Light package, accordingly – the multicolor “circle” around the central console – well… LEDs located rarely (saved on their numbers), color bar – like with spots, insignificant. It is a shame because the idea itself is excellent and fits well in the concept.
The car has a Harman Kardon sound system. The total “noise” is even enough for an average listener. Still, the sound of the midrange frequency speakers is “complemented” with disgusting resonances (in the upper register of the range, playable by them). In addition, the problem is not in the speakers themselves, but the construction of the door trim is not rigid.
In the image: midrange speaker with its “acoustic presentation”. All that “bubble” is shivering when slightly pressing on it. The result is predictable – everything resonates.
The time will tell how the dealer will solve the problem (already now, it is clear that there will be no fast and easy solution). Yes, even in the model for the Year 2022, there are still no time delays, but… Possibly, I (still) want too much. The bass – well, what can be of it in the existing technical performance: unarticulated, fuzzy, dull. Stunning, low quality.
I was slightly surprised by the presentation of the tweeters (placed in the A pillars):
You could think that the decorative mesh of such a shape is a necessity (because exactly this shape instead or round shapes, which otherwise dominate the interior as visual accents). But no, behind this mesh, “regular” tweeters of round shape, without turn, are hiding.
Disappointment is also the economy of the automotive industry by installing the passenger’s side mirror without dimming function (even if it is intended for other mirrors). The car is narrow, and the undimmed mirror “hits the eyes” quite significantly.
The handle of the handbrake, when pulled, sticks in the armrest. It is unclear how such failure is possible; this is immediately visible.
Completely useless (with low efficiency) lightning of the sun visor mirrors.
Lacquered surfaces get dirty mega fast. Even the amateur can make a dactyloscopy examination (take samples of the fingerprints).
I was interested mainly in the engine. B38: 3-cylinder petrol engine made on a single platform (diesel+petrol) with a turbocharger.
Here I have to add – the owner of this particular car is not happy with some nuances (about in – in the continuation), which means – yes, there will be a source for exploration!
First claims – vibration in idle. When the AC is turned off, the cart shivers so strongly that you can feel it “with the backside”. The vibration is extreme. Vibration reduces when the AC is turned on, and its “facture” changes. There could be a simple explanation – the RPM of idle is increased.
Here, this is the vibration of the B38 engine in idle (you can see the connecting wire vibrating). Not worse than the diesel engine!
But there is one mega exciting nuance. If the AC is switched off (you can feel a strong vibration) and the clutch is pressed, and the lever of the gearbox is put in the 1st gear, vibration DISAPPEARS! No, it is no coincidence – I checked (and the car owner has evaluated this as a stable fact) this “feature” many times – yes, the effect is well pronounced and steady. How is that possible?
Maybe the RPM of idle is increased? No!
Maybe the performance mode of the engine is changed; for example, Valvetronic is (partially) deactivated? Data of the Valvetronic in ISTA (without provoking the error appearance) are not available, but the opening of the throttle is not changing. So – the position of the Valvetronic shaft is not changing either.
Maybe VANOS settings are changing? Ignition advance angle? No, these parameters also are not changing.
Checking the Rough run data (idle, the clutch is not pressed), we see:
Typical picture for the engine with Valvetronic and Bosch management system – first (closest to the oil pump) cylinder is more active, last – the less active.
When pressing the clutch, these differences of cylinders are reduced and try to converge to 0:
Here is the Expert mode graph. On the left side of the image – idle without pressing anything, on the right side – with pushed clutch:
Blue color: 1st cylinder; red: 3rd cylinder.
At this moment, I will refrain from long monologues, but I will ask some simple questions to the constructors and engineers of this car. Gentlemen, haven’t you noticed this (disbalance of cylinder efficiency) nuance? Already during n years! Already starting with N42/N46! Have you performed at least one test drive with these cars? No? And the second question – how such harsh mistakes can be allowed in the software? I understand that the manual gearbox option is not a “standard” situation, but still – how can you confirm the release of the software with such harsh mistakes?
Short derogation. Interesting nuances with stabilization of the idle, I also noticed in the case of MSD80. For this engine, for example, if the AC is turned off, DME is not correctly performing idle evenness adaptations in Stratified charge.
Ok, on the background of other bugs of DME of that generation – not the worst case. With all due respect to the Siemens engineers, DME was incomparably more complicated than in the case of B38/B48/B58. But now the BMW has already fallen so low that DME is not evening the mechanical efficiency of cylinders in idle, but nobody even notices it!
I know that the EN version of my blog has been red also by BMW AG employees, so at the end of this entry, I also put the screenshot with the DME software version of the specific car. Gentlemen, please, be so kind as to fix this harsh mistake! I understand that the failure is in the status bit or any other simple detail, but the consequences are devastating.
The second problem is partially connected with the previously mentioned. On the go, in the range of low and average RPM, the engine’s vibration can be felt, and additionally – uneven performance. It had to be clarified here if:
a. the problem is a permanent difference in the cylinder mechanical efficiency;
b. the problem is the uneven performance of each cylinder;
c. the problem is the sum of both previously mentioned.
Quick view with ISTA shoved, that definitely – the problem is:
And again, without surprises: 1st cylinder – “pioneer” of the (anti) efficiency!
To clarify finer nuances, the ISTA Expert mode was turned on.
Here how the mechanical efficiency of cylinders looks like with very low required torque (60 km/h, 5th gear).
Here – the required torque is increased, and pronounced short-term unevenness of the performance appears.
Both – permanent differences in the mechanical efficiency of cylinders and short-term unevenness – can be observed. If the short-term inequality still can be “blamed” on the peculiarities of the work mode (the engine works in Layer mode, which means: Stoichiometric mixture, but the fuel is ignited directly after injection), the permanent unevenness – this already is a question of algorithms/adaptations.
For derogation – short comments regarding both problems.
Short-term unevenness of the cylinder performance. BX8 series engines have high compression levels (1:11); they are equipped with a turbocharger, which means – “standard” work modes (Homogeneous) are not possible anymore. If the fuel is injected, it will be allowed to mix with the air, and detonation can start. So the fuel is injected at the “last moment” and ignited immediately. Unfortunately, B58 also indicates problems in the previously mentioned mode (low RPM, very low required torque, and even slightly worn-out spark plugs). By idea, several solutions to the problem are possible: multipoint/multistage injection (part of the fuel is injected earlier); multi-ignition (several following ignition attempts); change of the VANOS modes, etc. In the further examination stage of these engines, I will monitor which management modes are used. Anyway, the BMW engineers haven’t managed to solve this problem.
The permanent difference in cylinder mechanical efficiency.
As far as I understand (taking into account my little knowledge and limited information), I assume that: the problem of the “first/last” cylinder is connected with the performance nuances of the inlet HVA. Either the HVA of the first cylinder(s) (closest to the oil pump) is better “filled” due to a more considerable peak value of the oil pressure or – due to the small crosscut of the oiling channels and the configuration of the oiling channels, the average pressure of the HVA is lower. This fault has been observed since the N42/N46 engine generation. The problem progresses during the time exceptionally swiftly – due to large oil change intervals.
These problems indicate (as permanent disbalance problems, caused by any other reason) that for B38 engines, the multiplicative type (flowrate) injector adaptations are not introduced at all! Bosch (and BMW AG as a customer) relies on the defined flow rate parameter scattering, described (slight – but defined for a NEW injector) by the injector parameters. Gentleman, you are serious?
Here is time to remind you – once already, such a “freebie” didn’t succeed! In addition, keep in mind that we even don’t find out many times when the manufacturer fixes his (typically – software errors) “fails”! This is the story of N20/N26 series engines, where the wastegate and the injectors were replaced, and – what a surprise – “fly-time” adaptations of the injectors were introduced! It looks like no conclusions were made.
What are the consequences?
Poor driving comfort. The engine vibrates more; this vibration can be felt, not only measured. The problem only progresses over time (the injectors wear out; HVA leaks increase; wear of the Valvetronic system elements increases). More significant load to the exhaust system – CO catalytic converters are damaged faster. More significant mechanical load: two-mass flywheel gets damaged faster (if the car has a manual transmission) and the gearbox itself (if the vehicle has automatic transmission). When the injectors wear out, this problem will only progress. The potential solution is the replacement of ALL injectors with new ones at one time (with the hope that the new injectors are with similar parameters). And all this in conditions where the car has so powerful DME installed, which can measure the mechanical efficiency of each cylinder in the FULL RPM range! So – it doesn’t have to (anymore) make complicated calculations (measurements of cylinder chemical efficiency) as MSV/MSD DME, but the fuel mixture of the cylinders can be corrected “live”- that is MUCH easier! BMW/Bosch – aren’t you ashamed of such sloppiness? Is this the level of BMW? At such a level, DME was working 20 years ago! Compared to the DME of the previous decade, this is a harsh regression, not development! The company, for many years, has worked at a profit but manufactures a crap!
Instead, if you try to claim that these flowrate adaptations are introduced, then the question – why even for new cars, the mechanical efficiency of cylinders is not evening out – is logical.
And now dessert – misfire counters.
As for B58 series engines, it makes no sense to view these counters after the driving session. These are misfire identification and are added +1 but cleared after 3 .. 5 seconds.
And, as already noticed with B58 – these identificators are activated each time the gears are shifted (if the car is equipped with manual transmission). Gentleman, really – you cannot fix the basis fails of the software during n years?
And finally – the data regarding the specific engine (integration level and ID of the software):