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      05-10-2011, 02:18 AM   #1
rexsevn
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Weird Clutch Problem

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Unfortunately not good news, this morning my 07 335i coupe was running great, no problems what so ever, until I drove into a gas station, I immediately heard a loud and audible grinding noise coming from under the car. I thought I must have gotten a flat tire and I was running on the rim (this had happened recently on the same car, sounded very similar). I stopped the car, turned it off, and inspected my tires. Everything was normal. I was confused and went back inside the car. I started the car, placed it in gear and couldn't get it to go. The engine had no contact with the transmission, I released the accelerator expecting a stall but nothing. I placed the car in other gears to see if it would catch but also nothing, higher gears reproduced the loud audible sound I mentioned earlier. All I have is a revving engine as though I was in neutral. Placing it in reverse provides the same effect.

I suspected that maybe my clutch had gone bad but I don't recall experiencing any symptoms of a typical clutch going out. There was no slipping of the clutch, nor was there any of the burnt smell that is usually found on a bad clutch. This has really been a dumbfounding experience.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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      05-10-2011, 02:46 AM   #2
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Being stranded after midnight at a gas station. I hope you can get towed, and if you're under warranty and maintenance, try getting bmw assist to tow you to a dealership for free. I doubt they'll be opened, so maybe catch a ride home?
I hear that bmw replaces a clutch once under the maintenance plan. Hope you're in warranty, and good luck.
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      05-10-2011, 09:33 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, my warranty expired a few months ago. I'm at 33k miles, luckily I wasn't too far away from home and had a friend who was willing to give me a ride.

Has anyone ever had a similar problem?
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      05-10-2011, 10:29 AM   #4
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Is clutch pedal behaving normal as before the incident and can you shift car into gear? If that was the clutch you wouldn’t be able to shift into any gear or even if you were able to force it into gear it would make grinding noise and the car would stall afterwards. Looks like it might be either transmission, driveshaft or rear diff.
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      05-10-2011, 10:34 AM   #5
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The clutch pedal feels smooth, unremarkable... The shifting is exactly the same as if nothing had ever happened. Only thing to note is that while having the shifter in gear nothing happens. Its as if I was still in neutral.

Do you have any advice as to how I can check these things? I have the bentley's service manual at home, I haven't been able to check.

Thanks and I appreciate all responses.
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      05-10-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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I dont know if this is possible but could your have sheared your shift lingage off?
The car would feel as it was in gear by the shifter going into the gate up top but perhaps the sound you heard was something hitting it underneath and ripping it off

I would get underneath it and take a look around
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      05-10-2011, 10:56 AM   #7
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Are you suggesting that perhaps the ball joint from the shifter to the transmission may have broken and therefore it is not placing it in gear?
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      05-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #8
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Yea something like that, I am not familar with the linkage set up but it sounds like all you are doing is shifting through the gates, you mentioned a noise I am assuming that was what snapped the linkage.
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      05-10-2011, 12:37 PM   #9
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Throw out bearing.
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      05-10-2011, 01:12 PM   #10
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gear linkage like the lever to trany? check that out happend to my old bmw.
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      05-10-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpnaz7 View Post
First Post!
Unfortunately not good news, this morning my 07 335i coupe was running great, no problems what so ever, until I drove into a gas station, I immediately heard a loud and audible grinding noise coming from under the car. I thought I must have gotten a flat tire and I was running on the rim (this had happened recently on the same car, sounded very similar). I stopped the car, turned it off, and inspected my tires. Everything was normal. I was confused and went back inside the car. I started the car, placed it in gear and couldn't get it to go. The engine had no contact with the transmission, I released the accelerator expecting a stall but nothing. I placed the car in other gears to see if it would catch but also nothing, higher gears reproduced the loud audible sound I mentioned earlier. All I have is a revving engine as though I was in neutral. Placing it in reverse provides the same effect.

I suspected that maybe my clutch had gone bad but I don't recall experiencing any symptoms of a typical clutch going out. There was no slipping of the clutch, nor was there any of the burnt smell that is usually found on a bad clutch. This has really been a dumbfounding experience.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Hi,

Sorry to hear of your problem. Let's step through the drivetrain from front to back to see if we have thought of all possible culprits:

Dual-mass flywheel - a failure there would not result in these symptoms.

Clutch disc - if this has completely disintegrated, you could have no engagement but the clutch might feel normal. The input shaft to the gearbox may not spin, depending on the type of failure. Grinding noises may result.

Gearbox - As others have mentioned, the shifter may not be actually moving the shift forks. However, I think it's doubtful that grinding noises would result and for that reason, I don't think the problem lies here.

Driveshaft - If these cars use the traditional BMW guibo to couple the output shaft of the gearbox to the driveshaft, then it is possible that yours has failed (there may also be one at the differential end). Grinding noises are possible if it has shattered such that there is no coupling but it's able to spin freely. Likely suspect.

Differential - A stripped pinion gear would do the same thing with respect to noises and lack of traction. However, it's hard to imagine such a failure as other things are likely to go first.

There is one thing you mention in your post that leads me to believe that the problem is downstream of the gearbox and that is that the "noise is louder in higher gears". This suggests that the rotating object that is causing the noise is changing RPM based on your gear selection, therefore, downstream of the gearbox.

Simple things go wrong more commonly so my first inclination would be to check to see if the driveshaft is rotating at all. If it is, the guibos would be the next thing to check. Basically, divide the problem areas into pre-gearbox and post-gearbox. At least that reduces the number of things to consider.

Good luck and please let us know what you find.

Regards
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      05-10-2011, 10:33 PM   #12
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Wow! Thanks for all the help! This Friday I'll begin inspecting the car as you said, from pre-gearbox to post gear-box. I really hope this problem isn't too bad.

I will definitely keep you guys updated with anything I find. Thanks!
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      05-13-2011, 05:51 PM   #13
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Problem solved! It was after the gearbox. Somehow the left rear axle came out from it's diff axle.
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      05-13-2011, 07:05 PM   #14
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WHY????
That does not happen without some type of help
Did you pop it back in yourself or did you bring it to shop/ dealer to fix??
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      05-13-2011, 07:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpnaz7 View Post
Problem solved! It was after the gearbox. Somehow the left rear axle came out from it's diff axle.
Hi,

Glad you found it. However, for a half-shaft to come free from the differential or hub means that something is broken. Not sure about these cars but on many, the CV joint is what provides the connection with a snap ring on the shaft that gets trapped inside the differential and hub.

The snap ring may have broken off or the CV joint is coming apart. It may be a good idea to replace the half-shaft as that will get you a new CV joint and an opportunity to examine the snap ring. Chances are, you will have the same problem again if you don't get to the bottom of this.

Regards.
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      05-13-2011, 11:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Healey3000 View Post
Hi,

Sorry to hear of your problem. Let's step through the drivetrain from front to back to see if we have thought of all possible culprits:

Dual-mass flywheel - a failure there would not result in these symptoms.

Clutch disc - if this has completely disintegrated, you could have no engagement but the clutch might feel normal. The input shaft to the gearbox may not spin, depending on the type of failure. Grinding noises may result.

Gearbox - As others have mentioned, the shifter may not be actually moving the shift forks. However, I think it's doubtful that grinding noises would result and for that reason, I don't think the problem lies here.

Driveshaft - If these cars use the traditional BMW guibo to couple the output shaft of the gearbox to the driveshaft, then it is possible that yours has failed (there may also be one at the differential end). Grinding noises are possible if it has shattered such that there is no coupling but it's able to spin freely. Likely suspect.

Differential - A stripped pinion gear would do the same thing with respect to noises and lack of traction. However, it's hard to imagine such a failure as other things are likely to go first.

There is one thing you mention in your post that leads me to believe that the problem is downstream of the gearbox and that is that the "noise is louder in higher gears". This suggests that the rotating object that is causing the noise is changing RPM based on your gear selection, therefore, downstream of the gearbox.

Simple things go wrong more commonly so my first inclination would be to check to see if the driveshaft is rotating at all. If it is, the guibos would be the next thing to check. Basically, divide the problem areas into pre-gearbox and post-gearbox. At least that reduces the number of things to consider.

Good luck and please let us know what you find.

Regards
Great post!
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      05-14-2011, 05:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driverman View Post
Great post!
Thank you!
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      05-14-2011, 05:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driverman View Post
Great post!
+2, very informative. And agreed with Healey3000 that something must be broken for this to happen. Even if you just "popped" it back into place, it's likely to occur again. Definitely get it looked at by a professional to see where the real problem is.
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      05-14-2011, 06:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopa489 View Post
something must be broken for this to happen. Even if you just "popped" it back into place, it's likely to occur again. Definitely get it looked at by a professional to see where the real problem is.
+1
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      05-18-2011, 12:32 AM   #20
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I was a bit ambiguous in the way I described the axle when i found it. I placed my car on a lift and noticed that all six bolts that hold the axle to the rear diff had been unscrewed somehow. I have no idea how these bolts could have come off.

hahah I'm not exaggerating, the bolts were actually and completely off from the rear diff. Luckily they were all still present. The axle itself was still in perfect condition, nothing was broken. I used thread lock to reattach the axle to the diff and test drove it. Everything was perfect.

I am concerned though, how could have these bolts come to the point where they were loose and eventually off? No idea...

I will keep a close eye on it though. Thanks for all the help! I really appreciated all the input...
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