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      01-23-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
jaadoogar
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Clutch is stuck! Transmission problem?? NEED HELP!!

NEED HELP! I'm having the car towed to the Dealership, and need advice from the experts on this forum!

Car: 335xi 6MT with N55 engine (mid-2011). About 15k miles on the car.

I just drove to work at regular posted speed limits. I was cruising at 30mph in neutral and slowed to take a left turn at 10mph. When I came out of the turn, I depressed the clutch and tried to shift to 2nd gear, but the shifter was stuck in neutral. I came to a full stop, turned the car off, and restarted it. I depressed the clutch again, was unable to shift to any gear. Restarted engine again and was able to put it into 3rd, and pull into my parking lot 25 yards away.

When I stopped the car, I noticed the clutch is depressed (aka pushed in almost all the way), and won't come out. There is a funny smell from under the hood. No warning lights at all on the dash.

I should mention that I have noticed some lag in the last few weeks. When I upshift, the RPMs go into the 3k-4k range. Then come down 1-2 seconds later to 2500 as the acceleration begins. I have not experienced this lag before.

I would really appreciate any help!!
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      01-23-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
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Those are classic worn-out-clutch symptoms. Time to go hat-in-hand to your dealership and hope they warranty or goodwill it. Good luck.
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      01-23-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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Sounds like your clutch is gone to me... It also sounds like you drive manual a little funny, i.e. In neutral @ 30 mph. Once, I had my car in neutral for like 20 / 30 seconds by accident on the highway and a dash warning came on. It shouldn't cause issues, but I also do not know for sure on these cars. The dash warning surprised the hell out of me.

I don't know why you turned off the car while driving then back on, I can only imagine it didn't like that very much. I would have pulled over or coasted to where I could do so.

I can't imagine a clutch is covered under warranty since it's a wear item. From the sounds of this post, I would infer that you may be driving the manual in a way that increases that wear... Sorry, no offense intended. Best of luck with the repair.
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      01-23-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Envuks View Post
It also sounds like you drive manual a little funny, i.e. In neutral @ 30 mph.

I don't know why you turned off the car while driving then back on, I can only imagine it didn't like that very much. I would have pulled over or coasted to where I could do so.

Sorry, no offense intended. Best of luck with the repair.
No offense taken. Clarification: I was driving in 3rd at 30mph, and was coming up onto the left turn for my office. I coasted for the last 50 yards in neutral as I braked to about 10mph to take the turn. After I took the turn, I tried shifting to 2nd. It didn't work.

And yes, I was at a complete stop when I turned off and restarted the car.
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      01-23-2013, 12:18 PM   #5
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I don't mean to offend you by this question, but is this the first manual car that you owned? This is a rare situation with any car, especially BMWs
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      01-23-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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Doesn't sound like a worn out clutch to me. Sounds like a clutch master cylinder or other mechanical clutch linkage problem.
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      01-23-2013, 12:30 PM   #7
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I guess nobody ever thought of that...we should've given the OP the benefit of the doubt...
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      01-23-2013, 12:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierce330
I guess nobody ever thought of that...we should've given the OP the benefit of the doubt...
^^^+1
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      01-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaadoogar View Post
No offense taken. Clarification: I was driving in 3rd at 30mph, and was coming up onto the left turn for my office. I coasted for the last 50 yards in neutral as I braked to about 10mph to take the turn. After I took the turn, I tried shifting to 2nd. It didn't work.

And yes, I was at a complete stop when I turned off and restarted the car.
Gotcha, I apologize. I interpreted your description of events incorrectly. whatever it turns out to be, it shouldn't be occurring at 15k miles. Hopefully warranty will cover it. If it's the clutch you should push for warrant coverage.

Please keep us posted on what it is once you find out. Good luck!
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      01-23-2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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I highly doubt his clutch has gone bad since he's only at 15k miles. Double check your master cylinder.
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      01-23-2013, 04:13 PM   #11
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3rd at 30 mph? 2nd at 10?
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      01-23-2013, 04:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTECaddict View Post
Doesn't sound like a worn out clutch to me. Sounds like a clutch master cylinder or other mechanical clutch linkage problem.
I would agree here.

Are these hydraulically activated on BMW? They probably are.

I've experienced this before, not on the BMW, but the info could be applicable if a hydraulic system.

If hydraulic the weird smell could be fluid spilt in your engine compartment. Did you see any oil on the ground or in engine compartment after this occured

So for me the steel tube from the master cylinder to the slave cylinder had a slow leak, and shifting got progressively worse. Adding fluid made it better, until enough leaked out again, and finally the hole got big enough and there was a pool of fluid on the floor, and I could trace it back to where it leaked.

While this was happening I was trying to find the problem/leak, it seems like I was only able to shift, with the engine off, back into the last gear that was used. So you were in 3rd, went to neutral and then could only shift back to 3rd with engine off. Sounds familiar to me.
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      01-23-2013, 11:32 PM   #13
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I re-read your initial entry...really sounds like the hydraulic system in your clutch pedal...This system, if Im not mistaken, is to help assist with easier and smoother shifts. you get a hydraulic pressure advantage on top of the lever advantage of the clutch pedal.

You said that the car was able to get you to the parking lot after getting it back into 3rd gear. sooooooo, the clutch and pressure plate are probably still in good shape. If the pressure plate and clutch were badly worn out, the car would slip in all gears....

It really must be the engagement system and in this case, the hydraulics control that.

I found this off the net:

Hi, when the clutch pedal is staying on the floor, and it needs to be pumped to build pressure, this indicates there is air in the system, or one or both of the clutch hydraulic parts are faulty.

I would start with bleeding the clutch system. This is similar to bleeding brakes, but the bleeder screw is on the slave cylinder, which mounts on the left side of the transmission.

If the clutch cannot be bled enough for it to work properly, then further inspection is required.
You would need to unbolt the slave cylinder, slide it out, and pull back the rubber dust boot to see if it is leaking fluid.
If it is, then the slave cylinder will need to be replaced, and the system bled again.

If it still is not functional, the clutch master cylinder will need to be replaced next. This part is above the clutch pedal.


The image below is a generic clutch hydraulic system, for reference.



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      01-23-2013, 11:54 PM   #14
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http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=792518

I think this guy is having the same issue !
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      01-24-2013, 04:22 AM   #15
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The dealer should take care of it since it's more a mechanical/hydraulic system issue and not a burned out clutch issue.
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      01-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #16
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Not to pile on here, but I think what happened is either the slave cylinder or the master cylinder has gone bad. It has been going bad for a few weeks since the clutch has not been fully engaging as indicated by your description of the RPMs hanging up then dropping down to normal.

The reason the car would not shift into gear is because the clutch was not releasing and a manual trans will not go into gear without the clutch freespinning (unless you force the living crap out of it).

The smell is from you moving the car from rest in 3rd gear, you have to slip the clutch to do that, which overheats the clutch disk. The clutch disk is made of metal and organic materials bonded in a matrix, which when overheated causes the bonding agent to vaporize. Now the issue is how bad is the clutch at this point. It has been slipping for the past few weeks at no fault of yours because the hydraulics have gone bad.

The dealer is going to try to put the replacement cost on you claiming clutch abuse blah, blah, blah. Take none of it. Tell them the symptoms you experienced in the last few weeks and tell them definitively that the hydraulics went bad and caused the clutch damage. Tell them it is obvious the hydraulics went bad since the clutch pedal is near or at the floor now.

If they try the clutch abuse crap then ask them to inspect the brakes and the other parts of the driveline and show you the excessive wear on those parts. Meaning if you've been abusing the clutch then you'll damage other parts of the driveline like the rear axle CV joints and excessive use of the brakes to slow the car down.

And don't take any crap about letting the clutch fluid get low because the clutch hydraulics pull fluid from the brake fluid reservoir. Being that you've not had any indication of the brake fluid being low, there is no low-fluid condition in the clutch hydraulics.

Parts just sometimes do fail, it's why new cars come with a warranty. Make them fix it and replace the clutch, pressure plate and flywheel. Your car is practically new, it should not have clutch parts in it that have been compromised by being overheated, which will shorten their life.
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      01-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Not to pile on here, but I think what happened is either the slave cylinder or the master cylinder has gone bad. It has been going bad for a few weeks since the clutch has not been fully engaging as indicated by your description of the RPMs hanging up then dropping down to normal.

The reason the car would not shift into gear is because the clutch was not releasing and a manual trans will not go into gear without the clutch freespinning (unless you force the living crap out of it).

The smell is from you moving the car from rest in 3rd gear, you have to slip the clutch to do that, which overheats the clutch disk. The clutch disk is made of metal and organic materials bonded in a matrix, which when overheated causes the bonding agent to vaporize. Now the issue is how bad is the clutch at this point. It has been slipping for the past few weeks at no fault of yours because the hydraulics have gone bad.

The dealer is going to try to put the replacement cost on you claiming clutch abuse blah, blah, blah. Take none of it. Tell them the symptoms you experienced in the last few weeks and tell them definitively that the hydraulics went bad and caused the clutch damage. Tell them it is obvious the hydraulics went bad since the clutch pedal is near or at the floor now.

If they try the clutch abuse crap then ask them to inspect the brakes and the other parts of the driveline and show you the excessive wear on those parts. Meaning if you've been abusing the clutch then you'll damage other parts of the driveline like the rear axle CV joints and excessive use of the brakes to slow the car down.

And don't take any crap about letting the clutch fluid get low because the clutch hydraulics pull fluid from the brake fluid reservoir. Being that you've not had any indication of the brake fluid being low, there is no low-fluid condition in the clutch hydraulics.

Parts just sometimes do fail, it's why new cars come with a warranty. Make them fix it and replace the clutch, pressure plate and flywheel. Your car is practically new, it should not have clutch parts in it that have been compromised by being overheated, which will shorten their life.
+1 good post
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      01-24-2013, 11:38 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the great advice.

If I understand this correctly, they will probably tell me I smoked the clutch. My main argument for this being a hydrolics issue (and not my fault) is the lag in the last few weeks and that the clutch pedal was on the floor.
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      02-15-2013, 11:15 PM   #19
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clutch

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaadoogar View Post
Thanks for all the great advice.

If I understand this correctly, they will probably tell me I smoked the clutch. My main argument for this being a hydrolics issue (and not my fault) is the lag in the last few weeks and that the clutch pedal was on the floor.


what ever happened with the car?
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      02-16-2013, 01:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaadoogar
Thanks for all the great advice.

If I understand this correctly, they will probably tell me I smoked the clutch. My main argument for this being a hydrolics issue (and not my fault) is the lag in the last few weeks and that the clutch pedal was on the floor.
Definitely. If they try telling you that you burnt the clutch (after 15k...) tell them to look at the master/slave cylinder first. If they keep pushing you, take it to another dealership.

I just had something similar happen to my car (albeit not a BMW) and fixed it myself.
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