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Discussion Starter #1
Morning All

My car was services less than £150 miles ago and my clutch 'went' on the motorway last night. All I did was change from 6th to 5th at 80mph and experienced the usual symptons where the revs shot up but almost none of the power got to the wheels.

I am waiting to go to the dealer this morning where I had it towed to and want to start on the right note.

The car has an extended BMW warranty but it doesn't cover 'clutch facings'.

Firstly, can a clutch just go like this? What is the likely causes? Could I argue that they should have picked tis up at the last service considering it was only 150 miles ago?

Cheers

Nick
 

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Were you accelerating hard when you when the clutch started to slip? Why did the car need to be towed? Is the car not drivable? If you just have a worn clutch you should still able to drive the car. As far as I know BMW service does not incudes checking on clutch wear.
 

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gunslinger said:
Firstly, can a clutch just go like this? What is the likely causes? Could I argue that they should have picked tis up at the last service considering it was only 150 miles ago?
The first thing I thought of was that some schmuck drove and abused your car when it was in for service. If you have never had any symptoms of clutch failure prior to this incident, I would bet on one of two things: (1) service lackey abused the car on "test drive" (i.e. a brutal clutch slipping start where they don't let up once the clutch is slipping and then continue their "fun" with it); or (2) the self-adjusting mechanism in the pressure plate reared its ugly head. BMW knows well how much trouble these self-adjusters have been, and often dealers are able to claim "abuse" to owners when in fact it is just the SAC mechanism causing an uneven (and therefore weaker) pressure plate clamping force.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
dmz said:
Were you accelerating hard when you when the clutch started to slip? Why did the car need to be towed? Is the car not drivable? If you just have a worn clutch you should still able to drive the car. As far as I know BMW service does not incudes checking on clutch wear.
Hi, thanks for your reply. I was accelerating hard but not fully. The car would drive but wouldn't accelerate properly so I thought it best to get towed back which was FOC was BMW Assistance. What i'm trying to establish is whther this is clutch wear or a mechanical failure in the clutch which is covered by the warranty. Cheers, Nick.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
CSBM5 said:
The first thing I thought of was that some schmuck drove and abused your car when it was in for service. If you have never had any symptoms of clutch failure prior to this incident, I would bet on one of two things: (1) service lackey abused the car on "test drive" (i.e. a brutal clutch slipping start where they don't let up once the clutch is slipping and then continue their "fun" with it); or (2) the self-adjusting mechanism in the pressure plate reared its ugly head. BMW knows well how much trouble these self-adjusters have been, and often dealers are able to claim "abuse" to owners when in fact it is just the SAC mechanism causing an uneven (and therefore weaker) pressure plate clamping force.
Hi, the last service was an oil service. It is a 99 car so would they drive it on this service, I thought probably not. The other thing I thought was that becuase it's a SAC that I wouldn't have noticed any trouble until it was too late, would that a fair assumption or not? There was no sign of anything wrong until I dropped it into 5th and put my foot down.
 

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Nick,
If you had no clutch issues when the car was taken in for the oil change, then I would bet that the 'service technician' or service manager took your car for a joy ride or out to lunch that day. Is there any chance that you can document the miles on the car when you delivered it to the dealer, and then how many miles were on it when you picked it up? A simple oil change should not require any miles be added to the car; its just not necessary to drive to check for oil leaks, etc. after the oil service.
I base this on my experience where I asked for the brakes to be checked as the pedal was 'mushy'. When the car came back after the 'test drive' there was an awful smell of burning. I was told it was the brakes, but it ended up being the clutch of course, which had to be replaced a month later. Lesson learned; now I demand to go on 'test drives' with the service manager/technician.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thebishman said:
Nick,
If you had no clutch issues when the car was taken in for the oil change, then I would bet that the 'service technician' or service manager took your car for a joy ride or out to lunch that day. Is there any chance that you can document the miles on the car when you delivered it to the dealer, and then how many miles were on it when you picked it up? A simple oil change should not require any miles be added to the car; its just not necessary to drive to check for oil leaks, etc. after the oil service.
I base this on my experience where I asked for the brakes to be checked as the pedal was 'mushy'. When the car came back after the 'test drive' there was an awful smell of burning. I was told it was the brakes, but it ended up being the clutch of course, which had to be replaced a month later. Lesson learned; now I demand to go on 'test drives' with the service manager/technician.
 

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You may be right but i'd be extremely surprised. I have not heard this from any other UK members consequently I did not note the exact mileage but if it was 'tested driven' then it can't have been for more than 20 miles or so.........enough though I suppose. It has done 60k so it could just be wear....what do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One more thing. I'm told as it's an SAC clutch that you wouldn't necessarily have any problems at all prior to the clutch finally wearing out. Is this true?
 

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gunslinger said:
One more thing. I'm told as it's an SAC clutch that you wouldn't necessarily have any problems at all prior to the clutch finally wearing out. Is this true?
No, that's not true. The SAC mechanism is often the culprit of trouble long before the disc would be worn out. My 2002 540i had the whole clutch replaced at 3200 miles due to a failed SAC. It was making snapping and clinking noises during engagement travel, and the clutch would not engage smoothly. However, often the SAC failure is more of a soft failure whereby it prevents one or more of the pressure plate spring fingers from contract the pp with full force. This is when the clutch will start "slipping", a dealer will pull the thing out and then either claim "wear" or "abuse" when in fact the underlying problem was a partially failing SAC mechanism all the time.

At 22k miles, my M5 is starting to now show signs of an SAC problem. The engagement is very high up and more abrupt, and I'm sometimes getting that clinking noise my 540i had...sigh...
 

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gunslinger said:
You may be right but i'd be extremely surprised. I have not heard this from any other UK members consequently I did not note the exact mileage but if it was 'tested driven' then it can't have been for more than 20 miles or so.........enough though I suppose. It has done 60k so it could just be wear....what do you think?
Yes with 60K miles on the car, it would definitely be ready for a new clutch if it was the original. One 'hard' launch at the dealership after the oil service may well have been the final nail as it were; or it just could well have been its, (the clutch's) time.

If you plan on keeping the car for a while and enjoy driving in a spirited fashion then you might want to check out an aftermarket clutch. Much more tolerable of 'abuse'. There are some threads on the board about optional clutches.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
CSBM5 said:
No, that's not true. The SAC mechanism is often the culprit of trouble long before the disc would be worn out. My 2002 540i had the whole clutch replaced at 3200 miles due to a failed SAC. It was making snapping and clinking noises during engagement travel, and the clutch would not engage smoothly. However, often the SAC failure is more of a soft failure whereby it prevents one or more of the pressure plate spring fingers from contract the pp with full force. This is when the clutch will start "slipping", a dealer will pull the thing out and then either claim "wear" or "abuse" when in fact the underlying problem was a partially failing SAC mechanism all the time.

At 22k miles, my M5 is starting to now show signs of an SAC problem. The engagement is very high up and more abrupt, and I'm sometimes getting that clinking noise my 540i had...sigh...
A few people seem to blame ths SAC mechanism failing. I hav told the dealer that if it's not covered by the warranty I want to see the proof, i.e. see under the car. I said this in the hope that they'd not try to pull the wool over my eyes but the realityis I don't know what i'm looking at. I was going to take pictues and get a 3rd party opinion. Thankfully it's not my only car so i'm not in a big hurry to get it fixed. If it is the SAC mechanism that's the problem then how can this be proved? Could I ask to keep the old part and have it examined? I am still hoping it's not just the end of it's life as I haven't had any clicks or tell tell signs............
 
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