BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, so as most of you know, we're experiencing the blizzard of '05 here in the North East. Last night I decided to go and get supllies before being buried...Since I hadn't driven the beast in almost a week, and I wanted to fill the tank, I decided to take her out of the barn (not literally of course).
Mind you, it's been <20 degrees here all week. In any case, as I'm on my way to the store ~4 miles, I notice that suddenly, I'm accelerating, but not going anywhere...:confused2 :crying: :confused2

Worse yet, I'm in the middle of a busy 2 way street! I immediately pull to the side of the road and try to see if I hear/smell anything. I put it into 1st and try to move. Nothing. Same with 2nd, 3rd, 4th...Reverse is no different. No probems shifting into gear whatsoever though. At this point I'm totally perplexed and thinking the clutch is fried. I'm able to put the car in gear and take my foot off the clutch and it doesn't stall. :crying:

So I call AAA to get me back home...2 HRS later they finally show up! Thank GOD I have heat, because it's 15 efn degrees out.

Just an aside, I was stuck with my flashers on for 2 hrs, and only ONCE did a Hoboken (NJ) police officer stop by to see if I was dead or alive. What's this country coming to anyway?? :grrrr: They can kiss my PBA donation goodbye this year!!!!

Anyway, finally get her back home and I'm thinking the worst. I try to get it to the dealership today, but they are swamped and don't want to assume responsibility for it with the impending snow storm. Fair enough. I'll have it taken in on Monday...or whenever the roads are safe again.

This AM prior to calling for another tow I have the GF help me get it out of the garage. To my utter disbelief she puts it into reverse and it moves!!!...:eek:oohhh:
I'm standing outside and I don't hear any noises, grinding or smell anything...She puts it into 1st and pulls it back in, no problem! WTF!!!hmmm

I am totally confused as to what the hell is going on. Has anyone else had something similar happen?? I'm the second owner of the car, which is meticulously maintained...and then some! The car is an '01, has 24,250 miles and is driven only on the weekends (9k miles in the last 13 months).

If this is an impeding clutch or SAC mechanism problem, how should I approach BMW about this, and what can my SA do to help? Do have an extended warranty with AAA, which I hope will be helpful.

Any advice/help from you guys and gals would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Re: C'mon guys, I'm still waiting...

Does anyone have any idea what's going on? Or am I asking a rhetorical question???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
I don't recall a prior post with this same set of symptoms. It appears that the clutch was not engaging at all during this incident, and did engage after being in the garage overnight. This is inconsistent with a failure of the clutch itself. Catastrophic clutch failures (something breaks, or commonly the linings tear off the disc) (1) don't suddenly heal, (2) make noise of some kind, or the pedal hangs up and you can feel it, and (3) typically follow an incident where the clutch has been seriously abused. In the common M5 situation of excessive lining wear or glazing from overheating (slippage), there is usually some clutch action remaining; the clutch will slip but still move the car under gentle application of the throttle. Failure of the dreaded self adjusting feature would not be expected to miraculously heal with rest.

My guess is that the throwout bearing is hanging up on the transmission input shaft guide ("nosepiece"), or there is something amiss in the hydraulics. E46 M3s are known to have the bearing hangup problem, due to lack of lubrication from the factory where the bearing slides and this may have occurred here. Usually by the time the bearing no longer slides freely there is damage to the sliding surfaces. The transmission will need to come out to investigate this. The other possibility, given the ambient temperature, is that moisture has gotten into the clutch hydraulic circuit and froze. Brake fluid attracts moisture, and sometimes the clutch circuit is not properly bled at brake fluid change time. Bleeding the clutch hydraulic circuit is relatively easy to do, and the appearance of what comes out will confirm whether there is any water present. There may be a mechanical problem with the clutch master or slave cylinder, but usually these components fail in the "no release" mode, not the no engagement mode you describe.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Dick Roberts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Re: Much appreciated...

Hi D-R, thanks so much for your input. I'm still waiting for my SA to call me back so I can get the car delivered to them to see what is going on.

I've spent the better part of 2 hrs reading all the posts about worn clutches and replacements and none of the posts describe what I've written. I'm totally stumped.

As you mentioned, there may be something else going on that I'm not aware of. Only a trip to the dealership will tell. Based on their findings, if it's a mechanical failure that will eventually lead to clutch failure, can (should) I ask for a clutch replacement?? (I think I already know the answer).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,239 Posts
I'm with Dick on this one. I think the most likely explanation is moisture in the fluid - a small chunk of ice in the slave cylinder acted like a check valve, not letting the fluid back out when you let the pedal up - holding the clutch in. The slave cylinder is far enough from the engine that it wouldn't heat up all that fast. You didn't say how long the engine had been running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Re: Need Help!!! Clutch problem

Hey Greg, thanks for the comments...I had been driving for about 10 minutes...the engine temp and oil temp were below the middle of the guage...again, it was only 15 degrees out and the car had been sitting for ~1 week. Called and spoke with my SA at the dealership, and he's puzzled as well...doesn't seem to think it's the clutch. Asked his lead tech about it, who also asked how long car had been running and whether I had allowed it to idle for a while before driving (Owners manual recommends against doing this, so I'm not sure what I should have done differently?)

DO you guys regualrly let the car idle for a minute or two before driving?? (I usually let it get past the fast idle phase before driving it).

In any case, I'm having it towed in on Thursday (not comfortable driving it there...in case I do more damage) and then waiting to see what the verdict is...I'll keep you all posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,239 Posts
Re: Need Help!!! Clutch problem

lsdvm said:
In any case, I'm having it towed in on Thursday (not comfortable driving it there...in case I do more damage) and then waiting to see what the verdict is...I'll keep you all posted.
it is not normally neccessary to warm the car before driving off - however I would let it run for a minute or so if it were 15 degrees. On the other hand, at any temperature you should always go VERY easy on everything while it is cold.

If the car feels normal now, and from what you described, I think you are OK to drive it. I don't think you'll do more damage. Of course if you can't get any "go" that creates a safety issue - if you can wait until you take it to the dealer, do so. If they can't find anything, I would recommend having them flush and replace the fluid, and then properly bleed the system, even if you have to pay for it. (Shouldn't cost much!) If it happens again, you'll then know it WASN'T moisture in the fluid.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top