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my question is whether a completely toasted clutch would also cause it to be unable to disengage when it is engaged? in other words, even when stepping on the clutch, it still cannot be placed into any gear. tia.


last weekend after dinner on Friday night, my clutch would not disengage or engage. when the car was on, it wouldnt go in or out of gear but it would stay in gear & could move if turned on while in gear. when the car was off, obviously, there was no problem throwing it in gear. i had slightly burned the clutch afterwards trying to determine what had happened. the clutch & flywheel had been recently replaced at sterling bmw, nb, in may 07 at 38k due to slipping under maintenance warranty with the flywheel being purchased. the car now has 47k, is still covered under maintenance and parts warranty and i have been babying it.

i had the car towed to new century bmw on saturday morning since it was a few miles away. the wait was an hour long which is understandable on saturday. I related my issue to the sa where we guessed the problem may had been a broken spring or control arm. after our discussion, i had asked if i could get a voucher for a rental and he refused saying rentals were a courtesy. i was shocked since i had never been declined a rental especially for a $70k car; not even the cheapest rental. the sa didnt even ask or wondered if i needed transportation; i needed to ask.

he called me today telling me the tech says they couldnt find any indication of a defect with the clutch other than it was fried along with the flywheel... and didnt want to speculate so they are taking the position of abuse. yet i responded that this was due to it not being able to disengage which is an obvious effect. i then related my reasons for believing that this was not due to abuse considering the circumstances. i just replaced it, there is no indication of abuse on new tires, low miles on new clutch & over 15 years experience with manuals.

the service manager then contacted me and informed me they are willing to cover the clutch & flywheel if i concede to pay for labor. on top of that, i was told i had to pay for the $50 rental that was given to me since the rental co thought that bmw would pay for it. total for labor is now $890 plus a week of rental.

till now, i am now frustrated and dissatisfied for needing to pay something that was completely not the fault of mine. im not sure what kind of service ratings a dealer is looking for without even being courteous to its customers by providing replacement transportation while the bmw i purchased is being serviced by the dealer which i am also paying for. the level of service here used to be great, but has gone down a lot since it moved to its new & improved (& rather expensive) facility. my opinion is to seek another dealer if one must go to a dealer. i was speaking to sterling bmw afterwards and the sa there said they would see what they could do about covering my rental (in LA) if new century didnt step up; we will see.

i think bmw realizes the weakness in the clutch of the m5 since the manager was saying that the dealer recently came to some agreement to cover these known weak parts. this car's clutch isnt even fit for the ordinary purpose of the car.


on a side note, the m3 there has a $10K markup.
 

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my question is whether a completely toasted clutch would also cause it to be unable to disengage when it is engaged? in other words, even when stepping on the clutch, it still cannot be placed into any gear. tia.
Yes, a fried clutch will not allow the clutch to disengage and put the car into any gear. Generally, it doesn't "just happen" unless the clutch has just been abused. If so, you should be able to smell the burn. Not sure if you will get some engagement after it cools off.
last weekend after dinner on Friday night, my clutch would not disengage or engage. when the car was on, it wouldnt go in or out of gear but it would stay in gear & could move if turned on while in gear. when the car was off, obviously, there was no problem throwing it in gear. i had slightly burned the clutch afterwards trying to determine what had happened. the clutch & flywheel had been recently replaced at sterling bmw, nb, in may 07 at 38k due to slipping under maintenance warranty with the flywheel being purchased. the car now has 47k, is still covered under maintenance and parts warranty and i have been babying it.

i had the car towed to new century bmw on saturday morning since it was a few miles away. the wait was an hour long which is understandable on saturday. I related my issue to the sa where we guessed the problem may had been a broken spring or control arm. after our discussion, i had asked if i could get a voucher for a rental and he refused saying rentals were a courtesy. i was shocked since i had never been declined a rental especially for a $70k car; not even the cheapest rental. the sa didnt even ask or wondered if i needed transportation; i needed to ask.

he called me today telling me the tech says they couldnt find any indication of a defect with the clutch other than it was fried along with the flywheel... and didnt want to speculate so they are taking the position of abuse. yet i responded that this was due to it not being able to disengage which is an obvious effect. i then related my reasons for believing that this was not due to abuse considering the circumstances. i just replaced it, there is no indication of abuse on new tires, low miles on new clutch & over 15 years experience with manuals.

the service manager then contacted me and informed me they are willing to cover the clutch & flywheel if i concede to pay for labor. on top of that, i was told i had to pay for the $50 rental that was given to me since the rental co thought that bmw would pay for it. total for labor is now $890 plus a week of rental.

till now, i am now frustrated and dissatisfied for needing to pay something that was completely not the fault of mine. im not sure what kind of service ratings a dealer is looking for without even being courteous to its customers by providing replacement transportation while the bmw i purchased is being serviced by the dealer which i am also paying for. the level of service here used to be great, but has gone down a lot since it moved to its new & improved (& rather expensive) facility. my opinion is to seek another dealer if one must go to a dealer. i was speaking to sterling bmw afterwards and the sa there said they would see what they could do about covering my rental (in LA) if new century didnt step up; we will see.

i think bmw realizes the weakness in the clutch of the m5 since the manager was saying that the dealer recently came to some agreement to cover these known weak parts. this car's clutch isnt even fit for the ordinary purpose of the car.


on a side note, the m3 there has a $10K markup.
Lots of info on weak clutches. A known problem. My dealer stocked entire clutch kits. Most dealers will do one clutch under a "goodwill" service, whether abused or just failed. After that, you have to fight.

Rentals are individual to the dealer. Mine always gives me one, but I have a great SA. If you didn't buy the car there, they may not cover it, understandably IMHO.

If you search on alll the bad clutch threads here, you may have some ammo when going back to your dealer. If not, you can buy the same parts much, much cheaper than the dealer. Do a search, someone posted the info within the last month; thread was something like "best prices".

Regards,
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks again, jerry.

your opinion as to both subjects does provide me with a clearer understanding. my friend who is also a mechanic said basically the same thing about the stuck clutch.

moving forward, i have to eat the costs for clutch replacement since fault cant be pinpointed. the service manager also agreed that abuse was a bit farfetched after looking at the car and finding no evidence of such. from here, it would cost more to find fault then proceeding with replacement.

he also told me the same as to rentals. the sa's hands seem to be pretty much tied as to both the rental and clutch considering the m5 was purchased at sterling, its policy and its recent relocation. the thing is i had purchased 3 other cars from them prior to moving to oc; its not like i wasnt a frequent customer.

aside from my experience with this dealer, the service manager was open to work with me and discuss this matter. he appeared frank in his responses and to the situation. didnt feel like pulling teeth dealing with him. a fairly good service manager, imo.

wen
 

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the thing is i had purchased 3 other cars from them prior to moving to oc; its not like i wasnt a frequent customer. wen
That speaks to very very poor customer service. Is there no competition nearby?

Luckily I have 3 BMW dealerships close by and all give BMW loaner cars (regardless of where you purchased your car) and fight for your business.

Another plus for the Midwest..:thumbsup:
 

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thanks again, jerry.

your opinion as to both subjects does provide me with a clearer understanding. my friend who is also a mechanic said basically the same thing about the stuck clutch.

moving forward, i have to eat the costs for clutch replacement since fault cant be pinpointed. the service manager also agreed that abuse was a bit farfetched after looking at the car and finding no evidence of such. from here, it would cost more to find fault then proceeding with replacement.

he also told me the same as to rentals. the sa's hands seem to be pretty much tied as to both the rental and clutch considering the m5 was purchased at sterling, its policy and its recent relocation. the thing is i had purchased 3 other cars from them prior to moving to oc; its not like i wasnt a frequent customer.

aside from my experience with this dealer, the service manager was open to work with me and discuss this matter. he appeared frank in his responses and to the situation. didnt feel like pulling teeth dealing with him. a fairly good service manager, imo.

wen

Well, 3 cars counts are a pretty good customer. I might remind the SA as least as far as covering the rental. Clutch replacment is generally a 2 day affair.

If the clutch wasn't abused and had 10k miles on it, why no replacement? You might suggest BMWNA get involved here. The dealer simply wants reimbursement. If the SA goes to bat for you, BMWNA might cover it. It helps to have the SA on your side. Calm discussion about the matter may yield additional results, although 50/50 split is not a terrible result.

In any event, demand to get the old parts back if you are paying. I suspect they don't have a lot of old M5 parts laying around, so you should get yours back. I bet you find the self adjusting mechanism is bad, or the pressure plate is bad if you had no other symptoms before losing the clutch.
Regards,
Jerry
 

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I am not sure you can determine the reason for failure until you examine the clutch PP and flywheel. The SAC could have failed, the lining on the disc could have dislodged, or several other scenarios. Problem is, they will tell you (biased of course) what they think. If the car or parts are under warranty then fight for it, if not have an Indy pick up the car and fix it.
Case in point....last week some workers were using my tractor and said "reverse broke"...thinking it was the shifter, I pulled it out, and found a broken reverse shift fork. Welded it back together, and it seemed fine until I started it up and found the clutch would not disengage to allow it to shift.....pulled it apart and found the clutch lining had seperated from the disc and jammed the pressure plate. Easy to figure out that the clutch quit, so they started jamming it in/out of gear and broke the tranny! Smart fellows, huh? I took the tractor key and handed them a wheelbarrow! So, you dont know what happened until you open it up.
 
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