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      06-24-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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Blown Clutch Assembly - DCT

It all started on my way home when I was on the freeway cruising around 65mph in my 2009 e92 ///M3 on Friday May 27th. I heard a weird ‘ping’ sound and thought, “what was that!?” The car then felt funny for a second, and then went back to normal; so I shrugged my shoulders and kept driving. About 1 mile before my exit an alarm sounds. I look at the idrive and it says, “Transmission Malfunction”. The car immediately went into automatic mode and went from 7th gear to 6th. I then read the message on the idrive screen which stated, “Drive at a moderate pace to your nearest BMW dealership”. After, I put the car back in manual mode and tried upshifting to 7th gear, only to realize the car wouldn’t let me. Then, I tried downshifting from 6th to 5th, it then went to 4th. Long story short, I only had even gears. I immediately thought the odd gear clutch had blown. Once I got off my exit the car got stuck in 4th. I put it in neutral and tried reengaging; didn’t work. The car was now stuck in neutral. I then pulled over, turned the car off, and let some steam out my head. Started the car a few minutes later and drove the 1.5 miles to my house. This was the worst ride ever! It was like a 3 year old driving a manual car.


I got the car to BMW within a couple hours via a flatbed tow truck. Dropped the car off and was told I’d be getting a phone call in a few days. It took BMW about a week to diagnose the problem. They first tried reprogramming the tranny, which obviously didn’t work. They then had a tech from the east coast fly out to WA where the car is located to diagnose the problem. After a series of calls to M-Headquarters they diagnosed the problem as a blown clutch assembly. They pulled the tranny, replaced the clutch assembly, and put her back together. Well, now the tranny leaks. Made the diagnoses as a failed coolant line, pulled the tranny again, and replaced it. Then, after driving the car it went back into limp mode. After a discussion with BMW ///M engineers in Germany the okay was given to replace the Transmission Mechatronics Unit. Pulled the tranny for the 3rd time and replaced the unit. They then tried reprogramming which didn’t work. Let the car sit overnight with the battery disconnected to reset the computers. The next morning the car took the program and all was normal. Finally, after exactly 4 weeks the car was back in 1 piece and performing.


This was a fat headache which is now slowly starting to dissipate. The car had 16,947 miles at the time of failure. I’m now working with BMW to extend my drivetrain warranty.


Parts Replaced:

-Clutch Cover
-Dual Clutch
-Snap Ring
-Grooved Ball Bearing
-O-Ring
-Mechatronic
-Installation Kit for Mechatronic
-Transmission coolant line
-Gasket
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      06-24-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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That's awesome that it's back together!! Assume they gave you a loaner? The joys of all things mechanical and human, eventually something goes awry.
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      06-24-2011, 11:43 PM   #3
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I'm sure it was pretty painful to go through, but at least the dealer and BMW didn't make any fuss when it came to fixing everything under warranty. Glad to hear you're back on the road!
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      06-25-2011, 01:00 AM   #4
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I don't know about others, but this is the first time I hear of a DCT tranny failure like that. Bad for you, but although not a fan of it myself, it looks like a fluke. It's made by humans .

The main reason of my post is if you could explain what the hell 'blown clutch' means? Being a multi-plate wet clutch, doubt it was worn out at only 16K miles, so it sounds like something other than the clutch itself. I'd be interesting to know exactly what part initially failed.
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      06-25-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
I don't know about others, but this is the first time I hear of a DCT tranny failure like that. Bad for you, but although not a fan of it myself, it looks like a fluke. It's made by humans .

The main reason of my post is if you could explain what the hell 'blown clutch' means? Being a multi-plate wet clutch, doubt it was worn out at only 16K miles, so it sounds like something other than the clutch itself. I'd be interesting to know exactly what part initially failed.
I'm very interested myself; however, BMW is unsure 'exactly' what failed within the clutch assembly. The assembly is one unit and my dealership didn't physically take it apart. I'm still working with them as mentioned above and I'll try and get an answer to your question.
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      06-25-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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another reason for driving a 6=speed manual, no offense I am just old school
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      06-25-2011, 10:20 PM   #7
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That sucks. Glad to hear it is hopefully behind you.
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      06-26-2011, 01:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e92Mjunky View Post
another reason for driving a 6=speed manual, no offense I am just old school
There's been waaaay more 6mt failures than dct. In fact I think this may be the first documented dct failure on these forums (programming aside.)

OP hopefully that was a fluke, glad it's fixed. Kinda cool how the car operated on one transmission/clutch to not leave you completely stranded though.
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      06-26-2011, 02:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lve2xlr8 View Post
There's been waaaay more 6mt failures than dct. In fact I think this may be the first documented dct failure on these forums (programming aside.)
Exactly. The argument that complex and computer operated = higher failure rate just is not valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
It's made by humans .
Certainly designed by humans but the vast majority of it is made by computers and robots...
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      06-26-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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The argument that a clutch replacement on a 6-speed would have taken 4-6 hours of shop time and would have had the car back on the road in a couple of days does hold water, but this seems pretty unusual. The DCT seems to be capable of taking some serious abuse I think I read on here that there are a couple guys with 30k+ miles at 500+whp on their DCT's. Good to have problems like this documented on the forums for people to read about, too much "which muffler" not enough troubleshooting and knowledge base. That'll get better as the cars get older and people learn more through failures and DIY-ers start to get their hands on more of them. I'm impressed BMW had the forethought to allow the car to operate with one clutch completely shot, good on them for not forcing you to sit and wait for a rollback if things go really wrong. Definitely torpedoes one of my assumptions about the DCT (that it was immobilized in the event of any kind of serious component failure)
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      06-26-2011, 09:17 AM   #11
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cough cough dct fail
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      06-26-2011, 09:18 AM   #12
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lemon!
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      06-26-2011, 09:19 AM   #13
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Oh come on now I prefer the 6-speed too but this is the first time I've read of one of these and how many people have had 6mt clutches, synchros, or entire 6-speed transmissions replaced under warranty? At least a dozen on this forum alone and this forum doesn't have all 30,000 E9x M3 owners on it
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      06-26-2011, 09:21 AM   #14
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I agree. If the Dct were weak, it would be all over the forums.
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      06-26-2011, 09:59 AM   #15
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I haven't updated my dct since i got it and its been running great so far. The only issue was the lag in automatic mode but i never use that so i did not care. I also went to tracks and drag strips (only once before my sc) never felt a hiccup. After the sc the dct is still strong after 2 drag visits and one more coming next month. I rarely use lc probably 4 times total now with 40,000+ miles close to 50,000 now.I have had about 5,000 to 6,000 miles with sc so far, and running strong. The car was modded around 5,000 miles with x-pipe and gradually i added more mods till i was fully bolt on around 25,000miles and no problem at all. Hopefully your car is back to normal now if not better.
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      06-26-2011, 01:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saeedg48 View Post
lemon!
That's what I said!!! I never had a problem till this. Hopefully things hold together
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      06-28-2011, 01:32 AM   #17
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      07-03-2011, 08:59 AM   #18
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Where i service my car,they just got in a DCT M3 with blown tranny @ 14K miles,BMW got it replaced with no questions asked !!!!
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      07-03-2011, 09:34 AM   #19
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I would imagine that the DCT doesn't grind gears, load up the drivetrain by not rev matching nor does it make the errors that humans make when shifting.

But this is a great post! I would imagine that there have been more non-self inflicted DCT failures...just not posted. But if this is the first on this forum...I am impressed. Considering what some people here do to their cars.
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      07-03-2011, 11:19 AM   #20
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So far there are 2 failiulars that ive heard / seen.one in this thread and second where i service my car.
The tech told me that it lost one of the clutches and BMW replaced the entire tranny without asking any questions but as mentioned before,there are DCTs that are staying together and i know of a couple of them that are putting down more than 500whp but they also have ESS DCT software.Check this out



BTW,ESS software allow the tranny to engage faster and that elimenate over heating .
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