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      08-05-2010, 12:15 PM   #1
DadzM3
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First road trip with the M

So I took my first road trip yesterday. Florida to Maryland/DC. When I left the car had 1700 miles on it, now I have about 2700 miles. All was going well until I hit North Carolina. I was going to exit for gas (21.5 mpg average at 80 mph the entire time), went to downshift (6 MT) and couldn't get it into 5th, tried 4th, 3rd etc. Took my foot of the clutch and realized that the clutch pedal did not come back off the floor. Pulled off of 95 on the shoulder, put my hand under the clutch pedal and it popped back up and seems to work fine now. So two questions. Has this ever happened to any of you and second, if the clutch was to the floor, wouldn't it make sense that it should have been engaged and I should have been able to at least downshift? I know even if I was able to, it still wouldn't have come backup, but it just makes it seem that much more odd to me that it would be disengaged while pushed down all the way. Any thoughts/ideas? I know it is pointless to take it to the dealer here unless the pedal is on the floor again since they will just come back with an unable to duplicate concern, so I am just hoping it was a one time fluke. Any thoughts, advice and ideas are appreciated. Thanks.
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      08-05-2010, 12:22 PM   #2
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Very strange.

So the clutch was not engaged? So did you just hit the brakes and bring the car to a stop and have it choke off in 6th?

I agree the dealer may not be able to replicate but something is obviously not right with any of this.
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      08-05-2010, 12:29 PM   #3
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Correct, clutch was not engaged, but pedal was on the floor. I just left it in neutral and pulled off the road, never shut the car off or anything, just pulled the pedal back up and went on my way.
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      08-05-2010, 12:30 PM   #4
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Any way it could have been caught in the mat or something else external to the normal functioning?

I had a clutch pedal fail on me like you describe ('79 Z28 -- forgive me) and it was a linkage issue under the car. Nothing that fixed itself for me though.
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      08-05-2010, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DadzM3 View Post
Correct, clutch was not engaged, but pedal was on the floor. I just left it in neutral and pulled off the road, never shut the car off or anything, just pulled the pedal back up and went on my way.
Understand you, but thinking the clutch not engaged AND the pedal on the floor is consistent though. Right? A clutch fully engaged would be at full pedal release right? Have I been driving my DCT too long?

So you made it to DC area (what another 400 miles?) without it happening again? Swing by BMW of Fairfax, they take walk-ins and have them check it out.

Last edited by BigHat; 08-05-2010 at 12:39 PM.
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      08-05-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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wow that is very strange. I've been driving stick for about 8 years now, and that has never happened to me. I would bring the car in to have it checked
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      08-05-2010, 12:41 PM   #7
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hmm maybe the toyota bug crawled its way over to bmw. but anyways, what are you doing up here in DC? how long you here for?
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      08-05-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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hmm maybe the toyota bug crawled its way over to bmw. but anyways, what are you doing up here in DC? how long you here for?
Dont say that... don't ever say that. Damn you Toyota!!!!!!!
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      08-05-2010, 02:33 PM   #9
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I think someone else had this problem too...about a sticking clutch or something...so the opposite of what happened to you...but I don't know if that was it for sure...
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      08-05-2010, 03:51 PM   #10
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It was not the floor mats for sure, that was the first thing I checked. And to answer the above, yes I had it backwards. Clutch engaged when pedal up, disengaged with pedal down. I drove about another 400 miles after and about another 100+ miles today without another issue. I have an appt. at an indy shop on Monday for an oil change and to have exhaust installed so I am going to have them take a quick peak at it. Hopefully it gets me back to Florida without issue then I can take it to the dealer there.
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      08-05-2010, 04:26 PM   #11
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You're having an exhaust installed in MD in the midst of a road trip? Now, that really is a memento!

Hope whatever it is crops up again at a dealer's lot, not somewhere in NC!
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      08-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgeair View Post
You're having an exhaust installed in MD in the midst of a road trip? Now, that really is a memento!

Hope whatever it is crops up again at a dealer's lot, not somewhere in NC!
Yeah, Family is here in MD and Brother owns a Speed Shop so he was able to get me parts, plus his friend works at a local BMW indy shop with a great reputation so I figured why not, plus I really wanted to change the oil again. Hopefully it wont crop up again, but if it does it better be back in Florida. At least on my way back I will have my Wife following in her car.
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      08-05-2010, 04:36 PM   #13
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I had this happen on my wife's E36 M3. It would happen about every 10th time you used the clutch though. Dealer wanted to do a complete clutch job, but it turned out to be some small $40 part under the dash where the clutch pedal contacted the bulkhead, that my indy mechanic replaced in a few minutes.
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      08-05-2010, 04:38 PM   #14
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Where are you in FL?
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      08-05-2010, 05:56 PM   #15
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I had that happen once. (Not in a BMW). It was a broken return spring in the master clutch cylinder. It worked for a while after it broke because the broken ends of the spring would catch on each other, but when they didn't, the pedal would go to the floor and not return.
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      08-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #16
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Perhaps try bleeding the clutch and see if that resolves it.
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      08-05-2010, 06:49 PM   #17
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Weird... I wouldn't feel great about that. Just out of curiosity, are you hard on your clutch?

Do we have any opinions on M3 clutch durability?
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      08-05-2010, 07:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DadzM3 View Post
Yeah, Family is here in MD and Brother owns a Speed Shop so he was able to get me parts, plus his friend works at a local BMW indy shop with a great reputation so I figured why not, plus I really wanted to change the oil again. Hopefully it wont crop up again, but if it does it better be back in Florida. At least on my way back I will have my Wife following in her car.
I'm sure you're cool with this issue, but if something pos up while you're here please let's us know if there's anything we can do to help.

Enjoy the new exhaust. I live vicariously through you guys doing the great mods.

Edit: Changing that oil again at "2800ish" after the initial change at 1200? Sounds like what I used to do. Can't see doing it before 5000 now, but that's me. What's are your thoughts on doing that?

Last edited by BigHat; 08-05-2010 at 07:17 PM.
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      08-05-2010, 09:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigHat View Post
I'm sure you're cool with this issue, but if something pos up while you're here please let's us know if there's anything we can do to help.

Enjoy the new exhaust. I live vicariously through you guys doing the great mods.

Edit: Changing that oil again at "2800ish" after the initial change at 1200? Sounds like what I used to do. Can't see doing it before 5000 now, but that's me. What's are your thoughts on doing that?
Thanks, appreciate the help.

As for the oil change, it will be 3K miles when it is done. Is it needed, I don't know, but I figured while it is there I may as well. I do believe it can't hurt since I am very sure there are metal shavings in it from the break in still. Worst case scenario, I throw a bit of $$$ away on a useless oil change for a little piece of mind. If it were a lease I wouldn't bother, but I own it so I want to do the best I can to keep her happy.
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      08-05-2010, 09:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Weird... I wouldn't feel great about that. Just out of curiosity, are you hard on your clutch?

Do we have any opinions on M3 clutch durability?
Not hard on the clutch at all. Been driving a stick for 22 years without an issue. Have not been hard on the car at all yet since I was doing the 1250 mile break in then this road trip which was 6th gear the entire way except when stopping for gas. I just dont get it. I called the dealer here to ask if I could bring it in, but they basically told me it was a waste of time since it was not doing it now and unless they could duplicate it there was not much that could be done. Just as well (as long as it gets me home) I would rather bring it to my local dealer anyway then someone I don't know at all. At least my local dealer has a reason to keep me happy if they want me to continue to by cars from them.
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      08-06-2010, 01:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Correct, clutch was not engaged, but pedal was on the floor.
This exactly what happens when you're bleeding the clutch, since clutch bleeder (which is part of the PLASTIC slave cylinder assembly) has a built-in check-valve. Based on your input, it's an external leak, most likely a borderline loose or cracked bleeder/check-valve/slave cylinder assembly. One thing is for sure: it's a hydraulic problem, not the clutch itself.

I'd immediately check brake fluid level, and if not full, fill it to the max, especially if you're going to keep driving the car. The next order of business, whether done by you or your dealer, is to drop the tranny shield and see where fluid is leaking, and go from there. I'd first check if the clutch bleeding valve has the rubber cap on it. If not, check if it's tight. If not tight, you found your problem. If cap is there, it's leaking somewhere else; carefully check all that plastic assembly for traces of brake fluid. Also check at the bottom of the bell housing, in case it's leaking from the slave. Report back to us with your findings. Good luck, and keep us posted.

Last edited by elp_jc; 08-06-2010 at 01:34 AM.
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