BMW M3 Forum (E90 E92)

BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   M3Post - BMW M3 Forum > E90/E92 M3 Technical Topics > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing
 
ESS Tuning
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      01-25-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
2008 M3 Faint Clutch Smell

I just got an 08 e90 sedan with 8500 miles. I have less than 50 miles on the car myself, and I noticed when I park it after driving it, that there's a faint clutch smell.

I had inquired at the dealer on why the car had a faint burning clutch smell after driving it (hard or even babying it). The dealer said they could smell it, but wouldn't be too concerned, it's probably me figuring out the car. I kind of am a bit concerned with that as I'm sure it's not me. I've driven 25+ stick cars and never slip or burn the clutch up. It's also a very faint but noticeable smell, not like when someone who really burns up a clutch.

He said just to keep driving it and see if it gets better/worse/stays the same. He said I am entitled to 1 free clutch replacement under service/warranty, but they won't just replace it for the sake of it so I risk if they investigate it further now and find it's just driver error, they'll have to charge me for the diagnostics, etc.

Is this normal? I do double clutch downshift from time to time, and I suppose it's possible I'm still feeling it out, but it's not something I've really had an issue with on a number of cars including many sports cars.

Cheers,
Brian

PS - Car's a delight otherwise!
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-25-2011, 05:07 PM   #2
elp_jc
Brigadier General
 
Drives: .
Join Date: May 2008
Location: .

Posts: 4,910
iTrader: (0)

Hmmm, if you always have your left foot off the clutch pedal except for shifting, not revving the crap out of the engine before engaging clutch, and not abusing the clutch in any way (double-clutching, although unnecessary IMO, is not abuse), definitely not normal. Where is the pedal engaging? Close to the top? I suspect your clutch is on your way out, but as dealer said, you'll have to wait and see. The good news is dealer told you it'd be covered (usually it's NOT if abuse is suspected). And if it's going bad, it'd happen sooner rather than later. Good luck man.
elp_jc is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-25-2011, 05:32 PM   #3
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
Thanks, yeah I babied it 5 miles coming home and it still smells. It's faint, not horrible and of course the clutch holds well and no other indicator. The dealer is convinced I don't know how to drive.

I'll also add that the dealer said I could be eligible for a free clutch if abuse wasn't deemed the cause. Since I only have some 30-50 miles on it, any damage would be from before.

Clutch engagement seems normal, it's not near the top. I also don't know if the smell is lingering from prior test drive abuse, as I just got this car. Also, the smell seems to only be noticeable from the drivers side, not so much from the passenger side. I read some threads here about similar smells, but nothing conclusive.

-Brian
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-25-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
elp_jc
Brigadier General
 
Drives: .
Join Date: May 2008
Location: .

Posts: 4,910
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by U235 View Post
I'll also add that the dealer said I could be eligible for a free clutch if abuse wasn't deemed the cause. Since I only have some 30-50 miles on it, any damage would be from before.
Well, with only 8K miles, abuse would most likely be the cause, but it wasn't inflicted by you. I'm assuming you bought the car from that dealer, right? If so, just document your issue IN WRITING, and also try to get IN WRITING that you'd get a new clutch once if bad, even if it was abused by the previous owner and/or test drivers (most likely scenario). But do it NOW, or you'd find out how quickly people forget what they said . Or how quickly people change jobs. With that paper on hand, I wouldn't worry about it too much, but it's definitely not normal to smell that IMO. If they don't want to, tell them why the hell they sold you a car without thoroughly checking it. And that you shouldn't have to threaten them with legal action to do the right thing. Good luck, and please keep us posted.
elp_jc is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-25-2011, 06:43 PM   #5
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Well, with only 8K miles, abuse would most likely be the cause, but it wasn't inflicted by you. I'm assuming you bought the car from that dealer, right? If so, just document your issue IN WRITING, and also try to get IN WRITING that you'd get a new clutch once if bad, even if it was abused by the previous owner and/or test drivers (most likely scenario). But do it NOW, or you'd find out how quickly people forget what they said . Or how quickly people change jobs. With that paper on hand, I wouldn't worry about it too much, but it's definitely not normal to smell that IMO.
Bought it from a different dealer, not associated with BMW so I could be out on my own on this one.

Hopefully it goes away on its own, but I've driven 30 miles since I got it and it still smells each time I drive so I'm not sure what's going on, if it's stuck or worn too bad. If it goes, it goes I guess.

Having never gone through this, and really never replacing a clutch in my life with the exception of a car I boosted and just had too much power for the stock clutch, I'm not sure if worn clutches just start smelling before they go (no smelling before they go). Usually in friends car you feel slippage and then replace it, so I'm not sure if this is an indicator of it going out, or just short-term smelling from test drives, etc.

Thanks for the convo
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-25-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
I'll further add, the dealer tested engagement and said it was good. I'll try starting in third to see if there's any slippage, but from my experience, the clutch seems good, just a faint smell. It's possible the smell is normal as it's faint enough and/or caused by another component (brake, etc.). However, it comes with very soft driving so that's confusing.
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 02:35 PM   #7
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
Just FYI, after spending more time with it and consulting some friends, the smell only permeates from the driver side front tire area. It also may not be sweet enough of a smell to represent clutch, it actually smells more like brakes. I'm wondering if I have a brake pad that's slightly rubbing or something.

Any suggestions on further diagnosing that.

Last night I drove it kind of hard, hammering it in 2nd and 3rd gear. There was no slipping and the clutch just grabbed and it went like a bat out of hell. Also, I started the car from a dead stop in 4th gear with good feel so I think the clutch is probably fine, but now I'm considering something causing the front left brake to smell.

Again, it's not a super significant smell and it never permeates into the car, it just is noticeable from the drivers side when you get out (faintly noticeable). Also, with the hood popped, you can only really smell if if you come in on the drivers side of the bay.

Is such a brake/pad sticking common or even possible? It's not stuck down causing the car to slow down excessively or generating any real significant heat so it could be just barely rubbing, or perhaps it's just normal.
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 04:57 PM   #8
elp_jc
Brigadier General
 
Drives: .
Join Date: May 2008
Location: .

Posts: 4,910
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by U235 View Post
I'll try starting in third to see if there's any slippage
Don't do that buddy; too abusive for the clutch and drivetrain. Best way to test slippage is by momentarily flooring the gas pedal in 5th gear at 2K rpm. If tach needle is steady, no slip. A weak clutch definitely starts slipping first, and that slippage is what causes the smell. But the slippage first starts at high loads, like described above. It's not going to leave you stranded all of a sudden, but it gets progressively worse over time.

I can definitely tell clutch smell from brakes, but they're similar. If you can only smell it on the left side, it's probably not the clutch. And yes, that caliper can have a problem. Our expensive cars have a ONE PISTON calipers all around, so if the inner pad is not sliding freely, it could be stuck, and wearing badly. I'd raise the car from the middle front, check that both wheels move freely, and remove wheels to investigate pad condition. You could have a dealer do it, but they'd probably charge you. Aks first. Plus you can clean and lube things there yourself. Good luck, and keep us posted.
elp_jc is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Don't do that buddy; too abusive for the clutch and drivetrain. Best way to test slippage is by momentarily flooring the gas pedal in 5th gear at 2K rpm. If tach needle is steady, no slip. A weak clutch definitely starts slipping first, and that slippage is what causes the smell. But the slippage first starts at high loads, like described above. It's not going to leave you stranded all of a sudden, but it gets progressively worse over time.

I can definitely tell clutch smell from brakes, but they're similar. If you can only smell it on the left side, it's probably not the clutch. And yes, that caliper can have a problem. Our expensive cars have a ONE PISTON calipers all around, so if the inner pad is not sliding freely, it could be stuck, and wearing badly. I'd raise the car from the middle front, check that both wheels move freely, and remove wheels to investigate pad condition. You could have a dealer do it, but they'd probably charge you. Aks first. Plus you can clean and lube things there yourself. Good luck, and keep us posted.
Yeah the smell is so faint it's hard to distinguish brakes vs clutch, but it doesn't have that sweeter smell that clutches sometimes provide.

Yes the 4th gear start is rough on it, but it was a one-time thing so no issue there. I've floored it in high gear on low load (2-3k rpm), no issues there.

I'm going to drive home tonight (where using engine braking I can pretty much drive without using brakes). I'll measure the temperature on both front rotors and see if there's a noticeable disparity. If so, I think that's means enough to have the dealer look at it. If it is contacting, it's ever so slightly because the smell isn't so bad and there doesn't appear to be a pull although my time on the hwy has been limited to 1 mile stretches and I didn't notice any particular pull.

Thanks for all your input, I REALLY appreciate it! I'll keep you posted of course.
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 09:48 PM   #10
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
I'm still thinking it's brakes, but after my drive without using any brakes, there was hardly any smell. I then drove more using the brakes heavily and it smelled again so I'm at a loss. I need more time to tell if certain conditions affect it more.

On the clutch, I did drive in 5th and 6th at sub 2k and floored it, it hooked and accelerated smoothly. Given everything, I'm convinced the clutch is good.

My confidence in my dealer is so/so at best, especially at troubleshooting, etc. I'll have my mechanic for my other car chime in and see, but it's such a faint smell that I think I may just be overreacting and acting hyper-sensitive since the car is new to me. Most people can't smell it unless they stick their head in the wheel well.
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 10:20 PM   #11
Kenny@VS
Private
 
Kenny@VS's Avatar
 
Drives: White E92 M3
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Schaumburg

Posts: 63
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via MSN to Kenny@VS
Sounds like it's your breaks, the breaks wear pretty fast.
Kenny@VS is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 10:30 PM   #12
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris@VS View Post
Sounds like it's your breaks, the breaks wear pretty fast.
I use almost exclusively engine braking so most times I hardly use the brakes except to slow me down from <10 mph.

I jacked the car up and spun the wheels, some brake noise is being made, but it's on both sides. I'm posting YouTube videos, stay tuned and let me know if you think that's just normal or dragging.
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 10:33 PM   #13
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
Sorry for weak iphone video, turn your volume up loud and try to hear the noise:

Driver Side:


Passenger Side:


It's really hard to hear with some of the background noise, but you can hear a rubbing type noise.
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 11:10 PM   #14
elp_jc
Brigadier General
 
Drives: .
Join Date: May 2008
Location: .

Posts: 4,910
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by U235 View Post
I use almost exclusively engine braking so most times I hardly use the brakes except to slow me down from <10 mph.
Same here. I'm sure I'll never have to deal with new brake pads .

Quote:
Originally Posted by U235 View Post
Sorry for weak iphone video, turn your volume up loud and try to hear the noise:
Perfectly normal man. Pads are always in slight contact with the rotor, and not having perfect contact all around is normal too, as no brake rotor is perfectly true. To be honest, I expected more resistance from your wheels; there's absolutely nothing binding on your brakes. Clean bill of health man. It could be cat piss, or some other weird thing in there that makes the brakes smell after getting hot. Wash the car thoroughly, and inspect the pads. You can see the outer pads thru the wheels, but need to remove the wheels to inspect the inner ones. You can clean your wheels on the inside at the same time, plus the wheel wells too. I'd do that, plus you'll know you torqued the lug nuts properly, as sometimes they're overly tight. I put 85 ft/lb on mine. Good luck, and don't worry; everything seems to be fine with your car.
elp_jc is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 11:13 PM   #15
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Same here. I'm sure I'll never have to deal with new brake pads .


Perfectly normal man. Pads are always in slight contact with the rotor, and not having perfect contact all around is normal too, as no brake rotor is perfectly true. To be honest, I expected more resistance from your wheels; there's absolutely nothing binding on your brakes. Clean bill of health man. It could be cat piss, or some other weird thing in there. Wash the car thoroughly, and inspect the pads. You can see the outer pads thru the wheels, but need to remove the wheels to inspect the inner ones. I'd do that, and you can torque the lug nuts properly after that, as sometimes they're overly tight. I put 85 ft/lb on mine. Good luck, and don't worry; everything seems to be fine with your car.
Thanks, I thought that too since there was no resistance I could feel, and since both wheels did it. I think I'm over-reacting and hyper-sensitive. I've also read that the PS2s give off a burning rubber like smell when warm (even from just regular driving), it's possible it's just that (http://www.renntech.org/forums/index...r-tires-smell/). The smell isn't strong so I'm just going to ignore it until an obvious symptom develops (or doesn't).

Thanks again!!
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-26-2011, 11:22 PM   #16
U235
09 X5 35d / 11 B8 S4
 
Drives: 09 E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin, TX

Posts: 172
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to U235
Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Same here. I'm sure I'll never have to deal with new brake pads .
I've noticed this car engine brakes much more significantly than any other car I've owned, including my 08 Z4MC.
U235 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      02-20-2011, 11:53 PM   #17
Subw00er
Bates '08 Interlagos Launch
 
Subw00er's Avatar
 
Drives: 08e92M, 03e46M
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NY

Posts: 1,202
iTrader: (2)

Send a message via AIM to Subw00er
If your pads are dragging bad enough to make smell, there are two things you can look for.. look for a dark smudge of brake material on the rotor - this indicates pad material is being applied to the rotor. You can also drive until you smell it well, pull over quick and feel the rim, and compare it to the rear.. rims will get warm as brakes are used hard because the heat gets transferred to them.

But if you stick your head right in there to smell the pad, it should be obvious..?! Good luck.
__________________
Custom Exhaust Project: Bates Valvetronic exhaust: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=253661 -- Exhaust Mod pics in here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40236795@N03/
DON'T BUY Race Ready Performance electronic cutout valves. Here's why: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...40#post9589740
Subw00er is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      01-14-2012, 08:12 PM   #18
Kyoshi71
Colonel
 
Kyoshi71's Avatar
 
Drives: 2010 M3 Coupe
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New York

Posts: 2,528
iTrader: (0)

Well, I'm going to resurect this old thread. Do you know why? Because I used the button and this is what I came up with.

I have noticed the same thing. Car has a strange smell after driving. I notice it when I'm in my garage or with the hood popped after driving. Doesn't even have to be spirited driving. I think I started to notice it about 2 months ago. The smell almost resembles a skunk/rubber. I definitely did not hit or run over anything. And a cat didn't piss on my wheels.

Anyone have any insight?
__________________
"But resist we much; we must; and we will much; about that be committed."
~Rev. Al Sharpton


2010 E92 M3|Silverstone II|M-DCT|NCSW|2MT|ZCW|ZPP|ZTP|302|507|Gas Guzzler Tax
Kyoshi71 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:00 AM.




m3post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST