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      10-27-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
jawwadh
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Exclamation HELP!: spontaneous loss of clutch pressure, unable to shift gears

Hi everyone,

I have an 08 M3 with 32k on it. I bought it in february from orlando florida. I also purchased a platinum coverage warranty through the warranty group. I did the plug service myself at 30k and changed the oil at 29k. The previous owner was a pro-gulfer and was meticulous with dealer maintenance.

The car has been extremely reliable since I purchased it. On friday night however, I was out at dinner and pulled out the restaurant and shifted from 1st to 2nd at around 5.5-6k RPM. While doing this, I depressed the clutch and it would not go into 2nd gear... I re-clutched in and the car would not go into any gear except neutral. The clutch had lost all pressure and was very easy to push to the floor, not able to return up unless I pulled it up with my feet. After several attempts, I was able to get it into 3rd gear and granny it to the parking lot.

When the car is in gear, the car does not slip or do anything weird. However, getting it into gear is impossible, grinding whenever I try as if I am trying to shift without a clutch. The clutch seems to have no hydraulic pressure, as I am easily able to push it down with little or no resistance. When the car is off, I can shift gears freely. I have NEVER experienced any gear slippage, the car has been running great until now.

I had the car towed to the local dealer and they said they will look at it monday. I have to say though that the free roadside through the warranty was awesome, they had me going in 1 hr from call to tow and this was at 11pm on a friday night. the tow truck driver took great care. My car is almost stock with the exception of dinan rear-section, dinan pulley, m5 shift knob, and swift springs. I Never launch my car and rarely drive it hard.

Given the symptoms, I think it may be the clutch slave master cylinder, and am hoping that is what it is. My car makes the "normal" throw out bearing noise that all 6mts make, but thats pretty much it.

I guess it could be the throw out bearing as well, but hoping thats not what it is because my 3rd party insurance may not cover that.. This is a copy of my contract: (I have platinum coverage)

http://www.factorywarrantydirect.com...e_contract.pdf

If in the event it is the throw out bearing, I'm wondering if I can get BMW to "good will repair it" as I only have 32k on my car with an inservice date of 8/2008 and the bearing issue is somewhat common.

Does anyone have any insight as to what it may be or any advice for me when dealing with the dealer/warranty company?
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Last edited by jawwadh; 10-27-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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      10-27-2013, 09:54 AM   #2
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check your brake fluid on the master cylinder and see if it's empty, you'll need either a 6mm or 8mm socket to remove the three screws on the drivers side cowl cover to access the reservoir.
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      10-27-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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Car is at the dealer so I can't do that
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      10-27-2013, 09:58 AM   #4
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in my experience in past cars (including my E46 M3), throw-out bearings go with a warning (usually a really stiff clutch pedal + squeaking noise when the clutch is pushed in). It really sounds like its your master cylinder given the descriptions above.
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      10-27-2013, 10:02 AM   #5
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Yah I'm hoping that's what it is, the clutch has never made noise and has actually always been on the softer side. Only noises I ever hear are the "normal drivetrain noises". I hope it's not throw out bearing as I never have launched my car ever and I'm pretty sure the previous owner didn't either as it's still on the stock rear tires from the factory 5 years ago lol... This would make me very hesitant to start tracking this car and stressing it
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      10-27-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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i concur, whats a pro-gulfer?
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      10-27-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
i concur, whats a pro-gulfer?
sorry I meant pro-golfer
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      10-27-2013, 12:51 PM   #8
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It's most likely the slave cylinder that has failed. It's on the transmission itself and does the clutch actuation. The master cylinder is mounted near the top of the clutch pedal. If the slave did fail/blowout, there's a very high possibility that the clutch is soaked in brake fluid and will need replacement. Since you have an 08 that would mean you'll need a flywheel as well since they updated the clutch and flywheel assembly for 09 models to reduce noise and the old parts are no longer available.
This is worst case scenario, but has a high likelihood of being the end result here. If the slave is a covered component on your warranty, you're golden. If not, well it could be a pricey day at the shop. Let us know your outcome.
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      10-27-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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Reviewing the contract, the things not covered under wear and tear are: pressure plate, clutch disk, and throwout bearing.. Everything else is under platinum coverage
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      10-27-2013, 06:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawwadh
Reviewing the contract, the things not covered under wear and tear are: pressure plate, clutch disk, and throwout bearing.. Everything else is under platinum coverage
So the slave should be covered, and the clutch and flywheel should be as consequential damage. Unless there's a clause in your platinum contract about consequential damage not being covered.
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      10-27-2013, 09:56 PM   #11
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So these are the two clauses i see related to consequential coverage:

Not covered:
• FOR A BREAKDOWN OF A COVERED PART RESULTING FROM THE FAILURE OF A NON-COVERED PART.
•TO REPAIR, REPLACE, ADJUST OR ALIGN ANY PART NOT COVERED BY THIS SERVICE CONTRACT UNLESS REQUIRED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE REPAIR OF A COVERED PART.

None of these appear to apply to me .....
So, if it is indeed the slave and that in turns requires new clutch and flywheel, I think I should be ok.... unless I am interpreting these wrong...
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      10-27-2013, 10:43 PM   #12
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If it is indeed a slave failure and they don't mention anything about the clutch, ask them to check it thoroughly for contamination from brake fluid. This may be your one chance to get the updated parts at no cost!
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      10-27-2013, 11:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmw135er
If it is indeed a slave failure and they don't mention anything about the clutch, ask them to check it thoroughly for contamination from brake fluid. This may be your one chance to get the updated parts at no cost!
Will do! Thanks for all ur help, you are indeed a valuable asset to the community! I'll keep u updated.
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      10-27-2013, 11:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmw135er
If it is indeed a slave failure and they don't mention anything about the clutch, ask them to check it thoroughly for contamination from brake fluid. This may be your one chance to get the updated parts at no cost!
Dumb question though.. Contaminated clutch will cause clutch to slip correct?
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      10-27-2013, 11:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawwadh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmw135er
If it is indeed a slave failure and they don't mention anything about the clutch, ask them to check it thoroughly for contamination from brake fluid. This may be your one chance to get the updated parts at no cost!
Dumb question though.. Contaminated clutch will cause clutch to slip correct?
Yes it will, but maybe not right away since the failure was right before you had to stop driving the car. Just make sure they take a good look.
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      10-28-2013, 06:30 AM   #16
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Is it a bmw thing where if a slave cylinder fails, fluid will escape? Or is the slave inside the bell housing?
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      10-28-2013, 06:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcracin
Is it a bmw thing where if a slave cylinder fails, fluid will escape? Or is the slave inside the bell housing?
The slave is mounted outside the bell housing. It actuates the clutch release lever which is inside of the bell housing. Ford is the only company I'm aware of that mounts the slave inside the bell housing.
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      10-28-2013, 07:55 AM   #18
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I called the service person, they said it was the slave cylinder.... they are calling my warranty company this AM to get authorization... I told the service writer to make sure they look at the clutch thoroughly, he said he would relay that message and the tech will take it for a thorough test drive as well.
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      10-28-2013, 08:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmw135er View Post
The slave is mounted outside the bell housing. It actuates the clutch release lever which is inside of the bell housing. Ford is the only company I'm aware of that mounts the slave inside the bell housing.
If I'm not mistaken I think GM does that too. My friend with an LS2 Miata said if the slave cylidner fails, it's inside the trans. but the trans can't come off (in the Miata) without the entire engine coming out haha.
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      10-28-2013, 07:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
If I'm not mistaken I think GM does that too. My friend with an LS2 Miata said if the slave cylidner fails, it's inside the trans. but the trans can't come off (in the Miata) without the entire engine coming out haha.
Nissan has this too. It is a concentric (IIRC) slave cylinder inside the bell housing of the later "HR" 350Zs.
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      10-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #21
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So, the dealer says the slave failed... they are replacing it today. It was covered by the warranty. I told the dealer to make sure they thoroughly look at the clutch, I kinda got the feeling that the service advisor was kinda blowing me off when I said this.. he said he'd make sure they test drive the car thoroughly. I didn't wanna push too hard, so I'm hoping the tech working on my car is competent.
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      10-28-2013, 08:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawwadh
So, the dealer says the slave failed... they are replacing it today. It was covered by the warranty. I told the dealer to make sure they thoroughly look at the clutch, I kinda got the feeling that the service advisor was kinda blowing me off when I said this.. he said he'd make sure they test drive the car thoroughly. I didn't wanna push too hard, so I'm hoping the tech working on my car is competent.
At least you should have some documentation that it could be contaminated, should it start to slip down the road. The tech could quite easily take a bore scope or a simple mirror and flashlight to get a decent look at it. If they scope it they should take a picture or two to show down you.
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