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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-07-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
bimmerboyclub
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Unhappy Need help! I think my car is ruined =(

Hey guys,

I could really use your help and advice. I recently moved to DC and left my car back home. My sister (who is inexperienced with manual cars) decided to take my car out. She barely knows how to drive a manual car, and learned on my car. I own a 2002 BMW 330cic. She told me while she was driving up a hill, she wasn't getting enough power in first (or that the rpm gauge was revving but that the car wasn't going anywhere), so she threw it in 2nd (then the same thing happened), so she threw it in 3rd (same thing happened), she threw it in to 4th. From what it sounds like she was possibly redlining in ever gear and just could not get up this very large hill. Ultimately, after doing this for 10 seconds (so she claims) she was able to get on leveled ground. At this point she said there was smoke coming from the engine.

So she turned off the car and then turned it back on. When she tried to get in into gear she said the car would not allow her to put it in gear. She said that when the car was off she could put in in the gears very easily, but when the engine is on- that the stick shift would not go in to ANY gear (including reverse). She got the car towed to my house, and I spoke to a friend of mine who told me that a new clutch would cost around $1400 (though this seems contrary to the "clutch kit" i have been reading about which is apparently $250) and that with labor (which he estimated at 6 hours at 80 dollars) it would cost no matter what $2000 at a minimum. I am not quite sure what the problem is yet- essentially the car turns on, but it won't go in to gear.

Does anyone have an idea of what the problem could be? And if so how much these types of problems cost to fix? These are all the details I know of, as I am clear across the country in DC and my car is in Orange County, CA.

Any advice or help or suggestions would be very very greatly appreciated. And thank you for taking the time to read this post- it really means a lot to me.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:12 PM   #2
iansanderson
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she burned up the clutch.

clutch replacement required.

hopefully the flywheel is ok or else add $900 to the bill.

NEVER let someone inexperienced on a manual drive your car. tell them to find a Honda to teach themselves on. wayy more forgiving and less expensive to repair.
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Last edited by iansanderson; 09-07-2010 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
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Ouch, that reminds me of the painful memory of my wife learning a stick on my then brand new Civic.

I guess the clutch is toast. As long as no damage to the engine, it is a relative cheap fix. The smoke might be coming from a burnt clutch.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:19 PM   #4
bimmerboyclub
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so you think she burned up the clutch? i noticed in other posts that replacing a clutch costs around $850. 250 for the kit and 600 for the labor at max. does that sound right to you guys? And so you are saying if the flywheel is also damaged that it will be an additional $900 to the bill?

Do you think the problem could be more serious? My friend said it sounds like she "money shifted" the car. But i thought "money shifting" only occurs at high speeds when someone drops it in the wrong gear. My friend said something about how if she money shifted it and the pistons are bent that the engine is really ****ed. I'm not sure if this is or is not the case. I presume the smoke to be the clutch burning as well (or at least at this point, i am hoping this is the case). I appreciate your advice, help and knowledge!
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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It could be the slave cylinder, however I doubt it. It is most likely that the clutch disk is shot. Mine in my 330 just recently had pretty the same symptoms and long story short the clutch disk was shot, and would not allow it to completely disengage (meaning with the car on it won't go into gear) and conversely the clutch also can not fully engage so it would be slipping, hence why she couldn't get any power to the wheels. So my vote is clutch disk, however you won't know for sure until it gets taken apart. About the kit, you can get good kits from uucmotorwerks.com that include a stage 2 8.5 lbs (or stage 1, 11.5lbs) lightweight flywheel and a clutch kit from an e34 m5 (stage 2) or e36 m3 (stage 1). These start at about 860 for the stage 1 and 975 for stage 2. If you want to go stock again the entire kit is around 250 (check rmeuropean.com) however, you CANNOT resurface your stock dual mass flywheel. It is HIGHLY recomended that you buy a new oem dual mass flywheel if you are going to remain stock and that flywheel is around 700 by its self. So my reccomendation is that you upgrade your performance and save a few bucks with the uuc one. However you should read up about them before you pull the trigger and decide if it is really for you (they require some compromises in driveability). I hope this helps you, and p.s. this was a lot to write on a cell phone lol.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:28 PM   #6
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burnt clutch for sure
flywheel is most likely toast (put a lighted one in there, it will be cheaper... just deal with the idle rattle)

if your lucky she didn't screw the gearbox to badly.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:52 PM   #7
bimmerboyclub
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I appreciate all of your posts! Is the clutch disk a part of the "clutch kit." Or is that something different in and of itself. And what does a "lighted" flywheel mean? Used? Sorry, I am not familiar with the lingo, to be honest i have no idea what a flywheel is or does even. Also what is the gearbox?
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:54 PM   #8
destroyeerr
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like most people said it sounds like the clutch is gone..
these cars have a good amount of tq if you slip the clutch a lot itll just burn away
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:05 PM   #9
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sometimes lightened clutch/flywheel setups aren't all that fun for a commuter -- one may have more noise than other, some none at all, etc. you really should go with a new flywheel/clutch kit and highly recommend an OEM one (clutch/flywheel wise). you shouldn't resurface the OEM flywheel and likely won't have the car driving the 'exact' same as it did before with one resurfaced/aftermarket.

there are some cheap little parts that can be replaced while down there (arms, etc) that tend to fail/wear with time. maybe some can chime in as to what those are (don't have the list on hand).

Last edited by mdsonicTT; 09-07-2010 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:14 PM   #10
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I would kill her if I were you
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:15 PM   #11
carsos
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she probably just burned up the clutch. how old is she? someone needs to teach her how to properly drive a manual, stat.

i've learned to take the keys with me whenever i leave my car somewhere. i trust no one
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:16 PM   #12
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Make her pay every cent.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:24 PM   #13
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Does it SMELL like the clutch is burnt? If you've ever smoked a clutch or followed a semi driving down a mountain with his foot on the brake, you'll know the smell. I toasted a clutch in my third car several times. It takes several days to clear the odor from the car.

If you can't detect the smell it may be something else. But if the car starts and you can rev to redline, put the car in gear (using the clutch pedal) engage the cluth and still redline the engine without moving it is the clutch.

If however, you CAN'T put the car in gear, it is something else. A smoked clutch will not prevent a car from going into gear.

And cut her some slack. What you described, is not a scenario in which a clutch can be completely consumed. novice or otherwise. My first car had 50K when I bought, I learned to drive a clutch, was 16 and dumped the clutch regularly like an idiot. I put another 50K on that car without changing a clutch. My next car had a defect that did not allow the clutch to fully disengage from the flywheel so in the first 45K I went through 7 clutches. A stronger return spring fixed it. (they were both cheap *** cars, Buick Opel Isuzu and a Mazda 323)

If it is the clutch, what killed it was every mile that was ever put on the car in 8 years unless you swapped it. Not one hill. A better way to look at this is to say the clutch went out and she just happend to be driving at the time. What she describes is the general ways that clutches go bad when they do, and as wear items like brakes, they do wear out.


Ii just noticed you said you are across the country, dont' worry, if it IS the clutch the smell will still be there. And 2K for a clutch is time to go shopping for another shop. I had a step rebuilt for 2800 after a reverse gear drum failure. and thye don't have to open your tranny up to swap the clutch just a simple RnR. 6 hours sounds about right though...

Last edited by bheidelburg; 09-07-2010 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:54 PM   #14
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She burned up the clutch, end of story. Smoke and no progress, yup, burnt clutch.

I would count on replacing the flywheel too (should be about $700 from Tischer). Lightened flywheels aren't going to be any cheaper, but they will rattle. Normal cars uses a solid metal flywheel combined with a clutch plate that's got springs on it to absorb vibrations. The E46 uses a dual mass flywheel to absorb the vibrations and has a clutch plate without any springs. A single mass flywheel + factory clutch kit = rattle. A single mass flywheel + sprung hub clutch (ex: UUC's stuff) shouldn't rattle *as much* but may still rattle. UUC 8.5lb flywheel + M5 clutch kit is 'on sale' for $975 right now. Their web site is a mess, but they also list a 16.9lb steel flywheel for about the same price, no stage 1 stuff listed that I can see. Add another $700 for labor (assuming you don't DIY), and yeah. A clutch job is $1700-$2000, easy.

As for not going into gear, that's entirely possible. If she burnt the clutch there's a good chance she melted the self adjusting mechanism. If the SAC mechanism is damaged it may prevent the clutch from disengaging.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:15 PM   #15
carsos
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My next car had a defect that did not allow the clutch to fully disengage from the flywheel so in the first 45K I went through 7 clutches. A stronger return spring fixed it.
what the balls? you burned 6 through clutches in 45k without wondering if there was a problem?
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:44 PM   #16
jzwu
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Originally Posted by bimmerboyclub View Post
so you think she burned up the clutch? i noticed in other posts that replacing a clutch costs around $850. 250 for the kit and 600 for the labor at max. does that sound right to you guys? And so you are saying if the flywheel is also damaged that it will be an additional $900 to the bill?

Do you think the problem could be more serious? My friend said it sounds like she "money shifted" the car. But i thought "money shifting" only occurs at high speeds when someone drops it in the wrong gear. My friend said something about how if she money shifted it and the pistons are bent that the engine is really ****ed. I'm not sure if this is or is not the case. I presume the smoke to be the clutch burning as well (or at least at this point, i am hoping this is the case). I appreciate your advice, help and knowledge!

If she money shifted, the engine won't start.

So chill. She is your sister. How many you got? You can have many cars and they don't even talk to you when you are sick.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:45 PM   #17
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ouch.... but welcome to DC shoulda brought your car.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:50 PM   #18
NOVAbimmer
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so you're pissed that your clutch needs to be replaced on an 8 year old car? One incident like that isn't going to turn a brand new clutch into toast, so your clutch disc was probably already on the way out, especially if she was having problems getting up the hill in first gear.

Learn your lesson, and teach her to drive stick a bit better. FYI, my original clutch taught three other people how to drive stick, and was still in pretty good shape when replaced at 100,000 miles
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:03 PM   #19
bimmerboyclub
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Thanks for the advice and suggestions. For the record, I love my sister and am just glad she is okay! Cars and clutches can be replaced. And you guys are right I think my clutch was going to give up soon anyways, so this incident may have just sped up the process a bit. I really appreciate your guys' help. Thank you! I will report back when I figure out what the problem is.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:03 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by bimmerboyclub View Post
I appreciate all of your posts! Is the clutch disk a part of the "clutch kit." Or is that something different in and of itself.

Well, yes. a clutch kit includes a clutch

And what does a "lighted" flywheel mean? Used? Sorry, I am not familiar with the lingo, to be honest i have no idea what a flywheel is or does even.

Okay, the flywheel is attached to the engine before the clutch. It helps keep the engine running smooth, basically. A lighter one will let your engine rev faster (good thing).


Also what is the gearbox?

Wait, you have a stick car right? Super
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