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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:54 PM
moabcreator moabcreator is offline
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Location: CA
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Mein Auto: 2001 33O CIc
2001 BMW 330 Cic clutch problems ...

I bought a 2001 BMW 330 Ci convertible with 104,000 miles about a month ago from the Manheim dealer auction. I've only driven it about 150 miles during this time. Never noticed any slipping of the clutch, but i hadn't driven manual in like 5 years and didn't drive the car much in that month span.

Yesterday I took the car out and was at 5000 rpm in second (probably too aggressive, but trying to enjoy it a lil) trying to go into third and the clutch went limp and was stuck in neutral and couldn't get into any gear. Pulled over into a parking lot and if i pressed the clutch very very hard i could put it in first but the car would leap forward like crazy. Also when the clutch went limp I smelt some burning I ended AAA'ing.

Is my clutch fried? Could it be a the master or slave cylinder? Pressure Plate? Searching online these were the possibilities i read about. How do I narrow it down to what it is without getting ripped off by a shop. My cousin who helped me bid on the car will be back in town in 2 weeks and take me to his mechanic, but I'd like to get some more knowledge on the issue instead of just taking the mechanics word.


Again it's an auction car, so i don't have all the history on it other than that it had a clean car fax and 2 prior owners. I bought a 14 day guarantee, but I now know i need to drive the car extensively (roadtrip!) during that period to see if any issues arise. Thanks!

Last edited by moabcreator; 10-10-2012 at 01:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2012, 02:25 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 325 Convertible
I would take a close look at the slave cylinder, and change the fluid first. To check for a slipping clutch, take the car out in a remote area and put it into too high a gear for the road speed. If the car bucks, the clutch is probably fine. If the RPM's rise disproportionate to road speed, it's new clutch time. Of course this is only a guess, but I believe a new slave will set you straight. You would have noticed a slipping clutch right away. Your clue about the clutch pedal having to be pressed hard to engage a gear leads me to believe that the pressure plate is not being disengaged all the way.
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:01 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Yeah, I think SJ pretty well nailed it....definitely sounds more like a hydraulic problem, rather than a purely mechanical one.
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:02 AM
moabcreator moabcreator is offline
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Location: CA
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Mein Auto: 2001 33O CIc
Thanks for the responses. So, is it difficult to check if the slave is the culprit? Any idea of its location? I read about bleeding the clutch fluid, is that what u were suggesting? Also what's a reasonable price for an induce mechanic to charge to change it n the fluids?


Just from speaking from mechanics on the fone theybwant me to Change the whole clutch system maybe to make a sale.
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