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The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2013, 10:11 PM
asetty asetty is offline
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328i Manual transmission - Burning Smell

Hello
After around 7 weeks of my order placement picked up my 328i last week. Will post detailed review soon..before that wanted get your opinion on a problem( Hope it not a serious one)

Have around 300 miles on my 328i and i smell a weird burnt plastic smell outside of the car when i open driver side door.This is six speed manual transmission and i suspect it could be clutch burning( read some blogs) or just that i am being paranoid.

I don't see any issue with shifting and this being my first manual after a while , i am still kinda getting used to the shifting and there were couple of instances where i moved from 4 to 3 instead of 5 and felt that quick drag with the speed. That being said , i am pretty comfortable with manual transmission but not completely there yet. i would rate myself as 8/10 in driving manual transmission.

Can some one pls confirm if this is normal or something i should really be worried about.Called the dealer and talked to some one in sales(Not services) and he said this could be a clutch burning which is not covered by warranty. Was surprised by the fact that clutch can be so messed up so easily !!!

Also is there a thread here for stick shift /Manual transmission? Could not see any tread ...

Appreciate all your comments/suggestions. Let me know if you need any more information around this.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2013, 11:43 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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mine(8AT) got some oil burning smell with the turbo was first engaged, but it went away with more miles. Bimmer clutches are pretty easy going but the engaging point can be a bit "long/high" when compared to Japanese clutches, so just slow down a bit before you get used to it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:59 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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my guess would be cosmoline burning off. the car is coated in it before shipping to protect it, most of it is stripped off the outside, but some can remain on the exhaust, etc. the smell will go away after a short time


it is possible to destroy a clutch very very quickly if its being slipped constantly
are you slipping the clutch alot?
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:10 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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1. Most likely cosmoline burning off. It's common on new cars.

2. With complete respect to you, your post indicates you may not know what actually causes a clutch to get so hot as to begin emitting a burning smell. A clutch is like a giant brake disc that works to smooth the connecting and dis-engaging of the engine to the wheels. The more you use it to smooth out that process, and the bigger the difference in speed between engine and wheels (i.e. that drag you spoke of) the more the clutch is working and getting hot.

I would recommend having a knowledgable friend, friendly local mechanic, etc. take a look at your driving of the car and tell you if you are excessively slipping your clutch.

Lastly, a BMW clutch falls under the 4/50 bumper to bumper warranty and maintenance plan. So at least don't worry about it until then
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:23 AM
asetty asetty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orient330iNYC View Post
my guess would be cosmoline burning off. the car is coated in it before shipping to protect it, most of it is stripped off the outside, but some can remain on the exhaust, etc. the smell will go away after a short time


it is possible to destroy a clutch very very quickly if its being slipped constantly
are you slipping the clutch alot?
No not really, as i said there were just couple of instances where it happened.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2013, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
Lastly, a BMW clutch falls under the 4/50 bumper to bumper warranty and maintenance plan. So at least don't worry about it until then
While nominally true, relying on the warranty to cover premature clutch replacement would be a very expensive mistake.

BMW only covers a clutch failure under warranty when confronted with proof the cause was mechanical malfunction, not driving technique. Fewer and fewer people can drive a manual transmission even passably well; BMW is well aware of this. They are not the least bit charitable about covering a clutch replacement when there is no indication that any component actually failed. Alone, a worn-out friction disc and blued flywheel will be dismissed as "operator error" unless and until it can be confirmed that something other than the driver's left foot was responsible for the excessive slippage.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:02 PM
asetty asetty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orient330iNYC View Post
my guess would be cosmoline burning off. the car is coated in it before shipping to protect it, most of it is stripped off the outside, but some can remain on the exhaust, etc. the smell will go away after a short time


it is possible to destroy a clutch very very quickly if its being slipped constantly
are you slipping the clutch alot?
No not really, as i said there were just couple of instances where it happened.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:47 PM
asetty asetty is offline
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Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post

I would recommend having a knowledgable friend, friendly local mechanic, etc. take a look at your driving of the car and tell you if you are excessively slipping your clutch.
Would certainly do that.... also thinking what should be the ideal max speed at each gear i should be driving for 2013 , 328i. Looked couple of blogs and the numbers dint seem right to me.I think the numbers for V6 and V8 not sure if this is same for a 4 cylinder turbo charged engine.

I know its just not the speed but need to take into consideration the rpm.Appreciate if some one can give more info around this. Also is there a thread in this forum just for manual transmission? want to hear more from MT drivers and make sure i am driving right.


Thanks Again for all the replies.
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  #9  
Old 04-28-2013, 11:59 PM
asetty asetty is offline
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After multiple opinions, looks like i am pretty good with the stick shift.
Apparently it was just cosmoline burning off..

And after couple of days from my post i dint feel that smell any more and after around 1300 miles i noticed huge difference in gear shifting - its very smooth now.

Also to answer my own question(Speeds to drive at various gear?) based on my 1500 miles experience.

1st gear ---- 1 to 8 mph
2nd gear ---- 8- 17 mph
3rd ---- 18 - 32 mph
4th ---- 33- 45 mph
and 5 and 6 beyond 45 based on cruising speed!!

Also if you have instrument cluster and if you setup the data to be displayed , system displays gear number at which you should be driving at various speed.
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2013, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asetty View Post
...
Also if you have instrument cluster and if you setup the data to be displayed , system displays gear number at which you should be driving at various speed.
What display are you talking about here?
In Comfort (and Eco Pro) I get an up-shift / gear number indicator that depends on the speed & acceleration rate; i.e., at light acceleration it recommends to shift fairly soon. AFAIK, this is just recommendation to maximize fuel efficiency. In Sport mode this is not displayed - BMW assumes you don't care about optimizing for economy.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:19 AM
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My car never emitted any burnt clutch smell and burning cosmoline smells completely different. From what you are describing it sounds like you are feathering the clutch way too much and are actually burning it. Make clutch engagements as quickly and smoothly as possible otherwise you will need a new clutch sooner rather than later.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asetty View Post
After multiple opinions, looks like i am pretty good with the stick shift.
Apparently it was just cosmoline burning off..

And after couple of days from my post i dint feel that smell any more and after around 1300 miles i noticed huge difference in gear shifting - its very smooth now.

Also to answer my own question(Speeds to drive at various gear?) based on my 1500 miles experience.

1st gear ---- 1 to 8 mph
2nd gear ---- 8- 17 mph
3rd ---- 18 - 32 mph
4th ---- 33- 45 mph
and 5 and 6 beyond 45 based on cruising speed!!

Also if you have instrument cluster and if you setup the data to be displayed , system displays gear number at which you should be driving at various speed.
You should learn to shift by listening to the engine RPMs and not by looking at the speed or tachometer gauges. The display that shows when to shift is merely for achieving optimum gas savings and not for optimum performance shift points under normal driving conditions.

I only glance at the tachometer when pushing the car for performance when I can hear/sense that I'm close to redline and the speed limiter.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:56 AM
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A couple of other shifting tips for less clutch wear:

- downshift less and use your brake more when coming to a stop

- just before starting off from a stop with the clutch pedal in, blip the gas pedal a bit just before engaging the clutch with normal gas pedal - to help the clutch engage smoothly while starting to move forward

- blip the gas pedal to rev match RPMs before downshifting - to place less strain and demand on the clutch while slowing down the car

- don't over think shifting - the more you shift, the more it will come naturally
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Last edited by beden1; 04-29-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-29-2013, 08:58 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
You should learn to shift by listening to the engine RPMs and not by looking at the speed or tachometer gauges.
+1, man and machine as one, listen to it.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:08 AM
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BmwFlooner BmwFlooner is offline
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Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
You should learn to shift by listening to the engine RPMs and not by looking at the speed or tachometer gauges.
I agree with this 100%. However, the N20 is pretty quiet. If you have the radio up moderately loud, or the windows down on the highway it can be difficult to hear the engine over other sounds.

I installed the m perf exhaust to help make the feedback more noticeable.

I've come to rely on the HUD in situations where I can't hear the engine.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:18 AM
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I agree with this 100%. However, the N20 is pretty quiet. If you have the radio up moderately loud, or the windows down on the highway it can be difficult to hear the engine over other sounds.

I installed the m perf exhaust to help make the feedback more noticeable.

I've come to rely on the HUD in situations where I can't hear the engine.
I was on an extended pleasure drive this weekend and driving in my Porsche with the top down. I have the sport exhaust which has a great tone, but the sound was being drowned out by a large group of motorcycles in front and behind me (they were checking out my car for about 10 miles). I could feel when to shift by sensing the engine revs. It takes some seat time, but this is what you should strive to master when becoming in tune with your car.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
I was on an extended pleasure drive this weekend and driving in my Porsche with the top down. I have the sport exhaust which has a great tone, but the sound was being drowned out by a large group of motorcycles in front and behind me (they were checking out my car for about 10 miles). I could feel when to shift by sensing the engine revs. It takes some seat time, but this is what you should strive to master when becoming in tune with your car.
Also agree. I haven't had my 328 long enough yet. I'm still getting a feel for smooth shifts at different rev ranges so I'm eyeing the tach and speed frequently. But as you said it just takes time.

I was in total harmony with my Eclipse. After 12 years I could drive that thing deaf and blindfolded. But the clutch feels entirely different than my BMW. Changing between them usually requires a reorientation period.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:33 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
While nominally true, relying on the warranty to cover premature clutch replacement would be a very expensive mistake.

BMW only covers a clutch failure under warranty when confronted with proof the cause was mechanical malfunction, not driving technique. Fewer and fewer people can drive a manual transmission even passably well; BMW is well aware of this. They are not the least bit charitable about covering a clutch replacement when there is no indication that any component actually failed. Alone, a worn-out friction disc and blued flywheel will be dismissed as "operator error" unless and until it can be confirmed that something other than the driver's left foot was responsible for the excessive slippage.
Just saw this and wanted to comment that the clutch lining itself is covered under the 4/50 MAINTENANCE plan, not the vehicle warranty.

it is actually specifically called out as something covered by the maintenance plan. "clutch lining"

If BMW did not cover something specifically called out under either maintenance or warranty, I would have a problem with them
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:42 AM
asetty asetty is offline
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Originally Posted by pcbrew View Post
What display are you talking about here?
In Comfort (and Eco Pro) I get an up-shift / gear number indicator that depends on the speed & acceleration rate; i.e., at light acceleration it recommends to shift fairly soon. AFAIK, this is just recommendation to maximize fuel efficiency. In Sport mode this is not displayed - BMW assumes you don't care about optimizing for economy.
Talking about the same dispay!!
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:46 AM
asetty asetty is offline
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Originally Posted by SergioK View Post
My car never emitted any burnt clutch smell and burning cosmoline smells completely different. From what you are describing it sounds like you are feathering the clutch way too much and are actually burning it. Make clutch engagements as quickly and smoothly as possible otherwise you will need a new clutch sooner rather than later.
What ever it was , too glad its not happening any more
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:54 AM
asetty asetty is offline
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Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
A couple of other shifting tips for less clutch wear:

- downshift less and use your brake more when coming to a stop

- just before starting off from a stop with the clutch pedal in, blip the gas pedal a bit just before engaging the clutch with normal gas pedal - to help the clutch engage smoothly while starting to move forward

- blip the gas pedal to rev match RPMs before downshifting - to place less strain and demand on the clutch while slowing down the car

- don't over think shifting - the more you shift, the more it will come naturally
Thanks for the tips, and totally agree with you on 4th point.

Numbers which i gave was based on city driving conditions and yes feel and sound of the engine are other variables which can be used to refine your judgement for changing gears!!
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:29 AM
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I forgot one other tip - don't drive with your foot resting on the clutch pedal.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:30 AM
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You should be able to go from a complete stop to full clutch engagement is about a second. If you spend more than a second engaging the clutch completely then you start shedding clutch pad material off the surface of the clutch. Shifts after 1st gear should be minimal, less than half a second if not quicker. A human can never shift as fast as the new 8AT nor even the old SMGI systems though... nah, not gonna open that can of worms again.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
I forgot one other tip - don't drive with your foot resting on the clutch pedal.
Yes, that's what the 'fourth' dead pedal is for.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:04 PM
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... but the sound was being drowned out by a large group of motorcycles in front and behind me (they were checking out my car for about 10 miles).
Man, do I hate when they do that crap! I usually floor it or pull over, depends on a road and number of bikers I would need to pass. If you want to leisurely drive under the speed limit in a crotch-ventilation position, you don't really need to block the whole d*mn road to do it and you certainly don't need to box people in your idea of "fun".

Quote:
Originally Posted by SergioK View Post
A human can never shift as fast as the new 8AT nor even the old SMGI systems though... nah, not gonna open that can of worms again.
Pray tell ...
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