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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2010 E91 MT with 5300 miles on it. The clutch went at the 5100 mile mark; BMW replaced it but said it was driver's error which is ridiculous as my wife and I have driven stick shift for over 40 years without ANY problems.

In any event, the service manager said we might still smell a burning smell for awhile which will gradually fade as despite a thorough cleaning, there might be still remnants of the first clutch. Well, we have driven it for a month (only about 200 miles) and we are still getting the burning smell. Then, when it snowed in New York yesterday, my wife drove the car and reported that when she parked the car, there was steam coming from under the car.

I am disappointed to say the least firstly that the clutch went and now have a new car that smells and has steam coming from it when driving conditions are wet. Any advice?
 

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I have a 2010 E91 MT with 5300 miles on it. The clutch went at the 5100 mile mark; BMW replaced it but said it was driver's error which is ridiculous as my wife and I have driven stick shift for over 40 years without ANY problems.

In any event, the service manager said we might still smell a burning smell for awhile which will gradually fade as despite a thorough cleaning, there might be still remnants of the first clutch. Well, we have driven it for a month (only about 200 miles) and we are still getting the burning smell. Then, when it snowed in New York yesterday, my wife drove the car and reported that when she parked the car, there was steam coming from under the car.

I am disappointed to say the least firstly that the clutch went and now have a new car that smells and has steam coming from it when driving conditions are wet. Any advice?
There is no reason to still smell burnt clutch. All of the smelly stuff is removed and discarded when a clutch is replaced. A proper job also includes the tech cleaning out the bell housing with solvent when the job is done. This would leave metal surfaces as clean as the day they left the factory. My shop has done hundreds of clutches and never had a smelly residue!
You need to immediately call the dealer and find out what is going on. My guess; you're going to need another new clutch. The replacement clutch is slipping which results in extreme heat which probably vaporized any moisture from a puddle or similar. The reason you still smell clutch is that the new one is doing what the original one did. That burnt toast smell is the smell of your clutch turning into burnt toast.
There have been quite a few reports of clutch failure early on. Try searching and then contact the OP's and see what happened. When my car was a few months old my clutch pedal did not come up once after I released it. The clutch stayed disengaged with no pressure at all on the clutch pedal!
In a few seconds it popped up and never did it again. I've put on 27,000 trouble free miles since then. It does make me wonder though.
 

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I have a 2010 E91 MT with 5300 miles on it. The clutch went at the 5100 mile mark; BMW replaced it but said it was driver's error which is ridiculous as my wife and I have driven stick shift for over 40 years without ANY problems.

In any event, the service manager said we might still smell a burning smell for awhile which will gradually fade as despite a thorough cleaning, there might be still remnants of the first clutch. Well, we have driven it for a month (only about 200 miles) and we are still getting the burning smell. Then, when it snowed in New York yesterday, my wife drove the car and reported that when she parked the car, there was steam coming from under the car.

I am disappointed to say the least firstly that the clutch went and now have a new car that smells and has steam coming from it when driving conditions are wet. Any advice?
What DSX said looks pretty good.

Or, it's driver error! Clearly if the clutch went out @ 5100 miles, you may have caused the problem, as it's designed to last much longer.

What possesses you, to callously over-drive your BMW?

---> Tip:

Buy a thoughtful gift for the SA who revealed that human error is the root cause of the failure. Those guys are sensitive you know -- bit o'honey goes a long way. Do you want this to happen again?

---> Tip:

To feel the love, slip your SA a C-note on the down-low. Guaranteed to do wonders for his attitude!

There. Now you can't be wrong. :brent:
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What DXS said looks pretty good.

Or, it's driver error! Clearly if the clutch went out @ 5100 miles, you may have caused the problem, as it's designed to last much longer.

What possesses you, to callously over-drive your BMW?

---> Tip:

Buy a thoughtful gift for the SA who revealed that human error is the root cause of the failure. Those guys are sensitive you know -- bit o'honey goes a long way. Do you want this to happen again?

---> Tip:

To feel the love, slip your SA a C-note on the down-low. Guaranteed to do wonders for his attitude!

There. Now you can't be wrong. :brent:
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Cal, are you sniffing that herbal tea again? The OP clearly said that he and the bride have decades of trouble free experience driving MT cars. Remember when BMW was blaming HPFP failures on driver's habits? Notice that it's NEVER a design fault? Until it is?
 

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I am having DeJavu again ....
 

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We've seen this issue a number of times. To me it sounds like there's something going on during assembly of the transmission. Maybe there***8217;s an inexperienced technician or two? Maybe there's an assembly procedure that isn't being followed? Maybe the procedure itself isn't right?

This seems to be a rare event, but when it happens it doesn't appear to be the driver***8217;s fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much...I think you hit the nail on the head. It just isn't natural or acceptable to be driving a new car that smells or is giving off steam when you drive it in the rain.
 

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Thank you very much...I think you hit the nail on the head. It just isn't natural or acceptable to be driving a new car that smells or is giving off steam when you drive it in the rain.
Whoa, understatement of the year. Of course it isn't acceptable, not even in a Kia! Let us know how this works out so we can advise others when it happens again.
 

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How long shall a typical clutch last? I don't remember ever have to replace a clutch while driving stick. Of course, my manual shifting experience is limited to Japanese vehicles only & I sold most of my rides prior to hitting 100k miles. I'm just curious.
 

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At my shop we rarely find a clutch worn out before 125000 miles. My Saab 9-5 has 160000 miles and the original clutch still works like new. I didn't check but my guess is that the average age of a normally worn clutch is 150K miles.
Some people wear out their clutches much sooner than that due to improper technique. Some kids blow up the clutches of their parents' cars.
 

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Cal, are you sniffing that herbal tea again? The OP clearly said that he and the bride have decades of trouble free experience driving MT cars. Remember when BMW was blaming HPFP failures on driver's habits? Notice that it's NEVER a design fault? Until it is?
Good heavens. Driving your BMW too much, like posting too much, is a cardinal sin. No wonder his clutch overheated on every little drive. Clutch never had a chance to cool down between rides. Exactly like compulsive posting.

BTW, has anyone noticed how pleasant Bimmerfest has suddenly become? Like Phoenix, AZ, fresh & newly washed after a sand storm.

Ummmmmmmmm....smell the Spring air!
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At my shop we rarely find a clutch worn out before 125000 miles. My Saab 9-5 has 160000 miles and the original clutch still works like new. I didn't check but my guess is that the average age of a normally worn clutch is 150K miles.
Some people wear out their clutches much sooner than that due to improper technique. Some kids blow up the clutches of their parents' cars.
Or....clutch does not completely engage, resulting in failure @ low miles. Slippage sometimes too.

What would cause that?
 

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There is no reason to still smell burnt clutch. All of the smelly stuff is removed and discarded when a clutch is replaced. A proper job also includes the tech cleaning out the bell housing with solvent when the job is done. This would leave metal surfaces as clean as the day they left the factory. My shop has done hundreds of clutches and never had a smelly residue!
You need to immediately call the dealer and find out what is going on. My guess; you're going to need another new clutch. The replacement clutch is slipping which results in extreme heat which probably vaporized any moisture from a puddle or similar. The reason you still smell clutch is that the new one is doing what the original one did. That burnt toast smell is the smell of your clutch turning into burnt toast.
There have been quite a few reports of clutch failure early on. Try searching and then contact the OP's and see what happened. When my car was a few months old my clutch pedal did not come up once after I released it. The clutch stayed disengaged with no pressure at all on the clutch pedal!
In a few seconds it popped up and never did it again. I've put on 27,000 trouble free miles since then. It does make me wonder though.
...ditto..what he said is spot on..

..driver error?? that's like saying when your fuel gauge goes from 4/4 to 1/4 after driving 200 miles its driver error.
 

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Or....clutch does not completely engage, resulting in failure @ low miles. Slippage sometimes too.

What would cause that?
A misadjusted clutch pedal.
Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth clutch release mechanisms consisted of a bunch of rods and swivels and there was lots to go wrong and adjustments were S.O.P. Now all clutches use hydraulic mechanisms identical to what brakes use. There's a lot less to wear and go out of adjustment, but there is still wear which occurs though most of it is in the clutch itself.
That wear is zeroed out by adjusting the one metal rod left, that's the compression 'connecting rod' which connects the pedal to the master cylinder. It can be made shorter or longer to ensure the clutch is engaging, and thereby disengaging, at the right point.
Your point is a good one about slippage. It's deadly if excessive, but all clutches have to slip to work properly. Otherwise it would be an off/on device and driving would be a lot more challenging. Once the gears are changed and the clutch is supposed to be fully engaged then all slippage must stop. Any left would build up the kind of heat the OP wrote about, and soon wear to the bone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Outcome

Whoa, understatement of the year. Of course it isn't acceptable, not even in a Kia! Let us know how this works out so we can advise others when it happens again.
The car was still smelling of burning clutch and I took it on a drive down the NJ turnpike from NYC to Philly and back (to see my Mom!). When I returned to New York, the smell was gone. I guess the residue left in the car had burned off. Since then it has been ok but I am still wary of the clutch and since I don't get to drive it very much (am out of the country most of the time) I wonder how the clutch will be in the future. For now, it is ok.

Thanks for all the input.
 
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