My 1993 E36 (83,000 mi) has been developing some notchiness in the gearbox that, while not severe, could be an indication of some clutch wear.
Since I purchased the car used at 69,000 mi one year ago, I have no idea when the clutch was changed if ever. Pedal action is firm and take-up
is smooth. The only other manual transmission BMW I have driven is an E46, so I have no true reference point.
Last time I had the car inspected I had the transmisson fluid changed to redline ATF. Greatly helped shifting when cold, but there's still a bit of a "bump"/notch when first entering gear. Sort of like a "pins and needles" sharp bump with kickback. Anyway it's not severe, happens mostly when starting out cold, and does not impede engagement of the gear. Yet with a car at 83k I'm concerned that the clutch might start to drag and make engagement a bit fussy. Since the notchiness is most pronounced on the 2nd synchro I'm also inclined to believe that the gearbox is just aging and that I should learn to adapt to changes.
Besides juddering and lack of pulling power in higher gears, what should I look for in an aging/dying BMW clutch? I've heard that E36 clutches "last forever", but I bought this car to drive for as long as it can be driven.