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S3 Clutch Life

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by SimonP, Jun 18, 2007.

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When did you replace the clutch on your S3?

  1. Less than 30k miles

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. Between 30k and 50k

    7 vote(s)
    23.3%
  3. Between 50k and 70k

    5 vote(s)
    16.7%
  4. Between 70k and 90k

    5 vote(s)
    16.7%
  5. More than 90k or it's still original

    10 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. SimonP
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    SimonP Member

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    My local dealership has just told me that the clutch on my S3 (8L) is approaching the end of its life, which at only 50k miles over 4 years has surprised me to say the least. I don't feel I'm the hardest driver out there, I don't hang about, but most of the mileage is on the open road rather than around town.

    I thought I'd post a poll to see when other S3 owners had replaced their factory fitted clutch.

    Anyone want to relate their clutch replacement stories I would be very interested.

    To me, only 50k sounds rediculous, I haven't had to replace a clutch in any of my cars for a good 16 years and many many thousands of miles.
    #1
  2. joe6886
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    joe6886 Member

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    I bought my s3 on 36k and the clutch was just starting to slip, i'm assuming that was the original one.
    #2
  3. Dave_Bayern
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    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

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    130K and as of Saturday it started slipping badly between 3.5 and 4K rpm (on a remapped A3, so less torque than an S3).

    Still looking into what to replace it with.
    #3
  4. SimonP
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    SimonP Member

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    That's the thing, mine shows no signs of slipping, just hard to select 1st, 2nd and reverse (sometimes).
    #4
  5. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    Might need an oil change then.
    I've got a TDI A4, thats got plenty of torque and i'm on 68k, no signs of wear.
    #5
  6. Aky
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    Aky Aky

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    I think my clutch was ok but my flywheel went at 37,000 miles so changed the lot. The clutch should last at least 60k miles (depending on driving style) Thats absolute b0ll0cks what the dealer has told you.
    #6
  7. jojo
    Online

    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    52K, remaped at 27k and the gearbox blowing up killed the clutch, not wear and tear. Depends on the driver and driving style etc. to be honest, my Passat TDI is on 137k! chipped at 95k and still on original clutch!!
    #7
  8. bantam1
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    bantam1 Member

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    My S3 on 105K, remapped at 86K, still on original clutch and no probs whatsoever.

    Gearboxes on these are notoriously notchy, doesn't sound like clutch to me (although I know next to nothing so I'd take that with a pinch of salt). I had the oil changed on mine which did help things a bit.

    Unless it is under warranty I wouldn't be anywhere near a main dealer as they'll change anything at a drop of a hat, charge you the earth for the privilege, and most likely not solve the problem. Find a good local independent and get a second (and most probably cheaper) opinion.

    Regards,

    B.
    #8
  9. mattyboy199
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    mattyboy199 Active Member

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    i clicked 30-50k still on original no sign of slippage on about 41k
    #9
  10. S3 Dave
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    S3 Dave Now running on Heavy Oil

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    Very interesting! I'm on 61800 and all seems well. How much have people paid for a clutch to be done??
    #10
  11. MattS3
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    MattS3 Member

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    Mine went at 25k miles. (just after the Revo map was logged onto the ECU)

    I bought it with 23k miles and had owned it for 2 months. Got it replaced by a local independant using OEM parts, total bill 3600.

    Now travelled 41k and seems fine. I guess the previous owner was a little too keen on 0-60 times as opposed to actually getting out of London and driving it how it should be driven.
    #11
  12. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    you mean £360 right?
    #12
  13. Hotscar
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    Hotscar Four Wheel Drifting

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    I'm thinking he means £600.

    As said above, don't listen to a main dealer, they'll have you change your pants in their workshop if there's money involved. They've just changed a part on my car at the cost of £386 and the garage at work (that doesn't have time to do the work at the moment) said they could have fitted it in an hour...£45 an hour and £78 for the part (and I know, I'm a mug for paying £386 but I couldn't arsed to take it anywhere else!!).

    Get a second opinion!
    #13
  14. Hotscar
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    Hotscar Four Wheel Drifting

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    I'm thinking he means £600.

    As said above, don't listen to a main dealer, they'll have you change your pants in their workshop if there's money involved. They've just changed a part on my car at the cost of £386 and the garage at work (that doesn't have time to do the work at the moment) said they could have fitted it in an hour...£45 an hour and £78 for the part (and I know, I'm a mug for paying £386 but I couldn't be arsed to take it anywhere else!!).

    Get a second opinion Simon!
    #14
  15. TheSpaceCowboy
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    TheSpaceCowboy Member

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    I paid £400 and was definatly ripped off but I wont go into that now! :p
    My clutch was replaced at 86,000 miles on a 1.8 N/A A3.
    #15
  16. Dave_Bayern
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    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

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    I've just picked up a VR6 clutch for £132, thats the clutch kit including pressure plate, clutch, release bearing and bolts.

    I happened to get given a flywheel which I paid £68 to have lightened and balanced.

    The VR6 Clutch is rated higher than the 1.8T clutch for torque and replacing the dual mass flywheel with a proper single mass one means that the car operates far better, revs quicker and still maintains the standard pedal pressure.

    Fitting is approx 4 hours.

    Worth a thought if anyone is looking at replacing a clutch as its a better option than a standard replacement.
    #16
  17. S3 Dave
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    S3 Dave Now running on Heavy Oil

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    Did the Corrado have a hyd thrust bearing aswell then????
    #17
  18. Stewart
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    Stewart Member

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    The difficult first and reverse selection is indicative of linkage misalignment. There is a documented VAG procedure for aligning the linkage which involves putting a pin in to lock the gears into a set, known position and then adjusting and tensioning the cables to suit.

    AwesomeGti.com know this procedure and it definitely made my problem better.

    2nd and 3rd selection problems (more commonly referred to as 'notchiness') is a common issue and is an inherent design flaw with the baulk rings (synchros)on these gears so you'll have to live with that or have the gearbox overhauled. Changing the gearbox oil for the Motul stuff further improved the notchiness to the point where i dont really notice it.

    Matt, very similar to me. Bought mine at 21k, had it Revo'd and within 2 weeks the clutch started slipping under high torque scenarios.
    JBS replaced it with a Kevlar based dual mass setup rated at 400Ilbs and its been great ever since.
    #18
  19. god_thats_quick
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    god_thats_quick Numptie of the highest order

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    My first clutch was still fine when I had the engine replaced at 63,000 miles and the new one has now done 40,000 miles and is fine. However I guess if you like standing starts more than me and live in a city then it'll be much worse, however much worse than what I couldn't tell you.
    #19
  20. nwhiteley
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    nwhiteley Member

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    When i bought my S3 back in march 2006, the clutch was slipping on the test drive. The garage changed it before i picked it up, and the mileage was below 45000.

    Neil
    #20
  21. MattS3
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    MattS3 Member

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    Yep, I meant £600, just missed the shift key when I pressed 3.
    #21
  22. SimonP
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    SimonP Member

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    Here's my findings so far:

    First visit to the dealer I reported problems with 1st/2nd selection. They adjusted and greased the linkages. However I then had some problems selecting reverse.

    Took it back, they said that the linkages were all fine when they checked, must be the clutch gettting to end of its life - that will be lots of money please.

    Strange thing is, since that visit I have had no problems with reverse. Call me suspicious but maybe there was a problem with the linkages, that magically went away when they checked them again...

    I've had a number of quotes from independent specialists all of whom comprehensively undercut the dealers (no surprise), and all of whom definitely sound like they actually know the car - not much of that going on at the dealership sometimes I suspect. The general consensus is that if anything it's the release bearing and not the clutch plate, but may as well fork out for the plate while the gearbox is out.

    The gearbox is still notchy, but as people have already said it's inherent with the design. I think it's been this notchy from new anyhow I'd just not noticed 1st and 2nd getting worse due to the alignment.

    I think my gameplan will be to see if gets any worse and probably investigate a gearbox oil change in the short term to see if things improve.

    Anyone know if the release bearing is prone to catastrophic failure (which would be very inconvenient) or will it be a more gradual failure leading to more notchiness and clutch slip?
    #22

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