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Symptoms of a clutch on its way out??

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Grale1, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    Hi guys I was just wondering if anyone can help me out and tell me any signs of a clutch on its way out, I've owned my car for just over a year and since I've owned it the clutch seems short, what I mean is If I put my foot down on the clutch pedal and lift it seems to bit low down, I never has any clutch slipping, I'm not sure what sort of symptoms I should look for? I took it an audi Indi guy and have reckoned it might be worth bleeding the clutch as when I bought the car the guy said it had a new clutch, but there is no paper work so I have to go on the basis it's not new, audi guy said it could be new but needs to be bled? Anyone ever heard of this??

    simon
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  3. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    Handbrake on tight and in a wide open space put the car in 5th, hold the revs at 3K and let the clutch out. If it stalls the clutch itself is fine, if it doesn't stall it's worn to a point that you should consider replacement.

    If it is just the bite point you are worried about then pump the clutch pedal 20 times, if the bit point rises to a level that you're happy with then it needs bleeding.

    Another kind of common issue is the release fork splitting, meaning that the cylinder is all up to scratch, the clutch has loads of life in it but the arm which actuates it is deforming and not allowing full pressure.

    [​IMG]

    I presume it's a fwd A3 not an S3? If it is an A3, get rid of the pony dual mass flywheel setup and put the single mass flywheel from a G60 Golf on it and use a VR6 friction plate. It's rated to 300bhp and is at least 7x stronger, a little bit lighter and makes the clutch feel a lot better than the standard clutch.

    It's a job for a garage really, changing clutches on A3's on the driveway is not cool.
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  4. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    Ok cool, thanks mate, how much is that sort of set then? What's the benifits of going to single mass flywheel?
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  5. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    The benefit to a dual mass flywheel is basically smoothness, vibration damping and it creates almost a buffer that makes driving at low speed/rpm smoother.

    Personally I think it's all ******** and I ****ing hate the things. Its purpose is basically to aid in disconnecting you from the engine, personally I find it much easier and far more beneficial to have a single mass if you actually know how to drive a car. If you rev match on downshifts and know how to use a clutch correctly there is no real world reason why a dual mass flywheel is of any benefit in a performance scenario.

    The single mass flywheel is lighter and as such allows the vehicle to rev up quicker, also without the damping mechanisms built into it the single mass offers a different feel to the drive of the car.

    There was talk from inbred on other forums that single mass flywheels rattle and vibrate, and that they are "harsh" to drive. But that's all tosh when relevant to our vehicles.

    Price wise it will be cheaper than a standard clutch and dual mass flywheel, pay no more than £50 for a flywheel and you can get a good quality Luk VR6 clutch for £60. The whole thing should be less than £300 fitted from a half decent garage.

    Whilst you're there have them throw in a new release arm and bearing; might as well do it all at once and it should only cost the parts difference as they'll have it all apart anyway.
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  6. andy 1.8t
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    andy 1.8t Member

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Not long had mine done, albeit the VR6/G60 kit. I haven't got the prices at hand so I'll drop the prices on when the sun rises..
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  7. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Oct 10, 2012]
    i wouldn't do the hand brake test, that isn't good for anything (drive train shunt) and it wont prove anything, even with a **** clutch it'll most likley stall lol

    put it in 6th gear, get on the motorway and floor it at about 70mph, if the revs jump up but the car doesn't accelerate it's on it's way out
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  8. Vex182
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    Vex182 Guess what I drive...

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    In my girlfriends fiesta, we noticed it by doing 30mph in 5th. When floored, the revs would rise with no increase in engine speed.
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  9. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    By the time you actually get slip when rolling at 70mph the clutch is well out. You'd be down to a level where you would risk exposing the rivets if you were getting slip in that way.

    The handbrake method is tought in NVQ level motor vehicle technology, it's worked fine for me for years.

    I guess your're taking it too far and thinking of a full on clutch dump. All you need to do is gently let the clutch out as though you were pulling away, it doesn't do any harm to anything. No more so than stalling the vehicle whilst pulling away in first.

    Go try it on your own car before you next comment, it works a treat.
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  10. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    ..:think:.....:)
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  11. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Oct 10, 2012]
    doing what you say will simply eat away at the clutch more IMO, alot
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  12. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Nope. Give it a go, as long as you're mechanically minded it is a quick and easy test.

    I use it on a daily basis when checking trade ins and the like.
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  13. phil miller
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    phil miller Active Member

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    It does work a treat, and tbh is prob the best test to do, once many years ago i had a customer say there clutch was going and wanted me to confirm it, so i went on a road test, got half way up a hill powered down in 3rd revs rose speed didnt and i lost all drive as the clutch was fooked, had to get recovered back to work, ever since ive used this test and have never had a problem

    not a dig at anyone on this thread or this site but why is it on the internet there are checkout boys, plumbers, builders, drivers and the like that seem to think they know better than MECHANICS that do the job day in day out, ive spent the last 20yrs learning my trade and when a check out boy thinks he knows best that does my head in rant over
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  14. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Oct 10, 2012]
    lol - what you are saying is different to what jardo is saying, both different tests ! i agree with flooring it up a hill etc etc

    i just don't believe the handbrake test is good for the drive train and will eat the clutch away

    also, i know for a fact my clutch will slip if i did it on mine, does not mean the clutch is on the way out, it maybe a good test for lower powered cars, but doing it on higher powered cars will eat the clutch
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  15. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    No, we are on about the same thing.

    If your car does not stall, it's because your clutch is under rated for the power of the car or needs replacement due to wear. To put it simply.

    The OP doesn't have a 400bhp RS4 with 500lbft of torque, he has an A3. For which this test is perfect.

    In what way can it not be good for the drive train?

    Go and try it.
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  16. phil miller
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    phil miller Active Member

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    I think you need to look at what i have said, i said it works a treat, i then said the test i use to do, but dont anymore and then explain why, the test involves seeing if the car will stall or not, maybe on a high powered car with say 500 bhp running a different clutch no not the best test but for cars up to about 300 its fine, doing the test is no different to doing a full on launch in first, actully its prob better than doing a full on launch in first, tbh it works for me, and i havent yet replaced a clutch that hasnt needed doing so that confirms it works
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  17. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    The issue is, free revving at 3000rpm the engines producing very little torque. All your really doing is fighting the inertia of the engine, unless you use the throttle as well to try and keep the revs at 3000 as your engaging the clutch, but that WILL have a negative effect on clutch life.

    Its entirely possible that the clutch could stall the engine from 3000rpm in 5th with handbrake on, but would not be able to withstand 200+lbft applied constantly in a high gear. The more powerful the car, the more likely it is that the clutch might well be able to stall it from 3k but wouldnt hold when loaded up with 300lbft of torque or whatever.


    Really both methods need to be applied IMO. Try stalling it out when stationary as described, and also try 5th gear full throttle at 3k and see what happens.


    When the clutch started going on my avant, it would slip on gear changes when driving hard. You'd boot it thru second and it'd hold fine, shift to third and hit the power again the the revs would just float around at 5k until the road speed caught up with the engine and then it would grip again. However if you selected third, had the clutch fully engaged, THEN floored it, it held fine.

    Eventually (about 6-9 months down the line) it started slipping in higher gears like suggested above. You could still drive it perfectly fine so long as you drove normally, and for the most part you wouldnt know the clutch was iffy, but give it full throttle in 5th at 70 and it would just let go and the revs would shoot up. 75% throttle was fine as were the lower gears so long as you let the clutch fully grip before applying power.
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  18. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    The way that I had it explained is that as the clutch engages it puts more resistance through the engine and builds more torque. Until a point where either the clutch over powers the engine and stalls or the engine over powers the clutch and it slips.

    I have used both tests, and going out on the road is a way of testing. But my first port of call is always the stationary test.

    If it passes the stationary test and there is still a question about the clutch then by all means road test it; but as every mechanic will agree with I HATE road testing a vehicle when fault finding an issue of this nature. The nature of the idea itself is retarded, without the probability of the customer turning it onto you and saying you manufactured the fault or made it worse by thrashing their car.
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  19. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Oct 10, 2012]
    i'd like to know what car can pull away in 5 gear WITH the hand brake on, if it can i'd put it down to a **** handbrake as opposed to a good clutch
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  20. phil miller
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    phil miller Active Member

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    [Oct 10, 2012]



    Your not testing if it will pull away you are seeing if it will slip, most cars with a fooled clutch you can have your foot almost off the clutch and not move but the engine will stay running, a good clutch and the engine will struggle/stall, it is a very good test and almost all mechanics do it this way
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  21. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Who said amything about pulling away?
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  22. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Oct 10, 2012]
    ok - so all you are 100% doing when you peform your test is making a bad clutch even worse and making a good clutch lose a little life

    stupid test, there is theory behind it, but no engine likes to suddently come to a forced hault and no clutch, wether good or bad will appreciate that test

    nvq or not, every mechanic i know has NEVER done this and wouldn't dare as your destroying the clutch lining

    as aaragorn said, if it stalls, it doesn't mean the clutch wont slip durig normal driving does it
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  23. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    why would i need a mechanic to tell me my clutch was on the way out??? i would notice it slipping like aragorn said, then take it easy till i had the chance to change it
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  24. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    I'm starting to lose patience with you, you seem to be spoiling for an argument.

    You don't understand so we have tried to explain. Now you are arguing with an industry wide test which has been used for generations and is still used by main dealers and specialist mechanics today.

    If the engine doesn't stall under this test then it is either under rated for the power of the car or it is worn, if it does stall then there is plenty of meat on the clutch and it is operating well. It is as simple as that.

    If the clutch is worn to a point that it will slip at a simple 70mph roll on in fifth then it will slip under this test too. The two negate each other, amd regardless of what you say taking a vehicle out on the road to TRY and break it or to cause a fault to occur is idiotic and dangerous. Which makes this method the chosen test by the industry.

    The reason none of your mechanic mates know about it is probably because they don't bother to listen when somebody tries to educate them. Sound like anybody you know?

    End of discussion, you do not have enough personal experience or technical knowledge to contribute to this discussion any further and I am done trying to explain it to you. I am not interested in getting into yet another internet based trolling session with you, because this is a forum for positivity.

    If you want to take the discussion further then I will be at the Ace for the December meet, I will gladly bring my Hilliers Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology guide book for you to look at the clutch section.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
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  25. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Oct 10, 2012]
    jardo is right once again, i give up, the handbrake method puts no more strain on the system than a hill start. Thanks for sharing with us Jardo
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2012
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  26. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    A brand new standard A3 clutch will slip with a heavily tuned engine, someone recently proved just that on here after having some hybrid turbo fitted/mapped and having the garage fit a new standard flywheel and clutch when it started slipping not realising it wasnt upto the job.

    That same brand new standard A3 clutch will happily stall the engine out using the "5th gear while stationary" method.

    So the "stalling" test isnt entirely conclusive is it? ESPECIALLY when we're discussing tuned cars!
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  27. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    The method has never failed me and i have 3 yrs of Motor vehicle city and Guilds under my belt as well as other stuff I CBA to show here.

    If it doesn't slip under load and stationary the load can be no larger on the road. Assuming the engine is revved to max torque level.
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  28. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    As Mark says, if this test is done properly the two tests negate each other. If it doesn't slip during this test it won't be slipping whilst out on the road.
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  29. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    You aint gonna build 25psi of boost sitting revving the car in neutral though are you? Unless you've got some fancy launch control or similar!
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  30. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Hence loading it up by slipping the clutch slightly. No one has mentioned revving it up in neutral to test the clutch
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  31. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    As I said a couple of replies down, engaging the clutch makes sufficient torque for the test to be conclusive. As the clutch engages it applies torque to the friction plate until such a point as it either slips or stalls.

    If the clutch is providing enough friction to stall the engine it will have enough friction to hold it whilst rolling. The clutch is trying to pull a stationary car with the handbrake applied, the characteristics and exertion are not all that far off a rolling acceleration.

    The only factor that cannot be introduced on initial testing this way is over heating.

    Imagine trying to push a stationary object, and trying to push a car that is already moving at 5mph. It is much easier to keep something rolling than it is to start the momentum. That same rule is why this works.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
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  32. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Anyway, the point is moot. It's just an alternative way of testing the clutch. Static or in gear accell, use whatever method is easiest to prove or dissprove it's fubar'd
    #31
  33. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe RacecaR forward is RacecaR backwards. Supporter

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    And finally -

    [​IMG]

    Surely this is over now. :)
    #32

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