S3 8P Clutch Advice Needed


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needing a bit of advice really as I'm struggling with all the options.

I purchased an S3 from Audi last year (May) as an approved audi with the 12 month warranty etc, and all has been good since. Recently though, I have noticed that 2nd and 3rd gear are getting a little more "resistant" to moving into gear. (covered 5000 miles since I bought it - it has now done 43K).

Nothing major, it doesn't grind and make any audible noise or anything (yet) but something is definetly up. 4th, 5th and 6th are fine, and don't have these issues.

So, it made me think that it wasn't the clutch as it might be all gears if it was - but some of the other threads on here suggest otherwise.

So my problem is this:

If it is anything other than the clutch - Audi will pay for the work to strip it and replace it.

if it is the clutch, but deemed to be a manufacturing fault they will also pay for it.

However, if it is wear and tear - it is my responsibility to pay for the work and new clutch.

I have seen a few members say they have had their clutch replaced under warranty ( I presume this refers to people with cars less than 3 years old - who bought them from new?).

Does this even sound like the clutch????? I didn't think it was at first - but after reading up, I'm thinking it is now.

The other issue I have, is that I am considering a stage 1 remap, but don't want to have the extra cost of a Sachs clutch if I can avoid it as I don't thrash my car at all, and will not be doing any other performance mods - (at the moment! :laugh:). I don't want to use it on the track - just want the extra "ummmph" when I need it and the better mpg.

Sooooo, my questions are:

1. Do I let Audi look at the gearbox/clutch and gamble that they can replace it within warranty? Afterall, worst case scenario is - I pay for it - but I stand to win a free fix, even if only a slight chance.

2. Do I go to an audi specialist and say "replace the clutch for OEM?

3. As number 2 - but "replace clutch with Sachs kit"?

I suppose on some level I am hoping I can get away with the OEM clutch for a while based on members advice, as at only 5k miles a year - I could get away with 3 - 4 years worth of driving - even with a stage 1 re-map with this?

Nightmare. :wacko:

Any help would be appreciated.



Registered User
Tough one this. I went through a similar dilemma with my S3 at about the same mileage as you too. Mine was slipping though and was completely standard. It was a flywheel problem not a clutch though.

You really need them to diagnose the problem without having to drop the gearbox because with the best specialist on it it is 4-5 hours work (needs the subframe off etc.) and that is not going to be cheap.

One thing I would say though if you are thinking about re-mapping your car, you will need a new clutch. I have a Revo Stage 1 with an induction kit too. My standard clutch and replaced flywheel lasted about 2000 miles before giving up. I now have a sachs clutch and standard flywheel and it is brilliant.

I would suggest that if you are looking to remap the car you need to factor in the price of a new clutch and possibly a flywheel too.

Hope that helps



Registered User
Hmmmm, thats what I'm afraid of.

I took it to Audi, and they let one of the technicians drive it with me for 5 minutes, but this is never ideal as lets be fair - the customer is sat right next to him, and he isn't going to feel happy changing down at a speed that I might. He encountered a slight "stifness" once or twice in the whole time we were out, which isn't ground breaking I know, but it is certainly an issue that is getting very slowly worse.

I wouldn't be so bothered, but the 12 month warranty is up in May, and I want to stop anything from getting worse and doing more damage etc.

Olly - if it is the flywheel - is that also covered by warranty - or is that a "consumable" that is subject to wear and tear, and therefore not covered?

Also - how many miles had your clutch done before it failed 2000 miles later?

Had a word with Votex in Congleton today, and they said to bring it up for a test drive with one of their engineers (for free!) and get a second opinion, which I can't complain about really.

They said it sounds unlike a clutch problem based on my description, and were suprised to hear that a clutch would be failing at my mileage.

Which - I am too! I had an Audi A3 2.0 FSI from new as a sale rep car - and I nailed that engine/gearbox to within an inch of its life across 3 years, racking up 80K and never had any of these issues.

My S3 - which I own, and only do 5K a year in, and stroke and practically wrap up in cotton wool has now developed this issue.

Futhermore - the previous owner was a lady driver (which I know doesn't count for much ), but I would have imagined it stands less chance of being rinsed.....

I was considering letting audi have a look at it.

Does anyone know if once it is in bits - if Audi would fit a Sachs Clutch kit on customer request rather than the OEM version? Obviously if I paid for it - or would they consider this an invalidation of the remaining warranty?



Lost in music...
NME - I went stage 1 to try to keep the clutch. Epic FAIL after 3 months. At least the Sachs clutch meant I could then go to stage 2.

You mention if it is the clutch - others who've had the clutch replaced were due to slippage IIRC. Some were proven to be the flywheel failing, so they were replaced. You're not describing the typical clutch slip fault where you put it in a high gear at low revs, boot it & watch the rev counter jump up 500-1000rpm though, so can't really help you on your particular clutch issue.

Good luck...


Registered User
Hi Big Bird,

Yeah thanks for the info, it doesn't seem to be slipping - just difficult to get into gear which originally made me think it was a syncro-mesh issue.

I would be more confident with this if it was only 1 gear, but it is the 2 gears I suppose where most of the "work" is done in accelleration.

Hence the nightmare - syncro-mesh = covered by audi warranty!

Hence the nightmare part 2 - if it is the syncro-mesh & audi repair it (for free) I might want to whack in a fancy Sachs clutch whilst its in bits to save on cash - would they even do this?

Nightmare part 3 - Do I just get it looked at by an audi specialist and do the clutch when in bits - but this is going to defo cost me £££££££££££££ that I might not have to pay at all.

Basically, a free repair job from Audi would be great even if it was only OEM, then I could run it until it needs replacing for sure with a Sachs.

I would be gutted if Audi took it apart and said it was the clutch and I needed to pay for an OEM clutch at audi rates.

Once again, all replies appreciated:laugh:


Registered User

My flywheel was totalled, which was started by the clutch slipping ever so slightly. They then have a knock on effect which meant that they both had to be replaced.

So at 40k the car went back to Audi due to intermittent slipping. They had the car for 12 days and eventually conceeded that the flywheel was indeed dead. They replaced it under warranty, the car was 2 years old.

Fast forward to 2010 and 69k miles I get the car remapped, an APR one running about 296Bhp and similar torque. The original clutch and, new at 40k, flywheel die about 2000 miles later. I go to Awesome GTI get the Sachs clutch and standard flyweel fitted (help myself to a Revo remap at the same time - now 326Bhp) and all is well.

One thing I would say and this is my experience with all the dealers I have visited, they always seem to be on the back foot when you take a car in with a problem. Almost like they don't want the work. I never understood that as they get paid by Audi UK for warranty work.

I would absolutely take it to a specialist, the closest reputable one and strike up a relationship with them. If you are going to remap it you will need a clutch eventually and it makes sense to get it done by a specialist.


Registered User
sounds more like wear in he linkage to me especially as its not on all gears.


Registered User

more food for thought. I took it out an tried the "slip test" (high gear and floor it) - and nothing seems to happen like the revs climb with no forward motion, just normal accelleration.

It really does seem to be isolated to the putting the gearstick into 2nd and 3rd - it just feels lumpy.

@Paddy, I thought it might have been the cables at first and that they might need adjusting - but wouldn't that affect all gears in that particular cables plane of movement rather than just 2nd and 3rd?

Going to take it up to Votex tomorrow and see what comes of it. If they say anything except clutch might take it to audi, especially as if its something faulty with the gearbox - they can pay for it!

Thanks for the detail from everybody, its good to hear how other people have been affected in similar situations - especially if they have dealt with the stealers!


Registered User
I dont know what the linkage is like on your car but i have had this with transverse engines before and it was wear in the nylon bushes on the actuating levers. Dead cheap to fix so fingers Xed :)


Registered User
Sounds like a plan NME. I'm sure you'll get an independant opinion from Votex and armed with that you can attack the stealers.

Best of British.



Registered User
Just thought it would be good to keep anyone interested in this post updated with the info from my visit to Votex.

I went out with a technician for a drive, and he gave it a bit more stick (at my request) to feel any problems.

He felt the stiffness at higher speeds going down into 2nd as I had.

What we also noticed was that when we were sat in traffic crawling along, there was a slight "whining" noise from the gearbox when in 2nd on the revs/overrun when using it.

Basically he thinks its the syncro-mesh on 2nd.

Got it booked in with Audi on Monday under warranty.

Will let you know how I get on!

It was also worth noting that Votex had an R8 parked outside when I got there - being re-mapped with the Lambo fuel map!!!!