Your BMW relies on its clutch to be able to change gears. The clutch does this by temporarily disengaging the connection between the engine and the wheels while the gears change. The clutch then reconnects them after a successful gear change to produce more power and speed. Let’s take a closer look at the parts of the clutch and why they can fail.
The clutch is described as an “assembly.” This means a variety of parts all work together to achieve one goal. Depending on the age of your BMW, your clutch assembly may have additional or performance-enhancing parts but will always have four main parts in common: the pressure plate, flywheel, the throw-out clutch bearing, and the clutch disk. Any one of these parts can develop a problem, which can impede the performance of your clutch. Let’s now learn why clutch failure happens and how you can tell if failure has occurred.
There are several reasons why your clutch can fail. Different types of failure may present different symptoms which can help you diagnose the nature of your BMW’s issues. Listed below are some of the most common causes and symptoms.
Given time and frequent use, your BMW’s parts will naturally start to degrade. High-performance and luxury cars can often develop clutch failure, known as burn-out. Drivers of BMWs can excessively ride or over use the clutch to reach maximum performance levels from their car. While this may create an exhilarating driving experience, it is catastrophic to the lifespan of the clutch assembly. This can lead to the need for costly servicing and repairs.
Failure of one of the parts of the clutch assembly will make the clutch pedal feel different under your foot. The pedal may feel stiffer to press, or it may not depress smoothly. Depending on the issue, you might also feel intense vibrations through the pedal. These sensations need to be investigated quickly to prevent the severity of the issue from developing further.
The clutch should operate silently, so any noises heard when shifting gears should be seen as a sign of a problem somewhere within the clutch assembly. Common signs you can hear when dealing with a clutch issue include grinding and screeching noises, which typically indicate the need for servicing.
To change gears successfully, the transmission also has a part to part to play. When the clutch assembly is failing, changing gears will become a struggle. You may not be able to change to specific gears or you may find your BMW’s clutch slips from gear.
There are some models of BMW more commonly affected by clutch wear and clutch issues. Models which are more prone to clutch problems include BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW E90, and the BMW 1-Series. If you drive one of these models, you may wish to pay extra attention to your clutch and be sure to keep on top of clutch servicing.
Clutch issues should never be ignored because it would make your BMW much more unpredictable to drive. This unpredictability can be distracting, moving your focus from the road to gear changes, meaning that accidents can become much more likely to occur. Responding to problems when the first problem is detected is simply good practice. Dealing with the issue now, before it has time to become more severe or impact upon other systems, can save you money in the long run. It can prevent issues from spreading to the intricate transmission system, which can be quite an expensive repair.
Masters European and Japanese Auto Repair of Mill Valley, CA is perfectly situated for the BMW drivers of Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Sausalito, and Tiburon, CA. With a long history beginning all the way back in 1928, our family-run business knows what it takes to get your car back up and running and performing perfectly, and we will do so with swift precision. Call our friendly customer service team today to book your next auto repair appointment.