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Clutch Issue

12466 Views 77 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  G-Wass
Has anyone noticed a grinding feeling when using the clutch? Sometimes I get it, sometimes I do not. :confused:
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Sorry, I am kinda late to this post:

I looked for it 2 weeks ago, but for some reason didn't see it.

I assume the clutch issue being described here is EXACTLY what my new, 3-week-old S5 is experiencing (and has been since the end of week 1).

I describe it as "gritty." When you press down on the clutch it feels like there is sand in the movement and when you release it (especially noticable if releasing slowly) it gets "stuck" momentarilly here and there making it hard to shift smoothly as your foot actually comes off the pedal for an instant until the pedal catches up to your foot.

I took the car into the service center - on my way there, if course, it was not happening. My service manager took it for a test ride and did not feel it. When I left, I got to the first traffic light and the problem came back. I went around the block, back to the dealer and this time the Service manager got to feel it.

He suggested that it needed to be "bled" - HA!
He then had one of his mechanics get int he car and just depress the clutch.. the mechanic immediately said - "It feels like a throw-out bearing."

Long story short, the told me that the transmission will have to come out for the repair - it will take at least a week - and they couldn't schedule me until June 24. (I brought the car in to them on June 12.) Though service manager suggested driving it would not be a problem, the mechanic told me that if I didn't have to drive it - DON'T! I assume this is because you never know when it might stop working all together.

So my brand new S5 has been sitting in the driveway for about 2 weeks now - it goes in this upcoming week and so that will be at least another week or 2 until it is drivable again. You can imagine how happy I am.

I just wrote an email to Audi... they called the next day surprised that I am having this problem. We will see how it turns out.

Judging from this post, I am not the only person having this problem. Based on what the service center told me - if you have the "gritty clutch" take it in to the dealer - do not keep driving it cause you might end up stranded somewhere.


P.S. I did notice that when the car has been sitting for a day or so - the first few minutes of driving feels fine - the clutch begins to feel gritty after a short while.
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I am in agreement on both sides... On one hand, everyone I know at some point expressed concern about my purchasing a first-year production model... Of course there are potential "kinks" that may need to be ironed out.

However, I also feel that since this is not a $300 iPhone, it is a $60K+ car that should be reliable and safe, every potential flaw should have been thoroughly sorted out prior to selling the machine. If this was one, isolated incident, then I would chalk it up to a random bad part - I understand that these things happen - but seeing here that is it more widespread than just my car, I can't help but think that this should have been worked out. (Though I will admit, I do feel better that it is not just my bad luck.)

All in all, I do not think that Audi / VW should be burned at the stake, I do however, feel that the company has an obligation to do absolutely everything with their power to ensure that the problem is rectified and that us owners are compensated properly

How? I am not sure... extending the warranty on the tranny? giving me 3/4 of a month off my payments? - I know that's not happening.... extending my 90-day Satellite radio subscription by 3 or 4 weeks that I won't be driving my car? (Anyone else find it odd that a $15k GM comes with a whole year's worth and a $60K Audi only comes with 90-days? - oh well) How about at the very least a guarantee that the job will be done correctly and that I will have no other problems relating to this with my car?

That is what worries me the most, actually - my whole life, I have always heard people say "once the transmission is taken out of a car, it never drives the same." I hope that is just a cliche.

For the record, I purchased a smart fortwo back in February - 3rd delivery from the dealer - I have had no problems at all with that car. Also, in 2002 when I leased an Audi A4, it was the first year of the new design - also, a virtually flawless car for the 3 years that I had it. - The bearing issue is probably just a fluke... like I said, I just hope they do the right thing.

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At service ctr for nearly 2 weeks - no word

I brought my car in to service on June 24. I haven't heard a word from them since. It's now nearly 4 weeks since I've been able to drive my S5. I'm kinda unhappy about the situation.

I did, however happen to mention to the phone survey people the fact that my car did not come with a full tank of gas... I've gotten 4 (yes 4) phone calls from Audi and my dealer about that! The fact that my car is sitting in the bowels of the service center with a mfg. defect, however. . . they're going to "look into it."
Update - not much of an update :-(

Seamo - this is NOT good news - I am sorry to hear this! It feels like the SAME grinding sensation that you felt the first time?

After placing 4 phone calls and sending 1 email to my Service Manager (before I bash the dealer / service center, I had an '02 A4 from this dealer and was very happy at that time) I FINALLY got a call back. (2 weeks and 1 day since I gave them my brand new car.)

This is what I was told... "The transmission has been taking out of the car." "The bearing they ordered from the catalog was the wrong one - turns out that the right one is not even in the catalog." "The correct bearing has been ordered from Audi in Germany to be sent out red label." "This means that they will do whatever possible - no expense spared (this is how it was phrased) - to get the part here as soon as possible, but it is coming from Germany so we do not know how long this will take."

So really my status update didn't tell me much. My service manager did add, that they saw some "hot spots" on the flywheel and clutch (I am not sure exactly what this means) and so they are "just going to replace the whole thing and make it right."

I understand that this is a new model and parts take time and what not (ok - I must throw in that the car has been "out" since September - no real reason some of these parts couldn't have made it here by now) but this is still not fair that I gave them my money when it was due, but I can't drive my car yet - I wonder what, if anything, will be done.

Seamo - I am, again, sorry for you and suddenly not confident about my S5's future. I don't know where you are but here in NY (i believe it is a state thing), Lemon Law states that a major problem that has to be fixed 3 times warrants a complete replacement of the vehicle. (Not sure of the exact stipulations there, but I do know a good friend that had her Mini Cooper replace a few years ago after several MAJOR problems that kept coming back).

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Got my car back today!

Hello, I just wanted to report in...

After 3.5 weeks at Audi Service, I got my car back today (after I called to check up on it - they hadn't even called me to tell me that it was ready.)

On the phone, they told me that the delay was something about a part that "broke" after they put it back together and had to take it apart again and replace "that part" - I am not even sure what the heck this was about.

According to the write-up, they replaced my entire clutch assembly and flywheel, too. (In all, there were almost 30 parts listed on the repair report, but this included screws and such.)

As for the driving report - it was good to have my car back. When I first got in, the clutch felt slightly lighter and definitely more responsive than I remembered it. (Then again, it has been over 3 weeks since I last drove it and even before that, I had only put about 800 miles on the car.) The shift felt less stiff as well.

I did about 20 miles on the car this evening - local driving. So far, everything seems to be good. (The clutch was feeling a bit stiffer as was the shift - so I am thinking that I was getting used to it and my initial feelings were really a lack of muscle memory - I am not sure.)

I am happy to say that at least for these 20 miles - the car seems to be fixed!.

One down note: I did notice a small ding above my rear-left wheel that I am 100% sure was not there when I brought it in. Looks like it was hit by a car door in a lot somewhere. - I have to talk to service about that.

I will report in if anything (hopefully not) changes.

I am curious to hear how things turn out for everyone else. - Please keep posting.

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Another note...

In case anyone was interested - I brought the car into Audi service to have them look at the ding that, I firmly believe occurred while in their possession...

Oddly-enough, they had the dent-removal guy there at the time and they fixed it for me right on the spot. I was very happy with that today.

Also, I spoke with the mechanic who worked on my car - he told me that they removed the transmission from the car - removed the clutch assembly and flywheel... they replaced everything in the clutch - Clutch, plate, flywheel, throw-out bearing (and whatever other parts I don't know about - I am not that knowledgeable about transmissions) and put it all back together.

The reason, it took 3.5 weeks was because the throw-out bearing - the original part to be replaced - had to be ordered from Germany as whatever one they had readily available here in the states was the wrong one for the S5 (I was told that none of the parts in the S5 were interchangeable with any of the current Audi models.) They noticed "hot spots" on the fly wheel and decided to replace that and somehow in the process (not exactly sure when / why) the decision was made to replace all of the components of the clutch.

So far... almost 200 miles... the car is feeling perfect.

Seamo - I am still anxious to hear what happens.

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Clutch Issues...

Me Again... I havent' been on the site in a while, but just caught up...

The Clutch feeling that I was referring to, and was corrected with the complete clutch transplant that my dealer did, was noticable with out driving the car... Press the pedal and it feels "gritty" as I had said, as though there were sand in the mechanism... (Ever open an old screen door, or spring-loaded bathroom door at a bar that would "creek" while it was being opened??? That is kinda how the pedal felt. Releasing the pedal was kinda the same, however WHEN DRIVING THE CAR, the "creeks" would actually cause the pedal to "hang" for a split second, and then "snap" to the next "stuck spot" until it was fully released. This made for jerky disengaging of the clutch, and it impossible to shift smoothly.

My new clutch is slipping!
It happened a few times - I would shift as normal, suddenly finding myself over-revving with my foot nearly off the pedal.

It has happened 3 or 4 times... I thought maybe my foot was actually still slightly on the pedal... I've changed my seating position, thinking maybe they were all just "bad shifts" and I needed to me further from the pedals... or that I just wasn't in the right mindset those days.

But it happened again just the other day... I was exiting the highway...
I was in 4th gear at the top of the ramp and didn't have enough power to accelerate onto the street from the off-ramp.

I downshifted to 3rd... Applied some gas and slowly released the clutch....
Next thing I know, my RPMs were heading toward 5,000 and my foot was nearly off the clutch - I THEN COMPLETELY REMOVED MY FOOT from the pedal... wasn't even touching it.... the car was still revving at 5K and very slowly accelerating... I came off the gas, slowed the engine down and made it home. -I am pretty sure that is not supposed to happen.

$60,000 for a car and it is going back to the dealer again for a major checkup.

I have an appointment at the dealer - thursday.

Anyone else experiencing something similar?

Thanks, J
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Back at Service - Clutch again!

Hey all, I just wrote this detailed message and then lost my internet connection while submitting - I dont have the patience to write it all again.

Here's the "abridged" version....

Puff: Not that you mention it - I was on an incline 3 of the times that I remember. But I do not believe that the issue is something that is supposed to happen. The dealer seemed clueless about it - I let the mechanic take my car home so he could see if it would happen. It did not. - They found nothign wrong with my car.

The real reason I am writing tonight is that my "gritty clutch pedal" problem is BACK! I brought it to the dealer a week ago and I am still awaiting word... I have gotten bi-daily updates including:
The software has been upgraded...
A specialist is coming to look at the car...
The transmission is out of the car...

The mechanic foreman that I spoke to when I dropped off the car told me that be believes that Audi has come out with a new "bearing" and "sleeve" and that although my clutch was replaced back in June, that may have been before Audi came out with the new parts and that my bad parts may have been replaced with more bad parts.

In any case I told him about the slipping clutch thing as well and he suggested that the two problems could be related.

I picked my car up at the end of May... it spent the month of June in the shop... It has now been another week so far...I only have 2300 miles on the thing! When I came up with my username (Waiting4mys5) it was because I was waiting months for delivery... now it seems that I just wait for the repairs to be done.

(ok, maybe not that abridged)
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The sticky feeling in my car starts, also, after it has warmed up - feels perfect for a few minutes, and then the grittiness starts when you press the pedal...Then the pedal begins to become noticeably sticky on release - so much so that is is nearly impossible to shift smoothly at slow to moderate speeds... There is NOTHING NORMAL about this!

My guess (and the mechanic at my dealer agreed) that the problem happens once the car warms up because the materials probably begin to expand a bit from the heat.

In any case - it is Day 24 and my car is still at service. On the day before Thanksgiving, I was told that the transmission was out of my car and that the parts had not arrived, yet.

So I am still waiting.


Ok, well I have been reading this post over and over again, still hoping that this stickiness of my clutch is just my something in my imagination. I purchased my 2009 S5 about 3 weeks ago from prestige imports, one of the largest audi dealerships in south florida. for the first week or so, I could not have been any happier with my new ibis white s5. Throughout break in period, I did not break 3800 rpm, and kept the car under 80 mph. It wasent until about 550 were put on the car, that I began noticing a weird stickiness sensation when shifting from 1st to 2nd at low speeds while depressing and realsing the clutch. After reading these posts, I brought my car to the audi dealership, and a technition who has been working on audi's for over 30 years, told me that this sensation is completely normal and it has something to do with the fact that it is a hydrolic clutch, and explained that the stickiness can only be felt when releasing the clutch at low speeds. with that said, I will continue to drive my s5, and am hoping that this will go away over time, and or is something I could get used to. If for some reason down the road, audi does come through with a recall, im sure it will get fixed, and if not, im hoping everything will be fine. I do not notice any issues with the clutch at high speeds, and is why I am much less worried.

I do not experience any grinding sensations, and will make note that every day for the first 15 miniuts of driving, the clutch seems to be about perfect. It is once the car has heated up that this "STICKINESS" seems to creep upon my left leg!!

I hope that this is something normal, and if not, I hope that Audi fixes this problem for their customers, especially their new customers like myself. WHO JUST SOLD HIS BMW 335i FOR THIS NEW S5!
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