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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I admit I like my R and driver "spirited" from time to time, but most of my driving is normal day-to-day driving.

So, I was somewhat shocked when I pulled up to a 3 way stop and smelled my clutch. Not just a whif of odor, but my car was flooded with it. I managed to get my car into 2nd gear (wouldn't go into first) and was able to limp my car home. I called the dealer on Monday morning and took, it in. After waiting 4 days for Volvo to determine if they were or were not going to cover it (they said they would cover it this "one time as a good will gesture"). The dealer said that the clutch had completely seperated and it looked like I had been sitting at a standstill and repeately dumping the clutch and based on the wear on my tires it looked as though i had been abusing the clutch.

When i bought the car about 7 months ago, one of the reps there warned me about the 'soft' tires. I told him I had michelin pilot sports on my previous car (Audi s4) and was used to low milage on tires. I was chatting with that same rep when I dropped the car off for the clutch problem and he looked at my tires and said, "wow, you're getting good wear on those tires." I didn't think the tires were anywhere near being "worn out" yet the dealer service guy told me they had no tread left on them (which is BS).

Anyway, the dealer is keeping the car until Tuesday because he wants his tech to drive my car for a day to "set the clutch/brake in the clutch" for me to ensure it is "ok" because the next problem I have with the clutch is my $$ not volvo's.

My question is this....
Has anyone else had trouble with their clutch?

Is it odd to destroy a clutch in 12K miles assuming my driving style (see below)?

Should I file some type of grevience with Volvo that they are saying "they will not replace my clutch again should there be a problem with it? In short, I don't want to end up dropping a few $k because volvo has a lame clutch.

My driving style is this....
I do not "dump the clutch" from a standstill. I'm 38 and most of the time when I am driving my wife and or 4yr old son is in the car with me. I work from home so i don't spent 1-2 hrs a day in stop and go traffic and I hate traffic so i generally schedule my time on the road so that i do not get stuck in stop and go traffic. I DO, like the torque of the car and will often juice it from 2nd to 3rd gear, just to feel the pull, but then chill once I get to or close to my driving speed. I will occasionally down-shift into second if i am driving by myself and approaching a corner or if I catch a green light and am turning left or right so i can pull hit the juice at the apex and pull through the corner.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.
 

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Re: Roasted Clutch @ 12K - Anybody had this happen (cpl_punishment)

Actually, the next problem you have with your clutch still tied to the dealer. They can't determine how you drive, but in your instance, "your tires have hardly any wear;" so the car hasn't or shouldnb't have been abused.

So, for them to accuse abuse when in fact it's not, just doesn't sit well wth me. I would battle this one to death when and if another clutch fails. To automatically say, "the next one is yours", is completely out of line and doesn't justify the situation.

KVB
 

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Re: Roasted Clutch @ 12K - Anybody had this happen (cpl_punishment)

Quote, originally posted by cpl_punishment »
...that same rep when I dropped the car off for the clutch problem and he looked at my tires and said, "wow, you're getting good wear on those tires." I didn't think the tires were anywhere near being "worn out" yet the dealer service guy told me they had no tread left on them (which is BS).
Check the center of the tires for tread depth. Mine had almost no tread in the center, but still looked OK on the outer edges.

Quote »
Has anyone else had trouble with their clutch?
Is it odd to destroy a clutch in 12K miles assuming my driving style...?

You're not the first, but I can't recall any names without doing a search in the archives. My clutch is still acting funny like it will not fully engage when pressed in all the way to the floor and it 'bites' into the gears instead of syncing into the gears. I've allready had the tranny re-greased once, but that did not cure the issue. When if finally goes, then I will probably get a SPEC clutch instead of the OEM replacement.


- Polartek
 

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Re: Roasted Clutch @ 12K - Anybody had this happen (KVB)

Quote, originally posted by cpl_punishment »
Should I file some type of grevience with Volvo ...

Technically the clutch being a wear item and not covered after the initial 12K/1st year "adjustment" period for the '04-'05 service plan as I understand it -- then yes I'd say the next one probably is on you.

And that likely won't be your dealer's call but the local tech. rep's if the dealer were to try and file another warranty claim.

Your dealer probably had to go to bat for you to get this one covered and they're just relaying the "we did you a solid" sentiment. Count your stars and thank your dealer IMO.

It doesn't sound like you did anything to cause a premature failure or that there was any evidence that you did -- otherwise the claim probably would have been denied.

<edit> Oh and BTW 12-15K miles on the Pirellis is probably about average. Some have gotten as many as 20+ K, but that's the exception to the rule it seems. They wear quick and not at all evenly especially if you like really accelerating through corners -- they're no PS2s.
 

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Re: Roasted Clutch @ 12K - Anybody had this happen (StaggRLee)

Quote, originally posted by StaggRLee »


Technically the clutch being a wear item and not covered after the initial 12K/1st year "adjustment" period for the '04-'05 service plan as I understand it -- then yes I'd say the next one probably is on you.

And that likely won't be your dealer's call but the local tech. rep's if the dealer were to try and file another warranty claim.

Your dealer probably had to go to bat for you to get this one covered and they're just relaying the "we did you a solid" sentiment. Count your stars and thank your dealer IMO.

It doesn't sound like you did anything to cause a premature failure or that there was any evidence that you did -- otherwise the claim probably would have been denied.

.
Agree here 100% and your driving style sounds fine
22K on my clutch, feels brand new. (Running about 350+ hp)
 

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I just can't get over a clutch giving out at such low miles. I grew up driving manual transmissions in England learned to drive in one and all of my cars have been manual except a couple. Having said this we could always expect 80k miles from a clutch. This is on high perf and modified cars.
 

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Re: Roasted Clutch @ 12K - Anybody had this happen (cpl_punishment)

55K miles on mine and the clutch still feels new and I spank mine hard at times. The feel on the R's clutch takes a lot of getting used to but you should get 80-100K out of one. The last time I changed a clutch was on my Firebird at 112K and that was only because I had the motor out anyway, it still had life.
 

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it does depend on driving style somewhat. Take your R to the drag strip and a number of autocross events (not that I've done this!) and that'll definitely put a load on the clutch. If you want a good AWD launch, the clutch bears the brunt of the pain.

I killed my first clutch on a Toyota Celica Alltrac Turbo at 143k miles. Replaced with a centerforce clutch which I sold with the car at 175k miles... but that was a 200hp car - not 300.
 

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Re: (djeuch)

Quote, originally posted by djeuch »
it does depend on driving style somewhat...

And that's generally the difference between a clutch lasting 50-70k and 100-120k.

In a dealer's experience a clutch failure at < 15k is attributable to one of two things: abuse or manufacturing defect/mechanical failure. And in 9 out of 10 incidences (all stats are made-up don't you know?) it's the first case.

So naturally a dealer is going to pre-suppose that it is abuse and approach a failure this early with skepticism -- the latter does happen, but just much less frequently.

You can kill a clutch with a life-expectancy of 10 years/100k miles in 15 minutes/15 miles in the hands of a novice or abuser. And that can be a valet, teenager with a driver's permit, unsupervised test drives etc.

Once a pressure plate/flywheel/clutch is glazed or has hot-spots from the heat of even one completely blown hill-start/clutch-dump engagement...


Also Volvo has a very specific procedure for pressure-bleeding the brakes on newer cars with manual transmissions due to the shared hydraulic plumbing/resevoir of the brake master cylinder/clutch slave cylinder to prevent over-pressurizing the slave-cylinder. If this isn't followed...

Your "Jimmy-Lube" brake job could cost you $$$!

Modified by StaggRLee at 9:16 PM 3-31-2006
 

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Re: (steamboatsig)

I roasted my chip S40's clutch with some mild 1/4 mile take-offs you know where my over powered car can spin the tires so I gotta take off like an Oldman. OH and I'm FWD and I roasted it on the first pass. I changed it to a spec 3+.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Roasted Clutch @ 12K - Anybody had this happen (cpl_punishment)

Hey, just wanted to thank everybody for the info. I picked up my car from the dealer today and spoke with the service manager about the clutch, my driving style, etc. and told him if I was doing something wrong, I wanted to know what it was that could destroy a clutch. He asked the mechanic to come out and talk to me.

We talked a bit, he explained the clutch setup and then we took it for a drive and I drove it like I normally do.

When I started it up and put it in first to pull out, I said "woah, this is completely different."

The mechanic asked "how so?"

As I moved into 2nd and then third, then back to 2nd as we approached the first light, I told him that first of all, the clutch engaged significantly earlier than it did before. I used a scale of 1-10 with 1 being fully depressed clutch and 10 being completly released clutch, and told him that previously it engaged at about 8 and now it engaged at about 3 or 4. Also, that as I would increase rev's to match the engine speed as I released the clutch, it would engage and I would release the clutch the rest of the way and it gave what i described as a surge.

The mechanic said "did it seem like it was lagging, then caught up?" I replied that, that was a good desription of it.

He said that the clutch literally fell apart when he pulled it out, but the odd thing was that the clutch was not 'blue' from heat and such that would have been consistent with abuse or 'riding' the clutch.

He said that it is possible that there was a defect in it from the beginning given the difference I noted in the feel of the clutch and the lack of heat marks he noticed to support the idea that it was very abused.

In the end, Volvo covered it under warranty, I am not overly concerned about my driving style and my car's clutch feels like a normal clutch now.

When I first got the car, I just assumed the clutch was supposed to be like that. I'm convinced now that something was AFU with it from the beginning.

If your clutch engages high in the release and doesn't seem to engage 'cleanly,' I encourage you to take it in and ask them to look at it or at least go and test drive another R car and see if it is the same as yours.

I'll be writing a letter to Volvo both congratulating them for covering something that was most likely a defect rather than trying to jerk me around and giving props to my dealer for getting my car back to me in better shape than when I bought it.

Oh, also, props to my dealer (North Point Volvo) they replaced my headlight washer blade under warranty. I caught a truck tire retread in the nose while traveling up I-85 between Atlanta and Greenville SC.
 

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Re: Roasted Clutch @ 12K - Anybody had this happen (cpl_punishment)

http://********************/smile/emthup.gif http://********************/smile/emthup.gif

Glad it all worked out. Your high/slippery engagement vs. what you now feel hardly sounds like it was normal to begin with. Enjoy the "new" car.


Could have been something as simple as contamination of the friction material during assembly.
 

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My wife informed me that she killed the R on a hill at a light on Sunday (she is not an expereinced MT driver) and that when she got started again there was "a strange smell."

We have less than 2k on our baby, does this mean I'm gonna be replacing a clutch soon.
 

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Re: (CJKS60R)

Quote, originally posted by CJKS60R »
My wife informed me that she killed the R on a hill at a light on Sunday (she is not an expereinced MT driver) and that when she got started again there was "a strange smell."

We have less than 2k on our baby, does this mean I'm gonna be replacing a clutch soon.

If you don't experience any slip under full throttle, just continue to drive it until you do. Once it starts slipping under full throttle, then replace the clutch.
 

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Re: (CJKS60R)

Nah. I wouldn't worry about unless she makes a habit of it.

I've owned several AWD turbo cars. Such a thing has happened on all of them at one time or another, including the R. My Talon had 130K on it when I sold it and the clutch was fine. My Audi has 100k with no problems. The R has 30k and has "raised a stink" a couple of times, but I'm not worried. You shouldn't be either.

However, a clutch is a wear item, like brake pads or tires. It will have to be replaced sometime, unless the vehicle's life is cut short for some reason.

I think 100k miles is a reasonable expectation if you drive it with the intention to prolong clutch life. Drag racers need not apply.
 

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Re: Roasted Clutch @ 12K - Anybody had this happen (cpl_punishment)

Quote, originally posted by cpl_punishment »
My driving style is this....
I do not "dump the clutch" from a standstill. I'm 38 and most of the time when I am driving my wife and or 4yr old son is in the car with me. I work from home so i don't spent 1-2 hrs a day in stop and go traffic and I hate traffic so i generally schedule my time on the road so that i do not get stuck in stop and go traffic. I DO, like the torque of the car and will often juice it from 2nd to 3rd gear, just to feel the pull, but then chill once I get to or close to my driving speed. I will occasionally down-shift into second if i am driving by myself and approaching a corner or if I catch a green light and am turning left or right so i can pull hit the juice at the apex and pull through the corner.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.
To me, this sounds pretty normal of a manual tranny driver.

How else would one drive an R?
 
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