New A3.. juddering clutch pedal

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Hi,
I've had my new Audi A3 1.6 FSI for about four weeks now. Right from the start, the clutch pedal would vibrate pretty heavily when trying to get the
"bite" on it. This would only generally happen when the car has got a little bit warmer, nearer the 90 degree point on the temp gauge.
Basically, then the car is cold, bringing the clutch up to the "bite" (am I using the right phrase here?) would be normal, with no major vibrations of any sort. The more the journey lasted, the more the clutch would vibrate in this "bite" position, to the point where the engine was physically making this knocking noise in tandem with the vibrations from the clutch.
The weird thing is that it's intermittent. It would happen for a few seconds then stop and normal "service" would resume. Then a few seconds later, it would come back again. This is most notable when I'm in traffic, where there's a lot of stopping and moving.
The car seems to drive fine otherwise, with no issues on gear changing and no weird noises coming from the engine.
As you can tell, I'm no expert when it comes to cars, so any help or insight on this would be greatly appreciated.
TIA!
..Ray ekoSheren inc. awaits.. http://www.k-chan.net/TekBoy /
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Ray, Sounds to me like a warped pressure plate or malfunctioning/damaged clutch. It might also be an oil leak onto the clutch plate - and the oil is burning off after the clutch slips for a while. It's still covered by warranty - what does the dealer say...."they're all like that"? BTW, I think by "bite" you are referring to "point of engagement" Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ 1980 Audi 5k 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

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clutch.
burning
Thanks Steve, much appreciated. I have it booked in at the dealer for this Monday, so I'll print out your reply and show it to them.. hope they can get it sorted out. Just drove back from the city and each time I had to move off from a stand still the thing would be juddering like crazy. I'll let you know what the dealer says.
Yes, I think "point of engagement" would be what I was trying to say. :)
Thanks again.
..Ray ekoSheren inc. awaits.. http://www.k-chan.net/TekBoy /
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clutch.
burning
Well, visited the dealer and had one of the guys take a quick look at it. First he mentioned that I shouldn't have the clutch on the "point of engagement" so much, as it'll wear down the clutch parts themselves. That's true I guess, though I did point out that I only have the clutch in this position when preparing to move off from a red light, for example, and for no more than perhaps 10 seconds. Do you guys drive like this?
Maybe I'm just a terrible driver, but this is how I drove my Peugeot 206 for 5 years, and no broken clutch there.. or perhaps I was lucky?
Anyway, he continued to say that the clutch was absolutely fine and I had nothing to worry about. So now I just leave her in neutral when at a stop, then only engage first when it's time to move off. This way, I never even get near the "point of engagement" as I'm applying power when moving anyway, so I guess it "eliminates" the juddering issue.. :|
But is this guy missing the point? Or am I mistaken?
..Ray ekoSheren inc. awaits.. http://www.k-chan.net/TekBoy /
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No way! This will cause the clutch to overheat and wear out. The clutch should only ever be fully engaged or fully disengaged other than for the second, or so, that it takes to get the car from stationary, up to a road speed that matches a low sutainable engine speed in your lowest gear. Even on a hill start, it shouldn't be necessary to have the clutch slipping for more than a second.

In my view, you have been driving incorrectly. Have you ever been taught how to drive properly with manual gearbox?
--
Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')

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Thanks for the advice Peter, I guess I've been driving badly in this sense then. Last couple of trips, I've done exactly what you said and only everything seems to be fine.
This isn't a forum to ask about driving techniques (basics?), so I'll apologise to all now for my next question. In a traffic jam, would you normally hit neutral every time the car needs to stop? I used to hold the clutch on the "point of engagement" with no power and holding the brake waiting for the car in front to move.

Yeah, my bad. It's embarrassing, but I'd rather be told now than have a smoking clutch. I guess I got lucky with my previous car then.
Thanks!
..Ray ekoSheren inc. awaits.. http://www.k-chan.net/TekBoy /
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X-no-archive: yes

Personally I prefer the term "biting point" to describe the moment when the clutch kicks in. :-)
In my A3, you wouldn't be able to hold it at the biting point without power. If you do, it will engage the anti-stall mechanism and apply a small amount of power to prevent a stall.
When I was taught how to drive, I was taught that when you arrive at a red light, you selected first gear and waited. While I dont do that now, I usually arrive at a red light and select neutral and engage the handbrake if necessary. However, if the lights are about to change I'll keep it in first.
HTH
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the
Thanks Graham. I called it the "bite" myself on my first post.. I guess there's no "offiicial" phrase for this, so this will do all the same. :)

power.
amount
Actually, I wasn't aware of such a mechanism on my A3, though I have yet to stall it since getting it, even with my "unorthodox clutching" technique.

if
Yeah, my original instructor said the same thing. When the lights were red, engage first and wait. He told me to have the "bite" on the clutch in first gear, ready when it was time to go, and then apply power while lifting the clutch up slowly. I guess I was still following this now.. having the bite on while holding the brake, and when the lights go green, brake comes up, power goes down as clutch comes up. As Peter suggested in his post, this is probably poor driving skill and will likely get my clutch damaged.
When you say you keep it in first when the lights are about to change, is the clutch fully in or are you getting the bite on it also?
Thanks.
..Ray ekoSheren inc. awaits.. http://www.k-chan.net/TekBoy /
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eko wrote:

Uhm, right. Having first one on, or neutral makes no difference if you have clutch in the neutral mode. So that's just a prefer or different drives, do you have gear 'on' all the time, or do you use neutral. If your leg doesn't get tired, who cares.
You shouldn't keep it on the 'biting point' for a long time. When starting uphill, you might need to do this, or in the winter, when you can't push too much power to the road at once. But even so, these are just few seconds.
I've heard of this 'keep in on the bite, when starting from lights'. However I believe even your driver teacher meant, that you should just keep it that way to prevent car from sliding backwards, after taking off the brake, not keeping it there ;)
So, try to learn the 'right way' of using clutch and manual gears, it'll save money for you in the long run. Or buy automatic gears.. ;)
- Yak
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fi.invalid> writes

Just to say, regardless of correct driving procedures, there is no way the clutch should be juddering like you describe at the biting point, and if the dealer says otherwise I'd take serious issue with it.
--
Toby

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Thanks Toby, I think this is a fair point to make too.
Needless to say, I've been taught a lesson in driving by the kind folk here.. :) ..but I guess it still doesn't answer the question about why the clutch does judder when I do get to the bite on the clutch, even when I have it there for a few seconds.
I think I'll have to bring it back to the dealer and leave it with them to get it checked out.
Thanks!
..Ray ekoSheren inc. awaits.. http://www.k-chan.net/TekBoy /
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Toby Groves wrote:

True, unless keeping in the biting point means that revs get too low and it starts shaking because of that. Someone said A3 had something to prevent this, I haven't noticed yet, but then again it doesn't shake for me.
- Yak
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fi.invalid> writes

I tried the described procedure today in mine, and the revs didn't rise at all as I released the clutch slowly. Then again, mine's a diesel, and had enough torque even at idle to pull away slowly, so maybe the anti-stall is only needed on petrol models?
--
Toby

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Some of you might remember this post from a little while back, about my experiences with a new A3 1.6 FSI and a juddering clutch at the biting point when the engine was heated up a little. When the car was at "normal" running temperature, engaging first from a stand point a bring the clutch to this biting point would cause the clutch itself to judder, though the gears worked as expected and no other problems were apparent.
As it turns out, this "juddering clutch" only happens when I have the climate control system on Auto mode. If I turn it down manually, or use the Econ mode, the juddering is not there. This is repeatable.. switching it back to Auto during operational would produce the juddering again.
The Audi guys say this is "normal". Any of you guys have witnessed this happening?
Thanks.
..Ray
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eko wrote:

I can't repeat that, I have no problem with Auto mode and clutch at all, although the clutch isn't the best I've driven. Still, I don't think that's normal, econ mode only affects somewhat to the power of the car (mm, some say that's noticeable in diesel cars.. but never heard of such with petrol cars).
- Yak
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Thanks Yak. Hmm.. now I'm annoyed, as they said it happened on pretty much all of them (me is the fool who beloeved them too). Will get back to them and ask for a demonstration of this "feature".
One thing.. you have a 2.0 FSI, right? Mine's the 1.6 FSI.. I wonder if there might be enough difference in "power-output" which might cause this issue? (just guessing here though)
Thanks.
..Ray
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eko wrote:

Do that, and maybe try some demo-car at other dealer too, and see if that has the same problem, at least you have more cases to prove.

Yeah, I've got one. I don't believe the difference in power means that much in this case, when you don't push either engine to the maximum. And especially, since the new A3 has the feature that you can just raise the clutch and it'll automatically accelerate. I don't see any juggering in this case either, and I use that feature a lot, feels quite smooth.
- Yak
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X-no-archive: yes

this
The original A3 also has this feature btw.
In fact, with the air-con on, you do need more power when moving off or you can stall it easier. The climate control definitely saps power from the original A3 (non turbo) 1.8 while its on.
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Yeah.. maybe I should have gone with the automatic indeed.. ;) If only I could afford the 3.2 DSG version..
..Ray ekoSheren inc. awaits.. http://www.k-chan.net/TekBoy /
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Here in the UK, our lights go from red alone, to red and amber together, then to green. I was always taught that when you arrive at a red light you should put the car in neutral and engage the handbrake.
When the amber light comes on, you should slot it into first, bring the clutch to the biting point and put your hand on the handbrake ready to release and move off on green.
--
Toby

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