2006 Hyundai Accent Clutch Burned out ?!?

Ok - Here goes my problem / Question...
I have a 2006 Hyundai Accent. About 3 months old, less than 4000 miles on it.
This week, I pulled up to a stop sign, and when I went to go again, the
clutch didn't engage - i.e. when I lifted it up, absolutely NOTHING happened other than the pedal lifting up - no indication that it did a thing....
Fast forward through towing etc... Now, the dealer says that the clutch was burned out completely "to the metal" - i.e. worn out like it had been ridden from here to heck and back again. Problem is, I've never had this problem before (I've had three manual transmisisons before, last clutch lasted 185k miles before replacement in my old car if that says anything) so I think I know how to drive a stick shift. Dealer is confident that there was not a defect in the clutch etc... (Granted, I'm not the only driver - but my same folks drove the old car too so same applies there)
Anyone have any ideas here? What could possibly cause this? I did NOT notice any slipping prior to the total failure of the clutch - which in itself seems really odd as I really would have thought that it would be hard to have missed and for it to go so completely gone as it did so quickly ?
Please - if anyone has had a similar experience or has any suggestions on where to go with this I'd appreciate some feedback here.
Thanks.
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Have you seen the clutch? Lots of things cause clutch wear or failure, but without seeing the clutch, it'd be difficult to offer an opinion as to the cause of failure.
Of particular interest is the friction material. If it's been turned into fuzz, then we have a severe slippage issue. Similarly, if the flywheel is burned, then we have a slippage issue. It's important to know whether all the clutch damper springs and washers are in place, and whether the throwout bearing is functioning correctly.
The warranty materials seem to imply that Hyundai will cover clutch wear for 1 year/12k miles (barring abusive driving). If the dealer is refusing warranty service, call Hyundai customer assistance. I can't say what'll happen, but it can't be worse than "no, we think you abused it."
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I have not - I've only spoken with the mechanic. He descibed it as "worn completely away down to the metal." In addition, he stated that had the material had a failure he would ahve expected to find "chunks" of material in the case, but only found "clutch dust" in there. I'm not a very auto-mechanically knowledgable person so didn't know what to ask and perhaps missed out on the right key words too...

I now have more questions to ask it seems... :) Thank you!

Dealer is covering under warranty - however is presenting it as though doing me a major favor... i.e. the unsaid thing seems to be "you did this to yourself but I'm letting this slip".
The reason I'm not satisfied with this is that I don't believe that I did this to the car - quite honestly I tend to think one would have to be pretty darn abusive to wear out a clutch this fast wouldn't you? (perhaps it's easier than I think?). Thus, I'm left with two options - either it's easier to burn out the clutch than I thought and I may need to re-evaluate my driving habits to avoid a recurrance OR there may be another defect or issue here that, unless corrected, will cause another problem down the line... I suppose the third option is that this was a fluke problem that is somehow going to be fixed when they re-build the clutch in the course of fixing this one...
Whatever the cause - I just don't want it to happen again. If it IS my (or my wiffe's) driving then I need to fix that, but is that really likely here?
They are waiting for parts - due in on Wednesday. I will ask them to save all the old parts and perhaps take pictures for review if any knowledgeable person is interested (my regular non-dealer mechanic asked to look at them) in case they may yield some clues...
I appreciate your taking the time to read, consider, and reply to my post!
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Is it even possible to wear out a clutch in 4000 miles? Sounds crazy to me.
-B
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Blair wrote:

Yes, sounds hard to believe to me also, even if you were trying to do so!
Question for the OP, did you ever smell anything. I warmed up my Sonata clutch a little getting it up on the ramps to change the oil (1st gear is just too tall), and it stunk pretty good. To wear out a clutch in 4,000 miles I'd think you'd have to slip it so much that you couldn't help but raise quite a stink.
Matt
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Matt Whiting wrote:

Never noticed any funny smells driving the car (at least not that could be blamed on the car - we do have small children though...)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hard for me to imagine that a clutch could completely wear/burn away the lining material in 4K miles and not make some sort of unusual smell. This is a weird one.
Matt
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My other question is how can it totally wear out (whatever the cause) and not slip prior to total failure? Is there something about the clutch design on these that keeps it from slipping prior to full failure?
In my prior experience (older cars) when a clutch does go it's been very obvious well before total failure - I've actually never had full failure of a clutch as I've been able to drive it to the mechanic to get it fixed because I could feel it slipping well before full failure.
Have clutch designs changed in the last 10 years such that this is no longer the case?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Not to my knowledge. I don't see how this could happen either without some other concurrent failure of the throw-out bearing, slave cylinder or master cylinder (assuming you have a hydraulic clutch).
Matt
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I've seen it done on a brand new (not even sold yet) car (but not a Hyundai). We picked it up from another dealer, and on the test drive prior to delivery, the customer noticed the slipping.
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Blair wrote:

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Blair wrote:

Yes, it is possible to wear out a clutch in 4000 miles. I know someone who burned out a clutch in 600 miles.
- Mooron
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Mooron, I can go ya one better, I know a guy ( ahem ) that when he was younger ( way younger ) put a brand new clutch, pressure plate and thow-out bearing in his 1966 Hemi Charger, drove to the local drag strip approamately 13 miles from his house and on his 1st pass blew the new clutch PP and Throw-out bearing right through the clutch pan.
I still have to live that down when I go home and see certain friends.
Tunez

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Tunez wrote:

Ahh, that reminds me of my old Dodge with the 440. I couldn't afford fuel for the thing now, if I could even find leaded gas. That thing could move! The good old days...
- Mooron
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You'll need to be prepared to take the pictures of the parts at the dealer-- they're required to keep them in the event Hyundai wants them, so they won't be able to give them to you.
But, based on what you've described, it sounds worn out. So, unless something came apart somewhere and got into the pressure plate, I don't see what the defect would be. Others have speculated about a hydraulic issue-- the only way this could cause the problem you describe is if the clutch master cylinder pushrod is misadjusted, creating pressure in the system.
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On 9 Jun 2006 12:35:08 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Weird problem. Never heard of that before. Your statement above just about boils it down to some type of failure.
Perhaps the hydraulics sprung a leak, bringing the clutch pressure down very low causing slippage. Unless it happened on 1 long run without using the clutch, you would have noticed it. Even then, you should have noticed the engine revving higher than normal. What a strange problem!
--
Bob

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Bob Adkins wrote:

Isn't it the opposite? The clutch plates are pressed together by spring pressure and are pushed apart by hydraulics. A hydraulic leak should cause the clutch to be engaged all the time.
I don't really know how it works, I'm just guessing.
- Mooron
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Damn, you're right. I guess I was thinking of brakes. :\
--
Bob

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Mooron wrote:

You guessed right. The only exception would be if the leak was at the slave cylinder and was such that oil could get on the disk. However, that wouldn't cause the disk to be worn out, it would just slip and probably smoke and stink something fierce.
Matt
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