Here's what I think you ought to consider in terms of variables and
taking control of this particular situation...
Assuming you bought the car new and the warranty is a new car warranty,
it will be unlikely that a worn out clutch will be covered under
warranty, because (read your fine print to check on this) "wear items"
like tires, clutch and brake linings are not usually covered by car
If your clutch has simply worn out after 38K that's surely odd...but
hey, maybe you're riding the clutch and you sent it to an early
grave...obviously nobody here can say one way or the other. My 87 5ktq
has 250K on the original clutch and it's solid...my BMW 3 series took
220K of whipping, and I mean a daily thrashing, by me before it toasted
not the lining, but the throw bearing.....German cars have very good
clutches, so you're either riding the clutch, abusing it, or it's
defective. Common sense says it's 1 of those 3 possibilities.
The 2 usual exceptions to the general rule in new car Warranty coverage
that will get your clutch fixed for free are:
1. manufacturers defects; and
2. the existence of "service memos", those semi-secret
manufacturer-to-dealer advisories which identify known premature or
oddball problems. (for example, my mom's '99 Caddy STS had a free valve
job done on its Northstar 32 Valve V8 at 120,000km...big
cash!...because of a Service Memo I tracked down online).
As for the stealer, er, I mean dealer...factory-authorized warranty
jobs pay Top Dollar my friend...I haven't met a dealer yet that doesn't
want to find a way to get the factory to pay full pop for a nice payday
like an Audi clutch. That's my way of saying there's nothing in it for
the dealer to try and get you to pay for it if they can get the factory
cash in their hands....unless they plan on double-dipping and getting
money from you and the factory, but that's risky business, as a dealer
can lose its franchise if it gets caught doing fraudulent warranty
So unless your dealer is exceptionally well-known as a weaselarium or
you've heard rumours they're about to go under, I'd tend to steer
towards getting the dealer to involve your Zone/Regional Audi office in
the teardown...or call them yourself....manufacturers such as Audi have
people on the road that inspect unusual or pricey potential warranty
claims and make fair rulings in my experience. Plus, having the Zone
rep involved will keep the dealer honest.
My wierdest clutch experience:
In the early 1980's I went through a Renault Phase and after owning an
R5 GTL and an Encore, I bought a 2 year old Fuego Turbo from a Ford
dealer....and paid extra to get the Ford Red Carpet Used Car
Warranty...because I knew Fuegos were cool, but extremely nasty cars to
The clutch started slipping within a week....no problem, they changed
it no charge.
A month later, it went again. They changed it, no problem, no charge.
A few months later, I picked it up with Clutch #5 in it and got 10
minutes away from the dealership, hit the highway, put it in fourth at
about 4500 RPM and jumped on the gas to get the big Garrett T3 to blast
off.....wheeeeeeeeee.....clutch gone again.
The dealer then told me I obviously was "racing" and "abusing" the
car....in ten minutes!
Long story cut short....the Ford Zone Rep gave me a bag of cash to make
me go away.
Turned out it was a cracked bell housing leaking fluid on the clutch
Maybe your transmission case has a hairline crack...if so, your clutch
material will be wet.