BMW E46 AND E90 DUAL MASS FLYWHEEL FAILURE

Posted on 4 October 2015

One problem which seems to occur with a lot of BMW E46 and E90 Cars, is the failure of the Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF), the Dual Mass Flywheel Failure is most often seen in diesel models, such as the 318D, 320D, 325D and 330D  across both the E46 and E90, E91, E92 and E93 chassis although this isn’t exclusive, and failure can occur at any time in any BMW car which uses a dual mass flywheel.

These DMF Failures are in addition to many complaints about the clutch performance on diesel BMW cars, on both the BMW 1 series and also the BMW 3 Series, with many owners attributing this to the CDV (Clutch Delay Valve) which can make clutch control vague and unpredictable, and many owners have resorted to removing the CDV in order to return the clutch control back to that of a non CDV equipped vehicle. Whether the reported problems with the clutch feel and performance in the 1 series and 3 series BMW’s has been the cause of premature dual mass flywheel wear and its eventual failure is linked, has never been established, however it is fair to say that the Dual Mass Flywheel does seem to fail on large numbers of the same models which have clutch issues. BMW did release an updated clutch for the E9x series in 2012, so hopefully a replacement will solve the issues.

Because the Dual Mass Flywheel and Clutch are linked mechanical components which work together, it is strongly advised to have the condition of the Dual Mass Flywheel checked by a mechanic at the time a Clutch is replaced, in the event of a Dual Mass Flywheel failure, or wear then it is required to replace the clutch routinely and this is why Dual Mass Flywheel replacements are often paired as a kit with a Clutch.

Once the clutch system has been accessed, there is very little additional labour content in replacing the Dual Mass Flywheel, which is why its advised to check and replace the dual mass flywheel at the same time as the clutch, since the labour to reach this stage can vary between Four and Six Hours, it would be false economy to replace the clutch, only to find that the Dual Mass Flywheel fails shortly after and requires another similar labour bill to access and replace it. Many people attribute the replacement of the Clutch and Dual Mass Flywheel to being the same as replacing the water pump during a cambelt change, on a car equipped with a timing belt.

The only downside of a Dual Mass Flywheel replacement is the actual cost, especially if bought from a dealer where it can cost anything between £1200 and £1800 (according to owner reports on the various BMW forums) this is typically because BMW Labour rates can be as much as twice the price as a good independent garage and because the labour content is quite high, it soon adds up, so  I would recommend obtaning the replacement Dual Mass Flywheel and Clutch kit yourself, and then take it to a good independent or local garage for the actual work. Recommended sources of competitively priced BMW Dual Mass Flywheel and Clutch kits are shown below, these kits are manufactured by LUK (OEM BMW) and also include the new, uprated clutch kit which BMW redesigned in 2012, to replace problematic ones on earlier models.

All of the Clutch and Flywheel Kits below include a 5 year / 50k mile warranty.

 

BMW DUAL MASS FLYWHEEL AND CLUTCH KIT FOR BMW 1 SERIES 118D

BMW DUAL MASS FLYWHEEL AND CLUTCH KIT FOR BMW 1 SERIES 120D

BMW DUAL MASS FLYWHEEL AND CLUTCH KIT FOR E90 / E91 318D & 320D

BMW DUAL MASS FLYWHEEL AND CLUTCH KIT FOR E46 320D 2001 – 2003

BMW DUAL MASS FLYWHEEL AND CLUTCH KIT FOR E90 / E91 / E92 330D 2005 ONWARDS

BMW DUAL MASS FLYWHEEL AND CLUTCH KIT FOR E46 330D

If your car is not listed on the Links above PLEASE CLICK TO VIEW THE FULL RANGE OF BMW CLUTCH AND DUAL MASS FLYWHEELS

 

Symptoms of a BMW Dual Mass Flywheel Failure

  • Engine Shake or Mechanical / Rattling Noise at idle
  • Rattling Noise from underneath the car when pulling away in first gear, or reversing
  • Rattling noise when the clutch is depressed halfway, the noise disappears when the clutch is released or pushed all of the way down
  • Clutch Slipping or difficulty in changing gear
  • High Bite point on Clutch

 

This list of BMW Dual Mass Flywheel symptoms are not exhaustive, and are only supplied as a guide. You should refer your car to a mechanic or garage to ascertain the exact cause of the problem, Its easy to think that just because a car has only traveled a low mileage that Dual Mass Flywheel problems will  not occur, as some clutches and DMF’s have been replaced by owners at as little as 30,000 miles!.

 

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