View Full Version : Uh oh... burning clutch smell... I got stuck in some deep snow....

12-01-2006, 07:08 AM
while I was shimy-ing the car out, I spun the tires a bit, both in forward and reverse, before finally breaking the car free. But suddenly I started to smell this really pungent, strong, nasty burning smell inside the car. It was so strong the odor is still on my clothing.

Do I really need to worry about permanent damage or did I probably just cause some additional wear to the clutch?

12-01-2006, 07:37 AM

12-01-2006, 07:39 AM

12-01-2006, 07:48 AM

12-01-2006, 07:51 AM

12-01-2006, 08:13 AM

12-01-2006, 08:15 AM
with my last car, i was privilidged to see my old clutch after it was replaced (asked dealer to keep it so i could see what it looks like). WOW, the thing was sh*t to bed (cuz i beat the piss out of the car - 02 celica). The actual plate had "burnt smear marks." all i could think of is each time i "smelled" the clutch" it was burning one of those marks into the plate.

so i have had the audi for a few months now, and i have never smelled the clutch. kinda makes me think i am preserving the clutch. also, i dont beat the car up by any means.

bottom line = i wouldnt worry about it. sounds like it was a mistake. will have little effect on the long term condition of your car.

12-01-2006, 08:27 AM

12-01-2006, 08:58 AM

12-01-2006, 09:14 AM
parking lot at work...parked in the corner spot. Plows didn't really get the snow in front of my car, so as they turn the corner, all the snow gets left behind. It was just up to the lip of the front bumper. Thought it was soft enough, got half way through it and stuck. Basically, car was sitting on top of snow =P

I had to rock myself out, going back and forth from first to reverse. No burning smell though...perhaps you could have slipped the clutch a bit and just glazed it pretty well. Don't slip the clutch, it catches but as all four wheels spin, it thinks your driving at whatever speeds it can get up to. As I was spinning the tires, the speedo would register 15-20MPH haha.

I bought a nice small shovel for this winter just in case something like that happens again.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, probably just glazed it.

12-01-2006, 10:30 AM
it's all in the air vents, the carpet, etc... It's gonna take a lot of airing out, and febreeze to get this smell out of my car now. It's really bad.

It was so bad at one point while I was spinning the wheels that my eyes almost started to burn.

12-01-2006, 10:45 AM

12-01-2006, 10:48 AM

12-01-2006, 10:55 AM
I don't notice any change in driveability, but then again, the roads are all f8cked up around here and full of snow/ice cuz we had a bad storm last night, so it's difficult to get up to speed right now.

Oh god I hope I didn't f*ck something up. This is ALL I need right now.

12-01-2006, 10:56 AM
I've driven on worn clutches before and recall that when you start out in 1st, it takes awhile for the car to get up to speed. That's definately not happening here... it seems to grab fine.

12-01-2006, 11:03 AM
tires can melt thru the snow, so if you have one or more tires hitting pavement (even though you're still stuck), you're just burning the tread, hence rubber smell.

12-01-2006, 11:07 AM
If it doesn't slip you're fine.

12-01-2006, 11:12 AM
to the extent you describe. I do know that 5 seconds of high revs is enough to permanently damage a clutch.

12-01-2006, 04:15 PM
but didn't cause any major damage.

I also called the dealer and spoke to my service advisor (really cool guy who has always been really good to me), and he suggested that he has seen that happen many times before, and it's not that bad of a situation... even noting that he has had cars come in with that same smell. He suggested that it will eventually go away when it airs out.

I just bought a big bottle of fabreeze and some car freshener stuff that absorbs odors.

Ah well, next time I'll be a little more careful when getting into snow.


MB The Body
12-01-2006, 06:02 PM

12-01-2006, 07:37 PM

12-01-2006, 09:31 PM
Should be no problem. Just don't do it again.

12-03-2006, 12:52 PM
never thought of that, but doing that procedure would def tell you if your clutch is on its death bed.

12-04-2006, 07:52 PM

03-14-2007, 12:00 PM
Hey guys... I did the exact same thing (with my 2005 A4) when I went skiing a few weeks back, with the smell and everything.
Car also seemed fine after that, but after a few runs the clutch keeps sliding and I can't really accelerate reasonably. And if I try to accelerate too quickly the car starts rocking.

Does this mean I need to replace the entire cluctch or will changing the disc be enough?
Anybody got any idea how much it'll cost?
Should I go to a dealership or just any garage?