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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 09-02-2011, 08:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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HELP! My Clutch Went Out With No Warning!

Today, my clutch went out without any notice on my 1985 318i. Now its on the side of the road for the night. It has been driving good and today I drove it from St. Pete to Wesley Chapel (about a 50 mile trip one-way I make once a week). I didn't notice any problems on the way. I ran my errand then I restarted the car and I noticed the brake light was on in the instrument panel. I confirmed it wasn't the parking brake and continued on. The brake light started flickering over the next few minutes and I couldn't figure out the pattern. Then, about 5 minutes later, I noticed I had to press the clutch pedal all the way to the floor to get it to engage...more than usual. About 5 minutes after that, I was coming to a red light and I engaged the brake and went to engage the clutch to change gears and the clutch wouldn't engage...no resistance whatsoever. I was able to pull the car over but the clutch won't engage and I can't get it to change gears.

So, then I called a friend of mine who is a mechanic and he said check the brake fluid because that also provides hydraulic fluid for the clutch. Sure enough, the brake fluid was empty. So he had me fill it up, which I did, and after I restarted the car I still was not getting resistance on the clutch (the brake pedal was working just fine). Now, here's the strange part...in just 5 minutes, the brake fluid reservoir was completely empty again.

He gave me some ideas as to what it could be, as did the guy at Advanced Auto Parts, but I want know what you guys think before I have it towed to a mechanic. Major clues: went out quickly with no prior issues; brake reservoir won't stay full.

Thanks in advance for the help!
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