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Tonight there was a huge storm, and part of the interstate on my commute had partially flooded. Only about 3 inches of water was there, but I drove through it. About 5 minutes later I noticed my clutch was slipping, even in 1st and 2nd gear. The transmission also made a horrible chattering noise whenever I would release the clutch to start driving. I was fortunately able to limp home. The clutch was replaced only about 8000 miles ago, and the flywheel was replaced about 75000 miles ago. Is my clutch just wet and needs to dry off, or is it completely shot. Or perhaps my flywheel is warped. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Tonight there was a huge storm, and part of the interstate on my commute had partially flooded. Only about 3 inches of water was there, but I drove through it. About 5 minutes later I noticed my clutch was slipping, even in 1st and 2nd gear. The transmission also made a horrible chattering noise whenever I would release the clutch to start driving. I was fortunately able to limp home. The clutch was replaced only about 8000 miles ago, and the flywheel was replaced about 75000 miles ago. Is my clutch just wet and needs to dry off, or is it completely shot. Or perhaps my flywheel is warped. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I'd be shocked if anything untoward happened.
 

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Thinking about this on the drive in there's only two scenarios I could envision (and they're a real stretch) happening other than the clutch drinking water temporarily:

There was a plethora of oil floating on the water?

The clutch and flywheel were at critical temperature (not likely) and you hit the puddle and it warped?
 

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If you do a google search, you’ll see this is one of those bizarre occurrences that happens infrequently (posts every few years or so) on a variety of manual cars, so no one has a great understanding of such a low frequency event. The presumption is it has something to do with either the water getting in the bell housing or clutch hydraulics, or the temperature of the fluid either warping the flywheel, otherwise changing the adhesion properties between the flywheel and friction elements. It happens enough that it doesn’t seem like a figment of imagination or urban legend.

presumably you did the usual test of whether you can go into any gear when the car is off, to localize to the clutch (Can) Vs gearbox (Cannot). Then anecdotes have found people have sometimes been able to reverse matters by finding they can go into a higher gear (by trial and error) under throttle to prevent stall then downshift from there. Hopefully, this just spontaneously resolves for you soon (as it seems to like past threads) or this was the proverbial straw telling you that the clutch needs an overhaul anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As of right now, the only issues I am having with the clutch is slight slipping in 4th gear and above, and a bit of noise whenever I depress the clutch. I don't have any problem getting the car into 1st or reverse gear. The clutch was replaced quite recently, and before last night I had no issues with it, so I doubt it needed work before this incident. However, since last night it appears to have gotten better as far as the slipping goes. It no longer slips in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I can also rev match just fine with it now, as it would lurch whenever I would try to last night.
 

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As of right now, the only issues I am having with the clutch is slight slipping in 4th gear and above, and a bit of noise whenever I depress the clutch. I don't have any problem getting the car into 1st or reverse gear. The clutch was replaced quite recently, and before last night I had no issues with it, so I doubt it needed work before this incident. However, since last night it appears to have gotten better as far as the slipping goes. It no longer slips in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I can also rev match just fine with it now, as it would lurch whenever I would try to last night.
Sounds like it’s getting better. I think it’ll get better as u go in and out of 4th and 5th. Maybe drop and depress the clutch on those more sharply vs easing in and out.
 

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Let it dry off for a while. Probably did kick up water into the bell housing and it started slipping and got quite hot.
 

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If it was just water, it wouldn't slip much, if any, and dry very quickly.
You get your brakes wet quite often, and they dry up with one good stop.

I agree with the guess that something else got in there, too. Dirt, oil, fish guts,
whatever, and it's contaminated the friction and steel surfaces.
That'll mess up the way it engages (cause it to judder)
and could make it slip. DON'T let it slip- that will cause problems sooner than later,
as the 'clean' parts will get hot in a hurry, and glaze.

In normal freeway driving, the clutch is cold (as in, below engine water temperature)
so water won't warp anything. It will rust things pretty quickly, tho, and the rust
will certainly make it 'grabby'.

odd things happen,
t
 
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