normal clutch feel on manuals
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2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, normal clutch feel on manuals in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; My new 2012 V manual feels odd going into 1st gear from a dead stop, wondered if it was "normal" ...
  1. #1
    JTinCA's Avatar
    JTinCA is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    normal clutch feel on manuals

    My new 2012 V manual feels odd going into 1st gear from a dead stop, wondered if it was "normal" or not.

    Basically it feels like as I let the clutch out and it starts to catch, there's a stuttering or tap-tap-tap soft mechanical sensation. I'd equate it to the feeling you get in some cars when the traction control kicks in the ABS to prevent wheelspin. But this happens even at idle or just over idle slow motion starts. And it happens with traction control on or off.

    It's not like the engine is floundering or going to die from too much clutch too fast without enough throttle, and it happens even with RPMS up around 2500, the fastest I've tried. I have not been popping the clutch, doing hot shifts or running it hard - still babying it during break in.

    It's smoothed out significantly since I got the car, but at 300ish miles it's still noticeable.

    Going into any other gear, I can't feel a similar sensation, except slightly in reverse. There's no rattling or clanking like a broken gear tooth or anything, just a flutter.

    My last 4 cars have all been sticks, and none had this feeling. I described it to the service rep, he said it's probably normal wear in as the clutch breaks in, but if it's unacceptable or doesn't go away by the first oil change they could take a look.

    Anybody have similar experiences?

    Anybody driven a V stick and a BMW 135/335/535 6 speed stick who can offer a clutch feel comparison?

    Thanks

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    Jpjr is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    Never driven the BMW but sounds like classic clutch chatter to me. If it was happening any time other than when you were trying to engage the motor from a stand-still I might say otherwise. That said, no harm in getting it checked out because if it's simple chatter it won't go away after a month.

  4. #3
    marktanner is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    Mine did it some when new, and it still feels like it occasionally at 25000 miles. Had it checked out, and they couldn't find anything. I have seen some other comments on this, including in a long-term review in a magazine. It always seems to get better with time. May be a characteristic of this particular clutch design, which does have a tough job having to harness 551 ft/lb of torque to 4300 lb of car. Give it some time; I predict it will smooth out substantially as it breaks in. If it doesn't or gets worse, they can always fix it under warranty.

  5. #4
    Cadillac Cust Svc's Avatar
    Cadillac Cust Svc is offline Cadillac Customer Service
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    JTinCA,
    Vehicles do have a break in period, and it should get better over time. When you get your oil changed I would have them check in out like they mentioned. You should notice a lot smoother transition. Keep us updated.
    Breanne
    Cadillac Customer Service

  6. #5
    pmsteinm is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    My wife has a 2007 335i manual. It feels completely different than the V. I get the chatter you describe if I don't get the RPMs to around 1200 when starting out. If I try to do it at 900rpm like I could with the old V I get the chatter. The 335i also has the clutch delay valve which might require the V to be driven a little different. (I'm very smooth changing gears in the V, jerky as all get-out in the BMW). But maybe that's because BMW drivers are jerks

    I usually still chatter, but lately have been trying to get some more RPMs when going to smooth it out. There was a thread on this a while back (like a couple years). The theory was the twin disc clutch and the higher clamping force than the old V (since the engine out is 550lb-ft vs 395lb-ft). Most said just give a little more revs, problem solved.

  7. #6
    Fireverm is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    I feel the same thing with my 2011 I bought in May, although describing it as being as bad as when ABS kicks would be significantly worse than what I feel and hear. Every car I have bought has been stick and while none of my other cars had this particular feel, it's never felt like it was due to anything being wrong.

  8. #7
    porschefan1013 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    I experience a slight vibration as well, from time to time...entirely dependent on the RPM's and how I engage the clutch. I attribute it largely to the amount of power going through the transmission. It doesn't feel abnormal to me, and I certainly would characterize it as being as noticeable as ABS kicking in.

    I'm at 1300 miles right now.

  9. #8
    e6t
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    mine had it.

    had the entire clutch replaced at about 2000 miles. new clutch was PERFECT for the first 100 miles then started it again... ultimately gave up and attributed it to a warped flywheel or something... maybe even glazing.

    ive driven all the bmws you mentioned and none feel like the caddy. In fact, ive driven most every manual out there, including a couple lambos and ferraris and nothing felt like my v.

    it did seem to feel better after the car was driven hard which made me think it was glazing. i no longer have the car and the clutch was the contributing factor.

    i wouldnt have the dealer look at it. maybe take it to a chevy dealer that deals with ZR1s... otherwise the caddy dealer will F something up.

    Good luck.

  10. #9
    Thunder Gray STS's Avatar
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    My family, being in the clutch business for 65 years (me personally for 27 years) have come across situations like this. Unfortunately, there are several things that can cause this. In no particular order.
    1. The disc does not have enough cushion in it. The fins on the disc, looking at it from the side, should have a wave or curve in them, if not there is not enough cushion.
    2. Since the center plate uses straps that attach to the pressure plate, (the center disc is sandwiched between these 2 plates), I have seen those straps allow the center plate 'bounce' against the center disc causing a not so smooth or incomplete disengagement. Usually caused by the wrong tension on the straps or the straps lose tension from heat.
    3. Both discs are not disengaging at the same time.
    4. The pressure plate is not torqued evenly to the flywheel causing one side to release before the other.
    5. Manufacturing defect in the diaphragm ( which is the spring of the pressure plate )
    6. Dual Mass flywheel worn ( probably not the case here).
    7. Clutch discs stabbed on installation. Misalignment (doubtful, unless the clutch was replaced at the dealer)
    8. Throw out bearing clearance incorrect.
    9. Pilot bushing or bearing in the flywheel worn or improperly installed.

    There is more, even going all the way back to the differential, u joints etc. it is a tough problem to diagnose.

  11. #10
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    Thanks for the detailed info, sorry I didn't notice this earlier.

  12. #11
    JFJr's Avatar
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    If you "lead" clutch engagement with a little rpm, you should solve the problem. I can induce chatter if I don't engage 1st with enough rpm. I believe that this is a characteristic of this particular clutch with such a torquey engine.

    Jus
    Jud

  13. #12
    junker87 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    Quote Originally Posted by JTinCA View Post
    My last 4 cars have all been sticks, and none had this feeling. I described it to the service rep, he said it's probably normal wear in as the clutch breaks in, but if it's unacceptable or doesn't go away by the first oil change they could take a look.

    Anybody have similar experiences?

    Anybody driven a V stick and a BMW 135/335/535 6 speed stick who can offer a clutch feel comparison?

    Thanks
    I have driven plenty of E90's, and just swapped my 11 M3 sedan lease.

    99.999% of modern cars have the POS dual mass fly wheels, including Cadillac, BMW, etc. I HATE dual mass because they still chatter, and they made hard and fast clutch take up difficult. I think all clutches should be like the E30, single mass goodness.

    What you described seem normal.

    One last thing, I love the clutch in the V, for being a modern car, the clutch is decently weighted, unlike modern BMW and their feces soft clutches. I remember one day I drove the Vagon to and from work, then decided to take the E90 M3 to whole foods, and almost put my foot through the floorboard of the M3 because the clutch WAS SO TERRIBLY SOFT.

  14. #13
    JTinCA's Avatar
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    Haven't driven an M3, but my last car was a 335i and it was a slightly softer, more linear pedal, but regardless of how fast or slow I let out the pedal, that car never gave a feeling of vibration in the driver's seat. Clutch smell on the other hand...

    FWIW I did get the dealer to let me drive their only other stick V. It had the same issue, but at only about 20-25% the same level as mine (at those miles). So perhaps it is normal for this clutch, but there's a range of behavior that's all within normal and I just happen to have one towards the rough end or that sedan was close to the smooth end.

    In any case I'm looking for a clutch/flywheel upgrade anyway, so hopefully I'll kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

  15. #14
    AuxNuke is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: normal clutch feel on manuals

    Hate to dredge up a month old thread but...

    I just picked up my 2012 M6 Coupe and the vibration / shimmy in first gear is VERY bad. Its next to impossible to slowly launch the car without the clutch vibrating, no matter what the revs. I guess trip back to the dealer is in order. This does not happen when shifting slowly in any other gear with the exception of reverse where there is a mild vibration. Has anyone had this issue permanently corrected by the dealer? Thanks in advance.

    - Aux

  16. #15
    SoCalCTSV's Avatar
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    I have it but get the RPMs up and it's not as bad. Sometimes the more I think when I shift, the worse it gets.

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