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Hi, we purchased a Higher UP in September 2012. I have to say I loved it. I loved being able to choose the colour of the dashboard and the seats. It was perfect! That is, it was perfect, until the bad weather in January. A few slips and slides in the slush and wham the clutch burnt out!!! We took it back to the VW service centre and they told us it was "driver style".My hubbie and I have been driving cars for at least 30 years and never had a clutch burn out. A week after getting the car back, one morning the car wouldn't start and we had to get VW Assist out. Apparently it was an internal fault on the starter motor and a defective flywheel.I should add here, that the clutch was not replaced under warranty, but the starter motor and flywheel repairs were.

It has really taken the shine off owning a brand new car! I wondered if anyone else had experienced this kind of problem or if ours is just a P UP!!
 

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Not had any issues on mine but the clutch being so light is very easy to slip had a burning smell from mine on a couple of occasions. The starter motor and flywheel is a new one to me but may be connected to the clutch issues??? I would still say though that I think the clutch may well have been faulty to burn it out so quickly?
 

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jezyg said:
I think the clutch may well have been faulty to burn it out so quickly?
I would agree with that, for a clutch to burn out in less than a year I would say fault not driver

I too have had that burning smell crawling up a steep hill, only happened twice but no further problems
 

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I had the burning smell a couple of times during the first couple of weeks' of ownership but not since. I've had the car for 6 months now.
 

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I have also had a burning smell when pulling away on a steep hill junction the other day. Also had some problems at the same junction over difficulty in pulling away. Just have to be careful at that junction next time
 

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You don't say how many miles you've done, but the worst case I've ever come across was a colleague who used to ride the clutch and needed a new clutch plate every 9,000-10,000 miles! Luckily for him it was a company car.

Not suggesting this is you're situation - just pointing out what it would take to burn out a clutch very quickly. I would complain to VW customer services if I were you.

Toyota/Citroen/Peugeot had a problem with the clutch in the early Aygo/C1/107 - they regularly wore out in less than 30,000 miles. It took them three years to fit a larger clutch to new vehicles, but understand they did replace (or contribute to replacements) on older cars once the mod had been made.

Hopefully the up! won't prove to be weak in this area.
 

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I hope not, I love my car and I really don't want it to be a lemon
 

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A couple of thoughts. We have had our Up now since July 2012. I have noticed that when pulling away gently at slow speeds it can some times feel a little rough as it bites. It's surprising for a modern car but I am hoping it will het smoother with use - we have still only done about 5k.

I had thought about buying a Hyundai i10 at one stage because 'Honest John' thought it was so good and I respect 'his' views. However, when I read owners reviews, several of them mentioned early clutch failure. The reason was thought to be the time it took for the engine revs to slow down when accelerating moderately or harder. This meant there was a difference in speed between the engine and the flywheel when they engaged, with quite a lot of energy involved (acceleration). It seems to me that the UP engine has similar characteristics when accelerating quite hard, the engine takes some time to drop revs.

These might have contributed to your problem. I would not expect a clutch to wear out at your stage. I had one wear out at 60+k (miles) once and I had towed a heavy caravan for many thousands of UK and continental miles with it and a family of five. Apart from that never and I have had a car get to nearly 100k on the original clutch before selling. We also have a Kia Picanto which we have had from new with 50+k on it. Few of those have been motorway miles and it has been used fro my three children to learn to drive. That is still on its original clutch too.
 

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Kipper said:
A few slips and slides in the slush and wham the clutch burnt out!!! We took it back to the VW service centre and they told us it was "driver style".My hubbie and I have been driving cars for at least 30 years and never had a clutch burn out. A week after getting the car back, one morning the car wouldn't start and we had to get VW Assist out. Apparently it was an internal fault on the starter motor and a defective flywheel.
Hmm... Very interesting. I have seen something like this before on another make and it took years for the problem to be properly identified and I doubt that any owner of that car had it fixed under warranty during the period of cover.

If a flywheel warps it can create a residual drag on the clutch. When it starts warping the driver will hardly notice it but the fault will slowly but surely take it's toll on the car. In the long term, damage is likely to be seen to synchros and bearings. Warping will eventually create continuous cyclic axial loads on components that were only designed to take these loads briefly. If this is the case, the damage has already been done before it becomes an audible symptom. Other symptoms will be hard starting, starter motor faults, premature clutch failure, difficulty changing up or down in some gears and engine stalling.

I am beginning to wonder if some UP!s with noisy transmissions may actually have warping flywheels. It's one of the hardest things to diagnose properly or prove as you have to run the engine and transmission on a special testbed dynamometer out of the car and be able to measure the flywheel warping when it is still inside the transmission casing. If this is a problem, it could be more prevalent due to a poor running-in regime or total lack of one. It would be interesting to find out if the flywheels experience a heat treatment stress-relief process following machining.
 

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Got my vw up in november and was delighted with it till 2 days ago .turned engine on and sounded louder than normal, when I moved off alarms started and car stopped, burning smell and little smoke. from engine. Aa recovery to arnold clark to be informed that I would have to agree to pay 220 to remove gearbox to check for burnt clutch which wouldnt be covered by warranty as just over 5000 miles on the clock. Left it with them and after a sleepless night got call yesterday morning asking lots of diagnostic guestions , though he didnt think was clutch.news this morning starter motor ordered not sure when will get it back though a clark now happy to give me courtesy car. Now off on my 20 mile train journey to collect courtesy car. Hopefully back on the road soon . Ps I love my vw upand hopefully this is the first and last of its problems .
 

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If the clutch on mine failed after 5000 miles I certainly wouldn't roll over and accept that it wasn't a warranty issue - I'd mention the Sales of Goods Act which says that items should last a 'reasonable time' and 5000 miles doesn't sound reasonable to me.


Hopefully it won't arise, but a lot depends on whether the car is 6 months old or not. If it is less than 6 months old, legally the dealer has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the clutch failure isn't due to to faulty manufacturing, if it's more than 6 months old you'd have to successfully argue that it wasn't anything you've done. If in doubt, contact your local Trading Standards.



It sounds like this has hopefully been resolved so fingers crossed that it is the starter motor to avoid either you being fleeced or having a row with the dealer. Good luck!
 

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Arnold clark now given me courtesy car (not much use to me without dual controls) starter motor ordered have to wait 48 hours to find out eta of part.hopefully will have my up back soon .
 

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the more I read these forums, the more I seem to be convinced that the up has inherent faults, which vw know about, but fob the customer off with bullsh*t. this car is a pile of crap and the whole car needs to be recalled.
 

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Hi, I am new to the club but have been watching since I purchased my Up last October. I love the car, (now has 1500 miles on the clock) it reminds me of the fun a Mini used to offer way back in time. Only fault I can see is the clutch. I have noted the tell tale smell a few times and yesterday took the car back to the dealer. I insisted the mechanic drove ( removes the 'its your driving style') With four passengers at the first hill there was the smell. Mechanics answer- its a small car this is to be expected and is considered normal. His next useful suggestion avoid hills. I think there is a problem and VW are avoiding their responsibility to correct.
 

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My VW has just hit a 125,000 (80,000) kms. Still on original clutch, but pedal travel is a little high, starting to wonder how much life it has in it. Hopefully a few more years just yet!

Any dramas with the clutch change? is it a dual mass flywheel that can't be machined?
 
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