Clutch replacement – Audi A3

The second generation Audi A3 wasmanufactured from 2003 until 2012 and was given a facelift in 2008. It is a hugely popular vehicle in the UK, with over 220,000 vehicles on the road, and is also a regular sight in aftermarket workshops. So with a few pointers from LuK, it should be easy for any garage to beat the book time of around five hours.

Nothing out of the ordinary is needed to complete the job, the only special tools required are a transmission jack, an engine support cradle and a long axle stand. A two-post ramp was used in this example, however a four-post ramp may not provide enough clearance. For safety reasons it’s considered best practice to disconnect the battery earth lead before commencing work. If the vehicle has alloy wheels it may be fitted with antitheft wheel bolts, so make sure you have the key before you start.

Open the bonnet and lift off the plastic engine surround. Unclip the battery cover and disconnect the battery terminals. Unplug the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) (pictured below) and release the clip and pipe connecting the air filter assembly to the inlet manifold.

Unclip and remove the small air plenum housing attached to the front panel and disconnect the small rubber pipe attached to the main housing. Remove the assembly by undoing the securing bolt and releasing the rubber grommet (pictured below) attaching it to the battery tray.

Undo the clamp securing the battery and lift it out of the tray. Remove the front part of the plastic battery surround by unclipping it and undo the bolts securing the base of the battery tray to the chassis. Release the electrical harnesses attached to the battery tray and slide out the tray (pictured below).

Disconnect the gear linkage cables by releasing the small clips at both ends (Figs 4 & 5) and stow the cables to one side.

Fig 4

Fig 5

Unbolt and remove the small gearbox support bracket and disconnect the slave cylinder. Remove the earth connection from the starter motor bolt (pictured below) and remove the bolt.

Unplug the reverse light switch (pictured below) and undo the upper bellhousing bolts.

Use the engine cradle to support the engine and remove the gearbox mounting bracket.

Raise the vehicle

Raise the vehicle and remove both front road wheels. Undo both front hub nuts and release the lower arms by undoing the bolts. Remove the intercooler pipe near the front bumper for better clearance and undo the gearbox rear steady bar. Undo the lower starter motor bolt and stow the whole unit to one side. Remove the nearside wheel arch liner and remove both driveshafts. Remove the inspection back plate on the gearbox and remove the exhaust manifold support bracket. While supporting the gearbox, remove the final lower bell housing bolts and lower the gearbox carefully to the floor.

With the clutch removed, check the Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF) for signs of heat stress and evidence of grease loss. The DMF should also be tested for freeplay and rock between the primary and secondary masses (LuK tool number 400 0080 10 is specifically designed for this purpose on all LuK manufactured DMFs). Full instructions and tolerance data for all LuK DMFs are contained on a CD which comes with this special tool.

Clean the first motion shaft splines and any debris from the bell housing (especially important when a release bearing has failed). It’s important to ensure that the release bearing is always replaced if the clutch and/or DMF are worn out. Put a small dab of high melting point grease (not a copper-based product) on the first motion shaft splines and make sure the new driven plate slides freely back and forth. This not only spreads the grease evenly but also makes sure you have the correct kit. Wipe any excess grease off the shaft and driven plate hub. Using a universal alignment tool and checking the driven plate is the correct way round (note “Getriebe Seite” is German for “Gearbox Side”) the clutch can be bolted to the flywheel evenly and sequentially.

Before fitting the gearbox, make sure the locating dowels are in place and not damaged. Refit any that have become dislodged and refit the gearbox. Make sure the gearbox bell housing bolts are secured before lowering the jack. Refitting is the reverse of the removal.

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