View Full Version : Dual Mass Flywheel failure after only 39K miles

21-10-2010, 12:04 PM
Beware of early Dual Mass flywheel failure in VW-Audi group cars!

I have just discovered that the Dual Mass flywheel in my Golf Plus 1.9 TDI (55 plate)flew apart in the clutch bellhousing after only 39K miles. The symptom was a rattling for a few hundred yards and then the engine 'seized' and refused to turn over.

After investigation by a local independent dealer, the fault was traced back to the flywheel. One of the springs in the flywheel had worked its way through the flywheel casing and had embedded itself into the bellhousing wall.

After doing some research on the web it would seem that the dual mass flywheel, used to reduce engine vibration, has had some reliability issues in a few vehicles. In town drivers with frequent stop starts are more likely to suffer from a low mileage flywheel failure as its having to do much more work.

The garage who fixed my vehicle said that the V -Audi-Skoda dual mass flywheel has demonstrated a poor reliability record due to the volume of vehicles they have had to repair. Taxi drivers are apparently already aware of this problem.

I contacted VW about this reliability fault, but as I hadn't taken it to a dealer, they were not interested. I offered the parts, and an opportunity to review the vehicle but they declined.

A replacement Dual mass flywheel from an independent dealer cost 900 pounds to repair. And it would have been more expensive had the spring caused additional damage to the bellhousing and broken the alloy wall seperating the differential from the clutch.

This has been an expensive way to learn about dual mass flywheels and I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has had a dual mass flywheel failure on a VW, Audi or Skoda

I guess I'll be thinking twice about purchasing another Volkswagen. Unseen low milage reliability issues such as this should not be a frequent occurence in todays vehicles.

- Caveat Emptor

Issac Hunt
21-10-2010, 12:49 PM
Its not just a VAG problem. Many cars are DMF equipped and they can be problematic for all marques.

21-10-2010, 01:13 PM
Almost every new car on the road now has a DMF, most supplied by LUK or Sachs so whatever you buy, you cant avoid the issue.

21-10-2010, 01:19 PM
I've heard that BMW and Mercedes have proprietery designs that dont have the same poor reliability.

21-10-2010, 01:28 PM
You have heard wrong, the garage across the road from mine specialises in BMW and Mercedes and he is always replacing DMFs on them. One of my customers had a 330 which vibrated so badly due to a faulty DMF that it made my teeth hurt. BMW and Merc clutches/DMFs are also made and designed by both Sachs and LUK.

21-10-2010, 02:52 PM
I work for a Ford repair agent, and we replace quite a few on low mileage 6 month old Focus', so it's not isolated to VW I can assure you!

22-10-2010, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the replies.

It's incredible that car manufacturers have introduced a part which has such poor reliability. Especially when it replaces a part that had such high reliability ie the single mass flywheel. :aargh4:

No doubt the car manufacturers are well aware of the design shortcomings of this part. Its now no surprise that VW were not interested in this low mileage mechanical fault. And I had thought that the biggest reliability issue in todays vehicles was the electronics!

My search is on for a car that doesnt have a dual mass flywheel.

Alan G H
22-10-2010, 10:35 PM
I wish you luck finding a car without one! My neighbour had a flywheel fail at around 30k miles on an 07 plate Vauxhall Vectra diesel. He had to pay around 1500 for repairs at a main dealer, but in the end Vauxhall did a refund. Try typing dual mass flywheel into you tube, and you will see what a poor design they are!!

22-10-2010, 11:06 PM
That's shocking! 1500 pounds! ...and there's never any guarantee that the manufacturer will stump up for the cost of repair.

I've been reading about several owners who have installed a single mass flywheel and aparently Skoda is fitting a gunuine SMF replacement part to the TDI engine

I'm now looking around to see if there is a genuine SMF replacement for the Golf Mk 5 1.9 TDI engine.

23-10-2010, 02:28 PM
We have just done a SMF conversion to an Octavia 110TDI that we installed a new engine on and with no apparent ill effects although I have not driven it myself yet. Converting a 5-speed 02J gearbox car is not difficult as the flywheel is off the shelf from VW and there are a couple of different duty levels of clutch to choose from such as the Golf 3 VR6. When giving a Golf 4 1.8T a serious boost in power we convert the car from a 220-mm DMF to a 228-mm SMF using the genuine VW flywheel and Golf 3 VR6 clutch and there are no apparent refinement problems but personally I have felt a reducing in refinement on TDIs. The current replacement DMFs from both LUK and Sachs appear so far to be much more reliable than those fitted originally. On my own car, when fitting a new engine I stuck with an LUK DMF and it has been fine for three years. Yes, there are SMF conversions for the Golf 5 105PS engine (and it can be done using genuine VAG parts) but to be honest the replacement LUK unit is very good, I have fitted a number of them and had no repeat failures.

11-05-2011, 06:59 PM
I have just taken my audi A4 2.0Tdi with 3,500 miles to an audi garage with a suspect DMF failure. (is this a record?) My previous A4 1.9Ydi did 140000 miles and is still on original clutch (and flywheel)