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Clutch failure at 12k miles - no warning signs...

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
Hey all - last night was driving home (was not driving particularly hard or anything). At a stop light, all of a sudden I could not get the car to shift into gear. Could smell clutch burn. After 20 min or so, was able to get the car into gear and started driving again - made it two blocks and once again at stop light could not get the car into gear - this time for good. AAA towed the car to local dealer.

Dealer called me today to say they need my auth to open up the tranny (costs $1,300) and see what happened. He also let me know that clutch is a wear/tear item and 95% of clutch issues are from driver error (and would not be covered under warranty).

I bought the car used with 10k miles on it. No mods. Clutch has been perfectly fine until last night - no slippage ever. I'm not tracking the car or being particularly hard on it.

Been driving manual cars for 20 years. I've had to replace clutches in the past but they always wore out over time and after like 50k miles not 10k.

Is it possible I did something to smoke the clutch in one go??? I'm really hoping this is one of those 5% of the time issues that will be covered under warranty. Really hard to believe this is from normal wear/tear especially if there were no signs previous to the clutch failing. So pissed..
 

Parabola

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Black hole sun
I'd say something else is fucked up besides clutch. Worn clutch will start slipping gradually, won't just quit all of a sudden. And not being able to shift into gear...possibly not related to worn clutch.
Did you know previous owner or? Who knows how was car driven prior to you.
Hopefully VW covers it, fight it if they don't. There have been other cases where VW picked up a tab for clutch replacement.
 

cbaumy34

Go Kart Champion
Location
Lindenhurst, IL
Hopefully the previous owner didn't tune the car. That could make it more challenging.

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Jedimk7

Go Kart Champion
I would definitely fight for them to cover if you have only had the car 2k miles, also previous owner could have been their first manual unfortunately.

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Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
Yeah I don't know the prev owner but again if he was hard on it or had a tune wouldn't I notice wear via slippage sticky gears etc?

Also I forgot to mention that the clutch pedal was completely depressed on the floor
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
My first two suspects would be broken pressure plate spring or blown slave cylinder/TOB (it's one unit on our cars). If either of those are the case it's on them, not wear and tear
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Sound like it could be fluid related, or maybe crank walk.
I would hope it's not crank walk, but that's a possibility too. Would also be covered if that's the case.

The clutch pedal being on the floor pretty much rules out abuse, so they can cut the BS right there. When they pull the clutch tell them you want to see it, and post up pics.

Good info on a mk6 that had a similar, possibly identical issue

http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75554&page=2

Also, do NOT consent to the transmission tear down. If it'll go into gear with the car off, it's not the trans, it's the clutch. They know that, but there's money to be made so they're going for a big labor bill if they can push it on you.
 

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
Thanks all. @GTIjake I don't think I was able to get it into gear with the car off. You say not to agree to the tear down but they won't look any further without that authorization. Should I have it towed to another dealer. The SA seems like a real jerk from the 2 chats I've had with him.
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
There's no reason to take the transmission apart without looking at the clutch first. Period, I'd call VWoA and tell them what the dealership said...I'm sure they would also disagree with wasting $1300 worth of labor simply because they want to
 

PLF8593

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Philly
Car(s)
19 Alltrack 6MT
With the pedal stuck to the floor and not being able to get into gear, this is almost certainly not simple clutch failure. I'd say you should ask around your regional forums on here and VWVortex and ask if there are any good, customer service oriented dealerships in the area. You want a dealer who's on your side, and will do everything they can to get it warrantied
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
I'd only authorize removing the clutch, you have zero signs of anything broken in the trans...of course they'll have to remove it to pull the clutch, but absolutely no reason to disassemble the transmission itself
 

TheGreekFreak

Go Kart Champion
Location
MA
Sorry to hear that man. The clutch sucks on these cars. Mine started slipping week 1, 500 miles on the car. Dealer agreed and replaced under warranty. Now, 1000 miles later, it no longer slips but going 1st to 2nd is the roughest engagement I've ever felt. This doesn't happen when the car is cold, only when warmed up. Back to the dealer it goes to get checked out.

Bottom line: if you want to keep the car a long time like I do, budget in a full aftermarket replacement. I was told anything clutch related was warrantied for only the first year so I've already started saving....
 

The Fed

Old Guys Rule
Location
Florida
Dealers owing smoke. Try rocking the car back and forth and see if you can get into first. With a bad clutch or hydraulics you can't always just slide it into gear without a little movement

I'm being a hydraulic cylinder or line broke. If you merely had a bent diaphragm finger the pedal would still work even though you wouldn't be able to get it into gear.

T.
 
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