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

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
Update: heard back from the SA today and they too need to drop the tranny to see what failed. This time the conversation was much more "consumer friendly" - guy at least had the courtesy to give me the benefit of the doubt that I wasn't lying...

Also it's only $1k charge here vs $1.3k at vw downtown la.

I'm pretty confident they are gonna find something bad happened. Even if the prior owner beat on the clutch - I would have seen some signs over the the last 2k miles of stickiness or slipping.
 

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
update: SA called me today to let me know they have not been able to find any mechanical failure. he's going to send me pics and has opened a case with VW corporate to see if they will warranty. im super pissed. i dont understand how the clutch is working completly fine one day and the next it's fried. any advice? i'll post pics when i get them
 

dragoncoach

Ready to race!
Location
SF Bay Area
I completely understand your frustration. However, I've seen clutches go out in 7k miles. With manuals, a person who doesn't know how to drive or a person who just beats the heck out of the car can easily ruin it. I wondering how old, how experienced, and hard the previous owner drove it. You probably will never know but why did the original owner sell it with only 12k miles? Is there any service history documenting any prior problems? I wish you well in your resolution process.
 

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
I hear what your saying, but what I don't understand is how there were no signs of wear (slipping etc) in the 4 months I've owned the car. And then one day it just gives out completely??
 

mopar22

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Va/MI
Mechanical parts can be funny at times. Sometimes they give you warning for years at a time or sometimes they just decide to give up
 

GTI Jake

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
So there's still friction material on the disk, and no excessive heat coloring on the flywheel or pressure plate either?

Did you look at the pics in the mk6forum link I posted? That broken pressure plate spring is very easily missed if the tech hasn't ran into that issue
 

GTI Jake

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
I had a clutch failure suddenly on my Cummins, but it was instantly clear what happened in that case. Ripped all of the ceramic pucks off one side of the disk lol. But to be fair, the clutch had 60,000+ miles on it operated at near its 1,100 ft lbs tq rating, including the 3,000 rpm boosted launch that finished it off. Apples to oranges, but like I said abuse is easy to pick out, mechanical failures usually not so easy
 

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
see pics below:

not really sure exactly what I'm looking at here, but the second one looks completely f'd...

Once again, I have been driving this car for the last 2k miles and had ZERO issues with slipping gears or not being able to put the car into gear. The gears did feel a little "notchy" (vs. my 60k mile mini cooper s where the clutch is starting to go), but I assumed that was literally due to it being basically new and took it as a good thing.
 

Attachments

GTI Jake

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Oh yeah it's F#cked lol, the friction material ripped off the rivets on the disk. That's standard signs of abuse.

Good news is they're still willing to work with you to attempt getting it covered.

Me personally I'd take the hit and upgrade to a better aftermarket clutch if they don't cover with enough headroom for any power adding you plan to do in the future.

Also note it will be a full clutch replacement, including the DMF (dual mass flywheel) in pic #3. This opens up options for switching to a SMF since it absolutely needs replacement anyway
 

GTI Jake

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Even tho you bought the car used, if I was purchased from a dealer (especially certified pre owned) VWoA may cover it just to keep you happy, since clearly the abuse wasn't your doing, but the PO
 

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
so here's the rub...

i bought it in later december '16 from former online company beepi (you guys may remember the commercials with the blue gorrillas). beepi went out of business 10 days after my purchase. they have a 3k / 3mo warranty but im sure its whichever comes first and all attempts to contact them since they closed have failed.

im pretty much fucked i think. is there anything i can do?
 

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
is there any chance that i could have done this kind of damage in the 1200 or so miles i've driven the car??

maybe im crazy and this car needs to be driven differently than every other manual car i've owned (this would be #6.... and never had a clutch issue before)
 

GTI Jake

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
I'm guessing the damage was already done, it takes a lot to do that kinda damage to the disk.

I'd just upgrade and enjoy the car, not much else you can do
 

Rosaymaan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
Thanks all for your help and thoughts. I'm gonna try and go through vw corp and complain but not sure how much good that's gonna do.

Quote to replace the clutch is $2.4k ... dealer is gonna work with me to try and get that down. Should I replace with oem? If I was going to go with aftermarket what are the upsides/downsides?
 

dragoncoach

Ready to race!
Location
SF Bay Area
Most if not all dealers will only install OEM parts, and only the parts for that particular model. i.e. No R clutch in a GTI, especially if warranty is covering it or paying for part of it. They most certainly will not install an aftermarket clutch.
 

GTI Jake

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
If they said 1k in labor before they started they should stand by that number. That's ten hours of labor at $100 an hour, which may be what the flat rate book says but it's way over what it really takes (4-5 hours). If you're paying out of pocket and providing the aftermarket clutch they really have no say. Whatever the case I'd play it as follows:

Option 1: Zero out of pocket, they replace it with OEM under warranty

Option 2: You pay the $1000 in labor you agreed to if they couldn't cover it and they install the performance clutch of your choice (about another $1,000 give or take)

I'd never pay for a known bad design/problematic OEM replacement clutch, especially not $2400
 
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