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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old January 14th, 2010, 17:34   #1
sullyTDI
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Default Clutch Release Lever Failure - Clutch/Shifting Problems Fixed

Wanted to throw this out there for information.

My 98 Beetle TDI Started having problems going into gear almost over night. (Original Clutch)

Was like hard to go into first, and fifth where the worst others where hard to, reverse would grind.

I knew from reading the forum posts, that the clutch wasn't releasing properly.

So I check the fluid and it was to the minimum mark. So, that ment air in the clutch system, I bled, and bled and bled. No change.

Anyway, took it to my trusted mechanic, he thought the same thing I did. He bled and bled. Nothing.

So we decided it was something in the clutch broke. He pulled it and low and behold, the clutch release lever,
steel had failed, cracked and bent 1 1/2" out, severly limiting clutch release.

Here is a photo borrowed from IDParts.com showing where it had cracked and failed. As this one is shown, cracked and the end bent downward.

Edit: This must have been going on a while, we replaced the clutch and lever, an now shifts better than it ever has..
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Last edited by sullyTDI; January 14th, 2010 at 17:37.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 20:12   #2
Victor Huge
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Interesting. I love when people post this stuff, really really helpful if a problem like this arises for us. Thank you!
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Old January 15th, 2010, 08:08   #3
sullyTDI
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Just wanted to bump it back up.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 11:39   #4
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I gotta say this is good info to share...

(seen it before but not on a VW)
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Old January 18th, 2017, 08:52   #5
jagster936
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Default Similar Situation

I had grinding issues in 02 ALH and pulled the tranny. Turns out the clutch release lever had hole worn in where it pivots and the pivot bolt was well worn. 473k miles cannot blame her
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Old January 18th, 2017, 10:21   #6
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My suggestion: always replace the clutch lever, pin, and clip whenever the transmission is out.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 10:30   #7
PeterV
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You are not alone. This is an issue careful inspection during replacement is needed. In your case well it is life. Just think of how many times the clutch is used over 19 years. Dang it my old leg is starting to hurt.....
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Old January 18th, 2017, 10:57   #8
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Haha yep! The lever was rubbing on flywheel lol
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Old January 18th, 2017, 13:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagster936 View Post
I had grinding issues in 02 ALH and pulled the tranny. Turns out the clutch release lever had hole worn in where it pivots and the pivot bolt was well worn. 473k miles cannot blame her
Same here, on an '01 with a little over 230k.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 14:02   #10
jagster936
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I don't know why people say rated life is 500k on these cars. With highway miles I bet it's more like 700k. This was original clutch and turbo too!
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