Clutch Not Disengaging

Sappjo01

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Location
NC
TDI
05 Jetta
I've got a 2005 Jetta TDI with the BEW engine coupled to a five speed transmission. I bought the car with 152k on it and to my knowledge it has the original clutch in it. It now has 230k on it and in the last few thousand miles there has been an intermittent issue where the clutch does not completely disengage when the clutch pedal is pressed. Most of the time when I first crank up the clutch will fully disengage and it shifts as smooth as you'd expect it to. But after a few miles it starts to have trouble shifting. If I come to a stop light and it is in first the clutch is still grabbing and the car is still trying to go forward so I'll put it in neutral and when the light turns green I have a hard time getting it back into gear. I tried bleeding it at first and that did not seem to fix it so I put a new slave cylinder on it today hoping that would fix it but it still seems to have the issue. After installing the new slave cylinder I pressure bled the system, pumping fluid into the slave until I continued to get fluid out of the brake fluid reservoir. I did it this way so I'd be pushing the air up and out instead of trying to get the air to go down and out. Since it only seems to do it after the car has started to warm up I was assuming it was temperature related and was thinking there was an imperfection in the piston of the slave cylinder allowing it to bypass fluid. I don't want to keep throwing parts at it hoping I get the right thing. Has anyone else had this kind of issue before? If so what was the fix? Thanks in advance. Let me know if I left out any information that would be useful!
 

shoebear

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
TDI
1998 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon, 2005 New Beetle, 2013 Sportwagen
I had exactly those symptoms just before Christmas, tried bleeding the clutch hydraulics to no avail, and finally decided to replace the clutch. Good thing. When I got in there I found that the tips of 6 of the 16 pressure plate springs had broken off, which prevented the pressure plate from disengaging from the friction disk. I also found the throwout (release) bearing starting to fall apart, which may have contributed to the spring tips breaking off. Here's the most relevant post, with pictures:

If you want to wade through all the posts, here's the complete thread where I was trying to figure out what was wrong:

And here's my thread about installing the new clutch
 
Last edited:

Sappjo01

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Location
NC
TDI
05 Jetta
I had exactly those symptoms just before Christmas, tried bleeding the clutch hydraulics to no avail, and finally decided to replace the clutch. Good thing. When I got in there I found that the tips of 6 of the 16 pressure plate springs had broken off, which prevented the pressure plate from disengaging from the friction disk. I also found the throwout (release) bearing starting to fall apart, which may have contributed to the spring tips breaking off. Here's the most relevant post, with pictures:

If you want to wade through all the posts, here's the complete thread where I was trying to figure out what was wrong:

And here's my thread about installing the new clutch

shoebear you hit the nail on the head! I pulled the transmission yesterday and found a finger on the pressure plate had broken off. I yanked it out and went back with a single mass flywheel, clutch and pressure plate from South Bend. Took it for a test drive last night after I got it all back together and it shifts like butter. Thanks for the quick reply and help!!!
 

csstevej

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Location
north nj
TDI
2001 golf tdi 4 door auto now a manual, mine, 2000 golf 2 door M/T son's,daughters 98 NB non-TDI 2.0, 2003 TDI NB for next daughter, head repaired and on road,gluten for punishment got another tdi 2001NB,another yellow tdi NB
I believe that that’s normal looking…..nothing broken off .
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
Yep - that's what that pressure plate is supposed to look like.
So - possible causes that you fixed without realizing it....bad throwout bearing....?
Or maybe the pivot arm / ball that you (hopefully...?) replaced being worn down (the "cup" that the ball pivots on wears down and eventually through. Should definitely be replaced anytime you replace the clutch. Or else...

(that lower hole in the pivot arm...not supposed to be there. 😱 )
 

shoebear

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
TDI
1998 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon, 2005 New Beetle, 2013 Sportwagen
shoebear you hit the nail on the head! I pulled the transmission yesterday and found a finger on the pressure plate had broken off. I yanked it out and went back with a single mass flywheel, clutch and pressure plate from South Bend. Took it for a test drive last night after I got it all back together and it shifts like butter. Thanks for the quick reply and help!!!
Regardless whether that finger is actually missing or absent by design... I'm glad replacing the clutch fixed the problem and you are back on the road.
 

shoebear

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
TDI
1998 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon, 2005 New Beetle, 2013 Sportwagen
Yep - that's what that pressure plate is supposed to look like.
So - possible causes that you fixed without realizing it....bad throwout bearing....?
Or maybe the pivot arm / ball that you (hopefully...?) replaced being worn down (the "cup" that the ball pivots on wears down and eventually through. Should definitely be replaced anytime you replace the clutch. Or else...

(that lower hole in the pivot arm...not supposed to be there. 😱 )
My pivot ball was worn down to the metal, and it had started to gouge out the pivot arm, but it hadn't actually worn a hole just yet.
 
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