Clutch Release Lever Failure - Clutch/Shifting Problems Fixed

sullyTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Location
North Augusta, SC
TDI
2014 Jetta TDI
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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jagster936

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Location
Texas
TDI
2002 Beetle TDI Manual
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 :)
 

PeterV

TDIClub Enthusiast, HO5G Doyen & Zen Master
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Location
So, NH.
TDI
2000 Jetta 5 sp.
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.....
 

sisyphus

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Location
Appleton, Maine
TDI
99.5, '01 A4 Jetta sedans, 5 sp box, Hamman mod, Joey mod, Bilsteins, 2.00" lift
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.
 

jagster936

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Location
Texas
TDI
2002 Beetle TDI Manual
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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