Clutch slave or?

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Have experienced a bad smell from the wife's car (about 209k miles) that is almost certainly coming from the clutch. The smell has occurred only a couple times and seems related to extensive clutch action. Wife doesn't slip/ride the clutch. Car tends to not see a lot of shifting as it runs mostly on the highway/freeway. The smell is repugnant, which is about all I can really say about it.

I'd replaced the clutch (new Luk 17-50) about 8k miles ago. No signs of problems other than this smell (and only a couple of times): I cannot force it to slip. There's a shudder under heavy throttle around 2k rpm in 5th, but I suspect it's a CV joint that's stressing.

When I did the clutch job I'd noticed that the clutch slave showed signs of fluid at the end of the rubber boot. I did what I probably shouldn't have done and shrugged it off as just stress from removal (though I didn't tweak anything that I'm aware of). In hindsight I am suspecting that the slave might have been in the early stages of leaking and that what is happening now is that a very small amount of fluid (I cannot readily tell that there's much in the way of fluid loss) leaking on to the clutch. So...

Does it sound like I should be looking to replace the clutch slave? The new ones are all plastic and I've read of some having problems with them. Thoughts here? And, do I need to order seals with new units?

I am thinking about taking some brake fluid and heating it up and having both myself and my wife take a whiff to see if this matches what we've been smelling. In the car the smell remains for a little while after "the event," but eventually, under her more normal driving conditions, the smell is not longer there.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Kind of to summarize a question: Is it possible for a clutch slave cylinder to leak in minute amounts such that it doesn't really affect clutch operation yet create a heat/burn smell?
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
If it is leaking, it could get on to the friction surface. That could cause both a smell AND a shudder on application.

I'd spend the ~10 minutes and pull the slave loose and see if it is wet.

I rarely ever see hydraulic clutch pieces on newer Volkswagens fail (was very common on the few older ones that used hydraulics), but I read about people doing them here once in a while. So to that end, cannot really comment on a good or bad replacement, other than to say I'd probably try and find one that is a known brand from a reputable vendor.

My source shows FTE as being the OEM for your car.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Thanks, Brian. I had only heard of outright failures on these things, which is why I kind of just ignored the "evidence." But... now that I think about it the clutch I replaced (SMF) might have started slipping due to this!
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Well, it's not like I can see fluid flowing out of the thing.* As mentioned, I merely saw a droplet. I'd assumed, poorly so, that it was somehow an artifact from the extraction process: line wasn't disconnected- cognitive dissonance on my part! And a lack of any real observable drop in the brake fluid reservoir (that's good thing!) seemed to suggest that it wasn't really leaking. Nothing, until the smell occurred, seemed to really show there being any problem.

One risks messing up the seal if one takes off the line, otherwise I'd have yanked the thing out to get an actual visual. Something that, given my other more urgent matters, wasn't something that I was willing to chance.
 

eddieleephd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
I am curious if air got in the line and is expanding.
I would see if I could get replacement seals to rebuild it.

If air is expanding in the line, or slave cylinder, it could actuate the clutch and cause it to slip also.
 
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