A month ago, I started noticing a general roughness at idle and a grabby clutch. As this is a 2k Jetta ALH, I knew the DMF could be going out. So I planned and fortunately, replaced before it catastrophically failed. Being the neurotic mechanical engineer, I had to tear it open to see why. So many dismiss the DMF as unneeded but the NVH superiority were the reason I replaced with a LUK DMF kit. First, the old unit was unbolted to gain access to flywheel bolts. I already knew the release bearing was toast and the two small spring steel clips found in the housing were the release bearing's retainers. Now onto the pressure plate: There are 8 spots on the ID that show cracking. I drilled the 8 rivets holding the flywheel's friction surface to the driven hub. You can see where the two rubbed each other, indicating inner bearing failure: Next, I cut the case open with a 14" abrasive chop saw. Messy, noisy and hot. Cut along the edge of the starter ring gear. Once open, I saw the problem. There are supposed to be 8 planet gears on the 8 bosses for the bearing, these pivot on the flywheel and engage an epicyclic ring gear on the driven hub (which is riveted to the flywheel's friction surface). In this one, only TWO planet gears are left and they are partials, most teeth worn out. They are at the 11:00 and 2:00 positions. The rest are fragments, found in springs and grease. The springs are all fine, not an issue of abuse. The root cause of failure? Shattered planet gear bearings. These are made of Nylon. While this may be quiet, the issue of using a soft/hard gear should always be with the SMALLER gear being the harder material. Since the speed here is slow, both should be metal, not Nylon/steel. The springs and guides worked just fine. Adding a center bearing would also be a good idea.