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New poster hoping to find some insight. My wife has a 2006 VW New Beetle - TDI - 1.9L - 61K miles. The car has been driving like a champ and shifting fine. No prior clutch or tranny problems.

While driving home last night, she exited the highway, depressed the clutch pedal and shifted into neutral as she approached a stop sign. The next time she pressed the clutch it went straight to the floor with no resistance and would not disengage the clutch. Needless to say she couldn't get the car into gear and was stuck. After I towed the car home I checked for something obvious like broken linkage or leaking fluid from the master or slave cylinders. Everything looked dry and reservoir level was good. The clutch is not stuck to the floor. It returns to the upright position but goes right to the floor with no resistance - car running or not make no difference either.

I have read some of the threads about the DMF issues and I'm REALLY hoping not to have to do a clutch replacement on a car with 61K miles but I'm making the FINAL CAR PAYMENT next month so that would just be my luck! Is there any chance it could be the slave cylinder or something I'm not thinking of? I didn't see any leaks and the reservoir level look good but I will try to bleed the system anyway just in case.

Is there some way to test the slave cylinder? Is there any way to determine if the DMF has failed without actually pulling it out?

Any insight or advice would really be appreciated!

Thanks!
Broken Bug in Colorado
 

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In my experience, a dmf will make noise when it fails
I could see it being air in the line, a bad slave cylinder, or a bad clutch lever.

I had a bad clutch lever once, and the point of release gradually got closer to the floor as it worsened until I was stuck at an intersection...
when this happens you are NOT stranded. simply shut the car off, put it in gear, and then start the car up and take off. if its a lever, you will probably be able to shift from gear to gear after you get going if you're good at matching rpm...

check out the lever pics in the faq
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/clutch-kit-FAQ-VW-Audi.htm

mine looked similar to these
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input. I agree with your thinking. Hard to believe the DMF would fail without making any noise. I think a bad clutch lever would make more sense. I will bleed the system tonight to rule out anything easy like air in the line and then I will turn my attention to the slave cylinder. I'm wondering if there would be any way to tell if the leaver is bad once the slave cylinder is removed? I will post updates as I attempt to troubleshoot this thing.

Thanks again!
 

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good
well the only way I can think of checking the lever without removing the transmission is if you had a laparoscopic camera to stick in the slave cylinder hole to inspect the lever for abnormalities... but thats if you have access to such a piece of technology :nana2: and if you do, I want one!

but when mine failed, we replaced the slave cylinder and its line before I found out that that the levers were prone to failing. so we removed the transmission and sure enough, it was broken/bent/cracked. while we were in there, I figured that it'd be a good time to do a clutch job since it was at like 150k
what I learned later was that I should have done a fly wheel replacement as well because the flywheel failed about 15k later :pukerofl
but with your low milage, it seems like you could stand to let your fly wheel alone if there's nothing wrong with it.. but its your car.
 

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i'm also wondering how you have a 1996 new beetle?
unless you just slipped up and meant to put 2006 on your car info. :dunno
 

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Good catch! It is a 2006 not a 1996. I must be losing it or getting old or more likely BOTH! I have corrected the mistake, thanks for the heads up!

Speaking of the laparoscopic camera. You can pick up a flexible borescope for about $120. It could really come in handy but I'm not sure I have the budget for one right now. Could make a great stocking stuffer!

I'll post again later with updates...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know it's been a a while since my last post but better late than never! I wanted to wrap this post up for anyone else out there who might experience a similar problem.

I had suspected my DMF or clutch lever had failed but after removing the pressure plate I discovered a few pieces of the facing on the clutch disk had torn off and had jammed the pressure plate open. This explains why the the clutch pedal went straight to the floor with no resistance. I had ordered a new SMF clutch kit from Juan at MJM (very helpful I might add) because I figured I might as well do the whole clutch kit regardless of what the problem turned out to be.

This project was made much easier thanks to the clutch and flywheel removal DIY link here: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/a3b4/vw-jetta-passat-transmission-removal.htm

It was absolutely spot on and a must for anyone looking to tackle this project. Just for grins I have attached a picture of both the old DMF parts (on the right) along side the new SMF kit I received from MJM. The new kit went right in just like it was supposed to and the car was back on the road again. :D

Big thanks to Stroud2010 for the help!
 

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Drives and shifts like a champ now. Installed a new VR6 Clutch Kit with a SACHS 14lb Flywheel (228mm) . Only $315 from MJM for the kit and I was quoted almost $2,000 from the stealership! I'm not a professional mechanic and it did take me a full weekend to do it but I'm happy with the results. The lighter SMF is little louder at idle but not really noticeable while driving.

Not sure what ultimately caused the failure but I haven't seen a clutch come apart like that in a non racing situation. Just glad that project is over!
 

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Awesome!

glad to see that you're back up and running!
glad I can be of assistance

happy driving.
 
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