1998 jetta 5-speed slips out of gear during acceleration

I bought my jetta used, so when the problem first occurred I suspected the clutch. Two separate mechanics examined the car and, without prompting, diagnosed a bad clutch. Now, one year and less than 10k miles later, my jetta is again slipping out of gear. Did I get ripped off?

That depends. Did you spend money for a new clutch?

A bad clutch will slip under acceleration, but I’ve never heard of a bad clutch making a transmission slip out of gear. A transmission slipping out of gear usually indicates trouble within the transmission itself, not the clutch.

Has the transmission been staying in gear for a year and 10K miles? Is it actually popping the gearshift into neutral, or is there just slippage under acceleration? When I read “slips out of gear” I think “pops into neutral.” If that’s incorrect please clarify.

I did spend money on a new clutch, and I’ve had no trouble with slippage in the last year or 10k miles. The slippage occurs only during rapid acceleration; when I take my foot off the gas pedal, the engine will stop racing and re-engage.

That, to me, sounds like clutch slippage. If a transmission pops out of gear, it’ll stay there until you put it back into gear.

How long should a new clutch last before it begins slipping? I don’t ride the clutch, nor drive my jetta daily in heavy traffic. I go to school, work and short trips of less than 40 miles.

More than anything, clutch life depends on the driver. Some very hard drivers need to replace their every year or two…other vehicles can go without ever needing it done (such as my dad’s '84 Chevy K5 Blazer; lasted to 350K on the original clutch).

It might not necessarily mean that the clutch is bad already…if the clutch plate is getting soaked with oil or something, it can slip. I am by no means a manual transmission expert, so I’ll ask for someone who knows them better to post what they think.

Your description is a slipping clutch, not a transmission slipping out of gear. If the transmission comes out of gear, you have to put it back in gear manually, with the shifter.

Most people get WAY more than 10K out of a clutch. I’ve had cars with nearly 200K miles on the original clutch, but it all depends on who’s driving. Some people can’t make it to 100K on a clutch.

Maybe the clutch isn’t worn. If the rear main seal of the engine is leaking oil can get on the clutch and make it slip. Does the engine leak oil?

First, let me just thank you for all the prompt responses with this problem, it is greatly appreciated. I’m in my mid-40’s, learned to drive on a stick-shift, and only one of my previous cars was a automatic. I’m not loosing any oil, and can go between 3000 mile changes without adding any extra. The place I take it to for oil changes has never mentioned any type of leak.

Again, thank you for the help. I’m not loosing any oil between scheduled changes, and the place that does the maintenance hasn’t mentioned any leaks.

You haven’t answered the question, Is the shift lever moving out of gear? As has been said here before, if it slips out of gear then you would have to put it back in gear.
But it sounds to me that it is the clutch slipping.