Audi A4 - clutch explosion



The clutch on my 2005 A4 “exploded”

when my son tried to downshift from 5th to 4th, but the shift went to neutral but could not be made to go to 4th or any other gear. Dealer says bluing (from extreme heat) on flywheel and pressure plate indicates “user error” (i.e., probably tried to downshift from 5th to 2nd). I say (i) my son is an experienced standard transmission driver who does not ride the clutch or skip gears, (ii) at the 35,000 mile service a week earlier there was no suggestion of a worn clutch, and (iii) the “explosion” is just as likely to have been the fault of Audi or one of its suppliers. Anybody experienced this or have any ideas?


Look at the evidence in an objective manner.
The clutch was fine a week ago.
The flywheel has turned blue from heat.
Jr. has been driving the car.

That blue flywheel is from flogging the clutch.
Sounds like a child inflicted problem to me as much as you don’t want to hear it.


A all wheel drive performance car has awesome traction from a standing start, so dumping the clutch from a stop will not spin the tires, but will destroy the clutch.


Don’t let anybody else drive your Audi. It should be a personal car that you buy only to impress people with the fact that you think you have money. It isn’t a good “lender”. You certainly wouldn’t buy it if you were a reliability nut. Bluing could have been caused by the clutch wearing out and slipping, but you should have noticed that. So, the mechanic will swear to operator error, especially if the clutch lining doesn’t look worn out. Since it “exploded” the dealer will probably be considered to be correct.


It sounds like he’s talking about his kid’s car.


The car is my son’s and he is 26 and has driven standard transmission cars for over 10 years and drives conservatively. I drive it a little - and I’ve driven standard transmission cars for over 40 years. The clutch evidenced no unusual wear to my son, me, or the service guys who 10 days earlier did a 35k service. Does that change your view any?


So were you with your son when this “clutch explosion” occurred?


This sounds suspiciously like the problem many people are having with 2005 & 2006 Jettas. Many low mileage clutch failures. There is apparently a defect or weakness in the dual mass flywheel & clutch assembly (usually made by LUK or SACHS). Do you know if this is what is in your car?

This is a known problem and has caused recalls in Finland and Australia and UK, but some car makers are refusing to acknowledge it or pay for repairs ? blaming customers for ?owner error? or ?wear-and-tear.?

Some people are replacing the dual mass flywheel (DMF) with a single mass flywheel (SMF) which is apparently more sturdy and up to the job. Others are saying that the very newest replacement DMF assemblies have been improved enough to be satisfactory.

This is a safety issue, please look into it.

Some people have experienced the problem more than once if a second defective part was used for the repair. Check out the multiple reports at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( for 2005 & 2006 Jettas (category = powertrain : clutch assembly).

Many discussions can be found (involving many types of vehicles) by google search on: [?dual mass flywheel? problem]
Also, there?s an active 50+ page discussion at the online forum (search there on ?jetta flywheel and clutch problem?).

Good luck!!


Being experienced at driving a manual transmission does not require that a person be good at it.

Many people will abuse a clutch without ever knowing they’re doing that. For example, holding the car on a hill by slipping the clutch lightly is not uncommon, but brutal on clutches. It doesn’t wear rapidly, but it heats the pressure plate and flywheel tremendously. Downshifting by just going directly to the lower gear and coming out slowly on the clutch, letting the engine slow the car while slipping the clutch does the same thing.

Lots of people do these things and think they’re good at driving a manual, but they’re blueing their clutch components from the heat, and weakening them to where they could fail exactly as yours did.