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Clutch burning?

I have a manual 2004 Jetta 1.8T with 32K. I went to the store and when I tried to back out of the parking space, could not get the shift into gear. I mannaged to roll and then rev it enough to get it going (popped the clutch), but at a stop sign could not get it back in gear. Again, revved it until I could get it into 3rd, and from there it was FINE. When I got home (2 miles later) I noticed a burning rubber smell (duh). Any ideas? The clutch did not ‘slip’ it just would not go into gear, like I was trying to shift without clutching. Is this another Volkswagen anomaly, or an accident waiting to happen?

It sounds like the clutch master cylinder is leaking internally. When this happens, not enough hydraulic pressure is produced to completely release the clutch even though the clutch pedal is fully depressed. So it’s like trying to shift into gears without stepping on the clutch pedal.


That sounds expensive, darn it!

Find an independant repair shop. Not a dealer repair shop. This isn’t rocket science.

But don’t drive the vehicle. If the master cylinder has failed. you’ll burn the clutch up. That’s what’s probably causing the smell. Maybe you’ll get lucky and replace the master cylinder and not the clutch assembly too.