Clutch question - 1999 VW Jetta

Hey, I have a 99 VW Jetta with 150k miles on the original clutch. Maybe 6 months ago I noticed the gear shift was really loose, and then I lost 1st and Reverse. I was afraid I needed a clutch replacement but my mechanic replaced some bushing or something (I know nothing about cars) for maybe 200 bucks and it was fine. Then I took my car in for an oil change a week or two ago (admittedly it was a few thousand miles over the recommended 3-5000) and my car was fine for a few days. Then it started lagging when getting into gear, revving up a lot, etc. I read somewhere online that this could be “oil contamination” - maybe my mechanic did something wrong? Or is it just coincidental? I don’t want to pay for a new clutch and I’m scared!!


When a clutch starts to slip it’s usually a sign that it’s worn out. Oil contamination of the clutch disc will cause slippage, but the oil would have to come from a leaking rear main seal or transmission seal, and neither of those has been touched by your mechanic. Having an oil change can’t contaminate the clutch disc.

If you need a new clutch there’s no way around it. It will continue to slip more and more, and if you let it go too long it can damage the flywheel, costing even more.