Hi folks. I have a 2012 VW GTI w/ a manual trans. It’s a year old and has 15k miles. I bought it new from a VW dealer. Under hard acceleration, the RPMs jump about 500 RPMs for only a second or two and then drop down to where they were previously. During that time, it feels like the transmission slips out of gear and that I have no power. I’ve noticed this is gears 2-6.

Also, whenever I stop the car and put it into first gear, there’s a loud thump that I can both hear and feel coming through the steering wheel and shift knob. It’s been doing this since I bought the car. I brought it to VW and they said it’s probably just because the gears are still spinning when I put it into first. But it still happens if I wait several seconds to put it into first.

Is this a sign of a bad transmission or one on its way out?


You couldm have a slipping clutch. Stop driving |hard| and take the car to a good mec hanic. If there are not any in your area, the VW dealer should be able to figure this out. By all means do not go to a Chain transmission shop like AAMCO.

A clutch job is about $1500 to $1800. Be prepared.

Test drive the same car, if it does not happen in the test drive car document your repairs and keep pushing the dealer for a solution, or try a different dealer! It is under warranty right?

Your owner’s manual documents should have come with a process to take problems to a higher level for resolution. Document everything and follow the process described in your documentation. A manufacturer’s rep may have to get involved directly.

Sounds like the clutch is slipping. You must hotrod the Gti, or someone needs lessons on a standard. It takes alot of abuse to only get 15k miles out of a clutch. Are you the only one who has ever driven it? Someone, somewhere has beat it. Valet parked ever? Shaky trips home from a night out drinking?

Not trying to be a jerk, but it got worn out somehow.

My record to wear out a clutch was 4k miles on a 1986 mustang 5.0, There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t beat it unmercifully. Reving the engine to about 4k rpms and side stepping the clutch was common. I knew I was abusing the clutch and was willing to replace it. I had put 7 clutches in that car the time I owned it, The longest I had ever gotten out of a clutch on that car was 20k miles.

Fwiw, I have also had cars that reached 200k miles on the original clutch, but those were driven normally.

Can you hear the engine actually speeding up, or do you notice this only when looking at the tach? i.e. is it that the tach jumps that makes you think the rpms are jumping? Does the car accelerate, then slow down when this happens, or does it stay at the same speed. If it accelerates, then slows down, the EGR may be the culprit. If it doesn’t accelerate, and you can definitely hear the engine rev, then it pretty much has to be the clutch that is slipping. There really isn’t anything else that can slip, at least not without making a big racket.

The clunk upon entering first gear you hear may be normal as the VW dealership says. It could be part of the clutch problem above too. But I hear something like that on my 5 speed manual Corolla. It’s not just that the gears are spinning that could cause it, but the engine is spinning too. When they pack 6 gears into the transmission case they have to make a few compromises. There’s a lot of reasons why you might hear a bit of a clunk that would be normal. How to tell if it is not normal? Well, comparing your car to new cars on the lot with the same configuration is a good idea as mentioned above.

Thanks for the replies. It’s still under warranty and I only brought it to them for the first gear issue, not the slipping. I’m going to bring it to them, but I wanted to run it by you all first to see if my assessment of a slipping clutch is accurate, and how common it is for this mileage. I’m covered under warranty, yes.

Just keep in mind, a clutch is a wear item, they may not warranty it. You can fry a new clutch in a day if you do it right.

Not common for a clutch to mis-behave at 15k. But it could slip at 15 K, certainly this has happened to other cars, either due to an aggressive driving style, someone who isn’t familiar with clutched vehicles driving it even just a few miles, or of course the original clutch could have been defective.

Tom and Ray tell some funny stories about clutches, and how they can be ruined in just a day of driving by someone not skilled in the use of clutches.

Rick: I don’t drive hard very often at all. And I think I do reasonably well on the clutch, but there’s room for improvement.


Well I have to say that a Gti is meant to romp on, just like my old mustang. You don’t buy one to drive gently.

Again not trying to be a jerk, Did you learn to drive stick on this car? It may have shortened the life considerably.

Again, has it ever been driven without you in it? Someone may have had too much fun…

No problem. Learned to drive stick years ago. If you were a passenger, you’d notice nothing wrong. All of this assumes a bad clutch, right?


Read this thread on this other forum. This guy had a cracked clutch plate on his vw, the replacement cracked within a few hundred miles. Normally I would swear abuse, but who knows.

Not the same problem but who knows…

Vw May not want to warranty it. Good luck

Based on what you say @bkord123, at least for the slipping part, this has all the symptoms of the clutch being on the fritz. It may not be worn out, it could for example be that the rear main seal on the engine is leaking, and getting oil on parts that shouldn’t have oil on them. I suppose there is a possibility of a linkage problem which is somehow not allowing the clutch to fully engage, but that seems unlikely, and would probably require removing the transmission to fix in any event.

Wow, thank you. I’m on that forum too but came here first.

Again, many thanks. My only concern is getting them to replicate it since it’s intermittent.

@bkord123 Although the car is still under warranty you may find a clause that says a clutch is a “normal wear item”, and a plate replacement is excluded.

No matter, you have to get this fixed; if there eis something wong with the clutch mechanism itself, that should be covered by warranty.

Good luck!