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Ruined a clutch in 30 feet?

Back around 1963, my brother bought a stick-shift '59 Ford Galaxie that was seemingly in good condition. It ran very well for several months, with no indication that the clutch was problematic.

However, after he skidded into a snow bank and tried to rock his way out of the snow bank (without snow tires), he wound up killing the clutch after about 20 minutes of slipping the clutch as he rocked the car back & forth. The moral of the story is that the clutch probably would have been okay for another 10-15k miles, but 20 minutes of this treatment was enough to wear out the clutch.

Everything is a matter of degrees, and when the clutch’s time comes, it comes.

No it is not at all your fault. First, it is a Volkswagen, secondly, it is still a Volkswagen. And lastly it is a Volkswagen. I rebuilt four of these in the past year, everyone of them needed a new clutch. The clutch material was still good but the dual-mass flywheels failed because of seperation. I’ve also seen the pressure plates crack and seperate. Mileage doesn’t account for much on a clutch. Driving conditions and experience do. Example, a new drive learning how to drive a manual in San Francisco, or a seasoned driver in the rural plains of Kansas.In the end it is her fault for buying a Volkswagen, they do require more maintenance then most cars.

I agree with Keith, It’s probably a bad clutch cylinder, if anything!

Some VW’s have a dogleg 1st gear IIRC. mean that first gear is where 2nd would normally be for most cars. If you started in 2nd gear instead of 1st you could’ve burned up the clutch somewhat.

A salesman at dealership I worked at years ago made that mistake, when he parked the car you could smell the clutch burning from 20 feet away.

Slipped clutches in my experience leave an odor. In our Subaru Legacy GT it actually keeps a stench for about 1-2 days in vehicle if you slip it.

I still say it was/is the clutch cylinder, either master or slave.

Regardless, that lady will want him to pay for it.
Seems to me it all depends on how much your boss backs you up or how much you like/need that job.
Hate to say it because it isn’t fair but if you want to keep working there, you may have to pay her or at least come up with some sort of compromise.

Some people would do well to switch over to automatics,dont worry it wasnt your fault-Kevin

It is possible to destroy a clutch in 30 feet, but in this case the lady is trying to get a free clutch. However, the dispute is between her and your employer. Just tell your boss the truth and let them deal with it.

Yup, totally agree - that’s why I said that it all depends on whether his boss has his back or not.