View Full Version : Clutch problem? 30v 2.8 A4

10-31-2010, 09:32 PM
It's a 1998 A4 2.8 Quattro Manual

So, I was driving my car tonight and got pretty hard on the throttle while shifting from gears 1-3. After I let off the throttle to shift to 4th, I noticed it was very hard to put in 4th gear. I shoved it in, found a side street, and pulled over. I noticed that my clutch wouldn't engage at all. Usually my clutch is very stiff, but now it was very soft. When the car is turned off, I can shift through the gears fine. I started my car in neutral, and put in the clutch and tried to put it in first. It wouldn't go in at all. So I turned off the car again and kept pushing on and off the clutch pedal for about a minute. I started the car, put the car in 1st (it worked this time) and slowly let go of the clutch. The engagement point of the clutch was VERY different, though. RIGHT after the clutch leaves the floor it engaged fully. So I drove for a minute, shifted through the gears, and the engagement was slowly going back to where it used to be and the clutch stiffness was coming back. Then about 10 seconds later, it did the same thing. No clutch engagement at all. So I pulled over and tried the same thing I had tried before with no luck. I ended up driving about 20 miles to East County European Autoworks in Brentwood with no clutch and just left my car sitting there.

What do you guys think is wrong?

I've had a power steering fluid leak, someone told me the power steering fluid could have gone into the transmission and caused it.

Someone else told me to check my brake fluid levels because that's also what our clutch runs off of.

I'm probably going to drop the transmission tomorrow to see what's happening.

Any input is appreciated.


10-31-2010, 09:41 PM
Had the same problem before I dropped my tranny and clutch. Pressure plate was cracked in many places and the clutch was Absolutely shot.

Sorry for the bad news, I hope that helps.

Good luck,

10-31-2010, 09:44 PM
Although the pedal will actually return to stock feel and everyting will seem fine, it will happen again in the near future (at least it did for me)

10-31-2010, 09:59 PM
It could be a pressure plate problem, or it could just be a hydraulic problem (if you're lucky). I was actually thinking hydraulic while reading through your story there.

If the master or slave cylinder isn't holding pressure properly, it can act like that. You won't get enough pressure, won't get enough movement from the slave, clutch fork won't be pushed far enough, and clutch won't disengage as far, or even enough to decouple the engine/trans. A mechanic should be able to inspect it and determine what is going on. It could even be as simple as a leaky hydraulic line if you're *really* lucky. My best guess would be a failed slave cylinder, though.

A tell-tale sign would be low and disappearing brake fluid. If it is leaking out, you'll see the reservoir empty itself with use. This isn't always the case, though. If the seals in the master have failed, the fluid level will remain the same, it just won't make pressure properly.

10-31-2010, 10:02 PM
Thanks for the quick replies, guys!

I'll have it checked out tomorrow and tell you guys what's going on. I hope it's an easy, cheap fix! Although it never is with these cars... Hah.

11-01-2010, 05:59 PM
My mechanic took out the tranny and this is what he found;


Good stuff, eh?

I'm just ordering a whole new clutch kit. Everything else looks fine.

Thanks, Freddie!

11-01-2010, 08:40 PM
That would explain your funny pedal feel. Parts of the disintegrating clutch disk were getting caught up between the disc and the flywheel/pressure plate. That would make decoupling take every inch of pedal, and would sometimes fail to decouple at all. Interesting.

You had less damage than usual, though. Often times the pressure plate explodes too:

11-01-2010, 10:10 PM
Yeah definitely. I was shocked that that was all the damage there was. I'm going to order a new clutch kit tomorrow. Should make it feel like a new car!

Thanks for the help, az!