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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2003 Passat 1.8 T GLS. The clutch started slipping at 25K miles. While at my trusty mechanics shop to replace the clutch disc and pressure plate, they noted the flywheel was bad. Due to the cost, they suggested I tow it over to the dealer for warranty work. Once there, the dealer said the flywheel was not bad but they’d have to replace the whole assembly because it came all “bolted together as a unit”. Well I fell for it (and ended up with a nearly $2000. bill), the other mechanic tells me now that they could order the parts separately and sure would have done the job themselves if the flywheel wasn’t bad. When I picked the car up, it made a loud screeching noise when I started it. The dealer said, oh yeah your starter’s hanging up and will need to be replaced (for an additional $400-$500). I told them it wasn’t that way when it was brought in, so they claimed the other mechanic damaged it when they took it out. When told the other mechanic hadn’t removed it, only loosened the bolts and left it in the bell housing, they switched stories to; well when your clutch went out it took the starter with it. So my question is, is that likely? Possible? And by the way my clutch was only slipping, it was still drivable, it never “went out”. Do I have to replace this immediately? Could this be related to a bad install of my flywheel and am I doing damage to it every time I start my car? And by the way it also pulls to the right now (severely) which I had looked at and am told my caliper on the right side is sticking. Again, it wasn’t before I brought it in. Two stories again, one it could have been an incorrect tow or it could have been because my rear brakes were worn.
Already have replaced the rear brake pads, replaced all four tires, am getting tired of pouring money into this "new" vehicle. And of the VOA party line of it's all my fault, driving style etc. Okay, if that were true I guess every other car I've owned up to this point was just exceptionally built because I've never had problems like this in the past. Or maybe now suddenly my driving style has changed with the VW??!!! Could I please get an unbiased opinion from someone who knows about VW’s? Please?
 

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Someone said that vw went to a different clutch in 03....is this true? I have 19k on my 03 and now I'm worried that I'm going to have a monsterous bill due around 25k and start slipping...Especially with the way you have to rev the 1.8t when it's hot outside. :(
 

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I think this is yet another example of how VW dealers and VWoA mistreat their customers. :thumbdow: :thumbdow: Since your car should still under B2B warranty, most problems, other than clutch issue, should be covered. Your situation is getting more complicated because the independent mechanics involved clutch work, and your VW dealer is blaming everything to him. Honestly, from my past experience dealing with VW dealer service, I do believe your dealer screwed most of things up. I’d call VWoA and complain all the problems you have had, even on clutch issue since your car has only 25K miles. It’s not likely that you wear out the clutch that fast, especially you have been driving manual shift on other cars and none of them has the same issue. Your trusty independent mechanics should be able to tell you how the clutch disk worn and ask his opinion of whether the clutch disk and pressure plate are defective or misadjusted from factory.

I have had countless unpleasant and sometimes even outrageous experience on service and warranty issues with my VW dealers and VWoA also. I have hardly recommended any VW to my friends even though I have always been driving one for the last 20+ years. I am not going to get another VW in the future simply because I don’t want to deal with those incompetent dealers and VWoA anymore!
 

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I have 28K on my 03 and no problems with the clutch.
 

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I got chipped at 31k, and now at 39k, it slips only in 4th and 5th, but not all the time.

I'm not in fear of it going out any time soon. I can hammer the gas in 1st, 2nd and 3rd without any slip whatsoever.

-Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
more info on clutch

Regarding the clutch issue, thanks for the replies so far, just an update, I did contact VOA before going to the independent garage. They said it's past the (12 mo/12K miles) warranty...no help, no way, no how. Called the selling dealership, they said no good-will help, no assistance just a $1500 to $2400 clutch job and how soon could I write the check. The whole attitude of VOA seems to be, get em in, then deny everything. Talked to two dealers so far and am on my third with this starter and brake caliper issue. For those of you without any clutch problems, good luck. And when it does go out be prepared because if you still have any powertrain warranty, you have to put in the factory recommended clutch. It runs about 3 times what a clutch should run cause you have to buy it from VW. I read an article that said that VW's sales were down something like 25 or 26% last January, so the North American VW bigwig decided to lower the interest rates for used VW's, and increase incentives for new VW's. It would appear that since the VW profit center is the service department, and these things keep breaking down, if they don't have to cover any warranty work, you know just blame everything on the consumers driving habits etc., and bring in more drivers of VW's to break down, and require VW parts on these cars....gosh this guys are marketing geniuses. They'll be back up to making a profit in no time. But wait, if us customers keep getting the short end of the stick, and keep complaining, and word of mouth gets out that these cars are not really properly designed or at least some of the parts aren't...hmmmm I wonder if that eventually is going to hurt the bottom line. Gosh there used to be a saying you could fool some of the people some of the time etc. etc. etc. sorry for the rant guys, I get that way when my wallet gets thin.



I'm so frustrated I could just spit.
 

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2003 - 24K and just replaced my clutch...I have a hard time with people telling me that it is my driving style! I did replace it, I could not stand the slipping. I have been told that VW switched clutch supplier mid 03 year, and the clamping pressure is not the same. It is not covered under VWoA 36K warranty...(BS) Or maybe I just out drive most people on this site....which is hard to believe...I have never tracked it.

The $1700 bill is tough to take on a year old car. :puke:
 

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I think that is flat out bullshit...there is NO WAY a clutch should go out under 30k like that. NO WAY NO HOW...Unless someone is flooring their car at every light and popping the clutch, there should be no way that it should go out that early. Now I'm scared about mine going out prematurely...I feel like I should make a preemptive call to the dealer to find out about it. See if others have complained or had theirs go out. I cant do a 1700 clutch replacement...just plain couldnt afford it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tre,
okay, but would you explain everything up to this point? Or just go in and say; um, I have a right caliper sticking problem and my starter is hanging up? You know so I don't taint their views or anything? Plus, if one dealer did damage, should another dealer have to fix it. (wait, I don't know what I'm saying, I already know they'll deny warranty coverage).
 

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I got 340,000 km (210k mi) out of my '84 GTI's clutch, and 200,000 km (120k mi) out of my '92 Jetta clutch.
Both cars were launched aggressively on a regular basis.

While our cars are heavier, and generate more torque, 25-30k miles on a clutch is completely unacceptable!

We pay decent $$$ for these cars, if the 03-04 clutches are underengineered, VW needs to be made accountable.

Are V6 owners experiencing this same problem?
 

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The starter gear could wear out if there are serious problems with the flywheel, such as missing teeth. The clutch should go out that soon... makes me worry about mine.
Warranty work and customer service stinks with every car manufacturer I have dealt with. There are few dealerships that will treat you better than others for everyday things. But as far as warranty goes... other than recalls I would forget about it. It's impossible to convince them it's a manufacturing defect. I've even tried pulling up Technical Service bulletins and presenting them, saying obviously it's a common problem/therefore defective since it happens enough that you have a TSB for it... They just reply a TSB doesn't justify warranty work...
For me, it's not worth the stress. Check to see if warranty will cover it, if not take it elsewhere and try to find a superior part to put in it's place. Who cares if you are voiding another warranty, they didn't help you now, why would they help you down the road?
 

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AbEx said:
Check to see if warranty will cover it, if not take it elsewhere and try to find a superior part to put in it's place. Who cares if you are voiding another warranty, they didn't help you now, why would they help you down the road?
I'm beginning to agree with this sentiment...F em!
 

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Well shortly after I put a Wett chip in my 03 GL at about 5000 miles I noticed the clutch slipping in 4th and 5th under full load. After talking to Kelly,I sent the chip back to Wett to have it reprogrammed to .8 bar. I have had no problems since. I am at 22500 miles now and these reports of clutch problems have got me a little concerned :sad: We should keep each other posted on this.

Paul
 

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Yes VW changed clutches on the 2003's to a 240MM clutch.

Yes they suck, there is not enough clamping force. If your car is chipped your clutch is likely slipping. Notice that funny smell after driving hard? You may not even feel your clutch slip but you can sure smell it. :puke:

Please keep one thing in mind, if you modify your car be prepared to pay the price. Buying a chip that puts out +40HP and over 60lbs of torque more then stock, is outside of the OEM design criteria. Sucks I know. :(

My 2003 has been slipping ever since it was chipped. So yes on the drive home from Kelly's in Indiana, with 560 miles on my 4 day old new car my clutch was slipping. I've driven it another 23k miles, and I'm finally replacing it. (bought a AWE Tuning Stage II)

To the person who changed their clutch already... The dealer replaced your flywheel because that's what the VW Service manual says to do. And they are quite expensive. The starter probably worked fine, but may not have been installed right. If I recall correctly there is some wiggle room in the bolt holes and it's probably not lined up right. Of course now after starting it a few times, you might need a new one. :mad: Oh and I would NOT replace your clutch with an OE one because you'll find it'll probably start slipping soon again. You need a clutch with a different material and higher clamping force. Your old clutch probably had tons of material left, just no grabbing power. Hopefully your new one will hold.
 

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LIVE4SPD said:
Yes VW changed clutches on the 2003's to a 240MM clutch. Yes they suck, there is not enough clamping force. If your car is chipped your clutch is likely slipping....
Your old clutch probably had tons of material left, just no grabbing power. Hopefully your new one will hold.
Thanks for the info... :thumbup: :thumbup:

And thanks for VW’s German Engineering… :thumbdow: :thumbdow:
 

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funny smell

By funny smell, do you mean like burnt oil? I smell it occasionally after doing highway speeds for a period of time. If it's my clutch they can have the car back - 03 GLS with 25k. My Honda was 13.5yrs old & 250k original clutch. I know how to make it last, I drive like a little old man.
 
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