MkV Jetta TDI Clutch Change Tip

The 2005-2006 A5 or MkV Jetta TDI is reaching the age where many cars need new clutches. Since the 5 speed transmission in the A5 Jetta TDI is very similar to that in the previous generation there are a wide variety of clutch options.

However, a new twist appeared in the MkV Jettas. The MkV Jetta TDI with the 5-speed manual beats up heavily on the clutch release lever (also referred to as the clutch fork) as well as the ball-socket that it sits against…


This is what the release lever should look like...


Above is an image of a new clutch release lever. The clutch lever is a simple design where one end of the lever is pushed on when you depress the clutch pedal and the other is on a ball seat. The pushing on the clutch occurs in the middle of the lever – there is a bearing that clips inside the hole in the middle that physically contacts the outside of the clutch assembly. The clip and ball pin are held together by a spring clip.

Take a close look at the near side of the lever and you’ll see a rounded area. That is the outside of the ball seat, the ball pin sits inside that area.

It seems they used some other sort of material on the ball socket versus the older cars, and this is wearing through the metal on the fork. Below is a photo of a lever and ball pin that was taken out of a 2005 Jetta TDI 5spd during a clutch change:

 

 

As you can see the ball seat area is so worn that it is a HOLE! Very few cars get this bad. Take a look at the ball seat in the back, also in the photo at the top of the page. That nice, gray plastic pivot point is gone completely. After the plastic wore through the ball pin’s metal stud was pushing directly against the lever, which probably caused the wear-through of the lever.



Closeup of Lever Failure

Functional? Not so much....

In this close-up you can see that the hole got so large that the ball pin was able to fit completely through and the lever was resting on the shoulder. The shoulders, too, were digging into the metal. You can’t even tell there was a raised pivot area. This driver complained about poor shifting, its a wonder how it worked at all!

So, lesson learned – if you have an A5 Jetta that needs a clutch, pick up the Clutch Release Lever, Ball Pin and a new clip just in case yours too is worn out.

Items Mentioned in this article:

See also Overview of 5-Speed Clutch Lever & Throwout bearing system and Clutch Replacement Options for more info on clutch changes and clutches.