Q: How can I tell if the problem I have is with the master or slave clutch cylinder? 2008 VW Eos

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How can I tell if the issue is with a clutch or a slave master cylinder as symptoms are relatively the same. My clutch will not pop back up. I cannot change the gears while the engine is on. I can change the gears when the engine is off. I do not know which service to select.

My car has 98200 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. Your question cannot be technically answered at this point in time. With your symptoms, it could be either the slave or the master cylinder. The clutch master cylinder is more commonly a problem, but the symptoms are identical for the most part. As far as what issue to put down for a service request, do not worry, either choice will dispatch a technician that can handle both problems regardless. Due to the fact clutch master cylinders have a higher failure rate, go ahead and select it. You can request a service for the issue here. Good luck!

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Hi there - great question! Often - but not always - diagnosis of whether the clutch master cylinder fails (least often) first, or whether it’s the slave cylinder that fails first (most often) - revolves around where you find leaking clutch fluid. If it is found under the clutch area of the engine/transmission, it’s the slave cylinder that has worn and failed. Clutch master cylinder failures tend to leak clutch fluid onto the carper above the driver foot pedal area. There will be a bit of an acrid odor in the vehicle if this occurs. It’s generally a good idea to replace both whenever either of them fail - they wear out at similar rates, and bleeding the hydraulics involves both anyway. I recommend a clutch hydraulics inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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