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Q: My transmission went out.

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Last year, i took my car in to a mechanic to have the brakes done. They did the work, but had an issue bleeding the brakes. I picked the car up, had it for about an hour, and suddenly the clutch went out. I took it back to the mechanic and they said that brake fluid must have gone in to the clutch system while being bled. They fixed the clutch, and since then, we have had non-stop clutch problems. The whole system has been replaced twice this year, most recently in April. It is currently back in the shop after getting stuck in reverse gear. They are telling me this has nothing to do with the clutch or any work they have done. How likely is it that this is just a coincidence? Can faulty or incomplete clutch installation damage the transmission? I have sunk so much money into this car at this shop, but since some of the cost is covered by warranties every time, it is all i can afford now.

My car has 168000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: This sounds like a long and frustrating exp...

This sounds like a long and frustrating experience. I have a few initial thoughts about this. First, I’m wondering if this mechanic/shop has German car experience. Second, the car’s older age may be contributing to the continuous problems. Thirdly, concerning the lifespan and health of clutches and manual transmissions, much of their performance and longevity has to do with the way they are driven on a daily basis.

As for your question, a clutch that wasn’t installed/adjusted properly or a car that isn’t driven properly can absolutely hurt the transmission. This might be impossible to prove improper installation at this point. I’m surprised you still take your VW to this shop. If you’d like, you can try having a second mechanic give the vehicle a comprehensive inspection to see what can be done to address this more appropriately.

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