Why does my clutch push to the floor on my 85 vanagon westie after being in the garage for the winter?! Help?

Asked by May 16, 2010 at 01:51 PM about the 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I parked my van in the Garage for the winter, she ran fine going in, and now the
clutch pushes to the floor in the spring!  Plenty of fluid ( min line) under the
instrument cluster and no visible leaks....help?!

3 Answers


Have someone depress the clutch while looking at the hydraulic actuator at the transmission if it is exposed. Some are internal and not visable from the exterior. Look for FULL travel of the actuator. I'm betting that on an 85 it will be exposed. You probably will end up replacing the hydraulic pump at the pedal. Even if it holds fluid it is probably not giving enough pressure to disengage the clutch. If the pump is leaking internally you see the actuator extended some and then retract even though the person depressing it holds it to the floor. It should extend and stay extended as long as the operator holds it. Replace the pump at the pedal and bleed the system so that NO air bubbles remain. There is a possibility that the acuator is leaking internally instead of the pump. It is difficult to see which device is failing without putting a pressure gauge in the line and checking the pump to verify if it is producing adequate pressure. The simple thing to do if the actuator is external is replace both devices and you could expect a good long life in the system.

1 people found this helpful.

The hydraulic liquid must got frozen.Try getting you vanagaon inside a garage or any type of shelter where the tempeture isnt too cold.Start the engine to gain some heat and pump the clutch for a while.Put as much hydraulic liquids as it needs and keep pumpin the clutch and the breaks.It might sound weird that the liquid somehoow got frozen but it sometimes isnt due to the liquid itself but to the humidity that could have entered into the clutch that might have caused it to turn into ice perhaps.Hope this helps cuz it happened to me too and thought was kinda sttupid but a VW guru told me that.

Thanks Chuck and Alberto. Ill try these in the coming days and hoping for the best it works. Ill keep you posted. D

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