Why won't my clutch engage?

Asked by May 10, 2015 at 03:22 PM about the 1981 Volkswagen Vanagon Base Passenger Van

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

1981 VW Vanagon has had the following issues in last 2 weeks: Replaced points &
Distributor condenser, coil, starter connectors, fuel filter.  finally got it running, went to
take test drive-Clutch pedal will go in with no resistance, unable to put into any gear.
Originally went out on me while driving on freeway.  Please help.  I have been blessed
with somebody to help me, but he is not familiar with these rigs.

1 Answer


The Vanagon uses a hydraulic system to actuate the clutch. There is a master cylinder at the transmission and a slave cylinder up front under the dash near the clutch pedal. Undoubtedly, the failure is in that system and it's where I would start. There's a ton of information on the internet from The Samba dot com and Wetwesties dot com...and so many others. The ultimate tool to help is a Bentley manual...the official technical manual for Volkswagens. If you own a Vanagon, you need one. Once your mechanic gets familiar with the manual and procedures, he'll be fine. Good luck.

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