I was driving to work this morning when all of the sudden at 30mph the clutch disengaged. I had just shifted in to 3rd when it happened and initially i thought i hadn't got it in gear properly, but I tried several times and several different gears and none of them would engage the transmission. The clutch pedal did not feel squishy or odd, and as far as I can tell it's the same as it's ever been.

My first inclination is to think the clutch itself has gone out, but the suddenness of the issue seems very strange to me. I have not felt it slipping even once. Hydraulic issues also seem unlikely as the pedal feels okay. I'm able to put it in any gear just fine, but when i release the pedal nothing happens. I had to get a ride quickly and get to work so I didn't have time to investigate it any further.

Any ideas on what could cause something like this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • First of all, welcome to the site! Now, to clarify, are you able to put the gear selector into its proper positions? Or is there a grinding or resistance when moving into the various gear positions? Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 23:28

2 Answers 2


I wanted to update this because the final resolution was rather unexpected and surprising, and it may help someone else some day. It turned out that the clutch wasn't involved in the problem at all. It turned out that the axle had fallen out of the transmission.

The telltale sign that should have made a connection is that the speedometer would still go up when i accelerated with it in gear. Other than this, though, the symptoms were exactly like what you'd expect if the clutch was completely gone.


While I cannot be sure this is your exact issue, I replaced a clutch a couple of years ago where the fibrous friction materials just let go from the friction disk. I mean, just became a complete PITB mess around the outside of the bell housing with very little left on the disk itself. It had just let go. There were some tell-tale signs of the clutch going bad, as it had been slipping for a while prior to this happening. It wouldn't grab any clutch at all, yet the pedal felt just fine. It was an ugly mess to clean up.

Here's a picture of the old one on the left and new one on the right:

enter image description here

It would be hard to tell if this is what happened to your clutch, but it is a possibility. If you are sure you are actually shifting into gear, this may be something you should have checked.

  • Thank you for the information, I really appreciate that you took the time to post the picture. This was exactly what I had thought was going on, but as it turned out the problem wasn't with the clutch at all, but with the axle not being connected to the transmission.
    – lmerry213
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 22:40
  • @lmerry213 - Well, that'd do it as well! Glad you got it resolved. :o) Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 23:31

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