So I was having to reverse out of a very steep hill this morning, I drive a 2016 Golf S (Non-GTI). Anyways it was super steep and of course this car doesn't have a ton of torque...and those that drive it know how the clutch is a little wonky.

Anyways I think my foot was on the clutch too long as I was trying to continually increase the throttle but the car was still moving forward. I finally got it going once I reached the bite point but I could smell what is def. a bit of burning clutch smell.

The car drove fine after, I tested putting it in 5th driving down the highway and putting the throttle all the way down and it wasn't slipping or anything. It shifted fine as well.

It's only got 26k miles on it...is it probably ok? Surely the clutch is tough enough to handle the odd instance of abuse every so often?

2 Answers 2


It's likely fine. You did put excessive wear on the clutch, shortening its life, but unless you're driving it very hard you can expect more than 26k miles out of it.

That doesn't mean it's okay, like I said you still wore out some parts, just not to the point where it's destroyed. Try to avoid slipping the clutch unless you have to.

  • Worst case scenario it's just wearing down the clutch material right?
    – msmith1114
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 19:47
  • That and possible damage to the flywheel. However (I'm looking at a new clutch right now) resurfacing seems to be standard in the labor of a new clutch. Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 11:34
  • Yeah, I mean i'd imagine that happening if I just dropped the clutch at a super high RPM. thankfully it was at least not a crazy rpm
    – msmith1114
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 19:07

Unless you kept slipping on the clutch for ages, it’s going to be ok. It can handle it, but it generates a lot of heat and accelerates wear so obviously it’s something you try to avoid.

Try getting from a standstill to a fully released clutch pedal as fast as you naturally can.

  • It was maybe a couple of seconds. maybe at most 2-2.5k rpm.
    – msmith1114
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 19:47
  • If you really mean "a couple of seconds" that shouldn't have overheated anything. Be warned that a failing clutch release bearing can also give "hot metal" smells because something is rubbing metal-to-metal when the clutch pedal is fully depressed, not just when you are slipping the clutch when starting.
    – alephzero
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 19:56
  • was that "maybe a couple of seconds" the actual time to reverse up that steep slope? Perhaps more than 2 or 3 seconds then... That's why you smelt burning...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 20:29
  • It's possible. I mean the car drives fine and I've had no smells today. I would still say I didn't slip the clutch more than 5 seconds at a max of 2.5k or so RPM. I mean im mostly just wearing out the clutch material right?
    – msmith1114
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 6:02
  • @msmith114 It's going to be hard to speculate around the specific time you slipped it. It's meant to slip to get the car going, so you probably just released the clutch pedal too slowly and gave too much gas as the car didn't feel torquey enough. You took a tiny bit of material off it and put some wear on the release bearing, but my bet is you'll be totally fine. Things like this happen on occasion
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 20:35

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