Accidental shift into reverse without clutch

I woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning. When I went to back the car out of the parking spot, I didn't clutch and tried shifting it,
accidentally. It shifted by making a grinding noise and stalled the engine.
Once I tried reversing with the clutch, it moved and everything seems to be working. I am curious to assess the damage I did. Hope to hear some expert opinions. Thanks
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I woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning. When I went to back the car out of the parking spot, I didn't clutch and tried shifting it, accidentally. It shifted by making a grinding noise and stalled the engine.
Once I tried reversing with the clutch, it moved and everything seems to be working. I am curious to assess the damage I did. Hope to hear some expert opinions. Thanks
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you've probably just worn the teeth a bit. worst case scenario you'll have chipped a toth or two, but that would give you a loud knowcking noise when you reversed

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There was a loud knocking noise, but when I reversed with clutch it backed out without any jerking. Since the car is running fine, should I not be worried?
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You don't say what year or model VW you've got, but as far as I know there's no interlock on those things. There certainly isn't on the older ones. One of the tricks a number of us have used to get us home when the clutch cable has broken is to just shift without clutching. Works better if the synchros are healthy, but if you're in good practice, you can do it even if they're worn. The trick, of course, is the start from stopped.

I'm no expert. Sounds like you may have chipped or maybe rounded the tips of some gears. You may have also done nothing detectable. A mechanic told me some years back that you can "feel" a missing or badly chipped gear by putting the car in that gear and driving slowly over smooth pavement and feeling for a "click" or "bump" in the shifter and/or clutch pedal as it comes around. I've found that it works, but it can be awfully subtle. You might try that.
- Bill
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I have a 2005 Jetta TDI. I will try your recommendation
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Well... more of a "suggestion." I'm not sure what you'd do if you DO detect something. Probably try it again from time to time to see if it gets worse?
And IF you do you have to isolate if it's the trans, tires, axles, etc., etc., whatever. There's a difference, and I'd been told about the trick BEFORE my friend whacked the trans in the beetle (it was that long ago) so I'd already taken the car out to know how it would feel without the damage. Once I knew what it felt like, I could tell that "tick" on most any car. I found a set of chipped gears on a Subaru many years later using the same technique, for example. Still, give it a go and see what you find.
- Bill
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chances are you didn't do any damage at all.
if you do have a problem, just go to the dealer, you have a warranty after all... (just don't tell them why there's something wrong)
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Bill Leary wrote:

Solution: Turn the engine off. Put the car in 1st gear. When you are ready to go, start the car. Not to be used as a regular practice, but it'll get you home.
Chris

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trick,
Yes, I know. One of two ways to get going without a clutch.
The other is to already have the engine running, then roll the car and slip it into gear at the right speed.
- Bill
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In rec.autos.makers.vw.watercooled, Chris wrote:

I would suggest second, if you can get started despite bucking. It lets you go a little faster.
That should work if you are parked on the level or better.
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broken
healthy,
trick,
Actually, the trick is to get home without stopping at all :-) -- you've got to roll all the stop signs and avoid uphill traffic lights at all costs.
The shifting part is not that hard, you accelerate, let off the gas simultaneously with pulling the transmission into neutral, then hold the shifter semi-firmly against the next gear's gate, and then blip the throttle. At the precise point where the gears match each other in speed, it will almost snatch the shifter out of your hand and "suck" it into the next gear. Same technique downshifting. Just don't stop rolling!
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It's surprising, once you don't want to stop, to realize how often you actually DO have to stop.

Nice description. I'd, fortunately, practiced this (at the suggestion of my mechanic) before I needed it the first time (in a '65 VW beetle), so I knew how to do it. Needed it again years later in a Rabbit. Again, I'd practiced it before hand, so no trouble, except that time I *did* have to start on a hill. The cable broke JUST as I was clutching to go into 1st to pull of the parking space. I still practice this from time to time to keep my hand in, in case I need it again.
- Bill
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I was downtown on my '71 BMW bike, and broke a clutch cable. Got home using that method, ok, but definately a little hair-raising in traffic on a bike! Good thing it's got a huge millstone for a flywheel....... Any options if you've got a series 4 Golf? Dunno what I could do to bypass their safety switch. Bill D.

Just don't stop rolling!
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The very concept of driving a motorcycle in ANY kind of traffic without a clutch leave me short of breath.

Hmmm. I wasn't even aware they had one, but I suppose I should have expected it. The newest thing I've done this on (shift w/o clutch) is a '90-ish Golf. My daily driver is an '87 Scirocco 16V, which has no such crud in it. I suppose if I had one of them, I'd investigate ahead of time how to bypass the interlock... or make sure my cell phone was always charged so I could call for a tow.
- Bill
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or make sure my cell phone was always charged so I could call for a tow.
You're probably right. The ultimate tool kit..........Bill D.
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:-( I did the exact same thing to my dad's 2003 Golf CL this morning... The instant it happened I remembered this post... I've been driving my automatic TDI too long I think, combined with being up at 5:30 in the morning, and worrying about the pure ice on the road this morning.... yah, must have been that.... Sounded aweful, but I didn't seem to break anything, I drove around in reverse and tried to "feel" for something, but it all seemed okay.

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All depends, what year is the car. 99.5 and up had a heavier reverse gear. Before that they were only about 2 inches in diameter. Time will tell.

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