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Guest Message by DevFuse

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What's the Verdict on the new Subaru Clutches?

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45 replies to this topic

#26 Guest_subyroo_*

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 08:27 AM

<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>why use a subaru clutch at all... [/quote]

Well in some cases the cars are still under Warranty and in other cases who has the money to go around buying & fitting or having fitted, new clutches? We all have various reasons for replacing our clutches with a Subaru one.

#27 Guest_synapse79_*

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 08:36 AM

i could maybe understand the warranty issue, but any clutch would be better than the subaru clutch... There really is only one choice though, ACT. The quality and performance is great.

I wouldnt keep going back for the same bad part personally, i like to do it once and do it right, if possible. What if you decide to get larger wheels or do something to add more horsepower. If the subaru clutch can hardly manage to work with the factory setup, the problems are going to come right back if you were to change something.

With a better clutch your car feels like it has a bit more power, because its getting to the ground better also.

#28 Guest_DanMacCNY_*

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 04:10 PM


Armed with my copy of the TSB, I went to the dealer. He told me that Subaru insists that they confirm a problem with the clutch. Told him how can that be...they know they have a problem and have made a running production change to the '03s.

I told them, that now that it was (semi-) warm, it would be hard to detect the problem...these act up more in the cold.

He said, sorry...we've got to confirm the problem. (My experience with this dealer is that they don't ever find a problem.)

Being a 2001, now with 41k miles, I'm told that its not covered under warranty. Told them its not my fault that Subaru has stonewalled a solution...and that I drive my car some distance to work each day.

I've since gone to the original selling dealer, with a new Svc Mgr. He's told me that the DM has agreed to pay for parts if I pay for labor. To cross-check it, I called the Subaru 800 #.

There, I encountered the "Detroit Big 3" mentality. I recited the serious electrical issue with my car (all documented in his database) that took 10 months & 2 dealers to resolve. He told me that the dealer had to confirm the clutch problem. Told him that would be impossible until a return to colder weather in the fall. Told him that with a known clutch problem and a history of poor treatment at the hands of their dealers why could he not authorize the repair as a gesture of good will. He told me that there was nothing he could do; he'd make note of my concerns!

Its clear to me that Subaru talks a good game about being "driven by what's inside", but in reality, is driven by the same old lack of customer attention that plagued the "Big 3".

The car perfectly meets my needs...and in most other respects, I love the car. I'm just sick of the hassle.

I'm stumped. Any suggestions?


#29 Guest_rtp373_*

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 07:37 AM

That's too bad.

However, your clutch should act up in rainy/damp/humid weather too. Mine always comes back, even now in the summer months.

Demand a loaner and leave the car with them for a couple of days. Take the service mgr for a ride.

For me, I've been complaining since my first oil change and the mechanic did notice a slight shutter but said it was characteristic of the car. Later, when I brought up the '03 changeover and the bulletin, the service mgr said she'd order the parts. I guess it's dealer to dealer. Are there others in your area?

Yeah, it's too bad it's out of warranty by now, when they finally have a fix, but the splitting of the cost isn't too bad if that's what it comes down to. Try fighting for a bit and see if they cave after being bombarded with calls/letters. In the end, at least they're splitting costs. Could be worse.

#30 Guest_synapse79_*

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 08:13 AM


Either find a local shop the specializes in imports, or if you are mechanically savvy install the clutch urself. If you install an ACT clutch you will probably never need another clutch for as long as you own the car, and the car will feel faster and more crips because more power is getting to the ground.

I pulled the motor when i did it, because i was doing everything under the sun besides the clutch. I believe most shops will lower the tranny, which shouldnt take much time at all. At this time, it would also be smart to have the fly wheel resurfaced(20-30bux), and peal the back oil cover off behind the flywheel and reseal it wth fresh RTV sealant(6bux), and save urself or somebody else a load of hassle down the road when the subaru seal decides to go.
ACT clutches run around 450 on most places around the net, some will throw in a new pilot bearing which might be smart to do now too.

I bet having all that done at a local shop would prolly run you less and be done more correclty than at a dealership anyways. Do you think even for what the dealer is going to charge you they are going to do any preventative maintenance.

For the size of the subaru clutch, im amazed they have this many problems... It must be that the stock presure plate is way to soft... :(

#31 Guest_renobk_*

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 09:26 AM

Dan, I had a horrible clutch problem with my 01 Outback that cropped up right after I drove off the lot and lasted for 2 years...SOA replaced my clutch for free at around 41K miles because I had constantly complained to the dealer and made several calls to the 800 Subaru line about the problem. I'm sure that the only reason I got it covered was my persistant complaining at every oil change that something was wrong. It was a miserable 2 years, but at least it's fixed now and the new Subaru clutch feels fine.

I have to agree, however, that if it were MY money being spent on the replacement, there is no way in hell I would ever use a Subaru replacement clutch in the car. Never in a million years. If it's your $$, go with an ACT clutch.


#32 Guest_2Outbacks_*

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 03:09 PM

Any idea why the 98's aren't included in the TSB? I've had the problem since new, with one new clutch installed under warranty at 10K, but no improvement.

#33 Guest_synapse79_*

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 05:27 PM

not enough ppl complained... :(

#34 Guest_rtp373_*

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 07:52 PM

Wonder if Consumer Reports could pick up on this. With the ratings for Subaru, one would have to guess they focused on automatics only or something.....

#35 Guest_synapse79_*

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 07:59 PM

the clutch in my 98 just about totally let go around 65k

#36 Guest_synapse79_*

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 08:00 PM

a few thousand miles later i had a severe oil leak from the oil pump... decided then it was time to start fixing stuff... :D

#37 Guest_DanMacCNY_*

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 01:57 PM

Dear RTP373,

I was thinking exactly the same thing.

I plan to write a letter to the editors about Subaru's lack of support. I'm a subscriber, too, so I've just completed the Annual Survey and have nailed the car on electrical & clutch. I'm guessing that automatics are predominant.

I'm feeling pretty conflicted about this vehicle and Subaru support. As it stands now, I'd be pretty reluctant to buy one again. If not for these issues, I'd recommend the car. Tho, a friend has been looking at an '03 Forrester 5-speed and I've suggested he keep looking.

Its been suggested that I get an ACT clutch. I hate to spend upwards of $600 to buy one and have it installed. At this point, I'm only on the hook for the labor.

My next move will be an appeal to a supervisor at SOA, beyond the initial Help Desk people.


#38 Guest_scoobtech_*

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 09:07 PM

You sure this is not an advertisement for ACT clutches?? Whos gettin the commission ??:cool:

#39 Guest_PaganQWA_*

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 10:37 AM

scoobtech : wow I'm not the only one who thought this :lol:

#40 Guest_WagonsOnly_*

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 11:21 PM

The clutch in my '99 Forester shudders on pickup no matter what the temperature is, almost always when I start the car and then after about 5-10 miles. I'm sick of trying to get it fixed--the dealer I got the car from (used) insists that the clutch is not covered under the extended powertrain warranty and that there's nothing wrong with the car. In addition I've had a couple of odd electrical problems with the radio display, interior lights, and door open/close switches, and hard starting in cold/wet weather. And the car only has 53K on it. I'm seriously considering going to the GL-10 I picked up this past week as a daily driver.

On another note--someone mentioned Liberty Subaru in Oradell, NJ--was their service dept. any good? Anyone out there with good/bad experiences? The aforementioned GL-10 was purchased there in 1986, new, and was serviced there until 110K/1994 according to the service records I got with it. As far as my experiences with dealers go, I can heartily recommend Ty Subaru in Windsor Locks, CTexcellent sales and service team; and I can say Curry Subaru of Chicopee, MA is more interested in selling Hondas and Bertera Subaru, West Springfield, MA is interested in infuriating first-time customers (I don't think they have any repeats).

#41 Guest_ferret_*

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 06:26 AM

Regarding Liberty's Service Dept. I purchased 3 of my 5 Subaru's from Liberty. Their Parts AND Service Departments are EXCELLENT. Since they are a SUBARU ONLY dealer, the mechanics there really know their stuff. On a few out of warrenty tough problems, I even got advise without the expected "bring it in and let US look at it". I've been doing business there since 1981.
Call them and give them the VIN number. I'm sure they will get you the complete service history.

#42 Guest_st2eelpot_*

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 06:21 PM

I nearly sold the car due to the clutch issue it was so bad, but after I got it replaced by SOA I've had no complaints (other than gas mileage) out of the car.

I got the dealer to reproduce the shudder, but that didn't lead to a fix since the regional rep didn't think it was an issue. I ended up calling SOA's 800 number to get things rolling. The big thing to have done is make sure you have a paper trail on the whole issue while warranty is still valid. My clutch was replaced around 45k, and I'm now to approx 56k (miles) and all is well. I've driven the bloody piss out of the clutch at times, and been as nice as grandmother at other times. The replacement stuff is great.


#43 Guest_rtp373_*

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Posted 21 July 2003 - 06:56 PM

one word, W O W ! ! !

Thanks to everyone here and the nice people at Charlie's Subaru (just a little plug for them), I now have the new clutch. You couldn't have even beat the smile off my face driving home tonight. Just like you all say, action close to the floor, smoother, more forgiving, and a much lighter feel. Just like the 2003 OBW 5spd I test drove this spring. Hmmmm. Feels like a NORMAL clutch.

Again, your inputs, postings, etc were SO helpful. I'm glad this bulletin board exists.

#44 Guest_subyroo_*

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 08:31 AM


I traded the "Red Roo" in and bought an MY03 XS Forester on the
07-01-03 and in the week I had to wait for delivery of the Forester the "Dreaded Clutch Shudder" re-appeared twice (2).

So in a way I was glad to be getting rid of the MY01 Liberty.
I had done approx. 9,000kms since the clutch was changed and I never ever dumped the clutch in it the whole 2 1/2 yrs I had the car.

#45 Guest_spagemurray_*

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 08:34 PM

Replacement clutch is great. Smooth, light etc etc and zero shudder. I can idle out of my garage up a slight incline without touching accelerator and just perfect. Out of warranty free replacement!

#46 Guest_Setright_*

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 12:55 AM

WELL! Finally, I understand what is up with my Sube. I had the clutch changed and after a few weeks: JUDDER! I thought maybe the shop didn't skim the flywheel or something.

I will now start the long and arduous battle with my local dealer here in Denmark. Since Sube's are few and far between here, it will be difficult to convince the dealer that this is a manufacturing fault - I am probably the only one to complain :(

Anyone of you have any links to a "Service Bulletin" or something similar that I can use as my evidence?

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