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Old 02-14-2012, 03:17 PM   #1
91-GTIROB
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Default Is my clutch blown??

First, I have a 2008 bone stock WRX with just under 75,000 miles on it. As far as I know it still has the original clutch. So, I was leaving work a while ago and everything was working fine I pushed in the clutch peddle pulling up to a red light and something felt funny and a bit cattery. I pushed the peddle in again and felt very little resistance upon release. It was also difficult to get it back into first gear (reverse too). Pulling away from the light, the clutch did not grab until the peddle was almost fully released. The rest of my ride was the same, it did not totally give out at any time.

Is this the clutch going? If not what else could this be?

I have never had a clutch go on me and don't really know what to look for.

Thanks
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
Thunderpaw
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Should have posted in the transmission forum, more knowledgable guys over there. I believe when a clutch goes the engine will rev but not go anywhere (while in gear). One time my wife's car got stuck in first and couldn't shift. It needed a full rebuild. Be sure the clutch fluid reservior is full.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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It sucks going into reverse as your fluid is either old or wrong. Read the Maintenance FAQ and switch to one of those fluids....problem solved and then you will think I'm a badass.

To see if your clutch is ****, go to an empty lot and stop the car. Put it in 5th gear and attempt to take off. Yes....you'll have to give it more gas than usual, but honestly try to take off in 5th. If you succeed, then your clutch is toast. If it dies within .000035 seconds, your clutch is fine.

I'm no pro on this but I believe there is a clutch adjustment to somewhere to move the engagement point higher or lower.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
flycaster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
...I believe there is a clutch adjustment to somewhere to move the engagement point higher or lower.
You can adjust pedal free play, which is kinda sorta the same thing. It's a slight pain in the back to get to the nut which is located on the pedal arm underneath the pedal.

OP, if it's not slipping, the clutch master and slave cylinders may need to be replaced. Try replacing the fluid and get a good bleed on it first - start cheap and then work your way up.

Last edited by flycaster; 02-14-2012 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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I bought the car with 50,000 miles on it. All fluids were changed at Subaru prior to the sale. Fluid was the first thing I checked. It is right at the full line and nice and clean. That being said if it was the wrong fluid would it have ran with zero issues for 25,000 miles?

I thought of the adjust too but everything has worked perfect until this afternoon, is it likely the bolt just broke all of a sudden? I will try the 5th gear trick and report back.

Oh and Unibomber, I already think your a badass man! Your Maintenance FAQ was the first place I checked for info on this and many of your write ups have helped me out in the past, Thank You Sir.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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Tried 5th gear trick. Car did not stall and cluth burned and smelled awful. I pushed the cluth back in after a sec but the car did start to move before.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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Your clutch called.....it said it's done.

Your fluid needs changed as well as Subaru did NOT use one of the four fluids listed in that FAQ. Those are the ones to use and many OK fluids go to hell after that mileage.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:56 PM   #8
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That sucks for me. How do you know they used the wrong fluid?
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91-GTIROB View Post
...How do you know they used the wrong fluid?
If the clutch is torched, it's usually simple wear and tear. Same with brakes. Fluids fail less often than friction surfaces, ime. However, this is as debatable as engine oil differences.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:44 AM   #10
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They used the wrong fluid as 99.48% of dealerships don't care what they put into your trans as they care about getting cars in and out quick.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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Trans or clutch reservior? I serviced the trans and rear diff about 12,000 miles ago, trans has a fresh Uncle Scotty's cocktail.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:02 PM   #12
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Sounds like the clutch is shot. Since you werent the original owner of the car, there is a good chance that the prior owner may have learned to drive on it or what not. We have been doing clutches for 10 years on subies and have seen them go as early as 40-50k on a stock car or as high as 180-200k. 80% of them go in the 75-95k range.

Do you have a good indy subaru shop near you? They may be wiling to eval it for free and can help you hone in on the issue.

-mike


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Old 02-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #13
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91-GTIROB,

I'm curious, have you had the clutch slip under heavy load? I have had similar symptoms for at least a couple years of driving but have always attributed this to the age of the car. From reading quite a few "my clutch just failed posts", it seems like the classic case is the clutch starting to slip while going up a fairly substantial hill while adding a moderate amount of gas. In other words, it makes me think that the clutch either works or is slipping and no in between state.

*Ron*, (Correction)

I'm intrigued by your test method. I tried it and found that I can get my car moving and the clutch halfway engaged by roughly 300-500 ft. Are you saying that with a fairly new or brand new clutch this test will cut the engine off at the slightest engagement in 5th gear?

Last edited by achong; 02-23-2012 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:08 PM   #14
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Clutch seems shot, why don't you just take it to the shop and have a diagnostics done.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:53 PM   #15
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Brought the car to a shop and got it replaced. The disc was COMPLETELY worn out and seemed to be sticking to the pressure plate and not disengaging.

@ achong -It did not feel like my clutch was slipping but I do feel a big difference with the new one. The 5th gear trick is not my own. I think the point is to rev it up a bit and put it into 5th gear. If it does not stall right away the clutch is slipping.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:29 PM   #16
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Rob,

I don't think mine is worn out just yet. However, since I've had my car, it has always had the well known problem of not being able to shift into first while the car is moving. My theory is either the clutch friction disk was sticking to the flywheel/clutch cover or the pilot bearing is worn out causing the engine to drive the input shaft and keep it spinning. I'm sure it was because the previous owner had abused the car somewhat. It's interesting that you mentioned that your clutch friction disk was sticking, this makes me wonder. Now I really want to tear it apart and check it out.

I do know one thing, I've always felt like the car was gradually losing power. I started to trick myself into thinking I just got used to the power . I've checked for vacuum leaks, suspected a boost leak, did a compression test and leak-down, but never found anything definitive. The engine always sounds and delivers smooth power. So now I'm suspecting a worn out clutch.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:08 PM   #17
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Your issue with 1st gear is very common with 5 speed subaru transmissions.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:35 PM   #18
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Have you tried uncle scottys cocktail for the 5MT?

Worked wonders on my old 240k mile 5MT
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91-GTIROB View Post
Trans or clutch reservior? I serviced the trans and rear diff about 12,000 miles ago, trans has a fresh Uncle Scotty's cocktail.
Yes sir. Got one in there right now.
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