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Old 01-04-2022, 02:59 PM   #1
cguajardo
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Question Clutch question - 2017 WRX

Hey fellow subie-friends, got a question I didn't see particular answers to via searching so I thought I'd post.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out if I need to have the clutch replaced in my 2017 WRX (58k miles).

Background - I took a trip out to the mountains here in CO and on the way back got stuck in some horrible stop and go traffic (2+ hours of 2mph - 5mph movement). In this constant accordion like traffic where we wouldn't actually stop, I found myself constantly feathering the clutch into/out of 1st gear. I'd try to coast in neutral as much as possible but with the constant braking and accelerating between that horrible 2-10mph zone, I found that I couldn't manage creeping slowly without constantly going in and out of 1st. Anyways, eventually I started to smell a rubbery-like burning smell and figured it was my clutch plate. I also started experiencing massive chatter/shaking when letting go of the clutch pedal in 1st. I pulled over as quickly as I could find a safe pull-off and waited for about 25 minutes before continuing home (once the traffic was finally flowing again).

I suppose my question is -- does this abuse and reaching the point of that violent chatter indicate that I should now be expecting to replace the clutch, or can those components overheat like that and then continue to be used once they cool down? (i.e. did I kill my clutch completely or only reduce its lifespan by a bit?)

Apologies for the newbie question, but this is just a situation I've not dealt with before so I'm trying to learn.
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Old 01-04-2022, 05:49 PM   #2
joesstripclub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cguajardo View Post
Hey fellow subie-friends, got a question I didn't see particular answers to via searching so I thought I'd post.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out if I need to have the clutch replaced in my 2017 WRX (58k miles).

Background - I took a trip out to the mountains here in CO and on the way back got stuck in some horrible stop and go traffic (2+ hours of 2mph - 5mph movement). In this constant accordion like traffic where we wouldn't actually stop, I found myself constantly feathering the clutch into/out of 1st gear. I'd try to coast in neutral as much as possible but with the constant braking and accelerating between that horrible 2-10mph zone, I found that I couldn't manage creeping slowly without constantly going in and out of 1st. Anyways, eventually I started to smell a rubbery-like burning smell and figured it was my clutch plate. I also started experiencing massive chatter/shaking when letting go of the clutch pedal in 1st. I pulled over as quickly as I could find a safe pull-off and waited for about 25 minutes before continuing home (once the traffic was finally flowing again).

I suppose my question is -- does this abuse and reaching the point of that violent chatter indicate that I should now be expecting to replace the clutch, or can those components overheat like that and then continue to be used once they cool down? (i.e. did I kill my clutch completely or only reduce its lifespan by a bit?)

Apologies for the newbie question, but this is just a situation I've not dealt with before so I'm trying to learn.
Have you tried to drive it again since it happened? My guess is you boiled the fluid for the clutch, have you ever changed it or checked it?
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Old 01-04-2022, 06:39 PM   #3
That_Boosted_Life
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possible the clutch was just getting hot. clutches grab alittle more when warmed up to a certain point before they get really hot.

I doubt you boiled the clutch fluid. The fluid doesn't come into contact with any hot parts like the brakes do that would get it to boil. DOT3 fluid (factory filled brake fluid that also provides fluid for the clutch line) has a minimum boiling point of 400*F when fresh and 284*F when moisture is absorbed into it.
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Old 01-04-2022, 07:22 PM   #4
Unabomber
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How to know if your clutch sucks:

1. Take car to empty parking lot
2. Put car in 3rd gear and attempt to take off. Dies? That's good.

If you can take off, your clutch is on the way out and needs replaced. Just drive the car again normally and after a day or so, it should return to normal.
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Old 01-05-2022, 01:32 AM   #5
cguajardo
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Originally Posted by That_Boosted_Life View Post
possible the clutch was just getting hot. clutches grab alittle more when warmed up to a certain point before they get really hot.

I doubt you boiled the clutch fluid. The fluid doesn't come into contact with any hot parts like the brakes do that would get it to boil. DOT3 fluid (factory filled brake fluid that also provides fluid for the clutch line) has a minimum boiling point of 400*F when fresh and 284*F when moisture is absorbed into it.
Good to know, and my WRX has DOT4 from Track days which should be higher than that. I also suppose that since it was around 30 degrees outside when this happened (driving back from skiing), that ambient temperature helped some. I drove the car today and it felt alright, so hopefully I'm good for now :fingers_crossed:
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