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Old 05-30-2002, 02:37 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 18343
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Fort Lauderdale
2002 Impreza WRX
Red Sedonna Pearl

Default Problems with the Subaru Clutch

Ive had my 2002 wrx for about 9 months now. Ive replaced the clutch twice now, and the third is about ready to need to be replaced. the first two clutches in the car were the first stock clutch and another clutch from subaru, both of these clutches totally wore out in about 3 months. Now, the third clutch, which is in there now, was purchased from a performance shop, its a ceramic pressure plate instead of the stock organic one. This clutch started acting up exactly 3 months after being put in as well. Now, while I drive aggressively, i drove more aggressively in the past with the stock clutchs, recently (with this last clutch) ive been driving much more carefully, babying the clutch since its expensive to replace, but no matter how I drive her, or who drives her, the clutch wears out in 3 months. I am wondering if anyone else has seen this, and if anyone has any suggestions. From what I can see, my only options are to replace the clutch every three months, or spend money on a sti 6 speed gear box setup from avsport.com, which include and entire transmission.
Are these my only choices? Do I have any legal right to take actions against subaru for this?

Thank you very much for your help.
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Old 05-30-2002, 02:57 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 7492
Join Date: Jun 2001
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Hotlanta, GA
No race cars


Well if it isnt your driving, and no offense but I would suspect that it is, then you could probably get something done because of the lemon law. Look around the internet for that and you will find lots of info about it.

Is your clutch correctly adjusted? Do you rest your foot on the pedal while driving? How much do you slip it when starting? Do you launch the car often?
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Old 05-30-2002, 03:05 PM   #3
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Member#: 18343
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Fort Lauderdale
2002 Impreza WRX
Red Sedonna Pearl


To answer your questions:

"Is your clutch correctly adjusted? Do you rest your foot on the pedal while driving? How much do you slip it when starting? Do you launch the car often?"

The first time I had the clutch replaced, it was done by a subaru dealership, and I hope I can say it was installed right. And when I got a ceramic clutch put in, it was done by a mechanic whos been doing performance modifications for 7 years to import cars.

I do not rest my foot on the pedal, because the first time the clutch broke, everyone said "oh its your fault" So I always make sure that my foot is not on the pedal.

I slip it the smallest amount possible, and I make sure not to rev the engine too high, to avoid shocking the whole drivetrain too much, Id say a let out period of a secound or so, cant be exact, but it isnt long. And I launch the car maybe once out of every 15 starts, I drive it hard, but not anywhere near hard enough that I should cause problems like this.

This is my secound car, my first was a manual as well, I had it for 2 years with not a single problem.
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Old 05-30-2002, 03:32 PM   #4
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Member#: 2683
Join Date: Oct 2000
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Atlanta, GA
2011 STi 5-Door


When you're driving the car hard, how do you upshift? Do you "wait on the machinery" so that the revs match when you clutch out, or do you get into the next higher gear, clutch out fast, and get the speed boost from the slipping clutch from higher revs?

When you launch hard, what rpm do you launch from, and does the clutch smell bad? Like an acrid burning?

If it's none of these things, it does sound like there's something wrong with the car, but I can't for the life of me figure out what. If your clutch were slipping bad enough to need replacing after 3 months, it seems that driving the car would feel very weird.

Ross N.
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Old 05-30-2002, 03:49 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: St. Pete, FL
2002 WRX chassis...


BTW, this is in the wrong forum.
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Old 05-30-2002, 03:52 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Norfeast

The 2002 WRX's have had atleast a couple clutch recalls or clutch-related recalls, I know that much. So I dont think it is your driving that is the problem. With that said, I dont think it was a smart idea to change to an aftermarket clutch before the problem was diagnosed and fixed properly. Especially since it's under warranty. I dont know the laws where you are, but here in Mass if you bring a car back 3 times for the same problem and it still isnt fixed then you are entitled a brand new car under the Lemon Law.
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Old 05-30-2002, 06:59 PM   #7
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Member#: 7374
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: North Bay, SFCA
2007 Grandpamobile


Subaru should have replaced the first clutch under warranty if it went before 12 months/ 12,000 miles.
I have almost 18K on my original clutch and it is fine except that it chatters a bit in the morning. My local dealer has fixed (replaced clutch) the clutch shudder on a few members cars. I'm going to have them take a look at my car when I go on holiday in a few weeks.

Last edited by Stanley; 05-30-2002 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 05-30-2002, 09:54 PM   #8
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Member#: 19448
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Northeast NJ
2002 WRX Sedan

Default Chattering in the Morning

I get that chattering in the morning too.. it seems like the car has no power until it warms up fully. Can someone with a similiar problem e-mail me on how it was solved.
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Old 05-30-2002, 10:24 PM   #9
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Location: Stillwater, NY
2012 BMW 550i xdrive


Yeah I had it I also had the decel noice so they replaced it. All good so far. And I`ve done 4k since.
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Old 05-30-2002, 10:39 PM   #10
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Member#: 15900
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SoCal & NorCal
2002 WRX Wagon


My guess would be he rests his foot on the clutch while driving.
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Old 05-31-2002, 08:56 AM   #11
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 18343
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Fort Lauderdale
2002 Impreza WRX
Red Sedonna Pearl


I honestly don't rest my foot on the clutch, after the first one went bad, everyone said it was riding the clutch or launching everytime i start, and since it was since a big deal to everyone, for the last two clutchs Ive been making sure that I do not ride the clutch, launch at every light, or keep the clutch in while im waiting at red lights
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Old 06-04-2002, 10:00 PM   #12
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Member#: 3569
Join Date: Jan 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Murphysboro, IL, USA
2006 STi

Default Worn Clutch

Do you have or can you get one of the removed clutches? You can tell a lot about what's going on by examining the failed one. Contamination, overheating, misalignment, etc... If you could post some pictures, and closeups of the disk maybe we could help. Seems to me that it would be generating a lot of heat to wear one out in 3 months. Do you get that nasty burning clutch smell? Any vibration or does the tach indicate slippage? (tach increases on acceleration without directly corresponding increase in MPH).
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Old 06-05-2002, 12:23 AM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: St. Louis
91 RX7 LSx swap
'09 CC 3.6 4motion


So you "launch" the car once out of every 15 starts? Holy smoke the clutch batman....Thats A LOT. I would expect my clutch to wear out soon with that kind of driving Actually I can count on one hand how many times I have launched my car. Anyway it might be your clutch slave cylinder putting a little pressure on your pressure plate causing causing the clutch to slip just a little bit under heavy throttle. Not enough to notice but maybe enough to wear the clutch surface prematurely....thats a total shot in the dark there Did you change pressure plates also? Maybye the spring fingers are faulty somehow and not putting pressure on your clutch having the same effect.
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Old 06-13-2002, 05:22 PM   #14
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Member#: 11025
Join Date: Oct 2001
2000 Impreza 2.5 RS

Default Some age-old questions when going through clutches...

Are you sure Subaru replaced the pressure plate at any time?
Did the outside mechanic replace the pressure plate? (And if so did he use a aftermarket brand which uses a pressure plate supplied by the same supplier as Subaru uses?)
[Just realized last poster also asked this - sorry]

Did Subaru refinish or replace the flywheel?
Same for the outside mechanic?

When you saw launch - do you mean quickly accelerating, or revving to 3-4k and dropping the clutch?

The pressure plate may not be applying enough pressure and Subaru may have tried to get out of the warranty work as cheap as possible (assuming you toasted the clutch itself) and they didn't replace the pressure plate.

In my case ('00 RS w/20k) the pressure plate was the thing that was out of spec - it just wasn't applying enough pressure. Neither the clutch disc or pressure plate showed any sign of abuse.

A while back (years) wasn't there talk that due to incorrect stacking in warehouses some flywheels were warped etc, etc and that let to them having high spots which caused the clutch disc to wear badly etc. So - I suppose if the flywheel were causing an issue we would see some blueing/wear on the clutch disc - so as previous poster mentioned, lets see what the parts look like.
And find out what was done with the flywheel - in case it's the issue.

PS: I too suffered many slings and arrows about my driving even though I'd driven a '83 RX7 for 84k before replacing a clutch which was no known for going that many miles, and a CRX 120k on a cable clutch. I felt a lot better when the mechanic told me there was no way it was me.

SOA finally ended up paying me for the outside work (I had contacted them a number of times before I did the work and never did they advise that the pressure plate had a 60k warranty and perhaps I should bring it to the dealer just in case).
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