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Old 01-06-2004, 04:14 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 12408
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: Lotusland
2006 Legacy GT

Default Stiff brake and clutch feel in cold weather?

I wasn't sure if this forum was the best place for this, but since it's a combination of a brake and clutch issue . . .

I was recently driving back from a ski trip where outside temperatures were in the range of -40C (-40F) . . . since we were cruising on the highway, I hadn't touched the brakes or clutch in a while. When we slowed for an exit, I noticed that the brakes required more effort (not spongy, firm), and the clutch did, as well. Could this be a result of the cold temperatures, and the hydraulic fluid either freezing or just becoming more viscous?

I have stainless steel brake and clutch lines, btw, and I'm using DOT5.1 brake fluid (stock clutch fluid, though). Maybe the stainless steel lines are less insulating than the stock rubber ones . . .
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:04 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 3258
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2000 Impreza TS


I've never experienced firming of the brakes because of temperature, but the clutch definitely stiffens up when the weather gets cold. I've found that here in Calgary, in -20C and below my clutch starts off quite stiff untill the car warms up.
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:04 PM   #3
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Member#: 1134
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Dillsburg, PA
2010 Legacy GT Ltd.


It's VERY normal for brakes/clutch to feel more stiff in the cold. As far as your stainless lines, I wouldn't be surprised if that adds to the stiffness.... Remember that metal conducts heat (meaning hot/cold) very well, so that very well could contribute to a further drop in brake fluid temp, IMO.
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:37 AM   #4
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Member#: 34
Join Date: Jun 1999
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: Richmond, BC Canada
2005 WRX STi
World Rally Blue


Banman, I've driven 4hrs constant in winter but never that cold and my brake and clutch feel stay normal after the car's warmed up and running. I've only had SS clutch line this winter though, but nothing I can notice.
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