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Hi All,
My '03 OBS MT has developed a weird characteristic in the last year. This is my first subaru (but definitely not last) so I may be like one of those people who asks, "why are my lights still on?" Anyways, here goes: After I start my car for the first time of the day and put it into first, the clutch (or maybe the tranny, I'm not sure) goes into this weird hesitation/lurking as I start moving. It feels the same as if I had never driven a manual transmission and was not giving it enough gas. This is not the case. In fact, I can minimize the hesitation by high-reving the engine. I don't like doing this though because the engine is still not quite warmed up at this point. Also of note is that this goes away after about 5 mins or so (pretty much as the car warms up); it only happens in the morning or the first time I start it for the day; even if I let the car warm up for a while, it can be cranky; my car didn't do this when I first purchased her.

What do you guys think? By the way, I'm taking her in for the 30K check soon, anything I should ask them to look at? As always, i appreciate your input.

p.s. It just snowed 4 inches out here and I couldn't be more excited to drive home from work!
 

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welcome to board!

are you sure your problem is clutch or trans, or could it be engine? symptoms sound like off-idle flat spot in power curve, which is not entirely uncommon. i had to get used to giving my Subie a LOT more throttle than i used to have to give my Jeep to get it moving.

there also seems to be a lot of springiness in the Subie driveline, which facilitates a really smooth takeoff once you are usedto it, but can result in a lot of jerkiness on takeoff unless you get it exactly right. every time i get back into the Subie after driving one of my other vehicles for a few days, i have to re-adapt to this effect.

no check engine light?
 

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hesitator

No, I'm not sure it's the clutch/tran, and so far, no check engine light. I agree with you that it is really 'springy' and love the feeling of the perfectly smooth take-off but no, what I'm talking about is not my failure to hit the sweet spot. It only occurs in the morning, when I don't give too much juice. I wish I knew what an off-idle flat spot in power curve was so that I could give more feedback. But, if you tell me that Subies just need a lot of throttle I'm happy to hear it. That is what I've assumed for the past year. As I mentioned, this is my first subie and every sound, creak, and grumble is new to my ears. STill, I wrote to this board because the jerking/lurching can make a violent sound.
 

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Sounds like the warm-up regulator. The other posibility would be bad/cracked cap/rotor assuming it uses them (I simply haven't looked under the hood of a new Subie so I don't know which system they run, 1 coil or multiple coils) and/or spark plug wires. Good luck.
 

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Clutch judder/shudder? There was a TSB on it a couple years ago. I had mine done. I don't really think it got into the '03's but it sounds like it. It shudders and shakes trying to engage the clutch? And then after a few gear changes it warms up and goes away? Brian
 

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hmm, what Brian is mentioning sounds like good possibility. i've never heard violent sounding noises. could you swap cars with someone else for comparison?

Nedro, they've used indiv-coil ign since at least 95, not sure how far back before then. and on an 03 with <30K, i doubt plug wires are shot yet. crud and/or carbon in the the cold-start enrichment mechanism stuff has been source of lots of just-off-idle problems for various folks on the list, but i doubt it here, also due to age of car.
 

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Once the clutch starts engaging and bucking, you can hear all the drivetrain noise that comes along with the Subaru. Ask the dealer if your specific car was included in the clutch shudder TSB. Brian
 

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Thanks for the info cptoversteer.
bheinz57, What exactly is the TSB on this matter? What are/were they replacing. I'm finding it hard to come up with what would only cause problems durring the first couple of engagments. And then go away.
 
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