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Hey everyone,

First time here so thanks for having me. I had an issue with my 2016 2.5i manual Outback while highway driving and it blew out my clutch, and Subaru doesn't seem to have any answer for me. I was on the highway going 120kph in 6th gear and around 2200 rpm when, without touching the clutch or stick, my electronic display changed to showing 2nd gear and my rpms jumped to 6500. I stepped on the clutch to put it into neutral when I heard a pop and the car gave out. I had it towed back to the dealer and they told me the clutch was burned out. I don't ride the clutch and am not an overly aggressive driver, so I was a little shocked to hear that given I only have 34000km on the car. I've attached two of the pictures the dealership sent me before they replaced the clutch.

Neither Subaru Canada nor the dealership have an answer for how this happened, and are denying any warranty claims stating simply that they do not cover anything to do with the clutch. If I simply wore it out by being a new manual user I would understand, but given the circumstances I am not so sure.

Has anyone experienced any problems like this with their standard transmission? I've done a lot of digging online and can't seem to find any instances of a standard "shifting" on it's own.

Thanks a lot,

TerryMTL
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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by towed I hope you mean 4 wheels up on a flat bed. (I don't think any modern manual subarus can be towed 2 wheels down).

and yes,

to all viewers this is a Canadian sold 2016 manual. :nerd:

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, 360km on two flat beds between two provinces with different towing requirements ... Great 7 hour trip.

Are there differences between Canadian and American sold Outbacks?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Yeah, 360km on two flat beds between two provinces with different towing requirements ... Great 7 hour trip.

Are there differences between Canadian and American sold Outbacks?
I put that on, as 10 amuricans are going to pop up and moan about loosing manual legacys and outbacks in 2015.
(just CVTs on those from 2015- now).
 
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my electronic display changed to showing 2nd gear and my rpms jumped to 6500.
can't seem to find any instances of a standard "shifting" on it's own.
I doubt the transmission changed gears. Instead, the electronic gear indication in the dashboard is probably based on the engine rpm and wheel speed. If the clutch slips, the engine rpm increases relative to the wheels, and that is interpreted as a lower gear.
 

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I agree with plain OM. The transmission can't sense what gear it is in*, let alone report that data to anything else. All the computer knows is if the clutch pedal is up or down, how fast the wheels are turning and how fast the engine is turning. It has to back-calculate which gear the transmission is probably in.

There have been many posts about short clutch life in Outbacks, most of them starting with "I've driven a manual for ___ years and never had to replace a clutch..."

Yet those are definitely pictures of very dead clutch parts.

*there is a simple contact sensor for reverse gear selection, but just that one.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Crystal White Pearl with Ivory Cloth, with Eyesight and self dimming outside mirrors.
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Was that first picture of the throw out bearing, as we call it.
 

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There's long, fibrous-looking material and dirt on the clutch assembly in the second photo, and if the first photo is the throw-out bearing, it's unusually dirty. (See attached marked photo)

If I recall correctly, the 4th/5th gens don't have a cover on the lower part of the bell housing. I don't think that's normally a problem, but if critters get in and nest there, or if the car is parked in or driven through high, dirty, flood water, it's possible that material could get into the assembly and affect it. Perhaps the clutch.
 

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Looks to me like the clutch fragged itself rather than wore out. Your description would also indicate something 'broke' rather than the gradual failure one would expect from normal wearout. If the service center claims it was burned out from normal wear, they can deny warranty coverage.

btw, my 18 year old motorcycle knows what gear the transmission is in and it's not based on engine/road speed. The gear indicator shows what gear it is in when I click through the shifter while the bike is stationary and even with the engine not running. I'd be surprised if a modern car had to infer what gear it was in based on other data inputs. But I've been surprised before with how manufacturers can take a simple thing and make it complicated!
 
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