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2004 Outback H4 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I'm worried about my clutch plate. Long story short, accelerator got stuck (on a new floormat) and brought the engine to about 5500 rpms and I feathered the clutch (stupidly in retrospect, but it was just my natural reaction) for about 20m in first gear (about five seconds). As a result, the clutch feels soft to engage. Once engaged, the clutch doesn’t seem to slip (tested by driving in a steeper gear and flooring it and the revs and speed rose together predictably), but it doesn’t feel nearly as “grabby” as it used to. I’ve obviously done something bad here, but should I spring for a new clutch? Is there anything easy that I can do to repair it?

The car is a 2004 2.5L with 100K on it.

Thanks a lot.

PS - I'm doing the timing belt/pulleys/water pump next week. Should I try to do the clutch at the same time?
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Try bleeding the clutch fluid, it's a hydraulic actuator, fresh fluid may help?

The slave cylinders and hoses are known weak points in the hydraulic clutch components. Very annoying to bleed them though.

Haccelerator got stuck (on a new floormat) and brought the engine to about 5500 rpms and I feathered the clutch (stupidly in retrospect, but it was just my natural reaction) for about 20m in first gear (about five seconds).
one 5 second mishap should not ruin a clutch. don't have to blame yourself so to speak, it was likely aging and already needed replace if indeed there's even a clutch issue.

are you sure the clutch feels different after this or maybe it was soft prior to this incident and you just didn't notice? that happens sometimes after an incident...you are more aware and focused on one thing.

I'm doing the timing belt/pulleys/water pump next week. Should I try to do the clutch at the same time?
The timing belt/water pump are really easy to do in the vehicle, pulling the engine is almost silly for a timing belt job, I can do a timing belt on this engine in less than an hour.

But if you do have a clutch problem then might as well do the clutch and replace the timing belt while it's out. I would verify the clutch issue first and then go from there.

They can last much longer if babied and lots of highway miles but clutch failure from 100,000 miles and up is normal, they are wear items.
 

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2004 Outback H4 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Grossgary,

Thanks for the advice. I'll check out the hoses and fluid level (that's the definition of easy and quick). It's good to hear that a single incident shouldn't completely destroy a clutch, (I try to baby the transmission as much as possible). But the change in feel is quite marked after this incident. Enough that my wife (who didn't know anything happened) made a comment shortly after. If I had to describe it, if the original grabby clutch was more on/off-ish. If it were graphed, it would be a square edged graph where you went from no drive to full drive almost instantly and you got a really positive confirmation that the engine was engaged. The new graph would be a smooth curve where there's lots of time between nothing to full drive. Once engaged, it feels okay, but it doesn't inspire the same degree of confidence. Hopefully it's a hydraulics problem, and one that I can deal with. It sucks because the positive feel in the clutch was one of the things that really attracted us to this car. It felt as though the previous owner similarly babied the clutch, but I guess 100K is a lot to expect from a clutch plate.

Thanks a lot for your input.
 

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I tried to engage clutch smoothly in VW Passat B6. It was very difficult. The sudden engagements increased looseness(or play or slack) in the drive train. I dreamed about a smooth clutch which you have after this incident.
Are subaru cluthes engage smoothly?
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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kop - this thread is 6 years old.

I can say the clutch in my 13-year-old WRX is very quick and takes some care to use smoothly from a stop.
 
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