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I bought my MT 07 OBW a year ago with 54K miles on it. I put a lot of miles on a car, so now it has 90K on it. I began hearing a noise when I depressed the clutch which turned out to be a throwout/release bearing going bad. According to the dealer who repaired it, it wrecked the clutch disc. Given the labor cost of replacing that bearing and disc (apparently you have to drop the transmission) I had the whole clutch assembly replaced.

My question is this: I drove an 04 Kia Spectra for 235K miles and never had to replace a clutch. I didn't expect to have to replace a clutch at 90K miles on the OBW. Is this a common thing to have happen? Is there something I likely did wrong to cause this?

Thanks,
-Chris
 

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I just replaced the release bearing (and clutch etc.) on my 07 OBW SOHC due to it having seized. The Exedy (OEM) clutch kit came with a release bearing that I can only assume is identical to the OEM release bearing. I just happened to have an NTN release bearing on hand and comparing the two. The NTN has less drag, and some (as opposed to no) lubrication. Also, the surface that interfaces with the clutch release fingers was warped/out of round.

Long story short, you are not alone and the two Exedy release bearings I have handled are garbage.
 

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At 90k, my first thought is driving habits or location. But I have 2 gen 3 outbacks. Both have had quality control issues. So no surprise the part failed.

Also at 90k, knowing the timing belt needs to be done at 110k, I would have pulled the engine. Done the clutch and timing belt w all the fixings and made double sure you don't have headgasket issues. Before putting it back in service.

Thats just my 2 cents.
 

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I wouldn't worry about trying to do timing belt / head gaskets "while you're at it". I've done both jobs with the engine still in the car. The timing belt is one of the easier ones I've ever encountered.
 
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