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2016 Forester 6 speed manual & love it!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2016 Forester Premium w/ a 6 speed MT and a 2.5L non-turbo engine. A few weeks ago, when I would engage the clutch, whether I had it in gear or not, I would hear a quiet whistling sound. I took it to the dealer and they found that it was the Clutch Bearing. Fortunately, I had a 100K warranty and I had 92,000 miles on the car. They told me that the clutch bearing goes out all the time with these cars and even at 92K I was lucky because a lot of people don't get that many miles on the clutch bearing. Realize that 95% of my driving is highway where I virtually use the clutch maybe 18 times total each day! Further, the Clutch Plate, or the part of the clutch that actually wears out and needs replacing normally on most cars, if I got it right, still had 70% of its life left. So if the clutch bearing had not failed, I should have gotten a lot more life left in the clutch!

Does anyone know why this happens with Subaru's? The dealer said that this will happen again in another 81,000 miles or so, so I should just get used to it. By the way, Subaru paid for all of the parts except for the Clutch Plate, so I paid for a new clutch plate just so that I was starting with a new

In addition, the new clutch produces this awful burning smell whenever I go up any kind of hill or grade like my own driveway to get into my garage. Anything beyond a quick gear shift causes this burning smell and it's nasty! The old clutch used to do this, but not anywhere near as bad as the new one does. Also, the only time I've ever had a clutch do this is when they got way too hot, but certainly NOT from routine driving up a small grade from a start.

Anyone know what's going on here? Is this normal for Subaru's? Is there an after-market clutch bearing I can put in next time that will last more than 92k?
Thanks.
Isydor
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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936 Posts
Sounds like clutch is slipping (and it shouldn't be) if you smell burning especially under load as going up hill. Throw-out bearing should last long time, but if there's another problem with the clutch ie stack height when installed, resting foot on clutch pedal while driving can cause it to go bad prematurely. Maybe incorrect parts for clutch, was flywheel re-surfaced so that it's all flat, clean and new to go with the new clutch pressure plate, disc and TO bearing?
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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910 Posts
I've replaced two clutches. In the 2007 Forester, the friction parts were fine, but the throwout bearing was in several pieces. I had to get in there because one day the clutch pedal didn't come back up normally, and I could drive the car only by fiddling with the pedal. In the 1990 Civic, the clutch was slipping, and when things were taken apart, again, the throwout bearing was in several pieces. But back with the Civic, I had a habit of holding the clutch pedal down when the car was stopped (don't do this).

If you're burning your clutch by slipping it, things will wear out. The only times you should get the burning smell is if you are doing something like backing a trailer uphill into your driveway and you are slipping the clutch. Or you are creeping the car over some sort of obstacle.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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474 Posts
It's very common that Subarus have throwout bearing failure before any other components. Not sure why, though.
 

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2016 Forester 6 speed manual & love it!
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
98% of my driving is highway driving in 6 gear and I've been driving a MT for 35 years and I've only replace the clutch in one vehicle before, and that had almost 200K on it. It's not me resting my foot on the clutch because I don't rest my foot on the clutch!

My garage sits a few feet above the street so there is a slight slope, but not much. However, it apparently is enough to smoke the clutch no matter how low the RPM is when I'm trying to get it into the garage. In fact, I was backing it out a couple of days ago and while I don't have to use any gas to get it out, I do use it in reverse so I can run the video camera and NOT hit my wife's Suby that's parked in the driveway.

I'm sure the dealership is tired of hearing from me, but obviously there is something WRONG if the damned thing stinks when I have to apply any power to it other than a normal shift. I hate to ask them to break the clutch back down, especially since they replaced the old one for nearly free because it was under warranty minus the clutch plate, which I paid for ($250). The warranty covered the clutch bearings and other parts and I covered the clutch plate so I got a nearly new clutch for almost free and was told that it cost about $2000. Unfortunately, my car has 98,000 miles so the warranty is almost over and I have a clutch that's not working correctly. Any ideas what I tell them?
Thanks.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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2,478 Posts
I'd tell them you STILL have clutch problems.
It sounds like you already know this.. Your clutch shouldn't be making a "I'm burning up" odor... because it IS burning up.
It doesn't help that the job was cheap if it wasn't done right... unless you're slipping the clutch which causes it to heat up and there you go.

As far as inconvenience goes, well that's part of the premium a dealer charges.
Would you rather sell your car at a serious discount because of a bad clutch?
 

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2016 Forester 6 speed manual & love it!
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, I'm in for the long-run and I bought a MT because generally they last a lot longer than an AT and because I drive 127 miles/day, I tend to burn up cars. Now that it has a new engine (replaced engine at 86K from rings never seated properly), I never considered that the clutch would fail in less than 100K not because of the clutch plate but because of the bearings, which should never go out prematurely!

Are there any after-market ones that can be replaced so that I don't have to keep replacing these all the time? The clutch plate had a whopping 70% left on it so it had lots of life left!!!
 

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1999 Forester S
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530 Posts
Do you hold the clutch pedal in while sitting at stop lights, or while waiting for traffic to move, versus leaving the transmission in neutral with the clutch pedal out?
 

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2016 Forester 6 speed manual & love it!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've always treated a clutch like it's a hot-potato! I've been driving a clutch since my first car, a 1983 Renault Le Car. And that car was NEW when I bought it so that's how long I've been driving clutches. No, I don't hold the clutch down 1/100 of a second longer than I have to. I'm taking it back to the dealer today though and I'll see what they find!
 

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2016 Forester 6 speed manual & love it!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
An Update on what I learned about the Clutch Throw-Out Bearings:

The throw-out bearing used in the Forester and other Subaru's were a known defect by Subaru. Mine is a 2016 Forester MT. Apparently, Subaru has been replacing the bearings as they burn up with new and re-engineered throw-out bearings that will hopefully not fail prematurely. I had a bad throw-out bearing, but the clutch plate had 70% material left on the pressure plate, but because they stripped the transmission and clutch off the car, I took advantage of the work and paid for the clutch pressure plate replacement and hopefully if the bearings they replaced will last a lot longer, or the remaining life of the car (the car had 98,000 miles on it), then I won't worry about it until the clutch pressure plate wears out like the normal clutch failure from normal use.

We'll see.
Bill
 
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