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2000 Forester L
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, maybe not. I am joking a little bit, but in my searching around I haven't found exactly the information I need, and I was hoping someone could help.

I have a 2000 Forester L with about 119,000 miles on it. I bought it in April. When I bought it, I was told the clutch had been replaced. When I questioned the dealer later (after having problems), the truth wasn't so straightforward. Apparently, MOST parts were replaced. He didn't know exactly which since he didn't do it himself. Whatever. He, uh, doesn't seem to be the most ethical person. I won't get into it, but I'm sure you'll draw your own conclusions.

Okay. So. As soon as I bought it, I took it to have the timing belt and water pump changed in case it hadn't been. I don't like to take chances! I didn't drive it around before I did that. When I got it back and began to drive it, I noticed the shuddering.

It seems to be worst when the car is warmed up. It is terrible on a hill. Sometimes I can barely get it going. I can finesse the flat ground by letting the clutch pedal out until the car begins to move forward on its own, then giving it gas. If I give it gas too early, oh the shuddering! And bucking, almost. Sometimes it bounces when idling. Also, my hill holder does not seem to be existent.

At first, I figured it was a clutch problem (maybe he botched the job) and questioned the guy. I replaced the slave cylinder since it was easy and he said he wasn't sure it had been done. I thought maybe something was a little leaky because the shudder improved when we bled the clutch, then gradually got worse again over a period of weeks. That replacement didn't help.

Then, we failed emissions testing. We had codes upon codes and no CEL. That's because the socket for it had been ripped out, we discovered. We replaced both O2 sensors and the knock sensor. I hoped that would help my problem. It was good for a couple days but once I took it out for a day and drove around a lot, the same old problem has started.

I am perplexed. I am even more confused after searching through the forums.

Could this be:
(1) Flywheel
(2) Maladjusted hill holder
(3) MAF or MAP
(4) Something else???

From reading about everyone else's problems, all of these things have some of my symptoms, but not all. I am becoming an automotive hypochondriac.

I have dumped a ton of money into this car (did I mention I replaced a rear wheel bearing, too? Irrelevant but $$$) and want to get it right this time. Will anyone share some thoughts?
 

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none none
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What codes is it throwing at this point?

Also I would see if you can get your money back. I'm pretty sure its illegal for a dealer to sell a car with the cel "disabled", and they were likely trying to hide more issues than you've noticed.
 

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2000 Forester L
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Discussion Starter #3
I've thought about going to get my money back, but the thing is, it took me forever to find a car for that price---or even for what I paid for it + all the repairs I've put into it. Also, I already contacted the state police and they just said "they're not supposed to do that." Apparently, I would have to take the guy to small claims court (and possibly lose, which I HATE the thought of). I will file a report with the state police and they will investigate him since he is a state inspection station, as well. However, if he hadn't been, and was just a dealer? They said they would do nothing. So, yeah, they didn't seem at all worried about what he did.

The only codes were for the sensors. And we had all those replaced, so the mechanic said just to drive it a little (20 or 30 miles, cool it down, then do it again) to clear it out. In other words, no codes now.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
Could be anything from a tune up to the timing belt is off a tooth. Is the shuddering all the time? At idle? Better or worse when you give it a littler gas? (raise rpm to 1500 in neutral) Is the engine smooth but it shudders when you go to move?
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,070 Posts
The hill holder did not return until 2003 in the forester.

The shudder is typically related to the particular clutch that is installed or an improper finish on the flywheel if it was turned. The OE clutch in my Baja was horriable, but I chose to live with it until the engine needed a rebuild. I went with a basic exedy along with turning the flywheel. Shudder disappeared. There is a clutch shudder TSB floating around on the net for subarus in the early 2000s in which I recall the TSB referencing the finish of the flywheel.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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As far as the dealer, report him to the state department that handles the dealer licensing.
 

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2000 Forester L
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
At idle, it is sometimes bumpy, like I am driving slowly over a dirt road. This doesn't happen all the time, though, or even often. Just once in a while.

The shudder is when I start it in first gear. It happens when I give it gas before a certain point (that certain point is when the clutch pedal is almost completely out). If I let the clutch pedal out without giving it gas, I can ease the gas pedal down just before it stalls and finesse it like that. As you may imagine, this is difficult to do on an incline with no hill holder. And like I said, infinitely worse on a hill than on a flat surface, if that helps.

Oh, and once I get going, all is fine and smooth. It's just starting in first gear that is a problem.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
Okay, so it's clutch related. To fix it correctly, you're probably looking at a new clutch. At least pressure plate, disc, throwout bearing. Have the flywheel turned by a good shop who can put the right surface on it. I've never seen it before, but is it possible the back of the crankshaft is bent slightly?:icon_eek: I doubt it, but just throwing out ideas here.
 

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2000 Forester L
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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the information...I'll check it out.

I wasn't sure whether to have the mechanic attack the clutch or timing belt...they were both recently done (by other mechanics than him) and I wondered if someone screwed up...but who--timing belt guy or clutch guy?!

But the bottom line is that if it is the clutch, I can deal with it until I need a new one? I'm not going to be stranded somewhere, most likely?
 

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2000 Forester L
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Discussion Starter #10
Bah! That is bad news. He said all that stuff was replaced, but I guess he may have lied about that, too. Sigh.

Weird thing is, husband took it to a mechanic and showed him the shuddering problem and the mechanic said there was a lot of life left in the clutch. Can there be "a lot of life" left in the parts, but they weren't put in properly?
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
Correct. A brand new clutch will shudder if you have a bad flywheel. Most people (even mechanics) won't bother turning a flywheel when doing a clutch. After just a little bit of driving, now the new one is bad; still lots of meat left on it, just not worth reusing.
 

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2000 Forester L
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Discussion Starter #12
Ooooh, my aching bank account! Thank you for diagnosing me, though. I appreciate it so much.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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Hang out here a little more and you will find out this is a very technically knowledgeable crowd.
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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I just had my clutch replaced along with hg job (partially covered by warranty at dealer where I bought car used). It was working great but I had 86,000 + miles and clutch was probably 3/4 worn out.

If I was going to do it over again I would get all Subaru new parts, including a new flywheel. Not sure about 2001, but on my 2004 the flywheel is a 2-piece damped affair, similar in idea to the clutch disc.

I first had a Bosch clutch kit installed at shop recommendation with a bad t/o bearing causing it to chirp like a cricket and inconsistent take-up point. Then, got an Exedy kit. Of course shop said flywheel was in good shape but didn't turn it (it did look pretty good to me compared to past 80s japanese cars i had done myself). Had shudder and/or chatter so they took it apart again and put in a new Subaru flywheel (I only paid for new flywheel at that point). The new flywheel took out the "light chatter" but not some of what I would call "shudder". It drives differently and is more important to rev a little higher on takeoff to prevent shudder. It also has a light "buzz" most noticeable under light load accelerating in 2nd gear. (I think this buzz is the mainshaft of the trans vibrating after some research). I believe that even though exedy makes subaru clutches that their clutch disc must be a little different than the subaru spec one which led to my current symptoms. I have a short shifter which is also a little noiser than stock so I have been living with it for now. The shop that did mine guarantees their work for 2 years so I still may wind up back there yet. :icon_frown:

good luck with your clutch. I previously owned 2 different 2000s and I must say that the clutch feel is one of subaru forester's weak points, besides original wheel bearings and headgasket issues. both of the 2000s with what i would assume stock clutches had bad, inconsistent shudder that was perhaps a little worse cold and there maybe 5% of the time, not enough to make me want to replace the clutch myself or pay for it, but quite aggravating. i still like my foresters in spite of their shortcomings.
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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Is it possible that something is loose somewhere, like an engine or transmission mount? You say it's worse on a hill, in that situation something would be moving out of place even more and make things sit at a wrong angle.

I've never seen it before, but is it possible the back of the crankshaft is bent slightly?
I doubt it, car wouldn't run well at all. Aren't our cranks cast anyway? They'd just crack.

If the car was not shuddering before the clutch job, it most likely isn't the flywheel. Make sure all the mounts are good and engine/transmission/drivetrain isn't shifting around.

Stan
 

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2000 Forester L
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Discussion Starter #17
Is it possible that something is loose somewhere, like an engine or transmission mount? You say it's worse on a hill, in that situation something would be moving out of place even more and make things sit at a wrong angle.



I doubt it, car wouldn't run well at all. Aren't our cranks cast anyway? They'd just crack.

If the car was not shuddering before the clutch job, it most likely isn't the flywheel. Make sure all the mounts are good and engine/transmission/drivetrain isn't shifting around.

Stan
I don't know if it was shuddering before the clutch job. I bought it after that was done already.

No one has mentioned the possibility of something being loose. I'll have to mention that to my mechanic.
 

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None FXT i exploded 4eat one good 4eat
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I like the idea of inspecting the motor / trans mounts also. I just had to replace my transmount - the amount of shudder was crazy. Do you also have troubles if you quickly let off of the gas?
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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At idle, it is sometimes bumpy, like I am driving slowly over a dirt road... The shudder is when I start it in first gear... once I get going, all is fine and smooth. It's just starting in first gear that is a problem.
If there are bumps and noises at idle in neutral, when the clutch is not being used, that seems to rule out the clutch as the cause.
A broken mount, either motor or transmission, would explain the bumps at idle as the motor rocks side to side, and the shudder upon starting off in first gear.
A broken mount would be easy and cheap to fix.
 
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