09 wrx clutch problems! - Page 14
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This is a discussion on 09 wrx clutch problems! within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Originally Posted by crazyeyeswrx Time for the WRX... picked it up last year because I needed a backseat (just had ...

  1. #196
    Registered User economatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyeyeswrx View Post
    Time for the WRX... picked it up last year because I needed a backseat (just had a baby girl and needed the extra room but I dont drive minivans) I loved the car - that is, until I hit 12k miles and the clutch started slipping. I had to drive it for 4 days slipping because we all gotta get to work right? I brought it in on Monday and they called then and say they have to take it apart and that a SOA rep had to come out to look at it but my tire tread looked good so I'll probably be ok. They just called today - Wed. and said that it's denied. They also said they have never seen an '09 or '10 model come in with any clutch problems. Really??? I mean, come on man, maybe they don't sell a lot of cars lol. Anyhow, they now want $650 to put my car back together so I can have a real mechanic replace the clutch.

    I started the SOA elevation process to see what they want to say about it, but this will be the last Subaru I own.
    First off, no matter what question you have for the dealers about typical problems they usually say they haven't heard or seen anything. It is their boiler plate answer for everything. Subaru dealers have given me the same line a couple times and Nissan would say the same thing about TSBs. Seriously. I've given up on even asking those questions because they won't give straight answers probably for good reasons though.

    If you didn't beat on the car I would escalate things to having SOA review the claim. If there are no signs of abuse they should cover it. And aren't clutches considered a wear item on Subarus and would be covered by the 3yr/36k mile warranty?

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  3. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    they should have informed you up front that there would be a cost associated with re-assembly. What I would do in your spot though is get your own clutch and have them install for $650.. since they're going to charge you that anyway to put it back together why not have em slam in the clutch of your choice while they're at it?

    My car has seen travel from central fl to Castine ME .. all types of weather. Last year I spent xmas in Upstate NY with average temps in the high teens. It has not been babied since 1001 miles .. I'm not a "slipper" though.. often I come off the line not higher than 1500rpm and rev match just about every downshift. Maybe my driving habits have helped but .. dunno.. All I can say is that they're not ALL failing early. Why or how I cant pin down.

    Thanks for the suggestion... I'm going to wait to hear back from SOA before I do that, but I agree with getting my own clutch. Anyone know a good brand/model clutch? Like I said, I'm not a racer, so I don't need anything crazy put in... just reliable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    First off, no matter what question you have for the dealers about typical problems they usually say they haven't heard or seen anything. It is their boiler plate answer for everything. Subaru dealers have given me the same line a couple times and Nissan would say the same thing about TSBs. Seriously. I've given up on even asking those questions because they won't give straight answers probably for good reasons though.

    If you didn't beat on the car I would escalate things to having SOA review the claim. If there are no signs of abuse they should cover it. And aren't clutches considered a wear item on Subarus and would be covered by the 3yr/36k mile warranty?
    See that's the thing, the clutch/flywheel are blue, guessing that's how they determine the damage (I know a little about cars, not when it comes to drive-train specifics, etc.). Believe it or not though, I haven't beaten on the car - I drive what I call aggressive, but I'm sure others drive a lot worse. If I felt like it was 100% my fault I would definitely take the blame and pay them to do it, I'm a fair person, I'm just not seeing it that way. I guess my rant is just to post that I am having a similar issue to that of others in the forum. I'm not looking for sympathy, just stating what I'm going through. SOA could very well call me back and goodwill the entire job and I would have no beef. Let the waiting begin.

  5. #199
    Registered User MagnumXL's Avatar
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    Apparently some people have never heard of the words quality control before. A given car model can have a high defect rate that is directly related to quality control on a given part(s) and SOME parts will be dead-on spec and work perfectly for the normal life of the part and others will be off enough to cause a malfunction or other issue and burn something up. My own '11 is only at 3200 miles and is NOT slipping at this time. But I'm surely keeping an eye on things in case I need to shove a couple dozen other examples in SOA or my dealer's face if something does happen in an unreasonable length of time given I've never burned up a clutch in 20 years of driving (with 130k on two of them before I got rid of them and over 80k on my last WRX driving it hard with many 4k range launches to stay out of turbo lag and zero slip problems when I sold it).

    I've spent HOURS reading clutch threads from '08-'11 and I see a pattern that is very prevalent in '08 and '09 and seems to taper down a lot in '10 and shows very little signs in '11 thus far. And while some may be driver error, the most common thing I've seen in the cars that burned up their clutches in under 10k where a thorough inspection was done is that a throw-out bearing defect caused it to stick (as if someone was riding the clutch at all times) and therefore wear on the clutch slightly at all times while driving, causing the clutch to fail in a vastly shorter time frame than it otherwise would. I've seen case after case of this. The lucky people were those that dealer figured out it was a clutch bearing defect and gave them no hassles. The unlucky ones were told they must have been abusing the car and they weren't' going to cover jack squat. The kiddies all jumped on the driver posting the problem every single time without exception, regardless of the cause. MY WRX hasn't burned up its clutch, so YOU must be a bad driver! That's bad logic.

    I've also seen bearing defects that cause the hideous high-pitched squeak/squeal noise at idle with the clutch disengaged. This may or may not be a sign of impending clutch failure but it's certainly something that suggests quality control issues once again.

    And just look at transmission variations between '11 WRX cars. How many people have issues getting into 1st or reverse? How many get grinding issues unless they shift into another gear first? How many more never downshift into 1st while moving because it just doesn't want to go into that gear while moving? I've seen a ton of posts complaining about that particular set of issues. I have NONE of those issues. Mine normally slides into all gears like butter straight from neutral. It seems obvious to me that there's a quality/control issue there as well. Something is just off enough in the transmission to prevent smooth gear engagement in SOME of the cars. Or is that driver error too???

    I believe the 2009 engine failures were a direct result of quality control problems with a silver-based set of bearings. The tolerances were not kept tight enough and lead to catastrophic engine failure on more than a few cars. Clearly, not every 2009 made during that time had that problem and that's because not every bearing was out of tolerance and once they got the bearings into tolerance the problem disappeared. Something similar may be happening here. I see far less issues overall on 2010 and 2011 models, but they also don't have as many miles on them yet either.
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  6. #200
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    I just took a ride up the road to the ATM and Dairy Queen and on the way back I thought I heard a slight "ticking" like sound sitting at the light. For once I had the stereo off and I thought maybe it was the fan (it used to make a slight ticking sound on the '04 at times, probably a crack in a fan blade or something), but instead it appears to be the throw-out bearing (disappears when the clutch is pressed in). It's not squeaking or chirping like I've heard a lot of bearings make, more like a faint tapping/ticking sound (kind of like lifters that aren't perfectly quiet, but not real loud), but seeing as it disappears with the clutch pedal in, it has to be the throw out bearing.

    If I open the door or roll my windows down, I cannot hear it because the SPT exhaust drowns it out (same thing with the stereo playing or even the fan turned up high) and it's pretty faint even so, but I have that feeling it's something that's only going to get louder over time.

    I also got a whiff of something easing out of the driveway today. I let it run a bit and then backed out so it might have been just backing into the exhaust gas, but I doubt it. If you let the clutch all the way out at idle with no gas, the car just wants to go way too fast and you have to hold the break down with the linear gear screaming the entire time, so I prefer just to feather it a little (always did that on the '04 and no smell ever). Again, I suspect the 'organic' material wears much easier than whatever they used in the past since it never made a smell EVER just feathering the break in reverse at low RPMs. I don't have quite 3200 miles on the car yet. And people wonder why some of us worry about bran new cars. I'm starting to think Subarus deserve that lower than average reliability rating in Consumer Reports since 2009. My '04 WRX never made ANY noises from the throw-out bearing and never produced any odd smells the 5 years I had it from 36k to over 80k.
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  7. #201
    Registered User MagnumXL's Avatar
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    I've also noticed there is no 'free play' in the clutch like I notice on most cars (normally 1/2-3/4" play with no tension) and this clutch I had to push down pretty hard with my thumb to move and then maybe at 3/4" it got a bit harder to push (change of angle, though). I'm thinking the push rod isn't adjusted right. If the clutch is just slightly engaged with the pedal all the way out, that might explain a lot of these premature wear problems. I'm going to have to take it over to the dealer and have them look at it.

    Edit: After watching a YouTube video on free play on an STI (that had a squeak), I'm not sure it isn't normal to be a bit tight in the free play area. How hard do you have to push on the clutch with your finger to make it move the first 1/2" or so? It just doesn't seem that much harder to push it the rest of the way (relatively speaking). It certainly isn't near zero resistance here.
    Last edited by MagnumXL; 08-03-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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  8. #202
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    anyone have any cheese? ... ...

    want more consistent qc.. buy a more expensive car. Or a similarly priced one with fewer features.

    Very simple.

    For the number of cars out on the road between 08-11 we're actually hearing a very small percentage back with problems. Some, much more paranoid and vocal than others. I'm going to go out on a limb here and state that for every issue reported on a forum there are 100 drivers that are NOT having any issue in that area. If you hate the car that much, save yourself the stress and trade it for something that doesn't give you heartburn. That goes for everyone.


    Crazyeyeswrx; Personally I prefer spec for clutches. I've run them in quite a few high performance applications and have never had any issues with them and they hold like a scared cat. A stageI clutch set would be fine for a factory car right up to stageII engine mods and will drive and feel like a oem unit. They're a little pricey but worth it. spec clutches
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  9. #203
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    If you look at any more typical defect rate, they usually tend to be very small (0.1-1% is common), but 1% (your 1 out of 100) is 10x 0.1% and if you're one of the ones with the problem, it doesn't look so rosy. Besides, try to find a car that doesn't have something wrong with it. That doesn't mean I want a noisy/defective throw-out bearing. And 30k for a car isn't exactly cheap. I don't know why people act like it is. Go get a more expensive car? I could get an STI for nearly $40k. It'd likely have the same chance of issues. If price was the absolute factor of quality, Jaguar and Porsche should be higher rated in that area and the lowly Toyota Corolla wouldn't be one of the most reliable vehicles on the road.

    What people don't want is for Subaru to replace the defective part with another defective part because they never bothered to fix the root of the problem in the first place. That happened to a number of '09 people that blew their engines and got them fixed with the same defective part. I don't recall Subaru ever officially acknowledging the silver bearing defect either. Hell, I can't even get them to fix the door spacer rattles. They just say there is no bulletin on it and refuse to fix it. Then there was the missing backing plate and washer to the shifter that Subaru claimed they must have forgot to install at the factory (and initially attempted to blame on me for it being missing). No, Subarus don't have any defects.
    Last edited by MagnumXL; 08-04-2011 at 03:30 AM.
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  10. #204
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    boy you are one extremely LITERAL dude aren't you? I honestly have no Idea what the actual reported numbers on clutch failures are...

    I

    DONT

    CARE

    the point I made is that for every complaint there are a great deal many not having a problem.

    You are aware that no one actually reads all the way through your long winded misery right? I've gotten to the point I just skim it for key points to see if its actually valid to the conversation at hand. I'm sure I'm going farther than many just doing that.

    Just about every post you make in here is slamming subaru, the car itself or some variant of the two. Its blatantly obvious you're not happy with your purchase. Go get another car already.. this one is not going to give you what you want/need.

    Although, given recent patterns I'd imagine you'd just find another fault(s) in whatever you buy and harp on it to ether's end.

    fyi, $25k is the AVERAGE price of a car these days. $30K based on that info is not an expensive car. Sure, a corolla is more reliable.. because its SIMPLE. Its also not as safe, or as well equipped in many ways. I owned one, and traded it for my WRX.. which I've been so much more happy with I cannot begin to tell you. Reliable.. sure, fun/personality.. non-existent. And lets not get into floor mat issues they have.. ...

    You appear to be a smart guy but smart and common sense appear to have no link... first off, how about going directly to SOA vs the dealer? You dont have to go through your dealer to talk to SOA. I've had more than a few conversations with them regarding my paint situation. They're friendly.. they'll talk to you.

    Also you're slamming subaru for the decisions and actions of a INDEPENDENT dealer and of course the dealer is not going to bend to little incidental bs, it costs them money that they aren't going to make back... and yeah, they're in the buiz to make money aren't they? Until SOA pushes them they're not going to bend to you, some guy off the street that has no direct influence on how/when/if they make money.

    But I digress.. if you hate it that much and have that little confidence in the car.. get rid of it and save us the misery of reading about your displeasure... esp when all your doing is trolling and feeding fires since you haven't actually had any serious failures on your own car nor have any constructive advice for those who have.
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  11. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    I

    DONT

    CARE
    If you don't care, then why the hell do you keep replying?

    the point I made is that for every complaint there are a great deal many not having a problem.
    This thread is about a clutch problem. It's not about people NOT having problems.

    If you aren't having a problem and don't believe there is any defect out there, WTF are you even reading the thread?

    Here's some simple advice for my posts. Stop reading them. You never offer anything useful when you reply. You just tell me to sell my car (what about 8 times now?). Yeah, I'll take a $6k loss on a new vehicle that's barely 3 months old because you don't like my posts.

    In other words, if anyone is trolling, it's you.

    You are aware that no one actually reads all the way through your long winded misery right?
    You say you don't read my replies, but yet you keep replying anyway.

    fyi, $25k is the AVERAGE price of a car these days. $30K based on that info is not an expensive car.
    Lotus makes an "expensive" car. That doesn't make it reliable. The price of the car should not be an excuse for bad workmanship where the lack of a 50 cent piece of velcro leads to rattles. My last WRX didn't rattle at all, so I assumed Subaru made a good vehicle. According to you, they basically make a Yugo with a big turbo for 30 grand.

    well equipped in many ways. I owned one, and traded it for my WRX.. which I've been so much more happy with I cannot begin to tell you. Reliable.. sure, fun/personality.. non-existent. And lets not get into floor mat issues they have..
    I loved my '04 WRX. I had almost NO problems with it what-so-ever for 5 years and 46k miles (36k to 80k). It didn't have any rattles and buzzes or throw-out bearing noise or odd 'clunk' sounds when starting out in 1st or reverse. Oddly enough, it did have a floor mat problem (original clamp broke and the replacement one they gave me kept slipping out of its hook loop, making it useless). I don't often worry about floor mats, though.

    Yeah, I might be a bit paranoid when it comes to a new car after reading forums full of odd defects to look out for, but at least I'm talking about the topic, not telling everyone whose posts I don't like to sell their car.
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  12. #206
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    wow.. with all that spin you must be a politician... and like a politician I guess I cant really argue with your lack of logic OR your inability to understand what's being said to you. Or maybe its esd (engineering social disorder) where in you hear what people tell you but because its not in line with your over complicated method it doesn't matter? .. so which is it?

    Thanks for that last post.. pretty much proved my point.

    and uh.. I did contribute to the OP, I answered accurately as to where he could find a good replacement clutch that will last him.

    According to you, they basically make a Yugo with a big turbo for 30 grand
    That's exactly what I'm saying, and you need to understand that. Considering that the base impreza and the wrx are EXACTLY the same (even share a service and owners manual) they are essentially the SAME car with a different power plant.


    Yep.. you paid $30k for a 17K car with a hot motor. Do you get it yet? *face-palm*
    Last edited by mangostick; 08-04-2011 at 03:14 PM.
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  13. #207
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    What spin is that? Pointing out that you don't need to reply to every single post, particularly if you have nothing to add but insults? If you don't like my opinions, ignore me. God knows I plan to start ignoring you if all you can do is tell me to sell my car at a loss.... Sheesh.

    My point was that the Impreza is a highly-rated and CR recommended reliable car (consumer feedback was full red circle in CR's review) for a great price. Yugos were total junk crap and cost like $6k when they were made. Thus economical doesn't mean unreliable or crap (hence the mention of the Corolla). So the elements that come from the Impreza should be no junkier than a Corolla (I expect the added risk from the turbo and said power on the drive train), but defective door spacers, bad bearings in the clutches, etc. are not WRX issues. They're just plain bad manufacturing and people don't need to be happy about that. The WRX used to be rated above average in CR (certainly was for my '04) and in 2009 they went to below average and the reason I suspect is blown engines and burnt up clutches (and obviously much more than in the past, regardless of what one thinks about the fault of those). They poll regular consumers for those ratings and clearly the general consensus about reliability has gone down the past few years and that's a shame.

    No Corolla would burn up a clutch under 20k miles even with a poor driver. 40k, maybe...they would have to really suck, though. Average clutch wear for a decent driver is always at least around 100k. A really good driver can get 200k+. I simply see way too much assumption in this thread (and more so on NASIOC) that everyone who had a problem MUST have caused it themselves and their evidence is simply that they have not yet had a problem. Given defect rates and how many drivers had experience with manuals (some for more than 40 years), that logic is pretty damn presumptuous. And that has been my point all along.

    None of that has anything to do with my car at this particular moment in time (I am getting it checked out by the dealer since I seem to have no free play and I can hear the faint beginnings of throw-out bearing noise). I simply support those that have had an issue and are being given the run-around. This thread has made me paranoid, though and for good reason. Too many warranty denials and far too many examples to dismiss it out of hand. If I wanted an unreliable sporty car, I could have bought a Dodge. I bought this WRX based on the almost rock solid performance of my last WRX (and the online consensus seemed to be the '11 had its issues fixed since '09). Only time will tell how reliable it really is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    Crazyeyeswrx; Personally I prefer spec for clutches. I've run them in quite a few high performance applications and have never had any issues with them and they hold like a scared cat. A stageI clutch set would be fine for a factory car right up to stageII engine mods and will drive and feel like a oem unit. They're a little pricey but worth it. spec clutches
    Thanks for the info... I'm noticing this thread is getting more political each day lol. I do like my WRX, and will most likely be getting a better clutch than Subaru wants to put in and have this car well into the 100k miles making me a Subaru fan still, but it doesn't mean that corporate should drag me out like this. BTW, I still have yet to hear from their Senior guys and It's been 7 days since I dropped off the car. Sucks not having a car, and even more challenging when both myself and my wife work separate hours.

  16. #210
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyeyeswrx View Post
    Thanks for the info... I'm noticing this thread is getting more political each day lol. I do like my WRX, and will most likely be getting a better clutch than Subaru wants to put in and have this car well into the 100k miles making me a Subaru fan still, but it doesn't mean that corporate should drag me out like this. BTW, I still have yet to hear from their Senior guys and It's been 7 days since I dropped off the car. Sucks not having a car, and even more challenging when both myself and my wife work separate hours.
    true, and it does suck.. but with a similar failure in any newer car you'd have same issue with slow response from any mfr. If you have poc info I'd stay on the guy (tactfully) until he got back to me. I'd have to rent a car since I need transportation to be able to properly do my job. Granted I can remote in and fix 90% of possible issues but the other 10% counts on me being able to put hand on equipment. If I were in the same spot I'd be pretty itchy under collar right about now.

    If they wont warranty it.. I'd def go with the spec clutch though. The last car I ran one in was making over 400hp@ 26psi (363hp/390tq at the wheels in 90* weather) and it held without any issues at all. There are machines I've worked on but dont own, making gobs more, running the cars street/strip and still no issues. Since the dealer already has your car apart its literally 5 min to bolt in the clutch of your choice.. so like said earlier if they want to charge you to put it back together.. hand em the clutch and tell em "sure.. that works.. while you're at it stick this in there"
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