2011 WRX Clutch Noise
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This is a discussion on 2011 WRX Clutch Noise within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hello all, Recently I've been dealing with an ongoing problem with my clutch pedal. I've had my turn signal replaced ...

  1. #1
    Registered User cosh632's Avatar
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    2011 WRX Clutch Noise

    Hello all,

    Recently I've been dealing with an ongoing problem with my clutch pedal. I've had my turn signal replaced (which was a known issue), I've had my entire rear wing replaced due to a bad windshield washer sprayer, I've had a new master cylinder replaced, I've had a safety switch replaced and the problem remains.

    When I engage the clutch, there is a loud clicking noise that sounds like a stretching old spring. The master cylinder has been replaced, and they said it was a normal noise from the switches. I went under the dash, manually pressed the pedal with my had and engaged both safety switches and heard the tiny noise they make. This was not the noise I was hearing. I kept pressing in the pedal and it really sounds like it is coming from the spring assist. I have been in service more than eight times now, putting in well over 28 hours. I made an appointment for this past Saturday and had the service manager make sure they knew what to look for. I trusted this would be done and when I showed up it was the typical scene. I had to take one of the service guys out to see the problem I was describing. I left in a loaner, (8am) and came back to check on things after not being called (3pm). When I showed up the guy said he was "just going to call me" and said they ordered a new master cylinder. I quickly told him that mine was brand new. He said it "could be defective" and I said no way. He called the sales manager and he said to leave the car so they could check the welds. I left very upset and came back an hour later to find out the welds were just fine. He said in the process of unbolting the master cylinder unit, the noise is gone and it's super quiet. He said he was going to leave the service request open until I drove it a few days to see if the problem was fixed. I left skeptical, and sure enough I was right. I made it out 10 mins and the problem came back this time louder than before.

    I am about to freak the f**k out on this place and I want to know if anyone else is dealing with this hell? I really just want it fixed because I love my ride but lately I'd rather drive anything else! I am so mad at how much time they have wasted of mine just BS'ing me up and down the wall.......

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    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    Hopefully someone here with general knowledge about this, or specific knowledge about an issue with your model will chime in.
    In the mean time, please don't dodge our swear filter to use the f-word in our non-OT forums. We try to maintain a work-safe environment.
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  4. #3
    Registered User TrozPSU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosh632 View Post
    Hello all,

    Recently I've been dealing with an ongoing problem with my clutch pedal. I've had my turn signal replaced (which was a known issue), I've had my entire rear wing replaced due to a bad windshield washer sprayer, I've had a new master cylinder replaced, I've had a safety switch replaced and the problem remains.

    When I engage the clutch, there is a loud clicking noise that sounds like a stretching old spring. The master cylinder has been replaced, and they said it was a normal noise from the switches. I went under the dash, manually pressed the pedal with my had and engaged both safety switches and heard the tiny noise they make. This was not the noise I was hearing. I kept pressing in the pedal and it really sounds like it is coming from the spring assist. I have been in service more than eight times now, putting in well over 28 hours. I made an appointment for this past Saturday and had the service manager make sure they knew what to look for. I trusted this would be done and when I showed up it was the typical scene. I had to take one of the service guys out to see the problem I was describing. I left in a loaner, (8am) and came back to check on things after not being called (3pm). When I showed up the guy said he was "just going to call me" and said they ordered a new master cylinder. I quickly told him that mine was brand new. He said it "could be defective" and I said no way. He called the sales manager and he said to leave the car so they could check the welds. I left very upset and came back an hour later to find out the welds were just fine. He said in the process of unbolting the master cylinder unit, the noise is gone and it's super quiet. He said he was going to leave the service request open until I drove it a few days to see if the problem was fixed. I left skeptical, and sure enough I was right. I made it out 10 mins and the problem came back this time louder than before.

    I am about to freak the f**k out on this place and I want to know if anyone else is dealing with this hell? I really just want it fixed because I love my ride but lately I'd rather drive anything else! I am so mad at how much time they have wasted of mine just BS'ing me up and down the wall.......
    While I can't really help with your current problem, how did a bad windshield wiper sprayer destroy your rear wing? Was there acid in your reservoir?

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    Gold Member lokey's Avatar
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    The sprayer is in the wing of the HBs. I assume they messed his original one up while trying to remove/fix it?
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    Gold Member lokey's Avatar
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    * * PART-OUT IN PROGRESS. SEE FIRST POST. EMAIL REASONABLE OFFERS TO GREG.LOKEY@GMAIL * *

    Greg

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    ProTuned Stage 3ish '11 WRX Ltd HB (SWP) ~ 354 awhp 404 ft-lb tq on E85
    Friends don't let friends drive Mitsubishis.

  7. #6
    Registered User cosh632's Avatar
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    No they told me that the sprayer was part of the entire wing so they had to order the whole thing. (This design concept, if true, seems really stupid to me)

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    Registered User cosh632's Avatar
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    Yeah I have the cold start whining noise as well but my main problem is with the actual pedal depression. The clicking can be felt in the pedal almost as if it wants to go but something tries to hold it back and it pops free. This messes with my driving as I can not only hear it but feel it too....

    Oh well another appointment on Monday and we'll see what they decide to do.

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    Is it kind of a high pitched click? I think I have the same problem... Mine happens at the top of the clutch motion. I think that it just started as I first heard it about a week ago.... I had a CEL come on earlier in the month (3500 miles) and the official response from the dealership is "This is a problem with no fix as of now, you may have rough idles and it may stall out but it will start right back up" (Which honestly has not happened and the CEL hasn't come back since they turned it off, this assumption was made off one other guy they had seen with the same error that wouldn't go away) ... don't think it's worth taking in for the clutch depression yelp.

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    Registered User AmateurX's Avatar
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    My clutch squeaks and clicks when I depress the pedal. It's been subtle enough that I can mostly ignore it. I have ~8500 miles on the car, and it only just started to squeak 1k miles ago.

    I know what you mean about messing around with the service dept. I had to go in 3 times for them to almost fix the rattling passenger door. Next time, I'm taking it apart myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    ...In the mean time, please don't dodge our swear filter to use the f-word in our non-OT forums. We try to maintain a work-safe environment.
    Isn't it technically work safe, automatically, if the filter is dodged? (I'm just sayin')
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    Lando Calrissian DemonWRX's Avatar
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    I have the 'your tranny is cold, so the TO is gonna squeak' issue too....sometimes. It always goes away when the car warms up. Scared the hell out of me the first time I heard it as it was about 2 or 3 days after I went stage2. Currently at 5800mi.

    For the sprayer talk above... it is likely that it is more cost effective to just replace the wing than to spend the time gutting the wing and replacing the sprayer without damaging it.
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    Registered User MagnumXL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asu0610 View Post
    Is it kind of a high pitched click? I think I have the same problem... Mine happens at the top of the clutch motion. I think that it just started as I first heard it about a week ago.... I had a CEL come on earlier in the month (3500 miles) and the official response from the dealership is "This is a problem with no fix as of now, you may have rough idles and it may stall out but it will start right back up" (Which honestly has not happened and the CEL hasn't come back since they turned it off, this assumption was made off one other guy they had seen with the same error that wouldn't go away) ... don't think it's worth taking in for the clutch depression yelp.
    WTF kind of response is that? Your brand new car may idle rough and stall out constantly, but we CAN'T do anything about it? WTF!? Of course they can do something. FIX THE PROBLEM! It's not some mystic voodoo that makes the car run. It's got a bad part and it needs replaced. What a load of crap. I'd call SOA and lodge a complaint and then another dealer's service department and see if they can do their job. The worst part is it even registered a CEL code to tell them what's wrong and they still won't do their job??? I'd be ROYALLY PISSED.

    I'm getting a 'crunch' sound when I let the clutch out fast when I first start moving. Other threads on NASIOC say it's the ABS self test that does that but I could have sworn it did it more than once per running session, which would mean it's not just a self test, but I'm going to have to drive with the stereo off for a day and listen at each stop/start in 1st gear and see how it behaves to be sure.

    I already had the car in for door panel rattles. I told the guy about the rear deck rattle too, but I don't know if it was on the written statement or not. It certainly buzzes like a SOB still (doors seem better, but really big bass can still cause noises and I hear a rear right passenger noise that may or may not be the rear deck (sounds more like that door and does it with the stereo off). My '04 WRX was QUIET. I got it at two years old and never took the door panels off so I have no idea if someone already put Dynamat in it or something. I had no idea Subarus were such rattle boxes brand new from the factory since my last one was quiet.

    I've noticed something else odd/different about the clutch in this one compared to the last one as I've managed to stall it from a start a half dozen times over the past 5 months and that is not normal for me. I don't remember the last time I stalled a stick (many years) before this and I've owned nothing but sticks for the past 20 years. It always happens when I'm trying to move forward very slowly and/or creep up on someone or when I first pull forward after coming out of the driveway (big curb bump there that I think may set off the hill sensor or something odd since it often feels VERY weird when I take off there unless I sit a couple of seconds and let the throttle settle and/or double clutch in neutral first.) Otherwise, I think maybe the clutch is grabbing too hard too soon with so little fuel input (i.e. needs to be let out slower or maybe there's a smaller slip range than the previous car or it's something related to the newer clutch (i.e. my previous cars were all 36k+ by the time I bought them used). I'm really more concerned about '09 clutches have burned up with experienced drivers. I haven't really seen '10 or '11 complaints like that, but most still have very few miles on them so who knows if there was a defect they corrected or not (i.e. most experienced drivers don't burn up clutches in 10-20k miles).

    I took the car in to have them look at the free play since it feels so tight all the way from the top down and they say it just has a stiff spring and that it's normal. Without other cars to compare, I'm just taking their word for it (normally you fee zero tension the first inch or so on the pedal but this one feels pretty tight from the start or at least of similar tension to the rest of the travel). A friend at work had an Acura burn up a clutch in 20k miles for improper free play (clutch wasn't fully disengaged) and the dealer said it was fine when he took it in at a few thousand miles and then died at 20k. He adjusted it himself on the replacement and had no more issues for the next 140k miles so I don't trust service departments to know for certain what's correct in some cases. Too many '09 clutches have burned up with experienced drivers (see other threads) for me to think Subaru tells us everything.
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    Registered User cosh632's Avatar
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    I agree with you I wasn't buying that answer either. I have gone in 2 more times since posting that last message. They ordered me a "master cylinder" which was supposed to have already been replaced but they tell me now that they only replaced the "slave cylinder" before. So now I have to take the car back yet again for a master cylinder replacement. To make matters worse, the last time they had the car all day doing nothing, I had a rental car from enterprise. When I was going to take it back the evening I got it, they called and said keep it cause they needed my car overnight. I said ok! The next day I returned it and checked it out 2 miles away while refueling. The car was spotless just the way I found it. When I brought it in, the enterprise place was closed and the service department took the keys and gave me my broken car back. The next morning I get a call from enterprise saying there is damage on the right rear. This is near the gas tank fill area I just was standing next to not to mention going over the entire vehicle! I said I returned the car spotless and they said that the car is "still in my possession" even if it means just sitting in the Subaru lot until the next morning. So now I'll either have to pay the cost to fix or my $500 deductible. I'm so jacked right now it's not even funny. I left a nasty voicemail on the sales managers number saying I'd rather cut off my own left nut with a butter knife than deal with this dealership ever again. Recommendations? Nah! Never!

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    Hey all...as a 2x Impreza owner and a mechanical engineer I have a bit to say about this issue. I have noticed a similar sound with a 2001 2.5 RS and a slight sound with my 2 day old 2011 WRX (a sound and sensation that I fear will grow in intensity). After disassembly and reassembly of the pedal assembly in my 2001 I am convinced that this issue surrounds the manufacturing and assembly processes of all parts concerned. The spring for the clutch pedal seems to make most of the noise, while the sensation is a combination of spring and and the axial skew in the stamped part that is the clutch pedal arm. In other words, we have noisy springs that are interfering with a twisted/non-straight pedal arm.

    I would suspect that the clutch pedal arm is manufactured by a Subaru supplier, not Subaru themselves, and is one of many parts that are made inexpensively in order to keep the overall vehicle cost down.

    My advice is to demand that the dealer replace your pedal assembly and hope that the replacement parts are of a tighter tolerance than those previously installed.

    I could get in to the math-of-the-matter, and relate it to 4-bar mechanisms and other engineering "jargon", but just read this entire post as:your pedal "assembly is crooked".

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    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentsubi View Post
    I could get in to the math-of-the-matter, and relate it to 4-bar mechanisms and other engineering "jargon", but just read this entire post as:your pedal "assembly is crooked".
    You might be surprised at how many fellow engineers there are on this site.
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    Registered User Rholman1's Avatar
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    I noticed the same sound from my clutch pedal after driving my 2011 for a couple weeks...I was planning on having the dealer check it out when I take it in for the first oil change

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