Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems  
Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Binberg

Legacy Tourer Diesel

My first clutch was replaced at 20000 miles.

At 30000 the second clutch is starting to slip and there is a sweet acrid smell when I use the clutch a lot in traffic.

Is it me?

Tags: technical issues clutches clutch failure driving techniques

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - hillman

The first Legacy that I had suffered badly from problems with the clutch. As is the usual, it's the way you drive Sir. The clutch gave way at 17 000 miles and the pressure plate and friction disc were replaced. The pressure plate was found to be cracked and had shaved the friction disc almost away. How the disc came to be cracked I don't know. I had to buy special shoes because the pedal pressure was too much for every pair that I had.

That sweet smell is from the friction disc overheating. Get it in for adjustment.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - dieseldogg

Sorry guys, I appreciate that there are occasional "duff" clutches out there.

BUT

Operator error, i.e mis-use & abuse........ time & time again,....... I see it every day, by people who deny doing it.

I got a 216,000 mile diesel on the origional clutch, her be chipped too.

The clutch is still good too.

I also tow fairly often and heavy trailers forby, plus the grater part of my milage is stop start town driving.

a clutch is either "in" or "out" with the briefest possible transition, without excessive revving and slipping and without sidestepping and "dumping"

I was quite disgusted to read in a caravan magazine as to how it was necessary to slip a clutch to pull away. and how afrer repeated hill starts the clutch was slipping and smelling. That useless sod of a tester should have to pay for the repairs personally.

And be sacked.

cheers

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - spikeyhead {p}

The only clutch I've ever killed was in a Subaru, albeit an I'mprezza turbo.

I suspect they are made of chocolate

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - legacylad

But thats not any sort of chocolate. That's M & S chocolate.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - corax

They do seem to be a weak point. Audi, Land Rover, Skoda e.t.c don't have these issues, so why Subaru? How much is a clutch change on a Legacy. Ouch! (Especially if you use only the best M & S chocolate) :-)

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - nick62

I've never had the clutch replaced on any vehicle I've owned, but during an extended test drive of a brand new Forester Diesel I managed to wreck the clutch!!! I still don't know how it happened. The dealer was't bothered at all!

My Legacy clutch smells strongly sometimes if I'm just a bit clumbsy during a TPT or similar, but is still okay after 55,000 miles (I hope)?

Edited by nick62 on 27/05/2010 at 23:35

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - a900ss

Sorry to hijack but I'm soon to be given a Legacy diesel as a company car (2009 model). Any comments on the car and how it drives? I've read the roadtests but real users comments over the long term are always much better.

Thanks

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Head Gasket? - Binberg

I am now getting white smoke on start up. The garage has tested the radiator pressure and say it looks like a head gasket problem, possibly new heads, possibly a new engine. So far, one new clutch and I am now facing even more serious problems. The car is under two years old and has done 30,000 miles. I thought Subarus were reliable?

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Head Gasket? - LucyBC

We have a 2008 model which has done 135,000 miles as a pool car. Extremely economical and still lovely to drive. It has never needed anything aside from servicing.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Head Gasket? - redpuma

Last week I watched a program on Polish TV about problems with Subaru clutches. It seems that failures are quite common, one after 3000 miles. Subaru importer denied any resposibility and the owners had to pay up for new cluches. Subaru blamed the drivers and offered them "lessons in driving " for free.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Head Gasket? - rogue-trooper

My BMW 530d chipped is still going strong on its original clutch at 110k miles.

Surprisingly, the only clutch that has gone on me was on a Subaru Legacy Turbo some years ago, when I left the traffic lights with some zeal. Oh and also a Volvo 340, which was my first car, that slipped quite badly after 40k miles but I guess that was youthful exuberance.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Head Gasket? - rogue-trooper

Redpuma, I like the offer of how to drive!! I did consider a Scooby Outback at one stage, but the car seems to be a step back and then this sort of problem and dealer brush off really is the final nail in the coffin.

Edited by rogue-trooper on 20/06/2010 at 00:00

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch Problem - Ronit

The clutch of my Outback Diesel is definitely a weak point. It started slipping off after 38,000KM. No big boat or caravan, just casual drive.

I was driving manual cars for the last 30 years with no clutch issues ever

Claiming that it is a driver issue is a poor excuse to wave the reality of a poor design or poor quality issue

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch Problem - daviskw

I have a dec 2010 Legacy, the first clutch went after 4 months, th esecond after 4 weeks, total mileage 4000 miles and all subaru said was "excessive driving"

keith wilson

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch Problem - judiemmett

I have a new 2010 Subaru boxer deisel and have had to have the clutch replaced at 35000 kms. I do not tow, I do not ride the clutch.................. why??? Has anyone else had this problem?

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch Problem - MadVlad

Just to add to the confusion - I have 70,000 km up on a 2008 Legacy saloon diesel with no problems, clutch or otherwise. 50% of my driving is urban start/stop. Subaru have issued ECU updates to be applied during scheduled servicing to reduce torque load when starting off. It might be worth checking to see if these have been applied by the dealer. AWD cars tend to be harder on clutches because more load is applied before traction control senses wheel slippage and eases the load on the clutch. .

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch Problem - Ekmel
I have a 2009 subaru legacy 2.0 td. I had a clutch problem at 43000 km. I was on the highway driving with the speed of 100 km/h, I had sudden loss of engine power as my clutch is dead. Then I had waited for 2-3 weeks for the clutch to be renewed. I am 46 year old and driving for more than 25 years without any clutch problems. This was my first trouble ever. I think there is a mechanical design problem which causes this trouble. These boxer diesel engines are too powerful for the transmision they have used. And subaru knows it.
Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch Problem - RT
These boxer diesel engines are too powerful for the transmision they have used. And subaru knows it.

I'm not saying you're wrong - but Subaru have considerable experience with engines producing way more power and torque than the 2.0 diesel - the 2.5 petrol twin-turbo engines used elsewhere in the world and grey imported to the UK are a case in point.

The Subaru 2.0 diesel is quite puny really, 148 bhp / 350 Nm - my budget Korean 2.2 gives 194bhp / 436 Nm with no transmission issues.

So have Subaru simply fitted a low-rated transmission that can't cope

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch Problem - unthrottled

I'm not saying you're wrong - but Subaru have considerable experience with engines producing way more power and torque than the 2.0 diesel - the 2.5 petrol twin-turbo engines used elsewhere in the world and grey imported to the UK are a case in point.

Looking at time averaged torque is rather simplistic. Torque flux is what will induce clutch slip. Torque flux is considerably greater in diesels than petrols of the same torque output.

Torque flux is also worse for horizontally oposed four cylinder than an inline 4. I can scarcely believe it but could this have been overlooked when Subaru specified a clutch from their suppliers?

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Ed V

Most on

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Roly93

They do seem to be a weak point. Audi, Land Rover, Skoda e.t.c don't have these issues, so why Subaru? How much is a clutch change on a Legacy. Ouch! (Especially if you use only the best M & S chocolate) :-)

To be fair Audi and Skoda dont have a problem with clutch friction material, but they do have some weakness with the dual-mass flywheel aspect of the clutch sometimes.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - corax

They do seem to be a weak point. Audi, Land Rover, Skoda e.t.c don't have these issues, so why Subaru? How much is a clutch change on a Legacy. Ouch! (Especially if you use only the best M & S chocolate) :-)

To be fair Audi and Skoda dont have a problem with clutch friction material, but they do have some weakness with the dual-mass flywheel aspect of the clutch sometimes.

As do most modern cars these days, some of which is based on owner treatment, but the issue here is that some Subaru clutches just don't seem to be able to last the distance irrespective of how they're treated by owners.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - sampsonij

Its not you.

Mine has just failed at 13280 miles. I told Subaru last year about the problem and they claimed there was nothing wrong. I even had the AA with me at the time and the AA man questioned this statement.

The clutch failed on Tuesday night leaving me without a car and 200 miles away from home. Subaru assistance has provided me a hire car and the garage are fixing the issue at the moment.

I will update the message when they tell me whats wrong and what can be done.

Personally I have never had a clutch failure in 20 + years of driving and hundreds of thousands of driven miles. I used to drive 30,000 miles a year for work around the UK so this was a first for me. I would also ask everyone to think about how many times they here of a clutch failure with cars? This is a failure small issue with modern cars.

I love the car and I hope subaru are sensible about this obvious weakness.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - ella's dad

Hi there,

Any news? My legacy diesel went in today..... 45,000 miles, clutch failure.

Did Subaru cover it under warranty? Which garage?

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - sampsonij

The clutch on my 2010 legacy diesel was replaced under warrenty at 12,800 miles. This was in November 2011. I had previously taken the car in with faults in the clutch (Biurning smell, judder etc) and the dealer told me it wasnt a problem. When this happened the AA had advised me to take the car back and even followed me the 20 miles to the dealer as they were concerned.

The car does not tow, does not have to deal with lots of town driving, did not drive off road and sits at home lots of the time hence the low mileage. When used it did a lot of motorway driving to an airport.

I have been driving for over 20 years and in that time owned all sorts of cars from old mini's through classic cars and everything in between.I have had advanced driver training and driven both on road and off road in purpose built off road vehicles. In those 20 years this is the first clutch failure I have experienced. Some years ago I used to tow a caravan with alternate 2 wheel drive cars and didnt have a failure then even though the car / clutch / drive train was working a lot harder.

According to the dealer and letters from Subaru, the clutch failure was caused by excessive flex in the dual mass flywheel. They state this was not an inherent fault with the car.

I am also now experiencing lots of minor electrical based issues such as:

The passanger doors not unlocking despite the fact the boot and drivers door has unlocked

Steering wheel volume control intermittantly working.

I have built a web site to document the letters and faults I experienced but i have lost faith in the car and sold it.

sites.google.com/site/subarulegacyissues/

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - daviskw

I bought a Legacy Estat last January. At 1700 miles without any warning, the clutch disintegrated leaving my wife stranded on the motorway.

It was replaced and after another 2000 miles (4 weeks) the clutch gave way again without any warning.The first time it happened, Subaru said it was due ti "excessive towing" but I pointed out that all I tow was a wheelie bin 50 yards to the end of my lane. The second time they sais it was "excessive driving"! Their engineer monitored it and said it had not been driven excessively and that he could not conclude that it could not have been caused by my style of driving. An executive in Subaru (Ireland) sent me an email saying I was not used to driving a common rail diesel - he ignored the fact that my previous car which I drove for 11 years was a top of the range Citroen common rail diesel Zantia. An independent enginerr observed me driving and said that I did not drive with my foot on the clutch nor slip it. Subaru (UK) refused to replace it under warranty saying that it was "normal wear and tear (after only 2000 miles!) so the dealer did saying this was that last time. I drove it home from him (25 miles) and there was a strong smell of burning. The dealer (Eastwoods of Lisburn) had it for the weekend and said that the smell was caused by the burning off of carbon deposits from the last 2 clutches - my many motor engineering friends split their sides laughing at this excuse!

For a long while after, there was a smell of burning. At around 9000 miles, again the clutch gave way without any warning again stranding my wife, this time in the dark on a very remote road in depths of Donegal in the West of Ireland.

Eastwood contacted Subaru (UK) and they said I had to give my permission for him to dismantle the car and if there was no fault found, it would be a case of normal wear and tear and they would not replace it under warranty leaving me with a bill of some £1500.

All the motor engineers I have spoken with say the same thing - DualMass flywheel! I consider that having failed 3 times in a year, it is not fit for purpose under The Sale of Goods Act - as some-one said "you were unlucky to buy a Friday afternoon car"!

I have had 20 previous cars, some being powerful sports car and I have never had any failing in such a manner. My previous Zantia (2 litre common rail diesel) had a new clutch but this was after 100,000 miles and it gave plenty of warning before giving out. I do very little town driving, living in the country as I do.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Avant

What a disgrace. Long gone are the days when Subarus had a fine reputation as reliable, go-almost-anywhere 4x4 workhorses (plus a few very fast saloons) . I can't see Subaru UK lasting very much longer; they don't deserve to.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Wolfey
Seems you are not alone. Fairly well documented examples of clutch problems on 2.0D Legacy and Outback Diesels on the Interweb. Eg. tinyurl.com/7tg9ovo

Perhaps it would be worth mentioning these reports on HJs car by car breakdown for these models.

I've owned my 2011 Legacy 2.0 D S for 4 weeks. It's a one year old ex dealership car. Bought it with approx. 8700 miles on the clock, and have personally covered a further 1000.

The day after it was serviced last week I started hearing strange noises between certain revs when warming up, clutch judder and at the top of a steady incline experienced smell, and upon opening the bonnet had smoke rising from the engine bay.

A trip to the dealership, and they gave me a no fault found diagnosis. However they did mention clutch smell, and also installed PAC? updates including one relating to clutch.

The symptoms add up and am now concerned that my clutch is on it's way out after less than 10k Miles.

Edited by Wolfey on 05/02/2012 at 12:42

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Wolfey
Think I may have put 2 and 2 together and made 5. Feel I must follow up on the previous post as my car has been fine since. The symptoms experienced remain unexplained, but car is behaving itself now.
Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - hillman

Wolfey

That sounds very odd. Did the guy servicing your car spill oil on the exhaust pipe ? After that happened on a number of occasions I gave strict instructions to stop being so careless. The service manager was not pleased !

Also, after I had carefully reversed my car up a fairly steep path beside our house the clutch might smell a bit.

The only time that I have had a clutch fail in 50 years of driving was on a Legacy. The next Subaru that I bought was an automatic and I have remained with automatics since. This is my third, an Outback, and so far, apart from an irritating computer fault that occasionally brings on the Cruise control fault alarm it's been trouble free after 5 years.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Wolfey

Hillman, As there has been no further evidenc of smoking, I guess service oil spill is the most likely explanation for the smoke from under the bonnet.

Fingers crossed for trouble free motoring from now on. If they had a Diesel automatic, I'd be in an auto too.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - hillman

Wolfey

I don't do enough mileage to warrant a diesel, anyway I don't like the smell and it sticks to your shoe soles after someone has spilled some at the pump.

The last clutch that I had was on my Legacy and it was so hard that it bust up every left shoe that I possessed. The shoes creased across the sole and I had to buy two pairs of walking brogues with 12mm thick leather soles to drive in. I still have them.

After I started driving an automatic Legacy my left knee took a while to settle down again. The automatic had a 2 litre engine, and that combined with the automatic gearbox gave take-offs as gentle as a powder puff. I needed the extra ground clearance so the next one that I bought was an Outback. That is a little more lively although my wife can always fall asleep in it.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Tjeerd

My 2011 Legacy Diesel clutch burnt out today with only 45000km on the clock. Trouble with the car is I need 1500rpm to take off, otherwise I end up stalling the engine which I did often with my wife acusing me of not knowing how to drive properly.

The first gear ratio is too high and the clutch is too small. Definitely not designed for towing.

This is a design problem, In my 38 years of driving I have never had this problem.

I dropped the car in this afternoon and said it was a warranty issue, so lets see what Subaru have to say about it.

Someone mentioned the steering column volume control, I have had mine replaced twice, a friend with the same car told me today his is now playing up also.

Tjeerd,

New Zealand.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Tjeerd

My 2011 Legacy Diesel clutch burnt out today with only 45000km on the clock. Trouble with the car is I need 1500rpm to take off, otherwise I end up stalling the engine which I did often with my wife acusing me of not knowing how to drive properly.

The first gear ratio is too high and the clutch is too small. Definitely not designed for towing.

This is a design problem, In my 38 years of driving I have never had this problem.

I dropped the car in this afternoon and said it was a warranty issue, so lets see what Subaru have to say about it.

Someone mentioned the steering column volume control, I have had mine replaced twice, a friend with the same car told me today his is now playing up also.

Tjeerd,

New Zealand.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Mr Optimistic

I have recently bought a 2010 legacy 2.0 Diesel 50K miles with all the bells a whistles. The bells and whistles (so far) work but the clutch is a joke. In the morning it judders like hell whatever you do with the revs. Its better when it warms up but there is still a lack of definitive bite that I have always had on previous cars (been driving since 1983). The other problems with the car are with the road noise which is horendous. Probably a combination of low Profiles and something not quite right with the shocks as they clonk like hell....sounds like there is something loose. Just to finish off I recently got into the car and when I sat back there was a cracking sound. It appears that the plastic frame behind the padding has either broken or dislodged. Whatever has happended the electic lumber support does not push out the support anymore and the seat has no support at all, feels like the old seat I had in my 1972 Austin Allegro.My last car was a Honda accord diesel. Had it six years, put 210,000 on the clock same clutch in fact same everything apart from some pads and tires, very refined at speed, quiet economical reliable and comfortable. Sadly the Subaru is failing on most of these so far.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - hillman

Mr.Optimistic, you seem to have bought a bad one. I think you should take it back as unfit for purpose. My Outback 2.5L automatic has done 75,000 miles now without problem - apart from that irritating ECU problem - but then I take it for servicing every 5,000 miles to a guy who lets me know if there is anything nearing replacement time. Also, I don't take it off-road, the four wheel drive is for winter use in the Peak district.

I too am irritated by the garage men who say, "... there's nothing wrong, it's the way you drive, Sir". I've been driving for over 50 years now; I know when there's something wrong. A dead giveaway is the presence of both speedometer and rev counter on modern cars. When driving at a steady speed in fourth press the throttle. If the rev counter starts to rise but the speedometer doesn't keep pace then you have a slipping clutch. (I've had to fit my own rev counters in yesteryear). If the clutch judders at any speed then you have a problem.


Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - RT

The 2.5 petrol automatic is old-school Subaru - unlike the 2.0 diesel - with poor economy it's only downside. The much-maligned Jatco autobox was taken by Subaru some 30 years ago and developed independently into an excellent unit, just not economical.

The Outback is very capable off-road, better than any crossover, and better than most soft-road SUVs - if they made a 2.5 diesel with conventional slush-box instead of the CVT I'd have bought another to replace the one I parked around a tree !

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - hillman

I would have replaced my Outback at 5 years but the latest models have grown so much dimensionally that I'm not confident that I can back them up my path. (Designed for the American market ?) That and the CVT auto transmission; it's very efficient but it doesn't creep.

Yes, it's not as economical as most new cars are now. My brother has a 1.2L engine in his Skoda that has the same BHP as my old Wolseley 6/110.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - RT

The current Legacy/Outback isn't that big - the previous version was very cramped specifically in width and rear leg room, made a Vectra-C look huge.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - hillman

The Legacy is too low for my useage The standard wheels are bling 18 inches for the 2.5L auto SE (elastic band tyres), and it doesn't have a spare wheel. Width is 1780 minus door mirrors.

The Outback has 17 inch wheels, better tyres but still no spare wheel. Width is1820 minus door mirrors.

My present Outback is 1730 wide and I have to be careful manoeuvring that on my path.

Subaru Legacy and Outback Diesel - Clutch problems - Gadget76

My second Subaru Legacy 2.0d clutch has started juddering on take off after just 13,000 miles of use. You can see a video of the judder here: youtu.be/BVCJplSxH2E

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