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'03 Subaru Legacy clutch/transmission problems

Surprise, surprise… Another Subie, another transmission problem. Haha
I had the car worked on a while back. They replaced the clutch and the viscous coupling in the transmission. ('03 Subaru Legacy manual transmission) Things seemed fine, then I realized my reverse light was acting like it was going out. Fuses are fine. A while later the car decided the clutch didn’t need to respond as smoothly. Then: “Nope, you’re funny to think you can drive me. I’m not budging.” The car started grinding gears. I have to slam it into gear for it to work so I can drive it home and let it sit. The car will go into gear when off, no problem. New fluid has been put in. Bled. Then some sort of SUPER LUBE was put in and it still grinds.
Any ideas as to what might be happening? I really don’t have the fundage in order to buy a new car at this time. But at the same time I hate feeling like I’m chasing a rabbit down a hole…

sounds like the clutch is not disengaging. If you keep driving it “slamming” into gears then the tranny will suffer too. 1st thing to check is the clutch fluid level. You likely have a leak in either the clutch master cylinder, or the slave cylinder which is what activates the clutch when you press down on the petal.

You can (sort of) check clutch operation this way. Slowly depress the clutch pedal until you feel it start to disengage. This should be about an inch of movement.
With the clutch depressed and engine running while in gear slowly release the clutch pedal.
You should feel the clutch taking hold after roughly an inch of movement.

If not, the clutch is not adjusted right or there’s an issue with the throwout bearing sleeve.
What does the shop that did the work say about this?

One thing you cannot do is continue to gnash gears and slam it into gear or there is going to be some serious issues with the transmission internals.

How many miles on this clutch that was recently put in. If it was very recently, I’d go back to the shop that replaced it.
Tell them to fix it right.


The VC is for the four wheel drive function, right? And four wheel drive works ok? So that’s unlikely to be what’s causing the transmission to be balky when changing gears.

hmmm … well I had similar symptoms a couple time w/my Corolla, and both times what fixed it was replacing the clutch master cylinder (cmc). You might try that. One test that would tend to confirm the cmc is the problem, try pumping the clutch pedal a couple times before shifting gears. If that helps, that’s an indication of a faulty cmc.