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2004 Forester clutch pedal started squeaking after 120K service: should I worry?

Brought my 2004 Forester into a dealership for the 120k service 3 weeks ago. Maybe a week later I noticed that the clutch pedal now squeaks, but only after driving it for a while. The clutch had been replaced at a local garage about 18 months ago. The dealership said it’s something to do with the pressure plate. At the time of the 120k service, they said the boot was shot on the R front axle, and was held on by a ziptie on the left (?) so they replaced the R front axle. When I got home, I noticed a funny burning smell which was worse the next day. Went back, told there was a leaky seal on R axle, which they redid. Went back in twice more(!) for the same issue, now appears to be resolved after they re-replaced the axle. Somewhere in there the squeak started. Oh, and three days after I got the car back the 2nd time, the “check engine” light came on. The dealership said the code was P0130, or oxygen sensor. That had been replaced at the local garage 11 months ago. The dealership turned the light off, hasn’t been that long but the light hasn’t come back on (yet). Why did I go to these guys instead of the local garage? The local guy misdiagnosed the prior “check engine” light - replaced gas filler neck ($600), light still on, told me it was coming from the gas line, it would be $500 to find out where. I went elsewhere -turned out they had left a clamp off when they did the O2 sensor, and a hose was loose. That was reclamped seven months ago and has been fine. There was probably nothing wrong with the GF neck - even the guy who replaced it said the old one looked good.

So, about the squeak (or the smell, or the check engine light)

  1. is this dangerous? Will I be either stuck in N or unable to change gears at some point?
  2. Does this mean a problem with either the clutch or the transmission?
  3. Could this have anything to do with anything else the dealership did with the car during the service and/or replacing the axle?

See where the squeak is coming from putting your head near the clutch pedal and pressing it by hand. It could just be that the yolk that holds it in place needs some oil. You could get a cheap automotive stethoscope (sub $10 at harborfreight, pepboys, autozone, etc) and see if you can pin point the noise.

Of course, if it is in that general vicinity, it could also be the master cylinder.
If the noise doesn’t seem to come from the area of the pedal, it could be within the bellhousing somewhere (pressure plate, throwout bearing, clutch plate, slave cylinder, etc)

… but let’s not assume any of that quite yet. See if it is related to the physical pedal first.

Well, if it is the pedal squeaking, don’t worry about it.

I took the car to a different dealership, they say the noise is from an internal bearing, and I need a new clutch. I took it back to the local mechanic who replaced the clutch 18 months ago ( the first one lasted 7 years and one teen learning to drive) and he said it’s the spring under the hood that connects to some other gizmo, and comes as a unit so that he can’t replace just the sping. He sprayed lube all over the spring, but the noise hasn’t gone away. It might be quieter, hard to say since it’s colder now, so conditions aren’t quite the same. So, three mechanics, three different diagnoses. Ugh.