How much clutch left?

Our 1997 Subaru Outback seems to be on its way to needing a new clutch. When climbing hills, the car has little power, and when changing into, e.g. 3rd gear, the tachometer goes up above 3,000 rpm quickly, and then falls to 2,500 or so.

I was scheduled to leave on a trip today that involves driving about 375 miles going over mountains that are about 6,000 feet higher than my starting point.

1. How much time (or miles) left on my clutch?

2. Would this trip likely do in the clutch?

Thanks for any advice or stories of your experiences.

Based on what you describe, I would not take that trip without fixing the clutch first; regardless of how much is left on the clutch plate. Your clutch is slipping, and that will wear it out even faster.

Yes, the trip will likely “do in” the clutch, since it is likely done in already!

One often overlooked maintenance item on Subarus is the need to periodically adjust the clutch. Your maintenance schedule can enlighten you further, but doing this consistently in the future will lengthen the life of your new clutch. Personally, I wouldn’t make that trip with a slipping clutch. You will most likely end up stranded in a cloud of smoke.

Thanks for the advice, Docnick. I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case, but expected it would be. I appreciate it.

Getting stranded with two kids, having to be towed, and having to trust a stranger to replace the clutch doesn’t sound very appealing, so home it is.

This clutch is 160,000 miles old and so it’s done very well to make it this far, but I’m glad to know about the clutch adjustment for the future. Thanks, Mark.