Premature Clutch Wear

I have an '03 Subaru Forester, bought used at 33k miles and now at 62k miles. The clutch just started slipping in 5th gear when going uphills or accelerating. I know clutch wear is due to driving habits, but I consider myself a pretty sensitive driver and 62k seems very early for the clutch to wear out.

My mechanic has made slight adjustments to the clutch in the last year. Not sure exactly what he did, but something like loosening it up on one visit, then tightening it up the next time. Could this adjustment have caused the clutch to wear prematurely?

Or could the driving habits of the previous owner be showing up at this point? But I must say that the car was well maintained and lightly driven by the previous owner.

Is there some driving habit that I have that could cause this so quickly. I don’t tow anything, although I did drive it loaded across the country. I don’t accelerate quickly, deal with many hills, and only occasionally am in stop and go traffic. My wife drives it occasionally, but I guarantee she’ll be placing the blame on me for this. What’s my answer?

I’m unaware of any adjustment that can be made to the clutch on a Forester.

It’s hydraulic, isn’t it? What is your mechanic adjusting? There may be an adjustment on the pedal travel, but the clutch is not adjustable.

My guess is the previous owner is responsible for the excessive clutch wear.

It must have just been the pedal travel that he adjusted. It changed the friction point quite a bit.

Therein lies an example of the potential problems with a used car. Most used cars don’t come with maintenance records, thus making it impossible to verify what maintenance was done–and that can lead to increased repair costs in the future for the new owner.

Even if a used car comes with maintenance records–as in this case–there is no way to determine how the original owner(s) drove the car, and this is particularly critical in a manual shift car since bad driver behavior can really wreak havoc with a clutch and–obviously–can lead to premature clutch replacement. Although the OP says that the car was “lightly driven” (whatever that means) by the previous owner, unless he regularly rode along with the original owner, it is not possible to know exactly how the original owner operated the clutch.

I have to agree with mcparadise that the original owner probably did not know how to drive a manual shift car properly, thus leading to headaches for the new owner.

A car can easily be “lightly driven” and still be driven with poor clutch technique. And quick acceleration does not equate to premature clutch wear if done properly. I’ve always accelerated quickly (some say too quickly) and I got 295,000 miles out of the only clutch I’ve ever had to replace.

Yeah, whatever the previous owner was doing, you now need a new clutch assembly. That’s life. Sorry.

I agree that the clutch may have been seriously worn by the original owner.
Some of the long time posters on here may remember the woman who posted on this forum a couple of years ago about buying a brand new VW New Beetle and took her daughter out the day after to teach her to drive a manual.
The daughter knocked the clutch out on a 2 day old car.