Replacing the clutch on a 2000 Subaru Outback wagon

I’ve been bringing my Subaru to a local dealer for all its service. They seem fair and honest, but I’m probably overpaying. With 205,000 on the car, I shouldn’t be surprised that I need a new clutch. I didn’t expect it to be $1200, though! Is that unreasonable?

The clutch job at an independent can run between $700-$1000 dependent on your local labor rates. This job is lots of labor and dealer is the highest rate out there.

I would definitely get a 2nd or 3rd quote.

You could get estimates from a couple of independent mechanics and see the difference.

I’d want someone familiar with the Subaru AWD system for this job.


So, what is the breakdown between parts, labor, and machine work?

Assuming that a new pressure plate, disc, throw-out bearing, (pilot bearing? not sure on this one.) and machined flywheel have been done. (Estimate about $350.00 for parts and outside machine shop) then that leaves about $900.00 for labor, at $120./per hour (estimating CA rates); then you are at about 7.5 hours of estimated labor. In “book rates” that sounds about right.

Sure, you could take it to a shop that may do it for $500 and re-use the pressure plate, skip the flywheel resurface, and ignore other items that may need to be changed out along the way for “good practice”-- but why? Why deal with the “return” and “rework” on something that is difficult to change-out and will prevent the car from being used when it fails.

While you’re at it, have them check the head-gaskets, too. They can fail on these cars and cause other more serious damage.