Shifting issues

I have a 2013 Subaru Outback 6 speed manual and for the past 5 months or so the clutch has been on its way out it slips very slightly and the bearings I feel are going out causing the bulk of the issues not allowing proper starts. More recently thought I have been having a slight grinding of gears when shifting mostly going into the gears coming out seems to fine with an occasional hiccup out of 1st. I read online that a worn clutch could cause grinding gears like what I’m experiencing. Wondering if maybe it’s just time to replace the clutch… any help would be greatly appreciated.

I think you’re way past time, it should have been replaced at the first signs of slipping.


It’s time to get it fixed. It’s cheaper than buying a whole new car. Keep grinding gears and you will have real problems. The transmission is probably OK. What you already heard on the internet is correct. The Matrix: “Don’t think it, do it.”


OK , why did you not use some of that time to search for a shop to replace the clutch ?


I have a shop that I have gone to before that I am bringing it too and I just received the new clutch and flywheel in the mail. (Mostly waiting on flywheel to arrive) but this will be the second clutch I’ve put in this car the first one was the oem with 110,000 miles when I was off-roading at silver lake. The second one I believe is a mixture of a lot of things cheap clutch kit, sketchy shop, it was also a “stage 2” kit and I was thinking it would hold up better to the off-roading I do and I believe I over clutched the car and it didn’t have the power for everyday driving with it. So this time I’m doing a exeedy clutch kit with a Luk flywheel and taking it to the shop I should have taken it too the first time.

Thanks for the information. It’s greatly appreciated.

It’s usually a bad idea to expect a shop to install parts that you bring in yourself. The shop won’t warranty the work since they didn’t supply the parts and can’t back them up.


That’s fine thank you for the tip!

Slipping and grinding going into gear can be caused by separate issues. Ensure that both are addressed during your repair. A competent mechanic should know how to do this, but it might be useful to have that discussion.

Good points above, especially about providing your own parts. In addition, suggest to make sure the transmission oil level is correct.

I’m surprised no one mentioned the hydraulic clutch system, the master cylinder and/or the slave can get weak so the clutch isn’t being pushed in all the way and that can cause grinding.


But it won’t cause the slipping clutch


Correct! So that’s two separate issues.

I would strongly suggest that with the transmission out and new clutch kit that you also install a stainless repair sleeve on the transmission.

The trans is aluminum and the throwout bearing guide is hardened steel. That can cause the aluminum snout on the transmission case where the mainshaft protrudes to wear. That in turn can cause the TO bearing to bind which can lead to clutch wear issues.
Some clutch kits come with this repair sleeve. Some do not but it is a must IMO. Pic below…


I would not trust a shop that can not diagnose a problem, did not have a reliable supplier and had the customer order the parts.

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Just so you know, Subaru’s are not designed for off roading. They are designed for bad traction on paved roads, i.e bad weather, winter weather. They are designed to get city people to their ski lodges.

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Bad New England pavement.
2022 Subaru Outback - Photos & Videos | Subaru

Maybe not rock climbing like a Jeep Wrangler but they are for off roading .

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Last time I checked, they are not allowed on National Park or BLM roads marked for 4wd. The 2021 Outback has a model that claims to be trail rated so it might be, but possibly this model is excepted. Almost all AWD vehicles are not allowed on 4wd trails because they don’t have the ground clearance and skid plates.

As a Subaru owner who visits the National Parks annually, I have talked to the rangers and have been told by many of them that Subaru’s have to be towed off these trails more than any other vehicle. It takes a special tow vehicle to retrieve them and it is a VERY expensive tow.