Shuddering on take-off

I’ve got a 2008 Outback with a 5-speed, manual transmission. 104,000 miles. Now on it’s third clutch. (I’ve taught two teenage children to drive on it, so don’t blame the clutch on me!)

The problem: When the car is cold it shudders as I release the clutch pedal in first gear to get it moving–no matter how slowly I release it or how much gas I give it. It’s like driving over logs till the clutch and pressure plate are fully engaged and it gets going. When it warms up the shuddering more or less disappears.

I’ve had this problem for a year or so. Recently had the cv axles replaced along with struts and front links. No change. Still jerky on the take-off.
I’m thinking it may be the clutch master or slave cylinder. Any thoughts?

It’s not the clutch master or slave. You would be losing fluid and/or the pedal would go the floor. A clutch should last 100,000 miles. Do not use rebuilt or cheap Chinese parts. Use Daiken or dealer parts. Also make sure that the pilot bearing is replaced.

I’ve encountered rough chatter problems on other cars when the clutch was contaminated with gear lube from a leaky pilot shaft seal - seem to remember it being worse on the first few starts but this was ~ 50 yrs ago. Also had chatter with a car that was parked with a too hot clutch that bonded to the pressure plate over a long weekend (also can happen when a car is parked too long, 6mo.- a year, with out blocking down the pedal), leaving material stuck to the pressure plate the next time the pedal was depressed - same thing can happen to parking brakes. Does this car have a dual mass flywheel? No experience with Subaru MT problems, but I have seen Jetta TDI’s with failing DM flywheels that suffered rough engagement.

You may have something there. I know I’ve had a rear engine seal leak for a while. I wonder if it’s been fouling up the flywheel. I guess that’s my next step. Thanks for your advice.


Possible, good luck with it. I lived with my “wet clutch” for years while in college ('50 Pontiac), an advantage was that no-one wanted to borrow my car. Sold it to a friend who still has it.