Soft Clutch noise

My 2008 outback got a new clutch last summer. It has started making a soft revving noise. It is hard to hear with radio on. When accelerating in first and second gear, if I press the clutch in, the noise occurs just AFTER the clutch pedal hits bottom. It’s similar to the noise you might hear when passing a car going in the other direction on the highway. Like a cross between a rev and a whoosh. But not very loud. The car drives ok, but I have to clutch somewhat carefully to avoid shuddering going into first gear. No other bad noises. Any thoughts?

Did you do the clutch yourself?

You may have installed the clutch plate with the wrong side facing the engine, this would cause the shuddering and premature clutch wear.

If a shop replaced the clutch for you, have them look it over. Though it’s been a year, it may be hard to get them to give you a break if it needs to be redone.


Local and reputable shop did it. Actually they have done it twice, as the first job totally failed in 2 months. Again, reputable shop but obviously a pattern here. I got 100k on the original clutch (and over 100k on my previous car’s clutch) without any problems so I am confident that it is not my driving, I clutch and accelerate smoothly.

I guess it’s time to take it back and go for round 3 if they will do it. UGGH.


It’s time to go somewhere else.

The noise, as you describe it, would appear to be from a bad release bearing, If the disc was bad you would probably hear “chattering”. You might have a transmission issue.

Consult the shop about it and document in writing as you may have another warranty issue with them. You may want to consult a second shop, too, maybe even a dealership. Do you know why the first replacement failed? Are they using quality parts? Did they machine or deglaze the flywheel and replace the pressure plate at the same time? (Both times?)

I haven’t worked on Subaru clutches, but from experience with others:
Shuddering in first: presume you mean chatter or vibration when releasing the clutch from a standing start. Potential causes include an oil contaminated clutch (from engine or transmission seals), a glazed or contaminated flywheel, pressure plate springs that are weak, uneven, or out of place, problem with dual mass flywheel (if you car has one). Clutches that have been parked while very hot or parked for many months can leave material bonded to the flywheel which also can cause chatter.

Potential bearing problems: with the car standing (engine running) depress the clutch slowly and listen for whirring or rumbling sounds when the release bearing engages. If you hear these sounds only when depressing the clutch while the car is moving it might be a transmission bearing, for instance a failing pilot shaft bearing can leak oil causing clutch chatter upon release.

I was hoping someone would say that a little reving noise after pushing in the clutch down is normal.

None of the clutch equipped cars I’ve driven over the years has made a noise associated with depressing the clutch pedal. That doesn’t mean that your symptom requires any work be done. You may be fine for many more miles just ignoring it. Just saying. One idea, monitor the situation, and if it seems to be getting noticeably louder, you can deal with it then. It does sound like a throw-out bearing issue to me too.