Subaru clutch slipping

I have a 2002 Subaru Outback with about 46,000 miles. At the last service check-up, the dealer said the clutch is starting to slip. How many miles can I go before replacing it. The dealer quoted $1,200 to replace it. Does this sound reasonable?

Do you feel the clutch slipping? I can see a dealer telling you that it is slipping for $1200.

I do not think that 46000 miles is time to replace a clutch yet.

My opinion of course.

I learned to drive stick shift on this car, so I probably did a lot of damage in the beginning. Sometimes I feel it slipping on second gear, with hard acceleration, but with mild acceleration I have never felt it.


Run it a while longer without changing the clutch an see if it stays the same or gets worse.

Hold on to the money as long as you can.

When the time comes, get estimates from several shops that do this kind of work. You can test the clutch by parking in a open area, setting the emergency brake hard, placing the transmission in 4th gear and pretend to drive off, reving the engine a LITTLE more than usual. The engine should quickly stall. If it doesn’t stall and the car does not move, it’s slipping badly…

How long ago was “the last service check-up”?

Generally speaking, “starting to slip” and total clutch failure to where the car won’t go up a hill is about a week or two.

Set the park brake, shift into 3rd gear, hold the foot brake, and rev the engine while releasing the clutch pedal. Yes, it takes 3 feet and do this somewhat quickly.

The engine should stall out and die. If it does not the clutch is slipping.
How long it will last depends on how bad the situation is.

It’s quite possible for a clutch to give before 46k miles. It all depends on the driver and the type of use it gets. A lot of city driving can speed up wear on the clutch.

The price could be fair depending on the locale, etc. Some areas of the country have much higher labor rates. (East and West coasts are higher than the mid-section) Factory OEM parts will usually be more expensive also.
If you need a clutch, price this around at a few independents first. You could possibly save a few bucks by going that route.

(Just a word about the guide sleeve which mounts the throw-out bearing. The inside of that sleeve, which is made of steel, has a machined grease groove on the inside. The edges of this groove are knife sharp. The snout of the transmission is aluminum (soft metal) and it’s possible for the knife edges to dig into the aluminum. This can cause a dragging clutch; a.k.a., premature wear. We had a Subaru even towed in once in which the clutch locked completely in the disengaged position due to this. I’ve always machined the sharp edges off and greased that groove before installation. You would be surprised at how many Subaru techs are not even aware of this. I’ve got half a dozen permanent scars on my hands due to guide sleeve and transmission case half cuts.) Hope some of that helps anyway.

Thank you for all the good advice everyone! Really appreciate it.