Subaru Clutch Sound

I have a '99 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport with 130k miles and a 5sp manual. Recently, the clutch started making a vibration noise when engaged (out), in gear and driving. It doesn’t make the sound when the clutch is depressed or if the car is in neutral. I took a closer listen and found that it sounds like something spinning down by the pedal and if I feather the clutch in just a bit it gets louder. If I hook my foot under the pedal and pull up hard, it goes away. I’m wondering if this is a real repair issue (input shaft, etc) or just a minor adjustment since I can actually make the sound stop but putting upward pressure on the pedal.


Clutch chatter sounds like a term that applies. Sounds like you need a clutch rebuild to me.

Does it chatter during engagement? I think in most cases it will be “real repair issue”. Clutch replacement is not a terrible thing on a Subaru if you price shop.

I only know my sis in laws 2002 Forester started a chatter during engagement at 140k miles. They left it be and now driving it still with 230k miles in same status and no slippage.

There’s no adjustment on a hydraulic clutch. The noise could be the clutch, the throw-out bearing, or something more expensive.

I’d consult a mechanic for this. It’s not going to get better by itself. Sooner or later you’ll need a new clutch. You can probably keep driving until it gets worse, but it’s only a matter of time.

Thanks all. And to answer Andrew J’s question: No, it only makes the sound at the top of the clutch and while underway and well above where the clutch catches. It’s more pronounced if I push it down about an inch or less. I cannot replicate the sound while standing still as it only happens when the clutch is engaged and in gear, ie: moving. I wondered if it was just an adjustment because it happens so far above where the clutch catches.

I bought the car 2 years ago with 109k on it and had anticipated a clutch replacement at some point, so it’s not the worst thing in the world to need to have it done. But there is no slippage so I was hoping to get another year or so out of it!

there is an adjustment on some hydrolic clutchs. The actuator rod from the slave to the throw out arm can be adjusted to compensate for clutch plate wear. If you have never had this clutch replaced, then you do most likely need a new clutch. Chatter often means oil on the plate, but not always. When the clutch is very worn, you are more likely to get slippage, in which case you will have a hard revving engine when moving from a stop or up a steep hill, and a burning smell. Take it in and have it checked out.
if most of your driving is stop and go, you will be glad to have a new clutch. If most of your miles are long drive road miles, hmmm. You will be glad to find out what is wrong anyway. good luck.