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Suddenly High RPMs with low power and smoke

I was driving my 5-speed manual 2003 Subaru legacy wagon and then suddenly when I changed gears, my engine started revving super high, with virtually no pickup or power. I tried multiple gears and I knew it wasn’t in neutral but in 5th gear I could only go like 35 mph. I barely touch the gas and its going up to 5-7000 RPM so I pulled over and saw the smoke from under my hood, I let it cool down a bit and had to feather the gas to keep it under 4k RPM while going a maximum of around 40 mph in 5th gear just to get home. It felt like the clutch was still halfway engaged yet it was all the way up. Any ideas what this could be? Any low cost ways to fix this? Any info is appreciated.

You just blew out your clutch. I’d guess you need a new flywheel, clutch plate and pressure plate and a lot of disassembly to get to those parts. Sorry, gonna be expensive.


Nope , this sounds like a major clutch repair . You don’t need a dealer but a shop that does have Subaru experience would be best .

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Damn, the clutch is about 40k miles old, is that normal for a car like this?

The two parts on a car that are most subject to wildly-varying life spans are brake pads and clutch plates. Some people can get 200k miles from a clutch, and others may only get less than 50k.
It all depends on driving style.


Fair enough, thanks for giving me a general idea of what to expect, I’m taking it to a shop as soon as I can.