We have had problems with clutches going bad on our Subaru legacy ever since it was rear-ended while sitting parked in 1st gear (standard transmission) with the hand-brake on in our driveway. The car was moved forward 3 car lengths by the direct hit to the rear end. The car suffered obvious body damage which was paid for by the driver’s insurance. But we noticed that the clutch did not seem the same after the accident. We asked if the accident could have damaged the clutch or transmission but were told it would not and so it was not really looked into.
A few years later, the clutch failed completely with only 43,000 miles on it (16,204 more than when it was hit). We again raised the concerns that the clutch did not seem the same even after replacing it (including flywheel) and throw-out bearing but were told there was no problem. The clutch failed again suddenly in this year with only 22,000 more miles since the clutch replacement in 2010. This time the repair shop tore down the transmission and clutch and told us that the throw-out bearing had seized due to high temps within the transmission and also showed us evidence of unusually high temperature-related damage to the clutch disk, plate and flywheel. They said that the nature of the damage was similar to what they had seen when the clutch was replaced in 2010 and that there was something inherently wrong with the car which had resulted in two clutches being severely overheated and that the transmission may also be damaged and need to be replaced. They also told me that this type of overheating would not happen just from a driver riding the clutch (which we don’t do).
Does anyone have any insight into whether the two clutch failures may be related to damage caused by the initial accident? Here are some pics of the damaged parts.