I have a 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX 5 speed hatchback with 38,000 miles on it. I am the sole owner/driver of the car since I purchased it in 2008.
So in March 2012 while my car was just shy of it’s 36,000 mile factory warranty milestone I took it in to the dealer because there was an unusual feeling when depressing the clutch. It felt like a tightening/creaking feeling. They stated that the Throwout bearing wasn’t moving smoothly and they replaced.
Fast forward about 6 months and one cross country move from Ithaca, NY to San Luis Obispo, CA. My car is not longer under it’s factory warranty (still extended warranty 6yr/60,000) and I come out to go to work in the morning and I find:
- the clutch peddle depresses with a lot less than it’s normal resistance
- the car starts up just fine
- when the car is on I can not shift out of neutral into gear
- when the car is off I can shift into gear just fine
- if I start in gear I can drive around in 1st or reverse normally, but as soon as I go into neutral I’m stuck there again
I had my car towed to the local Subaru dealer and they left me a voice mail the next day saying my “clutch was completely blown” and it’ll be “$1629 out the door.” After pressing them for more info I find out they didn’t even open up my clutch assembly they were just basing this on an external inspection and based on the symptoms. They told me they though it was a bad pressure plate and that they might as well replace the clutch while they were in there.
I asked the CA service rep if he could see the notes from the work performed on my car for the throwout bearing in NY in March and he looked in his computer system and remarked that something seemed odd. Apparently the service notes remarked that they removed the transmission of the car but did not remove/disassemble the clutch assembly. The CA service rep said he didn’t see how it would be possible to remove the transmission without working on the clutch assembly.
I got my extended warranty involved and they agreed to cover the cost of the tear down work to see what was actually wrong, as some of the parts (still not sure which) in the clutch assembly are covered by the extended warranty. After no word from the dealer I called them to find out what they found. My service rep said they had ordered a new pressure plate but that they were confused because everything in the clutch assembly looked totally fine… In the end they replaced everything but the flywheel and the paperwork they gave me says “warped pressure plate.” According to my extended warranty rep my CA dealer told them it was a “power train issue” and that it is totally covered.
Now my car has a level of crisp shifting that it has never had before.
So what really went wrong?! No one has given me a straight answer and I have a few main reasons for wanting to know:
- Should I want to sell this car I want to know it’s history so I’m not screwing over a potential buyer
- If it really was the pressure plate being warped is it:
a) possible the NY dealer screwed my clutch assembly when working on the throwout bearing
b) possible I have a bad driving habit, in which case now that I have a brand new clutch for free and am past my warranty I would really like to address to keep my car running as long as possible.