28th Jan 2008, 16:58

Clutch shudder as you experience is a problem with ALL turbo models available to the UK, Europe and Japan.

I am unsure if it is common with US spec Impreza's. It usually happens when cold and can generally be cured by giving the clutch a good going over with some full bore starts.

Tim - UK Impreza Turbo 2000

19th Mar 2008, 23:48

The original poster started quite the debate here. I think that was two years ago. I have (had) most of those problems; the clutch shudder on my 02 Outback Sport needed to be replaced only 6 months after I got the car. It was under warranty.

I have the odd reverse issue.

The burning smell is what is killing me know. It's been going on for a year now. Not consistent enough to pinpoint. It comes though heat if the car is left to idle for some time. Fine when you drive off.. but the whole outside of the car smells too.

If I was losing fluid I would be empty by now. It's not the plastic bag thing on the exhaust and my belts are fine. I see from other forums that all cars experience this, but no one has an answer. It driving me crazy...

Oh.. another clutch needed to be replaced (just after the clutch bushings I replaced before that... (that's if you notice your gearbox making excessive noise/rattle when you downshift) just a few months back (only have 72000kms on the thing). Two clutches.

I have 2 other cars that are manual shift as well, and I have been driving almost 30 years, so it's not me...

13th May 2008, 18:29

Though I have to admit, any Subaru is a real fun to drive, but a lot of problems, Specially if you go to the dealer (no matter your dealer). I have one myself (Impreza 2.5 RS 2005) and there is definitely a problem with the engine. At 100,000km I had my engine replaced for the third time, and I talked to many others (4 - 5) people who had the same problem.

The engine burns oil like crazy, and you'll probably have to had some every (2,000 / 3,000) km.

I still think it's a really fun car to have, but if you can afford it, go with the WRX or STI... the only ones that rarely (almost never) have problems.

12th Sep 2008, 12:01

Wow! I've been driving my 2004 Impreza Outback Sport for 5 years now. It's been a great car until recently...

I had some engine work done and my 90k maintenance 2 weeks ago. I got the car back and I started having the first gear stuttering problem. I took it back to the dealership twice, they could not duplicate the problem. I even told them that it felt like I was trying to take off in the wrong gear, it was very jerky, and felt like it was going to stall. I even heard a loud clunk during 2 of the incidences. All the while, no check engine light. The only problem they admitted to feeling was a slight clutch chatter. Their solution, replace the clutch, but when they had the engine out, they took note that I still had about 50-60% still left. I am not comfortable and confident driving this car anymore. I did take note of the oxygen sensor solution. Believe me, I’m going back to the dealership.

16th Feb 2009, 10:35

My 2002 Outback 2.5 has the same problems with shuddering, stalling and stinking. I replaced the clutch, but it's still difficult to drive. We have 3 drivers in the family and 3 manual cars. All 3 do fine in the other 2 cars and hate driving the Subaru.

It works OK when it's cold, but once it warms up, starting out from a stop light stalls the car unless you release the clutch VERY slowly or rev the engine a lot. If you release the clutch with high rpm, the car shudders violently and, of course, smells like burning clutch.

The burning rubber smell seems unrelated to the clutch, as it is worst after a stretch of highway driving.

1st Mar 2010, 04:08

I own a 2010 RS Automatic. The car is brand new, I have only done 2000 Km and have started experiencing the burnt rubber smell just recently. The car is great to drive, but the rubber smell is constantly making me think I'm causing damage to my car. My old Ford Fairmont 1997 EL used to cook the engine oil and produce a crappy smell, but it didn't smell like this. I bought a new car, so I wouldn't have to worry about fixing it or investigating any problems. Next time I'm just going to buy a freakin push bike!!

Any help would be good, but it doesn't look like anyone can get to the bottom of this... 4 years later...

24th Aug 2010, 19:04

I'm surprised no one has made any mention of the smell issue being common to all Subaru AWDs. Assuming your smell is not related to your clutch, it's probably coming from your AWD system (center differential). This is normal under conditions where you are losing traction, but I've noticed it occurs in heavy traffic or inching my way up a hill.

21st Oct 2010, 09:33

My 2005 Impreza 2.5 RS is on 165000 kms and it's still the same motor that it had when it left the factory floor and it's still purring. Possibly because I'm in South Africa and we get the European release, which in my opinion is just a better quality builder than the Americans.

The reverse gear I can understand, it does get a little funny occasionally, however it's no train smash.

Yeah buddy... bad smell... bad clutch work. When you're not stopping and going. Put it in neutral and take your foot off the clutch, problem solved.

21st Oct 2010, 15:47

I never experienced any shuddering on my Subaru clutch, and I never had any of the smells coming from it. I think this poster is right in saying it is probably a driving technique issue more than a clutch problem. I have ridden with so many people that cannot drive a stick, but insist on having one anyhow. Even resting your foot lightly on the pedal can be catastrophic to the clutch.

I was taught to remove my foot and place it on the dead pedal between every shift, and it is now second nature to me. There are two positions for the clutch. To the floor while shifting, or all the way out with your foot off the pedal. Anything else is wearing it. Having a lazy technique that leaves your foot on that pedal until you row out to the top gear can be costly!

21st Oct 2010, 21:53

I agree with the above commentor. 99% of all clutch "problems" can be traced back to poor technique. Like the above commentor stated, keep your foot off the clutch unless your shifting! Another thing that will quickly wear out a clutch is poor downshifting technique. Letting the clutch out slowly and having the transmission slowly wind the engine up to speed will wear out your clutch very quickly. Downshifting isn't really necessary, but if you're going to do it, double-declutch, or at least rev match. I downshift all the time in my car (which obviously is a standard) but I double-declutch. My car has almost 100,000 miles on it and the clutch still grabs like day 1.

Also, your BRAKES are designed to keep you held on a hill, not your clutch. I've actually seen people hold a car on a hill with the clutch halfway pressed for so long that you can literally smell the clutch burning, and see it beginning to smoke.