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-   -   Burnt clutch in a LGT ? in SFO (http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=198880)

krishk24 12-30-2012 06:46 PM

Burnt clutch in a LGT ? in SFO
 
Came here with family on a visit to SFO and I noticed a burning smell while driving up gradients. My gear would not engage and I saw smoke under the hood. Opened the hood and I smelt a burnt rubber smell. I think it was coming under the battery and suspecting I overheated the clutch. We drove back home mainly on a freeway without much clutch engagement and noticed the burnt smell has stopped.

Should I take to a Subaru dealer to check this out ? or a local Subaru mechanic near San Jose/Mountain View ? I do have a 500 mile trip back home on tuesday and travelling with 2 young kids. What should I do next ? I want the car to be checked out thoroughly before heading back home.

any thoughts or guidance would be helpful.

thanks

Jace2010LGT 12-30-2012 07:46 PM

You burnt the clutch up. You were probably slipping it to keep from rolling back or to smoothly take off in first. You are going to have to replace the clutch. Luckily Subaru is one of the few oems that will warranty a clutch in the first 3/36. Take to the dealer and say you are having a hard time getting into gear and it seems to slip under heavy acceleration. The last thing you want is to be on the side of the road with 2 kids.

acumenhokie 12-30-2012 08:15 PM

You definitely burnt it and reduced clutch life but I'm not sure it's 100% dead. I burnt mine up on several occasions before it went. Assuming your trip home is mostly highway again with limited engagement you might be ok (but no way to know for sure).

SCSpecB 12-30-2012 08:28 PM

Lucky for you there are plenty of shops in the San Jose area-

Speed Element- straight forward services, cheaper than a dealer. I used them for my 30k and will use them for my 60k

Mann Engineering- on par with dealer prices, but you will get ridiculous above-and-beyond service and above OEM parts (they're a track oriented service place.)

krishk24 12-30-2012 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acumenhokie (Post 4224835)
You definitely burnt it and reduced clutch life but I'm not sure it's 100% dead. I burnt mine up on several occasions before it went. Assuming your trip home is mostly highway again with limited engagement you might be ok (but no way to know for sure).

Any estimate on labor and parts ? I am hoping this would be covered under warranty. Did I burn the clutch disc ?

If it is covered under warranty, I shouldnt have to goto a shop

hmmrdwn 12-31-2012 07:19 AM

Sorry to hear about your dilemma. I had a clutch cable snap at 2 am outside detroit with some friends in the car. It was fun going from house to house and asking for help. I would be careful about how you explain the problem to the dealership. They might try to make you pay for the repairs. It sounds like Subaru covers the clutch, but if they do, they would be one of a few that covers a "wear item" like that. Brake pads, tires, belts, wipers, spark plugs, light bulbs, etc. generally are excluded. Subaru covers "Defective" parts and excludes damage due to the environment, lack of maintenance, modification, etc. It may be covered and I hope it is for the sake of your wallet, but you may need to be prepared for the potential they say it was your driving.

Best of luck.

DrD123 12-31-2012 08:26 AM

Is the clutch slipping now? If not, then it's fine and the dealer isn't going to do anything. I am not sure what you mean by your gear wouldn't engage - if the car won't drive now, then definitely bring it to the dealer as the problem is likely more than just the clutch. However, if it works fine, then you should be ok. (for the hills you were starting on, were you giving it a fair amount of gas as you disengaged the clutch so that you wouldn't roll back? that's one way to burn the clutch (if you overdo it)

Burning the clutch a bit definitely takes life away from the clutch disc, but it's not like it's going to die right away. How long do clutches usually last for you (clutch life is pretty much a direct function of how you drive, so they last longer/shorter for different folks)

If you are doing lots of start/stop on hills and having this issue, you can always use the hill-start function of the electronic emergency brake (that's what it's for)

krishk24 12-31-2012 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrD123 (Post 4225296)
Is the clutch slipping now? If not, then it's fine and the dealer isn't going to do anything. I am not sure what you mean by your gear wouldn't engage - if the car won't drive now, then definitely bring it to the dealer as the problem is likely more than just the clutch. However, if it works fine, then you should be ok. (for the hills you were starting on, were you giving it a fair amount of gas as you disengaged the clutch so that you wouldn't roll back? that's one way to burn the clutch (if you overdo it)

Burning the clutch a bit definitely takes life away from the clutch disc, but it's not like it's going to die right away. How long do clutches usually last for you (clutch life is pretty much a direct function of how you drive, so they last longer/shorter for different folks)

If you are doing lots of start/stop on hills and having this issue, you can always use the hill-start function of the electronic emergency brake (that's what it's for)

The clutch is not slipping now. I drove it back home about 45 miles. Yes I was doing some clutch sipping with accelerator so the car wouldn't roll back. I think what killed it was for about 3 mins coming downhill I was on neutral and had the clutch pedal depressed - that may have been the killer. Another BMW that came with us also had similar burnt rubber problem but no gear slippage. The roads are really steep in the SFO area- some of them as steep as 70 deg angle. I am not used to driving on such steep roads and was stupid enough to overheat the clutch. Trying to get an appointment but no one is taking any because its year end.

I do have a 500 mile trip - We could take a break halfway to give the car some cool off time. Is there a test that I can do myself - like say driving for sometime to see if its ok to take the car back home without having a mechanic look at it ? I am unable to get any appointments. let me know your thoughts, thank you

esteddom 12-31-2012 12:29 PM

Floor it up a hill at low rpms. If the rpms shoot up faster than normal your clutch is slipping bad and should probably be replaced asap. If it is holding then you should be fine. Just my .02 though. I did the same thing stuck in really bad traffic on a grade on the freeway years ago in my audi. Thought the clutch was a goner for sure but turned out to be fine and lasted a couple more years.

hmmrdwn 12-31-2012 12:38 PM

Like the others have said, you may have worn down the clutch surface, but not damaged it. You will figure it out during normal driving. Are you getting a noise from your throw out bearings? Change in clutch pedal pressure or length? Engagement spring issues? It's probably just clutch surface wear. Could be glazed over, which might require replacement too.

It makes me wonder if they will replace the clutch because of these things though. :(

TheOneDoubleN 12-31-2012 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by krishk24 (Post 4225571)
The clutch is not slipping now. I drove it back home about 45 miles.

Then you're fine for now, just don't drag race on the drive home.

Quote:

Originally Posted by krishk24 (Post 4225571)
The roads are really steep in the SFO area- some of them as steep as 70 deg angle. I am not used to driving on such steep roads.

This was your issue. Spend some time (after you finish your trip home) learning to engage your clutch quickly and smoothly on flat ground. Then work on slight gradients (putting your front wheels on a large "roller-type" speed bump is a great way to practice hill starts without worrying about rolling back too far. It's something that only comes with practice. Just like when learning to ride a motorcycle, spend some time just figuring out exactly where the friction point is as you're letting your foot off the clutch pedal. When the car starts to shudder slightly, re-engage the clutch until it stops, lather, rinse, repeat, until you get a good feel for where that engagement is. The better you know your clutch engagement, the less you'll wear it out over time.


Quote:

Originally Posted by krishk24 (Post 4225571)
I do have a 500 mile trip - We could take a break halfway to give the car some cool off time. Is there a test that I can do myself - like say driving for sometime to see if its ok to take the car back home without having a mechanic look at it ? I am unable to get any appointments. let me know your thoughts, thank you

Don't worry about the trip home, your car sounds fine, just make a note to take it easy on the clutch. If you're rolling back too much, use the hill holder, that's exactly what it's for. In fact, you should probably rely on it regularly until you replace your clutch.

The clutch is really only worn when getting the car to start moving from a stop. Changing gears on the highway, or better yet, cruising in 6th for several hundred miles, isn't going to wear the clutch much at all if any (so long as you're not flooring it in every gear and driving like a dope). If you are rubbing the clutch a lot between gear changes, you need to learn how to change gears better.

Again, don't stress yourself out, even automatic trannies smell like burnt clutch when doing long climbs, it's normal. The stock clutch, like your stock brake pads, are made of organic material that smells a lot when they get hot, but it doesn't mean something has broken. Yes you may have severly reduced the life of your clutch, but it's perfectly fine to get you home. Stop worrying and enjoy the drive.

SubyDude81 12-31-2012 04:18 PM

How did you destroy the clutch on an 11'?
Not sure they will cover that as its obvious its been abused.

awalegacy 12-31-2012 04:34 PM

Driving a manual in San Francisco can be quite challenging. It's not hard to see how this can happen if you primarily drive on flat land.

You can roast the clutch a few times before it is so bad it won't get you home. Just keep the drivetrain load minimized.

hmmrdwn 12-31-2012 04:48 PM

I learned to drive on a vehicle with a worn out clutch. That was a treat. Eight inches of worthless travel and a half inch of engagement at end. I would be at an intersection with an incline and crap. Revving that baby and letting the clutch out....:spin: That clutch held up through me.

fredrik94087 01-01-2013 09:30 PM

Years ago...like 1980's, a one liner from a comedian in San Francisco was, "San Francisco, a Spanish word meaning my clutch is burnt out!"


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