WRX 2016 clutch failed after only 14,572 miles. Is this normal?
Hi - we recently started having clutch problems with our 2016 WRX. In all gears, the clutch would occasionally slip and the engine would rev high. The Subaru forums appear to indicate this problem is not unusual for the WRX and other models.
The Subaru dealer indicated that to correct the problem, we required a total clutch replacement. The dealer also indicated that replacement is not covered by warranty since the clutch is a wear item. We asked to dealer to confirm with Subaru Canada, which they claimed they did, but still no possibility of coverage. The total cost was $2,882 to get our WRX back on the road.
If we had known the Subaru WRX clutch was only good for 14,572 miles (23,452 km), I'm certain we would not have chosen Subaru. My wife is the primary driver and has driven a manual transmission her entire life. She is anything but an aggressive driver, so the 14,572 miles have been very easy on the clutch.
After the repair, we were surprised to find the clutch operation was completely different. The clutch requires much less effort and engages at a completely different point than it did when the car was new. It seems strange that with the clutch being replaced due to wear, that the Subaru replacement parts would result in such a dramatic change to the way the WRX clutch operates. When the WRX was new, the clutch seemed very heavy to us, but the Subaru service department assured us that this was normal WRX clutch behavior, so we got used to it.
Even though we're happy with the significantly lighter clutch effort following the repair, it seems odd that we would be noticing this type of clutch feel change which should have been to only correct a wear item.
Has anyone had a similar experience and possibly a better understanding of what Subaru did to correct our clutch failure? I requested parts be retained and have included pictures here.
Wanted to add the reason that the pedal assembly as well as clutch plate and flywheel were replaced.....
With only 14,000 miles on our WRX, I had asked my Subaru dealer what the likelihood of having to pay another $2,800 to have this done again in the next 14,000 miles. The response was a bit concerning...
I was told by the dealer that I could have the Subaru recommended clutch assembly installed for $2,200 and possibly see another failure or pay $2,800 and have an improved Subaru clutch assembly installed (still Subaru parts..... just better.... apparently).
The dealer told us that Subaru has made a correction to the clutch assembly to correct early clutch failure which includes: replacement pedal assembly as well as an increase to the clutch and flywheel facing by 10mm. See TSB 03-79-18R which covers the 2015 - 2018 WRX).
I realize that popular opinion is that we've somehow abused the clutch which led to clutch failure after 14,000 miles. However, with over 30 years driving a stick on 4 different vehicles (non-Subaru) without an issue, we find it hard to believe that our WRX experienced this problem so early.
Obviously, Subaru has identified a clutch issue which prompted the TSB to prevent early failure of the original clutch/flywheel and pedal assembly. This begs the question why would an improvement be needed if there wasn't a flaw in the original design. By calling this a wear issue and blaming their customers, Subaru is able to avoid significant repair costs.
However, they had us over a barrel, so we opted to pay the extra $500 for the beefed up clutch assembly hoping to get a few more miles out of our WRX before the next clutch failure. Or sell before it fails again.
Being Canadian we have no warranty coverage at all for clutch problems. After the first month or so, Subaru Canada considers it a wear issue. However, in the U.S., I would take advantage of the TSB 03-79-18R to have this fragile Subaru clutch system replaced if at all possible