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Mike, Subaru Mechanic
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience:  Tech Expert
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I have a 2009 Outback R TDi 1998cc that I bought second

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 2009 Outback R TDi 1998cc that I bought second hand in Aug 2012. It has 60,000 mileson the clock. Apart from the normal wheel bearing replacement in the past few years, the car has been running fine. I also had a new clutch plate fitted in Dec 2014. In the past 12 months however I have been experiencing a shuddering while pulling away in first gear. This has occurred in a variety of situations, with the engine cold, hot, on the flat, hill starts, with the car loaded or empty. I had worried that there was a problem with the clutch, but my local garage seems to think that it might have something to do with the fuel management system. I was wondering if you had ever come across this problem and what your views on the suject might be ? regards, ***** ***** XXXXXXXXX

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
Hello Colin and Welcome - My name is ***** ***** Im happy to help / advise.Given that you dont say that there is an engine management light / fault light on - or anything showing up on diagnostics, I doubt very much this is a fuel system issue...or even ign / engine... It certainly does sound like clutch / drive train issue.Im assuming they have checked carefully the engine and transmission mountings -as wear there will cause these symptoms - if not, they need to be checked over.But if its not that -it has to be drive line / clutch related.When the clutch was replaced - was the DMF replaced at the same time... thats the duel mass flywheel.... if it wasn't -its a sure bet that'd your issue. If it was , it can still have gone faulty - they do - they are typical to do this... you would need to ask the garage first what make it was...that they fitted. There are some "cheap" ones around that just don't last the distance - better make ones such as LUK, you will have a claim on the warranty... generally its two years - but it will need stripping Im afraid to assess it and go from there.You could find that you have a problem with the actual gearbox - that can cause what you have - when its stripped, they will need to check the gearbox first motion shaft / bearing for excess play -- If you have that , thats a problem that will cause this --But Im afraid once the engine / trans mounts are checked - and if ruled out as the cause- you are into having to have it stripped down to check whats happened and why.. and then go from there.The garage are going to be reluctant to do this - as its a lot of work- but if its proven/ you find the fault, parts will be covered by warranty long as a full clutch kit was used.So that's the way forward for you on this one Colin - Im sorry its not ever so good news - but thats the way to make progress - get this sorted properly for you.Let me know how you go..and / or let me know if you need anything further on this..~>>~~>>~ Meanwhile now at this point- Please do click on the "Exc / Ok rating" for me at this time.. "Thank you" in advance for that ... Note that you can get back to me anytime at all after doing the rating - it doesn't close you out -- Best Rgds, MIKE
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Mike,
The problem is that the shudder caused by pulling away in first gear is not a consistent fault - it is NOT happening every time I pull away in first gear. In the last year, it has occured under all the conditions that I've mentioned (this has occurred in a variety of situations, with the engine cold, hot, on the flat, hill starts, with the car loaded or empty), it's just not a consistent fault. If it happened every time I pulled away in first, then yes I would be leaning towards an issue with the clutch. The shudder however is pretty violent - there is no drive, the car just go.

Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
Hi again..First my sincere apologies - Im afraid I have had to be off for a few days because of illness - so Im sorry about the delay in getting back to you.Looking at what you have said in your reply - where you say its very intermittent - and, that the shudder when it happens is "pretty violent"... and - that there is no drive - and then it does just go... that then does indeed point to clutch issues - rather than any mounting / loose component issues etc... It does certainly point to a fault with the clutch for sure - and - given the extra symptoms ( or more in depth ) that you mention, this would indicate that the clutch is not releasing properley - either sticking to the flywheel or, sticking on the 1st motion shaft spline for some reason..or, a faulty Dual mass flywheel again if fitted on yours.Again, to inspect, to find this cause of this issue, it will have to have the gearbox removed... by now, given its been happening for a fair amount of time, you may well see signs of whats happening - ie, damage to the splined shaft or the centre of the plate where the shaft goes through etc...whatever way, it will have to be stripped to find it.But again - your added description would point to the clutch as described above.The only other thing that would cause this would be if the clutch "mechanism" was somehow holding the clutch from fully actuating.... that would be worth checking over before stripping - you see the idea / what Im saying - It has to be one or the other as above for sure.-- if you need anything more on this . Feel free to let me know / reply and ask if you need anything else... or, if we are done, I just need you to click on the "OK ratings" for me at this point.. Thank you.. and again, you can still get back to me after doing that.Best Rgds, MIKE.

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