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For the second straight car in a row, I've had a clutch go out before 20,000 miles. The first was a VW Bug, and VW made me pay for the new clutch (warrantied only for 12K miles). My current car is a Subaru WRX, and the clutch has the same warranty. However, while VW was unyielding in their warranty, even though clutches really shouldn't go out before 20,000 miles, Subaru has gone above and beyond the call to duty to take care of us and our car, replacing the part free of charge. They've even given us a loaner car while the necessary parts come in, again something they didn't have to do.

While I've used the site to bash companies that have screwed me over, in this case, it feels good to give props to one that is offering superb customer service not because they're contractually required to do so, but because it's the right thing to do. I love my Subaru WRX and their customer service -- specifically the folks at the Subaru service center on Broadway in Oakland. It's refreshing after my terrible experiences with VW.

This is an open thread. Chew it up and spit it out.

Update: Rest assured, I've had cars with much longer-lasting clutches. I don't ride the clutch. I put it in neutral at stop lights, etc. It's the Bay Area, so lots of hills and lots of stop-and-go traffic, but nothing to justify the clutch going out early. It was bad parts.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:11 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Subaru, VW, BMW, stop riding that clutch ... (4.00)
    ...Markos. ;)

    "The country will survive [Bush's] leadership, but it is striking that so many have protected him with the soft bigotry of low expectations. (Bull Moose)

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:08:19 PM PDT

    •  I was thinking the same thing... (none)
      got points off for it on my driving exam but am reformed now - same clutch at 80,000 miles.
    •  Now we know: Don't get in a car with Kos! (none)
      But seriously... what are you doing? :)
      I don't think I've ever had a clutch go out before 80,000 miles. I've probably had 3 cars with clutches that held out for at least 80,000.
      You must be dangerous.
    •  Buy Union (4.00)
      I've never had a clutch go out, and my cars were all made in the US by union labor.  

      BTW, the United Auto Workers were one of the ten largest political donors last political cycle, and they gave something like 95% of their money to Democrats, which was (IIRC) right at the top in terms of % to Dems, along with the Steelworkers, Electrical Workers and AFSCME.  

      I've never seen Subaru or Volkwagen on a Democrat's campaign finance reports, btw...

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:18:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Union Labor (none)
        I'd love to see some union certification websites for auto products made in the USA.

        Please, share what your union-made car is, and where it was made.

        Let me guess... Toyota?

        •  Huh? (none)
          I don't follow.

          But if you're being a smartass--I can't tell--the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Tacoma are built union.

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:23:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Prius is the car for Kos (none)
            Aren't you making big money on this site?  If not, something is wrong with the picture, because your ad rates should be quite high with the huge volume of hits you have.

            Buy a Prius, you'll never have any clutch to worry about, and the 55 mpg is really nice with $3.00/ gallon gas.

            Prius cost per mile is $.055 with $3.00 gas.  Yes they are pricey, mine cost $23,000 with the safety package including side air bags, but they ride nicely and easily hold five passengers.

          •  What a feeling! (none)
            I love my Corolla.  No troubles at 57K miles in 2.5 years.  Knowing union hands built it makes me love it more.  She's red, and I call her Ruby...and Ruby loves her "Impeach Bush" bumber sticker.
          •  Isuzu--GM Parts, union made. (none)
        •  UAW made and Consumer Reports (none)
          Funny you should mention Toyota.  I tried to cross-check the UAW list of American-made cars against the Consumer Reports recommended list.  The only car on both lists is the Toyota Corolla, and you have to be careful to get one with a VIN number that starts with a "1" ("2" and "J" are apparently assembled in Japan or elsewhere).

          I decided to replace the CV joints and transmission in my '95 Subaru instead of buying another car.  

          I know it's not Labor's fault - the engineers have to get busy improving the quality.  Hoping there will be more CU-recommended union-made cars next year.

      •  List of 2005 Union-Made Cars (none)
        Right here.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:21:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks DHinMI!! (4.00)
        I lost my mind above - probably get BANNED. These people , in all ther wisdom (not a snark) just don't "get it". Anyway you said it much better than me ;) Thanks. UAW 34 years!

        "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

        by fugwb on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:52:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yeah? (none)
        Well my BMW was made in Germany by Union labor, so there!

        It's not the Unions fault the US cars are crappy.  I blame it solely on the engineers and suits who design this crap they give the Union to build.

        Even with the Employee discount, I still couldn't bring myself to buy a Chevy after my previous bad experiences with them.

        •  My problem with GM is much deeper than that (none)
          GM is in large part responsible for failing to address head on the situation of emissions and fuel economy in their cars.  They've fought every emissions standard tooth and nail.  They fought safety standards tooth and nail (those On Star commercials make me want to PUKE! Paul McCartney must be rolling in his...wait, he's not dead...)

          And now, their answer to the fuel crisis?  Hybrids? No.  Greater efficiency?  No.  All electric?  No.


          Wait for it.

          Perhaps your grandchildren will be driving one.


          They're raiding their employee pensiosn to pay for bad investments in the 80's and 90's.  They only thing worse they could do is name George Bush to their board of trustees once he leaves office.

          •  General Motors (none)
            certainly has its faults.  Its entire history it has been dominated by a financial management culture.  Foucused on quarterly results etc.  
            The have have glimpses of innovation, they were the first with modern all electric cars on the market.
            They are slowly coming online with hybrids, oddly enough they are starting in larger vehicles.  Currently they have a full size hybrid piackup on the market in some States.  In some ways this strategy makes sense.  (Not to say I totally agree with it).  First, its a market segment that will actually continue to do well, contractors, service fleets, etc need to have a truck.  Improving milage in these vehicles will actually have a greater impact over a vehicle used just for commuting.  Second its a market in which they do well.  Based on comments around this site, even if they did come out with a hybrid car, there probably would not be much interest.

            We actually had a  preproduction protoype of the hybrid truck for the 2003 blackout, it was awesome.  Run a cord from the bed to the house and  the truck functioned as a generator.  

            When they brought Bob Lutz in, he wanted to shelve all the hybrid programs in favor of fuel cells.  Engineers and mid-management revolted through passive agressive inertia, he has since changed his mind.  

            •  Lutz actually called the Japanese ... (none)
              ...hybrids a stupid idea less than two years ago.

              "The country will survive [Bush's] leadership, but it is striking that so many have protected him with the soft bigotry of low expectations. (Bull Moose)

              by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:58:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm glad to see a turn around (none)
              The government is ITCHING to buy hybrid vehicles.  Ford's the only "domestic" company launching them right now.

              We'd like a choice.  I'm sure you are aware of GSA's buying power.

              And I use "domestic" in quotes because all of these firms are multinational.

      •  Well hang in there and well see what happens (none)
        I'm working on the production line for Volvo Cars. I mailed the advertising department to point out this great site as an alternative to web advertising. I think this forum is great for cars specially for brands that are bought mostly by dems. I do think that the automotive world aint brave enough to take an official stand for what they believe in except for the couraguess man Iacocca. Can you believe that 80 years old and doing an ad with Soop Dogg. How brave isnt that!
    •  MB (none)
      Please teach Markos how to powershift.If your foot touches the cluch between ist and fifth upshifting or downshifting buy an automatic.LMAO

      by ctkeith on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:19:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, it's the Bay Area (none)
      Clutches don't last that long.

      I've got blisters on my fingers!

      by Elwood Dowd on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:20:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  184,858 (none)
      ... and still going. (Volvo - pre-Ford) Though it has had a bad clutch bearing for 4 years, so it makes a weird "whirt" noise at one point in the release process.

      If it makes you feel any better, I just had to pay 1/2 price to replace a brand new tire that wasn't installed properly, but the folks who installed the tires insisted they couldn't give me a replacement because the tire was too destroyed for them to determine why it failed (it blew on the highway)...

      Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

      by mataliandy on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:20:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My second Volvo.. (none)
        the first lasted approximately 400,000 miles (odometer was broken while I was in graduate school--paying tuition won over getting it fixed).  That was a 76 that finally went to the graveyard about 5 years ago.  My 92 now has almost 200,000 and no major repairs.  
        •  My 1965 Volvo 122 had 340,000 ... (none)
          ...miles on it when my wife decided we should give it to our neighbor whose own car was a rusted-out Chevy. He's still driving it, and it now has something like 420,000 miles on it.

          "The country will survive [Bush's] leadership, but it is striking that so many have protected him with the soft bigotry of low expectations. (Bull Moose)

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:02:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Volvo 122S- bought for $400 (none)
            I bought my 1965 Volvo 122S for $400 in 1974, drove it for 60,000 miles, then sold it for $350 in 1978.  Definitely the most economical car I ever had, 28 mpg and gas was $.33 per gallon.  So the cost per mile for gas was about a penny.

            Volvo definitely made some nice cars then, they very pricey now.

    •  I treat my clutch well (none)
      I had a Honda civic before those cars that went 85K miles before it needed a new clutch.

      Elisa thinks she may be at fault, but I don't think she's riding the clutch. I think it's been shitty parts.

      •  Think ahead, you also have a kid that almost 2 (none)
        and you can expect the itch for his little brother or sister to come real soon.Make sure the next cars an automatic so Elisa has one hand free to stop them from killing each

        by ctkeith on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:37:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  first off (none)
          kos may want that automatic as much as his wife.  as much as he has been accused of being a misogynistic bastard around these parts, he better damn well not be doing all the driving.

          secondly, my mom managed to drive all 4 of us around with a stick, then again, i did a lot of the shifting ;)

          Yeah the revolution starts now..So what you doin' standin' around? -Steve Earle

          by juls on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:53:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I learned how to drive on a '37 ... (none)
            ...Ford that you had to double-clutch to shift. But, living in Los Angeles, where you have to shave and talk on the cellphone simultaneously requires an automatic transmission.

            "The country will survive [Bush's] leadership, but it is striking that so many have protected him with the soft bigotry of low expectations. (Bull Moose)

            by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:59:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you forgot (none)
              the driving with ones knees.  essential for talking on the cell and shaving at the same time.  then again you might have one hand free if you have a bluetooth headset, the cord would just get in the way of the shaving.

              Yeah the revolution starts now..So what you doin' standin' around? -Steve Earle

              by juls on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:10:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Funny. (none)
              I live in West LA, and I use manual transmission as an excuse to not have to take business calls in the car.  Clients do not need to know what I sound like in the middle of rush hour.

              Contrary to popular belief, the Customer is occasionally wrong, and never Right.

              by Mr Customer on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:31:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  My two boys--5 yr old and 2 year old (none)
          are little angels in the back seat.

          I drive auto because who needs the damned aggrevation?  DC traffic is bad enough--particularly when you have to curb your profanity, what with two angels in the back seat and all...

          •  Ah, DC.. (none)
            I had to drive to the DC area for an interview and I was pretty Zen and way ahead of schedule 'til I hit the 270 spur and they'd blocked off a lane to do construction at midday.. producing a 45 minute traffic jam in 95 degree heat.  ARRGH

            I've tried to cut back on the swearing and then DC driving put me right back on it.  A few weeks before that I managed to lose my temper and flip off some lady on a cellphone in a BMW who decided to pull onto the Key Bridge as pedestrians were crossing even though it was their right of way.  So rude..!

            George W Bush puts our security in the hands of incompetents.

            by daria g on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:12:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's also bad (none)
      to rest your hand on the stick when you're driving--puts pressure on the gears or something that eventually wears them down. Got that straight from my 97 VW Jetta manual.
    •   Markos is in denial about riding the clutch (none)
      I agree with you Metero Blades.  We had a toyota Tercel that went 120,000 before we needed a new clutch, and yes, we are in the "hilly" Bay Area as well.  

      Of course Markos may not be aware that he is riding the clutch because his mind is on saving our nation from Bush....

      "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

      by SanJoseLady on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:17:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I, too, jumped from VW to Subaru (none)
      I had a VW Beetle that I bought used (8,000 miles) that experienced complete engine meltdown at 26,000 miles.  I had it in the shop a half a dozen times with a check engine light issue that they couldn't seem to fix.  Then, the engine just melted down in the highway.  Car destroyed.

      VW said it's your problem because the warrenty expired at 25,000 miles.  

      I traded it for a 2002 Subaru Forester and have been very happy.  Excellent car.  Awesome.  Everyone who rides in it loves it.

      Way to go, Kos.

      Wake me when it's over.

      by floridaprof on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:20:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amen (none)
      Clutches are the most "operator sensitive" part of the power train. One driver gets 100k miles in San Fran, another gets twenty k, and it's all in how you use the thing. I've got (literally) forty years plus of experience with clutches.  Besides, anybody who drives a turbo knows that you need an automatic with a turbo, in order to keep the boost up while shifting.  Take your foot off the gas and shove in the clutch and you've just lost all your boost until it spools up again.  Next time get an automatic, and spare yourself the grief, and enjoy the rush of uninterrupted turbo boost.

      Lousy operators ALWAYS blame the equipment, all the mechanics know this.

      You folks have NO CLUE as to how much better the equipment has gotten, over the years.  Just take a fifties era Chevy out for a spin if you doubt me.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 06:00:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Driver error? (4.00)
    What are you doing to your clutch?
    •  Driving habits indeed (none)
      Knowing that he's a Berkeley resident, it means he drives very very slowly -- if the posted speed limit is 35, most Berkeleyites are going 25.  Plus running stop signs and lights, that's de rigeur. And never forget, all driving in Berkeley must be done with the eyes shut, as much as possible.

      And the hills, oh the hills. You gotta be crazy driving a stick shift in the San Francisco area, with all our steep hills.  

      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:14:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder. (none)
      I have 115K on our Corolla Wagon (wonderful car that gets 35MPG) and the original clutch is still going strong.
      /me knocks on own head to ward off the inevitable jinx.

      Maybe Markos is hanging out at stop lights in San Francisco and holding his WRX in place with the clutch? :-)

      Behind the dark veil of patriotism a nation mourns itself.

      by Espumoso on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:15:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My hubby had an old-style VW in Duluth (none)
        which is kind of like a boreal SF, with innumerable steeply pitched roads.  And he went through the clutches, too.  (And icy intersections.  Backwards.)

        "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." --President Eisenhower

        by rhubarb on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:21:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  1997 Saturn (none)
        135,000 miles.  One clutch.  Do I win?  And did I just jinx it so much it goes tomorrow?

        blog | These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined. -- Homer Simpson

        by folkbum on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:27:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  235000 miles original clutch (none)
          My friend's 1988 Honda Accord, 235000 miles on the original clutch and engine (admittedly most of them in rural Maine: a lot of highway, not a lot of stop'n'go traffic). The clutch was really on its last breath though, another 5000-10000 miles and would probably be undriveable.
  •  How Do You Drive It? (none)
    Maybe your driving habits are the common denominator. What do you do when you come to a stoplight/sign?  Maybe you're putting added wear on it. Do you do that Too Fast Too Furious type racing?
    •  Step 3 (none)
      Step 3: Protect the clutch, yourself and the car

      The clutch is the mechanism that allows the gears to transition back and forth smoothly. If you pull the car in or out of gear without using the clutch, or release the clutch only halfway into gear, you will hear an amazingly unpleasant sound. Avoid this.

      It's difficult to avoid some sort of wear and tear on the clutch when learning how to drive a stick shift. If you go slowly at first and pay close attention, you can feel (in your feet) where the clutch engages and disengages. If you learn that well, you'll put less strain on your car. You'll also be able to drive any stick shift more smoothly from the get-go.

      Avoid needless acceleration when the clutch is partially engaged. When at a stoplight, don't get in the habit of holding the clutch in for more than a few seconds or you will have other problems down the line.
      *Instead, put the car in neutral while stopped for any period of time.*

      Popping the clutch: Invariably, you will miss your gear (or release the clutch too quickly) and the car will lurch ahead. Often at the outset, you will pop the clutch too quickly and stall the car. Don't worry, it happens to everyone. Just get those exercises out of the way before you find yourself in bumper-to-bumper traffic. .

  •  I'd only have an automatic in San Francisco (none)
    Don't know if you do any driving over on this side of the bridge...

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:10:01 PM PDT

    •  ouch, San Fran? (none)
      Okay, if you're in SF, Markos I take back the snark about learning to drive. I've visited SF, but would HATE to drive in stop and go traffic there with a stick! (though I do love a car with a stick.)
      •  C'mon. (none)
        I live in SF and drive a stick (with 115K). On the really steep hills, or if you have some Cheney right on your bumper, just put the emergency brake on. When you are ready to go, let the clutch out and when you feel the car grab, release the emergency brake.

        Behind the dark veil of patriotism a nation mourns itself.

        by Espumoso on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:19:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup (none)
          That's the technique. And it's actually quite fun.
          •  good grief .... (none)
            ... aren't you guys all like taught this when getting a licence? Hill starts using the park brake are part of the mandatory testing in australia and sweden. And they usually make you do it more than once. If you don't do it, you don't get a licence. Reading the comment here is like someone saying the car won't go and someone asking if they'd put the key in the ignition!

            "a society is measured by how it treats the weak and vulnerable"
            - George W. Bush, State of the Union, Feb 2, 2005.

            by icerat on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 03:51:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  No Way! (none)
      Slushboxes suck on 4 cylinder cars - no matter the terrain.  I live and work in SF (and I have to drive around town constantly!) and I wouldn't consider anything but a manual shift.

      I had a 2000 GTi and I was very underwhelmed with both the quality AND the service.  The transmission burnt out first gear @ 8k miles (and I'm verrrry gentle on the clutch - learned on and been driving stick only since.)

      Then both window lifts broke at 12k while it was under warranty and the dealers refused to replace either one!!!  

      The seat broke and the windshield seal failed before 30k miles.  Needless to say, I traded it after 2 years of aggrevation and haven't missed it a bit.

      He who gives up liberty in exchange for security is deserving of neither

      by joby on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:22:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right that (none)
        Just say No to the slushbox!
      •  My four banger slushbox... (none)
        ...will blow the doors off your VW.  15 pounds of boost yeilds around 250 HP from a 2.3 liter Volvo fourbanger, and the slushbox can be upgraded to handle it. Volvo cop car package.

        Course, y' gotta be a fanatic about it.

        I actually went out last week and turned down the boost, started saving gas by getting light-footed with the gas. got an immediate 15% mileage increase by driving the speed limit instead of 90 (we still have room to do that here in NM).  I drive around 200 miles per day, getting to work and back. My inner child is wrestling with my mature adult, but at the moment, the adult seems to be in charge.

        don't always believe what you think...

        by claude on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 06:18:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anyone can be a hero with a turbo! (none)
          Those Volvos are nice though.  My dream version would be a V50R w/AWD and 270~300hp.

          But in my earlier post, the operative word is "had".  I got out of that p.o.s. VW right quick...but I think your S40 would have a little more difficulty with my current ride...

          Let's just say it's a inline six coupe...manually shifted, of course!

          He who gives up liberty in exchange for security is deserving of neither

          by joby on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 07:40:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  2003 TDI Beetle (none)
            Love it.

            50-70 MPG on the highway.

            250 Ft Lbs of torque at 2000 RPM

            It's a blast.

            The GOP and the Elephant are both Introduced Species

            by roboton on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:24:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gotta say that I liked the GTi, but... (none)
              ...just got too aggrevated with the quality issues of my particular car.

              I think a TDi with sport suspension would be pretty hot!

              He who gives up liberty in exchange for security is deserving of neither

              by joby on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:40:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And I love my VW Golf TDI (none)
              Great car. My family has owned VWs for 20 years and they've all been great. I run it on Biodiesel which cuts the emissions even further, and it's locally produced!

              One Q for Kos--how do you figure that there was only a 12,000mi warranty on the clutch in your Beetle? New VWs come with a 50,000mi powertrain warranty. It should have been covered under that.

              But if it did have a 12,000mi warranty on the clutch, is it really fair to expect any company to extend a warranty by 167%? I mean, it still stinks loosing a clutch at 20,000mi, but you can't just expect a company to blow away their warranty policies.

    •  sf (none)
      I like having a manual in San Francisco - for going down the hills.

      But it's always an adventure. My last car had both a stick and a lack of power steering - quite the combination for parallel parking on these hills. Fortunately, it was also short and had steel bumpers. (Grin.)

  •  Brother (none)
    I put 200000 on a clutch once.  Maybe thou shalt look within thy self ;)

    Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Stevo on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:10:10 PM PDT

    •  Same here (none)
      Current vehicle=1990 VW Fox, 220K miles, original clutch.  That car is damned near bullet proof though.  Made in Brazil, VW stopped selling them after 4 years in the US.  Not enough service calls I guess.

      Country club republicans waging war on the middle class.

      by lapin on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:18:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mine (none)
        I had a Honda.  Can anyone else drive it with the old clutch?  Mine was so bad, it required "experience" to not cause whiplash.

        Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

        by Stevo on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:22:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  switch (none)
    to automatic.  Your back will thank you one day.

    Winning without Delay.

    by ljm on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:10:18 PM PDT

  •  asdf (none)
    Subaru is also a pretty LGBT-friendly company.
    •  You can't move (none)
      for Subarus (Subari?) here in Maine some days.  Outbacks far as the eye can see.   Good solid 4WD vehicle (for those wacky Maine winters) that doesn't have the horrid mileage and sheer assholishness of an SUV.

      I drive a Toyota, but I've often wondered about Subaru.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:45:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sticking with Toyota (none)
    They always rack up kick-ass reliability ratings from Consumer Reports.

    Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

    by saucy monkey on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:10:49 PM PDT

    •  Hyundai scored above them last report (none)
      I've been eyeing a Sonata, if these freaking hurricanes would leave us alone so I could sell some houses!
    •  all things being equal (none)
      with brands mentioned, toyota is union made  ps. always check for silent recalls with manufacturer, dont trust the dealer, they may never tell you.
      •  Honda is notorious (none)
        for the silent recall.

        Bring your car in for an oil change, and they'll replace some major part without even telling you.

        •  That's not a silent recall (none)
          A silent recall is the company knows a part is defective, but doesn't tell anybody.  If people have problems and bitch enough, they might get it fixed for free (or not).

          I don't know what the hell replacing random parts in your car when you bring it is for an oil change is called.  Never even heard that one before.

          •  I was refering to (none)
            a manufacturer that knows a part or system is defective, but does not have to recall all autos, they are obligated to fix the car if it is brought to a dealer.  For instance: had a 94 toyota 2dr pickup, put 75k on motor (30k warranty).  Car broke, threw a rod, 2 dealers estimated 3k$ plus for repair.  Friend had me go to another dealer - dealer said 94 toy p/u had a "silent recall" due to defective part. Dealer makes the repair, they are refunded by manufacturer.   Every time I bring my Toyota or Chev. in, we always have repair shop check service database for repairs that are the obligation of the manufacturer - even been lucky twice. I thought this was a "silent recall" - but could be wrong.
          •  Toyotas, Silent Recalls, Sticks, etc. (none)
            We had a silent recall issue recently.  We have a '03 Camry with a 4 cylinder.  We had just moved to LA last summer, drove it here from Michigan.  Soon after we got here, when it had about 30k on it, I noticed the engine getting louder.  We had 3 previous Saturns, so I attributed it to my history  with 4 bangers getting louder over time.  Since my wife started driving it daily to work, I didn't hear the progression.  In the meantime, we had taken it to a certain dealer near the ocean twice for regular service.  By the time it hit about 38000, the noise was getting unbearable so we knew there was a problem.  We took it to South Bay Toyota in Gardena, but before we went, we looked up the TSB history and saw there was an issue with the intake manifold, a $600 repair.  We appealed to Toyota corporate and they paid for the repair.  While it may have helped that my wife's firm does legal work for Toyota, and Toyota's US HQ is about two blocks from this dealer, it was more important that the car was only 2000 miles out of warranty, we had noticed the problem before the warranty expired, and the other dealer didn't catch the problem on two occasions.
            Since the dealer went to bat for us on this occasion, I just bought a used car from South Bay Toyota, a 98 Civic (manual).  Now, as with any dealer, they are relatively aggressive negotiators and salespeople, but they don't seem to go out of their way to screw the customers as some places do.  I love the car, even though I have to drive in stop and go traffic down Wilshire twice a day.  
            I learned to drive one 10 years ago.  My college roommate loaned me his 84 Cavalier wagon 4 speed.  He was supposed to teach me how to drive it, but he wasn't around before I had to leave.  I had to teach myself how to drive it making my way through Cleveland all the way to East Lansing, MI to visit my girlfriend (now my wife) at Michigan State.  The most harrowing moment I've ever had with a stick was on that trip, stalling it repeatedly, trying to make a left turn off an I-94 ramp when I was in desperate need of a bathroom stop.  
            My brother in law completely killed the manual tranny after about 30000 miles in his Impreza about 7 years ago, even before they came out with the turbo STi.  It didn't help that he was 16 and that he was powershifting even on side streets.  They made a big fuss to the dealer about it, and may have gotten it replaced for cheap, but his mom took away the car soon after that.  Kos, I hope your wife doesn't take away your toy when you burn out another clutch. :)
          •  Sure it is... (none)
            The parts aren't random.  Honda knows they are defective, and they replace them.  You don't have to complain...  It's just a different way of handling the issue.

            It's part of their strategy to keep up good customer relations... plus it helps them with the Consumer Reports surveys because generally the customer isn't told about the failure so they reply "No problems."

            Now GM.  Them, you gotta fight with.  I had a problem once with the software controlling the slushbox, and I had to go yell at the general manager before they'd do something about it.

            •  Silent Recalls = Not being straight w/the public (none)
              It's part of their strategy to keep up good customer relations.

              But what about customers who want to save some money and go to an independent mechanic instead of the dealer (as is their right by law)? It seems very shady to me.

    •  I'll second Toyota (none)
      They make cars that refuse to die.  Seriously, how many early eighties Toyota Corollas or Pickups do you see on the road every day?  Now, compare that number to thier market share at the time.

      They also value safety, the enviroment, and fuel economy, especially above the domestics.  Since they build a high quality product, and everybody knows it, they make money hand over fist (their profits each of the last two years were 10 BILLION dollars each year), which allows them to plow stupidly huge amounts of money back into R&D, to make an even better product, lather, rise, repeat.

      I don't know why the domestics suck so much.  Is it thier cost cutting?  Union problems (yes, the union is a problem)?  Bad management?  Poor vehicle selection (gas prices are three dollars a gallon-so let's bring out more SUVs the size of a studio apartment!)?  All of the above?  Doesn't matter what the specific reason is-they make a shitty product, and GM and Ford are heading towards bankruptcy if this keeps up.

      The Europeans are falling behind, too, espeically in quality.  Hyundai/Kia (Kia is now owned by Hyundai) is improving quickly.

    •  Toyotas = Refrigerators (none)
      You can buy them and forget all about them.

      They are utterly without soul, and Camry's are among the most frustrating of vehicles to be caught behind when you're in a rush (always 20% slower than the posted limit, braking at every non-controlled intersection, and operating as if hermetically sealed in a bubble without awareness that life exists outside the cabin), but they are damned reliable.


      "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for us." - former Texas Governor Miriam Ferguson, on barring foreign language teaching

      by JT88 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:58:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nissan Sentras (none)
    I've had a 2002 Sentra for over 3 years now, with 120,000 miles and still yet to have a mechanical problem.  Knock on wood.

    I have no idea if Nissan is good about honoring warranties since there's never been a need.  That makes me a loyal guy.

  •  Ahhhh... The Soob. (none)
    That was the car of my childhood. A guy in our gang had a Subaru... an old rusty clunky one. It still ran... but it had been through hell and back... you could put your feet through the floor though like the Flinstones.

    We put that car through some shit. Good car, Subaru.

    U.S. blue collar worker vs. CEO income in 1992 was 1:80; in 1998 it was 1:420.

    by Lode Runner on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:11:24 PM PDT

  •  How's the battle against the noise machine goin'? (none)
    I've been going onto the usual suspects' websites, as per daoureport and my own habits, and slapping down the rationales where needed. Seems to be going well; keeping 'em from driving in those fenceposts.


    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:11:40 PM PDT

  •  Dude you _really_ need to learn to drive (none)
    As a young twenty-something with an MG, even I didn't burn my clutch out in 20,000 miles! ;)
  •  Kos, watch out for second gear (none)
    WRX 5-speeds are 'like they're made out of glass' according to a friend who has one.  Take it easy on second gear lol.  

    "In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power." - Cicero

    by KOWALSKI on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:12:05 PM PDT

    •  wait... (none)
      what do you mean by that?  I have a Subaru WRX too, which I've been loving, but now that "made out of glass" phrase is going to be haunting me...

      What does that mean, precisely??

      •  All it means is (none)
        Don't slam it into second gear under heavy acceleration, and you should be fine.  

        "In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power." - Cicero

        by KOWALSKI on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 07:55:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Resources for WRX owners (none)
      Check in at (a club for Impreza owners), which has extensive technical resources, including FAQs on the clutches, etc.  I wouldn't worry too much about your clutch.  It is a little finicky about going into first and reverse.  But what problems are reported are often the result of abuse or modifications.  People commonly retune their WRXs to make 280bhp and up and then drop the clutch at 4000 RPM on them.  
  •  have any dems called for bush's (none)
  •  Kos (none)
     Ride the clutch, much?
  •  Toyota, baby (none)

    Runs like a charm to 150K.

    Oh what a feeling!

    Why do the facts, reality and objective truth hate America and the baby Jesus?

    by WinSmith on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:13:33 PM PDT

  •  Uh (none)
      My Bug needs some clutch work too, but I think it's the way my wife drives it (she's a little tough on the clutch in stop-and-go situations) and it's got 30k or so miles on it. I doubt it needs to be replaced -- it's not grinding or anything.

      Weird. Volkswagon tends to be pretty reliable, but I can see their point on clutches. If your clutch dies early, it could be a bad part -- but I'd guess most of the time it's "user error". It was nice of Subaru to cut you some slack, though. If I hadn't already picked out a Prius for my next vehicle, I'd check them out.

  •  Subaru... (none)
    My husband and I live high up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  We both dispise SUV's so we invested in a Subaru Forester.  The bloody thing is working on 200,000 miles and still works like a charm.  We even get a neat Subaru magazine in the mail and the salesman sends us Christmas cards every year.

    No complaints about Subaru here save that they haven't made a diesel engine thereby allowing bio-diesel.

    I promote fear of me because I am a coward; I promote equality because I know there's nothing to fear.

    by bristlecone77 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:13:53 PM PDT

    US infant mortality rate is RISING

    Key US health indicators are far below those that might be anticipated on the basis of national wealth. Infant mortality trends are especially troublesome. Since 2000 a half century of sustained decline in infant death rates first slowed and then reversed.
  •  TURN ON CSPAN NOW (4.00)
    oh man, yall are missing some excellent stuff!

    cynthia mckinney just spent a goof fifteen or twenty minutes calling out the federal government.  she mentioned everything from trucks being turned away to kanye west to fema's failures.

    now ron paul (r-tx) is actually, dare i say it, is indicting bush on the war lies!  at first i thought he was reading some letter from a constituent but he is seriously saying bring them home.  it's wild!

    it's like the worm has turned in congress.

    "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

    by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:14:14 PM PDT

    •  I MEAN IT! TURN IN ON! (none)
      ron paul is on fire.

      he is going off... he's listed all the bush lies about the war and saying that bush has shifted his reasoning over and over... wow!  from a repub at that.  now he's reaming the "neocons" a new butthole.

      wow.  wow!

      "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

      by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:16:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  is it redundant to reply to myself? (none)
        ron paul just said the war was for oil.

        straight up yall.

        "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

        by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:18:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  wow (none)
        paul was shaking like a leaf when he got up there, but he's sounding pretty confident now.

        he is reading from something, and now talking about how the iraqis already kicked out the brits and "too bad we're not better at studying history".


        "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

        by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:20:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, anna (none)
       Holy shit, he's chewing them up over Iraq!
      •  well he owes us one (none)
        he just voted against the hurricane relief bill, which i totally don't get.  now he's doing this?  

        i wonder if his vote against the funding bill was a setup for this indictment of the war?   who knows?  maybe he's got fiscal concerns there, or he's trying to force his party's hand?

        this is crazy stuff.  glad you're enjoying it.  i'm pretty blown away.

        uh oh, is he fixing to flip?

        "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

        by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:25:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  aha! (none)
          ok, he does have fiscal concerns.  i am sure that he voted against the hurricane funding due to fiscal concerns.  and he's using it to call out bush to bring the troops, money, and resources home so we can truly shore up our homeland security.

          "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

          by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:26:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The man's a freak... (none)

          The vote on emergency relief for NOLA was unconsionable.  

          He's a Republican and votes horribly on most things.

          .. Go ahead and rip Bush a new one on Iraq, but I fear Paul knows nothing at all about Iraq. I'd rather hear from someone with an informed point of view.  Has he ever been there?  Does he have any idea of the internal politics of the country?  What is his ME policy besides ripping Bush a new one?  What's his policy on energy?  On ME foreign policy? Is he just a libertarian isolationist demagogue?

          I despise Bush and am highly critical of US policy in Iraq, but it seems to me this guy is an opportunist.  

          "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" ... Benjamin Franklin

          by ivorybill on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:41:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  nope (none)
            you don't know much about him, then.  he is a true blue conservative who actually does have principals.

            most of the time he is one of the saner repubs in congress.  there had to be a good reason why he voted against the relief bill.

            "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

            by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:51:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I understand... (none)
              ... and I can accept a wide range of opinion on Iraq from Democrats.  But I work in Iraq and have a great deal of sympathy for a lot of people caught in a long and complex war.  Democratic anti-war activists?  Fine - valid opinion.  Democrats like Biden who opposed Saddam and also criticize Bush?  Reasoned point of view, even if unpopular here, and I can respect that.  But isolationist republican libertarians - maybe I can accept some of his points on the Constitutionality of the war, but I'd rather hear it from someone else.  My own personality, experiences and history makes me really adverse to libertarian isolationists like this guy.  He's elected to represent Texas, not Iraq - but I have a hard time believing that he cares in the least for anyone in Iraq.  Not a lot of compassion in a guy like this.  

              "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" ... Benjamin Franklin

              by ivorybill on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:00:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I appreciate your opinion. Thanks for sharing it. (none)
                Many of us anti-war protesters out there see your point very clearly.  The best thing for the whole world would be for us to get it right over in Iraq.  So many are sacrificing so much to make that happen.

                Except the people at 1600 PA Ave and the folks at Halliburton and a few dozen folks over in Arlington, VA.

                If we don't press on the invalidity of this war we will never get accountability for what happened.  We will never get a chance to turn this effort around and do the right thing.

                I don't trust this Administration to get it right so if insisting we need to GET OUT NOW makes them uncomfortable and threatens their stronghold on all branches of this government,


                It is of less concern to me how we ultimately resolve the situation provided that smarter, more strategic and more compassionate people are in charge of the fix.

                Supporting the war without question is like supporting Bush outright.  Supporting the war with concerns and reservations (thank you, John Kerry) is too subtle to make the distinction we need to make to force some real changes.  Anti-war is drawing the brightest line possible.

              •  i hear ya (none)
                thanks for sharing your perspective and for doing the hard work in iraq.  

                we just might have to agree to disagree on this one. =)

                "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

                by anna on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 02:22:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Not necessarily (none)
            It has to be funded.  That means that something has to be cut or taxes have to be raised.  We can hardly expect to borrow more unless we want to end up like the Weimar Republic.  I don't know what reasons explain the dozen or so Repugs who voted against the bill, but there are actually good reasons to oppose it.  Don't forget -- it won't get spent tomorrow, so there's plenty of time to do it right.
      •  He's going after the chickenhawks! (none)
        He's calling, stridently for getting the hell out of Iraq.

        Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

        by bumblebums on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:28:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Was the 350 billion dollars worth it? (none)
          Wilsonian ideology of spreading democracy around the world is a seriously flawed policy. We'll be no more successful in Iraq than the British were after WWI.

          "It's time to reassess the policies that got us into this mess."

          Flawed interventionist policy.


          I want a transcript of this speech.

          Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

          by bumblebums on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:34:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Man! (none)
         This could be anyone of us speaking. He's argueing our case, better than any Dem I have heard. I would have loved to hear Kerry taking like this during the election. I could kiss him.
        •  it's amazing isn't it? (none)
          he just said bring em home. our presence there increases our risk of terrorism?  asking if 2K lives was worth it...

          talking about how we didn't learn from vietnam.


          ron paul says bring em home now

          can yall email crooks and liars about this?  i'd love to see them grab it.

          "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

          by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:32:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  what is this (none)
      he LASHING out against the Iraq war -- i dont know much about him but i cannot believe what i am hearing.  he is a TEXA REPUB.  Delay has to be blowing steam out of his ass!

      can this PLEASE be the just the beginning

      He may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot. Send him back to his father and brothers...

      by distributorcap on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:28:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He (none)
        is stating that the Iraq war is causing terrorism, and say we should stop fighting.
        •  the nation building angle (none)
          "policing the world is not our calling or our mandate, besides the constitution does not permit it"

          ah, now his conservative side comes out.  this is still great stuff.

          "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

          by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:35:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  He is a hardcore (none)
        libertarian who ran as a republican and was redistricted out by Tom Delay (I think)

        He is on Alex Jones alot. he is a hardcore "get the fuck off my property" kind of guy.

        I like him. But then again, I am a gun-toting texas democrat.

        My first vote at 18, I voted Andre Marrou...

        I dunno, it made sense in Dallas Texas at 18 years old..

        The GOP and the Elephant are both Introduced Species

        by roboton on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:32:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's Ron Paul for ya (none)
      He's a pure Libertarian through and through-which means he thinks the war in Iraq was an amazing waste of taxpayer dollars and probably a violation of the constitution.  I had to defend him in the other thread (he voted against the $51 billion dollar New Orleans relief bill, again, because he's a Libertarian).
      •  thank you (none)
        i didn't feel like jumping in on that thread.

        "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

        by anna on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:52:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Libertarians = anarchists with good educations (none)
        Some of my best friends are conservative libertarians.  My social life is a big, huge tent.  

        But lately, I've closed the tent off to the elephants.  I'm too sick at heart over this whole mess and not very tolerant.

  •  Its those hills in Berkeley and SF (none)
    Kills clutches everytime - terrorist hills attack clutches...beware!

    Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you..... Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by SallyCat on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:14:35 PM PDT

  •  Here's a tip: If you have a manual transmission (none)
    don't rest your left foot on the clutch pedal while you're driving.

    Don't hold the clutch in while sitting at a light.  Put the car in neutral and let the clutch out.

    A clutch should last way longer that 20K.  I have 100K on my Nissan pickup and the clutch is still in great shape.

    Thanks for the good news about Subaru.  I'll take a look at them when I get ready to trade.

    Truth is our only weapon -- H.H. The Dali Lama

    by willyd on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:14:38 PM PDT

  •  Natural Gas? (none)
    I keep seeing pictures of some gas bubbling up in lake New Orleans around the flooded homes.  I'm assuming it is natural gas coming from ruptured lines, as some of it is eagerly flaming at the surface of the water.


    This is an enormous amount of gas being wasted as well as being dangerous.  I know people are busy recovering people and whatnot, but is there not a small set of master safety valves that could shut off gas to the entire area?  Are they TRYING to get the city to burn down?  Are they TRYING to make the impending 70% rise in natural gas heating prices even larger?

    •  You're correct. (none)
      Natural gas is bubbling to the surface of the water.

      They're working to cap the leaks as fast as they can.

      There's probably not a whole lot being wasted, in the scheme of things.  Not that much more than would have been burned over the course of a day or so had the city been populated.  

      It poses a safety danger more than an ecological one.

      According to the article above, gas has been shut off in certain areas of the city.  It cannot be shut off to the whole city because gas is still required to run the generators which fuel the drainage pumps.

  •  Do you rest your foot on the clutch at stop signs? (none)
    or at stop lights?

    I have a nissan with 160,000 on the original clutch.  No clutch should go out before 100,000 miles.

    Some tips:

    don't ever rest your foot on the clutch pedal, period.  The only time your foot should be on the pedal is when you are depressing it or releasing it.

    Don't wind the engine way up to start moving, you should never have to be above 1000 rpm to get moving and if you are winding up higher than that and letting the clutch out that'll cause more wear.

    The goal is to reduce the amount of friction involved at all time in order to get a longer life out of the clutch.

    That's awesome of Subaru though, they are a great company and the most driven car of lesbians, at least where I live.  ;-)

    Good luck

    •  Actually, had a friend do this in high school... (none)
      don't ever rest your foot on the clutch pedal, period.  The only time your foot should be on the pedal is when you are depressing it or releasing it.

      He lost two clutches in around a year and couldn't figure out why.  I was riding with him one day when he mentioned it, and looked over and mentioned that he shouldn't rest his foot on the clutch pedal.  That clutch lasted many many years after that.

  •  Steptronic or Tiptronic... (none)
    should be in your next car.

    It's an automatic which is better for 90% of that urban driving, but you can put it into manual mode when you want to get more involved.

    I pondered getting the SMG in my BMW, but just couldn't justify the cost over and above the Steptronic.

  •  Clutch out at 20K?????? (none)
    Kos!!  Caramba!!  Bro!!  Eeeezzzzup!!!!!
    My suggestion for you:  Next time this happens replace the clutch yourself -  
    That'll learn ya....
  •  "double clutching weasel" (none)
    Sounds like you need to quit slipping the clutch when you take off - remember the "friction point" from drivers ed?

    I agree that Subaru makes a great automobile, and am glad to hear that they service it appropriately.  Old rule of marketing at work here, magnified by the blogosphere:  If you have a good experience with a business, you will tell 9 people.  If you have a bad experience, you will tell 99.

    Trivia:  Just what is that symbol on the front of a Subaru?

    •  Symbol on Subarus (none)

           It's the Pleides star cluster (missing the 7th sister-you can't see her with the naked eye anymore, as she has dimmed considerably since the Pleides were named in ancient times).  I have been told that "Subaru" or something which sounds like it is the Japanese name for the Pleides.
           BTW-been driving a Sub (2001 2.5 RS) for almost 5 years now.  Best car I have ever owned, incredibly fun to drive.  Am currently modding it to be faster than an STi-even more fun, but bye bye clutch.
    •  the symbol (none)
      Subaru is japanese for pleiades.

      That is why they have the six stars. (you can't see the dim seventh sister from Japan either).

  •  Raise your right hand.... (none)

    When you were in first grade, did you have a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance? I know, I know, we all did. But did you figure out which hand had to go over your heart?

    But the gas pedal is the one on the right and the clutch is the one on the left....

    I suppose that relative to all the other problems in the U.S. right now, there are a bunch of Louisianans who would love to have a worn out clutch.

  •  A subaru? why do you hate america? (none)
    theres so many good american cars to buy instead.  Like uh...well then theres um...and of course the er....

    just pokin at ya.  I've got a 03 wrx with 85,000 miles on it and the clutch is just now starting to go.  I remember reading somewhere that theres a clutch plate problem.

    •  yeah (none)
      I know that feeling. Last year my wife and I put "Union-made" pretty high up in our list of considerations when buying a car. I checked the then-current UAW list and tried really hard to come up with an affordable passenger car with good mileage that I would want to buy.

      Scratch all the vans and SUVs and pickups right away; we were looking for a passenger car. Then a lot of cars on that list are the good old American boats, with the gas mileage that you would expect from a boat on dry land and steering to match. Others are not boats, but still had terrible mileage.

      Several are really nice cars, but out of my price range or incredibly impractical. (Sure, I'd love to drive a Vette, and it gets great mileage too. But it's expensive, can't reasonably fit more than two people, and the cargo capacity is measured in cubic inches.)

      After scratching out all the 'definitely not' items on the list, the few remaining options just didn't excite us after seeing them in the showroom. We eventually decided that we just couldn't justify paying tens of thousands of dollars for a car that we weren't all that happy with.

      We tried, we really did, but American car companies just weren't making a car with the combination of attributes that we wanted. I wish it were otherwise because I'd happily have paid a premium for an American-made car that I like.

  •  Turbo? (none)
    Hey Kos,

    We had the same thing happen on a 2000VW Bug with a turbo at 14000 miles. Click and Clack actually talked about a similar car blowing the clutch with under 100 miles. VW took the tack that it was driver error.

    Turns out this problem is widespread on other VW models with turbos. It was a poorly engineered clutch plate. I fought them hard enough the dealer paid half but it was ridiculous. I kept the parts because there was talk on a VW site about a class action.

    Anyway, they know, Markos, they're just making money on it. I won't buy another VW, that's for sure.

  •  O/T: manual drivers unite! (none)

    I bought an automatic as my first car (which was good for learning how to drive on public roads), but then in 2 years I regretted it. Bought a car that was too fun to drive, and a good community around it, so I became a car enthusiast. Wanted to switch those gears by hand. Wanted control at all times. Wanted to roll back into other drivers uphill... uh, actually, didn't want that. Wanted to worry about wearing out the less expensive clutch than breaking the more expensive automatic tranny.

    Ended up buying a manual two weeks ago. And loving it! Won't go back! Almost don't stall anymore either!

    (In defense of the automatics, I personally know at least four people who are very happy to switch to the automatic after driving manual for many years. So it's really up to your taste and needs. I am biased.)

    •  I agree! (none)
      We have had three Civics with five speeds- only way to go in small cars. One clutch failed after 80,000 miles and it was in in a four wheel drive wagon. (If Honda still built those,we would buy one if I had to sell my mother-in-law..)

      Now we have a little Corolla and I wish it had a five speed.

      However, the cruise control does keep me from getting tickets......

    •  replaced an automatic on the van (none)
      cost $2300 for a rebuilt tranny

      a few years ago we replaced the clutch on the Taurus, cost $1500

      moral of the story?
      Trannys are dropping out of GM products so fast that the replacement trannys are quite cheap.  Granted, it did make it 108000, which ain't bad.

    •  I have never driven an automatic (none)
      Took my driver exam in a manual.

      But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.

      by calipygian on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:44:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Clutch at 20000?????? (none)
    Should last 80 to 100000, unless you wear lead boots! Perhaps you should consider an automatic??
  •  Subaru, Vermont, and Hybrids (none)
    As a Vermonter (State of Vermont, USA), I must say cheers to finding the best automaker in the country. (Although slacking in the environmental technology department)

    Vermonters love Subarus for a couple of simple reasons: All-wheel drive for the rough winters, wagon-body for hauling people and large objects around town, and its modest size and weight enabling a respectable fuel efficiency.

    However, their technology is obsolete. I've emailed Subaru personally regarding hybrid vehicles in their lineup:

    Thank you for visiting the Subaru Web site and for your inquiry regarding our hybrid vehicles.

    Hybrid vehicle development involves many new technologies and designs. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.(FHI), our manufacturer, is currently developing alternative fuel engines for future environmental measures, focusing on a compact-sized vehicle and aiming to commercialize it within the next few years.

    A joint venture with NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd. will advance the development of a manganese lithium-ion type rechargeable battery for automobiles. By integrating NEC's laminate-type manganese lithium-ion cell technology with FHI's battery pack technology, the new company will be prepared to develop the global de facto standard rechargeable battery. NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd. plans to supply the test battery to all domestic and international automobile manufacturers for industry evaluation.

    There is a more environmentally significant development over the battery/internal combustion engine hybrid in the long term. GM is making progress toward having fuel cell powered vehicles available in the future. In continuation of its history of adopting practical innovations, Subaru and its linkage with GM will be an eager partner in fuel cell vehicle developments. (Aside: I have no respect for fuel cell technology)

    While there are no specific dates or schedules available to us now, please be assured that you will be hearing more about Subaru's advanced technology vehicles in the future. If you would like further general information on FHI's efforts to preserve the environment, please go to

    We appreciate that you took the time to inquire about our vehicles and give us your comments. We hope to continually improve our products. If you need any future assistance, you can always contact us through our Web site at

    Best Wishes,

    Natalie Cox
    Subaru of America, Inc.
    Customer/Dealer Services Department

    Emphases are mine.

  •  clutch never gave out (none)
    I had a 72 Ghia and never had to do the clutch but I did go through 4 or 5 clutch cables. The engine stayed with me for about 140,000 miles.

    Major dissembling operations are continuing.

    by onp67 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:19:50 PM PDT

  •  hmmm, my 2-wheel drive Toyota PU (none)
    went 250,000 before the clutch went out. I guess it might be unusual though, because the mechanics at the shop had never seen that before. Lots of highway driving, but not totally.
  •  Brooksie Predicts Revolution (none)
    Public confidence has been shaken too by the steady rain of suicide bombings, the grisly horror of Beslan and the world's inability to do anything about rising oil prices.

    Each institutional failure and sign of helplessness is another blow to national morale. The sour mood builds on itself, the outraged and defensive reaction to one event serving as the emotional groundwork for the next.

    The scrapbook of history accords but a few pages to each decade, and it is already clear that the pages devoted to this one will be grisly. There will be pictures of bodies falling from the twin towers, beheaded kidnapping victims in Iraq and corpses still floating in the waterways of New Orleans five days after the disaster that caused them.

    It's already clear this will be known as the grueling decade, the Hobbesian decade. Americans have had to acknowledge dark realities that it is not in our nature to readily acknowledge: the thin veneer of civilization, the elemental violence in human nature, the lurking ferocity of the environment, the limitations on what we can plan and know, the cumbersome reactions of bureaucracies, the uncertain progress good makes over evil.

    As a result, it is beginning to feel a bit like the 1970's, another decade in which people lost faith in their institutions and lost a sense of confidence about the future.

    "Rats on the West Side, bedbugs uptown/What a mess! This town's in tatters/I've been shattered," Mick Jagger sang in 1978.

    Midge Decter woke up the morning after the night of looting during the New York blackout of 1977 feeling as if she had "been given a sudden glimpse into the foundations of one's house and seen, with horror, that it was utterly infested and rotting away."

    Americans in 2005 are not quite in that bad a shape, since the fundamental realities of everyday life are good. The economy and the moral culture are strong. But there is a loss of confidence in institutions. In case after case there has been a failure of administration, of sheer competence. Hence, polls show a widespread feeling the country is headed in the wrong direction.

    Katrina means that the political culture, already sour and bloody-minded in many quarters, will shift. There will be a reaction. There will be more impatience for something new. There is going to be some sort of big bang as people respond to the cumulative blows of bad events and try to fundamentally change the way things are.

    Reaganite conservatism was the response to the pessimism and feebleness of the 1970's. Maybe this time there will be a progressive resurgence. Maybe we are entering an age of hardheaded law and order. (Rudy Giuliani, an unlikely G.O.P. nominee a few months ago, could now win in a walk.) Maybe there will be call for McCainist patriotism and nonpartisan independence. All we can be sure of is that the political culture is about to undergo some big change.

    We're not really at a tipping point as much as a bursting point. People are mad as hell, unwilling to take it anymore.

    What happened to Brooks?

    Country club republicans waging war on the middle class.

    by lapin on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:21:59 PM PDT

    •  Did Brooks sleep walk through the late 70's? (none)
      Carter was the response to our disillusionment with Nixon.

      I would say that this long infatuation with image over substance, which has lasted the better part of the past 20 years, started with Reagan.

      Clinton was swimming against the tide a bit, but he engaged in his fair share of that too.

      We're ready for a new model.  One that busts the hell out of the collective zombie trip we've been on for the past 20 some odd years (some odder than others.)

  •  NBC Nightly News just did story on FEMA site (none)
    Forgot the correspondant's name, but he just trashed Bush on the suggestion "Just go to and register for help!"

    Didn't mention the problems of non-Windows or non-IE users, but showed, quickly and with little geek-speak, how someone would have to click through SEVEN PAGES just to get to the required form. He also had quite fun with the requirement of a mailing address. He showed a house with just a floor, and voiced-over "You can see how that might be a problem."

    Classic stuff!

    Jesus Christ - The original non-conformist.

    by duck on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:21:59 PM PDT

  •  Clutch (none)
    20k miles is ridiculous...I have a Civic with 145k on the clutch, and I regularly tow a 1000 lb trailer with it.  I also have a BMW M3 which sees the race track regularly and the clutch of that car has 92k on it so far.

    Are you slipping it to much to make quick launches with the turbo motor?

    •  Nope (none)
      But that turbo motor is SWEET. The WRX is my favorite car ever, and 230 horses are part of the reason why.
      •  subaru (none)
        I just got an '05 Subaru Legacy GT wagon from that very dealer in Oakland, with the 250hp turbo pretty much out of the STi.  It is  Fuel efficiency, at 19/25, is not so great, but my commute is only 6 minutes.

        Having my own clutch problems - couldn't get the clutch out on Powell St last month and put about 10k miles of wear on it in 5 smoking, stinking seconds.  Apparently this is a moderately common problem that Subaru is fixing if you ask nice, so I'll ask when I take it in next.  Otherwise, a really great, fun car.

      •  Love my WRX too (none)
        Here in liberal Ithaca, NY, the Subaru has all but replaced the Volvo as the car of choice.  Some of you might remember an Ithaca tee-shirt depicting a person sitting on the hood of a Volvo in full lotus position.  You could substitute the Subaru now.
    •  Yeah, but... (none)
      Volkswagen is German for Fucked Over Rebuilt Trabbi.
  •  Subaru... A Good Lefty Company (none)
    Lord knows who owns them, but Subie does a lot of good.  Big supporters of gay and lesbian causes and is a title sponsor of California's AIDS/LifeCycle fundraising event.
    •  They are owned by Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan (none)
      ...which is 20% owned by GM, believe it or don't.  This explains the Saabaru (the Saab 9-2X, which is made by Subaru in Japan-Saab is 100% owned by GM), if you are wondering.
  •  I live in Twin Peaks (SF)... and destroy clutches (none)'s the hills and the traffic... they destroy clutches... don't get on Kostas... it's endemic of the terrain!  ..that's our talking point and we're sticking to it...
  •  Amy Goodman is a genius (none)
    Her show is so good.  Right now she's talking about how - gosh, it's just so ironic - FEMA was effective in 2004, in fact, to the point of giving disaster relief to Miami-Dade county residents who didn't even encounter a hurricane!
  •  Subaru clutches (none)
    My 1999 Subaru Outback has the original clutch, after 117,000 miles.  I just took it on a 6000 mile trip through the Rocky Mountains, and it didn't miss a beat.  Last winter, it got a bit slippy in subzero weather, but I think that may have been the hydraulics.

    Damn fine car.

    There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

    by Leggy Starlitz on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:25:15 PM PDT

  •  VW sux (none)
    I'll pile on VW.  I'm less than 2 years into a lease on a Passat Wagon.  Less than 30,000 miles.  I missed an oil change.  ONE oil change.  Shame on me I know but still, less than 5,000 over the "recommended" oil change.  No gauge or dummy lite to tell me.  The previous change was only 9 mos earlier...  The entire oil pump was shot and other stuff.  Researching I find that this engine (along with its sister Audi engine) are notorious for sludging up almost instantly when an oil change is missed.  VW won't admit the prob of course but it appears to be widely acknowledged amongst lube-heads.  $1700, no warranty, no car, no appology, no nothing.  And I'm lucky- Most people keep drive it even longer and have to get a new engine- $9000.  I otherwise loved the car and planned on leasing another VW at the end of the term but no way now.  Where's Ralph Nader when you actually WANT him?!
    •  Slagging VW is so tired... (none)
      Sammy - Sorry to hear about your troubles, but you kind of shot yourself in the foot by leading with "I was only 5,000 miles over the change interval".  So, you ran your car with the same (probably standard petro) oil for +/- 10,000 miles and you're surprised it had an effect on a small displacement, turbocharged motor (I'll assume the 1.8T)?  No offense, but the service intervals set by the manufacturer are printed in your owner's manual for a reason.  You're also upset that the car didn't tell you something might be amiss?  Should it tell you when the tires are bald and it is raining outside?  By no means does VW make perfect cars (I have owned enough to know), but where is the personal responsibility in the world?

      Kos - Glad Subaru is picking up the clutch gratis, that is great customer service, but it makes me wonder.  2 clutches in 2 different makes of cars dying premature deaths, what is unchanging in that equation?  Driver my man, driver.

      What an unfortunate first reply for me, probably not making any friends...

      •  Well, as the owner of a VW Passat Wagon 4motion (none)
        I was thinking everything you said, but I wouldn't have responded. It's good that someone had the gumption to do it.

        I also own a Subaru WRX and it is incredibly fun to drive. After 2 years ownership, the gas mileage on it suddenly increased. Has anyone ever experienced this? I was getting 25 mpg before and now I'm up to 30. I've been driving the same route to work (mostly highway miles).

        Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

        by upstate NY on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:55:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "shame on me" (none)
        Is what I wrote to take personal responsibility.  But the fact that these engines sludge so fast is now the issue of several consumer investigations and a pending class action suit goes to prove my point.  Additionally I've never driven a car from my 66 Mustang to my BMW Z3 that didn't have an oil gauge.  I would expect some damage given my poor oversight but not a devastated pump and, as many people have experienced, a new engine.  The point was that VW has a problem with this car, (in my case exacerbated by my delinquency) and is not taking reponsibility for it.  
  •  kos (none)
    By any chance do these repair shop people know about your blog? Important people get treated sooooo very well. You may have just broke into the big time. Please don't forget all the little people. :)
  •  oh, kos-- (none)
    were you taking driving lessons from W again....?
  •  I'm a Subaru fan too, however..... (none)
    Click and Clack (The Tappet Brothers) (the guys on Car Talk) have said time and again that the clutches are prone to failure. They like the cars overall BUT there seems to be a design problem (probably related to the all wheel drive I bet)

    I had an 80's GLX that survived my ex-wife rolling it down Coal Creek Canyon in Colorado. That car was MUCH tougher than many American 4 by 4s. I used to tear around backcountry trails in the mountains just for the heck of it. One time I forded this little creek and went SCREAMING past some Jeep club on an outing.

    Boy did they look dumb!

  •  Subaru (none)
    I bought a used Subaru two years ago and I've had the same experience - their service is wonderful. They always give me loaner cars and they're always very nice to me. And, this astonished me, I once tried to tell them what I thought was wrong, they told me it couldn't be, and later they called me up and told me I WAS RIGHT.  Me, a single woman.  
    Go Subaru!!!!
  •  The Bay Area's no excuse (none)
    Yes, you need to learn that trick of zipping from the brake to the gas while you let up on the clutch at a 15% grade, without sliding backwards into the car behind you or lurching forward into the one in front.  But that's just one of the joys of the region, along with curbing your wheels when you park.

    I will say that in my experience VW clutches engage very, very high (whereas Honda, for example, seems to engage very low).  You can mess up a clutch for a while switching between car makers and either stalling or revving while you get used to the clutch.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:28:54 PM PDT

    •  I agree (none)
      VW clutches engage very high.  I got an adjustment cable for my Jetta's clutch recently.  I have yet to need it, but I'm curious to see how much clutch life it could save me.  
      •  I'm glad I'm not the only one (none)
        I remember when I had to drive a Jetta occasionally (a late 80s model, probably), I actually couldn't just pivot my left ankle on the clutch -- my foot wouldn't go far enough!  I actually had to lift my entire leg from the hip to get the clutch to work properly.

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:16:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sabooroo owner here (none)
    2000 Legacy Outback and I just love it.  Would love it more if I could put biodiesel in the tank.
  •  Love my Jetta (none)
    Hate the VW service departments.  I've since moved too far away from my VW specialist to keep bringing it back to him.  He's one of those independent mechanics that just loves every aspect of VW and has worked his life to know everything there is to know about fixing them.  And he's fair.

    Now I pay $75/hr for false diagnoses.  I am quickly learning more and more about my car.

  •  Oh that wacky FEMA! (none)
    I ditched VW when I wrote some inquiries as to whether they were going to do a hybrid and they seem to see no reason to bother with it. I had a Jetta and a Passat, without too much trouble. I've heard nightmares about Golfs and Bugs, though. Actually, now I'm driving my parents' old Buick Park Ave and it gets 30mpg (!). Swear to god, did the math myself! Who knew?

    OFF TOPIC- back to FEMA: MacNeil Lehrer did a report on a "surge hospital" that was set up at LSU in Baton Rouge almost immediately, and was lying empty waiting for FEMA to allow patients to be transferred from the Louis Armstrong Airport to be treated there. The set-up was run by some Louisiana state medical official, and they had done a drill just 2 weeks or so previous to prepare for such an event. They set up quick and waited....and waited.... They had to fight to get FEMA to release patients to be treated.

  •  Buy an automatic (none)
    or learn to drive a standard... :-)

    I'm on my fifth car with a standard tranny - over 400,000 miles, never replaced a clutch
    1974 Chevy Camaro 3spd, Toyota Corolla 4spd, Ford Thunderbird turbo coupe 5spd, Honda Civic 5spd, Nissan Maxima 5 spd

  •  Car Problems (none)
    I have a 1990 Toyota Corolla wagon, automatic trans.  It has 82,000 original miles.  Over the 15 years,  we've probably put a thousand  to Fifteen Hundred in it.  A few weeks ago, a vandal broke a small back window.  It cost $300.00 because no one stocks windows that old.  They had to go to a junk yard and retrieve an old junked one.  See,  no matter how much you love your old car,  it eventually just expires!  
  •  Well, no doubt FloridaExGOP ... (none)
    ... will be along to trollrate this comment, seeing as how he's stalking me all over the place and trollrating everything, but ...

    I had a Nissan with 400,000 miles on it, and i only had to change the clutch ONCE. It was extraordinary. That was the most amazing car I've ever had. The day I sold it, I cried as it was being driven away.

  •  Turbo? (none)
    I have a 2004 Forester 2.5XT, manual tranny, that I love.  I doubt the WRX and Forester have the same clutch, but I have noticed that it's a bit difficult to get a clean shift - it's very easy to slip it too much, or to engage too quickly.  Especially - heh - if you're workin' that turbo.
  •  I suggest (none)
    you look into something that uses very little gas.
  •  Cheney Told to 'Go Fuck Yourself' on MSNBC Live (none)

    Best bit is when the reporter asks him 'Been hearing a lot of that lately?'

  •  Subarus / hill holders / sf (none)
    i have owned subarus for 20 yrs. my most recent one was purchased in 1999. It is a '96 subaru legacy outback. It is wonderful.

    Kos, subarus have hill holders. you don't have to ride the clutch before taking off on a hill. in every one of my 4 subarus i could just sit on a steep hill without my foot on either the brake or balancing the clutch/gas.

    the hill holder will hold your car pointing up or down hill.

    •  Nice Feature (none)
      i used to have a legacy, and that hill holder feature was great!

      "...evil will always triumph because good is dumb." Mel Brooks foresaw the Bush Administration way back in 1987. See the movie "Spaceballs" for proof.

      by judyneric on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 09:21:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I heart my Toyota (none)
    I had some work done on the clutch in my Toyota last summer.  It wasn't out but now I can't remember what was wrong with it.  I have over 150,000 miles on the car.  God I love Toyotas.
  •  Hmm. (none)
    As an 18 year veteran of the automobile industry, I'd like to make an observation or two:

    The WRX is a low-end, high-performace car. Like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8, it eats clutches - but it ain't all the car's fault. Nobody who drives a WRX is an easy-going driver... and that engine is just two darn powerful.

    I've never had to replace a clutch in one of my own cars. Never. But my boyfriend goes through them pretty quickly. I've often caught him riding the clutch pedal every so slightly... and he doesn't know it. He 'covers' it as we were taught to do with the brake in driver's ed. This is enough to wear the clutch down prematurely, so keep your left foot on the rest and not on the clutch.

    Power shifting is a terrible idea. It places a lot of strain on internal transmission parts. The soft brass synchros wear faster and then you start eating gears. A transmission rebuild is far more costly than a clutch.

    IMHO, Volkswagens and Audis are a service nightmares. Everything is just too darn expensive - and nothing lasts as it should. I was an Audi service writer for three weeks before I gave up and went back to Mitsubishi. The job was too darn stressful.

    I'm no longer working in a service department, though. I now sell new Toyotas here on Long Island and I can tell you this: the number of folks who walk into the showroom to replace a 200,000+ mile Toyota model is staggering.

    Toyota's loyalty is well earned.    

    •  I just replaced a 1997 Toyota Tercel... (none)
      ...with a 2006 Scion xA (Toyota's "hip youth line", although I bought it because it was actually smaller than the Tercel yet had tons more usable space).  I owned the Tercel for five years (since 2000), and had been in one too many accidents (it was a wee bit beat up).  But, it never died on me and never didn't start on the first crank-it looked ugly, but was mechanically sound.  Heck, even the time I smashed into the back of an Oldsmobile three months after I got it, I was able to drive off the freeway, never mind that it was all smashed up (four grand worth of damage) and leaking seventeen types of fluids.
  •  Honda came through for me... (none)
    ...on my 2001 Insight.  Last year the IMA failed -- a problem which would have cost about $4000.00 to fix.  But, even though it was out of warranty, the company replaced the system free of charge.  Since it was a relatively new technology, and they'd made improvements since the time when I purchased the car, they felt it was good customer relations.  And guess what, they're right.  I'll be checking out their latest line of environmentally friendly vehicles when the time comes, which will not be for at least another 7 years, I hope.
  •  Buy American? (none)
    What's the matter with you people. You talk about fixing the mess we're in with the dipshits running this country - you know all of the "cures" - screw walmart- but it's all lip service. Don't you get it KOZ! BUY AMERICAN!! Fuck your VW and your piece of shit subaru!  Yeah troll rate if you will ban me whatever, but wake up! Support YOUR country people.  You all whined about the 3+ million MANUFACTURING jobs we have lost since dumbfuck took office but did you feel it?

    "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

    by fugwb on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:46:14 PM PDT

    •  Fugwb (none)
      The majority of Toyota models sold in the US are built here in the U.S. Some, like the Camry Wagon, for export only. Many Hondas, Nissans and Mitsubishis, too.  
      •  Buy American (none)
        and American Companies.  Except for wages and very little taxes, the vast majority of profits from foriegn owned companies go back to their country of origin.

        "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

        by fugwb on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:59:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A dying breed (none)
          You and I are among a dying breed I think my friend.  

          Even if it makes little practical difference, I do feel better knowing I haven't given up on American manufacturers.  The quality differences are immaterial nowadays, and since my wife and I turn over cars every three or four years anyway I don't need to fret about keeping a car for 200k miles (although my old '75 Monte Carlo ran for 350k with only a new water pump and about 11,000 starters).

          Keep the faith.

          "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for us." - former Texas Governor Miriam Ferguson, on barring foreign language teaching

          by JT88 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:14:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks JT88 (none)
            guess I'm way too old for this blog. These young folks just don't understand. My dad always preached to us kids - buy your township, buy your town, buy your county, buy your state, buy your country - in that order. If we all would have lived by this I believe we'd all be better off.

            "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

            by fugwb on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:49:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  late to the thread here, but FYI (none)
          Subaru is a division of Fuji Heavy Industries, a Japanese concern that is 20 percent owned by General Motors. It's why the Saab (wholly owned by GM) 92-X bears a more than passing familiarity with the WRX Kos chugs around in (right on, Kos, btw).

          GM also has a manufacturing deal with Toyota--the Japanese company sells the end result as the Matrix, Pontiac sells the Vibe. Same car.

          It's a pretty complicated automotive industry we have out there.

        •  So I hope you aren't encouraging people... (none)
 buy Dodges, Chryslers, or Jeeps?  DaimlerChrysler is no longer an American company, so none of them qualify as an American made car made by an American company.  Lots of Mercedes parts are showing up in Chryslers and vice versa.  There is a Chevy SUV (the Equinox) with a Chinese made engine in it.  Saturn's SUV has a Japanese-made engine made by Honda.  A large number of Ford and GM (and DaimlerChrysler) products are made in Mexico and Canada.  The Pontaic GTO is made in Australia.  The Chevy Aveo is made in South Korea by Daewoo, as well as several models sold as Suzukis in the United States (which is a Japanese company), because GM owns larges shares of both Daewoo and Suzuki.  They also own a chunk of Subaru and all of Saab, which explains why Subaru makes the Saab 9-2X in Japan.  GM also owns Isuzu, which explains why all thier trucks and SUVs are clones of Chevys (all made in the US I believe).  Mazda is 33% owned and completely controlled by Ford; several identical vehicles are sold both as Fords and Mazdas.  Lots of Toyotas and Hondas (amoung others) are made in the US.

          Does your head hurt yet?  I hope so.  The point is determining what country a vehicle comes from at this point is ususally quite hard.  If you really do limit yourself to the few GM and Ford vehicles still made in the US (mostly trucks and SUVs and a few shitty cars), then you are limiting yourself to like 20% of the market.  Those companies know this, so they make minimal attempts to improve thier products, knowing they can sell shit to a certain number of people just because that shit is made in America.

          •  I hope (none)
            your justification makes you feel better, but you still don't get it.  Do you even bother to look at labels of the things you buy??  I'll bet not. Someday, people like you will get it, but by then it'll be way to late.

            "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

            by fugwb on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:42:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I felt like you do... (none)
              ...once upon a time, but when the corporations themselves stopped being American, there wasn't any point any more.

              We've all been sold out for shareholder profit.

              don't always believe what you think...

              by claude on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 06:43:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I second Claude's statement (none)
              GM left us before we left GM.  My dad's GM auto parts warehouse closed in 1989, when GM phased out its parts manufacturing. The car is now only put together with American hands.

              Most of GM's wealth and holdings are overseas.  Believe me, they avoid their lion's share of the taxes.  And their corporate leadership is off-the-chart Republican.

              Now, lots of cars are put together with American hands even though the companies may be foreign-owned.  And more and more of those foreign managers, particularly Japanese choose to live in the US where their standard of living is better.

              I am convinced that in this case, the globalization is offering us a better product and improving working conditions for auto workers.  GM & Ford did very little to improve working conditions without being strongarmed by the unions.

              Not so with many of the overseas companies, many of which offer much better benefits and conditions for their employees.  Unions are important and very much needed.  But I have no love lost for GM.  They never did right by this nation or by its workers.

              I try to buy mass produced items from good, quality companies whereever I can find them.  If they treat their workers right, why should I care about where they live on the earth?

          •  its globalization (none)
            That is the way the globalization/free market types want it.  You can' buy American even if you want to.  I only buy used cars anyway, so I am not helping out there regardless, but its the same with all sorts of products.  From tvs to lawnmowers.  With food, if you pay attention, you can buy american only, and you can buy local if you care (I do - local beef and vegetables and organic milk).  But really, even the informed consumer (I HATE that word - I am a citizen dammit - but I use it to sound like the schmucks on tv - why?) cannot consistently buy American.  We just bought an entertainment center - made in State (Montana) and it was 2x the price of anything else, but it sure is nice.  real wood and all that.  but you have to just want less.  anyway, long answer to a short question.
  •  Vacation boating (none)

    Travel by boat is such fun when you are on vacation!

    "Pro-life" really means "pro-criminalization"

    by Radiowalla on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:47:11 PM PDT

  •  New Pew Poll (none)
    I see the Bushies doing all they can to spin poll results to claim that people think it's unfair to blame Bush for all his blamefulness.  So it's good to see this poll from the Pew Center, just out today:

    Pew is one of the most reputable outfits around.

  •  Vote (none)
    Question of the day:  Do you have confidence in President Bush's ability to handle the hurricane crisis?

    72% NO, 28% YES.

    You're a Republican until it happens to you.

    by nape on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:56:01 PM PDT

  •  KOS: Give the Local Dealer the praise (4.00)
    While Subaru (and other companies) can set the official warranty policy, as well as other recommended policies and procedures (such as loarner cars, etc) it is my opinion that the local dealer really does deserve the praise here.  Equal or greater than you give Subaru.  

    I work at a dealership and the customer service people run the show.  They have the power to help or hurt your automotive repair experience.  Maybe Subaru dealerships are all the same, but not all people are the same.  You know, car dealers have a bad rep for a reason, and that is why there is a great independent repair shop industry.  Some shops (independent and franchise) are just nice, hard working people.  Others are full of slick, rude, blowhards.  And the rest (probably the majority) have a mix of a-hole to angel employees.

    In my opinion, Kos, you should name the dealership and the employee(s) that you think deserve it.  If you don't agree, I'll understand since Subaru Corporate is probably picking up 90% (if not all) of the tab.


    PS: sorry in advance to the DKGP (grammar police).

  •  Japanese vs. Germans (none)
    Your clutch problems remind of a passage from the book, "Getting the Bugs Out", which was written by the former auto industry reporter for the Detroit Free Press about the development of the "new" Bug and how it saved the V.W. in the U.S. market.

    The basic gist was the difference between German and Japanese car manufactuers.  

    If a customer complains about a broken part or the car not working right, the Japanese send out a team of engineers in 24 hours to swarm over the car and by the next day they've made changes on all their production lines to fix the problem.

    The Germans just tell you that you're not driving the car the right way.

    Course, its a bit exaggerated, but you get the point.

    PolisPundit - An Agenda for a New Liberalism

    by goblue72 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 04:58:10 PM PDT

  •  Toyota (none)
    I just replaced the brake pads on my 1997 Corolla.  I couldn't complain much at 101,000 miles.

    My first car was a Mazda GLC (remember those graet little cars;-).  I got something like 90K on that clutch.

    There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.--John Adams

    by tvb on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:04:37 PM PDT

  •  Why does your clutch hate America? (4.00)

    "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for us." - former Texas Governor Miriam Ferguson, on barring foreign language teaching

    by JT88 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:06:23 PM PDT

  •  I may have missed it but if not... (none)
    Will some friggin journalist finally ask Cheney what he did all those days when New Orleans was drowning?

    That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it

    by vanguardia on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:07:20 PM PDT

  •  that's what happens (none)
    when you buy American made cars.  they give you awful gas mileage, awful dependability, and awful service.
  •  Am I the only person here that... (none)
    ...that drives and American car?

    I've had an Impala for over a year and its been a great car - 180hp and gets 33mpg on the highway.  Since I live in a small town, a tank of gas lasts two weeks.

    "Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by sgilman on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:14:09 PM PDT

  •  Media Survival (none)
    "The first rule of media survival is use it; don't let it use you. We  must ignore the role the media has prescribed for us -- audience,  consumer, addict -- and treat it much as the trout treats a stream, a  medium in which to swim and not to drown. The trick is to stop the media from happening to you and to treat it literally as a medium -- an environment, a carrier. Then you can cease being a consumer or a victim and become a hunter and a gatherer, foraging for signs that are good and messages that are important and data you can use. Then the zapper and the mouse become tools and weapons and not addictions. Then you turn the TV off not because it is evil but because you have gotten whatever it has to offer and now must look somewhere else."  ---Sam Smith in "Great American Political Repair Manual"
  •  I (none)
    I got so used to changing clutches in my muscle cars I could do it in my sleep. I still own a 64 Impala and I love that car.
  •  1985 Volvo 240 DL Wagon (none)
    175,000 on the original clutch.  Most by the wife in town (heavy metro traffic in Atlanta GA) and we traveled in the car a good bit.  She obviously did not ride the clutch.  Neutral at stops, etc. I think Kos got two lemons in a row.  It can happen.  Valarie the Volvo now has 215,000 and hopefully will get my high school junior through college or to the point he/we can offord something nicer.  The engine is going great.  One water pump, a radiator, and we rebuilt the trans and elec. overdrive when clutch was replaced.  They needed it.
  •  Get an automatic already.... (none)
    The transmissions in the Saturn VUE is awesome.

    Transparency + Accountability = Honesty (that way we won't have to rely on trust.)

    by David in Burbank on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:33:28 PM PDT

  •  Toyotas kick ass (none)
    I worked for Toyota for a while....they were awesome in taking care of this kind of thing! I love Toyota!
  •  racist store owner in "morgue town" (none)
    Did anyone just see the racist bee-yotch on Paula Zahn?  She was featured in Amanpour's story about the town in LA where FEMA has placed it morgue.  

    Store owner said she would (paraphrase) "rather have them there dead than alive, where you have to feed them and they would be stealing from you."  My mouth was on the ground.  She said someone did have to house them because they deserve "dignity," but I doubt this racist piece of trash has ever shown a person of color dignity during any period of her life.


  •  so... (none)
    Kos, your car gets 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway...
  •  Anyone hear the Laura Bush (none)
    clip at the end of Randi Rhodes' show today?  She was giving a speech and twice (out of two times!) called the hurricane Careena instead of Katrina.  Unreal.

    Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act. - Orwell

    by TracieLynn on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:35:11 PM PDT

  •  "I don't ride the clutch." (none)
    As a former mechanic, I say, "That's what they ALL Say."
  •  Keith Olbermann: Video Clip from WH Briefing Today (none)
    between McClellan and David Gregory from MSNBC.

    Wow, the WH is determined to draw the US down in the gutter, when it engages stubbornly into a mud wrestling game to protect their lies against scrutiny by serious reporters asking quite adaequate questions. Unbelievable.

    "Renting Mobile Homes" = Republican Ownership Society. - "Owning Habitat for the Humanities House Reconstruction Kits" = Democratic Ownerhsip Society

    by mimi on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:41:44 PM PDT

  •  Your Clutch (none)
    The fact that your clutch went out in two different cars should send you the message that You might not be driving stick correctly. I flog the bejesus out of my vette and never have changed a clutch. Skip Barber or Bob Boundurant Could help you I belive both of those cars come in auto...Just a thought...
  •  Honda forever (none)
    Kos, you need a Honda. They, and many of their components, last forever. I just retired my '76 wagon at 270,000 miles (it went further than a moonshot). I've replaced it with a '93 Honda hatchback that has 120,000 miles. My mechanics (at the superb Berkeley Minicar) say it will probably run happily until 300K.
  •  I'm a little disapointed (none)
    but i'm new here so I don't want to bitch.
    However, no documentation whatsoever? I don't want to point fingers, but 2 clutches, a pattern if you will, a history.  Not to get into gearhead bullshit, but are we talking about clutch plate, pressure plate, throw-out bearing, what?  Your mechanic should have no problem producing the worn-out defective part, and you should have no problem photgraphing said part for all to inspect via the internets.  God help you if that clutch plate is worn down... hills or no hills.
    PS I love this fucking place.

    Measure twice, cut once.

    by zig on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:45:19 PM PDT

  •  Is open thread a place to ask questions? (none)
    Where is a source for published Katrina pics? i.e.,,the dead woman in the wheelchair, here lies Vera, Bush playing guitar in various scenes, etc.


  •  Got to love trivia (none)
    If you have a car that gets 20 mpg, that same model car in Canada gets 24 mpg.


    •  imperial gallons (none)
      •  right. (none)
        exept here in Canada they use litres/100 km.

        But everbody (almost) stll use the mpg rating.
        Doing those conversions all the time keeps the mind agile.

        •  My mind has lost agility (none)
          (or maybe I'm just too lazy to do the math...) but I do know that gas costs more in Canada.

          I was surprised to catch a Canadian news report a few days after Hurricane Katrina hit about the jump in gas prices all across Canada.  I think it was something like $1.30 Cdn. in Montreal.  I understand how gas prices in the U.S. are affected by Katrina, but why was the impact so immediate in Canada?

          •  gas prices (none)
            Just some quick rough math.

            Prices in Canada, 1.20 to 1.30 CDN per LITRE

            1.30 CDN = Approx. 1.00 - 1.05 US.

            1US gallon = 3.8 litres.

            so we are paying close to 4.00 per gallon (US).

            Why?  U.S. and international companies control the market here as in most of the rest of the world. They will happily explain to everyone how the market works.

            Of course it is taxed more heavily here than in the U.S., but this is sort of thing that allows us to have universal health coverage and such.

  •  Subaru (none)
    I have a 2000 Forester and I've had nothing but favorable things to say about it's pergprmance and the service that I receive.  Had a Chevy PU prior and it was a piece of c==p.
  •  Source of Bush's Management Style (none)

    "The Best of the evangelical tradition is you don't plan your way forward -- you prophesy your way forward." Leonard Sweet'. quoted in "The Cellular Church" by Malcolm Gladwell in the 9/12/05 New Yorker. (not online)

    You can get a variation of the quote at Interview with Leonard Sweet

  •  1989 Prelude (none)
    243,000 miles (bought it second hand with 41,000 ...

    original clutch.

    I hope this is not the only lottery i win.

    Bring them home. All of them. Now!

    by UNCmark on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 05:57:10 PM PDT

  •  our automobiles (none)
    people sure love their cars.
    I am most definitely one of them..proud owner of a 96 S10 5-speed..
    (67k on original clutch, btw)

    I'm about to start on a product engineering design project, i'd like to do it on biodiesel.  I think that would make for an interesting project, as well as being completely relevant today.

  •  Great minds think alike, Kos... (none)
    I was one of the first "kids" on my block to buy a WRX and it was a great car. No clutch problems after 25,000 miles and I was pretty hard on it. That car is a go-kart for adults - it's lot of fun to drive. I needed something a little bigger though and after recently turning 46, decided to buy an automatic for the first time in my life. I stayed with Subaru though (love that AWD!) and traded in the WRX for a (much less peppy) Outback. I've owned lots of VWs too though and never had a positive experience with their service. Oddly, the same dealership in my town sells both Subies and VWs, so go figure.
  •  ABC: Monday Night Football (none)
    Is anyone else watching the run up to the first NFL game?  I'm a little disappointed that they barely even mentioned the survivors of this disaster! A little to much pomp and circumstance for what's going on in the real out folks, America is beginning to tune out....
    •  just tuned in (none)
      When I heard that Freddie Prinze, Jr., was the pre-game I just had to not tune in.  

      Score on the first possession.  Damn.  Come on Pats!  Ugh, and the Sox are down 3-0.  Time for a beer.

  •  FEMA Contractors Arrested for Looting (4.00)

    Three Texas truck drivers under contract with the federal government to bring in storm relief supplies for Plaquemines Parish have been arrested for allegedly looting toys, dolls, women痴 lingerie and other merchandise from a Belle Chasse Family Dollar store, authorities said.

    Booked late Wednesday night with one count each of looting were Gerald W. Thomas, 47, of Tyler, Texas; Thomas Sherman, 39, also of Tyler; and Lasharon Lemons, 36, of Dallas, said Major John Marie with the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff痴 Office.

    Marie said that since the relief effort began, drivers for the Federal Emergency Management Agency had been allowed to take drinks, personal grooming supplies and other small items from the Family Dollar store at 7902 Louisiana 23.

    "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately." - Ben Franklin

    by RandyMI on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 06:04:56 PM PDT

  •  Where's the Lisa Beamer of New Orleans? (none)
    The Bush White House, if nothing else, is a marketing machine, a triumph of style over substance. In the summer of 2002, Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card admitted as much, declaring the time for selling the planned war with Iraq was not yet ripe, "from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

    Therein lies the problem for President Bush in the marketing of his administration's abysmal response to hurricane Katrina. Bush has no product. Even worse, he has no pitch man, or worse still, pitch woman. In a nutshell, George W. Bush needs the Lisa Beamer of New Orleans. But sadly for President Bush, in New Orleans, the color of suffering - and heroism - is black.

    For the full story, see:

    "Where's the Lisa Beamer of New Orleans?"

    •  Perhaps it's Ms. Neville, by default (none)
    •  Nope. It's Trent Lott (none)
      They'll be rebuilding his house, don't you know.  It'll be magnificent and George is gonna come by and sit a spell on the front porch.

      Watch him trot that chestnut out for the State o' the Union next year.

      And he'll drag out that old lady in Biloxi that just luvs him so much.

      Maybe one of the "underpriveleged" little brown ladies for whom the Houston Astrodome is "working so well" will join the gang.

      I can pretty much be sure you won't see Ray Nagin sitting in the Rudy Giuliani/Ahmad Chalabi Commemorative Seat next to Laura.

  •  joining the VW rant (none)
    We have two 1.8T Passats and while they have numerous strengths, reliability and customer support from VW are not among them.  We have had numerous warranty and non-warranty repairs and when non-wear items wore out or were otherwise defective, the company blames you, is non-responsive or deflects the criticism.  Kind of like the current executive branch.  

    BTW, ease up on Kos.  THe WRX with 227 HP is tough on clutches.  Check out any of the Sube owner sites and you will note the clutch complaints.

  •  Cheney says tax increases not needed (none)
    to help restore the gulf states hit be Katrina

    I guess our kids will pay for it, as usual.

    "There can be no real individual freedom in the presence of economic insecurity." Chester Bowles

    by coigue on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 07:02:23 PM PDT

  •  Toyota (none)
    Good engine, good clutch. We had a Previa that went 120,000 miles without a single engine or transmission problem.

    But you might want to go with an automatic anyway.

    Might I recommend for your next car you look at the Scion? I got one a few months ago. You get 35 mph highway, about 28 city. Lots of headroom, fold down the rear seats and good storage.

    Best of all, very reliable.

    The only problem is that the car is built very low to the ground (which is how you get your headroom), so avoid deep water. Avoid shallow water for that matter.

    It ain't a SUV....but the cash price is about $16.500 (including tax, title and junk fees) brand new, good mileage and reliable as hell.

  •  Riding the clutch (none)
    Two different cars, both with blown clutches.

    Same driver.

    Need we say more?

    I got 120,000 miles on my T-100 before I replaced the clutch.  If Toyota had not made a unsuitable dummy clutch bracket (replaced at their expense after I found a dealer where someone read the technical reports), I would still have it.

    Buy a Toyota.  Oh yeah, yesterday Toyota issued a recall on a steering rod for the T-100.

    No one gets it all right the first time.  No one.

  •  I love my Subaru. (none)
    Though I haven't had quite the same customer service experience from the local dealer.

    Sucks to hear confirmation of my fears regarding VW.  I've been thinking of making the switch to biodiesel and VW's are pretty much the only way I can go and get a new car.  And, in any case (I'll probably get flamed for this), I still have a hard time buying a vestige of Hitler's Germany.

  •  Umm...Sorry Kos... (none)
    My 2000 Beetle diesel (50mpg)..yeah, I bought when Gore was fleeced, is still going strong with a clutch at 50K (this is WV so I have the terrain too). Although the AC is a different story altogether..........
  •  i have 2 subaru wrx's (none)
    a 2003 silver wagon and a 2004 blue wagon.  i bought extended warranties for both so i'm covered to 85k miles.

    i love these cars and no problem with the clutch so far!

  •  Subaru's WRX clutch is problematic. (none)
    Google WRX and shuddering.
    •  That's a recall item (none)
      The known clutch "judder" problem is easily fixed at no cost at the dealer with a kit provided by Subaru.  It isn't so much a problem with the clutch as the way the transmission is mounted.  It has nothing to do with the life of your clutch.
      •  Two Twin Cities Subaru dealerships cannot (none)
        "replicate the problem".  They both refuse to replace anything. (WRX '02 sedan)

        I may have to trade UP to a Legacy station wagon.  I'm jusssttttt about old enough to think that's a good idea........

        (As a sports car kinda gal, this is truly accepting middle age.  We'll see if I can actually do it.)

  •  odd this (none)
    i've never owned an automatic.  Only clutch to ever fail?  1965 Chevy fleetside---damn i miss that truck (but not its mpg).

    i was wit you, and when i say i'm wit you I mean i'm wit you:  but not after the update.  People who have failing clutches always blame it on the clutch and say "omg, I never ride the clutch."  Um, Liar. lol.

    Current vehicle has 65,000 miles and never had one problem with the clutch.  My advice?  if you're 100 percent sure you don't ride the clutch?  Don't put a stock clutch back in.  Upgrade your whole tranny including the clutch plates and linkage with a beefier model....for a car you'll need a racing version, which is readily available for the wrx.  the new system will perform much better on the hills of the bay area and you might even realize a bonus on hp.  Then if you really wanna dig in, get a race chip, slap on a high performance exhaust system and you'll be rallying around like you were in a 5mpg Hummer.

    I'm gonna buy a gun and start a war, if you could tell me something worth fighting for.-----Coldplay

    by CO4Kerry2004 on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 08:16:38 PM PDT

  •  Subaru is the new BMW. (none)
    With a little Saab thrown in for good measure.

    Best Japanese car company by far, in terms of price, service, reliability and good car things. Like acceleration and braking and handling. For the price.

    I'm not surprised that they stood up.

    But...Kos...was that Beetle a turbo too, perhaps...?

    C'mon...own up.

    I've driven some WRXs. WAY powerful. ( I drive fast, relatively inexpensive cars. A 200,000 mile Taurus SHO at present, one that I bought new in '94. Everybody greens in their own way...I use the Cuban model. Buy it and keep it running.)

    Did the temptation get the better of you once too often?


    And there you are...burning clutch as the turbo spools up.

    'Fess up.

    It's OK.

    We can't be PERFECT...or else why not buy a hybrid minicar that goes from 0-60 in about 14 seconds?

    Life is short. Get there fast.


  •  Subaru clutches are notoriously short lived (none)
    Tom and Ray on Car Talk mention them all the time.  I had an old 1980 Subaru that wasted a clutch every two or three years even while living in a relatively non-hilly location.  It looks like even the hipper, newer Subarus aren't much better. I'm pretty good with clutches -- I've driven standard shifts for almost 40 years and the one in my Chevy truck is up to 135,000 miles.  Those Subaru clutches were a pain in the ass to replace, too.  

    The VW beetle clutches, unlike most other Volkswagens, aren't much better.  Both cars are reported to be much better with automatic transmissions.  Honda clutch life is legendary.  I once put over 160k on an old Civic that already had 80k when I bought it.  Too bad the body rusted out, though.

    The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that." -G. Keillor

    by Eddie Haskell on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:19:32 PM PDT

  •  Love my Forester (none)
    Jumping in on this a little late, but here's an interesting NY Times article

    Your Car: Politics on Wheels

    proud member of the 6%, disapproving of Bush since day one

    by freedom fried on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 09:25:36 PM PDT

  •  wow (none)
    2 cars in a row at 20K? Oy vey! My 2000 Celica has over 100K and still has the original clutch. The only thing I've had to fix is a burned out headlight. I did have to replace the clutch twice over the course of 120K on my Chevy Beretta, but not with just 20K. But that car doesn't count cuz I had to replace the whole frickin engine at 70K on that lemon, and had to have electrical shorts in the dash fixed 4 times in 10 years.
  •  For WRX drivers. (none)
    Look into a K&N Air filter.

    Gives you extra jump (as if you needed it) so that you don't have to wind up the car. Perhaps you can save your clutch this way. K&N also improves gas mileage.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 10:04:41 PM PDT

  •  Ashby. Univ. Gilman>880 (none)
    Then what?
    Bumper to bumper vroom, vroom?
    Better stay off Marin.
    WRX is not a great choice for drivers like you.
    Can't believe my kid celebrated his PHD by buying one.
    You can warm, warm, warm it up on $4 gas soon.
  •  1966 VW Squareback (none)
    192,000 miles, still on original clutch.  My dad bought this car from its original owner in 1987 after he moved back to his native Delaware after my mom died.  When he passed in 2003, I had not owned a car for three years, and was starting to get really sick of Baltimore's piss-poor mass transit, so I brought the car home with me.  No regrets -- it's been wonderful -- my father babied every car he ever owned -- and it's been a trip driving an antique as my regular transport.  The friggin' car is only two years younger than I am!

      Although I still use my mountain bike for most local commuting, it's nice to have a car for weekend jaunts out of town with my boyfriend and for hauling our canoe.  The car will need a clutch pretty soon -- I live in Bolton Hill, and the urban driving is pretty tough on it -- but I'll be putting the new clutch in myself despite being pregnant.  On an old VW, it really is THAT easy.

    --Anne ** ** ** ** ** ** "Hyena crawls on his belly out. The town is safe again tonight." --jms

    by asskicking annie on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 11:57:48 PM PDT

  •  Oh, yeah... (none)
    ...the car will be 40 years old in December and still gets 30 mpg.

    --Anne ** ** ** ** ** ** "Hyena crawls on his belly out. The town is safe again tonight." --jms

    by asskicking annie on Thu Sep 08, 2005 at 11:59:27 PM PDT

  •  Similar experience re warranty (none)
    My last Subaru legacy's $800 water pump went at just over 36,000 miles. I thought I'd have to eat it, but they surprised me and only asked me to pay 1/2 the labor for about $125.  

    Needless to say that's one reason for being a repeat customer.  Been thinking about WRX for the next one, so this thread's been very educational.

    As in Vt. and Colorado, Subaru seems to have replaced Volvo and Saab as the "lefty" car of choice here in NH. Current events seem to confirm the wisdom of the choice: I'm getting 27+ mpg with 4 wheel drive.

  •  Try and Honda Civic and use Berkeley Minicar (none)
    My husband and I are still driving our used Civics (sedan for him, HB for me) 150k later with no end in sight, and the best auto service we ever got was from Berekely Minicar on San Pablo.  Wish we still lived in the Bay Area to avail ourselves of them...

    Liberals treat dogs like people...conservatives treat people like dogs.

    by biskit67 on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 08:22:42 AM PDT

  •  really? (none)
    12,000 miles?
    20,000 miles?

    My clutch in my Dodge Neon lasts about 60,000 miles.  I couldn't imagine having to put in a new clutch every 20,000 miles.  I'd be on like number 7 by now.

    And I don't drive in flat-lands.  First SE Tennessee (aka Appalachia) and now Coloradoa (aka the Rocky Mtns.)

  •  Woot (none)
    Soobe drivin, Kos readin, Green Mountain Coffee drinkin, ready to take my country forward SoCal independent - feeling you right now.  

    My girl friend tells the story of me watching a commercial asking if the Jeep climbing a mountain was a Subaru.  The car is mythic to me.  I've seen little loyals venture to deer camps in snow that left pickups far behind.  Peace, sage pixie.

    They are Lying, about Treason, because they are War Criminals.

    by Danny Boy on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 02:46:40 PM PDT

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