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The clutch is perhaps the most important part of a car’s transmission system. It comprises two metal plates which are responsible for maintaining a connection between the engine and the gearbox. When the driver depresses the clutch pedal the plates come apart, separating the engine from the drive wheels, allowing you to change gear. Bringing the pedal back up re-engages the plates which in turn connect the engine to the drive wheels.
Excessive noise and vibration from the clutch area can be caused by a bad release bearing or pilot bearing. If this is the case in your car, the garage will take apart the clutch assembly in order to replace the bearings.
If the clutch is grabbing and shuddering as it’s engaged, the garage may need to take a look at the flywheel as well. Many modern vehicles are fitted with a dual mass flywheel; a rotating mechanical device which can break down. There’s no easy way for garages to check for this without disassembling the clutch and inspecting the pressure plate and flywheel. If the clutch pedal is giving little or no resistance, the problem could be a seal leak in the master or slave cylinder.
Japanese firm Subaru’s heritage comes from the skies: the company developed out of the Nakajima Aircraft Company (1917-1945), which in its day was the largest aircraft manufacturer in Asia. In 1954 the company debuted its first automobile with the Subaru 500, Japan’s first mini, but Subaru’s story really started in 1972 with the launch of its symmetrical all wheel drive. It’s this factor above all which makes Subaru stand out from the crowd - 4x4 is standard on every car that Subaru sells in the UK (apart from the Justy city car).
Subaru currently sells seven models into the UK including the popular Outback, the original ‘crossover’ and a trusty and tough SUV. Other much loved models include the Forester, a slightly smaller SUV ideally suited to rural driving, and the Impreza - a rally champion turned practical family car.
Subaru owners display impressive brand loyalty, and for good reason. These cars are known for their longevity - it’s not unusual to see Foresters and Outbacks on the used car sales boards with over 200,000 miles on the clock. Part of the reason for this is Subaru’s unique flat-lying ‘boxer’ engines, with pistons which punch horizontally, like a boxer, rather than up and down as in a traditional engine. This means less vibration and friction, and better lubrication, particularly on start-up. In some ways, Subaru build cars which are seemingly almost indestructible! For safety and reliability across the board they consistently score very highly indeed with drivers and independent reviewers.
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