That a friend of mine had when he went to check on the progress of the mechanic who worked on Laura's car:
"Hey, how ya doin', my name is H. I'm a friend of Laura Murphy, and I'd like to talk to your guy who did the clutch on her Forester. I'll wait outside in the garage."
After a few minutes outside, I went back into the waiting room, and different guy, Dennis was at the counter. I repeated my request, and he said that he was the one working on Laura's clutch. I asked him what he replaced, and what kind of clutch kit he used.
He says, "Wait a second. Dis isn't your car.?"
I say, "I know. I'm her friend, and she asked to come and check to see what's up wit her car."
He responds, "Well, she didn't say anything to me about."
Dennis goes back in to call you, but got your voicemail. When he returns, we talk in the waiting area, which is a good thing because there are other customers there to witness our conversation. He seems much more receptive to talking about the issue.
I ask, "So whadaya think is wrong with dis thing?"
Dennis says, "It needs to break in. I been readin' on some of da forums and I think it could be the slave cylinder."
I asked, "Was da pedal stickin' to the floor?"
He says, "Before we get started, how much do you know about dis car?"
I respond, " Well, Laura told me that the engine was running but da clutch was slippin' so da car wasn't moving. Dis was when she had it towed back here da second time. But if da slave is losing pressure, den da clutch is engaged. So it sounds like she's describing clutch slippage. You replaced the everything in there, right?"
He says, "Yeah, da pressure plate, a new disc, da bearing, and dose two clips..."
I ask, "Ok, and everything's torqued down, right? Did you resurface the flywheel?"
Dennis says, "Na, it was good"
I reply, "Ok, so ya checked the runnout and it was good."
Dennis volunteers, " I've done like 20 of dese Subaru clutches."
I ask, "And da front of da trans. was dry?"
He says, "Yeah. We had dis damn thing on the floor and it didn't leak nothin'."
I nod and say, "Ok, it was completely dry. Dat's good. Now dere's a plate next to rear main and dat sometimes leaks."
He says, "Nope, it was completely dry. Man, I can't stand dese damn Subarus. Gotta reseal dis and dat."
Dennis continues, "Yo man, when we got dis thing, the clutch fork was hangin' off, dere was nothin' left in dere. The lip on the trans was swollen."
I ask, "Swollen? You're talking about da snout at the front of the trans.? It wasn't grooved?"
Dennis says, " Na, it was swollen. I don't know, maybe it overheated. You know, when I gave her a quote, I didn't know what I'd hafta do, so I had to cover myself. I thought we might hafta replace da trans."
I say, " Na, man, dese trannies don't die unless they run dry, and dis thing's not leakin' and it's not makin' any noise so it's fine. But yo man, I understand you gotta business to run, you just gotta make dis thing right for my friend Laura, and you've had dis thing for three weeks."
"He says, "I told her I couldn't fix it unless I could replicate the problem. It wasn't until I had my boy drive dis thing up to da Northeast that it started to act up. I think it might be losing pressure from the slave cylinder."
I ask, "So it happens only after it heats up?"
"Yeah, only after it's been driven awhile."
"Ok, it could be da slave. But that's easy enough to replace. It's right on top of the engine. Sometimes it can be the master. too. I've replaced slaves before and then wound up also having to replace the master."
"I thought dis just had one thing. Where is it? "
"Na, dere's a slave right on top the engine, and den a master up on the firewall next to da brake master. I don't know if her car has two air filters but if it does, den it's under the bigger air box right on top of the engine. Yo, but dis things drives fine until it heats up, right? --the clutch is smooth, right?
Dennis shrugs and says, "Yeah, it drives, but it bucks like when ya let out da clutch too fast. It needs to break in."
I say,"Na, a new clutch shouldn't do dat. I've worked on a lot of Subarus, too, man. If it's judderin' like that, den it's either the flywheel or you need to put a repair sleeve on da snout at the front of the trans. Cause, you know, if dere's a groove on da snout, da thow-out bearing moves around on it when you engage the clutch. Yo, man, I know it's a pain in the ass to split the tranny and engine, but you gotta make dis thing, right for your customer."
"Well, after we make a final determination tomorrow, I'll see if I need to order a slave and master cylinder. And if I need to drop the tranny, it's no big deal. It only takes me an hour, you know to drop the driveshaft and all"
I say, "Alright, Dennis, so you're gonna make dis thing right, right?"
"Yeah, I'll give her a call."
We shake hands, and I leave.