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1997 Saturn 5 speed shift locking up.

Shifts smooth in all gears most of the time. Occasionaly won't go into any gear, 1st in particular. Stop the engine and restart and all gears work again smoothly. Neither the clutch or shifter feels funny except for when the shifter won't go into any gear. Appreciate any advice.

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  • Mike Carambat Jan 01, 2013

    It is a 5 speed manual transaxel.

  • Colin Stickland
    Colin Stickland Jan 02, 2013

    Right manuaL do appologise here but wasnt sure but i thought it might be as you americans have got to learn the queens english,and ban guns anyway political discussion over and i do like a wind up .right business talk next this car is a saturn which i have never seen before so please excuse me for being so slow here but iam under the impression that this vehicle is a very similar in the mechanical components used to our europeon opel astra ,vauxhall and holden marques as well including daewoo as well .Now if this is so then i would expect a dry plate clutch with a clutch cable and as such their is little to go wrong but one thing can happen here with age is the clutch plate sticks to the spigot shaft ,this can be caused by a variety of reasons but the most obvious is rust or dried out dirty grease on the spigot shaft which causes the centre plate to stic so as the clutch is depressed the clutch disk is not freeing from the flywheel face .Another cause of this type problem is where thrust bearing housing which is nylon has broke up but this you would feel through the clutch pedal as sort of click or crunchy feeling but either way the only course of action is to remove the gearbox and have a look which means that whilst its out renew the clutch complete 3 part kit and ensure you use graphite to lubricate the spigot shaft .Now if this vehicle is a build like our astra then its possible to remove a big round metal disk on the end of the gearbox and with special tool pull the spigot shaft back thus you dont need to drop the gearbox as the clutch can then be dropped out through the bottom of the bell housing where their is a metal cover but this i wouldnt advise without the special tool as all the gears fall off the shaft so just drop the gearbox .Now to facilitate refitting the gearbox what i do is not to tighten the clutch cover plate but to align the clutch the best i can with a cut off broom handle tapered to point then fit the clutch cover bolts finger tight then its a relativly easy job to get the gearbox to align up .once i have two bell housing bolts in either side i then tighten the clutch cover bolts up from underneath as they do not need a lot of torque ,a spanner is sufficient here tightening them up one at a time and going around twice .then finish the rest of the job .Takes me with removing both drive shafts something in the region of two hours to do the job .



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  • Cars & Trucks Master
  • 22,156 Answers

Shifter so please tell me that you have a manual gearbox then i can give some ideas ,sorry dont do american only english

Posted on Dec 31, 2012


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Transmission hesitates shifting into second and perhaps third gear when driving slow. When acceleration is positive transmission shifts smoothly. Reference "99 Mercury Transmission" as Subject when

Several things could be causing your problem:

  1. Auto transmission fluid is low
  2. Auto transmission fluid needs changing; this is an area that gets neglected by a lot of people;check the fluid and if its brown or gives off a burning smell, it needs changing. Very old transmission fluid will cause slipping in the transmission; if this is the case, it should be changed along with the filter
Hope you find that this answers your question. Best of luck.

p.s. If you have the fluid changed, make sure it's done from the tranmission pan, not through the filler tube; siphoning through the filler tube can be hazardous to the transmission, especially cars with a lot of miles

Posted on May 30, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 1997 Ford Taurus, Won't Shift Past 3rd Gear

The forward clutch control valve has a retaining clip that is known to break on these tranny's. This can prevent it from shifting into 4th gear. Good news, the part is five bucks. Bad news, it's in the valve body which takes a few hours to get to. I fixed mine in about 8 hours thanks to great step by step instuctions I found online. Search for "valve body removal taurus tranny". If it's not the retainer clip then it could be one of the solenoids on the valve body. I believe there's one just for 3rd and 4th gear. Good luck

Posted on Sep 18, 2009

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