Question about 1995 Saturn Sl

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Can't shift into first unless car is not running. When my car is turned off i can shift easily. when my car is turned on it is impossible to shift . it will not move at all

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Assuming its a stickshift car, check the clutch master cylinder, line to slave unit and slave for any leaks. If master is full, it may be internally bypassing It is possible to shift with engine off because nothing is turning. If clutch is not disengaging, with engine running you can't do that, because the clutch disengages the transmission from the engine so the gears can mesh.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009


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VERY Bizarre Combination of "Symptoms" I Believe Relating to Clutch or Transmission, or heaven forbid worse! Please help!


First, congrats on the most detailed problem description I have ever seen! Seriously, it does assist us.

All this is completely consistent with your clutch not releasing properly, meaning that the gearbox is still turning when the pedal is depressed. The syncros in the gearbox will then keep you out of gear, that is what they should do. You can indeed shift into higher gears however when driving as the gearbox revs more nearly match to what is needed. The jerking forward when you hit the starter is due to the poor old starter motor having to move the whole car instead of just the engine, because the clutch has not released !

Now as to why, it is likely that the clutch release fork has broken, inside the housing. I had this once with a Mazda, and symptoms were exactly as you describe. The gearbox has to be removed if this is the problem, and you should also then take the chance to renew the clutch, pressure and driven plate both, unless quite new.

Also a possible cause is a complete loss of clutch fluid if a hydraulic clutch, or a broken cable if that type of clutch. Loss of fluid in a hydraulic clutch can be easily checked in the fluid reservoir, and can occur if a hose splits

Jun 19, 2016 | 1995 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

My 2003 sunfire is stuck in park need to find shift override

Unless the lock cylinder is damaged, you should be able to turn the key from lock to unlock and shift out of park. The shift is locked in park and the on positions. Be careful that the car does not roll when you shift out of park with it not running.

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3 Answers

Could improperly installing a new exhuat system make your transmation not shift gears

not that I know of unless they pulled one of the wires(plugs) accidentily

Apr 11, 2015 | 1995 Nissan 200SX

1 Answer


hi it sounds like your clutch is on its way out thats why when the engine switch off its easy for the gear to go in but when the engine is running the flywheel is turning and makes if very difficult or sometimes impossible to engage the gear as the clutch is worn and wont disengage .

Sep 02, 2010 | 1996 Mazda Pickup

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I think it is on the side of the transmission in the valve body, it is near to impossible to get to unless you have the engine support tool.

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The ignition key cannot be removed from the ignition switch, unless the shift lever is in Park. When the shift lever is in any position other than Park, a solenoid is activated, making it impossible for the key to be removed, until the shift lever is moved to Park.

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Hard shifting.

it sounds like your clutch is going to need replacing soon.

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1 Answer

Shift solenoid

Shift solenoids are internal within the drivers side side cover of the transmission. Not something easily done with out a lift. Not impossible but certainly not easily accessed.

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