Question about 1998 Saturn SL

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My car has a new clutch but the shifting feels stiff. Not the clutch but the actual shifter. Is this perhaps a fluid problem? If so where do I look to check it and what kind of fluid would i add?

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The shifter itself only goes to the manual transmission. There is transmission fluid in there which can become muddied with metal shavings, and it also starts to varnish at high temperatures.

You can flush it out, it requires loosening a bolt (drain bolt) on the bottom of the transmission housing, and opening the top (filler bolt) and letting it drain out (into a pan). The drain bolt is magnetic, so you will need to clean off any metal shavings. Then replace the drain bolt, and top up through the filler bolt hole with transmission fluid.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009

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You may be low on transmission fluid. When your fluid is low or is old it makes the shifting a little rough. It can cause grinding or just make it hard to shift from gear to gear. I would get the fluid checked to see if it is low. You need to consult an owners manual to find out what kind of fluid it requires. There are many different weights and types and if you use the wrong one you can damage seals on your transmission.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009

  • clintmoses Nov 19, 2009

    It could also be the fluid in the clutch. If it isn't
    fully disengaging the clutch it would be a bit tough to get in and out
    of gear.

  • clintmoses Nov 19, 2009

    that is assuming you have a hydraulic clutch and not a cable clutch.



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1999 V6 2.5ltr Suzuki grand vitara gearbox ok until it starts to get warm and the gears get very stiff to engage.

Change clutch release system fluid first then if no change gearbox fluid fluid next if you hear squeaking noise when pushing in clutch need new release bearing

Nov 07, 2016 | Suzuki Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Why when i step on my clutch it squeaks and shifter is stiff-what am i looking at?

It would be better if you could say whether the shifter is stiff from dry, rusty, non-maintained conditions, or if it's hard to get into the next gear, or especially difficult to downshift.
This problem has 2 possible remedies:
The 1st problem deals with dry and/or rusty linkages. The 2nd deals with low fluid due to normal wear, or a leak.
If the pedal is merely squeaking, and the shifter is stiff, I would say that the linkages need to be lubricated. As you push the pedal with your hand, see what is moving under the dash. For the pedal, under the dash find the pivot points; every where there is metal moving against metal, and apply spray 'white lithium grease' lubricant. For the shifter, CAREFULLY underneath the boot at the base of the shifter, apply lubricant where metal moves against metal. A little goes a long way. It sprays kind of runny, but after some minutes will become pasty, and it stays right where you want it. Any auto parts store carries spray white lithium grease. Use the little red spray tube to apply it.
However, and this is a big however, it is in the hydraulic clutch system, start here and go in this order:
Check the clutch fluid reservoir. This should be under the hood on the driver's side, up against the firewall.. There will be reservoirs for brake fluid and clutch fluid. Determine which is the clutch fluid and make sure the fluid is filled to the FULL line, and no more. If the reservoir is full, then you may just need an adjustment. Get a repair manual for that. If you have to add fluid, the car parts store will tell you what kind of fluid to use for your specific car. They can look it up. If there is no fluid in the reservoir, then there's a leak somewhere, and that leak needs to be found and repaired. An empty reservoir also lets air into the system, which causes difficult shifting. After properly filling a dry reservoir, it has to be bled to remove the air. If you don't know what that means, either take it to a shop or buy a repair manual at the parts store so you can do the work yourself.
It gets involved here and is more than I can tell you. It is a procedure specific to this vehicle, with components you need to locate with the aid of a repair manual.
All cars use variants of the same basic idea. It's the layout of the parts, and the vehicle specific specifications which require the use of a good repair manual.
I wish you good luck. Remember, life is short, but it's wide. If some person built it, some other person can fix it.

Aug 01, 2014 | 2002 Mazda Protege

1 Answer

Grinding sometimes while shifting

fix the clutch hydraulic system
check fluid level in reservoir
bleed the clutch system
fit a new clutch master cylinder

Dec 12, 2017 | 2002 Jeep Wrangler

1 Answer

I have a 2000 zx2 escort..the clutch feels loose and cud not get in the gear shifter easly goes into gear but the car will not move..the shifter feels very loose as so does the clutch..could

Sounds like the clutch friction plate was on the way out when you bought the car. The smell you mentioned was probably from the clutch plate slipping.
You need someone knowledgeable to check the linkage is correctly set up and advise if a new clutch plate is required.

Jan 30, 2018 | Ford Escort Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

91 nissan pathfinder 5 speedmanual.... Clutch pedal feels stiff and when i start it in gear the truck lunges forward like the clutch it still engaged.... Master and slave have been replaced and all hyd....

It really sound like you are going to need a new clutch. If the slave or master cylinders were bad they would feel loose, a stiff pedal usually means something came apart in the pressure plate.

Jun 03, 2011 | 1991 Nissan Pathfinder

1 Answer

Hard to shift gears from shifter. Can go to transmission and shift easily.

loose or mis adjusted shifter cable to your transmission. usually, they break. stretched shifter cable? possible. manual transmission? did not specify. automatic? suggest cable problem,loose cable at some point,look with 2 people to see where the cables jumping during the shifting process. manual? suugest a bad or going bad slave cylinder on the side of the transmission,or low fluid to the clutch master the clutch pedal weak? or just goes to floor and will not come back up? this is sign of leaking clutch master cylinder,bad clutch master cylinder. or both. see brake fluid on ground under the car after you pump the clutch several times? either a bad clutch master cylinder,on the firewall,drivers side,just under the windsheild,or a bad slave cylinder on the side on the transmission under the car on the transmission. suggest that you look for fluid leakage. follow the trail of fluid to the source.

Mar 04, 2011 | Saturn Vue Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Ford focus gear hard to change

Hi there, if you say hard to change, does the gears grind if you change or does the shifter just feel stiff on changing???if the gears grind the clutch need checking, check the fluid level as well as it could be low, could only need to be adjusted if a cable model, most are hydraulic clutches so need to check the fluid.

Sep 22, 2010 | 2005 Ford Focus

2 Answers

Problems shifting, clutch feels fine.

Most likely the master cylinder. Both usually need replaced together. If one fails the other will most likely soon after. Then bleed system again.

May 23, 2010 | 1997 Mazda MX-6

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