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Old 07-22-2009, 12:31 AM
roughneck95 roughneck95 is offline
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Default 1996 Saturn SL2 Shifting problems.

Hopefully some one can help me. I have a 1996 Saturn SL2 4 door. It has 116,546 miles on it. It has a 5 speed manual transmission and has been a great car. The clutch was replaced about 3000 miles ago and has been perfect since put in. The problem i am haveing is that it will not shift in or out of gears 1st thru 4th . I have taken the shifter off and i can shift it in and out of 5th gear by hand by pulling on the shifting cable. The other cable will not move. I am hopeing it is the shifter cable is bad. Any ideas and or has any one else had the same problem with there car?
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:22 AM
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derf derf is offline
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Just for clarification -- Was this a sudden occurrence or did the vehicle slowly become more difficult to shift into the first 4 gears? Also -- you didn't mention reverse. Can you get into reverse?

How is transmission fluid level?

Last edited by derf; 07-22-2009 at 06:47 AM. Reason: felt like it
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:00 PM
roughneck95 roughneck95 is offline
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It was a sudden thing. I went to work and was at the last light befor my house and went to down shift from 5th in to 4th and nothing. I couldn't get in to any other gears other then 5th. It also does not want to go in to or out of reverse. The tansmission fluid level is good and clean. Also the clutch is smooth no change in how it feels or how it pulls.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:01 PM
Twisted Noodle Twisted Noodle is offline
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I would bet on the clutch cable if your positive the clutch is ok . If the cable is stretched it may not disengage the clutch disc. Making it very difficult to change gears. I am not too familiar with the Saturn manual transmissions but I don't believe 2nd cable (the one you can move) shifts gears. I think it is a selector and in combination with the first cable makes it possible to shift into 5th.
Did you try moving that other cable with the engine running? Does it still move?
A good way to check (just to make sure) if the clutch is still good would be to use a block of wood to chock the wheels and then with the car in 5th slowly let the clutch out. If it stalls the clutch is probably ok.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:39 PM
paulcalif paulcalif is offline
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Default Same Problem Here - did you ever figure it out?

This is my daughter's NEW 95 SL2. What a bummer. Note that these cars don't have clutch cables, they have a hydraulic clutch system.

Personally, I think it's the transmission.

At first I thought it was the cable bushing are doing some reading. But that checked out fine.

Then I thought the shifter might be bad, but I pulled the bracket that holds the cables in place under the center console and now the shifter works as it should - BUT, like yours, my driver's side cable won't budge.

I looked under the hood and it appears to be connected property with the u-clip.

Anyone know of anything other than a bad trans that would not allow the driver's side cable to move??

We NEED this car, so any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks, Paul
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:01 PM
paulcalif paulcalif is offline
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Default Transmission Problem Need Help PLEASE!

95 SL2 - 155K - 5 Spd Manual

Just replaced the clutch master / slave hydraulics a few weeks ago. That took care of the hard shifting into 1st and 2nd.

Yesterday, my daughter reported that the car started popping out of 2nd.

I drove it today, and sure enough, it would pop out. I found that if I held it gently in, it would not pop out. We had driven 50 miles from home.

All of the sudden, it would no longer shift at all. 5th gear worked and I could shift into 4th but 4th acted like neutral.

It would NOT shift to 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

We drove it home in 5th gear which I'M sure was very hard on the clutch. Fortunately, we only had to stop a couple of times.

I was hoping it was just a broken cable connection, but no such luck. Both of the cables are still attached to the shifter.

I suspected the cable on the drivers side was locked. I removed the bracket holding down the cables which gave the cables play and the shifter began working correctly, but the drivers side cable was not moving in and out, it appears to be locked up.

Checking under the hood, that same cable appears fine.
The other cable feels and sounds like it's doing something. It does take the car out of 5th. I couldn't see it under the hood clearly, but something did look frayed on that cable.

Should the drivers side cable move if the passenger side cable is not moving correctly?

I am going to go check that cable -

When i get back, I hope ALL of you will have replied!!

Well, at least someone!!

Thanks in advance,

Paul - Sarah's dad, Sarah's mechanic....
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:07 PM
paulcalif paulcalif is offline
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Wow - Cool, the other cable is broken....
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:07 PM
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Paul - pls keep related posts in the same thread -- much easier for peeps to help you...
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:32 AM
paulcalif paulcalif is offline
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Default Tranmission Problem - Can't Shift - Fixed

First let apologize as I posted this in the wrong place the first time.

I'll try to make this brief, but it should help those with similar problems.

96 SL2 Manual / Standard 5sp Transmission -

Began popping out of 2nd. then suddenly no gears worked except 5th.

Suspected a broken cable bushing, part of the shifter, as that would have caused the same symtoms, and should be check before assuming broken cable. That was not the problem in this case.

The problem was a broken transmission shifter cable.

Pep boys said they could order it, would take a week, dealer had it in stock, but you had to buy both. I bought the dealer pair - list $199

Looking inside of the engine compartment, there are two cables. They are attached to the transmission on the drivers side below, and to the rear of the battery. NOTE: It has been reported that the cables can come off from where they connect to the transmission. Mine were still connected. There are U-clips that hold them in place, and sometimes the clips come off. A cable coming off here would could also cause the same symptoms.

1. If you are having the problem, first visually check the cables under the hood - make sure they are still connected.

2. Then check the cables visually, inside the engine compartment. The lower cable is hard to see. You'll need a flashlight. See if they are broken. Mine was only partially broken.

3. Next thing to check would be where the cables connect to the shifter. You'll need to remove the center console. 2 screws in the back of the console, two at the front behind the fuse panel door, and in the same place on the drivers side. Popout and disconnect the power window switch assm. Pop out the cup holders, twist out the little light. Disconnect the cigarette lighter. The shifter **** is a friction fit - pull up but watch out - mine let loose with a lot of force - watch you head.
Check the cables to make sure they are still connected to shifter. A common problem reported often (not my problem), is the cable bushing breaking. The end of the cable has a plastic ring. In the ring is a bushing that snaps over a piece on the shifter. If the busing breaks, it needs to be replaced. Google it, there is a lot of information on it and after market parts to fix it.

If, you are unlucky like I was, and your cable is broken, you'll need to replace it. This is not an easy job as some suggest, at least not the first time. This post is already too long, if anyone would like me to write up a walk through on how to change the cable, I will do it in a separate post.

People helping people - gotta love these forums!!

Thank you for being here.

Good luck Saturn Owner...
Paulcalif
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:32 AM
 
 
 
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1996, 96, cables, clutch, disengaging, gear, manual, problems, replacement, saturn, shift, shifter, shifting, sl, sl2


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