Help, do I need a new car?! [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Help, do I need a new car?!

29th October 2008, 11:43 AM
So I was driving to my job today and I found that when shifting into 3rd gear my car didn't catch, it just rev'd. I own a 94' 900S 2.3L 4dr's frustrating that this happened because it's inconsistent...for instance after getting off the highway it caught.

To note, I was going uphill when I hate this problem, but it is not limited to.
Also when going up hill when I tried to shift into 3rd and it did not catch, I down shifted to 2nd but by then I was going too slow and had to go to first...and that didn't catch. It felt weird because when I go into first from being stopped it feels like I putting into gear, but it just felt fluid, like I was pushing the shifter around in neutral.

I reallllllly hope my clutch isn't going. I hope it's something simple, or at least not as expensive as replacing the whole clutch...but if that is the case a rough price would be great on what the avg parts / lbr would be.

My car is at about 127K miles...not sure if that helps but maybe it's a common problem around that mileage. I've owned the car for roughly 7 months...any advice is welcome!

29th October 2008, 11:56 AM
As part if the maintenance routine, the mechanic/test driver can determine when the shift mechanism should be rebuilt or just adjusted. Also, he can examine the engine mounts, these may be worn out.

Both have to be good for the car to shift properly...:cheesy:
In the interest of NHV(noise, harshness,vibration), the engine mounts use a very soft rubber....these do not last forever..

29th October 2008, 12:35 PM
Explain to me a bit more if you would. What are engine mounts, and how do they affect the shifting mechanism and gear functionality in a car?

29th October 2008, 12:46 PM
Engine mounts are pretty self-explanatory: they hold the engine in place. If the engine/transmission assembly moves around too much, the shifter linkage will be unable to find gears. Assuming your car doesn't vibrate more than normal, you most likely have a broken or out-of-adjustment shifter linkage. Take it to a Saab shop and have them look at it. Shouldn't be too expensive. It's most certainly not your clutch :cheesy:

29th October 2008, 12:54 PM
Well my car did have a lot of vibration going on with it.
Not so much the vehicle, but the rattling sound of tin, someone suggested it was the heat shield, it only happens when the car is idling or if it coasts in neutral as I slow down to an idle it will do that. I put it into first and it slowly goes away as the whole car starts to move and the engine is actually going.

It's a hollow rattling, nothing clunky and no grinding.

29th October 2008, 10:31 PM

there ya go, ten characters, are ya happy?

30th October 2008, 10:45 AM
sounds like mounts

30th October 2008, 11:17 AM
Honestly, and i mean no offense by this, if you have a single issue like this and your immediate response is "Should I go buy a new car?" then my answer to you is YES, go buy a new car.

Your car is 15 years old with 130k miles and needs some minor adjustments or maybe even a wear item or two replaced. Don't be afraid to get dirty and attack some issues. If your 1st reaction to an issues is "Do I need a new car?" then I would seriously consider a new car with a warranty and just let them sort it out when things break. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that a 15yr old car needs someone with a DIY attitude or deeeeeep pockets to keep it running smooth and worry free. You have to proactively attack problems and know how to do some basic troubleshooting.

I'm seriously not trying to bust on you here, if you want to learn and want to keep your car running, this is the place to do it but you are going to need to rethink your approach to minor blips as they appear.

30th October 2008, 06:10 PM
I am going to have at it, a lot of people have suggested its something minor and not major and if it were the mounts it could be a 100-150 dollar fix for labor and parts. I'm fine with that.

The intent of my post was to find out if this is a common issue, if the issue sounds familiar, and if it is costly. I don't want to spend 400-600 dollars to repair my car, I already planned on spending 500 on new tires + rims because I need them for the winter.

I bought the car for 2000 and I don't want to end up putting the price I paid back into it.

I hope to get another year out of the car but if I'm going to get issues like this all the time I'm not sure what I'm gunna do with this.

I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to cars...I replaced the radiator on it about a month ago just fine. It's a bunch of hoses and mounts...I have no knowledge of any kind of shifter linkage or cables, how they're orientated nor how they are replaced. I'm gunna have a look at it a few days ago with a friend who knows a thing or two.

Hopefully that will all go well.
Are there auto guides online for this sort of thing? Like a haynes PDF? Something from Saab themselves?

30th October 2008, 06:49 PM
Here's a great tutorial on replacing engine mounts. (

I can tell you that my motor mounts and transmission mount didn't last 75k miles.

31st October 2008, 08:53 AM
Ok, cool.
Thanks for the guide :D

One more thing, how would I KNOW its the mounts once it's jacked up, OR how would I know it's the Linkage once everything's out of the way? I don't want to tinker with something when it doesn't need to be tinkered.

31st October 2008, 09:12 AM
You can test your mounts in the car.

Open your hood
Park with your wheels against a curb or parking block
Apply the brake and Parking Brake
Put car in gear and give it some gas
If the engine pops up then drops when you let off the gas you are probably in need of engine/transmission mounts
If the engine smoothly rises a slight bit and settles down smoothly then the front left transmission mount and side engine mount are probably not too bad off.
If the rear of the engine (IE side of engine facing windshield) rises and drops then the rear motor mount is probably blown out.
When I did this test My engine jumped up 3" on the left side then fell back down with a soft thud when I released it. My transmission mount was completely blown out. (located on left side near wheel well)

31st October 2008, 02:51 PM
More on testing the mounts

These must be a least 3 to 5 mm clearance between the engine oil pan and the subframe..

Vibrations and noise occur when the mount is shot
jack the engine and see if these subside, this procedure works on the older VWs...

The great tutorial is now a favorite under "how to"..

31st October 2008, 03:37 PM
To add to the 4th doesn't go...and reverse takes a while to kick in and when it does it gives a forceful jolt and then will smoothly go.

31st October 2008, 10:57 PM
Then I suggest you check those mounts soon before you lose more gears ;) If the transmission is not properly positioned due to bad mounts you can't expect the shifter to go in all gears smoothly. It'll only get worse if the mounts are bad and you may even break the oil pan from the engine rocking on the subframe back and fourth.

1st November 2008, 11:13 AM
Old way : "if it aint broke dont fix it!

New way : With an older high mileage vehicle, do the inspection every 3 to 6 months. If the car does not shift properly, do pay close attention to the linkage, the cable, and the mounts. If the oil pan clearence is below specs, change the offending mount.
They call this preventitive maintenance.

2nd November 2008, 01:07 AM
Sorry to be so novice but how do I go about measuring the oil pan and is displacement or non-displacement?

8th December 2008, 10:32 PM
I don't remember if you all remember this post, but it turns out it was the Transmission!

I got that replaced for about 900. It was a big hit but I figure it'd be easier to sell as drivable as opposed to needing to be towed.

Now I kinda have another issue :x
My E-Break decided to work, and then stop working shortly after when I got my car back. NOW when I go into reverse it likes to work...

Reminder (My car is a standard, Saab 94NG 900S 2.3L 4dr Htch)