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Discussion Starter #1
I parked my car and when I came back 2 hours later I went to depress the clutch and there was no resistance at all! The clutch will not engage so moving the shifter is impossible. I checked the brake/ clutch fluid level and it looks muddy but the level is correct. I have no idea what to do! I took the panel under the dash off and could not notice anything wrong but I am also not sure what to be looking for... any ideas? please help :)

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh yeah and my car is a 1999 Saab 9-3 SE Convi. with a 2.0 turbo. The clutch system seems to be hydrollic or at least I dont see a clutch cable.

Thanks again,

Rich
 

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Well, the master cyl is a suspect. I just replaced mine, $132 retail for the part and 3.5 hours to fix. (not including 1 hour to diagnose).

Worst case it is that and or the slave, that is in the transmission and takes about 4.5 hours to get to and 4.5 hours to put back into the car.

You may be able to get away with bleeding it. Stick a board against the peddle and the seat so the clutch peddle is half way down for 24 hours and see if that helps.
 

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Glassey, if you can release the parking brake and let the cars transmission slip into first gear, you can start the car in gear and make it home. However, it does put stress on the transmission. The alternative is to get a one year membership with AAA for $80 or so and have them tow the car home. You would get 4 tows of 100 miles or lesss for $80. I considered putting the hydraulic clutch system in my car last year, and it seems that more people have problems with the hydraulic system than the clutch cable. Let us know how you do... Ron
 

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while the car is off and key is in ACC, you can shift into first gear, turn the car on and give gas, the car will move, while the car is moving you can shut the car off (DONT BRAKE) shift into 2nd turn car on and give gas, this is a wierd way but when my clutch died on me it saved me, getting out of the lincoln tunnel parking home and driving it to mechanic drove it for 3-4 miles :)

pre plan a route that has little stop signs/ traffic lights to the nearest mech, and do it when few cars are driving..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks guys! I ended up just getting a tow to a place called taylormade auto. they have been pretty good and honest.

When I took it there I had a feeling it was the clutch master cylinder. They confirmed this but it also may be the slave cylinder as well. This is starting to get extremely expensive... They also noticed a "massive" oil leak. This was not there when I left the parking spot this morning. They said it is leaking at a rate of about 1 pint/ hour!!!

This is miserable.
 

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Sorry for the bad news
thanks guys! I ended up just getting a tow to a place called taylormade auto. they have been pretty good and honest.

When I took it there I had a feeling it was the clutch master cylinder. They confirmed this but it also may be the slave cylinder as well. This is starting to get extremely expensive... They also noticed a "massive" oil leak. This was not there when I left the parking spot this morning. They said it is leaking at a rate of about 1 pint/ hour!!!

This is miserable.
 

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i dont think its oil it could be the brake fluid, usually the clutch will leak once its giving up, its best to replace the master/slave/ and get the disc resurfaced your going to pay for 6 hours of labor as they are raising the trans, have them check the transmission as well.,

so you know,

a clutch kit
http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/PartDetail.aspx?id=4614012
$287 w. free shipping

labor
6 hours @$75 p/h = $450

your looking at around $800

have him check the engine mounts, as these are easy for him to change

its a big job, but has to be done ...
 

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BTW what i figured out, was that the fluid will look totally full in the reservoir, and be BONE dry for the clutch. This is the brilliant design-the reservoir for the clutch is well in front of the fill hole, and the only way you know its level is to either shine a wicked spotlight on it (didnt work for me the reservoir was too hazy) or pour fluid in-right to the brim- and see if the fluid drains down. If it does, you have a leak somewhere. If the clutch seems fine after a good bleed, then the next day is crap or fades while driving, this is your slave. I spent days on end eliminating every conceivable problem, to no avail. Finally, since I had no place to do the job and it was winter still, i paid a shop to replace the slave-turned out to be the slave thank god. I threw parts-it eventually worked. I am declaring myself the guru of this, because I was up close and personal with the whole system trying to save myself $$$$$ for a slave replacement, for no joke 50hrs total time. I had EVERYTHING off.
-Cm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok, so here is what happened so far. I had my mechanic replace the clutch master cylinder ($440) and the car will run now and shifting gears is possible but does not feel the same as it had in the past... The clutch seems "softer" than it did in the past, especially at the top, and only truly engages at the very very bottom. For it to be possible to shift gears I have to press the clutch petal firmly against the floorboard. When driving, I can not downshift into any gear that I want. Shifting just seems super weird and unreliable. Also, it seems like sometimes this "bad" feeling I experience while shifting is worse at sometimes and better at other times. However, never since I got my car back have I felt like the clutch is in perfect working order.

I told the mechanic how it felt and he said that they bled the hell out of it but he would bleed it again tomorrow. He also said that new clutch master cylinders are softer and there is no adjustment for them. Then he said that it could be the slave.

Any ideas? thoughts?

-Rich

oh yeah when I got my car back cruise control no longer works? What the hell? are these systems somehow connected?
 

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My clutch was goofy too after my clutch master cylinder failed. Try bleeding it more. After we installed the Viggen clutch on my car, it took a lot of time and effort to bleed it to the point of working correctly (I still think it could be a slight amount better, I have to push against the floorboard for the cleanest shift).

I also believe my cruise stopped working after the mechanic replaced the clutch MC. There is a switch above the clutch pedal lever, if you take out the panel below the dash, you will see it. It is there so that when you press the clutch, the cruise shuts off. Maybe it wasn't reinstalled correctly...I have yet to fix mine.
 

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Try the over night process a few times. Just place a board between your seat and the clutch pedal making sure the pedal is depressed half way. Do this a few nights in a row and see what happens.
 

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My PO had replaced the clutch cable himself, and when I bought the car the cruise did not work. Turned out the switch for the clutch pedal was missing! Installed switch, works perfectly!

When working above the clutch pedal, either cable or hydraulic, I am left with the impression that the cruise switch is fairly fragile. Easy fix if you can do a headstand under the steering wheel, I think the switch is $20ish at eEuro, IIRC.
 

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but does not feel the same as it had in the past... The clutch seems "softer" than it did in the past, especially at the top, and only truly engages at the very very bottom. For it to be possible to shift gears I have to press the clutch petal firmly against the floorboard.
Try the over night process a few times. Just place a board between your seat and the clutch pedal making sure the pedal is depressed half way. Do this a few nights in a row and see what happens.
Find some way, i used a microphone stand to leave the clutch peddle depressed for 24 hours or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok I am going to depress the clutch petal 1/2 way for 24 hours and see what affect it has on my cars clutch.

By the way, what exactly does this do? How does it help stiffen the clutch and make engaging the gears easier?

Thanks,

Rich

Also, does anyone have a good step by step for bleeding the clutch master cylinder and a step by step for replacing the slave?
 

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Ok I am going to depress the clutch petal 1/2 way for 24 hours and see what affect it has on my cars clutch.

By the way, what exactly does this do? How does it help stiffen the clutch and make engaging the gears easier?

Thanks,

Rich

Also, does anyone have a good step by step for bleeding the clutch master cylinder and a step by step for replacing the slave?

I think the theory is that the bubbles that may be trapped in will now have an escape route with the system open.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ok but isn't that the reason that we bleed the lines? also, I noticed that the brake and clutch are part of the same system so would bubbles in the brake line somehow affect the clutch petals performance? Should the brake lines be bled as well?

Thanks,

Rich
 

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I was told by a shop supervisor that his "shop full of saab master techs" would figure it out.

They left me the car exactly as yours, so me, somehow knowing better than a saab master tech, did the above mentioned procedure and all is well.
 

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ok but isn't that the reason that we bleed the lines? also, I noticed that the brake and clutch are part of the same system so would bubbles in the brake line somehow affect the clutch petals performance? Should the brake lines be bled as well?

Thanks,

Rich
The board method is a tried and true way of doing this, but it takes time. The best way to bleed the master is to reverse bleed from the nipple on top of the tranny. You use a motive power bleeder and make a fitting, but most don't have this.
No, bleeding the brakes will have zero effect on the clutch.
 
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