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Old 03-20-2007, 12:40 PM   #1
Goliath
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Default 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

I have about 65% of my clutch left but yesterday I noticed on my way home changing from 2nd into 3rd that I felt it maybe slip and it gave a shudder for a couple seconds. Also, maybe the pedal doesn't come back fast enough and in need of some lube?

There is about 170,000km on the car, last 4 years have been mostly in-town driving. The last time I had my oil changed I had the transmission fluid checked as well and it looked clean and full.

Any ideas would help in troubleshooting this.

Thanks,
Rick
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Old 03-20-2007, 01:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

Check to see if there is any moisture around the bottom of the bell housing. You might have a quill bearing leak which could cause your clutch to wear prematurely.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

I will look more closely and it has been wet outside lately. Like I said, it still feels like I have about 65% of my clutch left but if the hydrolics are shot maybe it doesn't matter about the plates? I don't know much about clutches.

Thanks again. If you have any other ideas to the problem and how it may be a cheaper job than what I was quoted to fix I'd appreciate it. I was told it is about a $1,100 job. ....the car isn't worth it, it is also burning a bit of oil as well.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

using a little oil seems common for saturns. but oil is cheap and there are some low cost remedys if you search.
i just did a clutch in my boys 98sl. cost $188. that was for luk life warranty clutch. also $15 for elcheapo socket set that had deep 30mm. if you had a buddy mechanic it is pretty simple. that is the thing i love about these saturns, they actually seemed to use their brain when they engineered them. there is clutch replacement procedure on this website. i followed it
i would check further into the prob though. the first symptom of my sons was slipping in high gear.
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goliath View Post
Like I said, it still feels like I have about 65% of my clutch left but if the hydrolics are shot maybe it doesn't matter about the plates? I don't know much about clutches.
How do you know you have 65% of your clutch left? Have you done a visual inspection? I don't think this can be determined by clutch travel.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

If you feel like you have %65 of your clutch by feel, your clutch is about %99 gone. If it's slipping at all, it's time for a new one. It could literally leave you stranded at any time. When the hydraulics go, the clutch doesn't slip, it just doesn't disengage completely.
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

I am certain it is time to say goodbye to the clutch. The real question is if I spend the money on it or get rid of the car.
I took it to a transmission place that I had used in the past with a different car. They said this was a tough car to change clutches with, that they have to pull the engine etc... that the labour was the killer. He said the clutch kit would be about $600 plus the labour was looking around the $1100-$1200 easy.
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

You do not have to pull the engine to change the clutch on these cars. The shop is overcharging to say the least. You can pick up a LUK (the OEM manufacturer) clutch kit for these cars for around $120 on ebay. Less than that for a Valeo. I had a clutch put in my '96 for $650 including parts. That was before I found this forum. Now I'd probably do it myself. Use the forum jump at the bottom of this page and go to the How-To Library. There are several good guides to how to do the clutch in there.
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

Before I buy on ebay or wherever. Is burning 1/2 litre of oil every 400km safe to say it is worth it? I used some of that over-the-counter free rings stuff and maybe it is burning less now as it is still just a hair under the full after about 420km now so that is better. Is it still safe to say the car is worth putting money into?
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

I had to convert that but, it comes to around a quart every 500 miles which is on the high side. Here's the deal on Saturn oil usage. The oil rings tend to get stuck in their grooves and allow oil into the cylinders. This doesn't happen to the compression rings so, you can have an oil burner that's capable of going a lot more miles. Look in the How-To Library for the MMO soak. In the frozen north I understand that Sea Foam is easier to come by than MMO (Marvel Mystery Oil). So, you might go with that instead. It sometimes helps oil usage.

Is it worth the clutch? That's really up to you. I'd probably do it but, I do a lot of things to my car that other people won't try.
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Old 03-26-2007, 03:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

BarnOwl, thanks for your tips. I currently have no room to work on a car myself so I called my local PartSource store and he has a brother who will put the clutch in. It is still going to cost me $700 but thats better than $1100/$1200 and they will still warranty it.

I do not know exactly where to spray the seafoam. Also, I think I was told that I can put the entire bottle of MMO in and leave there when I do my next oil change, is that correct? I also read on the bottle that it can be added to gas when filling up too to clean injection as well, a good idea or not?

I will get the clutch change ASAP and hopefully I can correct what I hope and think is stuck rings. I just checked the dipstick on my lunch hour and it has surely been over 400km since last time I added oil and also that stuff to unstick the rings and it hasn't burned much at all, maybe less than a quarter of a litre (quart) of oil.

So, if I can sound like a rookie here and find out where exactly I put the seafoam and if I can put the mmo into the oil and leave there then I'll get that done too.

Thanks a lot for all the input here ppl. Much appreciated!
Rick
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Old 03-26-2007, 03:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

Sigh...No one reads what I write.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnOwl
Look in the How-To Library for the MMO soak.
If you'd done that, you'd know that you need to pour the MMO into your spark plugs holes and let it soak your pistons and rings. Now use the forum jump at the bottom of the page and go to the How-To Library and do a forum search for MMO soak. What I was suggesting was that you might have an easier time finding Sea Foam in Canada. You can use Sea Foam instead of MMO.
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

Thanks again....I just skipped reading that thread as I read another on there a while back and the instructions were a little less clear, sorry for not going back and reading it (another one) again.

I printed it out and will do as told.

Rick
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:31 PM   #14
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Thumbs Up Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

Altogether with flywheel machined and taxes it came to $976 with a $377 clutch kit (slightly more than I wanted to pay) but he wouldn't warranty the one for $225. Only charged me 4hrs labour instead of 7.5 that Crappy Tire wanted to charge.

Thanks for all the help. Now this weekend I will do the MMO treatment at my sisters farm.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goliath View Post
Altogether with flywheel machined and taxes it came to $976 with a $377 clutch kit (slightly more than I wanted to pay) but he wouldn't warranty the one for $225. Only charged me 4hrs labour instead of 7.5 that Crappy Tire wanted to charge.

Thanks for all the help. Now this weekend I will do the MMO treatment at my sisters farm.
Man, you got taken for. I got the clutch replaced, master cylinder replaced, flywheel re-machined, valve cover gasket replaced, axel seals, rear main oil seal, and oil pan gasket for $1100, including parts and labor. Granted it took a week for them to do, but they did a great job.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:13 AM   #16
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Thumbs Up Re: 99 SL1 - Is my clutch failing or in need of TLC

Doubt it. Most likely you "took" them for all that work and only paying that much! A mechanic needs to put food on the table like the rest of us.
My problem is I don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on my car so I understand also looking for a good deal also.

I've already said too much regarding that statement.

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Thanks for all your help everyone...this is a great site/forum.
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