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Old 07-31-2002, 08:06 PM   #1
coolgreany
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2002 SL2
2002 VUE 3.0L
Question 91 SL1 Clutch pedal becoming "hard" to push

About 115K on original clutch. I just returned from driving a rental Ford Focus manual in Europe and realised how hard my pedal is to push in. I guess I didn't notice before.

1. Does this mean clutch is on the way out as I haven't noticed slipping?

2. If yes, should I buy the parts from Saturn and have a local perform the work? Somewher I thought I read about making sure I use certain parts (an upgraded clutch?) when replacing the clutch.

...
02 VUE Auto AWD-63k-Florida
02 SL2 Manual -76K, Germany
00 SL2 Auto-90K-failed emissions, Portland, OR
99 SL2 Auto-115K-aging, Portland, OR

91 SL1-Stolen 03, 113K
96 SL1-Totaled 02, 86K

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Old 07-31-2002, 08:25 PM   #2
92saturnsl2
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Unless you are new to driving a clutch, and slip it quite long and often, I wouldn't expect it to last less than 150K.

If the clutch disc is the problem, you would notice the clutch slipping, without you pushing the clutch pedal. You'll notice the slipping by letting out the clutch completely and flooring the accelerator. If the engine revs up REAL high without the car responding in acceleration, your clutch is bad. If you floor it and the car pulls like it should, the clutch disc isn't the problem.

A lot of cars are really different in the feel of the clutch. I don't know much about the hydraulics involved in the clutch, but that *may* be your problem, either the master/slave cylinder might be bad, but i can't be sure.

I can tell you from other cars I've driven, my Saturn has one of the more "stiffer, hard to push in" cars that I've driven.

Good Luck!

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Old 07-31-2002, 08:30 PM   #3
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Clutches can vary greatly between manufacturers. If the pedal effort did not bother you before and the clutch is working properly I would not be in a hurry to do a clutch job $$$. Your Saturn's clutch is hydraulic...a problem would actually make it easier to press in most circumstances...if the pedal is indeed getting harder to press due to a mechanical issue it would have announced it's presence long before now.

...
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Old 07-31-2002, 11:06 PM   #4
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Take a new S-series manual for a test drive. I think that you'll find that the clutch effort is less than the 91. Not saying that you may not have a problem with yours but I think that you would notice a change in the effort needed in your car not just a difference between two cars.

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Old 08-01-2002, 09:24 AM   #5
Phil
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The early Saturn clutch pedal is pretty stiff. When I had mine, and I drove my dad's Nissan, I would about put his clutch pedal through the floorboard (MUCH lighter effort on that thing).

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Old 08-01-2002, 11:00 AM   #6
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Still, if you're in doubt about the clutch pedal feel you can simply change the hydraulic part only.

It's not a complicated mechanism to replace, and the parts is selling as one unit (master/slave fluid cylinders)....less than $100 bought OEM new.

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Old 08-04-2002, 08:36 PM   #7
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I would check the fluid level in the master cylinder. If it really low, first follow the line to the slave cylinder to see if the slave is leaking, if not leaking and the cylinder is low your clutch is probably about wore out. If the slave has been leaking, you can change the assembly fairly easily, the unit comes preassembled and all you have to do is bolt it in and put a clip on under the dash, takes all of 15 minutes.

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Old 08-05-2002, 10:36 PM   #8
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2002 VUE 3.0L
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Tnks for the replies. FFluid level seems OK. Could a bad slave make the pedal harder to push? If so I may take a chance at replacing it. Do I just ask dealer for a slave unit and is irt replaceable from above or do I need to jack up the car? Thanks again.

...
02 VUE Auto AWD-63k-Florida
02 SL2 Manual -76K, Germany
00 SL2 Auto-90K-failed emissions, Portland, OR
99 SL2 Auto-115K-aging, Portland, OR

91 SL1-Stolen 03, 113K
96 SL1-Totaled 02, 86K

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Old 08-06-2002, 07:16 AM   #9
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the master cylinder, slave, and connecting hose are preassembled and read to install, everything is replaced as a unit. no need to jack up the car, as everything is easily acessible from under the hood except when disconnecting the rod from the clutch pedal, it has a clip that can be hard to put back on due to the restricted area you have to work with under the dash. The entire job only takes about 30 minutes. No need to bleed or adjust anything.
If I remember right, there are 2 bolts holding the slave cylinder and don't remember about the master cylinder, but the whole process didn't take me very long, and I am NOT a mechanic. I have been working on my own vehicles for 30+ years, but just a shade tree mechanic, and the job wasn't very hard.
Good luck

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