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Hi I have a saab900 turbo16 covertable 90 and a problem with the clutch once you push it seems to work but then looses pressure and even if the pedal is all the way down the car start to roll help?

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2011-09-13 03:54:01

"Two_Possible_Causes_of_your_problem" id=

"Two_Possible_Causes_of_your_problem">Two Possible Causes of your


My experience is with a SAAB 900 convertible, not a I'm not

sure how much this answer will help you, but maybe someone else can

improve on it. There are two things I can think of that may be part

of your trouble, one if your clutch linkage is a mechanical cable,

the other if you have a hydraulic clutch setup. First off, the good

news is I doubt you have a true clutch/pressure plate

when a clutch wears out the engagement moves higher in the pedal

travel, not lower. So you probably do not need a full 'clutch job'.

Now the bad news. The first situation described below doesn't

EXACTLY fit your description but is what happened to me with my 95

SAAB Turbo Convertible:

It has a MECHANICAL clutch linkage. If yours is similar, if you

have someone push the clutch pedal while you look at the top of the

engine, you will see where a cable attaches to an arm that comes

out the driver side of the transaxel and moves the arm it is

attached to as the pedal is pushed and released.

These mechanical cables are not adjustable...and stretch over

time, resulting in incomplete disengagement of the clutch even when

the pedal is fully depressed. So the car will move when it is in

gear even with the pedal depressed...and shifting gears will often

cause a grinding noise or be physically hard to do. Other tech

boards will talk about either buying a new cable and putting double

washers on it, or buying an aftermarket cable that is adjustable. I

fixed mine (about 10,000 miles ago) by taking a 'fender washer',

cutting a notch through it, bending it into a half circle, and

dropping it over the clutch cable between the 'arm' and the 'ball

end' of the cable...essentially shortening the length of the

overall cable and bringing shifting action back into normal


The second possibility, that sounds more like what you

described, is if your SAAB has a hydraulic linkage. (I think some

years SAAB used a hydraulic clutch linkage, I have had other

vehicles with this setup, but I have not worked on a SAAB hydraulic

linkage so my comments are 'generic'.) When you have a hydraulic

setup there are two hydraulic piston/cylinders (the

'master' cylinder) controlled by the clutch pedal, then hydraulic

lines to the transmission bell housing, where a 2nd (the 'slave'

cylinder) is moved by the hydraulic fluid and moves the clutch disk

in and out.

The workings are essentially the same that brake lines use. If

you are low on hydraulic fluid the slave cylinder will not be moved

enough to fully release the clutch, causing the condition you

describe. There must be a reservoir of hydraulic fluid...if it is

low put more fluid in it. (One of my old cars shared the same

hydraulic fluid as the brakes...hopefully that isn't the case, as

I'd really rather lose a clutch than my brakes!) If putting fluid

in takes care of the trouble, GREAT! ... But why was it low? It

will tend to go down a bit as the clutch itself wears*...but more

likely is there is either a leak somewhere that would have to be

fixed...or you have a 'leaky cylinder', which in turn would have to

be rebuilt or replaced. If it is a 'leaky' master cylinder if you

"pump" the clutch a few times it might work fine for a few minutes

and then the fluid would leak past the seals and it would start to

have your gears engage again.

I suspect the latter description, of a leaky clutch cylinder,

most closely matches your description and is probably the trouble.

Again, I have not worked on a SAAB setup like all I can

do from here is wish you the best of luck with it.

  • one last possibility...the car I had that shared one hydraulic

    reservoir for brakes and clutch, had the clutch line come from

    halfway up the reservoir while the brakes were fed from the bottom

    of the reservoir. So as my hydraulic fluid dropped in the resevior

    (due to normal wear of brake pads and rotors) my clutch had

    operational problems due to low fluid even though the cause was

    worn brakes! Actually this was a good setup as having a misbehaving

    clutch is a lot better than misbehaving brakes. Easy to fix by just

    adding fluid...there wasn't any leak at all in my system. It is

    NORMAL for hydraulic fluid to drop as brakes wear and in and of

    itself is not a big problem unless you let your brakes wear all the

    way down. So if those Swedish Engineers set the SAAB up the same

    way, just adding fluid might be all you need!

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