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Q: Suddenly cannot shift car into gear.

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The other day my car made a grinding noise when trying to go into second gear from first. I stopped, turned off the car, put it into neutral and started it again. It started fine but while on I cannot put the car into any gear. If I turn the car off I can put the stick into any gear. If I start the car in gear it grinds and lurches. If I start it in reverse it grinds and lurches too. I topped off the break fluid for the clutch and it worked in first gear for about 100-150 feet but when I stop at a stop sign the car again lurches and putters out. Later I move it again. And it putters out when I got to a parking spot and pushed on the brakes. Now it is back to not wanting to go into gear while on. It also will lurch and make grinding noises of I start it in either first gear or reverse. Through out every thing I have never smelled any burning our otherwise concerning smells and there was no noticeable pop or crash before the gears stopped working. Is this my slave or master cylinder?

My car has 205479 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there:

There could be multiple problems on your Saturn that are causing this problem you’re experiencing. If your clutch is worn it won’t allow you to put your car in gear. When you step on the clutch, the transmission disengages from the engine. This slows the insides of the transmission just enough to allow you to shift gears. When the clutch is worn, the slave cylinder doesn’t have enough travel to disengage the clutch from the engine, so it wont allow you to put it in gear. It’s also possible that you have broken a shift fork in the transmission. The shift forks are what actually move the slides inside the gear box to engage the gears when you move the shifter. The best way to determine exactly why you’re car won’t shift into gear is have a professional mobile mechanic complete a car is hard to shift inspection.

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