How To Replace A Saturn Clutch

Owning a Saturn with a manual transmission means that clutch replacement is going to be a dreaded but necessary part of vehicle ownership. With affordable OEM parts from and a little DIY-spirit, you can save yourself hundreds, even thousands of dollars on clutch replacement. Here is a method to use that will make the job as painless as possible.

Saturn gold coupe

Setting Up

Safely get your car as high in the air as you can. Keep in mind that a car is a very heavy and dangerous thing that will be over you as you take on this task. If you have access to a professional lift, now’s a good time to use it! Otherwise, only use a jack and jack stand in good working order that are rated to hold the weight of your vehicle. Also, never, ever put a car on jack stands in the dirt or grass — only do so on an even, paved surface. It’s not worth the risk if you don’t have the space to do so - take your Saturn to a certified GM mechanic if you don’t have the proper surface or tools for the job!

Step 1: Work Up Top

  • Your Saturn’s engine will need to be supported by an engine support at the top as to not get in the way
  • Start by removing the intake, battery, battery tray, coil pack, and clean off dirt around the shifter tower and dipstick
  • Proceed to disconnect the shifter cables from the shifter tower and transmission
  • Disconnect the reverse switch from the shifter tower and speed sensor from the transmission and PCM coolant temp sensor connector
  • Remove the two bolts from the transmission by the dipstick to get it out of the way
  • Remove the two upper transmission bolts that attach to the engine
  • Remove the clutch slave cylinder now by removing the two nuts to get the bracket loose and twist the slave counterclockwise to get it out
  • Remove the shifter tower and dipstick from the transmission

Step 2: Work From the Front

  • Remove the left front tire and axle nut
  • Take off the cotter pin and nut from the ball joint
  • Brake the ball joint loose from the steering knuckle
  • Tap the axle loose from the hub
  • Remove the plastic shields from the wheel well that cover the transmission
  • Drain the transmission fluid now and put the drain plug back on once done
  • Pry the velocity joint from the transmission to remove from the transmission
  • Remove the three bolts supporting the hander and pull the axle out of the transmission and free the snap ring

Step 3: Separating from the Engine and Removing the Clutch

  • Remove the two bolts holding the support bracket
  • Remove the three bolts holding the inspection cover to the trans
  • Remove the two lower bolts that go from the engine to transmission
  • Now all that’s holding the transmission in are two dowels and you’ll need to lift up on the engine and pull the transmission down
  • After some wiggling, you’ll have the transmission down and be able to access the clutch to remove it and replace it

Do everything in reverse to reinstall and always use genuine GM parts from to ensure proper operation.