Clutch pedal noise in 98 Saturn SL2

Tiny
FIXITMR
  • 1998 SATURN SL2
  • 90,000 MILES

The clutch pedal arm it seems is making a terrible creaky/squeeky noise. The wife says it's always in the summer the hotter the worse it is. I tried squirting some motor oil on pivots and rod where it enters wall as best I could see, didn't do any/much good. The slower you push pedal, the more excruciating it becomes.

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Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 AT 9:02 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Unless someone tells you different, there are three things you can look at. First check for any nylon bushings that are worn down or cracked off and possibly missing. The clue they're missing is some connection between two mechanical parts will have a lot of play when you wiggle the pedal by hand.

Next, a common source of that squeak is the return spring where it hooks around the attaching points. Those should be greased, and are usually overlooked. Something thick, like axle grease, works good for that but don't be too generous as it likes to travel and makes other parts messy.

Look at the connection between the push rod and pedal. If you can feel it creaking there when a helper pushes the pedal, that's the point to lube. In some designs it's hard to get the grease inside to coat the entire joint. Chrysler has a dandy product for that called "Spray White Lube" in a spray can. It is a lithium-based grease. It sprays on juicy so the liquid flows into the joint and takes the grease with it, then the liquid evaporates and leaves the grease behind.

If you find the push rod squawking where it slides in and out through a rubber boot or seal on the firewall, use Silicone Spray Lube on that. It goes on like water, then evaporates and leaves a film of "slippery" behind. Works real good in the tracks of sluggish power windows too. Chrysler also has that along with all other manufacturers, and you can buy it from auto parts stores.

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Friday, June 3rd, 2011 AT 12:24 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Just to add to this one if it's just squeaking most of the ones I have seen were the seal around the rod that pushes into the clutch master cylinder haven't had much luck lubing them to keep them quite. The only thing I could do to stop the noise was replace the clutch slave/master cylinder assembly. If it's working good I would just try to lube it and replace it when it fails.

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Friday, June 3rd, 2011 AT 5:47 AM
Tiny
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I just wanted to add that it has the sound of a dry/rusty car door hinge. But only when you push slow. Is supected a plastic bushing somwhere? The pedal does not feel loose sloppy and so far I cant feel the noise to locate it. I only had car home 5 min to check out. Tried squirting oil up onto parts. Will get another short crack at it on sunday. It's really hard to get at the darn thing to do anything.

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Friday, June 3rd, 2011 AT 5:22 PM
Tiny
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The only bushing that I can think of on that clutch pedal is right at the pivot point of the clutch pedal I have seen a couple of them fail when they do they get loose side to side play. Most of the squeaky ones like you describe like I said turned out to be that seal that rides on the shaft that goes into clutch master cylinder. It was only a noise no performance loss and the noise comes and goes.

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Friday, June 3rd, 2011 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
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I oiled the rod where it enters the seal and no change.I'm gonna hold onto the master itself and see if I can feel the noise on sunday. Maybe it's the master piston itself making the sound?

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Saturday, June 4th, 2011 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
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The noise is usually in the clutch master cylinder somewhere.

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Sunday, June 5th, 2011 AT 2:33 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
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That uses brake fluid right? I wonder if silicone brake fluid would help?

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Sunday, June 5th, 2011 AT 4:00 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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There pre filled with brake fluid you never have to add brake fluid to them. If memory serves right they take dot 3 changing the fluid isn't going to stop the noise.

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Sunday, June 5th, 2011 AT 5:21 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
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1 was reading that dot 5 fluid is thicker and more of a lubricant type fluid. Sales pitch I suppose? Also on some post on saturn forum someone said that manual says never use dot 5? I suppose they may be worried about mixing them rather than a complete changover.

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Sunday, June 5th, 2011 AT 4:37 PM
Tiny
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Well had my stab at it today and I can feel the noise in the master itself. It also tends to shift around when pedal is pushed. Is that thing made out of plastic of some kind?

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Monday, June 6th, 2011 AT 12:09 AM
Tiny
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Yeah the master use's dot 3 not dot 5 dot 5 will damage the seals of the master slave. The master is made of plastic and is very flex able and does move around. Your choice is live with the noise or change the master/Slave cylinder assembly.

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Monday, June 6th, 2011 AT 3:24 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
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So is it set up like brake master pop it off pop new 1 on and bleed?

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Monday, June 6th, 2011 AT 3:38 AM
Tiny
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No they sell the clutch master and slave seperate but I have had a lot of people complaining and calling me when I worked at the saturn dealer they couldn't get it to bleed properly and never get all the air out of it. So iam going to tell you the same thing I told them replace it as a assembly the clutch master and slave as a complete sealed assembly. Saurn only sells it as a complete assembly so I say avoid the headache and get the whole assembly www. Rock auto. Com has the cheapest price I have seen on it.I have a 5 percent off discount code I have if you need the code let me know.

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Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 AT 1:07 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
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If I get 1 which brand do I want? And what is that third doohickey in the line?

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Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 AT 4:28 AM
Tiny
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I would get the sachs brand one because sachs/valeo makes the factory clutch parts for the saturn S model. If your talking about that third piece that is bolted over by the clutch slave if memory serves correct that is a dampening valve of some kind.

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Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
RKORNILO
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I went to the trouble of registering on this site just to reply to this question (of course, it wasn't THAT big of deal, but anyway.) By the way, mine is a 1998 Saturn SC2
I know it's been a couple of years since this question was posted, but I am hoping this will help someone else with the same problem, should they do a search for it as I did. I followed a suggestion in the first reply of using a silicone based lube and it worked very well for me. I took the straw from the spray can and managed to feed it through the rubber boot in the firewall until I bumped up against the outer housing where the rod feeds into. Gave it a quick squirt (careful - it'll splash back at you) then worked the pedal a number of times to get the lube in there. It took a few minutes - in fact I let it sit for a few minutes after pumping the pedal a number of times before I noticed a difference. I then gave it another dose through the boot like the first time, then another squirt on the exposed part of the rod because I felt like it. :-) I swear it feels like new now.
You may have access to this area if you get under the car, as I noticed a little puddle under my car when I was done, suggesting the housing where the rod enters is exposed. That actually may be easier. If you do it the way I did, I had to slide the driver's seat all the way back and recline it completely, then move the steering wheel up as far as possible so I could get down under there on my back with a head light. Its a bit of an acrobatic act and rather uncomfortable so be forewarned. But, like I said, works great now.

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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 AT 8:00 PM
Tiny
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Thanks for sharing the tips with all the other users but you can't get to the rod from under the car. The rod !Passes thru the firewall straight out of the housing.

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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 AT 8:20 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Welcome to the site, rkornilo. Happy to hear you were able to solve the noise. That Silicone Spray Lube works great on rubber window tracks, sluggish seat belt webbing, and for sliding rubber hoses onto metal fittings, but I suspect the folks in body shops won't want you getting any on painted surfaces. I left the rest of the conversation to saturntech9. He's smarter than he lets on, but don't tell him I said that.

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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 AT 9:04 PM
Tiny
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I heard that cardiodoc if you let people know how smart you really they expect way more from you lol.I learned that one years ago the hard way. Hope you have been well cardiodoc long time no talk.

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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 AT 12:26 PM

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