Manual Transmission - popping out of 5th gear


Asked by Oct 16, 2013 at 07:01 PM about the 2000 Saab 9-3 SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello.  My 2000 9-3 SE, 2.0 HOT is popping out of 5th gear upon any excess load (going up hill, acceleration, etc.)  1st through 4th gears are fine, and stay in place.  What has worn out, and what part(s) need to be replaced.  Is it a relatively simple replacement (i've done a bit of work on the car - replaced the exhaust system, replaced the brakes (rotors, calipers, pads), and other minor repairs)?  My steering fluid is leaking also (i've needed to fill the reservoir in the engine compartment 3 times in the last few weeks), what is the likely cause?

Thanks, all for your help!


39 Answers

going to go ahead and say....take a look at your transmission mounts...most likely they are butyl rubber and by now have lost their game~...aside from this minor influence the shift boot may be exerting undue "pull me out of gear" fashion~

10 people found this helpful.

there are quite a few choices...what you must to is take 'er up and use a mechanic's prybar or push on the bottom with a floor jack to witness undue motion~

2 people found this helpful.

Why would the worn mounts only affect 5th gear, and not all of the gears? I have some new transmission mounts lying around, so i can replace those. What keeps the car in gear, anyway? Is there something in the gearbox that may have worn?

8 people found this helpful.

...well certainly you could put fresh fluid in there and check the the transmission wriggles about, the shift boot stays with the chassis and exerts pulling forces~ new mounts avoiding the motion there might help this~

1 people found this helpful.

5th is the furthest from top-dead-center and will be the easiest to pluck out of engagement....also when the vehicle speed matches the transmission speed it loses track and slides out easily...if you've ever driven a "crashbox" transmission, you know about adjusting motor speed to the transmission gears~

6 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

Thank you very much for your prompt and helpful response! So, aside from the fluid level, there is nothing in the gear box itself that could have worn such that 5th gear would pop out? If i hold onto the shifter and put forward pressure on it, it will stay in (of course).

5 people found this helpful.

crashbox happens when the fluid is gone from the slave cylinder and you are forced to change gears by matching rpm's...a skill if you can do this without damaging your gearbox....also the old jeeps before they invented the synchronizer manual transmisison uses a bronze mating gear to "make the tranfer" to the actual steel stuff for a 1940's vehicle~

2 people found this helpful.

Any ideas on what is causing my steering fluid to leak out relatively rapidly?

3 people found this helpful.

undue influence on the I recall these have a little tiny turnbuckle on the shifter adjustment...if you were to take the center console off and look at the guts of the may see a tiny sort of watchmaker's size turnbuckle on the shift linkage...don't know for certain that it is on your not know if it will help the 5th or R engagement points... but may be worth a looksee, just to see how easily these mechanisms can be influenced and certainly MUST have detent positions...perhaps a detent (spring with captive ball) fell out~? might have to be the explorer (not a ford) on this one~ If I could see what is there, I could say definitively what the next station on this journey should of luck....keep up the battle~

2 people found this helpful.

Thank you, again, Judge Roy. Steering fluid leak? Is there a seal that usually wears? I've 233,000 miles on the car.

2 people found this helpful.

okay, as I was saying butyl rubber is perhaps "chewing gum and coal tar" and degrades...not suitable for chemicals that will eat it (like Techron from Chevron on a fuel pressure regulator....but I digress) rubber parts leak at the intersection of the steel and the rubber....take a frothy brush and get it all nice and clean...ten minutes later swap it with a tissue to see exactly which hose needs replacement....also, (hate to be the administer of the FOUL) but the steering pump itself can leak from the center could pay attention to drips from that source too....this helpful?~

get a pickNpull unit..spend an afternoon to find a rear end collision donor the 45 dollars and don't worry so much about a pump that needs now....there are SKADS of them in your local "get yer hands wet" automotive salvage~


Very Helpful!! Thank you, again.

2 people found this helpful. know about this education? light...if a 15mm is what is packin' only the 15mm....always bring a camera...there are many engineering achievements will be gone forever....think of the front grilles what used to be...interesting.....also having broken a few bones and poked out a few eyes and had heavy stuff pinnin' your foot down you can LEARN how it all goes together and WILL be comin' with you now~

1 people found this helpful.

This is like rebuilding a transmission...really is low-tech, but is know there is a donut probably 15mm in diameter and probably 1mm thick that has given up the a 15 cent part for all of this fuss~kinda persnickety~

1 people found this helpful.

Experience, combined with knowledge, is the best teacher. It sounds like you've had both. Well done.

1 people found this helpful.

if the pump is faulty...225K miles....probably~

1 people found this helpful.

if you felt creative, you could clear off the workbench and see about disassembling the pump and replacing this faulty seal....but it's take a heck of a heck of a heck of an engineer~

1 people found this helpful.

You flatter me TTF...some of these GURUS do not like me one guy said "I ought to be shot"....but you're right experience is the best teacher...really have not been to the U-pull junkyards for ten years...7years ago the neurologist said that I could not work anymore....that's kinda why I'm wife thinks that I'd better start oil painting again~...done about 250 oils then started workin' on cargurus for the last eight months~


It's just nuts and bolts, when it comes to those things. It's all the electrical stuff that i don't mess with, other than replacing bulbs and switches.

1 people found this helpful.

Cool painting. I'm into the traditional impressionist painting, rather than the more abstract art. Give me a fine painting of a sailboat on the ocean in a good wind any day. I usually find my parts on Good prices (for all but the standard stuff) and free, prompt delivery via UPS (they're in Connecticut and i'm in Massachusetts).

1 people found this helpful.

that one day in 1991 was pure magic...if only I could approach that level of involvement again...have gone "west coast" with a lot of cadmium yellow on things now...that "little champ" came from Wisconsin and got me a ticket for pullin' it in the No.2 lane in Los Angeles in 1991~....welcome to California, a place where Everyday is a beautiful sunny day~....yay~

a boat in the San Francisco harbor~ Hercules 2010~

breaking ALL the rules of composition and putting the subject Dead- Center...that damned woman at the art gallery just kept the darned least I've got the image yet~

of course I did like you said and went "full on" abstract with "devil's dream grill" 1984~

my Wife is coveting "the Champ" painting and will not let it out of her possession~...that's like my best one...I think~ here at Anderson Marsh there are "ghost barns" here's one...number 12, I think~ I will sell this to you for $150 plus s/h~

Three watering cans is one of my favorite....gave it away to looloobelle (PJ Leiuellen)~ kinda regret doin' that~

I'm just gonna keep goin' here...Henry S digs my stuff...and considers me an invaluable contributor and like Number ONE maintenance and repair expert...inside of eight months....woooweee~

for a while in the early nineties would drink an entire bottle of wine and make four or five paintings...all still life close up isometric views~

Of course, often we get a headache~

The Fedex boys were carting boxes..I changed them to keggers~

ooops painting before that one~

should be painting....not "guru-ing" neither pays....paintings last....good advise lasts too....actually blows my mind to see my face come up on searches...yeah...have made my impact now...even operator_13 which I've a couple of thousand reputation points there too~ thanks for lookin' at these...seem to have been buried at the art asia gallery...still my stuff is always on display at the compasson center what would exchange them for some medicine`~

gotta eat long~


.Judge Roy, I liked the last painting the best, as well as the one with the boat. have you done any with sail boats. The ghost barns was pretty cool, too. Anyway, update on the SAAB. I had replaced the center hydraulic mount (which upon a mere visual inspection was pretty messed up) and the driver side mount (which upon removal was also highly degraded). Afterwards, my gas mileage increased, but the problem remained - keeps popping out of 5th gear. If i position the stick properly (center left of the 5th gear position, which is just a fraction back from where it would rest normally in 5th), and release the clutch, there is no resistance and it shifts smoothly into gear. If i want it to stay in gear, i need to push and hold it up and to the left. Options? gear linkage, selector fork, synchroniser unit, or other (bad gears). There are no unusual shifting or running noises in 5th (or any other gear).

1 people found this helpful.

this have becoming a transmission thing's now to the power steering leak to painting job... hehe

Nice paintings Judge_Roy and some good advice too 5*'s all the way... from the UK

T did you ever find out why your car was popping out of 5th only my 03 9- 3 is doing the same thing


Steve, I surmised (after replacing the engine mounts, which didn't help re-align the gearing) that the sprocket in the transmission was bad, so i replaced the transmission with one that had only 75,000 miles on it, and it worked great. Notwithstanding, i had to replace the car with a 2001 9-3 SE because of some structural problems with the passenger side front strut bell housing (it had ripped all the way around - one too many crater- sized potholes on the Cross-Bronx). Because no manual transmissions were available, i now have an automatic. I am impressed, though, with the gearing of the Sport mode. It also allows me to teach my daughter to drive an automatic first. My old car already has paid for the new one (switched the exhausts, vacuum brake booster, rear windshield wiper motor, brake rotors, and filters, and the tires were practically new). i love these 9-3s from '98-2002; the parts are interchangeable. Good luck with yours. You're welcome to have my old 9-3, with the good transmission, new clutch, master and slave cylinders, if you want to tow it away (i've taken what i need from it). But it's going this week, so respond today on this. I live in Rockport, MA.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used 9-3 in your area?

CarGurus has 804 nationwide 9-3 listings starting at $1,500.


Saab 9-3 Experts

  • #1
    Tom Demyan
  • #2
    Mark Grignon
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Saab 9-5
4 Great Deals out of 204 listings starting at $1,200
Used BMW 3 Series
836 Great Deals out of 32,371 listings starting at $900
Used Audi A4
196 Great Deals out of 12,555 listings starting at $1,800
Used Ford Mustang
255 Great Deals out of 36,634 listings starting at $2,500
Used Honda Accord
422 Great Deals out of 101,436 listings starting at $1,200
Used Volvo C70
13 Great Deals out of 419 listings starting at $2,495
Used BMW 5 Series
387 Great Deals out of 16,281 listings starting at $1,650
Used Toyota Camry
787 Great Deals out of 70,563 listings starting at $1,000
Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class
409 Great Deals out of 20,060 listings starting at $1,500

Used Cars For Sale

2011 Saab 9-3 For Sale
34 listings starting at $4,992
2010 Saab 9-3 For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 54 listings starting at $4,700
2009 Saab 9-3 For Sale
32 listings starting at $4,600
2008 Saab 9-3 For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 122 listings starting at $3,855
2007 Saab 9-3 For Sale
100 listings starting at $2,999

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.