Asked by Mar 12, 2017 at 11:46 AM about the 1998 Pontiac Grand Am 2 Dr SE Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Our 1998 grand am has a problem with its clutch.
In letting out the clutch (in 1st gear) the rpm's rise
as we give it gas to move. It will move but not
"driveable" backing up (R) there is no problem.

1 Answer


Worn clutch or worn teeth on the forward gears, or at least first gear. Reverse gear utilizes a different set on the two shafts. To explain, all manual trans have two shafts, the drive shaft and counter shaft. All forward gears are "synchromesh" that keep the speed of the two shafts equal when shifting, that lets you shift up or down while moving. Reverse gears don't need to do that as you tend to only go in reverse from a stop, and they're different gears on the shafts. They're also pointed and less likely to slip once in reverse, but I'm more inclined to think you have a worn clutch. Try dropping it into high gear from a stop and see if it bogs the engine like it should.

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