What You Should Do If Your Car's Clutch Pedal Is Not Working Correctly

Posted on: 27 September 2022

People who have been driving a manually-operated car for some time get used to the procedure. Everything is quite predictable, and they are able to go through the motions of changing gear while coordinating hand and foot movements. So it can be particularly troubling if one part of the process is not proceeding as smoothly as it should and if something seems to be wrong with the clutch pedal. If this is happening to you, what could be going wrong, and what should you do to rectify it?

How a Clutch System Works

When you depress the clutch pedal on many cars or trucks today, it will retract a cable held within a protective sheath. One end of the cable is attached to the pedal itself, while the other is linked to a release bearing that moves back and forth on a shaft. By depressing the clutch, you pull the bearing away from the clutch pressure plate, allowing the plate to separate from the engine. It isolates the engine's power and stops the gearbox shaft from turning, so you can select the appropriate gear without drama.

Signs of an Issue

Sometimes, the pedal will travel almost all the way to the floor without releasing the bearing, and you'll find it hard to change gear. This may be due to a faulty cable, which may have been affected by wear and tear and is no longer adjusted correctly. Alternatively, it could be an issue with the bearing, which may not be turning as it should and causing the cable to stick. This is a more unusual situation, but the bearing will need to be replaced at some stage, and it could be time to take action.

How Do You Know If the Clutch Is Properly Adjusted?

There should always be a small amount of free play whenever you first touch the clutch pedal. In an ideal world, you should be able to depress the pedal a very small amount without feeling any pressure on the ball of your foot when the setting is correct. However, if you can depress the pedal a long way before you feel any pressure, then there will be an issue with the cable or the bearing. To find out what is wrong, take the vehicle to a mechanic, and they can perform some simple tests before making any adjustments needed.

The Best Approach

If you always take your vehicle in for a scheduled service, you should have little to worry about. Mechanics will adjust the clutch mechanism to take into account any wear and tear and avoid any other issues. 

For more information, contact a local mechanic