How to Adjust the Clutch Pedal in Your Car

(Updated on April 17, 2020)

If your vehicle has a manual transmission, then it means you need to use a clutch pedal to manually switch gears as you’re driving. This is different than an automatic transmission where there is no clutch pedal because it switches gears for you automatically. There are pros and cons to each transmissions system. Perhaps the best thing about a manual transmission is that it allows a vehicle to be more fuel efficient. This means you’ll get more miles per gallon out of your vehicle.

Operating a clutch and manual transmission requires a driver to have more skills. After all, there are more actions that a driver needs to take in a manual transmission vehicle. For instance, when you bring the car to an idle state, such as stopping at a stop light, you need to press the clutch to disengage the engine. When you’re ready to move again, you take your foot off the clutch and switch to first gear. If the proper actions are not taken at the right times, it could cause a reduction in power when you’re driving.

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One particular action that is often necessary is a clutch pedal adjustment. As you continue to use your vehicle, the clutch pedal suffers a lot of wear and tear. Eventually, the clutch starts to slip which leads to premature disengagement. To resolve this issue, you must adjust the clutch pedal back to its normal position.


The type of clutch adjustment that you perform will depend on the type of clutch assembly that you have in your vehicle. If it’s a hydraulic clutch pedal, then it should come equipped with a self-adjustment clutch assembly. It is much easier to perform the adjustment on this assembly because it doesn’t require you to have mechanical skills.

To get started, turn the engine on and keep it running. Make sure the parking brake is engaged. Now just use your toe to lift the clutch pedal upward from underneath it. This will activate the self-adjustment technology, which often causes the pedal to be higher than normal. Push the pedal down with your foot like normal and put it into gear to test the results. Pay attention to how far the pedal must go down before it lets you change gears. If it seems okay, then the self-adjustment must be working fine. Otherwise, you’ll need to perform a manual clutch adjustment.

Manual Adjustment

To start a manual pedal adjustment, the engine first needs to be turned off. Make sure the emergency brake is activated. When you sit in the front seat, you’ll want to position your head so that you can see a little bit under the dashboard. Next, push the clutch pedal down with one of your hands until it’s near the floorboard. Hold this position. Search the clutch structure for a big hook-like component. You’ll probably find this on the clutch shaft toward the top of it. While maintaining pressure on the pedal, pull the hook with your one free hand until you hear a click. Now take your first hand off the clutch pedal. The adjustment should now be completed. Go test the results and see if the slippage has gone away.


Performing these adjustments is not really difficult at all. It just requires someone with a little confidence who isn’t afraid to mess with the clutch assembly. You don’t need to have auto mechanical skills if you follow these steps closely. But if you’re someone who doesn’t feel comfortable reaching underneath the dashboard of their vehicle, then you should have another person perform this adjustment for you. This could be a friend, family member, or professional mechanic.

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