Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Clutch Cable

A clutch cable is the steel braided cable found on manual transmission vehicles that connects the transmission clutch linkage to the clutch pedal mechanism. When the pedal is depressed, the clutch cable pulls on the clutch linkage to disengage the clutch so that the transmission can be safely shifted. When the clutch cable begins to have problems, it can cause issues with shifting the vehicle, which will take away from its overall drivability. Usually a problematic clutch cable will display a few symptoms that can alert the driver that a problem has occurred and needs to be serviced.

1. Transmission slips out of gear

A bad clutch cable can sometimes cause a transmission to slip and pop out of gear. This will usually occur when it is accelerating and is under heavy load. This will obviously take away from the drivability of the vehicle, as it will have to be constantly put back into gear each time it pops out.

2. Hard clutch pedal

Another symptom of a problem with the clutch cable is a hard clutch pedal. A jammed or stuck cable will not be able to move when the pedal is depressed and will result in a pedal that resists depression when stepped on. Continuing to try and step on a pedal that has resistance may cause the cable to break, which will result in an inoperable clutch pedal.

3. Clutch pedal sinks to the floor

Another symptom, and a more serious issue, is a clutch pedal that sinks to the floor. If for any reason the clutch cable snaps or breaks, the clutch pedal will become disconnected from the clutch linkage, and as a result will have little to no resistance when the pedal is depressed. This will obviously result in a vehicle that cannot shift into gear and will be undrivable.

The clutch cable is a simple component in operation and design, however, when it fails it can cause problems that may render the vehicle undrivable. For this reason, if you suspect that your clutch cable may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic to determine if your vehicle needs a clutch cable replacement.


Next Step

Schedule Vehicle Drivetrain Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Drivetrain Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Vehicle Drivetrain Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(5)

Rating Summary
5
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0

Ronnie

30 years of experience
94 reviews
Ronnie
30 years of experience
Chevrolet Colorado V6-3.6L - Check Engine Light is on - Nashville, Tennessee
Very good mechanic knowledgeable
Mini Cooper - Oil Change - Nashville, Tennessee
Very knowledgeable and helpful.

Darnell

19 years of experience
21 reviews
Darnell
19 years of experience
Pontiac Fiero V6-2.8L - Vehicle Drivetrain Inspection - Inglewood, California
VERY PLEASANT AND INFORMATIVE!

Kevin

24 years of experience
493 reviews
Kevin
24 years of experience
Honda CR-V L4-2.4L - Vehicle Drivetrain Inspection - Lilburn, Georgia
I'm glad we got the 50 point inspection because the actual issue was different than what I thought.

Kevin

6 years of experience
73 reviews
Kevin
6 years of experience
Subaru Forester H4-2.5L - Vehicle Drivetrain Inspection - Windermere, Florida
Quick and easy.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Use Autostick
Autostick gives drivers with automatic transmissions the feel of a manual car. It allows the driver to upshift and downshift for extra control.
How to Replace a Fan Clutch
A fan clutch controls the car engine cooling fan and operates on temperature. It's mounted to the water pump and can cause overheating if it's broken.
The Meanings of Automatic Gear Shift Letters & Numbers
A break down “PRNDL” and all its varieties, including D1, D2, and D3 modes.

Related questions

Car won't go into gear

Do you have a manual or automatic? On either, if a cable is broken, it needs replaced. On a manual car, a defective clutch master cylinder, slave cylinder, or worn clutch can make it difficult to go in gear. For...

Car will not start or go in gear - 1996 XJ6 Jaguar

Hi there. In most cases, a malfunctioning brake light will not trigger an error code that renders the engine non-compliant. What may be the cause of this issue is if the transmission gear shift solenoid or neutral safety switch was...

Car will not move

Hello, thank you for writing in. While these issues are frustrating, it is best to take this kind of diagnosis step by step. The most common cause of these symptoms is low transmission fluid. The automatic transmission relies on the...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com