Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Clutch Cable Adjuster

clutch cable adjuster

The clutch cable adjuster is the mechanism responsible for adjusting the slack and tension of the clutch cable on manual transmission vehicles. It is important to have the clutch cable properly adjusted to the correct slack so that the clutch pedal will effectively disengage the clutch disc when it is depressed. If the clutch cable is loose, the slack will result in the cable not being pulled as far when the pedal is depressed, and will result in problems with disengaging the clutch. Usually a faulty clutch cable adjuster will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that service may be required.

1. Difficulty disengaging the clutch

One of the first symptoms commonly associated with a bad or failing clutch cable adjuster is difficulty disengaging the clutch. If the cable is incorrectly adjusted, or the mechanism has a problem, this may cause the pedal to retract the cable a shorter amount then it normally would. This would reduce the overall travel of the cable and clutch linkage mechanism, which may result in a clutch that has trouble disengaging properly even when the pedal is pressed all the way down. This can cause grinding when shifting, as well as a transmission that has trouble staying in gear.

2. Loose clutch pedal

Another symptom of a problem with the clutch cable adjuster is a loose clutch pedal. A broken or incorrectly adjusted cable can result in a clutch cable with excessive slack. This will cause the pedal to have too much free play when depressed before resistance is encountered and the cable starts retracting, and will result in a clutch that does not disengage properly or all the way. This can cause the transmission to grind during shifting, or pop out of gear unexpectedly.

3. Excessively tight clutch cable

An excessively tight clutch cable is another symptom of a possible problem with the clutch cable adjuster. If the adjuster binds, or is adjusted too tightly, this will cause the clutch to be slightly disengaged at all times - even when the pedal is not being stepped on. This will cause accelerated wear on the clutch disc and will shorten its service life.

Most clutch pedals require a specific amount of free play adjustment, and will have problems with engaging and disengaging the clutch if the adjustment is incorrect. For this reason, if you suspect that your vehicle’s clutch cable requires adjustment, or that there may be a problem with the mechanism, have the vehicle’s clutch inspected by a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the car needs a clutch cable adjuster replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...


Related questions

Q: Loud squealing sound - 2014 Toyota Tacoma

Hello. Your description sounds like a clutch release bearing - aka throwout bearing. With only 30,000 miles, you might want to check in with Toyota. I don't know if they would consider it part of their powertrain warranty or if...

Q: I can't get up to speed, the rpms ramp up, but the speedometer doesnt

This is a clutch that is slipping. Anytime your engine revs up and the vehicle does not increase speed the clutch is slipping. You may have a clutch disc that is worn. Otherwise there may be an oil leak from...

Q: Clutch problem in i20 Magna-Opt Diesel

Hi there, thanks for writing in. Actually, you should only be shifting gears with the clutch pedal fully to the floor. However, there may still be some air in the clutch hydraulic line, and the clutch needs additional bleeding. It...