What is the clutch all about?
Your clutch is what allows your vehicle to change gears. When your car is running, the engine is connected to the transmission through two gears. When you deploy the clutch pedal, these gears become separated, which allows you to switch gears. When you let go of the clutch pedal, the engine’s gear and the chosen transmission gear become engaged again. The clutch pedal is connected to the clutch operating lever (which engages and disengages the gears) via the clutch cable. When this cable develops too much or too little slack, the clutch pedal will not work correctly, and it will need to be adjusted.
Keep in mind:
- In newer cars the clutch is not adjustable. We can only adjust the clutch if it is cable operated. Most new cars have hydraulic based clutch system that cannot be adjusted.
How it's done:
- Check the operation of the clutch
- Adjust the clutch
You should consult your owner’s manual to determine how frequently the clutch linkage should be checked (usually between 5,000-10,000 miles). Your entire clutch system should be inspected during regular maintenance and servicing, at which point the linkage will be checked to see if it needs adjustment.
What are the common symptoms indicating you need to adjust the clutch?
- Car does not move when you step on the gas
- Car struggles to move forward
How important is this service?
Your clutch is what allows your vehicle to change gears. When you press on the clutch pedal, the clutch linkage pulls on the clutch operating level, which disengages the transmission gear with the engine gear. After you shift gears and release the clutch pedal, the clutch linkage will release the clutch operating level, and the gears will re-engage.
Over time, the tension in the clutch linkage can change. If the linkage grows too tight, the clutch will slip because of the pressure, and severe damage can be caused to the pressure plate and friction plate. If the linkage has too much slack, the clutch will never fully engage, and your car may continue to creep forward even when the clutch pedal is deployed. Adjusting the clutch linkage will keep your clutch functioning correctly and safely.