What is a clutch pedal inspection?
In a clutch pedal inspection, a mechanic will identify the reason your pedal is going all the way to the floor by checking your clutch system and all of its connections as well as fluid levels.
In manual transmission vehicles, there are two types of clutch systems: cable-operated and hydraulic. If you have a cable-operated system, odds are your cable is broken, which is very common as your car ages.
If you have a hydraulic clutch, the issue is likely your master or slave cylinder. Pressing the pedal pressurizes fluid in the hydraulic system, allowing you to change gears. If your fluid is low or if one of the cylinders has failed, you won’t be able to change gears.
How do I know if I need a clutch pedal inspection?
If your clutch pedal goes to the floor and you can’t switch gears, you’ll likely need a clutch pedal inspection. Problems with your clutch pedal could be caused by a few common issues:
- Broken clutch cable: The older your car is, the more likely a broken clutch cable is to blame for your clutch pedal issues. This calls for a replacement cable.
- Missing connector rod: A clutch-operated system runs to a clutch fork and throwout bearing, connected by a small rod. If the rod goes missing, the cable can’t attach to the fork—causing your pedal to go to the floor.
- Low fluid: In a hydraulic clutch, you could have low fluid in the master or slave cylinder. This can be determined by looking at the reservoir and seeing if the fluid is below the “full” line.
- Failed clutch master cylinder: If the internal seals leak fluid out, the master cylinder will fail. This could possibly run onto the clutch pedal, or it could be visible on the firewall or back of the engine.
- Failed slave cylinder: This is less common than a failed master cylinder but shows the same symptoms. Leaking fluid leads to low levels in the system.
When do I need to get my clutch pedal inspected?
If you’re unable to change gears or if your clutch pedal goes to the floor, you need a clutch pedal inspection immediately. Getting routine inspections to catch any malfunctions before you’re stranded is always recommended.
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