The clutch cable adjust is attached to the clutch cable and helps to keep tension so the clutch pad does not slip while the vehicle is operating. The clutch itself is located between the gearbox and the engine. The clutch is always engaged, meaning the connection from the gearbox to engine is always on. This connection is broken when you disengage the clutch by pressing down on the pedal. Once you press on the clutch pedal, that pressure goes to the cable where tension is helped by the adjuster. This allows you to switch gears smoothly and without causing the vehicle to slip.

As the adjuster starts to wear over the years, it may cause the cable to become loose. In turn, this causes the vehicle to slip. Slipping is most noticeable when the engine is at a low speed and in a high gear, when driving up a hill, or when you pass another vehicle while towing a trailer. Once your clutch starts slipping, it will only lead to more slippage due to increased friction. The clutch will get hotter due to the slipping, which causes it to lose its grip and then slip. Now, the clutch gets even hotter, and continues to slip even more. This circle can damage the pressure plate and flywheel.

A defective clutch cable adjuster is the biggest cause of slipping, so as soon as you notice this symptom in your vehicle, it is time to have your clutch cable adjuster replaced by an experienced mechanic.

Since the clutch cable adjuster can get worn and go bad over time, it is important to be aware of the symptoms this part gives off before it fails.

Signs your clutch cable adjuster need to be replaced include:

  • Your vehicle is slipping while you are driving

  • Clutch pedal feels heavy or is difficult to push

  • Your vehicle will not go into gear

The clutch cable adjuster is an essential part of your clutch system, so putting off repairing it will only lead to bigger problems. Have the clutch cable adjuster replaced as soon as possible so your vehicle is safe to drive and operates smoothly.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Clutch Cable Adjuster Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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