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How the car's clutch works

The car's gearbox, and therefore also clutch pedal, is one of the things in the car that is constantly used while driving.
The clutch connects the engine and gearbox, and when the clutch pedal is depressed, two gears are separated. This stops the gearbox from providing thrust to the car's wheels, and the driver is able to change gears.
When driving in a city or in congested traffic, constant shifts between the car's various gears take place. Every time the clutch is depressed, it is worn a little bit.
It is important that the clutch functions smoothly. If you find it difficult to push the gear lever into a new gear, or if you hear noises like the gearbox cogs grinding, it is time to have the car's gearbox and clutch cable inspected at a garage.

Wear and tear on the clutch cable

The car's clutch cable is a steel braided cable surrounded by a plastic sheath. The cable connects the clutch pedal inside the driver's cab to the gearbox in the engine compartment. When activating the clutch pedal (depressing it), the clutch cable pulls on the clutch bracket to release the clutch. When this happens, what is called a smooth transmission can be made.
Each time the clutch is depressed to change gears, a load is imposed on the clutch cable. And although the cable is made of steel, the constant load means that the cable is worn over time.
When the clutch cable wears out, a number of symptoms may occur to warn you that something is wrong. You may find that the car jumps out of gear while driving, and the cable may get stuck, making the pedal difficult (hard) to depress.
Finally, the clutch pedal may sink. The reason for this may be that the cable is worn, or that the pull-back spring of the pedal needs replacing. The spring is what gets the pedal back to its original position once it has been activated, so to speak.

How is the clutch cable replaced?

If the clutch cable fails beyond what can be fixed with an adjustment or minor repair, the cable must be replaced.
Replacing the car's clutch cable is not a difficult task, but of course you need to know exactly how to do it in order for the new cable to be fitted correctly.

  • Start by dismantling the cable from the gearbox. There is typically a type of adjusting device that can be slacked.
  • The cable is then removed from inside the clutch pedal itself.
  • The cable is pulled out of the car. It must be pulled out through the engine compartment.
  • Now the new cable can be installed. It is important that the cable is placed correctly in the rubber sleeve leading to the cabin. If the cable is not installed correctly and so the connection between the engine and the cabin is not completely tight, noise and dirt from the engine compartment will enter the cabin.
  • Start by installing the cable at the pedal. Some car models have a little clip where the cable is mounted. The clip may also be worn, so replace the clip at the same time as the cable.
  • Finally, the cable is mounted on the release arm. If the cable has an adjustment device, the clutch is adjusted so that the biting point is approximately in the middle of the pedal's travel.

On newer cars, however, there are no adjusting options, as the cable is self-adjusting. In this case, there will be a small "box" on the middle of the cable which contains the self-adjustment mechanism.

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Prices on clutch repair and replacement

The average prices and savings for the car brands shown are based on different models and years. You must therefore create a job and compare quotes to see your actual price and savings.
Make Compare and save* You save on average* Ratings
Audi £284 28%
5.0 (9)
BMW £229 26%
5.0 (3)
Citroën £265 31%
4.7 (9)
Ford £200 26%
4.9 (26)
Nissan £231 28%
5.0 (7)
Peugeot £259 31%
4.8 (22)
Renault £316 31%
4.0 (10)
Toyota £253 30%
4.7 (12)
Vauxhall £238 26%
5.0 (13)
Volkswagen £222 26%
4.8 (6)

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