Clutch Cable Symptoms

by Katina Blue
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Your vehicle's clutch system shift gears without causing damage to the engine. There are several components of the clutch system, such as the clutch cable, that keep it working properly. The clutch cable disengages the clutch plates when the clutch pedal is depressed, allowing the gears to shift smoothly. If the clutch cable stretches or breaks, it will not work properly, and various symptoms will develop.

Hard Pedal

A bad clutch cable can cause immobility in the clutch pedal. The pedal will often feel stiff and resist depression; and if too much pressure is applied to a resistant pedal, the clutch cable will often break, causing the pedal to stick to the floor. If this happens, the pedal will not return to its normal position and should be replaced.


A clutch that frequently slips out of gear can indicate a problem with the clutch cable. Basically, slipping is when the gear slides into another gear position. For instance, your vehicle may start moving, even though the gear shift is positioned in park, because the clutch moved on its own. Slipping mostly happens when an engine is overloaded, such as when driving up a hill or accelerating at high speeds.

No Shifting

A broken or stretched clutch cable can cause symptoms that resemble other clutch problems, particularly complete failure of the clutch. The clutch will often stop working altogether, causing the vehicle to remain stationary when shifted into gear.

Other Symptoms

A leaking clutch cable is a definite sign of a problem, and inspecting the cable will indicate if leaks are present. Leaks may happen if the clutch cable is broken or detached; and if the latter is the problem, reconnecting the cable will solve it. Also, when the clutch cable does not regulate the clutch plates, the vehicle will often jolt forward or jerk when the engine is started.

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