How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

In a heavy duty pickup such as the Vehicles your braking system should be in good working order. Though the Vehicles is widely praised Vehicles having a stiff, responsive brake pedal, you may need to adjust the pedal height. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to adjust the height yourself in a few minutes.

Under The Hood:

 How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height in a Toyota Camry

Locate the brake yoke under the dash, just above the brake pedal and over to the side.

Follow the pedal upward to the point at which it attaches to the push rod. Place a dot on the push rod with a marking pencil or some nail polish. Note the position of the dot to keep the rod facing the right direction. Keep an eye on this during the job and check again when you are through.

Release the push rod locking nuts with a 17-mm wrench. The push rod should not turn. If it does, turn it back so that the mark is in front of you. You may need to use one wrench to hold the bracket and another to break loose the nut.

Take hold of the push rod with pliers. Turn until you have loosened the lock nuts. Twist the push rod around, using a 10-mm wrench to lengthen or shorten the pedal height. The brake pedal does not need to adjust to the full height of the throttle.

Leave a minimum of 3 mm (less than 1/4 inch) distance from the brake stop to the brake pedal. The pedal will automatically stop at the rubber grommet positioned on its path toward the bracket. This distance allows the brake pedal to pull the push rod back all of the way. Once this happens, the brake servo will be able to operate correctly.

Retighten the lock nut. Adjust the brake light switch, if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Marking pencil or nail polish

  • Two 17-mm wrenches

  • 10-mm wrench

  • Pliers

 How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height in a Ford Explorer

Determine how much free play you actually have in your brake pedal. One common complaint of the Ford Explorer is that the brake pedal is mushy or spongy. What you're looking for is the distance the brake pedal travels when you step on it, before the brakes engage. Press the pedal with your fingers to see how much free travel there is.

Look on the right, rear side of the brake pedal, near the top. You should see an adjustable rod that connects to the top of the brake pedal lever.

Use either a 14mm- or an adjustable crescent-wrench to loosen the lock nut nearest to the brake pedal. Twist it clockwise, toward the clutch pedal.

Adjust the brake pedal height by twisting the booster rod with a pair of pliers. While too much free play will result in an unresponsive brake pedal, too little will cause drag on the brakes. This is somewhat of a hazard in the top heavy Ford Explorer. Turning the rod clockwise will raise the pedal and decrease free play, while turning counter clockwise will give a lower, mushier brake pedal.

Tighten the lock nut.

Test drive your Explorer over a short distance. Make sure your brake lights are still functioning properly.

If you encounter any problems with your braking system, consult a Ford mechanic.

Items you will need

  • 14mm wrench, or adjustable crescent wrench

  • Pliers

 How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height in a Ford F-Series

Test your brake pedal for "free play," or a soft, mushy feeling. The Ford F- Series has a power braking system that has occasionally been described as feeling "soft." However, if you find the brake pedal either traveling too far before it reacts, or else sitting abnormally low, proceed with adjusting it.

Locate the brake booster rod. This connects to the back of the brake pedal, near the top. It is most accessible from the right hand side. A Ford truck typically has enough cabin room for you to lie on the floor and examine the right side of the brake pedal.

Loosen the lock nut nearest the brake pedal with either an open end crescent wrench or a 14mm wrench.

Determine which way you need to adjust the brake pedal height. If there is too much free play or the pedal is too low, you need to raise it. If the your brakes shudder or make any unusual noises, you need to lower them.

Grab the booster rod with a pair of pliers and twist it. To raise the brake pedal, twist clockwise toward the clutch pedal. To lower the brake pedal, twist counter clockwise toward the gas pedal.

Drive around the block to test your adjustment. Your brake pedal should have a small amount of free play, but be responsive when you step on it.

Items you will need

  • Open-end crescent wrench

  • 14mm wrench

  • Pliers

 How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height in a Ford Taurus

Press lightly against your brake pedal to determine the amount of free play it has. Free play is the distance you can depress the pedal before you encounter resistance. Ideally, you should have about 10mm of free play in your pedal. Measure your actual free play with a ruler.

Find the brake booster adjustment rod. This is a small rod connected to the back of the brake pedal lever, at the rear. There are two adjustable nuts at either end of the booster rod.

Make a mark on the booster rod where you can see it, with either white-out or nail polish. This will help you gauge whether you're increasing or decreasing the height, once you start adjusting the booster rod. If the mark disappears, it means you're lowering the pedal.

Use your crescent-wrench to loosen the lower nut on the booster rod. While Ford typically employs specialty tools, this is one of the lucky instances where you can use a standard wrench. Be sure not to loosen the top nut, only the bottom.

Twist the booster rod with a pair of pliers. Turning it clockwise, toward the clutch pedal will raise the brake pedal and decrease the amount of free play. Going counter-clockwise will lower the brake pedal and increase the amount of free play.

Tighten the lower lock nut.

Test your adjustment by taking your car for a short drive. The pedal should be responsive and you shouldn't notice any unusual sounds. Also make sure your brake lights are working correctly.

Items you will need

  • Ruler

  • White-out or nail polish

  • Open end crescent-wrench

  • Pliers

 How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height in a Honda Accord

Test the current pedal height and free play. The brake pedal on a Honda Accord should sit slightly higher than the gas pedal, and should move only slightly before engaging. If the pedal is correctly situated, yet doesn't respond, you may have a problem somewhere in the brake system.

Find the brake push rod, where it connects to the brake pedal lever. From the right hand side of the brake pedal, you should notice a rod connected to the back of the brake pad lever and traveling through the floor of the cabin towards the engine compartment.

Loosen the nut on the push rod closest to the brake pedal. If you can't find the right size wrench, use a crescent wrench.

Adjust the pedal height by twisting the push rod with a pair of pliers. Turning it clockwise will raise the pedal height, while going counter clockwise will lower the pedal.

Tighten the lock nut.

Items you will need

  • Crescent wrench

  • Pliers

 How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height in a GMC Sierra

Get a GMC Sierra owner's manual and check the brake lines for leaks. If the brake lines are still intact and not leaking, proceed with adjusting the pedal height.

Locate the brake booster rod, at the top and rear of the brake pedal lever. It's a thin rod running approximately perpendicular to the lever, with a lock nut at either end. The best way to access it is from the right hand side.

Loosen the adjuster nut, which is closest to the brake pedal lever. If you can't find the appropriate size wrench, an adjustable crescent wrench will work.

Raise the pedal height by twisting the booster rod clockwise, with a pair of pliers. Don't raise it too high, or you may cause further brake problems. To loosen, twist counter clockwise.

Tighten the lock nut. Test your adjustment out. You should have a small amount of free play, but you shouldn't notice any brake chatter or unusual sounds.

Contact a GMC mechanic if your brake pedal remains unresponsive.

Items you will need

  • GMC Sierra repair manual

  • Crescent wrench

  • Pliers

 How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height in a Ford Mustang

Put the throw or rug on the front floor of the front seat. Set up the light on the passenger's side so it shines up under the dash.

Stop the engine before you test the free play in the pedal. Pump the brake twice to remove any vacuum. Press down lightly on the pedal with two fingers. You'll feel it stop abruptly; that's the master cylinder stopping the free play.

Measure the distance from the top of the brake pedal to the floor with a ruler. Take a second measurement after you depress the pedal. Find the difference between the two numbers and you've found the amount of freeplay in your pedal. About 1/8 inch is average. If your pedal feels mushy, the difference probably is greater.

Look at the back of the brake pedal until you see the point where it attaches to a push rod, which is the brake booster adjustment rod. Make a small dot with the liquid correction fluid on the bottom of the rod. This gives you a point of reference in case the rod turns when you loosen the nut.

Loosen the nut at the top of the rod. Rotate the rod. Use the dot to realign the rod back to its original reference point if it moves.

Turn the rod. When you turn it to the left, it tightens for less free play. Turning to the right does the opposite. You may need to use pliers to turn the rod.

Tighten the nut to secure the rod again. Test the pedal with finger pressure to ensure you don't have to adjust the pedal height even more. If it feels within range, test drive the car.

Items you will need

  • Flashlight or portable shop light

  • Throw or rug

  • Ruler

  • White liquid correction fluid (like White Out)

  • Wrenches

  • Pliers