How to Adjust the Clutch in Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer

If the clutch of the Chevrolet car does not work as you think it should, there are a few things you can do to make it work better, such as adjusting the freeplay in the clutch pedal. If you find that you are not able to improve the clutch, this may be an indication of another problem.

Under The Hood:

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Chevy Cobalt

Check the reservoir for the hydraulic fluid for the clutch in your Chevy Cobalt. If the level is low, this could account for the problems you've been having with your clutch pedal. Simply filling the reservoirs to the recommended level could restore the clutch's performance.

Examine the lines for the master and slave cylinder when the clutch pedal of Chevy Cobalt engages lower than the stock position. You might have a leak. Tighten all the lines, and keep an eye on the level of fluid in the reservoir for the clutch fluid. This may be all the adjustment your clutch pedal needs. If not, continue on top the next step.

Try to adjust the clutch pedal of the Chevy Cobalt when the clutch does not engage as it should. Look for the pivot point at the top of the clutch pedal. There you will see an 8mm bolt.

Loosen the bolt with a wrench, and pull the clutch pedal into the position you think might work--many report this is up. Test the clutch to see whether the clutch engages properly.

Replace the bolt that connects the transmission and the engine may be all the adjustment your Chevy Cobalt's clutch requires. Have someone step on the clutch while you look at the connection between the two. If they separate, you need to replace the bolt.

Check the wear on the clutch line--especially the rubber portion--in the Chevy Cobalt. If someone steps on the clutch and you see them expand, this could be the reason why your clutch is not engaging properly. When the rubber of the clutch line expands, it's restricting the necessary pressure the master/slave cylinder needs. Replace the line, and this might be the clutch adjustment you need.

Items you will need

  • 8mm wrench

  • Willing participant (to step on clutch pedal)

  • Other wrenches as needed

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Chevy Camaro

Check to see whether you need to change the clutch fluid in your reservoir. A Camaro uses DOT 3 which emits steam or gas that will cause the hydraulic system to malfunction after it's compressed. Replace the fluid with DOT 4 brake fluid because it has a higher boiling point.

Remove the hydraulic line from the master cylinder and expand the hole in the brass fitting on the braided steel line. Use a 1/8 inch drill bit, and carefully advance and retreat with the drill. Remove any metal filings until you have lessened the restriction. You might have to drill about an inch or so. Make sure you don't drill through the line as you do this adjustment.

Replace the master cylinder for the clutch if no other adjustments work. Replacing the slave cylinder and the assembly for the clutch may also resolve the clutch problems.

Items you will need

  • DOT 4 brake fluid (for clutch reservoir)

  • Drill and 1/8 inch drill bit

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Geo Metro

Check the play of the Geo Metro before doing any clutch adjustments. You should have about an inch or so.

Look at the transmission of the Geo Metro to find the adjustment nut. It will be located on a lever connected to the clutch cable. At the end of the lever is where the adjustment nut is located.

Turn the adjustment nut for the clutch cable in the direction of the car or away from the car to change the amount of play on the clutch pedal in your Geo Metro. Test the pedal each time to make sure you have at least 1 inch of play.

Change the synchro should your attempt to adjust the clutch cable does not work. While the clutch cable of the Geo Metro is adjustable, the synchro is not. To replace the synchro, you will have to rebuild the transmission and the clutch assembly, including a new clutch.

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Geo Tracker

Adjust the pedal height of the Geo Tracker by loosening the clutch pedal stop bolt. Move the pedal until it's 1/4 inch above the brake pedal. Tighten the stop bolt on the clutch pedal to 115 inch-pounds.

Measure the free play of the clutch by pressing down on the clutch pedal until you can feel tension on the clutch pedal. Use the ruler to measure the free play to determine whether it's within the 1/2-inch to 1-inch range.

Chock the rear wheels. Lift the front of the Geo Tracker and support it on jack stands if the clutch's free play is less than the recommended range. Loosen the larger of the two nuts near the clutch cable bracket -- the one that's farthest from the bracket -- and re-measure the free play. If the free play of the clutch pedal is within the recommended range, tighten the smaller nut closest to the bracket. If it is not, continue to loosen the larger nut until you are able to get the free play of the pedal within the range. Once you have reached the recommended range for free play, tighten the larger bolt to 13 foot-pounds.

Check the free play of the clutch lever for the Geo Tracker. The free play should be between 0.02 and 0.06 inch. If the clutch lever free play is not correct, loosen the bolt for the clutch lever if the free play is too little, or tighten the nut if the free play is too much.

Look at the alignment marks for the clutch release lever and clutch release shaft on the Geo Tracker. If they don't align, remove the clutch release lever from the shaft, align the marks and then repeat your free play adjustments.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Torque wrench

  • Wheel chocks

  • Machinist's ruler

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands