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How to Adjust the Clutch in Nissan Cars

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

If your Nissan car truck has manual transmission, it has a clutch pedal in addition to the accelerator and brake pedal. The clutch pedal needs to be within certain specifications to properly deliver fluid to the transmission. If either of these are not within range, you must adjust the clutch pedal. Specifications may vary depending on the model year, so check with your mechanic first.

Under The Hood:

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Nissan Maxima

Check the level of the fluid in the clutch reservoir. If the level is low, then you should top it off to the recommended level. Pump the clutch pedal of the Nissan Maxima more than once to restore the pressure in the hydraulic system.

Hold the clutch down, and open the bleeder valve to bleed the system. Pump the pedal more than once to completely bleed the system. Add more fluid to the system, and you will find that the clutch of the Nissan Maxima will be adjusted.

Use a pedal stopper or an ASCD cancel switch. You can adjust the height of the Nissan Maxima clutch to 7 ½ to 8 inches.

Adjust the clutch pedal's free play in the Nissan Maxima via the push rod of the mater cylinder. After you have adjusted it, tighten the lock nut, then check to see how much the pedal moves. Adjust the free play 1/3 inch to 5/8 inch.

Items you will need

  • Pedal stopper or an ASCD cancel switch

  • Clutch fluid

  • Tape measure

  • Wrenches and pliers

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Nissan Pathfinder

Check the level of the clutch fluid in the reservoir of the Nissan Pathfinder. The reservoir is located near the brake master cylinder, near the firewall on the left rear of the engine bay. If the level is low, then the clutch pedal will not be able to generate the pressure it needs to function properly. Fill the reservoir to the recommended level, and pump the clutch pedal a few times to restore the hydraulic pressure in the system. If the level of the fluid doesn't stay at the same level, you may have a leak in the reservoir, the master cylinder, or the slave cylinder (located near the clutch housing).

Bleed the clutch of the Nissan Pathfinder. Air bubbles can collect in the system, not allowing the clutch to perform as it should. Make sure there's plenty of fluid in the reservoir before you bleed the system. Attach one end of a rubber hose to the bleeder valve on the slave cylinder, and put the other end in a clear container with clutch fluid. Open the bleeder valve, and have someone step on the clutch pedal a few times until you no longer see any air bubbles in the clear container. Close the valve, and put more fluid in the reservoir as needed.

Turn the adjuster on the shaft that connects to the master cylinder. It is possible to adjust the height of the clutch pedal at that point in the Nissan Pathfinder. This changes the point at which the clutch engages as you step on the pedal.

Items you will need

  • Wrench or pliers

  • Clutch fluid

  • Rubber hose

  • Clear container

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Nissan Sentra

Look at the transmission of the Nissan Sentra, and find the adjuster, which will be on the right side of the transmission. On the adjuster is a 10mm nut as well as a thumb wheel.

Loosen the nut with a 10mm wrench. Grasp the cable with vise grips or pliers to keep the clutch cable still on the Nissan Sentra as you adjust the clutch.

Turn the thumb screw to the left, or counter clockwise, until you have 1/2 of an inch of play in the cable. If necessary, spray something on the thumb screw to loosen it if it is rusty or difficult to turn.

Check what remains of the cable after you have made this adjustment on the clutch of the Nissan Sentra. If you have only about an inch more of threaded clutch cable remaining, you should consider replacing the clutch cable, or at least having one on hand. You will not be able to adjust this particular clutch cable again.

Items you will need

  • Pliers or vise grips

  • 10mm wrench

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Nissan Altima

Check the level of the fluid in the Nissan Altima as the first step in adjusting your clutch. It may just be a matter of adding fluid to the indicated line, then pumping the clutch pedal to restore the hydraulic pressure in the line.

Bleed the clutch system by opening the bleeder valve on the slave cylinder. Insert a tube, and put the other end of the tube of a clear container with clutch fluid. Have someone pump the clutch pedal until you see no air bubbles in the container. Check the level of the fluid in the reservoir again, and if it's low, add more fluid.

Examine the slave cylinder in your Nissan Altima. If you pull back the rubber "boot" and find that it's leaking, then you should replace it, as no amount of adjustments for the clutch would help until it's replaced.

Replace the master and slave cylinders if the clutch will not stay adjusted as you would like. Parts become worn, over time, and they meet the end of their usefulness and effectiveness. You will find that the clutch of your Nissan Altima will work well after this is done.

Items you will need

  • Clutch fluid

  • Wrench

  • Rubber tube

  • Clear container

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Nissan Frontier

Measure the distance between the clutch pedal's pad and the floor with a ruler to confirm whether it is out of spec.

Loosen the locknut that is either on the clutch pedal's stopper or (for models with cruise control) the cruise control switch, using a wrench. This nut is located near the very rear end of the pedal assembly, directly behind a V-shaped bracket.

Turn the bolt on the cruise control switch or the pedal stopper until the pedal is at the needed height, then re-tighten the nut on the bolt.

Press down on the pedal lightly and measure how far it moves freely before you feel any resistance--this is the pedal's freeplay. (It will help to have another person hold the ruler against the pedal to measure the freeplay.)

Loosen the locknut on the pushrod that goes to the master cylinder, using a wrench (this nut is found in front of the pedal stopper/control switch nut). Turn the rod and its bolt either clockwise or counterclockwise as needed, tighten the nut and check the freeplay again until it's within the needed specifications.

Items you will need

  • Ruler

  • Wrench

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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