How to Adjust the Clutch on Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer

The Honda car is one of those cars that keep on going. If, however, you don't like where the clutch engages, or it doesn't feel right to you, you can adjust it or attend to most clutch issues yourself. It may be as simple as adding clutch fluid to your reservoir, or adjusting the clutch pedal. If simple adjustments don't work, that could be a sign of another issue.

Under The Hood:

 How to Adjust the Clutch on a '94 Honda Civic

Put the parking brake on and put the gear shifter in neutral.

Depress the clutch pedal with your hand and measure the height between the pedal and the angled floor board behind the pedal. Get an approximation and note it on a piece of paper for reference.

Let the clutch pedal up. Take the pedal between your thumb and pointer finger and play with the pedal up and down. The pedal should have a free play zone where there will be little to no mechanical resistance. Measure this free play zone distance with a ruler as accurately as possible and write it down.

Locate the clutch cable adjusting nut by following the clutch pedal arm up and underneath the steering column. Approximately half way to the top of the pedal arm will be the adjuster nut assembly. The adjuster nut will be the nut closest to the back end of the vehicle.

Turn the adjuster nut with an open-faced wrench. Adjust the clutch pedal until the free play zone measures 0.6 to 0.8 inches. The tip of the clutch pedal arm underneath the steering column should have 0.12 to 0.16 inches of free play if adjusted correctly. Measure and note a corresponding change in the clutch pedal disengagement height.

Items you will need

  • Open-faced wrench set

  • Ruler

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Honda Prelude

Check the level of the clutch fluid when attempting to adjust the clutch in the Honda Prelude. The reservoir is located on the left of the engine bay near the firewall. If the fluid level is low, fill it to the recommended level. Pump the clutch pedal a few times to restore the hydraulic pressure.

Measure the clutch pedal to see if it falls within the Honda Prelude specifications. Pedal stroke should 0.58 to 0.60 inches, the height of the clutch pedal from the floor should be 0.712 inch, the free play should be .06 to 0.10 inch and the clutch pedal disengagement should be 0.288.

Adjust the clutch pedal if it does not fit with the Honda specifications. To adjust the pedal stroke, loosen the lock nut on the top of the clutch pedal, and loosen the lock nut in the end of the push rod. Turn the push rod either in or out to get the adjustment that you need. Tighten the lock nut on the push rod, tighten the lock nut on the pedal until it touches the pedal, then tighten it 1/4 to 1/2 of a turn more.

Look at the place where the master cylinder of the Honda Prelude connects with the pedal. You will see a fork there. This is adjustable by turning the inner nut until it loosens, and lengthening the rod of the master cylinder. You can turn the rod either right or left, then tighten the nut back up to secure it in place. Check the pedal to see it this is the adjustment you need.

Bleed the clutch system to rid it of any air bubbles that might have collected. Release the bleeder valve and attach a hose to it. Put the other end of the hose in a container with clutch pedal fluid. Pump the clutch pedal a few times to bleed the fluid from the system, and stop after you don't see any more air bubbles in the container.

Examine the master and slave cylinders in your Honda Prelude is you are trying to adjust the clutch and nothing is working. You may find that both or either are leaking. Replace these if this is so.

Inspect the components of the clutch for wear, such as the teeth of the diaphragm spring, and the flywheel and clutch disc itself. Use a straight edge and a feeler gauge to see if the clutch disc falls within the recommended range of 0.32 of an inch and 0.35 of an inch. If any or all of the components are worn, replace them.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape

  • Straight edge

  • Feeler gauge

  • 10 mm T wrench

  • Wrenches

  • Pliers

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Honda CR-V

Look beneath the hood in the back left of the Honda CR-V's reservoir. If the level of the reservoir is low, then you should refill it to the recommended height. Step on the clutch pedal a few times to reestablish pressure in the lines.

Use a tape measure to check the clutch pedal for the pedal height, the stroke, the free play, the pedal play and the height of the disengagement from the floor. The pedal height should be 7.20 inches, the stroke should be 5.31 to 5.71 inches, the free play recommendation between 0.28 and 0.87, the pedal play should be within 0.04 to 0.035 and the height of the disengagement should be 2.83 inches.

Adjust the stroke of the clutch pedal by loosening the lock nut that is the bottom of two on the clutch pedal, and then turn the adjusting bolt until it no longer has any contact with the pedal. Loosen the lock nut that is located on the push rod (found on the top and the side of the pedal). Adjust the pedal until you get the specified stroke length as well as height. Tighten the locknut on the push rod when you're done with the adjustments of the pedal's stroke and height. Tighten the adjusting bolt on the pedal until it touches the pedal again, then turn it ¾ to a full turn more and re-tighten the locknut.

Change the height of the pedal by loosening the second and highest locknut on the clutch pedal, then measure the height of the pedal from the floor when you press it completely down. Adjust the position of the clutch interlock switch until the CR-V will start when the clutch is in this position. Tighten the lock nut.

Bleed the system of the CR-V to remove any air bubbles, as they will adversely affect the clutch's performance. Go to the slave cylinder, which is located on clutch housing. Attach a hose to the slave cylinder's bleeder screw, and put the other end of the hose in a container of clutch fluid. Have someone pump the clutch pedal until you see no more air bubbles in the container. Replace the clutch fluid until the level of the reservoir us at the recommended level.

Inspect the components of the clutch if adjusting the pedal, bleeding the system or filling the reservoir do not change the performance of the CR-V clutch. Check the diaphragm springs and the pressure plate as well as the flywheel. Each of these components can wear thanks to the friction they experience. If any are warped or worn, they should be replaced.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure

 How to Adjust the Clutch in a Honda Accord

Check beneath the hood first when you wish to adjust the clutch on a Honda Accord. Look on the left hand side where two reservoirs are located. Check the level of the second one as this is the one that contains the clutch fluid. If the level is below 3/8 of an inch or so from the top, add more fluid. This could help solve your clutch issue, and it's a cheap adjustment to make. If, however, the cylinder is leaking, you will need to bleed the system and replace it.

Look at the top of the clutch pedal, near the pedal point, and you will see the adjuster for the Honda Accord's clutch there. Turn the adjusting nut on the end of the clutch cable clockwise and test the pedal after each adjustment. If this does not work, you need to look for other possible issues.

Remove the transmission to examine the clutch area in the Honda Accord. A bent fork, or weak springs on the pressure plate might be the culprit if you are unable to adjust the clutch. If this is the case, then replace the clutch assembly.

Items you will need

  • Wrenches or pliers

  • Clutch fluid