My Clutch Pedal Won’t Return: Solution And Tips!

In a manual gear change or stick shift, the clutch is what allows you to change gears. It connects to a pedal on the ground via a cable or hydraulic link. The cable and the hydraulic link provide the automatic return so that after pressing the pedal it returns to its correct position and the clutch engages again. Read on and learn why the clutch pedal does not return and how to fix it.

Most cars today have a clutch interlock, so you are prevented from starting the car if the clutch is engaged. If the clutch doesn’t return, you may not be able to start the car, and you almost certainly won’t be able to drive anywhere if it does. Fortunately, you may be able to temporarily fix the clutch so you can get to a repair shop.

Fix Clutch Pedal Not Returning

How to fix clutch pedal that won't come back
How to Troubleshoot Clutch Pedal Not Returning

To repair the clutch pedal that does not return just follow the following steps:

  1. Step on the clutch pedal to try to raise it again. Sometimes this will create enough pressure to make it work long enough for you to get home.
  1. Open the cap and add clutch fluid to the reservoir. The location will vary depending on the make and model. Fill the reservoir to the recommended level and pump the clutch to remove air from the system. Also look at the liquid to see if it looks dirty or cloudy. Dirty, cloudy fluid is a symptom of a leak somewhere in the system.
  1. Check for leaks in master cylinder and slave cylinder. Look around the stamps to see if there are any stains that could be evidence that the liquid is coming out. Also look for dents, cracks, or other damage that might suggest a problem.
  1. Check that the clutch cable is not stretched or broken. You should check the back of the pedal and make sure the cable is connected to the back. Also make sure the cable is still connected to the top of the clutch. With no tension on it, the cable can come loose from anywhere.

With these steps you can fix the clutch pedal that does not return temporarily.


Repairs to most of these problems will take you home or to a repair center, but they are not permanent repairs.

You can drive the car by starting it in first gear and keeping it moving, but if you stop, the engine will die and you will have to start again.

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