Toyota pickup clutch problem?

Toyota pickups have long been one of the most dependable vehicles on the road. The Toyota Truck hydraulic clutch system is one of the best. Most people assume that the clutch is not adjustable because it is hydraulically operated. However, Toyota, Honda and Nissan clutches are adjustable.  Adjusting the clutch is a great way to get more miles out of your clutch but will rarely fix an existing problem.

Here are some tips for you;

If your clutch is engaging at the top of the pedal and possibly starting to slip.

You can adjust your clutch to give it some free play to keep pressure off of the release bearing. If it is starting to slip already. This will probably be a temporary fix and the clutch will probably need to be replaced in the near future.

If your clutch feels spongy and it is hard to shift into gear.

You can adjust your clutch to make the rod longer and take out some free play. First check the clutch reservoir for fluid which is near the firewall on the driver side engine compartment by the brake master cylinder. If the brake fluid is low, you can fill it and then pump the clutch pedal, or bleed the system, like you would brakes, to remove any air.

This will be a temporary repair as it is a sealed system and should not need fluid unless there is a leak. Check the master and the slave cylinders for fluid inside the boot. The master cylinder will leak under the dash in the vehicle when it fails. We recommend replacing both master and slave cylinders at the same time, unless one has been replaced already, as they wear out at about the same rate. When one fails the other one will usually fail shortly after.

You can also adjust the rod longer to take out some play after adding fluid if it is still hard to shift. Again, this will be a temporary repair. The clutch will always engage higher as it wears, it will never get closer to the floor unless there is a problem with the hydraulics, the adjusting nut came loose or the cage assembly that holds the pedal is broken.

This is usually caused by a cracked cage assembly under the dash. It is very hard to inspect in the vehicle. The reason for this is after the adjustment, there is more pressure on the cracked cage assembly and it continues cracking further.

Because the cage assemblies are made of a very thin metal with spot welds, they cannot take any extra pressure from a worn clutch. Therefore when replacing the cage assembly, it is important to make sure that the clutch does not have excess pressure or it will break cage assembly. Most people do not know that their clutch is getting stiff as it happens gradually over time and they just get used to it.  After replacing the clutch, most customers cannot believe how easy it is to push the clutch in as there is little pressure with a good working clutch.

Checking the cage assembly.

Toyota Clutch Pedal AssemblyThis may be a job for your local transmission repair shop as it is difficult to check. Bring this article to their attention if needed as it is often overlooked in diagnosing clutch problems.

The first thing to do is to set the emergency brake and block the tires if needed to make sure that the vehicle will not roll. Slide the driver seat all the way back. With a flashlight (or headband light). Lie down on the floor looking up under the dash. This is a very awkward position and may require removing the seat to give you enough room.

With one hand push the clutch pedal in while watching the cage assembly for movement. (The vehicle could roll, so make sure it is secured). This can be difficult to see and may require removing it to inspect. A popping noise or bending can usually be seen if it is bad and may take pushing the pedal several times to see.

We have also seen a few that were so bad that the mounting bolts in the body have been torn out. Check and repair them also if needed.

Give us a call. We are always happy to answer questions or check out your vehicle for you.

Trans Tech