How to Adjust Brake Pedal Height

foot in shoe pressing brake pedal
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Your brake pedal is one of the most important components of your vehicle. If it's set too high or too low, your ability to stop your car may be compromised. Braking too late or too soon can result in accidents and serious injuries or worse.

Very few automobiles provide for brake pushrod adjustment—the length is often factory set and not easily changed. That said, if your model has adjustable pedals, you can change their height with a few relatively straightforward steps. If you don't feel confident enough to adjust your vehicle's brake height yourself, or your brake is having issues stopping your car quickly, visit a dealership or mechanic.

CAUTION: Brake pushrod adjustment is critical to proper braking. An incorrect adjustment can prevent brake fluid from returning to the master cylinder, thus causing brake lock-up and dangerous skidding. The wrong adjustment in another direction can cause diminished brake action, extending stopping distance to an unsafe level. If you attempt this adjustment, check brake action very thoroughly at low speed afterward to make sure the system is still working correctly.

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multi-part push rod for brakes

Step 1 - Check the Brake Pedal Height

Start by checking the brake pedal height to determine if your car's brake pedal is in the proper position. The brake pedal should be an inch higher than your car's gas pedal. Most domestic car manufacturers do this. Some imported cars, however, have gas and brake pedals at the same height.

Step 2 - Look for the Brake Push Rod

A foot hits a brake pedal.

You need to know where the brake pushrod is before you can adjust the height of the brake pedal. At the right side of the brake pedal is a rod that is connected to the brake pad level through the floor of your car into the engine. This is the brake pushrod.

Step 3 - Remove the Lock Nut

Using a wrench, remove the closest nut that connects the brake pedal and the pushrod.

Step 4 - Adjust the Height

Brake and gas pedals.

Using a pair of pliers, twist the pushrod in a clockwise direction to increase the height of the brake pedal. If you need to lower the brake pedal you can do so by twisting the push rod counterclockwise.

Step 5 - Lock Nut

The last step is to tighten the nut that you previously removed. Make sure the lock nut is locked tight.

Once you've tightened the lock, do a few brake tests at low speed to check whether you need to re-adjust the height of your vehicle’s brake pedal for comfortable driving.

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