My first 3 standard transmission cars had clutch or driver problems. Took a 100,000 mile clutch break with an Integra Automatic. Now bought a '95 Tacoma 4-cylinder with a clutch. Which is recommended when clutching, always push the clutch pedal all the way to the floor or is it enough to only push the pedal as far as necessary to make the shift?

If you are asking this question, then I can understand why you said, “My first 3 standard transmission cars had clutch or driver problems”.

A driver who doesn’t push the clutch pedal all the way to the floor when shifting does indeed constitute a “driver problem”. At least, that is what I was taught back in the Dark Ages when I took my driver training.

Push the clutch pedal in far enough to disengage the engine from the transmission, plus a little more to ensure full disengagement.


If you’re not disengaging the clutch all the way, you can still make a shift, but you’ll be putting extra stress on the synchronisers in the transmission as well as wearing the clutch more. If you drive around only putting the clutch half-in your truck will eventually stop wanting to go into certain gears. If there’s a lot of play between where you can shift and having the pedal all the way to the floor, you may need to adjust the clutch.

My vote is for clutch to the floor.

You need only to completely disengage the clutch. If you can tell that the clutch is COMPLETELY disengaged with the pedal partly depressed, then going further accomplishes nothing.

The trouble with the above statement is that there’s NO way to tell when the clutch is COMPLETELY disengaged. It may be partially engaged and slipping enough for you to shift, but you’ll wear synchronizer blocking rings at a greatly accelerated rate.

So what’s the problem with pushing the pedal all the way down? Your leg too short? You an underachiever that goes only as far as is absolutely necessary? You in too big a hurry to push the pedal all the way down?

Thanks for the answers. My thought was if the truck easily shifted with only half clutch pedal travel then maybe it was extra useless wear to use full pedal travel. Or maybe full pedal travel is always best even if doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything.


A clutch that is properly used and cared for will engage close to the floor. If the clutch engages near the top of its path of travel, it is worn. Always push the clutch all the way to prevent wear.