Dead Pedal – Everything you need to know

If you own or lease a car, it’s important that you take the time to learn as much about your car as possible. The more you know about the individual components, the better you will be at troubleshooting and seeking help from a mechanic or technician. In fact, this is a great way to save money on repairs and maintenance in the long run, because your knowledge of individual components allows you to catch problems before they turn into costly catastrophes.

One component inside the car that most drivers know exists, but might not know what it’s called, is the dead pedal. In today’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at the dead pedal, what it is, what it does, and whether or not you can make changes through the aftermarket.

What is a dead pedal? What is your main purpose?

If you drive a car with a manual or automatic transmission, you’re probably familiar with the pedals and what they do. The term “dead pedal” might make you wonder “is there a pedal I missed before?” Despite its name, the dead pedal is not an actual physical pedal in the same sense as the gas pedal and brake pedal. The dead pedal is that pedal-like structure that sits on the left side of the footwell and is where you rest your left foot when you’re not using it.

The dead pedal can be made of metal, but it is also quite common to see them made of hard plastics, depending on the brand and style. It usually features a large flat surface arranged at an angle so that when your foot is resting on it, it is at approximately the same angle as your foot would be if you moved it to press one of the other pedals.

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dead pedal function

The main function of the dead pedal is to serve as a support for the left foot. That comfort element is the main reason it’s put there, but there’s a little more to it, depending on whether your car is a manual or automatic transmission.

Few Americans drive a stick these days, and they’ve long preferred the comfortable convenience of an automatic. In a manual car, the position and design of the dead pedal is crucial because it governs what height and angle the driver’s foot will be when he shifts from there to the clutch pedal. By doing so, it makes the shift from dead pedal to clutch more seamless and comfortable.

In an automatic transmission, the clutch function is automatic, which means there is no clutch pedal. In this type of car, it is important to be able to comfortably and stably rest your unused left foot. This helps reduce the temptation for some drivers to use their left foot on the brake. With a place to “store” your left foot, the dead pedal helps make automatic driving more comfortable. For this reason, most people know the dead pedal simply as “the footrest”.

car footrest

Do all cars have a dead pedal?

The vast majority of cars on the road have dead pedals. If it is a vehicle with a manual transmission, the chances of there being no dead pedal are very slim indeed. There have been some automatic cars in the past, as well as some race cars that didn’t feature dead pedals. For OEMs, there are simply too many reasons to put the dead pedal in there and not enough to justify removing it. This is despite dead pedals not being required by law.

It’s a safety measure, a comfort measure, an aesthetic choice… the list goes on. So it would be hard to find a car that doesn’t have one. Some notable examples of vehicles that may not have a dead pedal are the ford focus, which in the late 1990s did not, and so did the Jeep Wrangler. This doesn’t mean, however, that all dead pedals are the same, which we’ll explore further in the next section.

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What are the different types of dead pedals?

Generally speaking, there are two types of dead pedals on the market. They are:

The first type, the footrest, is by far the most commonly available. Within the footrest category, there are also some subcategories that can be divided based on materials like different metals and rubber. On the higher end, you’ll get the premium brushed aluminum look that matches the metal look pedals. More common is the cheaper but still durable and functional rubber.

Dummy pedals are often found on race cars or track-ready cars. As the name suggests, they are built like a normal pedal, but do not perform any mechanical function on the vehicle. They are simply an aesthetic choice.

Can you add a spare dead pedal?

What if your car has a dead pedal, but you don’t like the way it looks? Maybe you want to give it that premium metallic look, or maybe you want an entirely different color, or maybe something more subtle that blends in with the flooring. It could also be a physical size issue if you’re someone with big feet and need a dead pedal up to the task.

Whatever your reasons, you can find a rich aftermarket of dead pedals in different styles and materials, with most costing around $30-60 for the parts. This makes it a pretty cheap and straightforward modification.

fit a dead pedal

Where to buy a replacement dead pedal

You can find several different options for brands and models. here

How to Fit a Dead Pedal to Your Car

The procedure may not be exactly the same on every car, but the following includes the main steps you’ll likely have to take when installing a new dead pedal from scratch. For tools, you will need a electric drill, Screwdriver, allen wrench/wrench, etc., but many tools should be supplied as part of a kit. Most kits come with the dead pedal, a bracket and mounting plate, as well as various nuts, bolts, washers, etc. The pedal is attached to the mounting plate, and you can usually choose between a few different positions depending on the size. the board is.

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Step 1: you must first spend a moment assembling the pedal separately. Your car’s footwell is a difficult space to work with, so you don’t want to try to cram everything together in the footwell. The kit will likely come with instructions, but there aren’t many parts and generally the kits are well made and any modder with some experience will have no trouble putting it together. Mount the pedal to the bracket/mounting plate in a comfortable position.

step 2: Test pedal placement. You should find on the lower left side of the footwell an ideal space for the mounting plate. Clamp it in place so it stays in position and test it while sitting in your normal driving position. Make sure it’s not too far back or too far forward and adjust as needed.

step 3: Screw the pedal into place. This is tricky and you will likely have to make judicious use of a ratchet wrench to ensure all screws are securely in place.

step 4: Test the pedal by resting your foot on it and pressing down on it. You don’t want it to break while on the road as this can be dangerous. He must withstand any pressure you put on him within reason.

Extra steps can come from different pedal brands and styles, but it’s essentially just another modification you can easily add. If you’re removing an existing one and replacing it, you’ll get an early look at how everything fits together.

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