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How to Fix Thrustmaster Pedals Not Working

Any budget-conscious sim racer will tell you that Thrustmaster makes great steering wheels and pedals. However, the pedals may malfunction for one reason or another, making sim racing difficult or impossible. In this article, we’ll review the most common Thrustmaster pedal problems and fixes.

Common Thrustmaster Pedals Problems

The most common problem with Thrustmaster pedals is underperformance. Many sim racers who use Thrustmaster wheels have at some point had problems with accelerator pedals that only rev to 3000 or thereabouts. 

Malfunctioning brake pedals are also a major issue of concern to sim racers. Just like is the case with a real car, your virtual car’s brakes are its most important system. 

However, they wear out, which can result in funny sounds or a shudder when braking suddenly. Performing extreme maneuvers such as navigating corners at high speeds can be difficult if your brake pedal is faulty. 

There might also be issues with the pedals’ communication with the games’ modules when playing certain games, such as DCS. Often, it’s difficult to figure out whether this problem is caused by a driver issue, a USB issue, or a mechanical fault with the pedals.

Causes of Thrustmaster Pedals Problems

There are several reasons as to why Thrustmaster pedals are not working. Some of them include:

Wear and Tear

The main weakness with Thrustmaster pedals is that they wear out too fast. This is particularly the case for those who race daily for hours at a time. The potentiometers found in Thrustmaster pedals have a lifespan of one year or thereabout. Their lifespan is shortened by aggressive driving. Towards the end of their shelf life, the potentiometers may become spikey and unreliable when you push your car to full throttle. 

Dirty Potentiometers

Potentiometers are the heartbeat of Thrustmaster pedals. When debris builds up on the pedals, it can infiltrate the potentiometers, thus causing the pedals to malfunction. 

It’s always good practice to mount your Thrustmaster pedals on a platform that is free of debris. Keeping the pedals clean also goes a long way in preventing debris buildup and infiltration into the potentiometers. 

Use of Excessive Force

Thrustmaster is renowned for its heavy-duty pedals, which are designed to take a beating. Although they are built to withstand aggressive driving, this can cause them to malfunction. A common problem among aggressive sim racers is the breaking of the link that connects Thrustmaster’s pedal assembly to the brake sensor. 

However, it’s best to keep in mind that the link’s fragmentation isn’t always caused by excessive force when braking. Some Thrustmaster pedals are made from a soft alloy. When a steel screw is used to connect the pedal assembly to the brake sensor, your virtual car’s braking system will certainly malfunction with time. 

Improper Connection

Poor installation can also cause Thrustmaster pedals to malfunction. If you fail to connect the cable in the right manner when setting up your virtual car, for instance, the cables won’t work as they should. Thrustmaster wheels come with an installation manual, which guides you on how to set them up. 

It’s best to follow the guidelines to ensure that nothing goes wrong when you start racing. Also, failing to install the appropriate software affects how the pedals work. When gaming on a PC, for instance, it’s best to ensure that your Thrustmaster pedals are set right in Windows. 

Thrustmaster Pedals Sliding to the Floor

Racing pedals can malfunction if they keep sliding to the floor during gameplay. This often happens if you don’t have a sim racing rig or a place to mount your racing pedals. Sliding pedals prevent you from going full throttle or braking sharply when you come around sudden corners or bumps when driving your virtual car. 

Fixing Malfunctioning Thrustmaster Pedals

Often, problems with Thrustmaster pedals don’t arise from the pedals themselves, but the pedal assembly or poor calibration. Therefore, you shouldn’t tear your pedals apart until you pinpoint the root of the problem. By tearing your pedal assembly in haste, you may end up misdiagnosing the problem, and worse still, damage the brittle plastic and solder joints that hold the potentiometers in place. 

In the case of sliding Thrustmaster pedals, you can address the problem by finding a secure mounting point for the pedals. Something as simple as a yoga mat can provide the grip you need to keep your pedals in place. You can go a step further by installing a wooden mounting point made of wood. This will provide a longer-lasting solution to the sliding pedals. 

The PC should also be calibrated to match the pedals’ settings. Keep in mind that Thrustmaster pedals don’t always correct themselves by default to rudder axis or toe brakes. Thus, you first need to calibrate them when you switch from one game to another. 

Cleaning the Potentiometers

If you determine that debris buildup in the potentiometers is the cause of your Thrustmasters pedals’ malfunctioning, you should give the potentiometers a good clean. 

To do this, simply open the pedal housing to remove the pedal assembly and potentiometers. Afterward, soak the potentiometer in isopropyl alcohol or a contact cleaner for 24 hours. This will give you more time as far as using the potentiometers is concerned, but they will eventually need to get replaced. 

Replacing Pedal Potentiometers

If the potentiometers in your Thrustmaster pedals approach the end of their lifecycle, your pedals’ efficiency will start to dwindle. This doesn’t mean that you should replace your racing wheel and pedal altogether. Instead, you’ll only need new potentiometers. 

To do this, you must know how to take apart the pedal assembly and have basic knowledge about soldering. If you’re replacing potentiometers for the first time, accessing the pedal unit can be a little tricky. Start by unscrewing the base plate on the pedal unit’s underside. Then, lift the individual pedals gently to expose and remove the potentiometers beneath them.   

Since the potentiometers on Thrustmaster pedals come with washers and nuts, you should get rid of them too when replacing an old potentiometer. 

When reconnecting new potentiometers, it’s best to use a soldering iron to ensure that they don’t detach. You can also clip off the edges of the connectors found on the pot. This will allow the wiring to easily clip back on when you put the pedal unit back together. 

Final Thoughts

Thrustmaster pedals are built to last. Even so, they sometimes fail to work for various reasons. Contrary to what many sim racers think, mechanical defects aren’t the only cause of the malfunctioning. Improper configuration, poor connection, and even a sliding mounting surface can cause Thrustmaster pedals to malfunction. 

When you notice that your Thrustmaster pedals are not working as they should, you should first examine them to pinpoint the possible cause of the issue. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix most pedal problems on Thrustmaster pedals without consulting the company’s customer support team or finding a technician to fix the issue.

Last Updated on April 26, 2021