You put your foot on the pedal ready to go, but your car fails to accelerate. You try again, but no acceleration. So, you shout some explicative that would make even Joan Rivers blush, and you search for the reason for your problem.
It’s beyond annoying to step on the gas pedal and your car won’t accelerate. The problem can be further divided into two categories. You are either experiencing the vehicle failing to accelerate at all or your car is not accelerating as fast as it should. You may be able to pinpoint the issue with our checklist of possible reasons your car is failing to accelerate. Check them out below:
Issues with the Clutch
Reports indicate that about 90% of the time, the reason your car won’t accelerate is due to the clutch. When your clutch isn’t able to properly engage the engine with the transmission, then your vehicle will begin to have acceleration issues. Your clutch pedal could be worn out or you may have an issue with clutch fluid. In fact, you may want to check your fluid, ensuring that it is not below the minimum level.
Issues with your Electronic Control Unit
Another reason that you cannot accelerate, is due a problem with your ECU or your electronic control unit. Check out this example: you may have a pollution error that tricks your computer system into thinking that your vehicle has been producing some sort of excessive fumes. The car’s response to that is that your engine will slowly begin to lose power slowly, gradually leading to trouble with acceleration.
Your electronic control unit may offer invalid or incorrect readings if there is failure with the sensors. To get this corrected, you’ll have to go to a car servicing center or visit your mechanic to see what the problem is.
Dirty Fuel Filter
The fuel in the vehicle can collect dirt and sludge over time- and it often originates from the fuel tank. Dust and dirt can make the fuel heavy and even immobile. The filter will be unable to move and glide freely from your tank to your engine. It’s important to have proper lubrication so that your acceleration highly and effectively responsive. So, to correct this issue, you will have to replace or clean the filter.
Faulty Timing Belt
Perhaps the reason you cannot accelerate is due to a bad timing belt. A damaged or a worn-out timing belt can AND will affect your acceleration. On the other hand, a brand-new timing belt can also cause an issue with acceleration. Why? Well that brand-new timing belt can be misaligned or misplaced. So, make sure that if this is the case, you take your car to a certified car or auto professional so that your timing belt is properly installed the right way, the FIRST time. Improper installation of this vital component can result in worse acceleration than before.
Vacuum Hose Leaks
Lots of vacuum hoses can be found inside a car’s engine. Their job is to transport air and fuel to and from the engine. So, if your vacuum hoses have any kind of dirt, leaks or holes in them, then you will have problems with acceleration.
Clog or A Malfunction of the Mass Air Flow Sensor
Another reason that you cannot accelerate may be due to faulty mass air flow sensor. This component has the job of measuring the air mass that flow that travels into air intake. So, if you have a bad or a clogged mass air flow sensor, then your vehicle may send the wrong information to the ECU of the engine for measuring and calculating the air fuel mixture.
Malfunction with the Oxygen Sensor
If you have a faulty oxygen sensor, then you may be able to trace your acceleration issues to it. The oxygen sensor is the car component that has the task of monitoring the exhaust emissions of a vehicle. This is important so that the sensor can evaluate and analyze the air-fuel ratio that travels through the engine. Every vehicle needs an adequate supply of fuel, ensuring that the fuel can burn at the proper rate in the combustion cylinders. This results in smooth and streamlined acceleration. The oxygen sensor sends the data regarding the amount of fuel that is being used- to the engine’s computer unit. If your oxygen sensor fails or becomes damaged, then your car will have no clue as to the ratio of air-fuel combination. This results in slow to no acceleration- even if you press on your pedal with all of your might.
Bad or Faulty TPS
The throttle position sensor (TPS) has the job of detecting the throttle valve opening angle -that is controlled by your car’s accelerator pedal. The TPS will then send this information to the ECU. If the TPS becomes bad or malfunctions, then there is no control of the engine speed by the accelerator pedal. Additionally, the engine speed will decease or increase without any pressing on the pedal.
Why Does My Car Rev But Not Accelerate?
If your vehicle revs up as you depress the car pedal but your vehicle doesn’t accelerate as you would expect it to, then you may have an issue that can lead to a transmission that is fully blown. Gear slippage or transmission slippage is one of the biggest and most common issues with a transmission- both automatic and manual. So, if this is the issue once your vehicle is shifted into a different gear, then you’re looking at transmission failure as well as a real hazard to you, if you decide to drive a car with this problem.
So why is your transmission slipping in the first place? It could be that:
- You have a clogged transmission filter
- Your transmission fluid is low
- Additional components in the transmission are giving out
- The clutch is wearing out or is completely gone.
Can Low Oil Cause Slow Acceleration?
If you have a well-lubricated and smooth engine then you have a great thing! When there is oil in there that is filled with particles and dirt, the oil is not able to lubricate all that it needs to. This can result in sluggish and slow acceleration. Your engine can also be down on power.
What Can Be Done With A Car That Won’t Accelerate?
Allow us to offer you some advice with your car’s acceleration problems:
Don’t Ignore the Issue!
The first thing to fixing the issue is not to ignore your car’s acceleration problems. Acceleration issues can become safety hazards for you. If you are finding it hard to make your car move fast, despite all of your efforts, then this is something that you cannot ignore and pray that goes away. Think of traveling down a busy highway and you are having acceleration issues. The hope is that you will throw on those hazard lights and pull over. But you also run the risk of someone hitting you or getting into an accident with you, due to your ability not to go anywhere in your car.
The bottom line is this…
A car that hesitates or fails to accelerate properly needs to be taken to a certified mechanic. We recommend that you abandon the notion of the DIY efforts in this case- unless you are a mechanic reading this. Then you’ll now what to do. But for all other car owners, you need to get that car to an auto professional immediately.
If you decide to drive a car that has poor acceleration, then you are eventually going to do additional damage to your car, that didn’t exist before. Even if your car’s lackluster acceleration is due to just a dirty filter, you should err on the side of caution and take that car to a mechanic, ASAP. Let hat auto professional inspect your car, and give you a complete picture as to why your car is not accelerating properly.
What Will it Cost me to Fix My Car’s Acceleration Problem?
This is a great question and the answer depends on the issue. Today’s vehicles are equipped with a pedal position sensor. This sensor has the job of relaying information to your car’s computer as to the proper amount of fuel to transport to the engine. Each time to press on this pedal, the sensor goes to work and regulates your vehicle’s fuel supply- ensuring the correct amount is sent for the engine. This sensor directly impacts fuel efficiency.
So, if you have a faulty pedal position sensor, then you have to take your car to a dealership or a trusted mechanic and get it replaced. The entire replacement of this sensor should cost you about $200 to $250. Don’t forget to factor in labor. And the cost of the sensor, will depend on the make and model of your car.
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