5 Popular Causes of Car Won’t Accelerate Issue

How annoying might it be when you step on the gas pedal but the car won’t accelerate? Two things can happen – the vehicle does not accelerate at all or as fast as it should be. You can pin down the problem on several causes and some can be complex enough to earn a visit to the mechanic.

The Causes Of Car Won’t Accelerate

Regular maintenance is the key to minimizing the chance of various issues. However, sometimes it becomes old enough to stay out of trouble. In fact, high-mileage vehicles could also have this acceleration problem. So, what should you do when your car won’t accelerate? You should diagnose the symptoms and take action accordingly.

1. Look into the clutch

My car won’t accelerate when I push the gas pedal, what should I do? – Have you looked into the clutch?
Almost 90% of the time, it’s the clutch! When it can’t properly engage the transmission with the engine, your car shows acceleration issues. It could be a worn-out clutch pedal or the clutch fluid. The fluid should not go below the minimum level or cross the maximum level.

car wont accelerate when pressing gas
The clutch is the most common reason for acceleration problems. (Photo: Cartoq.com)

Watch the clutch’s action. If it seems loose or the engine changes speed without accelerating or decelerating, the clutch is definitely the origin of the problem.

2. Problems with the ECU

An error in the electronic control unit (ECU) could also be the reason your car won’t accelerate when pressing the gas pedal. For example, a pollution error could trick the computer system to think that the car has been producing excessive fume. In response, it will make the engine lose power slowly, which gradually leads to trouble with acceleration.

The ECU may provide incorrect readings if any or multiple of its sensors don’t work properly. You have to go to a car service to find out what is wrong with it.

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3. Filthy fuel filter

The fuel filter is too dirty and damaged, which also causes the car to not accelerate. Why is that so? That’s because the filter keeps the task of filtering out dirt in the fuel that is pumped into the car before it is put into the engine. When the filter is dirty, it will not filter out all the dirt or obstruct the fuel inlet. Thus, the engine will not be supplied with enough clean fuel and of course, it can’t accelerate when driving. Not only that, the case of a torn fuel filter will be very dangerous for the engine. Because dirt getting in can cause serious damage and cost a lot to repair.

You have to clean the filter or replace it with a new one to solve this issue.

4. Faults in the timing belt

A worn-out or damaged timing belt will affect the acceleration. But, a newly replaced belt could also be the culprit. Why does this happen? It happens when it’s misplaced or misaligned. Choose a professional mechanic to do the replacement because the improper installation will result in worse acceleration than before.

car wont accelerate
Replace the worn-out timing belt. (Photo: yourmechanic.com)

5. Leaks in vacuum hoses

There are plenty of fuel filter is too dirty and damaged inside an automobile’s engine. They transport fuel and air from and to the engine and different supply points and connectors. Your car won’t accelerate if there are holes in the hoses or dirt buildups.

Understanding the 5 causes helps drivers easily overcome this situation and limit unintended risks when driving in traffic.

How To Fix Car Acceleration Problems?

Cars that do not accelerate will prevent the vehicle’s operation. Sometimes it will cause danger to the driver when the vehicle is going uphill or entering the highway. Therefore, if you find a problem that is difficult or not to accelerate in the car, you should find a way to fix it quickly. Normally, when your car has an acceleration problem, drivers need to give it to the garage for inspection, maintenance, or repair. However, in some cases, this problem is due to some basic reasons, and we can temporarily handle it to get the car running again. 

  • When the vehicle is going uphill, it will be quite dangerous to slow down. If you turn off the traction system on the vehicle, the risk of skidding increases. The cause of this situation may be due to a large slope, low air density will reduce the vehicle’s operating capacity. To fix it, clean the air filter as well as the fuel injectors. This will help reduce pressure on the car and help the parts work properly again.
  • New cars are equipped with an emergency brake system to ensure safety and limit danger in emergency situations. However, in many cases, your car is still under control, without obstacles, but the emergency brake activates itself. At that time, the brake will create a reaction to slow the rotation of the wheels and cause the car to stop. And, there will be a situation where your car can’t accelerate. In this case, have the emergency brake checked again or replaced if necessary.
  • If the driver experiences an acceleration issue due to low fuel level or poor quality, it will be quite easy to overcome. Just check the fuel tanks and keep them full. At the same time, choose high-quality fuel, and ensure quality and suitability for your vehicle. Thus, the problem can be handled.

Watch the video to know more about handling the car acceleration issue:

Frequently Asked Questions:

car will not accelerate when gas is pressed
My car won’t accelerate when pressing the gas. What should I do? (Photo: Shutterstock)

1. Why is my car having trouble accelerating?

Imagine you are driving your car and finding out that it is losing power when you accelerate. What are the reasons behind this? Well, there are only 2 reasons responsible for this. Either your car is running out of fuel or it does not have enough power. And there are lots of causes behind your car losing POWER especially when accelerating, some of them are:

  • Malfunctions of Actuators such as bad spark plugs, bad fuel pumps, and bad injectors.
  • The faulty Sensors such as the fuel filter is too dirty and damaged, MAF sensor, Crankshaft sensor, Camshaft position sensor and all sensors relative to the EFI system.
  • Mechanical issues such as Clogged Exhaust Manifold, Dirty air filter, Clogged fuel filter, and low compression.

2. Should I ignore acceleration issues?

As we’ve shown you above, acceleration problems are not too serious. But if you are experiencing any of acceleration issues, you should not ignore it. Acceleration problems are a matter that will not go away if you don’t do anything to fix them.

The longer you try to ignore them, the more accidents are increased. Most car owners don’t have enough mechanical knowledge to understand fully their cars. They tend to concentrate on one probable source of the trouble whereas paying no attention to what is the cause at hand. That will develop other trouble to surface in the future.

3. Do I need to bring my car to a professional auto service centre?

As you don’t fully understand a vehicle so it is better to bring your car to a professional auto service centre for checking acceleration problems. A professional auto service centre is going to have skilled mechanics and equipment to inspect and fix the problems of your car. The repair may not cost you too much at all. If the repair is a bit expensive, you shouldn’t hesitate to pay for it as your safety will depend on it. You want to make sure that you can get the right speed every time you speed up or slow down.