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Driving has always been a good experience to me when everything falls into place. All I have to do is to steer the car in the desired direction. At some point, I realized that when I tried to move to the fast lane or make an attempt to overtake a slow moving car my car won’t accelerate when I push the gas.

I have been told that this is a common problem found in vehicles with extensive mileage coverage. So I decided to go to my trusted mechanic who assured me that I should not be worried as he looks at what is the exact cause of my problem.

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Look at what he took me through as the possible causes

A malfunctioning or a clogged air flow meter​

The air flow meter is normally found on the inlet of the air cleaner. It is supposed to measure the mass of air that flows through the inlet cleaner and then sends the data to the vehicle’s electronic control unit (ECU) which then calculates the percentage of the air and fuel mixture. When there is a lot of air or debris that passes through the filter, the fuel quality is reduced, meaning that your pistons are not getting the right amount of fuel to enable proportional acceleration.​

To fix this you need to make sure that you regularly check your filters for cleaning or replacement so that the engine can get enough oxygen for combustion.​

A malfunctioning or a clogged air flow meter​

Oxygen sensor not working​

The oxygen sensor’s primary function is to analyse the air-fuel mixture and determine the ratio that gets into the engine. Your car’s combustion chamber needs just the right amount of air-fuel mixture to create the right environment for an effective combustion to take place. If the sensor is damaged or not working, the engine electrical component will not get any information and will result in running on unburned fuel with a low ratio of air. This will cause the car to move sluggishly by slowing the acceleration no matter how hard you press on the gas pedal.​

Oxygen sensor not working​

Bad throttle position sensor​

The accelerator pedal controls the valve opening of the throttle. The position sensors send the data (size of the opening) to the ECU. This information is very vital in controlling engine speed. In the absence of this data, the gas pedal cannot change the speed of the car.​

Dirty fuel filters​

A dirty fuel filter means that your engine does not get enough fuel or getting fuel that is already contaminated and cannot provide enough power for the engine to accelerate. The obvious remedy is to replace the fuel filters as soon as possible.​

Dirty fuel filters​

Dirty air filters​

Air filters ensure that the air that flows into the engine is clean and free of any contaminants. The cleaned air is then mixed with fuel in the engine in the right proportions to power the engine during acceleration. A clogged air filter means no enough air-fuel ratio gets into the engine resulting in slow acceleration.​

Dirty air filters​

The timing belt​

This is the most sensitive car engine element that plays a vital role in car acceleration. A damage as small as a misaligned tooth can cause noticeable changes to the acceleration of the car. You can check if your timing belt does not synchronize with other engine components to cause this problem. In some cases, you may be prompted to replace the timing belt.​

The timing belt​

Slipping clutch​

You can tell if you have a slipping clutch problem when you cannot move faster despite acceleration when climbing hills or when you are trying to move a loaded vehicle faster. The easiest way to notice this is the distinctive odor of a burning like substance. When the clutch plate is overheating your car will not go anywhere.​

Slipping clutch​

Dirty transmission fluid

If you are driving a car with a hydraulic clutch system, the most obvious place to check is the clutch fluid reservoir. The fluid has to be clear for an effective and flawless transmission during acceleration. If the fluid is dark or cloudy, you should replace it immediately and if the amount of fluid drops below the recommended level, top up the reservoir.

Dirty transmission fluid

Faulty transmission

Any delay or lack of immediate response from the engine during acceleration can be directly linked to a faulty transmission. A properly functioning transmission automatically switches to the next gear seamlessly to propel the car further depending on the speed of the car. If you notice that your engine revs unusually before moving into gear shift and does not move as fast as the engine, then you may have to look at the entire transmission.

Understanding the importance of regular maintenance

  • Some of the car acceleration problems are caused by lack of scheduled or poor service. You need to take your car to your regular and trusted mechanic to make it easy for you to track any problems that may arise.
  • Regular maintenance will also reduce the eventual cost of repair whenever a breakdown occurs. This also gives you the opportunity to inspect those areas that cannot be visually diagnosed.
  • Regular engine checkups will ensure that it works efficiently and corresponds to all components of the car when driving.
  • You will maintain the value of your car if at any given time you may want to sell it.
  • Regular maintenance checks every aspect of your car and not only the problem areas. This enhances your safety and those of others on the road.

Conclusion

I decided to take my car to a reputable mechanic who took his time to do a test drive in an attempt to replicate the acceleration issues I was concerned with. At least I got to know that the reason my car was not able to accelerate when I pushed the gas was because of the dirty filters. And that point back to me, I have been in the habit of skipping scheduled services because of being busy.

Please share the article and let others know the importance of regularly servicing their cars.!

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Chief editor at Paul's Gigantic Garage. I came up with this blog to help you to sort out some basic problems your car may be facing and in turn, save lots of cash by some of my DIY tips that I hope will get your car out of its current situation. I also had in mind motor enthusiasts who for the love of cars who are constantly looking for information about cars on the latest trends, questions, fixes, driving, tricks, and accessories.

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