Why does my car accelerate slowly when I press the gas?

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

You’re driving along in your vehicle, and everything seems fine – until you start up a hill, or try to quickly pull out into fast-moving traffic. Then it happens… nothing. Sure, the car is moving, but it’s ridiculously slow and you can tell that the engine is struggling to keep up.

This is a common problem found especially in high-mileage vehicles. Before you get too worried, let’s take a look at some of the possible easy fixes….

- The O2 sensor. The oxygen sensor (or O2 sensor) is a device that helps monitor the emissions of your vehicle so as to analyze the air-to-fuel ratio going through the engine In a nutshell, you need to proper amount of oxygen to properly burn the fuel in the engine. Not enough oxygen results in unburn fuel (rich mixture) and too little oxygen (lean mixture) causes more pollutants and can actually damage your engine. When this sensor detects a problem, it sends a signal to the engine to change the amount of fuel being used. If your sensor is malfunctioned, it could be messing up your fuel mixture; and if it’s out altogether, your car’s pretty much just guessing as to what mixture it needs at the moment.

- Fuel filter. Changing the fuel filter (especially if it’s been a while) may be your ticket here. If fuel can’t get into the engine, you’re not going to be getting anywhere very quickly. In addition to this, it’s not a bad idea to get an injector flush altogether.

- Clogged air filter or blocked exhast. Air is a very important part of proper car function (or any type of combustion, for that matter). Make sure your engine’s getting the necessary amount of oxygen it needs to operate.

- Timing belt. If this is off by even 1 tooth, it can cause acceleration problems.

And of course there are many other possibilities -

  • Fuel pump may need to be replaced
  • Transmission may need some work
  • A slipping clutch could be the culprit
  • A seemingly unrelated issue that surprises even the most experienced mechanic

For best results, taking your car to a trusted mechanic for his evaluation my be in your best interest to get to the root of the problem before wearing yourself out trying to address the issue through a costly trial-and-error process – which could result in new problems if not properly handled by someone with proper knowledge and experience.

Call us today, 478-1991, and let us help you get the worry out of the way.