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My Car Won’t Accelerate

We all know the feeling. You’re running out the door to be somewhere and you hop in your car, pull out the drive only to find out your car won’t accelerate. There is nothing more frustrating than having issues with your vehicle. In this article we will research the top reasons your car won’t accelerate.

Why Is My Car Accelerating Slowly

It doesn’t matter whether you are 1 hour away from home or 15 minutes from home, having issues with your car accelerating can be very bad. Not only does it cause more stress for you but if you pull out in front of someone only to find out that your car won’t accelerate it can be dangerous. Let’s discuss some reasons your car won’t accelerate.

Problems Accelerating Car

You may feel like you’re powerless and stranded. There are several reasons that can cause your car to lose its acceleration, and diagnosing the problem can be challenging. Here are some common reasons why your car won’t accelerate and what you can do to fix the issue. 

One of the number one reasons your car won’t accelerate can be a clogged air filter. Your car’s air filter keeps dirt and debris from entering the engine. A clogged air filter can reduce the amount of air entering the engine, causing it to run rich, which can result in poor acceleration. A dirty air filter can also cause your car to stall or misfire. You should replace your air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or more frequently if you drive in dusty or dirty conditions. The money spent on the filter will easily be returned in fuel savings. 

The second most common culprit can be a fuel delivery issue. If your car’s fuel pump, fuel filter, or fuel injectors are malfunctioning, your engine may not be receiving enough fuel to accelerate. The fuel pump is responsible for pumping fuel from the gas tank to the engine, and a faulty fuel pump can cause poor acceleration or stalling. A clogged fuel filter can also prevent fuel from reaching the engine, leading to poor acceleration. A skilled technician can diagnose and repair fuel delivery issues.

Car Won’t Accelerate When I Push the Gas

Digging a little deeper you might find that you have transmission problems. Your car’s transmission is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the wheels. A malfunctioning transmission can cause poor acceleration or prevent your car from accelerating at all. If you notice that your car is struggling to shift gears, or if you hear grinding or whining noises coming from the transmission, you may have a transmission problem. Just like engine oil most transmissions have synthetic fluid and a fluid filter that should be replaced at time and mileage intervals. It’s essential to have your transmission serviced regularly to prevent issues from developing.

Truck Won’t Accelerate

Going back to the basics it could just be spark plugs. Spark plugs ignite the fuel and air mixture in your car’s engine, and if they’re worn or dirty, they can cause poor acceleration. Misfiring spark plugs can also cause your engine to run rough or stall. Most modern vehicles have service recommendations of 100 to 125,000 miles for spark plug replacement.

Car Won’t Accelerate when Pushing Gas Pedal all the Way Down

Another thing you will want to check is the exhaust system.  A clogged or damaged exhaust system can prevent your engine from breathing correctly, leading to poor acceleration. A failing catalytic convertor can severely close off your engines exhaust system.  A faulty oxygen sensor can also cause your car’s engine to run rich or lean, leading to poor fuel economy and acceleration. If you hear hissing, popping, or rattling noises coming from your exhaust system this could be the issue.

My Car Won’t Accelerate: Older Car

It doesn’t matter if you have a vintage car, a car that is a few years old, or a new car these types of issues can happen. There can be several reasons that cause the issues but the important part if that you get your vehicle in and find out why it is not accelerating.

Acceleration problems with your car can even go as far as an electrical problem. You could have malfunctioning sensor or wiring problems. This can cause poor acceleration and reduced power to the engine.

If you have a newer car be sure to see if it is under warranty. A warranty should cover this type of repair. However, if you do have a vehicle that has an expired warranty you will want to get it to a repair facility near you to have a skilled technician run testing.

Pushing Gas with No Acceleration

Most reputable repair shops can offer you a courtesy car. Now a days its almost impossible to be without a vehicle. You need it to go to work, get groceries and take the kids to school. So, find a repair shop near you that offers this service.

How to Fix a Car or Truck that Won’t Accelerate

As you can see there are numerous issues that can cause your car to not accelerate when you hit the gas. So many different things can affect your vehicle that you would almost need a crystal ball to figure out the root cause of the issue. A few hours of skilled testing will give you an idea of just how much this repair will cost you.  

Many of the repairs listed above can be affordable repairs but if you get into transmission work this can cost you more. It’s best to have a professional look at your vehicle and figure it out. After all who has the time to troubleshoot and make unnecessary repairs. You could spend hundreds of dollars trying to figure it out yourself to end up taking it to a professional in the end anyways.  


In conclusion, if your truck or car won’t accelerate when you hit the gas you need to do something quickly. Most of the suggestions in this article are basic items that should be done at service intervals scheduled by the vehicle manufacture. Making sure all your vehicles maintenance is up to date will help save money in the long run & keep you and your vehicle away from the dreaded tow trucks “hook”. Don’t wait for gauge lights to come on and risk causing more damage to your car. Take it to a professional, we specialize in helping car owners every day with acceleration issues. 

Click below to learn more about how we can help you and get you back on the road.