Attending Auto Mechanic College? 5 Common Causes of Acceleration Issues in Vehicles

Picture this: you’re pressing on the gas pedal, but nothing’s happening, even though the car is on. When this type of problem occurs, it likely means there’s something interfering with the acceleration. When a vehicle won’t accelerate, there are many different components which can be examined to determine the source of the problem. If you’re entering a career as an auto mechanic, it will be important to know where to look in order to properly address an acceleration issue. 

Below, discover five different causes of acceleration problems in vehicles. You can refer to these throughout your career in order to most effectively help customers who are experiencing this type of issue.

1. Those with Auto Mechanic Training Can Start by Checking the Timing Belt

The timing belt is one of the most important parts of a vehicle’s engine. If it’s not working, that could mean trouble for the car’s acceleration. A timing belt synchronizes an engine’s movement, enabling its valves to open and shut at just the right time to deliver the right amount of power to a vehicle. If the timing belt is damaged or misaligned, this can impede a vehicle’s ability to accelerate. If you want to become an auto mechanic, the timing belt is one of the first components to check when examining a vehicle with acceleration issues.

Check a vehicle’s timing belt to determine whether it’s the source of an acceleration issue

2. A Clogged Air Filter or Air Flow Sensor Might be the Problem

In order to function properly, a vehicle’s engine relies on clean air filters to deliver a mix of air and fuel into its combustion chamber. A clogged air filter can mean that the engine isn’t receiving the right amount of air, leading to a slow or nonexistent acceleration capacity. Another possible reason for the engine not getting enough air could be a malfunctioning air flow sensor. This component measures the amount of air entering an engine—and if it’s clogged or faulty, the engine’s computer might be receiving the wrong information. This can cause the engine to take in the wrong amount of air, leading to acceleration problems. 

3. A Clogged Fuel Filter is Another Potential Culprit

Similar to a clogged air filter or sensor, a clogged fuel filter can be disastrous for a vehicle’s ability to accelerate. Over time, the fuel entering the fuel tank can become contaminated with dirt, which makes it harder for the fuel to move seamlessly to the engine. If the fuel filter is clogged, not enough fuel will get to the engine, resulting in acceleration issues. After auto mechanic training, consider replacing the fuel filter to determine whether it’s the source of a vehicle’s acceleration issues.

A clogged fuel filter might lead to acceleration issues

4. A TPS Malfunction Can Cause Acceleration Issues

A vehicle’s TPS —or throttle position sensor—is designed to transmit data to the engine computer about the throttle valve’s opening angle. This angle is controlled by the accelerator pedal. However, when the TPS isn’t working properly, it loses its ability to tell the engine computer what position the accelerator pedal or throttle is in. This means that drivers won’t be able to control the speed of the engine with the accelerator pedal. If a vehicle is experiencing a jolting acceleration, check the TPS to determine whether it’s working properly.

5. Check the Oxygen Sensor

Located in a vehicle’s exhaust stream, the oxygen sensor monitors and controls a vehicle’s exhaust emissions. A vehicle requires a certain amount of fuel in order to burn correctly and accelerate properly. It’s the oxygen sensor’s job to send information about the amount of fuel an engine should use. If the oxygen sensor isn’t working, this can lead the engine to use too much fuel, leading to a slow acceleration.

Ready to attend auto mechanic college?

Get started with a program at ATC Toronto today!


Form is submitting