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6 reasons why your car won't accelerate and the symptoms to watch out for

24th July 2017 Print
Car engine

Ever notice when you drive up a hill or are entering fast traffic that your car isn’t accelerating well? Want to know why your car isn’t working as it should? Then here are a few things to look out for: 

1) Fuel filters in need of a clean

Fuel filters that are blocked by dirt, dust and grime can mean that your car’s engine is not getting enough fuel. Hence it’s not accelerating well. If this is the case, then replace the filter, and the acceleration of your car should be restored.  

2) Air filters in need of attention

Air filters that are congested could also affect the performance of your car’s engine, meaning it won’t accelerate well. If air filters are obstructed with dirt and debris, the engine won’t get the right mix of air and fuel, so won’t perform at its optimum capacity. So again, replacement is the best course of action.  

3) Air flow meter problem

The air flow meter is crucial to the good operation of your car, and your acceleration could be affected if it’s not working well. Air flow meters include a mechanical door, which just like all components on your car, wear with age. The pivot or the door’s spring could break or stick, so the door doesn’t open properly, again affecting the engine’s performance.

4) Broken Oxygen sensor 

Car oxygen sensors measure oxygen levels in the car’s exhaust fumes, if they are not working correctly, it could affect the acceleration of your car and mean you’ll have a rough ride too. Moreover, it can affect the environment, leading to more harmful emissions being emitted.  

Oxygen sensors wear with age and use, so expect to have to replace yours at some point. As a rule of thumb Oxygen sensors need replacing every 60-90,000 miles. However, replacing it will transform the quality of your journey, making it smoother, improving the acceleration, and your car will be more fuel efficient too. Replacing the oxygen sensor will also help the environment – so replace it without delay.

5) Faulty timing belts and chains

Does your car have poor acceleration and is there a knocking noise coming from the engine? Then it could be an indication of a problem with the timing belt or chain.  

Timing belts are another component that need replacing around every 90,000 miles or so, it is a significant investment, but they are lasting much longer than they used to. Moreover, they are crucial to the operation of your car’s engine and hence to the good acceleration of your car. 

Timing chains, on the other hand, tend to last longer, with some lasting for the life of a car, as long as they are well looked after and well-oiled - have them serviced every 40,000 at least.  Whichever your car has, it’s important to keep it in good order. 

6) TPS in need of attention?  

The throttle position sensor (TPS) is crucial to the good operation of your car, being a key part of the fuel management system, indicating how much fuel the engine needs to be injected with while you’re driving. So the TPS could be the reason for your acceleration problem. A failure of the TPS could be indicated by the ‘check engine’ light being illuminated, and it’s something you should get checked and replaced. 

So there you have a few reasons why your car isn’t accelerating well, and some things you should look out for or get checked if a problem emerges.  

To help your car work at optimum levels, have your tyres checked and replaced regularly. If you live in Devizes, then check out the tyres Devizes page of the Wiltshire Tyres website. Not only do they offer a range of quality, affordable tyres, but they will come to your premises and fit new ones so that you don’t have to take time off work to visit the garage.

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Car engine