If you have been driving your car for a while, you know what to expect when you press down on the gas pedal. You should gain ample speed depending on how much pressure you apply. However, over time, cars can lose their ability to responsively accelerate. You might step on the gas and feel some hesitation.
Combustion and Acceleration
A car's combustion engine should get fuel from the engine, and then push the exhaust fumes away from the vehicle. This intricate system of sensors and other mechanics help the combustion process propel you automobile forward. When something in this system fails, your car might not accelerate as well as it used to.
Reasons for this include:
· Fuel system issues
· A failed catalytic converter
· A dirty or damaged Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)
· A malfunctioning oxygen sensor
· The timing belt
· A dirty or clogged air filter
Reasons for Poor Acceleration
A vehicle that will not accelerate properly needs to be inspected as soon as possible. Knowing what to expect can help you approach your mechanic with your concerns and how much to expect in auto repair bills.
Fuel System Problems
When fuel delivery is lacking, vehicles will not accelerate properly. This could be due to issues like a fuel filter becoming clogged or dirty, the fuel injector getting clogged or malfunctioning, or the fuel pump being defective.
Fuel injectors control the amount of fuel that is delivered to the combustion chamber. The delivery passages are relatively small and can become dirty/clogged over time with particles left over from the combustion-making process.
A bad fuel pump can be a worst-case scenario. These pumps take fuel from the gas tank and pump it through the fuel lines to the engine. If a fuel pump goes bad, it will not deliver enough fuel for acceleration, potentially even leading to the engine stalling.
The Catalytic Converter
A failed catalytic converter means that the "cat" cannot get enough exhaust out of the engine, leading to a back up of pressure. This can also cause the engine to overheat.
This sensor is attached to the inlet air cleaner and measures how much airflow gets into the engine's air intake system. If the system is clogged, it might send incorrect information to the car's computer.
The Oxygen Sensor
This sensor tracks the vehicle's oxygen emissions by analyzing the air-to-fuel ratio. This data is sent to the internal computer, but if the sensor is bad, the engine cannot properly regulate the air-to-fuel ratio.
The Timing Belt
The timing belt works with the engine's pistons and is attached to the camshaft (which controls the valves opening and closing) and crankshaft. The timing belt controls the timing of the valves opening and closing. If the belt is off by even a slight amount, the vehicle might not accelerate as quickly.
The Air Filter
Air filters filter out debris from the oxygen being sent to the engine for combustion. A dirty/clogged filter means that not enough clean air is making it into the engine for a proper air-to-fuel ratio.
Whatever the cause, be sure to get an auto repair professional to service the vehicle as soon as possible. The longer you put it off, the worse your car's acceleration might become.