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How to Adjust the Accelerator Cable on a Car

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. April 19, 2017
How to Adjust the Accelerator Cable on a Car

While newer car models now come with an electronic accelerator control system, many cars still have accelerator cables that you have to deal with. Basically, an accelerator cable is braided with metal and works as a mechanical link between the throttle plate of your car’s engine and the gas pedal. When you press the gas pedal, you indirectly pull the cable and open the throttle. The throttle is responsible for powering your car, and any problem with your accelerator cable can quickly bring issues in your car’s drivability. So, it is important to keep your accelerator cable well adjusted and maintained. In this oneHOWTO article, you are going to find out how to adjust the accelerator cable on a car yourself.

  1. Does your accelerator cable need adjustment?
  2. Step by step instructions
  3. Important tips to adjust accelerator cable on the car

Does your accelerator cable need adjustment?

Before you mess with your accelerator cable, find out whether it needs any kind of adjustment at all or not. Here are a few symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Look for damage in the outer covering. If your accelerator cable touches any sharp edges or components while moving, you will be able to notice wear and damage on its outer covering. The metal cable kept inside the rubber sheath may also have received damage, due to which it may have become loose and it may break apart any time.
  • When you depress the gas pedal, the car’s engine should immediately respond to start accelerating. But if your gas pedal is showing delayed response, then it may be a sign of loose accelerator cable. Over time, the cable might have stretched, causing a delay in the throttle’s response time and thus causing car jerking.
  • If you are noticing any changes in your pedal’s tension, like binding or jerking, then you may need to adjust the accelerator cable.

Step by step instructions

Now that you have come to know that your accelerator cable needs adjustment, here are the step by step instructions that you should follow:

  1. First of all, open the hood of your car and locate the accelerator cable. You will find it on the right hand side of your engine’s compartment attached with an aluminum intake. The braided cable that you will see there is the accelerator cable that you need.
  2. You can see two nuts that are holding the accelerator cable to the aluminum body’s bracket. The front nut is the lock nut and the rear nut is the deflection adjustment nut. First, you have to loosen the front nut that is lock nut.
  3. Now, turn the rear nut clockwise or anti-clockwise, until the middle cable deflection come to 1 to 3 mm. When you have adjusted the deflection, just tighten the front nut. This is a tricky step, as you have to give just the right adjustment to the deflection nut. If you screw it too tight, the throttle will pull and your car will idle more.
  4. Close the hood, turn on the car’s ignition and drive the car. You will notice much difference in the way your car maneuvers now.
How to Adjust the Accelerator Cable on a Car - Step by step instructions

Important tips to adjust accelerator cable on the car

Another important thing to check is the inadequate or excessive tension in the accelerator cable. Ask someone to gently press the gas pedal while you go under the hood to check the cable and ensure that the pulley is rotating no further and the cable is flexing a little with a little finger pressure. Now ask the person to press the pedal hard. Now, the pulley should rotate no more and the same amount of flexing should remain in the cable. Once you have adjusted your accelerator cable yourself, your car should now accelerate better and any past issues must have resolved. If not, you should get it checked by a professional who may decide to adjust or replace the accelerator cable, as needed.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Adjust the Accelerator Cable on a Car, we recommend you visit our Car Maintenance and Repair category.

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How to Adjust the Accelerator Cable on a Car