Share on:

Why Doesn't My Car Accelerate Properly 

Rating: 4.3 (136 votes)
Shared 13 times
Why Doesn't My Car Accelerate Properly 

There are many possible reasons why your car is not accelerating properly. Some are very simple to fix, while others will need a professional mechanic and a considerable amount of money. In any case, it is important to remember that with good maintenance of your car you will minimize the chances of any of these happening to your vehicle.

In this oneHOWTO article, we can answer why doesn't your car accelerate properly.

You may also be interested in: What Can I Do to Make my Car Accelerate Faster

Clutch problems

One of the most common reasons why your car does not accelerate properly is that the clutch isn't properly engaging the gearbox with the engine due to a mechanical error. The result is that the car does not accelerate properly because of the slipping clutch. You must go to your mechanic immediately to find the exact cause of the problem and fix it.

Timing belt fault

A fault in the timing belt of your car may also be the reason why it is not accelerating properly. This vital part of a car's structure doesn't tend to cause problems, and it doesn't usually get much attention beyond the maintenance carried out by the mechanic during periodic servicing. If the timing belt is the slightest bit misplaced, it will show when you accelerate.

However, proper maintenance is essential to avoid situations where the car does not accelerate properly. See this link to find out when to change your car's timing belt.

Dirty fuel filter

Another reason why your car doesn't accelerate properly could be a very dirty fuel filter, which will eventually prevent the fuel from providing the engine with sufficient energy to move. There is an even easier reason related to fuel: it might be that your car isn't accelerating because your petrol tank is nearly empty. Simple, but way too easy to overlook.

Check if your fuel filter is bad and, if this is the case, you can learn how to clean your fuel filter here. Every once in a while you should change the fuel filter or consider an injector flush.

Problems in the electronic system

Sometimes, a car does not accelerate due to an error in the electronic control unit, if it has one. For example, the electronic system often warns that the car is producing too many fumes. This makes the car slowly lose power until it is eventually unable to accelerate due to what the system has interpreted as a "pollution error".

In this case, the fault is in the electronic control unit of the car and you will have to go to a garage that specializes in such problems to get it fixed. Repairing this type of fault is not going to be cheap. This is another common reason why your car loses power, even when you're not accelerating.

Warning from the oxygen sensor

Sometimes, the electronic control unit warning of fumes is not due to an error. If there is not enough oxygen in the engine and the air-to-fuel mixture is unbalanced, the fuel does not burn properly. This causes fumes and pollutants that eventually will damage your car's engine.

The oxygen sensor is in charge of regulating that balance. If there is a problem, it will change the mixture by using more or less fuel. One of the symptoms of not enough oxygen in the engine is problems accelerating.

Blocked or clogged air filter

Another reason why your car doesn't accelerate properly can be that your air filter or exhaust is clogged or even completely blocked. Here you can learn how to clean your air filter at home to prevent such a problem from happening.

Electrical faults

Other reasons why your car doesn't accelerate as it normally would can include wiring and sensor issues or malfunctions. Wires and other electrical elements of your car wear down with time, and they can also become loose. This is a big risk, and can cause short circuits and failures in transmitting information to the engine.

Vacuum leaks

A vacuum leak means that an external element like air or fuel enter the engine, which can make the car stutter.

These are some of the most common causes why your car doesn't accelerate properly. However, this is a quite important problem all by itself, so you should bring your car to a mechanic for a complete service.

A car that does not accelerate properly when required can compromise the safety of the passengers in the car and other drivers on the road. As such, it is essential to get a professional to look at the car and fix the problem.

If you find that none of the above are the underlying problem of your car accelerating, take a look at how you can make your car accelerate further with these simple tricks that won't compromise the safety of your car or its occupants.

If you'd like to read similar articles to Why Doesn't My Car Accelerate Properly , we recommend you browse around our Car Maintenance and Repair category.

Comments (18)

Write a comment about Why Doesn't My Car Accelerate Properly 

What did you think of this article?
my is accelerates very slowly
Joshi. J.L
Sir, I am from India. My skoda Octavia 1.9 tdi , driven 22k Kms in 5 yrs.( sparingly used ) Later after my acquirement i drove 54K Kms in 1.5 yrs.( 76K Kms in ODO). I feel its not having good accelaration , it can reach 190 kmph too , but the instant accelaration is poor.i get a mettalic like sound while accelerating. i cleaned EGR, Catalytic convertor, changed fuel filters and airfilter too. still not finding good improvement. pls suggest me.
After igniting in the morning, my car has trouble accelerating especially when o a hill or when overtikng. What could be the cause of this?
OneHowTo Editor
Have you checked all of the possibilities mentioned in the article? If you have checked the fuel filter, timing belt and electronic system we advise you to take it to a mechanic so he can take a closer look.
Hope this helps
my car can run fine then suddenly when i go to put my foot on gas it wont give any power and then it kicks in plus sometimes my idleing needle goes high
Dr. Matthew
I love this site, so awesome
dear sir i am from ksa and i have chevrolet captiva jeep 1 month ago i replace our gairbox now after month he cant accerator properly plz give me idea or help me about this reason becouse i going to some mechinic but not solov this problum.thanks fro help sir
My car Nissan Serena won't accelerate properly I have changed my fuel pump and air flow meter but same problem what should I do. Pls I nid reply.
Help please! I push the gas and my car struggles to accelerate? What can be the cause for this problem?
my Nissan versa2006 wont move after i slow down to negotiate a bend,i stepped on the gas but the wouldn't move until after some seconds
Upon acceleration my bmw does not pull but rather makes a nice like plugs not work mean while all plugs,ignition leads ,injectors are brand new and all I get is flames from exhaust
Alice T Breeze
There may be a problem with the clutch. We'd advise you to take it to a professional mechanic so he/she can solve the problem.


Why Doesn't My Car Accelerate Properly 
1 of 3
Why Doesn't My Car Accelerate Properly