Why Does My Car Accelerate By Itself?

Cars are an incredibly important part of our daily lives, whether to go to work, a trip or to move from one place to another within our own city. However, whether your car is old or new, it must pass the corresponding revisions if you want to avoid breaking down or be safe within your vehicle.

Some of the most common car and motor problems are usually those related to acceleration. Often due to a failure to control an accelerator. For more about why does my car accelerate by itself, its causes, and how to fix it, keep reading here.

What Is Sudden Unintended Acceleration?

Sudden unintended acceleration is a glitch that happens when the vehicle (supposedly) accelerates on its own without driver input. In some cases, drivers also complain of loss of braking ability during an unintended acceleration event.

Over the years, the public has speculated it to be the cause of several crashes involving vehicles from different automakers. Such incidents have brought about recalls of the involved vehicles for the safety of the public and for further investigation.

Why Does My Car Accelerate By Itself?

In most cases, sudden unintended acceleration supposedly occurs when the car is in motion. Although there has been a lot of speculation as to why this can happen, in major investigations, driver error is often found to be the cause.

The problem happens when instead of stepping on the brakes, the driver steps on the gas. Pedal misapplication can easily be avoided by being mindful of where you step.

Things to Be Consider

Here are other things that might result in sudden unintended acceleration that you should consider. To know the cause of why does my car accelerate by itself follow below.

1. Throttle Issue

If your throttle is cable operated and you have cruise control engaged. The vehicle begins to accelerate when you are attempting to slow down. There may be a problem with the brake input to the cruise control system.

2. Cruise Control In The Rain

The notion that using your cruise control in the rain might cause an accident is highly unlikely. Although using a cruise in the rain isn’t a good idea.

A vehicle being driven in the rain would slow down and cause the cruise control to apply the throttle. But that won’t happen unless the non-drive wheels are providing vehicle speed information to the cruise control module.

3. Stuck Accelerator

If you have accelerated aggressively and found that your accelerator has stuck under the floor mat. Perhaps the floor mat should be repositioned.

4. Due To Driver Error

Again, automakers go to great lengths to prevent sudden unintended acceleration from ever happening. And usually, when it does happen, it’s a driver error.

5. Stick Throttle Plate

Unfortunately, sometimes the throttle plate will stick in the throttle body due to sludge on cable-equipped throttles. And the pedal may feel very hard and unyielding on acceleration. If the vehicle happens to be in reverse when foot feed pressure is increased to the point of breaking the throttle body loose from being stuck. The vehicle can experience uncontrolled acceleration in reverse even though the driver’s foot was placed on the brake to take the vehicle out of gear.

What To Do If Car Keeps Accelerating?

If your car starts accelerating by itself, do not panic. There is an easy way to get yourself out of that dangerous situation. After knowing the cause of why does my car accelerate by itself, follow the below steps to get rid of it easily.

1. Shift To Neutral

The first that you want to do if your car starts accelerating by itself is to shift to neutral. Once the transmission is in neutral it will no longer be physically connected with the engine. Meaning, the engine is no longer sending power through the transmission to the wheel so it can’t accelerate anymore.

2. Apply Brakes

Once you cut the power supply, it’s time to start applying brakes as you would normally do to stop. At this point, the engine is revving but it is not accelerating. Even though you will hear loud noises from the engine, do not turn your vehicle off. Because you will lose power brakes and power steering and you don’t want that. Just apply the brakes to come to a complete stop and then turn off your vehicle.

3. Turn on Hazard Lights

If your car starts revving and accelerating while you are driving in a quiet street, you can stop without worrying about traffic. But, if your car starts to act weird while you are on the highway, it is a different story. You could have cars coming from all sides. That is why it’s important to turn on your hazard lights.

Once the drivers around you see that you have the hazard lights on, they will know that something is wrong and will make room for you.

4. Take Safety Measures

Again, if you are in a quiet street, no worries. But, if you are on the highway, make sure that you put the warning triangle to let know the drivers that your vehicle is parked. Also, if you have a fluorescent jacket in your vehicle, put it on. Once you placed the warning triangle, move away from the highway and call a tow truck.

How Much Does A Throttle Body Replacement Cost?

Your car is only able to run smoothly because the engine gets the right mixture of fuel and air. And the throttle works with the fuel injection system to ensure that the right mixture is there. When the throttle body fails, the engine won’t be able to remove the right mixture and will start to experience problems.

To replace your car’s throttle body, you will pay as little as 370$ or as much as 1,500$. Labor should be between 70$ and 260$, and parts should cost you from 110$ to 600$.


Ways of resolving sudden unintended acceleration are to apply the brakes and clutch. Or shift into Neutral if the car has an automatic transmission. In most cars, fully applied brakes are easily capable of stopping the car while the accelerator pedal is also fully applied. Pumping the brakes is strongly discouraged during an unintended acceleration event, as this can lead to a loss of braking power.

Unresponsive or entrapped pedals can be avoided by using car mat clips.

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