Car Wise: 3 Possible Reasons You're Having Trouble Accelerating

20 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog


When you press on your gas, you should receive the right response.  But, alas, things can go wrong, and you may begin to experience acceleration issues. The following are 3 reasons why your car might have trouble speeding up.

1. The Air Filter

Your air filter controls and filters the air that goes into your engine. Things like leaves and debris are kept away from the internal engine compartments. Keep in mind that debris can cause internal damage or clogs within your engine.

The following are a few symptoms related to a dirty air filter:

  • You may notice an increase of gas consumption, as the air filter can cause your engine to use up an excessive amount of fuel; this occurs because there is limited air flow to the engine.
  • The air filter will also affect your acceleration speed, since the fuel-to-air mixture is not correct. This causes improper combustion.

Talk to your auto care specialist if you suspect that your air filter is causing your acceleration issues.

2. The Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is there to convert harmful engine gas emissions into safer fumes. This compartment doesn't have much to do with acceleration. But, a failing or clogged catalytic converter can cause acceleration issues. This is due to the back pressure it creates against your engine or the bad air-to-fuel mixture.

The following are signs of a bad catalytic converter:

  • Your engine might run hotter than normal (this can also be related to a coolant leak or radiator issues). This is due to the catalytic converter adding too much back pressure to your engine.
  • The back pressure will also increase your fuel consumption.
  • You might also notice black smoke coming from your exhaust pipe due to the improper air-to-fuel mixture.
  • You may hear a rattling sound coming from under your car by the catalytic converter. This could be due to your catalytic converter heating up beyond its limitations due to a clog.
  • There might be a rotten egg smell coming from your car because the catalytic converter failed to convert some of your fumes.

Talk to your auto care specialist to confirm your suspicions regarding your catalytic converter.

3. Intake Manifold Leaks

Leaks can upset the engine's proper air-to-fuel mixture that is needed for proper combustion. The hesitation you are feeling when you are driving could be due to a leak in the intake manifold. This leak could cause your car to have improper combustion and; therefore, hesitations.

The following are signs of a leak in the intake manifold:

  • There may be unstable idling due to the improper fuel and air mixture.
  • You might hear hissing sounds coming from under the hood of your car. This is due to the excess air that is making its way into your vehicle due to the leak.
  • The check engine light might turn on.
  • Coolant may run through the intake manifold, and you will see a coolant leak. You might smell burnt coolant fluid or see white smoke from your exhaust pipe (coolant dripped into your combustion chamber).

Talk to your auto care specialist if you think one of these issues might be causing you to lose engine power. For more information, contact Edmonds Import Auto or a similar location.