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What To Do If Your Car Accelerates On Its Own?

Accelerating your car, especially when you are going through a smooth zero traffic road is fun. Many will term it as an amazing experience, almost like flying. There is no wrong in agreeing to this and doing so if you are completely sure that it is safe to do so both for you and others.

But what if your car accelerates on its own? What if it does this on a busy road? You will be completely helpless and most people will panic in such situations. None of us wants to be in such a situation, right? But many have complained about such a situation happening to them. In this article, we will be discussing why this situation arises and how you can stop this from happening. So read on!

Reasons Why Your Car Accelerates On Its Own

Imagine being on a busy road and suddenly your car starts accelerating! No matter what you say now, there is no way you won’t panic. Here are some of the reasons why such a condition can arise.

1. Older Model Car Acceleration

The automatic acceleration of your car is most commonly seen in older vehicles. The most common reason for this happening is, the acceleration cable getting stuck. This is a very simple issue but still, your car automatically accelerating, especially on a busy road is undesirable.

When you step on your accelerator pedal, it is enabled to pull a cable that opens the throttle. When the issue of your car accelerating happens, it is because thus throttle cable is stuck. To stop this from happening, what you have to do is, keep your foot under the pedal and pull it up. After stopping the vehicle safely you have to lubricate the accelerator cable. In some cases, you may need to replace it.

2. New Model Car Acceleration

Newer model vehicles lack accelerator cable. Latest cars use computer sensors and electric motors to open the throttle. So if your modern car accelerates on its own, the problem is not with the accelerator cable which does not exist in modern cars, but it is with the computer sensors or electric motors.

When you step on your car’s acceleration pedal, the computer sensors located on top of the pedal send signals to the computer and let it know how hard you have stepped on the pedal. According to the received signal, the sensors further send signals to the electric motors to open the throttle.

Hence if there is a problem with the computer sensors or the electric motors, the throttle could be opened unnecessarily causing the car to accelerate automatically.

What To Do If Your Car Accelerates Unintentionally?

Your car accelerating on its own can cause a lot of panic to you, especially if you are driving on a busy road. But panicking can do nothing to help you.

If your car accelerates on your own, here is what you should do

Step 1: Turn On Hazard Lights

The first thing you should do when your car accelerates on its own is to switch on the hazard lights. Not doing this if this situation happens to you in a quiet street is fine. But otherwise, you must let others know of your situation.

Once others see that you have your hazard lights on, they will understand that there is something wrong and will make room for you. This is a matter of both your and other’s safety

Step 2: Shift To Neutral

Now shift your gear to neutral. Do not panic. If you do, you may forget what you should do and can land in a much more dangerous situation.

When you switch to neutral, the transmission will set to neutral and hence it will not be connected to the engine anymore. That is, the engine of your car will no longer be providing power to the wheels through your car’s transmission. This will not let your car accelerate anymore.

Step 3: Apply Brake


After you shift to neutral, thus cutting the power supply, start applying brakes. Applying brakes is what we normally do to stop or slow down a vehicle and so that has to be done here as well of course. Your engine will now be revving and not accelerating.

Remember that you should never switch off your vehicle when in this situation. If you do so, you will lose the power brakes and power steering and this is undesirable. Only after your vehicle completely stopped after applying brakes should you turn off your vehicle.

Step 4: Take Safety Measures

After you successfully stopped your vehicle, starting your car again without fixing the issue is not a good idea. If you are on a quiet street, with hardly any vehicles, parking your car on the side is fine. But otherwise, it is important to let others know what your situation is and why you have parked your car.


It is good to always carry a warning triangle or neon jacket in your car. If you have them, you can put the triangle out and wear the jacket to let other vehicles know that you’ve parked your car. Once you are safely parked, call a mechanic or a tow truck to fix the situation.

Is Your Car Suddenly Accelerating Undesirable For Your Car?

Like any issue, if your car accelerates on its own, that can be bad for your car as this will increase RPM and your vehicle will start doing mechanical over-rev. This happens when your car’s RPM is on or above the red line which indicates the maximum speed that your engine can run safely without causing damage to itself.


Once the RPM crosses this line, a collision between the valve float and piston can happen as the pistons are rising faster than normal and the valve float is still closing. The red line however can vary from vehicle to vehicle depending on several factors.

Frequently Asked Questions:

So, here are some of the frequently asked questions about what would cause the car to accelerate by itself, how do you fix a sudden unintended acceleration etc?-

What Would Cause My Car To Accelerate By Itself?

When an electronic malfunction happens within the vehicle causes the car to accelerate even when the driver does not press down on the gas pedal. So, If a vehicle has a defect in its electronic system, then all the process controls the car’s power train could malfunction.

What Do You Do If Your Car Is Unintentionally Accelerating?

If the car is unintentionally accelerating then-

  1. Move your foot to the brake pedal and press down as hard as you can and make sure that  you don’t off the engine.
  2. After that  make your transmission depress the clutch pedal.

How Do You Fix  A Sudden Unintended Acceleration?

For fixing a sudden unintended acceleration, apply the brakes, or shift into Neutral if the car has an automatic transmission. In some cars, if the brakes are fully applied then it is capable of stopping the car.

What Does It Mean When Your Car Is Revving High?

When the car is revving high then it can be due to the mass airflow sensor ( MAF ).

How Do I Stop My Car From Revving?

You can stop your car from revving when you leave the accelerator a small second before you push the clutch down to change the gear – After that change it and then let out the clutch sharply.


Your car accelerating on its own is a very undesirable situation. Nobody would want to be in a situation like this. But you can’t decide that this won’t happen to you. The most important thing you have to remember while this happens to you is to not panic. Then further follow the steps mentioned in this article and face it bravely!