There’s nothing scarier than a stuck accelerator. It’s an extremely tense and high-stress situation and can be very dangerous when you’re on the road. Cars gas pedal suddenly accelerates and you can’t stop, panic ensues. This is especially frightening if you hit the brakes and they don’t work.
Car’s Gas Pedal Gets Stuck
This nightmare scenario is something we all want to avoid, but it’s a situation that can happen. What do you do if the cars gas pedal gets stuck? There are many culprits, such as a stuck throttle or other errors, like a shoe or gas mat stuck beneath the pedal. Many new cars are equipped with patented smart technologies that prevent this scenario from happening, but older cars don’t have this.
It’s important to keep calm, think, and prepare yourself through the situation so that you avoid a collision and can safely pull off to the side of the road. You want to keep yourself and your passengers safe and prevent injury and damage to your vehicle. Use these pro auto tips to reach a safe solution in this potentially frightening scenario.
In any stressful high-demand scenario, it’s important to stay calm so that you can think your way through it. A cars gas pedal is very scary, but panicking won’t help you make the decisions you need to slow down and get off the road. If you are in a car with small children you will want to take extra care to make the situation seem normal.
Take deep and controlled breaths. Breathe through your nose and out of your mouth to calm yourself down and assume total control of the situation.
You need to stay aware of your surroundings during any high-stress situation. Continue using your mirrors and look out for any pedestrians or other vehicles. Immediately look for empty lanes or places to move your vehicle. If there is a shoulder, use that.
Shift Down To Neutral
When your accelerator gets stuck you need to immediately shift down to neutral. When your car is in neutral the engine will still try to rev, but the speed will stop increasing because the vehicle won’t be in gear. If your accelerator is stuck in a car with manual transmission, apply the clutch so that you can properly switch gears. It’s easy to forget when you’re under duress, but if you can keep calm and immediately switch to neutral you will greatly reduce the problem and keep yourself safe.
Remember, DON’T turn off the engine. This will also turn off your power steering and power brakes, and make it nearly impossible to steer your vehicle out of harm’s way. If you for some reason can’t shift down to neutral or steer your car safely off the road and out of traffic, yank the emergency brake so that you can stop the car.
Put On Your Hazards
You might not be thinking of this in the situation, but if you can turn on your hazards you will immediately tell other drivers that something is wrong and they should get out of the way. Aware drivers will be able to make necessary adjustments and give you room.
Apply Your Brakes
If you were able to shift safely into neutral, make sure you continue to apply your brakes. Firmly apply pressure but try to avoid slamming on your brakes unless you are facing an accident. Use both feet, and press on the brake as hard as you can. Don’t pump the brake pedal either, as this can possibly deactivate your power brakes. If you are in neutral and have already pulled the emergency brake, you should be able to slow down on the side of the road.
DO NOT pull your emergency brake if you are traveling at high speeds and have yet to exhaust all other options. Your emergency brake could make you forfeit control of your vehicle, and should only be used if necessary.
Your car might pull hard to the left or right while applying the brakes, so remember to keep both hands on the steering wheel so that you can maintain control of your vehicle.
Get To The Side Of The Road
Whether or not you were able to apply your emergency brake or shift to neutral, you need to pull your car over to the side of the road and out of traffic so that you can avoid collisions. Look for a hard shoulder or an empty parking lot, anywhere that is open and safe. If you’ve been able to put your car in neutral and slow down, then you can safely turn off the ignition.
Check Your Pedals
Look for occlusions beneath your pedals and see if that was the problem. Is your floor mat stuck under there? Do you see a pen or a rock or something else that might have stuck the accelerator? This is the first and easiest method to see if something is wrong with your cars gas pedal, and if this is the problem you won’t need any additional fixes.
Call Someone For Help
If you can’t find any blockage under your cars gas pedal, and you’re sure it’s not any other issue, there is a malfunction with your accelerator. This could be related to your car’s throttle, and if it’s faulty you need to call a professional mechanic and not drive the vehicle any further yourself. Get this fixed as soon as you can—in this situation you may have to get your vehicle safely towed to the auto shop.
A stuck gas pedal can be extremely scary, but with some awareness and forethought you can mitigate the situation and safely emerge from it unscathed. Follow all safety processes and keep calm, and you should be able to prevent any accidents or collisions and safely pull off to the side of the road. If you’re looking to fix your car yourself, PartsAvatar has what you need to get your car back on the road. Otherwise, call your trusted local mechanic and get your accelerator fixed.