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How to Adjust Gas Pedal Sensitivity? Fixing a Stiff or Loose Pedal!

The gas pedal is also known as the accelerator. The gas pedal is used to control the amount of gas used by the engine. This controls the speed of the car. It is located on the far right of the vehicle floor at the driver’s side. This pedal controls the air supply and the fuel needed by the car. This accelerator should be used by pressing the right foot. How a person uses the gas pedal determines how smooth the ride is and how fast the vehicle moves. One needs to have good practice in controlling the gas pedal sensitivity. Let’s see how to adjust the gas pedal sensitivity.

Why is My Car Accelerator So Sensitive?

When the accelerator is too sensitive, a slight pressing of the pedal slowly can throttle the vehicle much faster. At this time, the vehicle has a high chance of jumping forward with difficulty in controlling how fast the acceleration is.

At this time, the acceleration will either be slow or fast, not in between. When this happens, the driver cannot maintain a neutral spot in acceleration. When this happens, the issue is usually around the throttle position sensor, the accelerator, or the MAF sensor.  

Let’s go through some of the factors affecting the sensitivity:

  1. Throttle Body: The accelerator becomes too sensitive when the throttle body is damaged, dirty, or malfunctioned. When this happens, one can try cleaning and repairing the throttle body with the help of a qualified mechanic. The throttle body-related issues can be resolved by replacing the throttle.
  2. Throttle Cables: The throttle body and accelerator pedal are connected using throttle cables. When the throttle cable is tight, the accelerator pedal becomes too sensitive. One can adjust the cable and reduce the sensitivity.
  3. Electronic Throttle Control: The electronic throttle control system is found in new cars. When the control system has malfunctioned, the accelerator becomes too sensitive. Repairing and replacing the throttle control system can reduce the sensitivity.
  4. Impaired Driving: Sometimes, drivers apply too much pressure on the gas pedal when driving. This jumps the car forward and raises its speed of the car.

Can you Adjust the Sensitivity of the Gas Pedal?

The ability to adjust a vehicle’s gas pedal depends on several factors; this includes the model of the car, the underlying cause, the driving technique or style, and the type of vehicle. Suppose the sensitivity is caused by any mechanical issue- for example, a throttle cable-related problem, malfunctioning throttle body, or even a throttle control system. We can adjust the cables and repair and replace them to solve the issue. 

If the sensitivity is caused by a malfunctioned electronic throttle control system, it should be calibrated and repaired by a professionally qualified mechanic. There are some cases of gas pedal issues.

Where the vehicle is designed with throttle controllers/accelerators with adjustable sensitive settings, this type of setting will allow for adjustment of the sensitivity of the gas pedal. When people use aftermarket devices and other throttle modification systems, the warranty of the vehicle invalidates it. This type of modification affects the performance and safety of the vehicle. 

How to Adjust Gas Pedal Sensitivity?

Adjusting it depends on many factors. There are two types of gas pedal systems; the electric system is called the drive-by-wire, where the accelerator is plugged into electrical wires. And the mechanical system is called the drive-by-cable, which has the cable connected to the throttle. Here are a few steps to adjust the sensitivity of the vehicle gas pedal:

  1. Remove the floor mat and locate the accelerator from under the driver’s side of the vehicle, and adjust the screw or bolt which connects the gas pedal cable to the pedal using a screwdriver. 
  2. Turning the screw clockwise can increase the sensitivity of the gas pedal, while turning the accelerator counterclockwise will reduce the sensitivity.
  3. Next, test drives the car and check for the right adjustment for the desired level of sensitivity. If you are not satisfied with the adjustment, repeat the process until the issue is fixed.

How to Adjust Gas Pedal Sensitivity

The Next Method Involves the Following Steps:

  1. Open the hood and identify the throttle plate of the engine and find the throttle cable.
  2. Next, loosen the nut to the right of the throttle cable hex nut. This nut locks the cable’s tension in place.
  3. If the tension needs to be increased, tighten the left nut, and if the tension needs to be decreased, loosen the left nut.

Be cautious when making such adjustments with the accelerator. When the adjustment is not made properly, it can be very dangerous to drive. One can get professional help to fix the sensitivity issue if one is unsure of what to do, especially when adjusting the sensitivity of drive-by-wire systems where a mechanic needs to re-code the throttle.

How Do you Drive a Car With a Sensitive Gas Pedal?

It is very challenging to drive a car with a sensitive accelerator. Let’s look into some possible ways to drive with a sensitive gas pedal.

  1. A Light Touch on the Pedal: press the pedal lightly when the pedal is too sensitive. The light touch is responsive, and the car will move.
  2. Anticipation: know in advance and anticipate when to stop or when to slow down. Sudden slowing or stopping the vehicle with a sensitive gas pedal is challenging.
  3. Keep It Easy: make enough space between the car and the vehicle in front of you as well as the vehicle behind you. This will give one enough time to slow down or stop when necessary.
  4. Cruise Control: use the cruise control option when driving on highways or in places with a consistent limit speed. 
  5. Experience: the more often you drive a vehicle with a sensitive gas pedal, the more you get used to driving the car with the issue. Knowing how exactly to reduce the challenge will help and make it possible to drive with a sensitive gas pedal.

What Causes Harsh Acceleration?

There are many reasons for the harsh acceleration of the vehicle.

  1. Dirt in the Air Filter: dirt collected in the air filter will restrict the air flowing to the engine. When this happens, the acceleration causes a harsh jerk.
  2. Fault in the Fuel Injectors: When the fuel injector is not working properly, the right amount of fuel is not provided to the engine. This creates a harsh acceleration.
  3. Throttle Sensor Malfunction: The throttle sensor communicates the position of the gas pedal to the engine’s management system. The malfunction leads to incorrect signals transferring to the engine.
  4. Worn-out Spark Plug: Spark plugs are necessary to create a spark to ignite the engine furl. When this fails, the acceleration is harsh.
  5. Problems in the Transmission: Issues like low fluid levels and worn-out clutch plates can create harsh acceleration.

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