Why Does a Gas Pedal on a Car Get Stuck?

by Robert Moore

A sticking gas pedal can be the result of damage to the throttle cable, gas pedal assembly, or even the throttle body or carburetor. Make a few visual checks to determine the cause of your sticking gas pedal.

Finding the Fault

Start by examining the gas pedal assembly. Move it by hand while observing its movement. Look for any binding of the pedal arm or linkage. Next, open your car's hood and locate where the throttle cable travels through the firewall. Have a helper move the pedal and observe the cable. If there is any movement of the black casing that surrounds the cable, look for a missing or damaged bracket for the cable. If the casing over the cable is broken, replace the cable as the damaged casing will cause the cable within to fray and catch on sharp edges. The next step is to check the throttle body or carburetor. Have your helper move the gas pedal while you observe the movement of the throttle lever. If the throttle cable bends or appears to be loose, you may need to adjust the slack, or replace the cable if it's the type that cannot be adjusted. Finally, disconnect the throttle and cruise control cables from the throttle body. Move the throttle lever by hand -- it should rotate and return freely. If it fails to return on its own, check for an obstruction inside the throttle body. If there is no obstruction, the return spring on the throttle body has most likely failed. Install a new spring or replace the throttle body if you cannot obtain a suitable replacement spring.

About the Author

Robert Moore started writing professionally in 2002. His career started has head writer and Web designer for VFW post 1224 in Hamburg, Michigan. He has prepared business plans, proposals and grant requests. Moore is a state of Michigan-certified mechanic and is pursuing an Associate of Arts in automotive technology from Lansing Community College.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Red_Hayabusa/iStock/Getty Images