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Accelerator cable replacement
Problems with an accelerator cable?
Most modern vehicles now use drive-by-wire technology instead of mechanical systems. This includes the accelerator cable, with vehicles now utilising electronic throttle controls to replace mechanical linkages. However, the accelerator cable is not completely dead just yet, and there are still plenty of vehicles on the road with this venerable mechanical component.
The accelerator cable is a braided, flexible, metal cable that can get damaged or fail over time. If it does fail, you may notice a change in acceleration and there may be a delay when you push the accelerator pedal down. If the cable breaks for any reason you won’t be able to accelerate at all.
If you suspect an accelerator cable issue an AutoGuru mechanic can inspect and replace it for you hassle free.
What is an accelerator cable?
An accelerator cable is a fairly simple device. A cable runs from the accelerator pedal to a spring-loaded linkage on the throttle body. When a driver pushes the accelerator pedal down, the cable moves the linkage. This opens the valve on the throttle body to allow more air to flow into the engine.
The position of the foot on the accelerator pedal determines the airflow and the amount of fuel going through the injectors to provide the optimal air/fuel mixture for engine combustion.
An accelerator cable has an external covering and internal metal cord. It is designed to be able to route through and around engine-bay components whilst still being able to mechanically maneuver the throttle linkage. There are connectors at both ends to attach to the throttle body and the accelerator pedal.
Symptoms the accelerator cable needs replacing
- Accelerator cable is damaged
- Accelerator cable has broken
- Delayed throttle response
How the accelerator cable is replaced
- Remove components to access throttle body and accelerator cable
- Detach accelerator cable from the throttle body and the cable bracket
- Detach the cable from the accelerator pedal (in cabin footwell)
- Detach accelerator cable from the firewall and thread through the firewall
- Remove accelerator cable
- Compare new cable is the same as the old cable
- Position new cable, insert through the firewall and fix in place
- Attach the end of the cable to the accelerator pedal
- Attach the opposite end of the cable to the accelerator cable bracket and throttle body
- Refit all components
- Check operation
Tips to remember
Check there is definitely a fault with the accelerator cable before replacing as connectors may have become loose.
If the accelerator cable breaks whilst driving, pull off the road safely, switch the engine off and arrange for assistance.
How important is replacing the accelerator cable?
Ensuring you can accelerate when required is actually a pretty important safety issue - you may need to move quickly to avoid an accident - and if the accelerator cable breaks you could find yourself in trouble. If it does break, at the very least you’ll find yourself stuck at the side of the road summoning a tow truck.