November 26th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
An accelerator sticking can create an extremely stressful and potentially dangerous situation. Your car could suddenly accelerate without warning, and when you immediately try to apply the brakes, they don’t respond.
It may sound like it’s straight out of a nightmare, but this situation can be all too real. So what causes this gas pedal sticking scenario? When your brake pedal sticks, the culprit could be a faulty throttle or human error, like a floor mat getting under the pedal. The good news is that some newer cars are equipped with smart throttle technology, which can help minimize this problem.
It’s important to prepare yourself so you can calmly handle the situation and help avert a car collision. If your gas pedal is stuck, try following this seven-step process to help keep you and your passengers safe.
1. Keep calm.
Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.
2. Shift to neutral.
The key is to shift into neutral when you have a stuck accelerator. If you put it into neutral, the engine will still rev, but the car speed will stop increasing. If your gas pedal is stuck and you have a manual transmission, don’t forget to apply the clutch to shift gears. When you’re frightened or under stress, it’s easy to forget!
It’s also important not to turn off your engine, because doing so will turn off your power steering and power brakes and make it harder to navigate your vehicle.
If you can’t shift into neutral or steer your car to the side of the road, away from traffic, then you may have to apply your emergency brake to stop the car.
3. Put on your hazard lights.
Always turn on your hazard lights to make other drivers aware of the situation. They can then safely adjust and give you plenty of room.
4. Apply the brakes.
Assuming you are able to shift into neutral, the next step is to apply your brakes. Do it firmly but don’t slam the brakes unless it’s necessary to avoid an accident. Don’t pump your brake pedal since that could deactivate your power brakes.
5. Navigate the car to the side or off the road to safety.
If you’re able, park your car off the road and away from traffic to prevent a collision. Turn off the ignition and apply the emergency brake as a precaution.
6. Inspect your pedals.
Is there a floor mat, a pen, or some other object that is pressing against the brake pedal and causing the obstruction?
7. Call for help.
If it’s not a floor mat or other object causing the interference, it may indicate a malfunction that’s possibly related to a faulty throttle. In that case, you will need a professional to take a look at it.
As frightening as a gas pedal sticking can be, it’s a situation that you can safely manage now that you know what to do. Follow this process and you should, hopefully, be able to avert an accident and navigate your car to safety.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Signal Hill, a leading collision repair shop serving Long Beach and the greater Los Angeles area including Wilmington, Burbank, Carson, Harbor City, and other communities.