Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car hesitates when I put my foot into it.

asked by on

Car hesitates when I try to accelerate, then seems to grab and go through the gears.

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I’d be happy to help. This is a common symptom of a failing mass air flow sensor or throttle position sensor.

A mass air flow sensor is a unit that monitors the air flow into the intake system as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the motor. When this is faulty, this will cause an imbalance in the air/fuel ration which can cause the car to hesitate as you describe.

A throttle position sensor is a component that monitors the position of your foot on the gas pedal which then relays this info to the computer which then directs the fuel injection system to supply more or less fuel. When this is not working properly, this can also cause a slight hesitation in acceleration as you describe.

I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home to confirm a diagnosis on the issue and make the necessary repairs or replacements.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse running rich and stalling at idle

First of all, you've got to realize that, although those technically don't have a MAF mass air flow sensor, those use what is called a Karman vortex sensor. Those sensors are notorious for going bad on Mitsubishis. They do...

Q: Acceleration hesitation in O4-cylinder 2002 Chevy

If you find that when you step on the gas and your RPM takes up, but the car doesn't follow, the transmission is slipping. Unfortunately on that, it's a very expensive job rebuilding the transmission. So what you're going to...

Q: Car tremble a short while sometimes when travelling in low speeds or changing from idle to drive at the traffic light.

Hi there. With the limited vehicle description, all I can mention is that the throttle pedal position sensor needs reprogrammed or replaced or the gas pedal cable is out of adjustment and need adjusted (carburetor cars). The throttle is out...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.