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.

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in. I’d be hap...

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: Can a faulty sensor keep the engine from starting?

Today's automobiles use many different sensors to signal engine controls and computer circuits to start a vehicle's engine and run all the programing for fuel, timing, and emissions control. Bearing this in mind, it is critical for the vehicle's main...

Q: Transmission slipping at low speeds

Transmission issues such as this can be caused by something as simple as low transmission fluid. I would first recommend checking the level and condition of your transmission fluid as low fluid levels are one of the main causes of...

Q: The car hesitates at higher speeds, check engine light on

You need to have the Check Engine Light code diagnosed to see if you have a problem. I feel the person that checked you car was trying to sell you a service that you may not need instead of looking...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...