Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car shuts off when I hit the gas.

asked by on

For two weeks my SUV would sputter when I would first start to press the gas. It would only do it when I first started the vehicle. Last night I went to leave church, and I went to accelerate and it just shut off. I had a check ingine light the other day. Was a loose gas cap. The problem has gotten worse since the light was reset. Now the light is back on. The vehicle will eventually go, but it takes a few tries. It usually stays running after I get it out of the parking lot.

My car has 55000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This may be a sign of a failing throttle position sensor. The throttle position sensor (TPS) is used to monitor the throttle position of the throttle plate inside the throttle body in relation to your foot’s position on the gas pedal. This sensor is usually located on the throttle plate, inside the throttle body, so that it can directly monitor the position of the throttle. Based on the readings of this sensor, the ECU then makes the decision to supply more or less fuel to the motor.

When this sensor is not working properly, it can cause intermittent responses or cause it to die when the gas pedal is pressed.

It is recommended that you get a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to come to your location and replace the throttle position sensor after a thorough inspection of the throttle control system.

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: Rev limiter ? 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan

Hello - first task is to check for problem codes, whether the Check Engine light is on or not. With your mileage, I suspect the throttle position sensor has failed, limiting the amount of throttle reported to the engine computer...

Q: Engine codes p0326. P0420.. 2013 Kia Rio

The knock sensor is the most likely cause of the P0326 trouble code. It is also possible that the wiring that goes to the knock sensor could have an issue but this is unlikely. The P0420 code is likely due...

Q: fuel

I do not recommend running this vehicle with a boat tank. Your fuel system is designed to capture fuel vapors that could easily ignite. That being said, it is possible that you are providing incorrect fuel pressure. The injectors are...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...