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Q: Car shuts off when I hit the gas.

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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.

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