Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car stops accelerating, motor stalls, what can I do?

asked by on

My 2010 Ford Fusion ran fine for the first 70,000 miles but now has started to randomly decelerate when my foot is still on the accelerator. This is a serious problem. The car stalled out at a couple of times when I stopped, which I thought was unusual for an automatic. But, I didn’t think anything serious was happening. Now I think those things are related and something is broken that is making the accelerator not work. How can I properly diagnose this problem?

Before the advent of modern computer controls, the driver of a vehicle was in direct connection with many of the systems they were controlling. Power accessories (locks, windows, etc) were directly linked to the switches at the driver’s finger tips. The accelerator pedal used a cable to transfer the driver’s force to opening the throttle blades. In the increasing push for efficiency, modern vehicles use sensors and actuators to communicate the driver’s requests, removing the direct links. In the event of a malfunction, the output performed may be vastly different what the driver requested. I believe the best strategy given your symptoms would be having a certified technician inspect your Fusion, and look for signs of failures in the electronic throttle control (ETC) system. Any faults will almost certainly be logged as diagnostic trouble codes, and the technician can begin diagnosis from there. Because the ETC system is responsible for countless cycles of opening and closing the throttle blade, it wears out just like any other part. Thankfully, the parts in this system are relatively inexpensive, and if properly diagnosed, can be changed in less than an hour.

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

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: Explorer turns over but wont start.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a fuel supply problem in getting the proper amount of fuel to the fuel injectors. As you know, when you turn the key to on, the fuel pump is activated and the...

Q: Car won't start but when attempting to start it makes a repetitive "pop" sound.

Hi there. What could be happening is the engine has either a large vacuum leak or the timing chain has skipped a tooth making a camshaft out of adjustment. First look all over the engine for any possible vacuum leaks,...

Q: What does the Anti-theft light mean on the dash?

Your car comes standard with a handy Anti-theft system called SecuriLock®. When you lock the doors and activate the Anti-theft system, the light will show in the dash. It should flash slowly, which indicates that the system is operating normally....

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
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...