Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Recently when I press the gas half or more of the time it really struggles to get up to speed.

asked by on

A week ago I drove on the freeway for about 45 minutes in drive 2 on accident. Ever since then, when I press the gas it takes a super long time to accellerate. I took it to the auto repair shop first, and they sent me to the exhaust gentleman across the street. He chopped off my cat and put in an exhaust splicer, and that COMPLETELY (I strongly emphasize completely) fixed the problem for precisely one driving session. The next day it was doing the exact same thing again. I just got back from the auto shop for the second time and they said they thought it was bent lobes on my hollow camshaft, and sent me on my way with a death certificate for my car. My question is, if that part was broken, wouldn't the problem still have been present when he took off my cat? Or could that be causing my fuel to burn incorrectly and that's the problem? Any ideas you have would be very welcome, I'm just trying to hang on to a thread of hope my car isn't toast haha. Thank you!

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It isn’t out of the ordinary for there to be more than one problem with a car of this age. This sounds like the case with your car. From what I can gather, the failing camshaft probably finished an already failing catalytic converter causing it to plug. After removing the plugged catalytic converter, the car would definitely run better, but you still had a camshaft that was going bad. When a camshaft begins to fail, it begins to shed metal. The longer it runs like this, the worse the car will run. There are early symptoms that can be detected with a failing camshaft, but only if a technician is looking for them. A camshaft fails progressively until it can’t open a valve at all. At that point, the motor will exhibit almost the exact same symptoms of a plugged exhaust.

What is happening in both cases is the motor unable to pump air. Internal combustion engines are really just large air pumps. If the intake (which the camshaft is a part of that system) or the exhaust system is limiting the amount of air the motor can pump, the motor will progressively run worse. These kind of failures aren’t sudden failures but slow and progressively worse ones.

Unfortunately, when a camshaft fails like this, it leaves metal shavings throughout the motor which will cause many other problems. This requires the complete disassembly and rebuilding of the motor. With a vehicle of this age, this kind of repair is usually more expensive than the car is worth. Of course, this doesn’t value its worth to you on a nostalgic level. If you are in love with the car, then it maybe worth it for you to fix it. But remember that the value to others may not be the same.

The long story short, it maybe time to let this car go and both issues will affect the fuel burn as you call it. Which is a relatively accurate statement. If you want to have this checked by a mechanic in person, a technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose your vehicle’s acceleration hesitation.

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!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Recently when I press the gas half or more of the time it really struggles to get up to speed.

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: Car wont start after driving

Hi There, Based upon what you are describing, it sounds like you may have an ignition coil that may be starting to fail. Ignition coils are exceptionally susceptible to problems with large temperature fluctuations when they are beginning to fail...

Q: Car will turn over but not start - 2005 Kia Sorento

Hi. There is a good possibility that the timing belt has broken and it is causing the car not to start. The timing belt is what keeps the engine in time so it will start and run. If this belt...

Q: Car makes clicking sound

It sounds like your battery may be dead. If you hear a clicking noise and the starter will not engage then your battery is more likely the cause. I would have a technician come out from YourMechanic and inspect the...

Related articles

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...