2004 Focus Accelerator

Hello. I own a 2004 Ford Focus with 117,000 miles on it. Recently, (The last couple of weeks), the accelerator has begun sticking in the umm? unpushed (?) position. That is, when I try to push the pedal to accelerate, it takes a bit of force at the beginning to get it to move. This would only be a minor annoyance, except that the car is a manual transmission and the extra force needed to overcome the stick causes me to rev the engine and is hurting the clutch and tires. Plus, everyone who stops beside me at lights thinks that I am attempting to race them, badly. (A particularly foolish thing to attempt in a stock Focus.)

I have seen no correlation between the problem and temperature, humidity, etc. It does, however, seem to get worse the longer I drive. I have WD40?ed the spot where the cable passes through the firewall and the end where it attaches to the actual throttle. This has no effect. A very slight separation between the armature of the throttle and the stop screw prevents the problem, but any contact (or a separation as small as the thinnest gauge on spark plug tester) causes it to seize up.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Using WD-40 on the cable was a bad idea and may cause you new problems later. It will wash out the grease that is in the cable. You will need to correctly re-grease the cable. I would suspect that you may have a carbon buildup problem in your throttle body. Try some throttle body safe cleaner (the kind that won’t remove the coating inside).

Agreed, it was a problem on my wife’s 04 Tribute, and my 07 Focus is starting to do this. There’s only a tiny clearance between the throttle plate and the wall of the throttle body, and it gets gunked up and so it sticks.

Well, I fixed it, though probably not in a good way. The issue was definitely in the butterfly valve. I took it off and sprayed lithium grease on every surface and in every cranny I could. No luck. So, I took some of that green crafting wire and wrapped a few inches around the stop on the accelerator. This prevents it from completely closing by the width of the wire. (1mm?) If it has caused the car to idle any faster, I cannot hear it and as there is no tach, I have no way to check precisely, but I have noticed no problems since.