2006 Mazda Tribute gas pedal sticks

I can’t get the pedal to depress when trying to move from a stop. I was doing fine until this evening when heading back to my hotel following a theater performance. When attempting to accelerate from a stop light . . . NOTHING. I put the car in neutral and stomped on the pedal a few times and it finally engaged. Happened again when trying to merge onto the highway. As long as I keep pressure on the pedal it is fine, but as soon as I release it sticks in the “up” position. Naturally, I’m away from home, the roads are icy, and it’s Sunday!

It may sound like a stupid idea, but make sure your floor mat is not bunched up behind it. It happens on my car using those cheapo vinyl mats.

Does it also stick in the “down” position, or does it always promptly disengage when you let your foot off?

There seems to be binding or excessive friction in the system somewhere. The weird thig is that it only seems to occur only in one direction.

You (or somebody) needs to do the following.

  1. Remove the plastic engine cover.
  2. Disconnect the throttle cable and cruise control cable from the throttle body. (The throttle cable is held on by a ferrule that slides out when throttle is held fully open).
  3. Check throttle body for smooth operation and action of return spring.
  4. Lube the pivot on the body.
  5. Push/pull the throttle cable and check for smooth operation.
  6. Reattach throttle. Follow the length of the cable housing and look for chafed areas, pinched areas, etc. Make sure cable is secured in all appropriate fasteners.
  7. Leave cover off and re-check operation of gas pedal on test drives is ops check ok, reinstall engine cover.

What do you mean by sticking? Does the pedal physically have a lot of initial resistance when you step on it, then suddenly give way or does the pedal move freely but the throttle does not respond.

A lot of cars from your era have a throttle by wire, that is the gas pedal only operates a pedal position sensor. The computer operates the throttle by sending a voltage to a motor on the throttle body. Sometimes the computer detects a fault and will not send the voltage to the throttle body for some reason.

There may be some cars of your era that still use the old fashioned throttle cable. Gunk build up behind the throttle plate can cause the throttle plate to stick in the idle position and require some force to get the pedal to move.

@Keith: The '04 uses a cable, so it’s probable the '06 does as well.